At present, our Materia Medica of Homeopathy is a ‘Mixed Bag’ of signs and symptoms of drugs and medicines. We have in it, wanted and unwanted symptoms and signs. What we need is ‘what is curative in medicines?’ for ‘what is curable in diseases (1, § 3)?’ which is not there. It contains proved, unproved, assumative, unauthenticated, unverified, imaginative, speculative, figurative, picturised, hypothetical, false conjectures and fictions, misinterpreted, hallucinatory, illusionary, delusionary, dreamy, abstract, pathological, poisoned and poisoning, empirical and theoretical, and of opinions – a chaos. A dilemma – of students, beginners and practitioners failures.
Our ‘one hundred (and more in India) teachers of Materia Medica, all lecturing on Aconite, all give you the same grand totality and pathogenesis, the same symptoms, the same illustration, in fact the same grand therapeutic application of the whole Materia Medica (Kent; 2, p.31)’. Is there any difference in proved, unproved, clinical, miasmatic, opinions, speculative, imaginative, abstract and theoretical symptoms of the drug/medicine taught in classrooms and seminars?
‘Students come to the colleges to learn a therapeutic system based upon a universal law that guides to the use of a Materia Medica, which, like a diamond glows no less brilliant, and like the gold coin brightens on rubbing’ (Kent; 2, p. 32;).
‘Students come to the colleges to learn relation existing between the drug and disease features. We can show similarity but we cannot demonstrate why there is a similarity. It is not a work that caused a drug picture to be similar to the disease symptoms. Yet the discovery of this similarity was the work of Samuel Hahnemann. It is greater than any common place work of man, that caused the similitude in pathology and pathogenesy (Kent; 2, p.32;)’.
No headway for real Homeopathy to know ‘what is curative in medicine?’ We have ‘to separate the wheat from the tares’ (3; p. 32;).
‘An army of soldiers without the line of officers could not be but a mob; such a mob of confusion is our Materia Medica to the man who has not the command’ (Kent; 2, p.356).
Much has been placed in our drug monographs and many are in an unarranged condition. Let us straighten all. Trash can be eliminated from our Materia Medica by reliable, authenticated, verified and confirmed signs and symptoms through cures by the use of Repertory especially Dr Kent’s Repertory which has served us like a undissolvable solid rock of Gibraltar for more than 100 years. It is the backbone of our success in the practice of Hahnemannian Homeopathy, when Dr Kent writes; ‘This third edition competes my life work. I have brought it up-to-date. I have rearranged and made numerous corrections in addition to adding many new remedies. I have verified every symptom in this book. You will find all remedies of any value contained herein. The book is complete’ (Preface to 3rd. edition). Millions and millions cures are made by the use of this Repertory in hands of our able users by verifying and confirming signs and symptoms of drugs again and again for more than a century. Proof lies in eating the pudding. We learn Homeopathy through the language of the Repertory’ (4; p.xix;).
‘Yet again, examination of the sources of the symptoms in question shows that they are of very unequal value. Sometimes they are records of poisonings, when they are of unquestionable value. Sometimes they are the mere statements of systematic writers on Materia Medica, which must be taken quantum valeant. Very often, however, they are narratives of cases of disease treated by the drug in question, and the symptoms are such as were supposed, either by the observer or by the citer, to have resulted from (so to speak) the obiter facta of the medicine. It is obvious that great discrimination is needed here’ (5, p.x;).
Recent, new Materia Medicas and Repertories which are flooding in the homeopathic market come in this category. These can only be refered to. With these latest Repertories, one can hardly repertorise cases and teach to students who are our future wealth in classes of our colleges. You do not get during repertorisation newly added drugs/medicines in repertories as ‘additions of rubrics and remedies are rare commodities’, in our daily practice for acute as well as for chronic conditions. Where are we? We go from ‘reliability to unreliability’ area. We are getting lost. Instead of verifying and confirming rubrics (symptoms) and their remedies what we have, we are invading unknown territory. Kent’s Repertory is a basic work and our standard instrument to teach the subject of Repertory in our colleges as it is based on homeopathic philosophy and directions given in the Organon of Medicineby Hahnemann for the practice of Homeopathy.
