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Thoughts on concomitant symptoms.

The following is Guillermo Zamora’s definition after long talks between us.

clemensmariafranciscusvonbc3b6nninghausenPreface of the TPB
“The greatest difficulty to be encountered by those novices in homoeopathy, who do not have recourse to a repertory, is the cure of maladies that shew themselves by a few symptoms which answer to a great number of medicaments. For instance, a malignant whooping-cough was prevalent amongst the children in this neighborhood. In its origin, the indications for the employment of “drosera” were only exceptional, and none of those were developed which call for the other remedies ordinarily employed. However, in all the children affected, swelling and puffiness was remarked, not so much in the face as above the eyes, between the eyelids and eyebrows, where it frequently formed a thick little bag,—a symptom which had never been observed amongst those of any other medicament, except ” kali-carb” (219)*; and, in fact, this medicament was the only one that at the commencement of the epidemy effected a quick and lasting cure. It was only in the last stage that this malady took another form, characterized by cold perspiration on the forehead, and vomitings during the fit, symptoms which require the use of “veratr. alb.”

* Guillermo’s Note: The symptom Boenninghausen refers to is found in “Chronic Diseases” (CD) by Samuel Hahnemann, and reads as follows:

CD, Kali-C, Symptom 219: “- Swelling between the eyebrows and lids, like a little sac.”
See P&W TPB CODE ID: 190

In this case, anyone would think that there is a possibility that a symptom in a given case has not been described in the pathology books due to the individualized way in which each patient reacts, or that a symptom that is well described in the pathology is not find in that patient. However, it will always be very positive for a professional to be aware of the pathology so that he knows what, how and when to expect from a particular case of illness. The same will be positive to be alert in order to detect a symptom that has not been reported in the pathology through the standardization of general concomitance criteria.

The curious thing here is that the Kali-c symptom can be found in pathology books, although not as such, some adenovirus infections are described, which can produce a cough similar to that of whooping-cough, which they can also infect the mucosa of the eyelids. It is also known that pertussis itself produces bloated, edematous face and swollen eyelids.

The strangest 10 weeks

So i presented with long covid symptoms. Taste, smell hearing loss, energy loss, breathing issues. could sleep lying down, etc etc. Symptoms got worse.

One night, I woke on the kitchen floor, severe pain in my body. I couldnt talk clearly… I called my sister and just said.. “ambulance”

Was taken to hospital with severe odema and heart failure. 97% occlusion. Had 11 litres of fluid removed. One more day and it was possible I could have died.

So.. after multiple exminations including physical tubes down throat and up arms…. i took a procedure which stopped my heart and then reset the frequency, which solved my problem. Now the heart is working at near full capacity. I am tired but every day the energy is returning.

Why did it happen? No cause found. However I suspect that long Covid triggered the weakness and entered me into this situation. I see that covid is able to set off problems, although not able to create disorders.

I had lots of time to reflect on medicine and homoeopathy and treatments. A lot of Hahnemanns words and statements were put under the microscope, and after deep consideration, I feel I came to understand clearly the differences between allopathic medicine, treatmens and curative action.

What is allopathic treatment? Well, nothing I underwent was anything other that emergency treatment. Heart not working, odema and subsequent respiratory distress. Trying to breathe through a lungful of fluid. Treatment… remove the fluid. Heart in wrong frequency system, treatment… reset to correct one.

I asked myself if this was Hahnemanns definition of allopathic medical treatment, and after reflecting, I saw that there was no other treatment that would have worked. It was pure physical extraction of fluid (via medication) and electric shock to reset the heart.

Would a homoeopath use the same avenues and medicines to solve the problem? I believe we would. Why not? The aim is to save the patients life first, and then AFTER, find the correct remedies to keep the patient in health.

Now I do have a boxful of medicines that they seem ‘necessary’ to work post procedure, and having gone through the list, i have deleted 2, and the others, I am taking on the basis of being only one week out of hospital and using temporarily. A blood thinner, a diurectic, a heart rythmn monitor, and occasional use of a beta blocker when blood pressure rises and causes a pain in the chest. The pain is getting less as also the rise in BP.

I dont have clear prescribing sx for remedies at this moment, but Im sure as my condition improves, I will see them for remedial help and allopathic medicine replacements.

I have a very clear idea of how to treat long covid. There is necessity to give something to remove covid from the body, and my experience and observation is to give chlorine dioxide in liquid fom in measured doses. Some countries have it administered via the goverment with measured success, although the results are not published in the mainstream press. I have colleagues who give it and report the benefits of homoeopathic medicines working and holding well and producing a curative effect. One of the problems with treting covid and long covid, is that remedies initially work, and then stop working. This approach removes the negative effect. Im very pleased with the result of giving chlorine dioxide to remove virus in the body.

More later.

A personal perspective of Long Covid.

Im entering the 4th week of infection and symptoms. Its been singularly unpleasant, difficult and painful. One of the huge obstacles to cure hs been my inabilitly to think and rationalise with a background of mild hallucinations.Ive received many good prescriptions which one by one didnt hold and ultimately failed.

long-covid-effectsIt led me to examine the reason for this phenomena, which took time due to my state of sickness, but i think i figured it out.

The IHM have a high percentage of medical drs on it Register. I asked two for help, people Ive worked with for 6 years. They took my symptoms and determined that the most important and primary concern was to get me breathing properly, so based on essential needs, i was given Carbo Veg. We had a huge collection of sx according to aph 6, including changes in thinking, sx relating to circumstances etc, however aphorism 153 tells us to extract the sx of the disease that characterise the problem, ie the centre of the disease which can be represented in a remedy.

From diagnostic signs, skin colour, oxygen saturation levels, type of breathing, it was ovious my issue was lack of oxygen. If this was the cause, then every other sx I was having was probably a result of that.

Within an hour. I began to breathe easier and colour came back into my features. I continued with the CV for two days.

As the sx changed, i was given another prescription which proved incorrect, and I had to antidote with the indicated remedy which fortunately worked very well. We all make the mistake from time to time when we change remedies, a lack of reading the sx properly or thinking that the remedy is question is good for this type of problem. Anyhow i got over the issue in the early hours of the morning. I am always grateful that the right remedy eases these type of problems quickly.

Now on LYC. Improvement about 70%. Body is still incredibly tired, yet I feel I am part of the human race again. I can walk to my bedroom, still exhausting but no longer the 15 minute recovery rate required for the exhaustion. I still sit and take 5 minutes to get the energy to move………yet once moving, no overwhelming tiredness.

My mind is clear.

This morning I sneezed 6 or 7 times. It didnt feel like normal sneezing. When i can explain further  Iwill.

This long covid can be overcome with building the immune system with good prescribing. Time and patience.

The most common mistakes outlined in casetaking.

1/. I see this all the time. Sadly it is the Kentian spiritual teaching regarding mental emotional and Constitutional symptoms being the correct and essential prescribing criteria which has created this situation. It is false.

Hahnemann stated clearly:

1200px-Portrait_of_Samuel_Hahnemann._Wellcome_L0015074§ 6 Sixth Edition
The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.

When analysis is applied to this directive, it becomes clear that there is no emphasis on the mind or desires or indeed, to personality, (another misleading emphasis in understanding remedies).

2/. In case taking, both the symptoms of the disease, and the individual reaction to the disease are to be noted. If we know the nature of a named disease, its progression and pathology, we can note clearly which aspects of its reach is affecting the patient, and how the patient processes the infection in an individual way.

§ 153 Sixth Edition
In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of thesamuel-hahnemann-1 natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms1 of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.

Many years ago, in my studies to find out how to take a case, I went out on a limb and noted only the chief characteristics of a patients presentation, one two or three symptoms which ‘peculiarised’ and personalised the case before me. As I refined this technique, I learned to see the disease through the patients expressions of symptoms, not all the symptoms were of the pathology of the named disease, yet were intrinsically part of that infection though not noted as part of that disease. the patient presented symptoms which were expressed reactively and individually and as such needed individual treatment.

dental_doctor-thinkingsmallEach living organism comes from a line of genetic encoding and also the line of disease and weakness in the family. One family will be tubercular inclined and another from the results of say, a syphilitic background which has been well diluted but expressed through acute diseases not immediately associated with syphilis.

Because of the unknown backgrounds, we can ONLY prescribe on the symptoms presented. So for example, a patient presenting ringworm, we have a few remedies that deal with that infection readily. Occasionally, the patient does not resolve despite careful noting of the symptoms and a few doses of the requisite remedy. Compton-Burnett noted that ringworm ONLY appeared on susceptible people of a tubercular diathesis, and studied Bacillinum carefully, and then gave to the non resolving patients. Without exception, they all were relieved of Ringworm.

The practice of homoeopathy is solely effective based on the similarity of the remedy to the disease. However, it is ESSENTIAL to have the correct symptoms of the ‘disease’ to be effective.

The ‘disease’, is the individual presentation of the change in the patient and how that is expressed, not the symptoms of the named pathology. It is not merely the collection of symptoms collectively, it is the drilling down to the strangeness (to be discussed in seminars) the rarity of some symptoms (to be discussed in Seminars) and the characteristics (to be discussed in seminars) of both the disease and a considered remedy.


Advanced homoeopathic training in the UK usingHahnemanns methodology through the repertory of Boenninghausen.

Well, the British government have opted for locking the UK down and as a direct effect from that decision, our clinic and teaching centre are unable to operate in a physical presence.

The IHM operate will operate 2 courses. One for people with  no knowledge of homoeopathy, and one for practitioners wanting in-depth training in Hahnemanns methodology utilising Boenninghausens repertory (therapeutic pocket book). This training will lead to admission onto the IHM Register.

The I.H.M. have invested in a mobile clinic and teaching centre. We are working on it to bring it up to a high standard but will have to operate online for the near future.We just completed some wallpapering and putting in new furniture.

