Proteus Bach—A Brief Study - homeopathy360
Materia Medica

Proteus Bach—A Brief Study

Nosodes are indispensable in Homeopathic therapeutics and ill repersented even in recent repertories. Dr. P. Sankaran writes “many of my homeopathic colleagues, I am sad to see, do not use bowel nosodes.”5

History of Nosodes
Here I can’t but quote extensively from David Little’s scholastic write up: Nosodes in Homeopathy.1
David Little writes: “The advent of Hahnemann’s theory of the miasmas caused great interest in the chronic diseases and their antimiasmatic remedies.” He further notes: “One of the direct consequences of the publication of The Chronic Diseases was the development of the use of miasmic organisms as potentized homeopathic remedies”. Little explores out, “The earliest experiments with nosodes were carried out byConstantine Hering while he was in Sunrinam, Guiana, South America between 1827 and 1833”. Little surveyed that, “In these five years Hering spent studying plant and animal species, he paid special attention to the virulent snake and spider poisons as well as miasmatic substances. This was the time period when Hering captured the Bush Master snake that supplied the first venom for the proving of Lachesis. In 1832 Hering said: “During the experiments on the serpent poison, I presented the same hypotheses regarding the virus of variola (small pox). I expect no less as regards the psoric virus, and I invited my colleagues to make provings.” Please note that Pasteur introduced rabies vaccine later. (Produces the first vaccine against rabies in humans in 1884).
Little continues, “It seems that shortly after Hahnemann published his chronic disease theory, Hering performed the first proving of Psorinum on himself. Hering originated the method of using a misamatic agent as a basis for a remedy and it was he (Hering) who coined the term “Nosode”
     Regarding etymology (homeopathy etymology) of nosodes Little writes, “The Greek word ‘Noso’ is a prefix, which is added to give the idea of a disease indicating its morbid root. This term is also connected with the Latin word ‘noxa’ the root of the term noxious or damaged. This implies the use of potentially dangerous noxious materials as a basis for a potentized remedy.”
David Little writes:
“Hering is responsible for greatly expanding the Materia medica of homeopathy and adding seven (7) new categories of potentized remedies:
  1. The use of poisons taken from insects, snakes, and other venomous creatures (Animal poisons)
  2. The use of remedies made from miasmas (Nosodes).
  3. The introduction of potentized miasmas and morbid secretions taken directly from the patient’s body (Autonosodes).
  4. The use of homologous organs, tissue and secretions (Sarcodes).
  5. The use of potentized miasmatic products as nosodes for the prevention of infectious diseases (Nosode prophylaxis).
  6. The use of chemical and nutritional elements innate to the human organism (Chemical and elemental relationships).
  7. The use of potentized genus groups as curative and preventive remedies for individuals, groups, and habitats. Hering suggests potentized seed of weeds or dangerous plants to eradicate and destroy those plants and potentized insects or animals to remove and prevent infestations of dangerous species (Isodes).”
Introduction and Brief History of Bowel Nosodes
In 1912, Dr. E. Bach of England considered the fact that some chronic diseases were the result of autointoxication from the bowels. He and Dr. John Paterson clinically surveyed bowel nosodes. Dr. Bach recognized B. coli (non-lactose fermenting organism) is a natural flora of humans, which helps maintaining health of host. This resembles ‘colityphoid’ group very closely allied to the organisms causing typhoid, dysentery etc. yet they do not give rise to acute diseases. Then he devel-oped the idea of preparing autogenous vaccine from stool of each patient and using it on the same patient orally. He classified the bowel organisms into seven major groups, i.e. Morgan (bach) comprising two subtypes Morgan pure and Gaertner: Proteus, Mutabile, Bacillus no. 7, Gaertner, Dysentery Compound, Sycotic compound and Faecalis. Later on Dr. Paterson of Glasgow (1890-1955) performed more clinical proving of these drugs.3
Paterson’s view on Bowel Nosodes
In normal health condition bowel flora which includes B. coli performs useful functions where there are nonpathogenic. Any change in host compels these organisms to mutate, change or modify their characteristics in order to survive. Say for example the normal B. coli is lactose fermenting and it seems to lose this property and becomes pathogenic after the altered state or change in host by diet, potentized drugs or nosode. So, there must be some relation with the disease and this nonlactose fermenting bacteria. Dr. Paterson in his clinical experiments on many cases showed that after administration of a potentized drug to a patient (on the basis of symptom totality) this non-lactose fermenting bacteria appeared in stool specimens after a latent period of 10- 14 days. The conclusion he draws is, homeopathic drugs must have the power to alter bowel flora. He then postulated the following:
  1. The specific organism is related to the disease.
  2. The specific organism is related to the homeopathic remedy.
  3. The homeopathic remedy is related to the disease.
Dr. Paterson compiled a list of bowel organisms with their related homeopathic remedies and went on clinical proving for each type of these organisms that ultimately resulted in proving and discovery of bowel nosodes. This is in nutshell about the evolution of bowel nosodes.
Usefulness of Bowel Nosodes
  1. May be prescribed by virtue of symptom-similarity between patient’s picture and nosodes.