Each symptom of our proved drug in Materia Medica (5, 6, 7, 8) has to go through vigorous filtering test procedure. It is a principle of Homeopathy to which there is no exception, that the action of a drug is learnt on the healthy organism before it is used in practice. That is a rule which cannot be neglected. First, it is important to know whether the symptom is proved one. If it is a proved one, it has to be analysed followed by evaluation according to § 153, 210, 213, etc. of the Organon of Medicine (1). Then, again it has to go through miasmatic analysis and evaluation according toHahnemann (9, 8) predisposition factor and latent taint, primary, secondary or even tertiary states and finally gradation according to Hahnemann, Boenninghausen and Kent. Only then it can be taken in the totality of symptoms of the drug as well as for the patient having acute or chronic disease conditions. If our approach is guided in this direction we will have better success for ‘Evidence Based Homeopathy’ which is our final goal.
This is being done through Kent’s Repertory (10) by consulting source books and clinical works for the research project (14). At present three miasmatic nosodes – Psorinum, Medorrhinum and Syphilinum are taken for the study. Nosodes are the end products or ultimate results of the processes of diseases. These are studied and proved on healthy people, just like other homeopathic drugs. These can be used according to signs and symptoms produced by them as other medicines. Also, there are situations when indicated medicine does not work further or does not relieve diseased condition and the state or there is a miasmatic taint or block due to heavy miasmatic load or there is a history of acquired miasmatic diseases associated and suppressed or never well since… or ailments from or family history of miasmatic diseases; then, we can think of giving nosodes as alternation or intercurrent or interpolate or interpose (Hahnemann) to lessen the miasmatic taint or load or block or to break the bond or resolve. Hahnemann has advised and justified to use for anti-psoric or anti-syphilitic or anti-sycotic drugs in a footnote to § 246, 5th edition and in § 40 and its foot-note, 6th. edition of Organon of Medicine. Also, we find in Chronic Diseases, Theoretical part (9), on pages 151, 152 and during his active life from 1835 to 1842 Hahnemann was interposing Sulphur in many reported cases to relieve psoric miasmatic load or block. This is in the history of Dr Hahnemann’sactive life and Homeopathy. We can use these three miasmatic nosodes as miasmatic taint or block removers or bond breakers or resolvers as advised in the footnote to § 40 of the Organon of Medicine (1) instead of giving anti-psoric, anti-syphilitic or anti-sycotic drugs/medicines, if symptoms agree or otherwise as stated above to interpose. These nosodes go deep at the root.
Each nosode may present signs and symptoms of other miasm(s) while proving and not of a particular disease product taken and proved e.g.;Psorinum, Medorrhinum and Syphilinum. Mostly nosodes produce in their provings signs and symptoms of mixed miasms which is evident from our research work (14). Further research work will be carried on first for the medicines which are proved and their signs and symptoms are verified and confirmed in Materia Medica Pura and Chronic Diseases in order of anti-psoric, anti-sycotic and anti-syphilitic.
There is some misunderstanding, misconception and misinterpretation among many students, teachers and homeopaths about anti-miasmatic drugs/medicines including nosodes which are called by name anti-psoric, anti-sycotic and anti-syphilitic which are only to be used against – Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis. This is absolutely wrong thinking or notion.
While proving drugs from 1790, Hahnemann never thought of classifying drugs or medicines as anti-psoric, anti-sycotic and anti-syphilitic. It was only after 1816 and later between 1816 and 1828 when he was failing in the treatment of chronic diseases even though he used meticulously the universal Law of Similars. Later, when he discovered miasms and formulated the theory of chronic miasms, he coined – anti-psoric, anti-sycotic and anti-syphilitic and used it at many places in Organon of Medicine (1) and Chronic Diseases (9) by giving and using one word – anti-miasmatic; for drugs/medicines, and finally used anti-psoric, etc. to be specific to prescribe on predominant signs and symptoms of a particular miasm in a drug or patient.
