Friday, 12 June 2015

HomoeoProphylaxis Part 2

When the world is making great strides in promoting hygiene, Hahnemann clearly evaluated the principles of hygiene and isolation of the sick during an epidemic. The isolation of the sick from the rest of the population limits the spread of disease. Is it not amazing to note that Hahnemann has given detailed instructions on how to set up an isolation (ward) for the infected people? Sterile masks and gowns were unknown then, Hahnemann has proposed the use of  an oil cloth cloak covering till foot while visiting the sick and change of the same while going out. Disinfecting, airing of the rooms, sterilizing the rooms where the sick had lived; importance of fresh air; clean and nourishing food; even the minutest detail had been thought of by the master. We have had a previous post on Homoeoprophylaxis which can be read here and a discussion on facebook which can be read here.

Continuing from the previous post on Homoeoprophylaxis, where I have described the method Hahnemann adopted in scarlet fever with the use of Belladonna as a prophylactic against scarlet fever. There is a specific way of preparing prophylactic medicines. In preparing Belladonna as prophylactic against scarlet fever, he used fresh leaves of Bell before the flowers are bloomed. This is then bruised in a mortar and the juice is then pressed through a linen. This extract is then air dried thoroughly after which the powder is stored. The preparation of the prophylactic remedy begins from this powder.  A grain of this powder is dissolved in 100 drops of distilled water by rubbing it in a small mortar. A strong solution of Bell is prepared from this solution after adding 300 drops of diluted alcohol (after rinsing the mortar with it). Shake it. Now, the diluted alcohol is composed of five parts of water to one part of spirit. After this a medium solution of Bell is prepared by taking a drop from the strong solution and mixing it with 300 drops of diluted alcohol;this is to be shaken for a minute. The next step is the preparation of a weak solution of Bell. A drop from the medium solution is taken and mixed with 200 drops of alcohol, shaken for a minute forms the prophylactic remedy.

Hahnemann has also described a specific mode of administration of this drug as a prophylactic. He has stressed on the dosage and repetition of the medicine. Two drops are given to a one year old child. A Child younger than this gets single drop. Three drops are given to a two year old child. Four drops to a three year old child. A four year old child could be given five to six drops according to his constitution. A five year old child receives six to seven drops. A six year old gets seven to eight drops ; a seven year old receives nine to ten drops; an eight year old gets eleven to thirteen drops; a nine year old from fourteen to sixteen drops; and with successive year up to the twentieth two drops more, not above forty drops. The dose must be given after stirring for a minute with any kind of drink. It is given every seventy two hours as long as the epidemic lasts and four to five weeks thereafter. If the epidemic is very violent and the children could bear it, the second dose should be taken twenty four hours after the first, the third dose thirty six hours after the second, the fourth forty eight hours after the third, and thereafter to let the subsequent dose be taken every seventy two hours until the end.

Homoeoprophylaxis is incomplete without discussion on the mode of treatment of the patient in an epidemic. There is no question of constitutional prescribing in prophylaxis. Genus epidemicus and anti psorics form the basis of treatment of epidemics. The genus epidemicus are selected from the the non anti psoric group of medicines. If the disease is not too severe, olfaction of a globule moistened with the medicine is the preferable mode of administration.

 If the patient is already under the treatment for a chronic diseases, the antipsoric medicine must be stopped during an epidemic. A considerable duration of time might be lost in the treatment of a chronic disease thereby. At the end of the epidemic,to continue the treatment of chronic disease, the case should be re taken and continued. The picture of the sufferings are usually altered after recovery from an epidemic. Even the part of the body suffering could be different. The anti psoric, now homoeopathic to the case must be selected and administered.