The IHM staff are putting together this advanced course, so we can teach at a distance, based mainly on home study and virtual conferencing. It is logistically impossible to have all the students in one group to meet together if in different parts of the world, so will be more of an individual chat with one or two at a time.








I dont like teaching Hahnemann long distance. We have always taught this course in a 4 or 5-day personal setting so I can see participant reaction and rectify misconceptions as they arise with examples and references. However, for the time being, those days have gone.

We will put the course into modules and begin as soon as we have completed renovations here, a few more cupboards to build, packing boxes to be delivered and the studio to be set up.

Watch this space.

Paul Herscu on the Vaccine

Get the First Series of Shots!

2019 Novel Coronavirus (CoVID-19): Part XVII
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV (first named); COVID-2019 (later named disease); SARS-CoV-2 (final name of the virus causing COVID-2019), COVID-2019 Pandemic:

December 29, 2020 update Part 17
Paul Herscu ND, MPH
Herscu Laboratory

Get the First Series of Shots! 

I receive numerous emails and telephone calls daily, from colleagues, family members, other physicians, policymakers and schools, from across the globe, asking me what my personal position is around the topic of COVID-19 and SARSCoV-2 vaccinations. With this update, I intend to answer these questions in broad and specific ways. I would like to describe the variables to consider, so we all have a fuller, nuanced understanding to contextualize this point of view. At the end, I hope you will see why and how I believe that vaccine in this very instance, at this specific time is important for everyone to have. In the future, I hope we develop better solutions, since this one is imperfect at best, but for the first cycle for the first year, a vaccine is the best way forward. I will keep this short, and mostly touch on a few of the most important variables. Please consider reading this post in its entirety.

Amy says I lost a decade of my life this year. As this virus began early this year, most of you know the tireless work we embarked upon, and then when the virus came into full swing, we wound up working with, well, countless patients with this virus. The work is nonstop. Initially, most of the work was trying to change the course of where we were going. But that was not to be. Here, I want to describe how that intersects with the current question of vaccinating for SARS-CoV-2, why we worked so broadly and tirelessly then to create a different path forward.

Often, people want a quick answer. And when I give them the quick answer, they seem disappointed, or confused, or are left feeling surprised and unsure. One very important group is integrative medicine providers (NDs, DCs, acupuncturists, DOs, and integrative MDs etc.) Many are looking for their role at this time in regard to the topic of vaccination. Please consider this discussion in the most general way. What I mean is that the issues mentioned here are universal to every epidemic/pandemic. Please don’t simply apply this understanding to the current pandemic, but consider these basic tenets that ring true regardless of epidemic or pandemic illness. In other words, learn these issues once, and you will be able to apply this at any other time in the future. This framework is universal with regard to understanding epidemics and pandemics. 

That said, the topic of vaccinations in general has been polarized in our society, and in the midst of this pandemic, that polarization is evident and growing. Within this polarized landscape we are finding up to 50% of adults considering not seeking the vaccine, a public health disaster by any definition.


An essential concept in public health which I have written about before relates to WHO/WHERE/WHEN or PERSON/PLACE/TIME. Simply put, regarding outbreaks/epidemics/pandemics, it matters when, where, and who is falling ill. Or to be more clear, one needs to consider interventions based upon these variables. And what you might decide at one point as a good intervention may not be a good intervention at a later time or with a different person. An epidemic is a constantly changing community event, to which we must adapt. I return to this point below. 


Another important topic is the nature of the virus. The point I made in January, 2020, which many also made, is that this is not a virus that would being going away in the next week or month or year. It is going to be with us for a long time. Actually, I still do not think people understand the full import of this comment. This one is not just going away. Which means that we actually do need workable, long-term, broadly accessible, effective solutions. There are several pathways that do exist here, though we have, as a society, chosen only one. More on this below. 


An additional variable I wrote about early in the pandemic was the mutation of this virus. I know it is in the news just now, but only half the story is reported, which is causing unnecessary, or rather, premature, additional anxiety. As we highlighted, viruses mutate. This is part of the natural order of all organisms. The main questions around mutation should be:

1. What is the rate of mutations? 

2. Where is the location of mutation in the genetic structure of the virus? 

3. What is the effect of said mutation(s). 

1. Rate of mutations. Different species have different rates of mutation. There is an understanding in evolutionary biology, which goes: If there are too many mutations, the species dies. It’s too unpredictable. If there are not enough mutations, the species dies, as the species is not adapting fast enough to the changing environment. This concept is well paraphrased in Roger Lewin’s book title, Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos. What we have seen from the start is that this virus mutates, though in fact, more slowly than other coronaviruses. But a change is not necessarily good or bad. It’s just a change.

2. Location of mutation. This happens to be a very important question. Mutations can impact the behavior of the virus. In means it can make the virus more or less transmittable and/or more or less severe. Will the mutation make it more or less likely for the virus to attach to the cells or more or less likely to enter the cell? Ideally, the mutation makes it less likely to hurt us. For example, a mutation in the spike protein (the part of the virus that attaches to your cells,) would be pretty useful for us as it might make the virus less likely to attach. Unfortunately, from the very start, what we have seen is that the mutations do not seem to occur in the most important part of the virus and so scientists are observing modifications, yes, but none have been important enough ones for us, at least not yet. There is a lot here to discuss but you see the point.  

3. Effect of mutation. Which brings us to the most important question when discussing mutations. Has the mutation made the virus more or less transmittable and/or more or less dangerous?  

What is in the news just now is that the mutations have made the virus more transmittable. But the real question remains: has its potential for serious illness stayed the same or has it become more or less potentially dangerous?

You may recall that I am a strong proponent of convergent evolution. Simply put, this is a concept that all species constantly adapt, via mutations, towards being less virulent, less severe towards other species. In other words, what stopped the 1918 influenza pandemic was not any sort of treatment or anything that we as a species did. What stopped it was that mutations to the influenza virus which occurred, made it less virulent and less effective at hurting humans. 

When you are listening to news related to COVID mutations, recall these questions and stay grounded in the science. 


Here is a related topic I spoke of in more detail in an earlier post, and highlight here once more. We have the technology to modify the virus itself. While we can wait for the virus to hopefully mutate in less dangerous directions, we can also actively produce a mutation that benefits us. I know this may sound awful, but actually it would have been the best way forward. Please hold off passing judgement on this just now. More details below.


I remember as part of a lecture in February, and again in a Webinar hosted by my professional organization, I made the point that the consequence of what was about to befall us was so enormous, that on the economic side, it will hurt us all. The economic and social impacts, some predictable, others unforeseen, would likely send people who recently moved out of poverty back into poverty, leading to further multigenerational poverty, not just in the United States, but across the developed and developing world economies, too. The main point I made was that the economic burden will not be shared equally. I remember colleagues disagreeing with me on this front. I think the grave reality on the ground, related to how the economic fallout is impacting individuals, families, businesses and communities, is pretty obvious to all of us at this point. 

The reason I bring this up is the following. The longer the virus situation continues as it is, the more people will suffer. We will find:

1. More individuals in poverty. 

2. More families in poverty. 

3. More communities and whole countries in crises. 

4. Less services available to those in need.

5. Higher morbidity and mortality from variables not directly related to the virus, but to the fact that the economy is not supporting people in ways that are needed. 

6. Women will suffer more than before. 

7. Children will suffer more than before. 

8. People of color will suffer more than before. 

9. Less funding for a slew of programs that benefit many portions of the population.

This is not an exhaustive list, rather illustrates the real health and welfare concerns that have to be considered and accounted for as the pandemic ensues.


In general, vaccines are an intervention to produce an immune response to change the outcome of a future illness—both prevention getting sick or mitigating severity of illness, should it occur. There should be at least four issues that come into play here. 

1. How bad is the disease?

2. How bad is the side effect of the vaccine?

3. What is the main purpose of the vaccine?

4. How stable is the modification of the disease?

1. How bad is the disease? Here we know the numbers are bad. Simply put. Described more so elsewhere. 

2. How bad is the side effect of the vaccine? We do not know the full answer to this yet, but it seems as though the side effects are less than the disease if you read the studies completed before the vaccine received approval.

3. What is the main purpose of the vaccine? The 2 main reasons for a vaccine are to either make the disease less likely to be transmitted, or to make the disease less severe when/if it occurs. Ideally, both of these occur, but not necessarily. In the current vaccine studies, the main outcomes were to limit the severity of the illness in those vaccinated, which was tested for and proved effective, but what was not tested was transmission. Did those vaccinated not pass the virus as easily? This feature was not tracked as it might have been. As one example, we do not know how many people got the vaccine and caught the virus but were asymptomatic. It is possible that more people got the virus by vaccine but were asymptomatic. We simply do not know yet. but over time we will, by actually tracking this. I await this study. What we seem to know is that less people develop less severe forms of the disease when vaccinated, than those who were not vaccinated. We have to wait until they do the studies on the second question. This should have been part of the study in the first place. I cannot for the life of me understand why this was not done. 

4. How stable is the modification of the disease caused by the vaccination? This remains an important question. We do not know the answer to this, since it is a new vaccine. My personal opinion is that natural post infection antibody immunity lasts for 6-12 months. I would very much hope that this is at least as long for the vaccine. It would be a bad sign if it is a shorter period of time and a good thing if it lasts 2-3 years. More on this below. 


This is a term I like. Simply put it is a way to say that the past decisions and events matter and percolate down, bringing us to today. The past and present are both present, but not equally distributed. The choices we made or did not make have an impact on today, and on the path we are currently on. One corollary is that because we made certain choices, we are averse to, and resistant to, alternate ways to look at a problem. No one wants to be responsible for a change. Policymakers, scientists, and funders, retreat to a position of caution. I will come back to this concept soon. 


