Interview with Dr. Farokh Master

schuett june master

Welcome to Hpathy Dr. Master! We are fortunate to have one of the world’s most experienced homeopaths with us today. We look forward to you sharing your thoughts and experience with us.

KS: How did you come to homeopathy after giving up your studies at the orthodox school of medicine?

FM: My joining a homoeopathic school was purely accidental. The late Dr. Sarosh Wadia, an eminent homoeopathic doctor, encouraged me to study homeopathy. My mother also was a big devotee of homeopathy, therefore I decided to join a homeopathic school.

KS: A large portion of your patients suffer from cancer, neurological diseases, or other severe pathologies. How successful is homeopathic treatment in these cases?

FM: I have been practicing hospital medicine for over three decades. Now when I see lots of advanced pathologies, the results are dependent on the nature of each case. However, the majority of patients that consult me feel better in some way. Often I am even able to remove the pathology totally. I don’t have numerical figures, but in general I can say homoeopathy works wonders in cases of cancer and other severe pathologies.

KS: What is the most often committed mistake in homeopathic practice?

FM: The most common mistakes in homoeopathy are as follows:

  • Up to 80% of our failures are related to the physician himself:

  • 40% – Defective case taking

  • 15% – Defective case analysis

  • 10% – Difficulty searching the materia medica

  • 10% – Defective tools

  • 10% – Defective patient

  • 5% – Defective diseases

  • 5% – Wrong assessment on the follow-up

  • 5% – Incurable cases

In homoeopathy there are great variations in skill and success from physician to physician. If we glance at the history of homeopathy, we realize with great astonishment that of the many thousands of homeopathic physicians, very few mastered their discipline. It is well recognized that aside from Hahnemann, the two physicians who obtained the greatest success in homeopathy were Lippe and Bœnninghausen. We can say that both of these men reached the promised land of homeopathy. Other great prescribers of our school would include P. P. Wells, H. N. Guernsey, Carroll Dunham and Constantine Hering.

Now let’s examine what was common to all of these great practitioners.
They were all Hahnemannians. They all practiced pure homeopathy, the homeopathy of Hahnemann. They all confirmed that the most successful way of practicing homeopathy is the Hahnemannian way. But what made them better than the other Hahnemannians? There are two keys common to the success of these masters. The first one is constant study of the writings of Hahnemann. It seems that the more they studied Hahnemann and understood his genius the greater was their success.

Another reason for the success of these masters mentioned above is that they were all great students of the materia medica. The more they studied the materia medica the better prescribers they became.

KS: You include iscador therapy in cancer treatment. To which patients do you recommend it?

FM: I recommend iscador to many patients. The sad part is its non-availability in India and the high cost.

KS: You have largely contributed to extending the homeopathic Materia Medica. How often do you find yourself prescribing one of the lesser known or newly proven remedies?

FM: I do use small remedies or lesser known remedies, but I use them infrequently, perhaps in only 10-15 % of my cases.

KS: Are there any which have already acquired the rank of a polychrest in your practice?

FM: Aloe is one such remedy (Thanks to Dr. Andre Saine who taught me this remedy). The symptoms include :

  • Great impatience and hurriedness.

  • Indolence, which can alternate with activity.

  • Low stamina.

  • Hates people; repels every one.

  • Aversion to change. Tendency for fixation and obsession.

  • Startles easily.

  • Worse cloudy weather.

  • Worse hot weather.

  • Worse heat, better cold.

  • Better open air, better exercise in the open air.

  • Worse in the morning, better in the evening: energy, moods, indolence, control of sphincter ani. Tired in the morning and the rest of the day, but the fatigue vanishes in the evening; a crowd of thoughts busy him, cannot get to sleep for a long time.

  • Better passing stool or flatus: abdominal or rectal pain, heaviness, palpitation, and headaches.

  • Chronic or recurrent diarrhea.

  • Involuntary stools. Stool unnoticed.

  • Ailments from suppressed skin eruptions, headaches, and diarrhea, and ailments from drugs.

KS: What is most important in understanding the symptom picture of remedies and patients?

FM:The two key qualitative aspects in understanding the symptom picture of the remedies and patient is:

  1. Constant and strict individualization (Para. 82). Individualization at all times in the selection and administration of the remedy.

  2. Complete objectivity. Meaning total objectivity in our examination of the patient, in conducting of provings and in the selection of the remedy.