We never know before whether a drug substance to be proved is miasmatic or non-miasmatic unless it produces signs and symptoms on healthy human beings of a particular miasm or combination of two or three miasms as for example; Lycopodium, Phosphorus, Nitric acid, Sulphur, etc. It depends only on signs and symptoms produced by the drug and only then after comparing symptoms of the drug with symptoms of one or two or three miasms we can say or classify the drug as anti-psoric or anti-sycotic or anti-syphilitic or of a mixed miasms. This is only possible if we know symptoms of each miasm. That is why Hahnemann writes and emphasises that; ‘the physician must know every symptom and condition of this obscure
primary evil before he could hope to discover one or more fundamental remedies whose symptoms cover the totality of the symptoms of the primary affection’ (11, p.169;). This is what Hahnemann wrote about Psora and the same goes with Sycosis and Syphilis.
On this point Dr Kent writes thus; ‘…so called diseases are not disease as the homeopathist thinks, but the results of diseases known as miasm. Psora, Syphilis and Sycosis are the chronic miasms to be arranged in schematic form and the arrangement in such form includes all the symptoms of each of three. Thus we have foundation to build upon and all curable cases, if properly studied, will be cured before they become structural (2, p. 357;)’.
Hahnemann classified anti-miasmatic medicines/remedies for three miasms according to ‘their dominant miasm or miasms’ in their signs and symptoms produced during and after provings and not beforehand. There are always possibilities that one or more drugs/medicines in our Materia Medica can cover one or more than two miasms but we have to have an eye on symptoms of predominant miasm.
Through a research project at the Institute of Homeopathy, a computer program called ‘Kentian’ has been developed which can classify symptoms of any three miasms – single, double or mixed miasms of any drug/medicine; old or new one, according to their proved and verified symptoms within the parameter of the Kent’s Repertory.
It was impossible even for Hahnemann to find out and identify the dominant miasm in the beginning but in his later life he managed the problem by solving and published the book Chronic Diseases (6, 9), and still now it remains a difficult problem with many present day homeopaths. For me it was very difficult until I was seriously involved with my life. It took nearly thirty (30) years to solve my problem to know dominant miasm first throughchronic diseases by Hahnemann and then our research work (12) and later by Kentian.
Now, we have a way to identify the miasms even in their latent symptoms or states, in active progressive miasmatic symptoms or states and also blown-up symptoms or state in pathology, though pathology is a poor indication of identifying a particular miasm or mixed miasms. At present time, we get most of the cases of mixed miasms.
We cannot identify miasms merely by objective signs and symptoms expressed in the body of particular part of the body – face, chest, genital organs etc.; as these signs and symptoms are fragments of the whole miasmatic disease for which Hahnemann writes in Chronic Diseases (6, 9, pp.28, 29). Only through signs and symptoms of Chronic miasms (Chronic Diseases; 6, 9) no longer an obstacle in our practice for better results when we understand their application. Signs or features can point to study deeply one or other miasms.
‘What is curative in medicines?’ are signs and symptoms which are produced by a drug in healthy human beings (Male and Female) i.e. drug proving in which ‘each remedy expresses what it can positively cure’ (5, p.6).
All symptoms in our Materia Medica are not of equal value and classification. There is a need to differentiate according to the teaching of iof Medicine. While some of these signs and symptoms which are not produced by a drug while proving but that disappear after the medicine given to the patient are the results of our practice which are clinical symptoms. It should be verified and confirmed at least fifty times before it goes to repertory.
‘For estimation, then, as well as for verification and illumination, it is necessary to trace Hahnemann’s cited symptoms to their originals. The work has been done from time to time for individual medicines’ (5, p.x.). Such research project we would like to carry on at our Institute of Homeopathy.
‘Being well aware that these two kind of symptoms, viz.: those produced and those cured, are essentially different, we still have, after long and matured consideration, decided to give both without marks of distinction. The marking of such different origin, should always be done with the utmost care in the monograph of the Materia Medica; it should be considered as a matter of the highest importance, never to mix indiscriminately, symptoms reported as cured (not having been observed on the healthy), with the symptoms produced by the drug.