1. From what we know, this virus is not going away in the near future. 

2. From what we know, this virus morbidity and mortality is staying high; at this time around 1.5%-1.75% mortality, getting closer to the 1% I predicted at the start of it all. I believe it will stay in this range for some time to come. My current projections from last January are staying the same, I believe that if nothing changes, the first full, complete cycle will end with 500,000-2,500,000 dead in the USA. There is no math that shows this to not be the case at this point, unless something changes

3. The effect of this upon the health care system is leading to failures across the board. Numerous services are failing leading to excess mortality and excess morbidity even unrelated to this virus. Emergency departments, intensive care units, and hospitals in general, are taken up by COVID patients, so that many people are not seeking or are being refused other essential diagnostic or treatment care. There is ample loss and general misery. 

4.In terms of the economy, unemployment, etc., we know the facts on the ground are not good and not getting better any time soon. 

5. In terms of health access and outcomes, BIPOC, women, and others living at the fringes are having worse outcomes. Problems such as alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, anxiety, depression and suicide are all increased as a result of the many ways the pandemic is playing out and researchers believe these realities will likely persist even once the pandemic is passed.

This has to come to a halt as fast as possible. In January, 2020, I described several paths that were open to move forward to limit the harm that was surely on its way. These included:

1. Prevention, emphasizing public health measures, like everyone else. Unfortunately, as a country, we did not adopt the public health measures that were needed in a timely, urgent and unified fashion.

2. Mitigating the effects of the virus, by assisting in producing a normal healthy immune response, via natural medicine therapies. We discussed several options, but FDA/FTC asked many in the integrative doctor sector to stop discussing these, to halt making claims and to discontinue making any such recommendations. Ironically, when more traditional medical institutions and providers began to discuss the same concepts, many months later, there was less pushback, but by then, these recommendations were late. That delay was costly. 

3. Developing drugs aimed at normalizing and optimizing immune response. 

4.The development and distribution of vaccinations.  

There were several others, but the main point I wanted to make was, when we, as a species, are in crisis, we work towards solutions. We excel at this. But, as a society, what was decided in the spring of 2020, is that the path forward was going to be through vaccinations. You can read about this in my writing from that time. Specifically, I said that unless we deviate from this course now, at that time, the path dependency will lead us to vaccinations. As you recall from our intense and urgent communications, I, and many colleagues, were working tirelessly on other potential pathways, but let’s leave that aside.

We as a society, our officials in charge of such decisions, chose the vaccine pathway as our essential and most important way forward. And most of all our eggs went into that basket. I know some, just for the sake of argument might disagree with this, but think about it this way, just as one example. The current vaccines were built upon the final trials of 30,000-40,000 people, after smaller trials, and a couple of billion dollars per vaccine. How much money went to study Vitamin C, Zinc, CoQ10, Resveratrol, homeopathic treatment? Any one of such studies could represent a proof-of-concept to be built upon in larger trials. Most of these treatments are readily available, inexpensive and have extremely low side effect profiles. What was/is missing is robust testing, which needs funding. As a society, we decided to shut these other options down and put the majority of focus and funding into vaccine development. Right or wrong, that decision was made.

The next point flows from this. If you are not going to fund the preventive and treatment side aggressively and properly, especially the inexpensive, natural treatments that have for generations worked on supporting healthy immune function, then you are solely reliant on herd immunity. The number I mentioned this spring is still the same for me; 300 million Americans must be immune to the virus for our society to get back to some semblance of normal. One way or another you need 300 million people, more or less safe. You can have this from vaccinating this number of people, or from having 300 million people catch the virus, or a combination of the two. But one way or another, de facto, this is the direction we decided to pursue as a society. Three hundred million people need to be immune. 

Which is where one of my math problems arises. If we have around 30 million folks that had the virus and 250,000 died from it, and we just keep going as we have, the 300 million getting it naturally leads to 2,500,000 dead. We can’t have that. This would be a complete and total societal breakdown. It leaves us with only the vaccine path.  

Remember PPT point I made above. We are where we are, at this moment in time. We have, for the most part, underfunded drug treatments, and nearly, completely suppressed the study of potential natural treatments. This is what I mean by path dependency. The society has chosen and we are now, predictably moving down one pathway, which is to get vaccinated. 


I would like to make one point incredibly clear. In my humble opinion, in fact, you don’t really have a choice here. I know the nature of the questions I receive is, should I or should I not get vaccinated? And it seems to many as though they have a choice right now. But again, please be aware that as a society this choice was made 9 months ago. It only feels like you have a choice because of vaccine numbers. If we were forced to get a vaccine now, all of us, right now, then we would run into the problem that there are not enough vaccines to go around. But as soon as there are, the lack of choice will become apparent. We will see mass vaccinations. And if we did not reach the high level of immunity, then one by one, the various professions will begin to mandate vaccines. Courts have already determined that business owners have the right to demand workers get vaccinated. And if not, they have the right to keep employees from their jobs.

One profession after the next will roll through the demands, and if not enough health care professionals chose to take the vaccine, then it becomes a prerequisite for work, and then people who live in nursing homes and those working with them, and if still not enough, then factory workers, and if still not enough, those working in education, and then students, and if still not enough, to get on an airplane, and if still not enough, to travel by train and bus. You get the idea. One way or another our leadership and society, in general, chose last spring that we are going to get to herd immunity, and as our main path to it, we will require vaccines. I state this as a fact, not as whether we should or should not, but what reality will look like in early 2021.                                         

In other words, I believe having a discourse on if you should or should not have a vaccine is unproductive, since you don’t really have a choice, in the end. We will see how this turns out, but I am pretty sure this is the reality we live in, and is easier to grasp when you appreciate the path our public health, research and leadership chose. 

So, if you ask me if I am getting vaccinated, I say yes, because I want to continue to work with my patients and I believe all health care workers will need to have the vaccine, to achieve herd immunity this way, rather than by waiting until we all fall ill as our way towards herd immunity. 

Further, I believe that those professions and those medical societies that at this point in time come out against vaccinations, are reckless, both to their patients but also to themselves. I do not see how a practitioner would be able to survive a lawsuit from someone who becomes ill from SARS-CoV-2 who chose not to vaccinate based on such a recommendation. I am trying to be forthright here. I am fairly certain that your own professional association will not support you in discouraging vaccination.  

I am not sure how to say it here, but that ship has already sailed. 


1. As a point of clarity, and unrelated from the other points below, many integrative doctors provide vaccinations in their offices. For example, licensed naturopathic doctors in several states provide vaccinations for their patients, as is true for other licensed providers. And just as NDs have been conducting COVID-19 testing onsite, they might also provide the vaccine. This is just another practitioner offering recommended treatment. And in fact, up until now mostly NDs have been simply describing the potential benefits as per guidelines. Fine, but nothing unique here. What follows goes beyond that, and describes what we might add to the story.

2. Integrative practitioners, for the most part, have worked for decades, and in some instances, for centuries, in helping support healthy immune response and to optimize normal immune function. According to the vaccine makers, there are a variety of immune reactions and side effects, to be expected in 3%-50% of those who receive the vaccine. It may be that integrative practitioners can help the immune system function in healthy and appropriate ways, leading to the desired response to the vaccine, perhaps even extending the benefit of the vaccine. This needs to be tested in earnest.

I am not referring to helping those with anaphylactic reactions caused by the poly-ethylene glycol ingredient in the vaccine, but rather other potential reactions. People with that known allergy are not recommended to take this vaccine. (As a personal not unrelated side note, I nearly died two times from vaccines when immigrating twice in several years, finally to this country, as a child. So, for me to say that I am getting vaccinated, you can see, this is not a simple decision, but one decided upon last summer when I understood the direction things had gone was not changing and appreciating the reality that will emerge on the ground.)

3. There are a few different vaccines on the market just now, all are injectables. I assume that by late spring, early summer 2021, an intranasal, inhaled form will become available. It may be that integrative practitioners can help those who are unable to take the injectable vaccine at this time due to issues with what is used in those vaccines, using additional natural medicine approaches with regard to prevention. This needs to be tested.

4. Assisting those with vaccine hesitancy questions. Many times, those not wanting to vaccinate seek out integrative physicians. These practitioners can help assuage anxiety about the vaccine itself. 

5. Side effect profile. I believe integrative physicians can mitigate side effects of the vaccines. We only need funding to test this out. More on this below. 

6. Special circumstances. Aside from those that cannot take the current vaccine due to known potential anaphylactic reaction, there may be other groups of individuals who will not tolerate the current vaccines, or are recommended to skip the vaccine because of age or other reasons. It could be that integrative approaches can help with preventive care and with mitigating severity of illness by normalizing proper immune response, for those unable to take the vaccine. This needs proper funding to be tested.

7. Specifically, it may well be that the side-effect profile is as intimately related to the underlying health status of the individual, just as the disease expression of COVID-19 is modified by the underlying health status of those who contract the virus. Many of these health concerns plaguing our modern society are modifiable by integrative practitioners, whether it is diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, and other common chronic diseases.

8. It may be that people who do develop bothersome or long lasting side-effects find relief from an integrative practitioner who helps the person develop a healthy, appropriate immune response and helps with underlying health conditions that may have put the person at more risk for worse outcomes in the first place. This also needs testing.


Leadership in the country has a great deal of hope with the vaccines, though, in fact most people have not fully thought out what the future might look like if this remains the only intervention. Picture the reality of where we might be headed.

1. By the summer or at latest the fall of 2021, more or less most people will be vaccinated. Which means that there is gradual easing of restrictions, but not a complete easing until next Fall. In other words, even though we are being vaccinated in December or in January, we are still wearing masks, and some businesses are still closed or operating below pre-COVID capacity. Sadly, people are still dying from COVID-19. 

2. We don’t really know how long the vaccine will last. Hopefully it lasts longer than the disease immunity, which as mentioned above, I still personally believe to be 6-12 months. But all our eggs are in this basket of vaccinations. What happens if it only lasts for 6 months? I do not foresee people lining up for shots every 6 months. We need another egg in another basket. This cannot be the only pathway forward.