Intermittent fevers by themselves require an elaborate discussion. In epidemic intermittent fevers, psora is always involved. If the patient is not under anti psoric treatmment before the onset of the epidemic fever, a dose of Sulphur or Hepar Sulph at the beginning of treatment helps in the recovery of the patient.. This can be given internally or through olfaction. After the improvement from this ceases in few days, then one or two doses of non anti psoric medicine selected as the genus epidemicus should be given . The medicines are to be given at the end of an attack. China should never be used in epidemic intermittent fevers as it will only suppress the type. China should be used only in endemic intermittent fever, that too only in connection with anti psoric medicines.

The intermittent fevers may appear in a changed form each year. The medicines also differ, with their changed forms. To Quote Hahnemann from Chronic Diseases where he talks about epidemic intermittent fevers and their treatment, " One year they require Arsenic, another Belladonna, another Antimonium Crudum, or Spigelia, Aconite, with Ipecac, alternating with Nux Vom, Sal Ammoniacum, Natrum Muriaticum, Opium, Cina, alone or in alternation with Capsicum, or Capsicum alone, Menyanthes Trifoliata, Calcarea Carb, Pulsatilla, one of the two Carbos, Arnica alone or in alternation with Ipecac, and with these they were cured in a few days." If anti psoric medicines are homoeopathic to the cases they too could be given.

In severe cases of fever, where there was no anti psoric treatment taking place before the epidemic, even after treatment with the genus epidemicus, there will always be left after pains or secondary diseases will be found left. Such diseases have the tendency to become chronic.This was observed in the chickungunya outbreak in Kerala in 2007 , in patients who had the severe attack of the fever were left crippled. Most of them were mismanaged with antibiotics is another story. Chickungunya, a self limiting, non fatal diseases took several lives in this outbreak. "With all patients in intermittent fever, psora is essentially involved in every epidemy", is what Hahnemann says in Chronic diseases.  The patient will have to be treated with anti psorics as per the principles proposed by Hahnemann for the cure of psora.

The sequelae to diseases like measles, whooping cough etc. are again due to the explosion of psora. The sequelae can be prevented with the correct homoeopathic treatment of the epidemic disease itself. The sequelae can become chronic, if not treated properly with antipsorics. Sometimes there develops eruptions after the termination of the epidemic. This is again secondary psora and comes out due to the psora remaining behind after the repression from the skin of the original eruption. These require no treatment and terminates on its own. The epidemic fevers which do not pass into good health require a dose of Sulphur, if the patient has not used sulphur containing medicine shortly before is what Hahnemann says.

I do not claim that prophylaxis is complete with this post. Hahnemann, the great master has detailed even the finest points for the management of epidemics. I have tried to highlight a few of them. What are your experiences with prophylaxis? Do share them and let us learn from one another...

Monday, 27 April 2015


Aren't we all approached by patients for prophylactic medicines against common epidemics? A prophylaxis is a treatment given or action taken to prevent diseases. While speaking of prophylaxis, it is the practice of vaccination that is immediately recalled. Prophylaxis was practiced by medical men from long time. It was after Edward Jenner started inoculation with cow pox for protection against small pox, that the procedure started being called vaccination. Edward Jenner observed this effect in nature, that a person infected with milder cowpox was afforded protection against the more virulent small pox.  But then we cannot depend on nature alone for prophylaxis; for nature has its own happy go lucky operations.

The aim of prophylaxis is to offer protection against infectious diseases. Today, more and more people are turning to homoeopathy for prophylactic medications. They are disillusioned with the modern vaccination regime. Are we doing homoeoprophylaxis in the right way? Hahnemann has left no gaps in applying the principles of homoeopathy to every possible ailments of mankind. The organon of Medicine, sixth edition has given a complete set of guidelines to treating and preventing epidemic diseases. Examples of application of his methodology can be found in his Lesser Writings. In chronic diseases too, he makes a mention of how anti psoric treatment be altered when the patient is affected with epidemics. His ardent followers too made use of his wise philosophy.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The 50Millesimal Scale of Potentization as Described in Sixth Edition of Organon of Medicine

This post is an attempt to give a brief introduction of 50 millesimal scale of dynamization as portrayed in the sixth edition of Organon of Medicine, written by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. This scale introduced in the sixth edition is called as the perfected method of dynamization by Hahnemann. The name 50 millesimal potencies for this latest and perfected method of potentization of Hahnemann was given by Dr.Pierre Schmidt.