Hahnemann’s warning must never be forgotten, see Chronic Diseases, Vol. 2, second edition, note to Alumina.
Hahnemann was right, when he advised us not to be ruled by former cures, but always by the symptoms produced’ (3, pp. 12,13;).
‘The study of the positive effects of drugs upon the healthy human organism is now universally acknowledged to be the duty of every student of medicine. To supply a complete and accurate record of these effects (pathological anatomy excepted), is the aim of this work. These symptoms are recorded as facts’ (7, p. v). Hahnemann’s pathogenesis should be verified, illumined, revised and confirmed.
The main sources from which our reliable Materia Medica is made are three;
‘First, Experiments made upon healthy individuals for the purpose of noting the effects of the drug.
Second, Effects observed after poisonous doses (accidentally or maliciously administered).
Third, Symptoms (cautiously admitted) observed in the sick after the administration of the drug.
To these must be added a very few symptoms which have never been observed as effects of drug-action, but which have been so repeatedly verified clinically, that they clearly indicate the remedy; these are designated by a small cipher (0) after the symptom (7. p. v)’.
And, on these bases we have also undertaken our present research work (14). How are we to utilise these signs and symptoms produced by various drugs on healthy human beings of both sex and also those symptoms not produced by drugs but disappearing after the use of drugs as medicines on the sick? Are they clinical symptoms of drugs? Or are they of drugs when reproving was/is done with different potencies as Hahnemann and Kent did and it has happened with Bryonia alb. proving in LM potencies in our college at Kottayam, in 1962-63?
Our sources for proved and clinical symptoms are mainly from,
- Hering, C. Guiding Symptoms of Homoeopathic Materia Medica.
- Allen, T.F. Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica.
- Allen, H.C., The Materia Medica Of The Nosodes.
- Clarke, J.H. Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica.and others.
For the development of a new system of medicine which Hahnemann coined ‘homeopathy’, he had to face a lot of difficulties, prosecutions and problems but he was determined like a rock of Gibraltar to go ahead step by step by solving problems one by one when they arose to make his discovery of Homeopathy a perfect one, ‘The only true science and art of medicine’ (1, para.60; Footnote;).
These historical events we have taken up step by step with all problems and their solutions, and how Hahnemann faced them and solved them for the development of Homeopathy which had reached to its zenith when Hahnemann wrote the sixth edition which was ready in his life time for publication in Feb. 1842! ‘the most nearly perfect of all’ and on this edition all our works are involved when he writes; ‘…conditions dependent solely on a psoric taint, and easily curable by mild (dynamic) antipsorics remedies without emetics or purgatives’ (1, Introduction, p.38. Footnote 6) and further he writes; ‘The various species of tapeworm are only found along with psoric taint, and always disappear when it is cured’ (1, Introduction; p.49;).
‘Hahnemann was not able to manage psora until he had completed his long and arduous labors which ended in the anamnesis of psora. After he had gathered from large number of psoric patient all the symptoms in order to bring before his mind the image of psoric man’ (2, p.356).
The anamnesis of sycosis and syphilis must be arranged in the same way as of psora before the physician can treat them successfully.
Again for syphilis Hahnemann writes; ‘The most deeply rooted syphilis may be cured, after the removal of the psora with which it is often complicated, by one or two small doses of the decillion fold diluted and potentised solution of mercury, whereby the general syphilitic taint of the fluids is forever (dynamically) annihilated and removed’ (1, Introduction, p.46. Footnote;). The same goes with sycotic taint.
Taint is a subjective phenomena when miasmatic signs and symptoms are on dynamic and physiological levels without pathological signs and symptoms in tissues, organs and systems. We have only abnormal dynamic sensations and functional level symptoms. When miasmatic diseases progress they start producing abnormal and morbid sensations and functions leading to pathological changes in tissues, organs and systems of the body. When this happens it is a blown-up true miasmatic condition of one or two or three chronic miasms of Hahnemann. When fully blown-up they are incurable. But, in many such cases we can palliate and prolong the life of the patient with less sufferings and make the patient more comfortable. ‘Cure’ claim shall be always guarded. Don’t be a fundamentalist.