Related to this time question, we do not know if people can tolerate a second or third series of vaccination. What if you can tolerate one, but the second or third series does not work, or causes problems. There is too much at risk to only remain with this one pathway. Perhaps a more affordable, less risky approach that many people are already doing on their own or with the guidance of an integrative doctor needs to be tested and funded properly.

3. We do not know if the vaccines will continue to be effective, as the virus mutates. I mention this for completeness sake. Vaccines are made in relation to specific parts of the virus. If the current wild virus mutates out of that realm, it may be that the vaccine will stop being effective. I do not think this is a major concern here, since, as I mentioned above, the virus is mutating slowly and it is not mutating easily in the areas that the vaccine is aimed at. Having a close vaccine, like having a close virus, I believe, is protective in itself. However, it is a possibility that the vaccine will stop being effective. Having a second pathway open is vital to the security of this nation, and the quickest, easiest, most affordable pathway involves the natural medicine course, which has a known side-effect profile, and know dosage and usage. Only efficacy need be tested.  


Here’s what can be done now, with regard to COVID-19 and vaccinations. I am writing here for those working at the colleges and in professional organizations that are looking for the answer to, “What does our profession bring to the table?” They are also asking, “What should we say about the vaccination that is not already being said by the CDC/FDA/FTC?”

The main need would be an open, consistent, proactive relationship with the FTC/FDA which focuses on the following points:

a. We assist with the vaccine rollout by answering questions and diminishing vaccine hesitancy.

b. Research underscores that comorbidities predictably lead to worse disease manifestation and outcomes. Invite the work of integrative providers to impact the treatment of common chronic diseases, many of which are lifestyle and natural medicine modifiable, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity. We have a record of proven efficacy working with these populations. When I was giving a talk on this, at one point I wept, and when someone asked me why, I said it is because what we have is a great deal of needless, pointless death. We have all the pieces spelled out to us, but it is a reluctance to broach a different pathway that allows some to die needlessly.

c. We have worked for decades on healthy immune functioning and need ongoing funding to test these approaches in regards to both prevention of and progression of COVID-19 illness. 

e. We can partner with FTC to disseminate reliable information related to effective preventive and treatment approaches where research already exists. (Zinc, Co-Q10, Vitamin D status, etc.). 

f. We assist in developing a protocol for people to use before and after vaccination to mitigate side effects, which in turn may well diminish unwanted vaccine reactions and vaccine hesitancy, and may potentially extend the effect of the vaccine. 

In other words, we need to be working on Plan B. We need and want FTC and FDA support for this work. There is an unusual problem that exists in the USA. FDA/FTC rules state that for a substance to be used to treat a disease or prevent a disease, it has to go through stringent drug trials to prove safety and efficacy. OTC products do not have to go through this process, but on the other hand, health claims cannot be made for OTC products. There has to be a middle way here. Specifically, there are natural approaches that can be easily tested, and if the results show promise, larger studies can be done, and if these interventions are shown to work to treat and/or prevent illness, then uniquely, in this instance, FDA and FTC should allow and encourage such claims to be made.

Let me put it in very plain English. It might be that the virus will become more benign, and or it might be that the vaccine works perfectly, but what if it does not? There are very simple studies, very inexpensive studies, that can be conducted with natural products that are inexpensive, and have little to no side effects. These studies could be for disease prevention or treatment. If these work they should be allowed to become part of the national plan to treat or prevent illness, something that cannot be easily done at this time with OTC products.

A few examples, what if you develop a protocol of inexpensive natural products to be taken as a preventive and seeing how many of those taking those supplements become severely ill from the virus and need to be in the ICU. It may be that for example, taking Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Resveratrol, CoQ10, and Zinc on a daily basis makes it possible to lessen the likelihood of ending up in the ICU. What if most people taking these items, if they fall ill, end up having a milder form of the disease? After all, this is what the vaccine is aiming to do, to lessen the severity of the illness. What if other items to do the same thing? But unlike the vaccine are not so specific that they wear out, as the vaccine might. What if helping the underlying health and addressing comorbidities does the same? These are not inconsequential questions, and also not difficult questions to answer. We have the expertise. We have a willing and interested public. We just need the willingness to venture into this realm and to fund studies properly, and should they be successful, be allowed to disseminate those results as treatment plans.


To finish off on a related topic. The main way forward, in a way that puts this period of life in the past, is if the virus changes. Specifically, if it becomes less dangerous. After all, we do not say we have a pandemic of a cold. The fact that billions get sick is sort of almost irrelevant since it’s mostly not dangerous. At this moment, we are waiting for the virus to mutate in such a way that it becomes less dangerous. This is nature in its process. Hopefully it is this next year and not much later!

As I mentioned last winter, another possibility is that we modify the virus ourselves. Making it less severe, even if more transmittable, if less people or few people become symptomatic, we are all happier for it, and the vaccine question goes away. All in all, I think this remains one of the easiest paths forward. I believe the virus will get there by itself, but it will take a year, a decade or a century. Of course, I am very, very much aware of the risk here. I am, after all, an evolutionary biologist at heart. But risks versus benefits, I would rather change the virus than change ourselves with a constant barrage of vaccines. The technology exists already. It is not difficult nor expensive. It is just a path that I am not sure that the Department of Defense, who has the capacity, would pursue such a venture. Though at some point if the vaccines are not doing the trick, this may well be in our future.

My other wish is that therapies working on other parts of the immune response be properly funded. Last winter, after speaking to people who were ill with this virus, I wrote about pathways that included C1INH. Eventually a company that manufactures this molecule conducted a small trial that led to positive results. They are now in the midst of a larger trial. This drug will be expensive. But what is important to me is understanding and working on that side of the inflammatory pathway that has been left behind. I think there is a great deal to learn there, which will lead to inexpensive therapeutics.

In sum, the question of should I get vaccinated reflects a false dichotomy, it is a logic fallacy. This is the point I have been trying to get across for a year now. It can be that there are other approaches that might work in concert or instead of vaccines, should vaccines not work out for the future. These should be looked at, in earnest, as soon as we can. In regard to where we are at this time, the end of this long year, vaccination is the pathway open to us. However, once vaccinated it buys us roughly 6-12 months to articulate and act on next steps. If we do not do so, then we have squandered our precious time once more. This is the time to be brave. A change in focus, or rather broadening our focus, by funding research has been and continues to be warranted.

Good luck with everything. Sending wishes for a healthy, peaceful year to you and yours. 

Paul Herscu, ND, MPH

Living in the vaccine world……..

There seems little doubt that the world is looking to relief from the Covid situation by promoting a vaccine as the ONLY way to stop and prevent the spread of the infection in all of its variants.

My personal experience with vaccine therapy had led to a self-made decision to look for other modes of treatment where there is a choice and proven and reliable medical answer, ie homoeopathy, however, I feel that the world situation and opinion regarding covid 19 vaccines is not going to leave a choice.

This is not the article to discuss the merits or problems with a vaccine. this is about the reality of having a vaccine with or without approval or consent. Travel domestic or international may depend on it. Entry to venues or even supermarkets may depend on it. Employers have the legal right to fire employees who do not have a vaccine. How this works with the British government’s statement of not giving a vaccine passport or acknowledgement of having a vaccine publically is at odds with the truth of the matter.


Im looking into the known effects of having the vaccine, sparse information available, even less regarding the ingredients, and we cannot ignore the fact that a lot of testing data has not been forthcoming. Primary effects of the vaccine do not have to be reported if it affected less that 2% of the total number of participants in the test phase. In 43000 people, that is 860 people. I disagree with this protocol emphatically.

So we need to commission homoeopathic manufacturing pharmacies to prepare the different vaccines in LM1, 6c and 30c, and test them in a proving to see what symptoms arise and find remedies that will work to rectify the problems that come up.

Your thoughts and suggestions please……..

IHM clinic progress

Im sat here on the IHM clinic boat in the middle of a beautiful place in Watford…….. waiting on a part and someone to fit it. Its a voltage controller. Seems the one that is fitted is the wrong one, and once the solar reduced charging in autumn, it became obvious the engine was not charging the batteries…………..

£334 for the part and whatever it will cost for the services to fit it. It has to be done and hopefully fixes the problem.

Fuel boat will be next Wednesday……. Fuel and wood for the fire…….at least 150 litres of diesel. Should last few months.

Then a slow trek to London and hopefully get there before any lockdown on the canals………..

We will then fit the boat out internally with seats and sofas and desks……. Along with putting cables in for computers for students and practitioners.

We will fit out the office with a bed for when an overseas student comes for IHM training……. IKEA here we come for wardrobes and cupboards, unless some our London based practitioners point us in a cheaper but good direction.

We made the decision to take a 3 month winter mooring in Southall. This will give us chance to work on the boat and fit it out within range of shops for accessories we will need… and also to be in a fixed position for London clients if restrictions permit. We are near a water point and also a garbage disposal point……… I ordered a composting toilet yesterday which will obviate the need for cassette waste disposal. The mooring doesnt have an Elsan point for emptying. The compost waste can go in a dumpster.

Nothing is as easy as you think it is when you go off grid. We are solving the issues one by one.

I talked with my friend and colleague Antonio in Seville Spain yesterday. Seems the members of the Boenninghausen group are now the steering committee for the Andalucia Homoeopathic Association and will concentrate on good training instead of the politics. I’m proud of them.

Covid restrictions will make it difficult to have many patients or student on board initially, however we are setting up a poweful internet system to take the IHM online if we have to.

so we are doing our bit.


A little background. Sir John Weir.

Before we start examining the principles of homoeopathy in-depth, this historical overview is worth noting.

The institute is a research organisation and as such, many thousands of documents are in our possession with many more having passed before our sight. To this end, we are in a position to post Hahnemann’s own words and his colleagues of the time from cited writings.

After reading, what do you understand about Disease, Hahnemann’s abilities and the principle of treating the disease with medicines?