The Organon of Medicine is the reference book for LM potency. Till the sixth edition, the centesimal scale was used often. There were some difficulties while using the medicines in centesimal scale. I know most of us face similar problems. What would they be? It is every sincere physician's wish to provide the gentlest and the swiftest cure to the patient.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Nash's Trios of Flatulence: Learn A Drug Challenge

Books Referred : Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics, Nash
                              Lectures on Clinical Materia Medica, Farrington
                              A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, Clarke
                              Allen's Keynotes

 Nash's trios of flatulence are Carbo Veg, Lycopodium and Cinchona, well known to every student of homoeopathy. Nash is definitely a master when it comes to grouping of medicines, making our life easier. Carbo Veg has flatulence in the upper abdomen, Lycopodium in the lower abdomen and Cinchona in the entire abdomen. There is a lot more in the symptomatology of these drugs which would help us in selecting the similimum wisely.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Nutrition Nightmares- Part 2

A child was brought into my clinic by a loving father and a doting grand father. The 2 year old kid has a cold and a cough, seasonal, I would say. The dad says the daughter has a cold and a loss of appetite. How do you prescribe for a running nose, an everyday dilemma of a homeopath. I need more details. Anything else, "No, just the cold and she is not eating anything." We have been warned by our teachers not to ask leading questions to our patients. I am at a loss. We engage in a Q&A session, still yielding only an affirmative for cough and a no for fever. The father doesn't know other details or has failed to notice the changes in her routine, that would have been really helpful to me. He is back to the loss of appetite now. Here is what I have to say. You have a cold, the body identifies that something is out of sorts with your body. Who would want to stuff on an elaborate meal? At least this little girl is active and playing about. A cranky child would be a lot in the parents hands. No matter how serious or how superfluous the disease is, there is this obsession about "Not eating anything". The body has its turn offs and its absolutely normal to not want to eat much, when you are sick. The care should be on providing the required nutrients for the body to recover in the shortest possible time, without much damage.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A Comprehensive Guide to Select a Remedy for Suppuration : Learn A Drug Challenge

Books Referred:  Lectures on Clinical Materia Medica, Farrington
                            Kent's Materia Medica
                            Nash's Leaders in Homeopathic Therapeutics

For any given diagnosis or for any given set of symptoms, there are several drugs in our materia medica to choose from. Suppurations are one difficult case for me to treat. A wrong move could easily spoil the case, further it could lead them to a surgeon's knife. Farrington, in his Clinical Materia Medica gives a list of drugs for inflammations that has gone into suppurations, whether the disease be a boil, a tonsillitis or any other form of inflammation. They are Belladonna, Hepar, Mercurius, Lachesis, Silicea and Sulphur.

Belladonna is at the head of the list. Belladonna is the preferred remedy in the beginning of inflammation as in tonsillitis. A point of importance in Bell is the sudden and violent onset.There is intense heat and burning in the parts involved. The person cannot tolerate any jar, he will not even let the bed to be moved. The throat is bright red and swollen, difficulty in swallowing fluids and sharp pains. The pains come suddenly, they remain longer or shorter and goes suddenly. The fever too is never continuous. There is often a thirst in Bell fever, sometimes in large quantities other times constantly to wet the dry mouth. In fever the Bell has hot head with cold extremities. We may think of Bell in an abscess, when pus develops with lightning like rapidity.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

How to Differentiate Rhus Tox and Bryonia in Fever : Learn A Drug Challenge

Books Referred: Lectures on Clinical Materia Medica, Farrington
                           A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, Clarke
                           Lectures on Materia Medica, Kent
                           Homoeopathic Treatment of Influenzas, D. M. Borland

While still a student, any cases of fever with body pains would always bring a picture of Rhus Tox or Bryonia to my mind. It was not until later, I realized that there are much more drugs with body pains along with fever. It takes a lot of reading to retain the finer points of drug differentiation. Bryonia and Rhus Tox are complementary remedies. This week in Learn A Drug Challenge, is a humble attempt to highlight the similarities and the differences between the two in fever.

