Homeopathy Papers

What Would Hahnemann Say? – Part 2

Elaine responds to feedback from her article of last month regarding the use of more than one remedy in a case.

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback like this one on the article I wrote about giving more than one remedy in a case (see last month’s ezine: May, 2010):

I have read the article/interview about use of multiple remedies as the case demands by Elaine Lewis. It is a very interesting and useful article and I am very impressed with the way Dr Lewis treated a case of kidney failure, liver problems, cancer, oedema, etc. Some doctors do not want to go a step further than what according to them Hahnemann said in Organon about using a single remedy. They call it classical homoeopathy. They forbid doctors to use more than one remedy. As I understand by single remedy, it means that doctors should not mix two or more remedies. Single remedy means giving one remedy at a time. After a gap of few hours you can give a second indicated remedy and after another hour even a third indicated remedy. We need to step forward from where Dr Hahnemann left us. There is need to constantly endeavour to improve our way of treatment. Starting treatment with very high potencies often produces severe aggravation which continues for weeks and even sometimes for months. So, instead of starting from CM potency, start with 30C to 200C. When these potencies stop working only then go to 1M potency or still bettter to change the remedy in 30C to 200C. There is a huge gap between 200C and 1000C. We should not jump from 200 to 1000. Unfortunately, remedies between 200C and 1000C are not available in our country. In USA and some other advanced countries, doctors have potency raising machines. They can give 300C potency after 200C. Dr Kent has mentioned such potencies in his books.

–Dr Jaswant S Matharu, Delhi


This is a very nice letter and I agree, especially about the plea to not to start cases off with CM potency, which seems crazy to me (see my article “Case Management in a Hop, Skip and a Jump” in this month’s issue: http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/case-management-in-a-hop-skip-and-a-jump/), but I see there is slight confusion regarding “mixing” vs. “alternating”, as I knew there would be.

Dr. Matharu says, “As I understand by single remedy means that doctors should not mix two or more remedies.”

Actually, this is true. Doctors should not “mix” two or more remedies. If a patient has mulitple diseases/conditions, one should first try to ascertain which of those conditions is causing the most suffering and start from there with a single remedy that matches the suffering at hand.

Any SUFFERING in the case should be a priority. Suffering is an energy-leak, and nothing good can come of treating the so-called “chief complaint” while the suffering continues unabated. For example, a breast cancer patient with a sprained ankle needs a sprained ankle remedy, like Bryonia or Rhus Tox.  When the acute aspect of the case is under control, you can then ask, “What’s the worst thing now?” Maybe it will be apparent to you because you’ll see that the patient is having trouble breathing, or swallowing or something else that you can’t ignore. I have heard from a patient recently whose homeopath is so “classical” that he will NOT give a remedy for her suffering because he has already administered “THE SINGLE REMEDY” that is supposed to cure the whole case, and, by golly, he’s sticking to it!  (Only, I can hear Hahnemann right now shouting, “You idiot! Your patient’s doubled over in pain, give her Colocynth!”)

What if everything, every “disease”, in the case is equally pressing? This is when you have to do as Hahnemann said in aph. 40 of the Organon and alternate remedies that apply to each dissimilar disease. This could mean giving a breast cancer remedy in the morning, and a diabetes remedy in the afternoon. This is not the same as “mixing two or more remedies”. Heaven knows we have homeopaths who are doing that! I recently heard from a patient whose homeopath had prescribed 8 or 10 remedies, all to be taken at once, three times a day!   This is not homeopathy, this is insanity!

Alternating remedies to deal with two or more dissimilar diseases or presentations in a case is not “mixing”. You will certainly see this in injuries–broken bones, scrapes and cuts, bruises, fright, anxiety, panic–one remedy cannot possibly be homeopathic to all these presentations! You can start with the panic by giving Aconite and then give Arnica for the bruising, and Calendula for the scrapes and cuts, and so on. This is not “mixing”, this is a “complex disease” and remedies have to be alternated!

I don’t think we need to “step forward from where Hahnemann left us” because most of us don’t even know where Hahnemann left us! Let’s get to that first; let’s get up to speed, then we can go forward if we have to. Everything I’ve said so far is in the Organon; I don’t know how or when we all became “psychiatrists”; but, homeopathy is for injuries and disease and infections; so, let’s learn how to do that.