Samuel Hahnemann and his Influence on Medical Thought. By Sir J0HN WEIR, K.C.V.O., M.B., Ch.B.668

The other statement will be found in Tract. iii, cap. 4, page 63 in the 1540 edition and page 67 in the 1556 edition, and runs as follows :—

quae maculæ et alia visa fuerunt ab antiquissimo ac doctissimo Hyppocrate, in diversis tum temporibus, tum etium epidemicis constitutionibus.”

I have always believed that it was to Sydenham we owed the combination of words ” epidemic constitution.” The idea conveyed by the words is, without doubt, to be found in Epidemics I and 111 of the Hippocratic Collection. Guillaume de Baillou, who closely followed the method and phraseology of Hippocrates in his Epidemiorum et Ephemeridum Libri Duo, published some years after 1616, the year of his death, and probably written at least twenty years before, does not use the term ‘ epidemic constitution.” Perhaps a search amongst the works of other writers of the sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth century would reveal the use of the word elsewhere.

Addendum.—Since writing the foregoing note I have found that unless he was relying on second-hand information, Sydenham had read Massa’s book. In Sect. 11, Cap. 11 of the Observationes Medica circa Morborum, etc. (page 106 of Greenhill’s Latin edition, published by the Sydenham Society), he refers to Massa and twelve other writers as being in favour of venesection in the plague. References to the subject in Massa’s book will be found on pages 35b, 49b and 66b in the first edition, and pages 37b, 52a and 70b in the second edition.

A STUDY of the historical background of Hahnemann’s time explains much of his reform work in medicine. And it is interesting that present-day changes in medical ideas were foreshadowed, a century ago, by Samuel Hahnemann.

He was born in Saxony in 1755. Many talents and strong urgings went to his make-up, including the ” glorious gospel of discontent ” with all that was senseless, useless, harmful, inept—which practically sums up the medicine of his day. He was a great linguist— master of many languages (including Arabic) at a very early age. At twelve years old he was already teaching the rudiments of Greek. His knowledge was voluminous, as was his memory. More than once in his early years he was in charge of, or closely associated with, large and important libraries (Hermanstadt and Dresden) ; and his erudition was commensurate with his opportunities.

At Leipsic ” the Saxon Athens ” in 1812, in order to obtain permission to lecture, he had to deliver a speech of qualification ” from the Upper Chair. This he delivered in Latin; it was entitled ” Dissertatio historico-medica de Heleborismo veterum.” In this speech, we are told, he was able to quote verbatim and give the location of the passages from manifold German, French, English, Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic medical writers, and he could examine their views—either in disagreement or in extension. He quoted from fifty more or less known doctors, philosophers, and naturalists.

In chemistry, his methods of chemical analysis and some of his discoveries are still in daily use among us—among them his mercurius solubilis “—the black oxide, and in Crell’s Annals (1793) Hahnemann was already mentioned as the famous analytical chemist.”

In the treatment of the insane Hahnemann was amongst the great pioneers. Already in 1792 (in Pinel’s time) he advised humane treatment of the insane. He never allowed any insane person to be given painful bodily chastisement. There could be no punishment for involuntary actions; these patients deserved nothing but the pity and were always made worse and not better by such treatment. He even went further than Pinel, in advising psychotherapeutic measures.

One of his peculiarities was that he could do with very little sleep ; indeed it is recorded of him that for 40 years his custom was to sit up one night in four, studying. He was a prodigious worker ; was only one year short of 90 when he died, and in the course of his long life (according to Ameke) he published 116 large works and about 120 pamphlets. He was always ” filling gaps in his education ” as he expresses it, as when he studied botany, or ” took small journeys to learn mining science and metallurgy.” He was not only a chemist but a good musician and an astronomer, and he was versed in every branch of knowledge connected with medicine. Ameke says, ” When Hahnemann came out with his new system of medicine he was universally spoken of with respect and even reverence, but with regret for his folly. But, after a year or so, he was denounced as an ignoramus and a scoundrel.”

But his great work was in the field of therapeutics . He was, above all, a born physician and reformer. His great idea of similia was first communicated in 1796 in an essay on ” The new principle for ascertaining the curative powers of drugs,” and some examinations of the previous principles.

His three classical works are (1) his Organon of Medicine: In this, he justifies his position, and teaches how, and what to prescribe, and why; (2) his Materia Medica Pura, which embodies exhaustively the answers of the healthy human body to the assaults of morbid agencies or drugs: that is to say, the exact symptoms produced when drugs are tested on the healthy, in order to apply them, with assurance, for the healing of the sick of like symptoms ; (3) his Chronic Diseases—almost too much in the past, for even his keenest disciples and followers— is assuming new importance in the light of the discoveries of today. Those who study these works discover, with amazement, that Hahnemann—-in his views of disease, in his conception of the all-importance of vital resistance to disease, in his teaching that disease can only be cured by stimulating the resistance of the patient— is a modern of the moderns, abreast, always—when he is not ahead—of science, and that what he has to give us is exactly what medicine, all the world over, is now waking up to demand. One feels that Hahnemann is, at long last, coming into his kingdom.

The medicine of Hahnemann’s day was based on the assumption that sickness was caused by humours that had to be expelled from the body by every method that could be devised: expelled, not only by the natural organs of excretion, which were taxed to the limit but also by artificial and unnatural methods of excretion.

Exutories, cauteries, setong, moxas, fontanels, are meaningless names to our generation : of interest only to the historian of medicine. We can have no conception what a torture chamber was the medicine of Hahnemann’s day when all these barbarities were designed to provide ” new organs of excretion.”

The cautery.—Here iron at white heat, or some chemical agent, was employed to dig deeply these ‘ new organs,” into which dried peas were introduced, and compressed by means of a bandage. These wounds were given their daily supply of peas.

The seton.—Here the flesh was• pinched up, and an incision made by means of which a skein of cotton or silk was inserted. When the wound was dressed the skein was drawn out, and the part saturated with discharge cut off. The seton was applied to the back of the neck to drain foul humours from head, eyes, etc. ; to the region of the heart to ” clean and polish it up,” or to other parts of the body, to draw some organic derangement from liver, lung, joint, or for a dropsy.

The moca was a cone of some combustible material applied to the skin when its apex was set on fire. ” Here,” we are told, ” as the flame advances, the heat becomes more intense; the skin crackles and shrivels—turns brown—and is scorched till nearly black.”



Prolonged blisterings with cantharides at times led to the loss of a limb: wounds were powdered with arsenic, often with fatal results. One would think, in reading of these things, that the devil was responsible for medicine in the days of Hahnemann.

Purgation, emesis, sweatings and salivation were also resorted to to an unmerciful extent, while ” issues ” were not only established but maintained for years. Above all, bloodletting, to an incredible degree, was in favour. Leopold of Austria, Count Cavour, the ” saviour of Italy,” and our own Princess Charlotte, were among the illustrious victims; while Raphael, Lord Byron, Mirabeau and a host of celebrities were, we are told, seriously injured by bleedings; and Goethe in his 82nd year, having had a serious hæmorrhage, was bled to the extent of two more pounds.

Hahnemann protested against these brutal and unnatural methods, which weakened the patients to the verge of incurability.

Granier, a French doctor, who wrote in 1858, contrasting homæopathy with the medicine that obtained even in his day, says: If it be not true that diseases can escape by cauteries, it is at least certain that they can enter the system by this means. It is really a new organ of absorption.”

Hahnemann denounces, in particular, the common idea that venesection draws off only the bad blood; that continual purging evacuates only the depraved humours ; and that a vesicating agent can select, collect and remove only injurious humours.

Against such practices, and against Broussais, who carried the custom of the times to a ridiculous length, earning for himself the nickname of ” the medical Robespierre,” and of whom it was said ” he had shed more French blood than Napoleon ” Hahnemann fulminated his thunder. It must •have required not a little courage to break away from what was deemed on all hands to be essential, and to treat acute inflammatory conditions with his small doses of aconite (which obtained the name of ” the homoeopathic lancet “), and to confess, as he did in 1833, that for forty years he had not ” drawn a single drop of blood, opened one seton, used pain-producing processes, etc. had never weakened patients by sudorifics, or scoured them out with emetics and laxatives, thus destroying their organs of digestion.” And this, while surrounded by anxiously watching adversaries, ready to pounce at the slightest mistake and his followers, seeing his results, and joyfully following in his steps, were unmoved even when haled into the Courts and prosecuted for not practising phlebotomy; and when even the great Hufeland, so just to Hahnemann, amid all the injustice and persecution• that he experienced, nevertheless was saying in 1830 that ” anyone who neglected to draw blood when man was in danger of suffocating in his own blood ” (that was the idea in regard to inflammatory fevers) ” was a murderer by omission.”

In regard to the necessity for bleeding in acute fevers, Hahnemann wrote, Anyone who has felt the tranquil pulse of a man an hour before the rigour that precedes an attack of acute pleurisy, will not be able to restrain his amazement if told two hours later after the hot stage has commenced, that the enormous plethora. present urgently requires repeated venesections. He will naturally enquire by what magic power could the pounds of blood that must be drawn off have been conjured into the blood-vessels of this man, which but two hours previously he hid felt beating in such a tranquil manner. Not a single drachm more of blood can now be circulating in those vessels than when he was in good health, not yet two hours ago.” He contends that “the sole true causa morbi is a morbid dynamical, inflammatory irritation of the circulatory system, as is proved by the rapid and permanent cure of general inflammatory fever by one or two inconceivably minute doses of aconite juice, which removed such irritation homoeopathically.”

One must admire his enormous courage—the courage of strong conviction— which, if it did not procure sudden, universal recognition for his system of medicine, at least civilized, and that speedily, medicine in general; not only by putting to


shame its degrading barbarities, but by proving that they were wholly unnecessary.

