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There are many issues homeopathic practitioner may encounter, which are seldom mentioned and SHOULD serve as a reminder there is still so much work to be done in homeopathy.
One of those issues includes the use of certain terms, words in homeopathic literature/knowledge base, i.e. repertories or materia medicae, such as the word “tenesmus” mentioned in the previous issue of our newsletter , or the word “wart” as I will show in the example below. Some may think I am cherry-picking the issues, but the actual problems encountered in practice, and this is indeed one of them, are really about details like these, and if homeopathy should ever become the SCIENCE of therapeutics as it professes to be, it has a long way to go in structuring and integrating its basic data (e.g. words, terms and expressions describing certain signs and symptoms, be it disorders of the physical body or mental states of the patients) in order to be able to exploit its potential to the maximum extent.
I will illustrate the problems on the case I was involved in, indirectly, some two years ago. The patient of my friend (a student of homeopathy) wanted to get rid of the “warts” (of many years' standing) on the palms and fingers, and I was asked to help analyze the case. The case notes and some photos of the problem arrived by email – this one is pretty illustrative.
The moment I looked at it, the word “corns” came in to my mind, as this was the EXACT SAME TYPE of eruptions I used to have on my soles during my childhood. Unfortunately, as I have soon found out, there is no rubric involving “corns on the palms or fingers” in any of the repertories I have, but I was able to find ONE record of such symptom in the materia medica, specifically “Palms and soles spreckled over with corns;” in Clarke's and Kent's MM of Kalium arsenicosum.
I believed I would fare better with the search for “warts on palms” (or fingers), but there were only a few remedies (8) in the repertory and less than 15 remedies came up in the materia medica search. (NOTE: The rubrics of ANY repertory are INCOMPLETE. If in doubt, always search your materia medica for the best results.)
Many questions arise:
Digging into the issue, I have discovered the term “wart” seem to include all kinds of outgrowths and unless more properly described, it could mean almost anything. To make the matter more confused, “corns” seem to refer to either plantar warts or calluses or even both of them. If you Google-search for plantar warts images, you will discover all kind of warts which look quite dissimilar; it looks like the name is not specific enough to be used as a notion that is specific enough for homeopathy.
Kalium arsenicosum is a small remedy, poorly described in our materia medica, UNLESS, of course, we recognize it is thoroughly mixed with the provings of Arsenicum album (it was the chief preparation of arsenic used by allopaths), which does little to simplify the matter. At least we can be reasonably sure the corns-on-palms symptoms belongs to Kalium arsenicosum specifically.
Regarding the rest of the case1), Lycopodium seemed to be the indicated remedy, but it did not have “corns on palms” nor “warts on palms” nor anything of the sort. And since the patient was in no hurry, I have suggested to try Kali-ar. first, curious whether or not it will do anything at all, since the prescription was based on a single, though seemingly rare, symptom.
The patient took Kali-ar. for some time (probably weeks), but the corns have only grown worse and multiplied, with no signs of amelioration or any general indication that the remedy is doing any good.
Later, Lycopodium was prescribed, with some general improvement (more calm, less nervous), but no improvement with the warts.
Even later, after some months, by accident / act of Providence / lucky fortune or something similar, the wife of the patient told him to take the previous remedy, Kalium arsenicosum, for reasons unknown to me (but certainly not instructed to do so) and, believe it or not, his corns dissappeared overnight – evening, there, morning, not there… and did not return till this day, which is about two years. Now his hands look like this.
It certainly looked like Hahnemann's theory of miasms and antimiasmatics has something going for it, but the whole progress of the case and the final magical disappearance of the corns that survived the “best” allopathic treatment, makes this case a head-scratcher.
Feel free to post your comments in the discussion below.
|Description:||Issues in homeopathy; miasms; antimiasmatics; antipsorics; progression of the case; layers|
|Remedies:||Kalium arsenicosum; Lycopodium clavatum|
|Editing:||errors only; interlinks; formatting|