Tag Archives: remedies

Homoeopathy in acutes – some points for ponderation…

sconesI received an invitation to a homoeopathic conference on acutes. Nice, I thought, as I perused the program, with coffee breaks and lunch artfully sandwiched between urinary tract infections, diarrheas, sunstroke and the like. I’ll have that coffee and cake thank you, with a nice heat rash on the side…

Which got me thinking about basics for treatment in acutes. Of course. So I’d like to offer up a few points for ponderation, alas, without sandwiches. Or cheese butties. Or even pita bread. But I digress.

  1. You may not be able to help someone in an acute. You may be all they’ve got, so you should definitely improve your skills and keep a stock of remedies on hand. But you have to be able to assess your skills and tools effectively, and not try to treat if you should be sending the sufferer off to someone else or even to the emergency room. And then of course – there’s common sense… no amount of Arnica in any potency, dry or in water, is going to stitch the wound or set the bone…
  1. Even if you can’t help – do not abandon the patient. Do not run off to hide in the corner, drowning in your self-loathing and disgust, or hightail it with a swagger and a “not-my-problem-anymore” attitude (even though admittedly, it can be a tremendous relief to shift the buck). This is not about you.  It’s a difficult lesson to learn, but often, even if we can’t help, the patient really appreciates us just being there. After all – we were the ones they turned to for help. Keep tabs on the patient, check in to see how they are doing, take an interest. If you couldn’t help at that crisis time, you may be able to help after the initial emergency, and they will want you to do so.
  1. There are a ton of books on what remedies to give in acutes, therapeutic directions, triads of remedies for treatment and more.   Perhaps my first major disappointments with homoeopathy were when I found that the books were… how shall I put it…fairly useless…  In acutes, as in all prescribing, look for what has changed. And in acutes, look often because things can change quickly. Are you really going to sit there wondering if your patient is yielding because they are blonde and blue-eyed, and do blonde highlights count anyway – when the patient is presenting Pulsatilla symptom after Pulsatilla symptom in ever increasing intensity? Are you going to ignore the presenting symptoms because “the book says”…? I think not. Forget all prejudice, there is no time for that. Focus on the presenting symptoms. Focus on what is there – not what is absent. The resulting remedies may surprise you – if you’re sure of the symptoms you’ve used and the materia medica you’re using, give them anyway.

Acutes can be the joy and the bane of a homoeopath’s practice. Witnessing what homoeopathy can do in acutes has brought many a doubter into the fold, and I think has kept many of us fascinated with the tool we have learned to use. On the other hand, treatment of acutes can involve a tremendous amount of nail-biting anxiety and frustration, when sometimes we see a case that has been progressing well turned over to allopaths and then relapsing, or when we hear the oft-repeated words “I think I was feeling better just before I started taking your remedy” or “I don’t think it was the remedy, I think it was Aunt Florence’s tonic of gin, mangoes, paprika and eye of newt which did the trick…” (perhaps less oft-repeated but you get the general idea).

Here endeth the soliloquy. Back to scones and sunburn… or perhaps just scones…

The “Aggravation Quiz” results

First of all, I acknowledge that the quiz I posted was essentially superficial.  My objective was to see what people out there think about aggravations in homoeopathic treatment.

Over the years I have heard so many people panic over new symptoms (OMG! it’s a proving…!), over extreme aggravations (what do I do?! what have I done?!) and more.  I have heard people express sentiments like “it’s just an aggravation, it will get better..” without thinking properly about what is happening to their patient.  I have heard of situations where patients were told “it’s just an aggravation” and landed up in the emergency room.  None of this does homoeopathy any good. Continue reading

Case quiz: eruptions on the tongue – ANSWERS


Case quiz: eruptions on the tongue

tongue case

just for illustration, not a pic of the patient!

The patient presented with an eruption on the left side of the tongue.   There was a small spot just under the tip of the tongue, and what looked like small flat red circles on the tongue itself. The area under the tongue on the right side was very dark red. The tongue itself was slightly white coated, but the patient said she had not yet eaten and that may be why.

