Author: Frans Vermeulen, edited by Jenni Tree
Haarlem, NL, 2005
Hardback, 800 pages
Reviewed By: Francis Treuherz
This is the most erudite and recondite materia medica I have ever read. It exceeds even the arcane scholarship of the fastidious Otto Leeser whose chemical explanations of inorganic substances laced his mineral family materia medica with more chemistry than I ever understood. Frans Vermeulen has excelled himself with an edition of materia medica of a family or series never before published. OA Julian wrote a book on nosodes that has been badly translated as Treatise on Dynamized Micro Immunotherapy Isopathic Concretology. Until now it was the main source about remedies made from the products of disease.
This new book starts with taxonomy of bacteria and viruses on the front and rear end papers. Using these charts one can immediately see the relationship of all the bacteria and viruses, and the homeopathic medicines which are prepared from them – if any. For there are bacteria that have not been used as a medicine. I suspect that the publication of the information in this book will lead to some more provings of new remedies, and some real provings of partly or hardly proved remedies, for there are many rudimentary materia medica pictures here in this volume.
Each material is described in detail with some excellent typographical devices to enhance, illustrate or summarise the information, before the materia medica is given, that is, where it exists. Here we can learn about the diseases and their symptoms and pathology as well as the bacteria and viruses. At one stroke this book replaces our allopathic textbooks of infectious diseases as all the material appears together in an integrated fashion.
There is a set of introductory chapters, explaining not only the nomenclature and classification but also the differences between nosodes and vaccines for example, and as many questions as answers.
Here is a full explanation of the mysteries of the Bach and Paterson bowel nosodes, Borrelia and Brucellosis. I have only ever prescribed Malandrinum once but after reading this I can see a couple of cases where I missed it. The ‘tuberculinums’ are differentiated, the gonorrhoeas are disseminated, the spirochaetes are delineated. Avian flu and Oscillococcinum are properly described. I have already used the book to assist a student working on a project on MRSA. I looked in vain for Candida and realised it is a fungus, and must appear in another volume, instead I found Campylobacter and Herpes and more.
There is a rich bibliography at the end, although there are many other references that are not fully sourced. There is a thorough glossary, and an index, which usefully capitalises remedy names within the rest of the information. This book, like so much of Frans Vermeulen’s work, will rapidly become an indispensable modern classic, and richly deserves to do well.