Category Archives: proving

Viewed through proving: Sulphur and the art of map-reading

Sulphur is a huge remedy.  With 1969 symptoms listed in the Chronic Diseases proving, it is unwieldy to “just look at”.

You can work with provings just as you would use maps to get to know a new city.  Perhaps Sulphur is an ideal proving to show the importance of this way of working.  When visiting a place you have not been before, it’s often interesting to get to know it on foot, with no prior information, absorbing the sights and sounds and getting interestingly lost. Continue reading

Viewed through proving: Sulphur stand-outs

Sulphur has 1969 symptoms, covering every area and system of the organism.  Especially noticeable in the proving are symptoms dealing with the stomach and the hepatic region (approx.  189 symptoms), the lower extremities (180 symptoms) Cough, chest and respiration symptoms (around 142), and symptoms relating to sleep, dreams, and the night time (137). Continue reading

Homoeopathy – on one leg…

Pulsatilla, anyone?

Pulsatilla, anyone

“If it’s so easy, why isn’t everyone working this way?”

I was asked this question at a seminar I gave several years ago. This is a question that frequently puzzles us at the IHM. Because it is easy.

True, a lot of hard work is needed to get expertise, and then to improve expertise. To read, re-read, and analyze materia medica. To read and discuss cases. To comb the Organon and Hahnemann’s other writings for better understanding of the underpinning of homoeopathy – essential for prescription and case-management; for case-taking clues; for accurate work with remedies. It’s not always easy to get rid of our preconceptions regarding remedies, to learn to be able to prescribe Pulsatilla on prescribing symptoms whether the patient is a sumo wrestler or a petite, sweet blonde. It’s not always easy to focus on absolute, presenting symptoms when our learned “knowledge” is giving us all kinds of useless hints regarding constitutionals, core delusions, sensations and similar.

Jewish tradition records a story of someone who came to a venerable Rabbi and asked him to explain the entire teachings of the law while standing on one leg.

Well here’s homoeopathy on one leg. Take your case. Take only what has changed and is presenting for prescribing, against the backdrop of the patient’s life and habits. Only use symptoms you could swear to in a court of law. Use symptoms which show the individual expression of illness in your patient.  Look for a remedy that can produce similar symptoms in the healthy, and thus create a similar, slightly stronger, artificial state in your patient. Find the core of that information in the proving. Prescribe.

Still standing here…

The thing is, once you drop the theories, the speculations, once you move away from trying to be clever and insightful, you start looking at what is in front of you. You work with the information the patient gives you about his state of illness (morbid state) – not with your speculations about his personality, or information about whether he’s always loved chicken, or whether he played with Barbie dolls as a child. You work with what you can know about remedies – information contained in the provings. You work with some information gleaned from poisoning and clinical work.  Some of this information was chosen by Hahnemann for inclusion in his provings.   This information should only be taken from the most reliable practitioners (in case you didn’t get it, at the IHM we focus mainly on Hahnemann and Boenninghausen’s work). You put it together and prescribe.

Aphorism 3, my friends. And as the learned Rabbi is reputed to have said, now go and learn the rest…

On Idiosyncracy, Provings and Campbell’s soup.

No, this is not an advert...

No, this is not an advert…

On Idiosyncracy, provings and Campbell’s soup.

I was working with a nutritionist a long time ago, and our conversation turned to a recent scandal about food-poisoning from Campbell’s soup. There had been an uproar at the time, and the company countered with a statement that the risk was only one in ten thousand. “That’s all very well,” countered the nutritionist, “but it doesn’t help if you’re the one…” Continue reading

Viewed through proving: a sideways look at Oleander

oleanderHahnemann writes about Oleander: “It will be found to be if not a complete remedy yet an indispensable intermediate remedy in some kinds of mental derangements, e.g. absence of mind, and in certain kinds of painless paralysis, in eruptions on the head, and some external head affections.” Continue reading

Viewed through proving: Camphor – a brief overview

One last post before leaving Camphor.

This proving of 345 symptoms does not go far enough in understanding the extent of Camphor’s potential use. Hahnemann stated in his introduction that (bold is mine):

“In its curative action camphor is just as puzzling and wonderful, for it removes the violent effects of very many, extremely different, vegetable medicines (and even those of the animal drug cantharides and of many mineral and metallic drugs), and hence it must have a sort of general pathological action, which, however, we are unable to indicate by any general expression; nor can we even attempt to do so for fear of straying into the domain of shadows, where knowledge and observation cease, whilst imagination deceives us into accepting dreams as truth; where we, in short, abandoned by the guiding of plain experience, grope about in the dark, and with every desire to penetrate into the inner essence of things, about which little minds so presumptuously dogmatize, we gain nothing by such hyperphysical speculations but noxious error and self-deception.” Continue reading

Viewed through proving: Camphor’s alternating nature

devilWhen I first came across Camphor as a student, my first thought was “hell freezing over”. The intense cold, the feverish heat, the intermingling and alternation of the two as they tortured the patient…

In the proving, this heat and cold is strongly expressed, internally and externally, through the whole body and in individual parts.

This partial proving has a total of 345 rubrics. Amongst them, we can see approximately 26 mentions of heat (including warmth and burning), and approximately 33 mentions of cold and chill. Opposite sensations are even presented in the same symptoms, alternating or simultaneous, for example: Continue reading

Viewed through proving: Phosphoric Acid and headaches

head painWhat headache is your patient dealing with? What makes it better, and what makes it worse? Does it extend, and if so – where to? Here’s Phosphoric Acid’s headache from Hahnemann’s proving in Chronic Diseases. Bold italics are mine. Continue reading

10 Tips for working with homoeopathy provings

Some things are certain...

Some things are certain…

Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Some of you are very interested in articles on provings, and some of you avoid them like the plague. It would be easy enough to blame it all on students who don’t want to read lengthy shopping lists of gory symptoms – but many, if not most practitioners don’t read provings either. Continue reading

Hahnemann nails the argument…

By Vera Resnick

hahnemannIn his preface to the proving of Arsenicum Album in Chronic Diseases, Hahnemann really nails many of the arguments we face in our own, modern allopathically brainwashed societies today. Rather than comment, here is Hahnemann in his own pithy, erudite, and very sharp words. I’ve highlighted some words in bold. This is only an excerpt. There’s more. Go read.

“ARSENICUM ALBUM.

“As I write down the word Arsenic, momentous memories seize upon my soul. Continue reading