Reviewed by – Alan V. Schmukler
288 pages, hb
Pub. Narayana Verlag – 2014
In the introduction to Homeopathic Remedy Pictures, Frans Kusse briefly explains what homeopathy is and what it is used for. At a time when homeopathy is becoming more complex, this book, apparently directed at beginners, attempts to simplify and give brief, memorable images. This requires distilling down something easily recognizable from a great deal of information. For many of the remedies the brief descriptions do capture an essential nature that one might recognize. The children’s descriptions hold especially true, since children exhibit a purer form of the remedy state. The book works best when it follows the formula of taking a central trait and exploring it briefly, in a grounded fashion, perhaps with a metaphor, as in Lycopodium – the teacher, or Nux vomica – the efficient manager. When you are trying to create clear images that one might easily recall, or recognize in actual people, such descriptions accomplish that goal.
For some of the remedies, the authors diverged from this approach into more general descriptions. Of Natrium Carb people we learn “Their weakness is their low self esteem”. Baryta carb people “often struggle with uncertainty” and Sulphur “seeks harmony within a relationship”. The neophyte may find such broader statements less useful for creating a memorable image.
Along with the polychrests, the reader will find constitutional pictures of “Borax people” and “Dulcamara people”, as well as those of Antimonium crud, Ruta, Agaricus and others. Some of these seem drawn from the newer systems approaches of Scholten and Sankaran. I was surprised to learn that for Antimonium crudum people, the flute is often their favorite instrument, an observation missing from my repertories and M.M.
The book gives descriptions of 65 remedies, the origin of each remedy, the kingdom and family, what the children are like, physical characteristics, food preferences, signs and indications and then four or five cartoon drawings meant to depict remedy characteristics or symptoms. The cartoons often list several characteristics of which only one is related to the picture. That might be a bit confusing when using the cartoons as memory aids. In the back of the book is a mini repertory, listing symptoms or traits of a handful of remedies (eg. “Sincere” – Causticum, Staphysagria).
When first learning homeopathy it’s fun to learn remedy pictures and try matching those with actual people. When the authors describe remedies with well established and palpable images, the book works well in that regard.