Title: Free as A Bird, Bird Remedies in Homeopathic Practice
Author: Markus Kuntosch, MD.
English edition, 2018
Publisher: Narayana Verlag
238 pages, hard cover, full color
Reviewer: Vatsala Sperling, MS, PhD, PDHom, CCH, RSHom
During the early 1900s, in the three volumes of “A Dictionary of Practical Materia Médica”, J.H. Clarke mentioned less than one hundred remedies made from the entire animal kingdom. In these volumes, the majority of the remedies are from plant sources, the next bulk is from minerals and the least number of remedies are from animal sources. This issue was noticed in 1990’s by modern researchers and practitioners from around the world. As newer systems of grouping homeopathic remedies were developed, the entire animal kingdom became a huge resource for newer remedies. These remedies were proven and made available to practitioners because innovative homeopaths began to understand the parallel between the themes expressed by animals, and their reflection in the human narrative. Now, we have remedies available from every subkingdom of the kingdom animalia and as far as birds are concerned, you guessed right, they have naturally flown and nestled themselves cozily amongst the list of remedies that we now have available. Rajan Sankaran, Nancy Herrick, Jonathan Shore, Peter Fraser andBhawisha and Sachindra Joshi have done pioneer work in the field of bird remedies.
Though newer repertories do include bird remedies, there was a time not long ago, when almost everyone needing a bird remedy got Falcon or Hawk, because provings were readily available for those birds. However, a deeper understanding of birds, their habitat, habits, mating rituals and nurturing of the hatchlings is being gained and it stands to reason that the reflections of these themes are being observed in people needing bird remedies.
At this juncture, Dr. Markus Kuntosch has made a very highly valuable contribution to understanding bird themes in daily practice. He has expanded the list of 16 bird remedies presented in Jonathan Shore’s book to 21 remedies in his new book, “Free as a bird, bird remedies in homeopathic practice”. You can ask incredulously, well, is this a big leap really? I would say yes, because though more than 100 bird remedies are available for prescription, Dr. Kuntosch has chosen 21 that he has encountered in his daily practice. Instead of wandering off to the biology of birds per se, Dr. Kuntosch has kept his two feet firmly grounded in his encounters with bird remedies in his own daily practice. That is one of the most important strengths of this book.
A quick overview of bird themes and their biological characteristics is followed by how Dr. Kuntosch finds bird remedies in his practice. He looks for bird themes, proving information, repertory, gestures, sensation, favorite color, hand writing, drawing, hand test, favorite bird and usage of bird terms. He has presented 21 bird remedies from 6 different group of birds: raptors, sea birds, song birds, chicken, geese and exotic birds. There are 36 cases from his practice that he uses to chisel out the bird remedy picture.
As I read along, I found another strength of this book—- the patient narratives are expertly edited and concisely written, so that the reader gets the idea very, very clearly but does not get lost in the verbatim expressions of the patients and their complaints. In these narratives, the reader can see the remedy picture of the birds. In case analysis, Dr. Kuntosch does differential diagnosis, and very clearly presents his logic for choosing a particular remedy. Follow up shows progress on the remedy and this section is followed by a small write up about the bird. The author has very cleverly made sure to keep this information clipped short, because most of this information is readily available on the internet. After reading this book, I felt confident that I could readily spot the bird remedies fleshed out in this book, in my own practice.
In my view, the greatest purpose of writing a contemporary book on bird remedies based on what the practitioner sees in his patients, is to tell the readers what exact pointers lead him to choose a bird remedy, and how the patients respond to the given remedy. This aim has been successfully fulfilled by Dr. Kuntosch.I congratulate him on his excellent, brief, logical, practical and clutter-free presentation of the bird remedies as seen in his own practice. Well done!
Further useful information about bird remedies is available in the Appendix.
The book is a hard cover, full color book with lovely photographs of the birds and it can serve very well as a quick reference in your office. Narayana -Verlag has published the book with a belief that production quality is important. I am glad they are good at this job because a good book like “Free as a bird” by Dr. Markus Kuntosch deserves nothing less.
I am very happy that I got to read this book and tell you about it. I can foresee myself referring to this book over and over again and certainly you might find yourself doing the same as you decide to get a copy for yourself.