The complaints of Bryonia comes from exposure to cold air. The influenza, pneumonia, pleurisy, rheumatism etc. all could be caused after exposure to cold air. Bryonia is also indicted for complaints that come when warm weather sets in, taking cold or getting hot in summer. In Rhus Tox, it is usually the dampness that brings on the complaints. Lying on damp ground, too much summer bathing in river or lake, exposure to damp cold weather etc.

Monday, 23 February 2015

A Photo Diary of Bryonia: Learn A Drug Challenge

Books Referred:  Allen's Keynotes
                             A Dictionary of Practical  Materia  Medica,  Clarke
                             Leaders in Homoeopathic  Therapeuics , Nash

The weather is taking a turn; I wouldn't say it is for the better. In this part of the world it is always hot and hotter. The rains bring a respite in the heat,it becomes mildly pleasant when the rest of the world is hugging fire and now it’s hot again. Bryonia would soon be at your beck and call. The Allen’s Keynotes describes Bryonia for complaints: when warm weather sets in, after cold days; from cold drinks or ice in hot weather; after taking cold or getting hot in summer; from chilling when overheated.
This drug study of Bryonia for week 5 of Learn a Drug challenge is a photo diary of all the prominent  symptoms of Bryonia. Bryonia is a broad spectrum drug and one that no  homoeopath can  live without. Hence, this week, I present some of the most prominent symptoms  of  Bryonia through photos/ posters whatever you would like to call it.

Bryonia  patients irritable, inclined to be angry. They like to be left  alone. They get angry when questioned.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Chelidonium, More than a Liver Remedy: Learn A Drug Challenge

Books Referred:  The Essence of Materia Medica, Vithoulkas
                              Leaders in Homoeopathic Therapeutics, Nash
                              Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Kent
                             A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, Clarke
The Essence of Materia Medica was a much neglected book in my library. It was out of sheer disappointment in finding a similimum to a close acquaintance whose mental generals were a common knowledge in our household that I happened to chance upon this book. The similimum was selected, prescribed and the patient was cured. Thus started my love for this book and I started reading this book religiously for a long time.
Chelidonium was a drug you prescribed in tincture form for those with liver troubles, which summed up my knowledge of Chelidonium till I read Vithoulkas’s Essence of Materia Medica. Chelidonium does have a mind of its own. “Constant pain under the lower and inner angle of right scapula”, a dark lettered symptom in Allen’s Keynotes is known to one and all, who know about Chelidonium.  Nash goes on to add that “This very characteristic symptom may be found in connection with general jaundice, cough, diarrhea, pneumonia, menses, loss of milk, exhaustion etc., in fact, no matter what the name of the disease this symptom present should always bring to mind Chelidonium and close scouting will generally reveal hepatic troubles or complications as would be naturally expected with such a remedy.”
Chelidonium are forceful, dictatorial individuals. They like to force their opinions on others.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Check list of Symptoms of Ferrum Phosphoricum in Fevers :Learn A Drug Challenge

Books Referred: Lectures on Materia Medica, Dr. J. T. Kent
                            A Synoptic Key to Materia Medica, C. M. Boger
                           Homoeopathic Drug Pictures, M. L. Tyler
Ferrum Phosphoricum is widely used for the treatment of fever, to control or bring down the fever. It was widely promoted by Schussler as part of his twelve tissue remedies. His practice was to use it in the first stage of inflammatory fevers. This post is about the symptoms of Ferrum Phos in fever, but let me quote from Kent to remind you not to restrict it in fevers alone. Kent says, “While it has been used by Schuessler's followers for the first stage of inflammatory fevers, it is useful in the higher potencies in chronic diseases, and is a deep acting anti-psoric.”
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