The patient said the tongue felt like it was burning, and was especially aggravated by hot drinks, and eating in general. She said when anything touched the spot on the tongue the pain was excruciating.  She said her tongue felt very rough against her teeth, giving a sensation that the teeth were not clean, when they had just been cleaned.

Several remedies were prescribed, which all helped slightly but did not hold. The patient then reported a change in symptoms. There were now two spots on the tongue, one under the tip and one on the edge of the right side of the tongue, both extremely painful and white-ish in colour, and the tongue had become mapped.

Remedy 1 was prescribed and the condition improved significantly. The pain diminished by around 50% after the first dose, even though the spots were still present on the tongue. By the following morning, after three doses of Remedy 1, the tongue was clear, the discolouration had disappeared, and the patient was pain free.

At this point a further symptom appeared, which was not helped by Remedy 1. The patient reported a sensation of mouth ulcers inside the lower lip and then the upper lip on the left hand side. A further ulcer was reported the following day on the inside of the upper lip on the right hand side. The ulcers were hardly visible, and the lips were slightly swollen on the inside. The swelling in the lips felt firm but not hard. The patient reported that the ulcerated areas felt dry and reported discomfort when the areas touched the teeth and on pursing the lips. There may have been a slight discolouration on the ulcerated areas but the patient was not sure. The area was completely flat, not raised at all.

In addition, the patient reported a deep crack on her tongue, along the centre towards the tip.

Remedy 2 was given and the ulcers cleared significantly within a day, and completely within two days, after two doses.

What were the two remedies?


Thanks to all those who actively contributed to this discussion, and to those who worked on the case even if you didn’t chose to comment online.

Arsenicum seemed so certain for this case, that it briefly shook my confidence in homoeopathy, Hahnemann, Boeninghausen, the prescribing pharmacy and myself when  it didn’t hold… Carbo-v also looked good, but did not help. Phosphorous came up, but on checking the materia medica did not look right.

The white spots (P&W’s TPB no. 1579) narrowed the choice down to 8 remedies: Alum, Am-c, ARS, Carb-an, Phos, Sep, SIL, Sulph

I checked the other remedies in the materia medica, and since Arsenicum clearly was not working, Sepia looked like the next best candidate. I have also seen Sepia working very well in previous cases where a central presenting symptom was white apthae in the mouth.

The patient wrote after receiving the Sepia: “I had felt as if my tongue was held in pincers, almost as if there was a crab latched on to my tongue! With the first dose of the Sepia it was if it had loosened its grip, the pain eased a lot, and gradually disappeared.”

I must admit I was glad she didn’t say anything about crabs and pincers during the intake or following phone calls – it was so much easier just to look for white spots…

Remedy 2 was indeed Mercury. I used:

Face, sensations lips (247)
Ulcers, flat (26)
Aggravation, motion of affected part (2227)

Belladonna did show up in grades 4, 2, and 3. Mercury however presented here in even grades of 3 and checking in Materia Medica confirmed the prescription.

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

Case-taking and analysis: “knowing” versus “thinking”

Cogito ergo erro...(sorry, Descartes)

Cogito ergo erro…(sorry, Descartes)

As homoeopaths we must be aware of perhaps the no. 1 pitfall in analyzing a case.  And once you notice it – it cannot remain un-noticed.

Homoeopathy is not a therapy based on hunches or intuitions.  It is a therapy based on observation of fact, and knowledge.  Just go back to the Organon aphorism 3 – or simply consider the obvious.  The homoeopath’s job is to observe and elicit the information about the disease (case-taking), to know what is curative in remedies (knowledge of provings, poisonings and clinical experience), and to find the appropriate remedy, administering it with appropriate potency and dosing. 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

True beginnings – return to the real origins of homoeopathy

By Gary Weaver

The last few months has seen the Institute intently examining  the writings of Samuel Hahnemann with special reference to his thoughts regarding Chronic Diseases. I have often referred to it as a ‘theoretical’ postulation, but of late have come to realise that my understanding of his position has been deeply flawed, and it is far more than a theoretical writing. 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