That this was so, we have curious evidence. In 1852 we find Professor Allison of Edinburgh broaching the famous theory that inflammatory diseases, which it had hitherto been necessary to treat by bloodletting and debilitating treatment, now no longer required that—but an utterly opposite—mode of treatment, because they had changed their type,” and were no longer what they used to be. He confessed that he was led to adopt the new treatment—or rather to abandon the old—chiefly from the report of physicians who had ” witnessed the practice of homæopathic hospitals on the Continent.”

Mark Twain—himself once a Mississippi pilot—in nautical phraseology pays his tribute to homoeopathy, for the purifying work it has accomplished in medicine.

He says:—

” So recent is this change from a three or four thousand year twilight to the flash and glare of open day that I have walked in both, and yet am not old. Nothing today is as it was when I was an urchin; but when I was an urchin, nothing wag much different •from what it had always been in this world. Take a single detail for example—medicine. Galen could have come into my sickroom at any time during my first seven years—I mean any day when it wasn’t fishing weather, and there wasn’t any choice but school or sickness—and he could have sat down there and stood my doctor’s watch without asking a question. He would have smelt around among the wilderness of cups and bottles and phials on the table and the shelves, and missed not a stench that used to gladden him two thousand years before, nor discovered one that was of later date. He would have examined me, and run across only one disappointment—I was already salivated; I would have him there; for I was always salivated, calomel was 80 cheap. He would get out bis lancet then; but I would have him again; our family doctor did not allow blood to accumulate in the system. However, he would take a dipper and ladle, and freight me up with the old familiar doses that had come down from Adam to his time and mine; and he would go out with B wheel-barrow and gather weeds and offal, and build some more, while those others were getting in their work. And if our reverend doctor came and found him there, he would be dumb with awe and would get down and worship him. Whereas if Galen should appear among us today, he could not stand anybody’s watch; he would inspire no awe; he would be told he was a back-number, and it would surprise him to gee that that fact counted against him, instead of in his favour. He wouldn’t know our medicines; he wouldn’t know our practice; and the first time he tried to introduce his own, we would hang him.”

(And after giving many examples of the ancient practice, with its crude ideas, its horrible mixtures, etc., he concludes by declaring) :—

” When you reflect that your own father had to take such medicines as the above and that you would be taking them to-day yourself but for the introduction of homoeopathy, which forced the old-school doctor to stir around and learn something of a rational nature about his business, you may honestly feel grateful that homoeopathy survived the attempts of the allopaths to destroy it, even though you may never employ any physician but an allopath while you live.”

Hahnemann found himself in conflict too with the system, or rather want of system, in the prescription of medicines in his day. Here all was imagination, tradition, hoary authority. Of science, there was none. ” The life and health of’ human beings were made dependent on the opinions of a few, and whatever entered their precious brains went to swell the materia medica.” The god-like science, practical medicine,” had become a ” degrading commerce in prescriptions—a trade that mixes the disciples of Hippocrates with the riff-raff of medical rogues, in such a way that the one is indistinguishable from the other.”

Polypharmacy flourished to an unbelievable extent. We are told that the largest number of ingredients recorded in one prescription was four hundred. The famous Venice Treacle ” contained sixty-five ingredients: and I have before me a world-famed prescription of the ” mithridate,” of fifty ingredients, which was actually in the Pharmacopæia of 1785, at the time when Hahnemann was beginning his fight for purity and simplicity in medicine. ” Nature,” says Hahnemann, ” likes simplicity and can perform much with one remedy while you perform little with many. Imitate nature! ” And as early as 1797 he wrote, ” May I be allowed to confess that for several years I have never prescribed more than one medicine at a time, and I have never repeated the dose until the effect of the previous one had been exhausted.” He says that thus he has successfully cured patients, and has ” seen things he would not otherwise have seen.”

It was the chemists who, perceiving that the hope of their gains must vanish with the advent of homoeopathy, fought the iconoclast; got laws enacted to restrain him from preparing and dispensing his medicines, and drove him from city to city. No wonder that Hahnemann thundered, ” Away with this excessive mixing of medicines, this prescription tomfoolery! Down with the apothecaries’ privileges! Let the doctor have the freedom to make his own medicines and administer them to his patients. We cannot be shown the correct way by a deluding tradition.”

Hahnemann says that in his day, in order to decide on something positive in regard to the instruments of cure, the powers of the different medicines were inferred from their physical, chemical and other irrelevant qualities; also from their odour, taste and external aspect, but chiefly from impure experiences at the sickbed, where, in the tumult of morbid symptoms, only mixtures of medicines were prescribed for imperfectly described cases of disease.” (Dudgeon.)

Can one wonder that in his earlier days Hahnemann revolted not only against the senseless cruelty but the utter uncertainty of lawless medicine? He says:—  My sense of duty would not allow me to treat the unknown pathological state of my suffering brethren with these unknown medicines. If they are not exactly suitable (and how could the physician know that, since their specific effects had not yet been demonstrated) they might with their strong potency easily change life into death, or induce new and chronic maladies, often more difficult to eradicate than the original disease.

The thought of becoming in this way a murderer or a malefactor towards the life of my fellow human beings was most terrible to me; so terrible and disturbing that I wholly gave up my practice in the first years of my married life, and occupied myself solely with chemistry and writing.”

Then, in the anguish of impotence when one of his own children was ill and suffering terribly from the treatment she underwent, he set his soul to discover, as he expressed it, ” if God had not indeed given some law, whereby the diseases of mankind could be cured.”

Where,” he cried, in that hour of agony, can I obtain certain and sure help with our present knowledge ?—based as it is on vague observations, hypothetical opinions, and the arbitrary views of disease in our pathologies.”

In this labyrinth, he avers, a man can only remain complacent who is ready to accept assertions in regard to the healing powers of medicines because they are printed in a hundred books.

He knew from experience what help was to be got from the methods of Sydenham and others—Boerhaave, Stoll, Quarin, Cullen.

Can it be,” he asks, ” that the nature of this science (as great men have said) is incapable of certainty? Shameful, blasphemous thought !—that Infinite Wisdom should be unable to create the means of assuaging the sufferings of His creatures. Surely there must be a reliable way of regarding disease from the right angle, and for determining the specific, safe, and reliable use of medicines.”

It was useless, as he had discovered, to ” seek the means of healing in arbitrary opinions—false conclusions “—or on the authority of ” highly celebrated men of delusions. ” Let me seek it,” he cried, ” where it may be near at hand, and where all have passed it by, because it did not seem artificial or learned enough, and was uncrowned with laurel for its system, its pedantry, or its high-falutin’ abstractions.”

It is curious that Lord Horder has recently re-echoed this cry of Hahnemann, after voicing the uncertainties of medicine. Speaking of ” the present painful pause in therapeutic advance,” Lord Horder said, ” From what part of the scientific horizon the light will come, it is not possible to say. The sky must be scanned in every quarter. Perhaps some promising direction has been overlooked. Has the physicist, or the chemist, or the biologist, perchance, something that would help them? Or will the lamp again be lighted by that strange and inexplicable flash of genius—the genius which scouts all science, because it is itself the mother of science? ”

To the patient seeker after Truth and Law come, sooner or later, revelation. And so with Hahnemann. The Law that he sought came to him as a flash of inspiration, as we shall see, and, once it was grasped, the rest followed, surely and faultlessly, so that no one, in all these hundred years, has been able to add to, or to take from, our legacy from Hahnemann. Once his eyes were opened, it was merely a question of devoting a long life to the elucidation of the Law, and establishing it as a practical basis of therapeutics.

Homoeopathy, the ” pathy of likes,” is said to date from Hippocrates: and, indeed, Hahnemann quotes the celebrated similia similibus curentur from ” the reputed writings of Hippocrates,” and he also shows, by his usual careful quotations, how the idea had been foreshadowed in the writings of half a dozen doctors in various countries, who ” had presentiments that medicines, by their power of producing analogous morbid symptoms, would cure analogous morbid conditions.” Thus ” Boulduc,” he says, recognized that the purging quality of rhubarb is the cause of its power to allay diarrhoea; Detharding conjectures that colic in adults is mitigated by infusion of senna, by virtue of its analogous effect of producing colic in the healthy; Bertholon confesses that electricity deadens and annuls, in disease, pain very similar in kind to that produced by electricity; Thiury testifies that positive electricity, though it accelerates the pulse, nevertheless retards it when it is accelerated by disease; Von Stoerck suggests, ‘ If the thorn-apple (stramonium) deranges the mind and produces insanity in the healthy, might it not, by changing the current of ideas, restore soundness of mind to the insane? ‘ Stahl, a Danish military physician, has expressed his conviction on this subject most distinctly. He says, ‘ The rule accepted in medicine to cure by contraries contraria contrariis ” is entirely wrong ‘: he is convinced on the contrary, that diseases vanish and are cured by means of medicines capable of producing a similar affection (similia similibus). Thus burns are cured by approaching the fire, frozen limbs, by the application of snow or very cold water, inflammation and contusions, by distilled spirits. In this manner, he is in the habit of curing habitual acidity of the stomach by means of a very small doge of sulphuric acid, in cases where quantities of absorbing powders have been used in vain.”

So near had this great truth sometimes ” been approached,” says Hahnemann, yet hitherto none had taught this homoeopathic method of cure; no one had put it in practice.” Still, he argues, if the truth is only here to be found, one would expect to find its traces in all ages, even though it remained unperceived for thousands of years.