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom. Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at LEWRA@aol.com Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: http://elainelewis.hpathy.com/ and TheSilhouettes.org

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  • Dr. Ellen,
    Mixing the medicines, like a “mixture” of the old allopathic doctor, by so called homeopaths is prevalent in Pakistan as well. Their reason? They want to “cover all symptoms”! It only shows their ignorance of Materia Mediaca and the teachings of that great master, Hahnemann.
    But Dr. Ellen, Bryonia for fracture? I thought Symphytum works wonders.

  • Thanks for the question, Nisar. Bryonia for fractures, why? Because when you have a fracture, what is the sensation? Sharp pain! Worse least motion! What remedy does that remind you of? Yes, Bryonia! Of course, once the the bone is set, it’s Symphytum all the way! Bryonia is for the pain of the injury when the symptoms match.

    Yes, I know about the way homeopathy is practiced by some in Pakistan, I understand the desire to want to “cover all the bases”. But this is the work of amateurs. When you can’t recognize an Arsenicum flu, which should be obvious to all of us, what can you do but give Ipecac for the nausea, Veratrum for the diarrhea, Mercury for the sore throat, Spongia for the cough, Arnica for the achy/sore feeling…and hope that one of them works! This is actually pathetic and has nothing to do with treating complex disease as Hahnemann explained in Aphorism 40: Dissimilar diseases, different etiologies, all setting up shop in different areas of the body, where one remedy cannot possibly be homeopathic to each complaint. A perfect example is what happens in a complicated injury: blunt trauma, stabbing, crushing, bleeding, fright…. One remedy is not going to cover all this; but, you start with the worst thing! Aconite might make for a good opening remedy here. Arnica might be considered next and so on.

    • “I recently heard from a patient whose homeopath had prescribed 8 or 10 remedies, all to be taken at once, three times a day! I said, “This is not homeopathy, this is insanity!”

      Read Ibid. Einleitung S. 51-54 and Hahnemann CFS. Lesser Writings. p. 460.

  • Will 30C bryonia taken by a “healthy” individual produce sharp pain? I remember an experiment where 87 healthy people were given Belladona 30C. They reported very strange things even conflicting with the usual Belladona remedy. Also true for a Pulstatilla proving. How do we know that the provings are correct in the first place? Even cinchona doesnt produce malaria like conditions any more ;).
    Another story is about a homeo lecturer who said that he will ask volunteers to prove Lachesis (yes he told what the remedy he will give would be). All people who took the medicine exhibited very strong Lachesis proving. Only to be told later that they were given pure water!

  • You know what? I’ve seen people accidently prove a remedy and darned if I didn’t find the exact symptom in the Materia Medica! I’ve been amazed at how reliable our provings are.

  • I am not a Homeopathic denier, but would like to understand it better. The study I pointed out above was conducted on 87 healthy individuals with Belladonna 30C. Here is what the researchers had to say.

    “One could criticize the fact that only predefined categories were offered to subjects for reporting the observed changes. Still one would have suspected that at least the pronounced and characteristic symptoms typical for belladonna would be visible. The fact that the symptom patterns tested showed quite erratic tendencies does certainly not speak in favor of the experimental hypothesis”

    So what went wrong? Wrong potency? Bad medicine? Unsuitable volunteers?

    • Curious, there is a methodology for homeopathy provings. If you don’t follow that, you will end up with crap. Most of the provings (including Belladonna, Pulsatilla and Cinchona) were done in non-toxic MATERIAL doses. If provings are done this way, it is very easy to elicit common symptomatology arising from that drug. Only some sensitive individuals prove in higher protencies (beyond 12C) and these symptoms need to be cautiously analysed and confirmed overtime either through repeat provings or clinically. Hahnemann later did say that medicines can be proved in 30C straight and so does Jermey Sherr but these people were able to separate wheat from chaff after doing dozens of provings. For most people, such provings are going to present a confusing picture. George Vithoulkas is also of the opinion that drugs should be first proved in non-toxic material doses. The clinical efficacy of medicines coming from Hahnemann’s earliest provings is a verification of the proving methodology that ought to be followed to get proper symptomatology arising from a substance.

      Manish Bhatia

  • More great explanations/suggestions from Elaine. I’ve had similar experiences when treating family members during which the “perfect” chronic remedy wouldn’t work until the acute illness (which just cropped up) was properly dealt with. To me this isn’t mixing remedies but instead treating what is in front of me. My wonderful mentor taught me this 🙂 Speaking of Elaine, this article was written with such gallantry, discernment and sophistication- Keep it up!!

  • Thanks Elaine. I always read your articles. You have such a knack for putting things in such a way that even a child could understand. I appreciate you.