‘If we should ever have acomplete collection of all important proved medicines printed, with all their symptoms arranged comparably, then our therapeutic advice may be given with differential marks (grades)’ (3, p.13). This is our aim for research and present work.
The idea of grading medicines came directly from Hahnemann when he writes; ‘A complete collection of such observations with remarks on the degree of reliance to be placed on their reporters, would, if I mistake not, be the foundation stone of a materia medica’ (13, p.311).
Further he writes; ‘The more obvious and striking symptoms must be recorded in the list, those that are of a dubious character should be marked with the sign of dubiety, until they have frequently been confirmed’ (13, p.516). Boenninghausen understood Hahnemann’s teaching and started grading remedies/medicines in his repertories.
And this is our main aim and purpose to undertake the work, ‘to separate the wheat from the tares’, as far as possible for better result oriented practice of Homeopathy.
‘We of course know how our Materia Medica is made up. After the provings are made the question naturally comes up how shall we use them in the sick room’ (2, p. 272). i.e. in our clinics and hospitals.
Further; ‘Well, we study the Materia Medica until we have facts enough to make an image of the drug. We study, the verified symptoms as found in our repertories (Kent, 2, p.272)’. This is exactly that we are planning and doing by giving verified facts through Kent’s Repertory.
One should learn to understand the different symptoms mentioned in the Materia Medica. We have to analyse and evaluate signs and symptoms of our Materia Medica through repertories as stated by Kent.
Hahnemann always advised us through Organon of Medicine to give medicine to patients according to symptoms in order of importance considering Para. 153, 210, 213; and not according to the names of diseases. These pathological conditions and names of diseases are only mere abstracts. However in our repertories many rubrics are there with names of diseases and their medicines which sometimes can be used by knowing the sphere of actions which are confirmed and clinically verified in practice of drugs/medicines as an aid for individualisation. The list shortens the remedy search in a given case. Its utility in a given case of the disease is to confirm the remedy which is selected or the remedy clinically applied anytime previously. Other conditions which are pathological and yet are symptoms rather than diseases, as convulsions, dropsy, haemorrhage, etc. There is a third class of pathology, the importance of which consists in bodily tendency to produce such changes, such as, warts, polypi, fibroid, tumours. These are the most important of the pathological rubric as they indicate the tendency of the whole constitution. And this was the case in my personal life and the observations saved me after six years of search for a remedy for deadly spindle cell fibrosarcoma when all medicines for six years failed. Forty-five years of living active life is enough proof of the discovery of miasms by Hahnemann on which my personal case was solved and resolved. Boenninghausen initially started in his repertories and Kent also included.
Teaching in a right way of Materia Medica, Organon, and Repertory can save future of real Homeopathy which is yet to come when we are matured enough. Homeopathy is alive but it needs more oxygen.
‘The creator, who arranged the symptom picture of disease as a penalty to physical sin, also arranged the symptom picture of pathogenesis, and since it must be that this similarity was ordered or it would not be, it must have been ordered for some great and wise purpose; to learn which, is the physician’s highest duty on earth’ (Kent, 2, p.33;).
‘So with a suitable state of civilisation, a period of appreciation and greatest need came the doctrine of this immortal Hahnemann, a doctrine that stands against the arguments and tirades of its opponents, and like the oak that withhold the mighty storm, grows stronger and more sturdy’ (Kent, 2 p.33).
Can we learn a lesson from the history of Homeopathy that we have to have ‘evidence based homeopathy’ when sleeping monstrous medical and drug cartels opponents are awaken in this century?
‘The student of our Materia Medica must study a proving until he feels image of the totality of sick feeling of all provers as if he had proved this remedy and felt all the morbid feelings of the provers (2, p. 241; Bold letters mine)’. Can we induce our college students and teachers for proving and reproving of our drugs? Are they ready for Homeopathy?
Do students and teachers of our colleges know the dreadful sacrifice made with love for human race by our gallant ‘Provers of septic poisons, serpent viruses, specific substances and poisonous drugs’ (2, p.351, 352)?.