Adams, in his Genuine Works of Hippocrates, says, ” There is nothing new in the Doctrine of Similars.” He goes on, ” The treatment of suicidal mania appears singular—give the patient a draught made from the root of mandrake, in a smaller dose than will induce mania. He ” (Hippocrates) ” then insists in strong terms that, under certain circumstances, purgatives will bind the bowels, and astringents loosen them: and he further makes the important remark that, although the general rule of treatment be contraria contrariis curantur, the opposite rule also holds good in some cases, viz., similia similibus curantur. The principles both of allopathy, and of homoeopathy, it thus appears, are recognized by the author of this treatise. In confirmation of the latter principle, he remarks ‘ that the same substance which occasions strangury will, sometimes, put a stop to it by removing its cause, and so also with cough.’ He estimates successful and unsuccessful practice according to the rule whether the treatment was rightly planned or not. For, he argues, what is done in ignorance cannot be said to be correctly done, even if the results are favöurable. ”

It was in 1790 when translating Cullen’s Materia Medica., and disagreeing with the author’s dictum that Peruvian bark owed its antipyretic power to its tonic effect on the stomach, that Hahnemann, as he says, made his first pure experiment with cinchona bark upon himself, and thereby discovered its power of exciting the familiar symptoms of intermittent fever.

He seems to have realized instantly the enormous importance of the discovery, which subsequent observations and experience with other drugs never failed to confirm. ” With this first trial,” he says, broke upon me the dawn that has since brightened into the most brilliant day of the medical art, that it was only by their power to make the healthy human being ill, that medicines can cure morbid states : and, even so, only such morbid states whose symptoms the selected drug can itself produce in the healthy.”

An episode with belladonna in a scarlet fever epidemic was also illuminating, in this connection, to one who knew the extraordinary similarity between the symptoms of scarlet fever and those of belladonna poisoning: the burning skin, the dry sore throat, the red rash, the dilated pupils, and the delirium.

In a family of which several members were attacked by scarlet fever, one, a child, whom he was treating with belladonna for some other ailment, remained immune. He thereupon gave this ” providential remedy ” to other children, who remained well, even when subjected to the greatest risk of infection. Here Hahnemann made his first successful experiments in homoeo-prophylaxis.

From his day onwards belladonna has been used by homoeopaths all the world over to protect from or to modify and to cure scarlet fever. And besides our minimal mortality, it has been the unfailing observation that cases so treated do not exhibit the sequelæ which are often the serious feature of attacks of scarlet fever.

Expressions of agreement from contemporaries as to the value of belladonna in scarlet fever are to be found in Hufeland’s Journal for May, 1812, etc. : and that Hufeland (the one big figure in medicine in his day) himself published in 1825 a work entitled The Prophylactic Effect of Belladonna, ascribing this efficacious remedy for scarlet fever to Hahnemann. And in the year 1838, the Prussian Government ordered the doctors of the country to use belladonna in small doses against the epidemics of scarlet fever which were prevalent at that time.

Claud Bernard, the founder of modern experimental medicine, said that it must develop along lines of clinical observation and experiment. But Hahnemann was before Bernard. Clinical observation had shown him the importance of the principle of similars, and he at once started his great work of experimentation and elucidation. Those who have called Hahnemann a mystic forget his great experimental work in the proving of medicines on healthy individuals, which is the scientific basis of homoeopathy.

Hahnemann realized that if the Law of Similars was ever to be practical it was imperative to test, or ” prove ” medicines as to their powers of vitiation human health, in order to have them at hand for curative purposes.

And here began a life-time of proving medicines, on himself first, then presently on a large circle of disciples and friends. ” At first,” he says, ” I was the only one who made the proving of medicinal powers the most important of all his duties ;

since then I have been assisted in this by a number of young men who have made experiments on themselves, and whose observations I have carefully reviewed.”

With what extreme care these experiments were conducted, checked, and registered, we are told. The drugs were put up in milk-sugar powders. The prover never knew what drug he was taking, and had no idea when the proving began. This, to eliminate unobserved symptoms, peculiar to the prover.

Provers had to bring their day-books to Hahnemann, who questioned them regarding observed symptoms, to get the verbal expression of their sensations and sufferings as accurately as possible, as well as the exact conditions under which the symptoms occurred. Their mode of life and diet were strictly regulated during a proving, so that alterations in health should be absolutely due to drug action.

Hahnemann says, ” Medicines should be distinguished from each other with scrupulous exactness with regard to their powers—and true effects upon the healthy body. For upon the accuracy of this proving depend life and death, sickness and health of human beings.”

And in regard to materia medica, he lays it down that ” a true materia medica will consist of a collection of genuine, pure, and undeceptive effects of simple drugs ‘ and that such a materia medica ” should exclude every supposition—every mere assertion and fiction: its entire contents should be the pure language of Nature, uttered in response to careful and faithful enquiry.”

By his provings, Hahnemann introduced an entirely novel and scientific method of studying drug-action. He demonstrated the effect of drugs on the living human being— surely a method far superior to the study of their toxic effect on animals! Even if drugs did affect animals in precisely the same way that they affected all other animals and humans—which is not the case !—what animal could initiate us into the suicidal impulses of aurum—the terror of death of aconite and Arsenicum—the terrors of anticipation (even to diarrhoea) of Argentum nitric, and gelsemium—the indignation and the effect on health of the bottled-up sense of injury of staphisagria —the fear of knives for the impulses they suggest of nux and Arsenicum—the shamelessness in mania and delirium of hyoscyamus—the indifference to loved ones of sepia and phosphorus ? These, and such symptoms, have led to the most brilliant curative work, and they can only be found by provings on sensitive men and women.

Hahnemann insisted that what a drug can cause, that, and that only, it can cure, whether in the mental or the physical sphere ; that its curative powers depend entirely on vital reaction to drug-stimulus; that the stimulus must be only suffcient to evoke reaction in organs rendered hypersensitive to disease; that reaction must be respected, and allowed to run its course before a repetition of the stimulus (should it be called for).

It is only when modern ideas are wandering into the realms of homoeopathy, with vaccines, that they begin to trade on the reactions of vitality—the essential teaching of Hahnemann, on which all our work has been based for 100 years. But even here dominant medicine seems to think that the dose should be the largest tolerated and that its repetition is a mere matter of opinion, or of individual practice, or of experience drawn from many experiments (at the expense of many patients), or of authority, when someone whose name is prominent lays down the law.

It has yet to grasp the idea, which we owe to Hahnemann, that there is law in all these things. Illustrations and corroborations come from all sides. The Arndt Law shows that the same poison, to the same cells, may be lethal, inhibitive, or stimulating, according to the largeness or the smallness of the dose : while Professor Bier endorses Hahnemann, as to the infinite Rensitiveness of diseased parts to the vital stimulus.

Hahnemann showed that: ” Homoeopathy is absolutely inconceivable without the most precise individualization.” The names of diseases should never influence the physician, who has to judge and cure diseases, not by names, but by the signs and symptoms of each individual patient. That, since diseases can only express their need for relief by symptoms, the totality of the symptoms observed in each individual case of disease can be the only indication to guide in the choice of the remedy.

Hahnemann ” knew no diseases, only sick persons.”

He taught that all parts of the body are intimately connected to form an invisible whole in feelings and functions ; that all curative measures should be planned with reference to the whole system, in order to cure the general disease by means of internal remedies. (Even an eruption on the lip, he says, cannot be accounted for, without assuming a previous and simultaneous diseased state of the body.”)

Dr. Haehl, of Stuttgart, in the preface to his Life of Hahnemann (1922), says :— At no other period has medical science, in reality, come so near to the fundamental ideas of homoeopathy as it does at the moment. A complete change of front in opinions is coming to the fore. An uninterruptedly progressive turn in science moves from an obsolete mechanical mode of observing the life-processes, to a biological and vitalistic one ; the development of sera, organotherapy, and prophylactic therapy, are irrefutable proofs of it. The names of Arndt, Behring, August Bier, Lewin, Hans Much, Krehl, Karl Ludwig Schleich, Hugo Schulz, H. Driesch and others, represent a number of directing points in this evolution which is taking place. Tuberculin, diphtheria serum, the various organ preparations and their mode of employment, the attention given to mental symptoms, to special bodily constitutions, and tendency to disease, show, in detail, how far this change has already been accomplished. And so to-day modern medicine is almost imbued with homoeopathic ideas and habits. Hahnemann’s teachings, which have destroyed the fundamentals, have acted for a whole century as a ferment in medical science, disintegrating, dissolving, remoulding and reconstructing. Traditional ideas, customs and methods have been overthrown and rendered unstable by this despised teaching of the much-ridiculed and persecuted innovator.”

I wonder if we are losing our path in homoeopathy….

Added: Depending on how you view this article, you will need to decide whether the IHM is in favour of this approach or not.


Elizabeth Thompson discusses how integrated care can make all the difference to cancer patients

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be a very frightening experience and many people remember the exact moment of hearing this difficult news. The experience can cause shock and anxiety and the feeling that one’s life is spiralling out of control. The person can often feel like their body has let them down by developing such a serious ill­ness and they can lose confidence in themselves and their future. There is often a desire to look more deeply into their health in general and to find mean­ing in their lives as a whole.

Many supportive approaches such as psychological procedures exist to help people during this difficult time of adjusting to a life-threatening illness. Complementary and alternative medi­cines (CAM) can also offer an important avenue of support with an underlying philosophy that the individual experi­ence is important and connections that a person may make in their life and health are important. CAM also honours the idea that the body has its own innate healing potential which can be strength­ened in various ways. A preparation of Mistletoe would be an example of a complementary medicine which has been shown to stimulate the immune system and when given alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy can reduce fatigue and improve quality of life.

We are very fortunate here in Bristol to run a complementary cancer care service that is integrated into the rest of the acute Healthcare Trust where the hospital is sited, University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust. We see about 250 patients a year with many referrals coming directly from healthcare pro­fessionals within related cancer services and research suggests patients want their treatment choices valued and approved by their oncologists. We have a close rela­tionship with the breast care nurses work­ing with the surgical team in the north of Bristol and the team at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre.

