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I Shall Please

It is the substance or an agent or a procedure prescribed for the psychological benefit to the patient rather than for any physiological effect. It’s our inevitable gift of God – A Placebo.
Placebo is a Latin word which means “I shall please” or “I please”. Its technical name is Saccharum Lactic Officinalis abbreviated as Sac Lac or SL. Its nothing but just plain sugar of milk. Sugar of milk, cane sugar globules or tablets or cones, alcohol are some of the forms in which placebo is employed in homoeopathic practice.
The placebo was a known and frequently used tool to Hahnemann in his practice of homoeopathy. His postulations leave no doubt of the usage of this great “unmedicated remedy”. Our master clearly explains his view about administration of placebos through his Organon of medicine in Aphorisms 91,96, and 281.
In Aphorism 91, master says when the disease is of chronic character and patient has been taking medicine upto the time he is seen, the physician can leave him some days quite without medicine or meantime can administer something of an unmedicinal nature and defer to a subsequent period. This unmedicinal nature is nothing, our placebo.
In case of hypochondriacs, when pure fabrication of symptoms comes, Hahnemann advises the physician “gives them nothing at all, or something quite unmedicinal” in foot note to Aphorism 96.
The great homoeopath Stuart close in his “The Genius of Homoeopathy” says placebo is the second best remedy in the Materia Medica, without which no good homoeopathist could long practice medicine.
Placebo is an agent employed in medical practice with the primary aim of gratifying the patient. These are pharmacologically inert and leads to certain effects on the individual. These effects are the psychological state of the individual at the time of its administration.
If you got a new difficult case and you are not able to deicde offhand what remedy is indicated, you need time to study the case and same time you need to satisfy your patient, don’t make any mistakes you can confidently administed SL powder. When you have worked out your case and found the remedy, you return.
The remedy should be stopped as soon as signs of improvement appear, and the curative reaction be allowed to go on without further repetition of doses as long as it will. Simply substitute with our gift and watch your case.
While using this inevitable gift of God, be sure to moisten the tablets and pellets with alcohol or put some unmedicated pellets in the sac lac powders. Because now a days our patients are more intelligent than us, they will investigate these powders and counting the pellets.
The placebo remains an ever controversial topic in medical care and ever more so in its use as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of the patients. Hooper’s Quinsy Lexicon Medium described placebo as adopted more to lease than to benefit the patient.
Placebos are an important methodological tool in the field of medical research. A placebo can be made to resemble an active medication or therapy so that it functions as a control, this is to prevent the recipient and others from knowing with their consent whether a treatment is active or inactive as expectations about efficacy can influence results. This psychological phenomenon in which the recipient perceives an improvement in condition due to personal expectations rather than the treatment itself is known as “Placebo effect” or “Placebo response”. Various researches are going on this subject. Researches suggest that for psychological reasons, some placebos are more effective than others. Large pills seem to work better than small pills, coloured ills work better than white pills, an injection is more powerful than a pill.
Considerable literatures and studies are appearing recently in modern medical field about the value of the placebos both in therapeutics and in clinical investigation. All this is quite in line with the most up to date teaching and thinking on the therapeutic subjects. A greater awareness of placebo effects will enable a homoeopathic physician to employ this powerful medium to maximum advantage and shine himself as a true and great homoeopath. If you follow the right course you will find more and more use of it. “A very present help in time of trouble”.

DR RISWANA A
Author: DR RISWANA A

WORKING AS ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPT. OF ORGANON OF MEDICINE, YENEPOYA HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICAL COLLEGE & HOSPITAL, NARINGANA, MANGALORE

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