  2. Sometimes in clinical practice it happens that several drugs seem to be indicated partially in a given case where treatment can be initiated with a bowel nosode which is very near to the drugs seem indicated in that case. We can think of Morgan pure where a patient is showing symptoms ofCalc carb, Nat carb, Med and Sulph.
  3. When appaently indicated remedy fails to act as an intercurrent, for e.g. Bacillus no. 7 in a case of Kali carb.
Regarding the potency selction, master of Bowel Nosodes Dr. Paterson states the following:
As in general homeopathic practice the more obvious the “mentals” the higher the potency, but if there are marked pathological symptoms the general rule is to employ the lower potencies. With outstanding “mentals” prefer the nosode in 1M potency or higher, if obtainable, but if there is obvious evidence of advanced pathological conditions it is the 6C potency and give this in a daily dose over a period, the duration of which would be determined by clinical observation and evidence of reaction. Between these extremes there is an intermediate level of potency, the 30C which he found useful where there is a combination of acute and chronic, e.g. in acute broncho-pneumonia superimposed upon a chronic condition, with a miasmatic background, a tubercular diathesis.
It is the attenuation made from culture of bacteria of Proteus genus, which includes Proteus vulgaris, P. mirabilis P. morganii etc.
Key points: Suddenness of symptoms, violence, predominant nervous symptoms, and spasms.
Clinical: Allergies (Digestive etc.), Intermittent Claudication, Raynaud’s Disease, Peptic perforation, Meniere’s Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, Angina Pectoris, Dupuytren’s contracture, Paraesthesia of limbs, Bronchitis, Otitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Epilepsy, Hysteria etc.
Mind: Brain storm, sudden outburst of anger, violent anger< contradiction; children scream, kick, may throw objects held at hand. These temper tantrum state of children is often seen in clinical practice with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder etc. This temper tantrum is also found inTuberculinum, which Dr. Dorothy Sephered highlighted. Marked irritability, obstinacy and unresponsiveness. Fixed ideas.
Generals and Particulars: Aerophagy, Peptic Ulcer Syndrome from prolonged mental stress leads to sudden haematemesis, melena, peptic perforation in un-diagnosed peptic ulcer, ending in sudden crisis.
Skin: Herpetic eruptions, itching at muco-cutaneous junctions. Angioneurotic oedema like Apis mellifica with suddenness.
Other symptoms: Pain and cramps in calf, spasms and cramps of limbs, writer’s, dancer’s, pianist’s cramp, flexor contraction of little finger. Regarding cramps and spasms of hands and fingers Cuprum met is another valuable remedy. Numbness of feet
Premature senility. Prolonged state of convalescence.
Desire—salt, sugar, eggs.
Aversion—fat, butter, hardboiled eggs, onions, vegetables.
Aggravation—chocolate, eggs, wine.
Perspiration—axillae, clammy hands.
Headache with diarrhoea, with furred tongue. menses, morning, stormy weather, drinking wine, heat, sun etc. > eating, in mountains.
Comparative Extraction (from RADAR 9.2.1)
Anger—contradiction from.
Anger—throwing things around
(another important remedy is Staph)
Company—aversion to.
Delusion—criticized, she is.
Fear—open spaces, fear of.
Fear—opinion of others, of.
Horrible things, sad stories affect her
Irritability—menses during.
Irritability—mental exertion from.
Shrieking—children in.
Striking—anger from.
Striking—children in.
Temper Tantrums.
Suicidal disposition—thoughts.
Food drinks—
Butter—aversion desire
Chocolate—agg aversion
Eggs—agg aversion (hard-boiled) desire
Raw food—desire
Vegetables—aversion. Mountain—amel, in mountains (Carcinocin, Tuberculinum being other two important remedies.)
Old age—premature.
Pain—appears suddenly.
Sleep—after sleep—morning—waking on (Lachesis is probably the most important remedy under this rubric).
Weather—thunderstorm—agg (Rhododendron deserves a place under this rubric).
Heat—Sun, of the—agg.
Nausea—eggs—after. (It is a rubric where a fair number of bowel nosodes are mentioned, e.g. Bacillus- 10, Morgan-p, Bacillus sycoccus. A hypothesis or idea can be furnished that bowel nosodes are having affinity on digestive mucosa in relation to some foods and their effects on digestive mucosa). (Ferrum-met is a materia medica classic for nausea eggs after)
Vomiting—excitement after.
Ulcers—duodenum. (other bowel nosodes under this rubric are Morgp, Morg-g, Bacillus Dysenteriae. The same hypothesis which I have told under stomach is applicable here).
Claudico Intermittens.
Cramps—fingers—writing agg.
Related remedies—Ign, Nat-m, Apis, Cupr, Tub, Staph etc.
By is time it is clearly evident that Proteus is not only an important member of our bowel nosodes family but also an important member of our Materia medica. From the large array of rubrics I picked up mostly the rubrics of Mind and Generalities chapter because these group of symptoms are important for individualization. By telling this I am not degrading other chapters and rubrics of Repertory as I mentioned some characterisitc symptoms from other chapters also. My another intenstion is that by this way i.e. comparative extraction using software a good panoramic view of a drug can be obtained. Lastly with its wide range of symptoms found in clinical proving it can be prescribed often and I am sure this drug will give us good results.
Post Script
Now I want to ask a question to my reader friends that this research work was done with nonlactose fermenters. What about lactose-fermenting organisms in human gut? Can they become pathogenic?
  1. Little David: Nosodes in Homeopathy,
  2. Master Farokh J.: Personal interactions
  3. Paterson J.: The Bowel Nosodes, British Homeopathic Journal (1950)
  4. RADAR Apex 9.2.1 (Homeopathic Software).
  5. Sankaran P.: The Indications and Use of Bowel Nosodes.
  6. Sarkar B.K. Up-to-date with Nosodes.

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