Supportive role
Sometimes it is the simple things that seem to help and one of the things that we offer at the hospital is continuity of care. If a patient comes to us they stay with us throughout their five-visit pack­age of care which involves one hour-long consultation and four 20-minute follow-ups. A common reason for referral is for women with breast cancer who are suff­ering side-effects of their treatments such as hot flushes with Tamoxifen or joint pains with Arimidex. Other problem symptoms might include anxiety, mood and sleep disturbance. This constella­tion of symptoms associated with oestro­gen withdrawal has few in the way of conventional treatments and HRT is now contra-indicated in women with breast cancer as it could increase their risk of recurrence. Sometimes women do not want to go on conventional med­ication such as antidepressants, which is another orthodox treatment for these symptoms, because they feel they have had enough drugs and they want to approach it with gentler, non-pharma­ceutical approaches. We also see men with prostate cancer, who have similar symptoms of hot flushes, sleep distur­bance, anxiety and loss of confidence associated with their hormonal cancer treatment.

We see people coming at different points in their diagnosis. Some patients are often coming after all their cancer treatments have been carried out, but they are suffering from the ongoing side-effects of their treatments. Sometimes we see people who from the moment of diagnosis want to use homeopathy to support them through their surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Often they can be people who have used homeopathy regularly for themselves and their families and it is a natural choice to continue to do so alongside conventional treatments.

Sometimes it is the point of being told one has recurrent or advancing dis­ease that might encourage someone to come and have homeopathy and engag­ing hopefully with someone can be very important at this time of crisis.

Alison’s story
In September 2005, Alison was diag­nosed with aggressive breast cancer, one year after the birth of her baby boy, Owen, and the news was totally shock­ing. Suddenly she was a disease and not a person and she became very, very frightened and incapable of managing her life. Only one year before, she had had extensive tests on a breast lump that didn’t feel normal to her, but as she was breastfeeding and had experienced a degree of mastitis, specialists at Weston Super Mare PCT first diagnosed a per­manently blocked milk-duct. The lump was re-checked by biopsy when Owen was one and out of the blue, Grade III cancer was diagnosed which had by then spread to nearby lymph nodes. She was immediately told to stop breastfeeding and urged to take a course of coun­selling. In the space of a couple of days she was told she would have a mastec­tomy followed by radiotherapy and months of chemotherapy. She was also told that the treatment would mean that is was very unlikely she would ever have any more children.

Alison comments: “I think I went to pieces. I just couldn’t cope with the news. I became very irrational about every­thing. My husband and family basically took over and managed all my appoint­ments and took care of my son. Of course, I had to give up teaching.”

Alison was concerned about aspects of the planned treatment. As a violinist, she wanted to reduce any chance of lym­phodema as permanently swollen arms would have made it difficult to play again. She transferred to Frenchay Hospital where Simon Cawthorn had an excellent track record for avoiding lymphodema, as well as an excellent rep­utation as a breast care surgeon. She had surgery within weeks.

The counselling she received had proved necessary and effective. “I was so angry and scared and I needed to find balance for my emotions in order to function properly.” She attended a three-day course at Penny Brohn Cancer Care, a wonderful holistic centre previously known as the Bristol Cancer Help Centre. “Going there saved me from a kind of madness as I had felt like an anomaly before. There were mothers of young children, like me, and even a woman who was pregnant when diag­nosed. I decided to book on to a five-day retreat at the centre during my chemotherapy.”

The chemotherapy treatment took nine months, during which she felt very sick, was crushingly tired and lost her hair. Her days on retreat had helped her calm down and look at herself more objectively. Always an open-minded per­son, she was now determined to use everything and anything to get better. So when her oncologist Dr Braybrook suggested homeopathy, she agreed to go to the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital.

Homeopathic care
Alison was referred to the Comple­mentary Cancer Care Service via her oncologist and began a course of treat­ment to help with the side-effects of chemotherapy, to help her come to terms with her condition and to try and ensure no relapse of the cancer.

“If I had to single out one comple­mentary treatment that I really felt helped me the most,” comments Alison, “it would be homeopathy. Dr Thompson was fantastic; she spoke to me as a per­son, she really wanted to know how I ticked. She didn’t focus on my symp­toms but she focused on me as a person, how I was emotionally coping and how she could help ease the emotional pain I felt.

“I remember her asking in one sess­ion how I was and telling her that I did not think it was possible to feel more emotional pain than I felt – I said ‘I feel like my heart is breaking’. Much of this pain was associated with the devastat­ing news about my fertility and coming to terms with the fact that I would never have any more children. The remedy she prescribed changed me utterly and I turned a corner.”

Alison also has regular acupuncture, takes Chinese herbs, osteopathy and massage to keep her arms mobile and has changed her diet in line with advice from the Penny Brohn Centre, so that now she eats an almost vegan diet, avoiding meat and dairy products.

There are still difficult moments: Alison was put on a drug which brought about an early menopause, including all its symptoms. She said it “made me feel very tired and old! – older than my years, dragged down and heavy” but a repeat of her homeopathic remedy in a differ­ent potency took those symptoms away. She has had scares too – she was recalled after a mammogram, which turned out to be clear in the end. She says she is lucky to have a loving and close family, a great GP, a group of excellent com­plementary therapists and a wonderful homeopath.

Alison recognises how far she has travelled. “When I was diagnosed I was one person. I know that I left that per­son behind when I started on my jour­ney to recovery. Homeopathy played a huge part in that. I was able to find out what really mattered in life.”

Alison adds, “I am really angry about the way some of the press ridicules home­opathy. Choosing your treatment is a per­sonal thing and the right kind of treatment is different for different sorts of people, so different treatments need to be on offer so that you can make that choice. All I know is without my wonderful son, the love and support of my family and friends and the homeopathic treatment, I don’t think I could have done it.

“My homeopathic remedy is like my crutch – I seriously feel as if I can’t live without it. I don’t know what I would do without Dr Elizabeth Thompson and the Bristol NHS Homeopathic Hospital.”

Prescribing for Alison
There is always an uncertainty when prescribing homeopathic medicines par­ticularly when we are trying to individ­ualise remedies. Along with Mistletoe injections, I also prescribed X-ray 30c on the morning of radiotherapy, along with Belladonna in the afternoon, both of which have been shown in one placebo-controlled trial to reduce the inflam­mation of the skin and deeper tissues that is caused with radiotherapy.

The remedy that really seemed to create the turning point for Alison, was Stannum muriaticum. This is a remedy from the mineral kingdom and is a salt of tin. We think of tin as rather a dull metal but it is part of the silver series which we associate with people who are musicians, talented in performance and creative by nature. In order to gain accuracy with our prescribing we are learning to understand the mineral kingdom in terms of the structure of the Periodic Table: which row does someone need a medicine from and which column is most suitable? Stannum is found in the silver series or row 5 of the Periodic Table in column 14 and Stannum patients can feel a lot of anxiety around performance as if they are somehow failing.

Someone who needs Stannum has an inner experience that their performance is no longer admired and they can feel discarded and on the sidelines. Alison had said: “I am a performer and I like to perform. I am a violinist but I did lose a lot of confidence. I was so anxious, I would vomit prior to a performance.”

My initial remedy Kali arsenicosum did help with the nausea but her anxi­ety over the coming months if anything got worse and when Alison realised that she could not have any more children this was a huge grief to her. I asked her about this and she said, “I feel crushed, I have always managed to achieve, but I feel like God is a puppeteer. I feel I have lost out.” This feeling, like a puppet, is also known in the inner experience of Plumbum which again is in the same col­umn as tin but Plumbum is found in the gold series.

There was also another element to Alison’s story which would match the experience of the chloride – muriaticum – element, in row 3, column 17 of the Periodic Table and one of the halogen group. The chloride element has a rela­tionship with mothering and being mothered and there can be the experi­ence to feel that one does not get the attention and reassurance one has needed and this leads to disappointment and feelings of being let down. When the halogen state is felt strongly it can make one feel hot, restless and caged, with an anxious desire to escape or get away. Both of these substances, Stannum and muriaticum relate to physical prob­lems as well. Stannum has a relationship with cancer and with voice problems, with a loss of voice or stammering or a sense of weakness with the voice and hollowness in the chest with a hard, deep, painful cough, better for holding the chest. The stomach can feel weak and empty and there can be problems with the ovaries. Alison had a knife-like pain in the ovary at ovulation and the silver series can relate to the testes and the ovaries. The chloride, muriatic, element can often have a physical rela­tionship with the sinuses and with nasal discharge and post-nasal drip andthere can be pain in the sinuses or tenderness in the breasts which can sometimes be related to the menstrual cycle.

Great thinkers in homeopathic practice have helped us understand these medicines and be able to predict how an unknown remedy might appear. Stannum muriaticum is not a well-known remedy and yet seemed to be a good match for Alison as an individual. Nothing replaces a proving, as often the emergent properties of a substance in nature and the symptom picture that emerges through a proving, cannot be predicated, but there are many remedies we would not be able to prescribe whilst waiting for provings to be carried out.

Cancer care
I have been offering homeopathy now for 12 years in the cancer setting and it has always brought me great joy to help people at any stage of their journey through this difficult illness. The joy has been watching people get back in con­trol, manage difficult situations for themselves and sometimes transforming entirely as an individual. Many have described cancer as a wonderful oppor­tunity to do things differently, to grow and learn about oneself. There is always sadness as well as I have lost patients along the way who had become an inspi­ration to me in my busy working day.

I have learned to be flexible within this challenging area of integration and allow people to make choices that feel right for them and always to see home­opathy as just part of a wheel of healing approaches that people explore and con­nect with to support them. At the moment we are developing a business plan to try and increase the number of complementary therapies delivered into the Oncology Centre, so they might be seen as an integral part of someone’s care rather than the icing on top of the cake. I would like to see more integration in the future, a greater awareness of the wisdom of the body, the part each indi­vidual plays in their own recovery plus the role CAM has to help empower peo­ple and adjust to living with a cancer diagnosis.

Elizabeth Thompson BAOxon MBBS MRCP FFHom is Lead Clinician for a thriving outpatient service from the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital with a team of twelve doctors. There is an active research and audit programme and Elizabeth is Academic Director for a seven-year academic teaching programme.