Hahnemann writes for them, thus; ‘At first, about forty years ago, I was the only person who made the proving of the pure powers of medicines the most important of his occupations. Since then I have been assisted in this by some young men, who instituted experiments on themselves, and whose observations I have critically revised. Following these some genuine work of this kind was done by a few others. But what shall we not be able to effect in the way of curing in the whole extent of the infinitely large domain of disease, when numbers of accurate and trustworthy observers shall have rendered their services in enriching this, the only true materia medica, by careful experiments on themselves! The healing art will then come near the mathematical sciences
in certainty’ (1, Footnote to para. 145).
‘Modern provings are commonly a farce and will not lead to the elevation that Hahnemann’s remedies sustain’ (2, p.241). Hahnemann’s Materia Medica is today standard, and will be forever. When a remedy is once proved it stands to the end of time; it waits its place to be of use’ (2, p.34). Our aim is in this direction to bring out proved symptoms of drugs which Hahnemann proved on himself and his trusted disciples through Kent’s Repertoryto ‘weed out’ farce, trash and tares as far as possible by going to books of original sources i.e. provings. We do not need speculative information in our Materia Medica which Hahnemann opposed. (13, p.813).
At many places in the body of the text, you may find repetition of words, sentences, paragraphs and quotations, this is only to emphasise the point of importance in that state or situation to remind the readers to clear their doubts and misunderstanding which may arise at that point or situation or state.Everything in this world is reaction, reflection and resound.
Somebody may find any day not gold but a diamond in this work. Please do return the same at any time or keep with you to be rich in Homeopathy.
- Hahnemann, S 1952, Organon of Medicine, 6th edn,. Translated by Boericke William. Boericke & Tafel.
- Gypser, K H 1988, Kent’s Minor Writing on Homoeopathy, B Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
- Hering, C 1978, -Analytical Repertory, B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
- Winston, J 1999,The Faces of Homoeopathy, Great Auk Publishing, New Zealand.
- Hahnemann, S 1952, Materia Medica Pura, 1st Indian Edn., M. Bhattacharya & Co. Calcutta.
- Hahnemann, S 1986, The Chronic Diseases, their peculiar nature and their Homoeopathic cure. (Two volumes) Trans. Prof. Louis H. Tafel. B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi
- Allen, T F 1978, Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica, reprint edn., B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
- Hering, C, Guiding Symptoms of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, reprint edn., B. Jain Publishers, New Delhi.
- Hahnemann, S, The Chronic Diseases, their peculiar nature and their Homoeopathic cure. (Theoretical part) Trans. Prof. Louis H. Tafel. U.S.A. G. Ringer & Co. Calcutta.
- Kent, J T 1990, Repertory of Homoeopathic Materia Medica. 6th Edition-1957. Ehrhart & Karl, U.S.A. Corrected, Revised by Dr.R. P. Patel, Published by Dr. R. P. Patel Institute of Homoeopathy, Vadodara, India.
- Bradford, T L 1895, Life and letters of Hahnemann, Boericke & Tafel, U.S.A.
- |Patel, R P 1996, Chronic Miasms, their cure and classification of their Repertorial Rubrics in Kent’s Repertory, Hahnemann Homoeopathic Pharmacy, Kottayam, India
- Dudgeon, R E 1851, Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, IBPS, New Delhi.
- Patel, R P, Miasmatic Taint or block removers – A New Dimension to study Materia Medica
About the Author
Dr Ramanlal P. Patel, D.M.S. (Cal.), D. F. HOM (London), L.M. (Dublin), etc. is at present, the Director of Dr. R. P. Patel Institute of Homoeopathy for Research & Education, Baroda. He developed “Kentian” software program for repertorisation in homeopathy. He has been an active member of several professional institutions and other academic and professional distinctions and has been carrying out research in homeopathy as well. He has to his credit a list of books based on research works, publications and authored, like, My Experiments with 50 Millesimal Scale Potencies, The Art of Case taking & Practical Repertorisation in Homoeopathy, Dr Kent’s Repertory of Homoeopathic Materia Medica; corrected, revised, improved 6th American edition, Double column – Professional Edition and any more.