  3. As Dr. Hahnemann would say, “In order accurately to perceive what is to be observed in patients, we should direct all our thoughts upon the matter we have in hand, come out of ourselves, as it were, and fasten ourselves, so to speak, with all our powers of concentration upon it, in order that nothing that is actually present, that has to do with the subject, and that can be ascertained by all the senses, may escape us.

“Poetic fancy, fantastic wit and speculation must for the time be suspended, and all over-strained reasoning, forced interpretation and tendency to explain away things must be suppressed. The duty of the observer is only to take notice of the phenomena and their course; his attention should be on the watch, not only that nothing actually present escape his observation, but that also what he observes be understood exactly as it is.” (The Medical Observer. Materia Medica Pura Vol. II.)

Unfortunately the current generation of homoeopaths who largely follow newer unscientific non-Hahnemannian methods, do not follow what Hahnemann writes, and as a result fail miserably in their practice.

The most important thing in my practice is to use a reliable materia medica.

How often have I heard of “pretend” homeopaths doing provings by putting the remedy under the pillow or of considering part of the proving the symptoms occurring up to two weeks prior to taking the remedy, or to include in the provings the symptoms of the people surrounding the provers. Most of the current teachings on materia medica have little to do with carefully carried out provings and clinical observations. Instead it is often replaced by the free flowing imaginations, opinions, interpretations and poetic fancies of their authors.

Have these teachers not read the first paragraph of Hahnemann’s favorite paper, “The Genius of the Homeopathic Healing Art”, which says,

“It is impossible to guess at the internal nature of diseases, and at what is secretly changed by nature in the organism, and it is folly to attempt to base the cure of them on such guess-work and such proportions; it is impossible to divine the healing-power of medicines according to chemical hypothesis or from their colours, smell, or taste; and it is a folly to use these substances for the cure of diseases based on such hypotheses and such propositions.”

Have these teachers forgotten to read paragraph 144 of the Organon:
“All conjecture, everything merely asserted or entirely fabricated, must be completely excluded from such a materia medica: everything must be the pure language of nature carefully and honestly interrogated.”

Or the footnote to paragraph 285 (a):
“It is a cardinal principle that distinguishes the homeopathic physician from all so-called physicians of the old school, that he never uses on any of his patients a medicine whose pathological effects he has not previously determined by careful proving on the healthy.”

Or in the introduction to Camphora:

Camphora “must have a sort of general pathological action, which, however, we are unable to indicate by any general expression; nor can we even attempt to do so for fear of straying into the domain of shadows, where knowledge and observation cease, whilst imagination deceives us into accepting dreams as truth; where we, in short, abandoned by the guiding of plain experience, grope about in the dark, and with every desire to penetrate into the inner essence of things, about which little minds so presumptuously dogmatize, we gain nothing by such hyperphysical speculations but noxious error and self deception.”

Another interesting anecdote on this subject relates to P. P. Well. When he first started to study homeopathy in 1841, Hahnemann’s materia medica had not yet been translated, so he had to first learn German to read Hahnemann. About forty years later when asked by a younger colleague which materia medica should be studied, he answered Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases and Materia Medica Pura. When the student asked “What else?”, Wells answered, “That is enough.”

At the bottom of all this development and use of unreliable materia medica is the lack of understanding of the strict inductive method of Hahnemann, which essentially consists in finding the truth through the most careful observation and meticulous experimentation. It consists of deriving principles from facts as compared to the common deductive approach which consists of using your imagination, opinions, hypotheses, suppositions, poetic fancies, and extrapolation to constantly interpret what is partially observed.

KS: You have written more than 50 books. “Clinical Observations of Children‘s Remedies“ is one of them, and an excellent materia medica derived from your clinical experience. When do you consider a symptom to be reliable enough to be included in the materia medica?

FM: Only when I have used this remedy in at least 10 cases successfully and there has been a deep amelioration of the patients symptoms.

KS: Besides the classical homeopathic anamnesis, you use other valuable tools to understand a child’s unconscious. Could you go more into detail?

FM: The following tools are very useful:

  • Books like-Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940 (Jung Seminars)

  • Works of Alice Miller née Rostovski

  • Childhood re-imagined: by Shiho Main

  • Dream interpretations

  • Rarely drawing interpretation

  • Toy therapy and fairy tale test

I try and analyze the child, especially those between 8-11 years, for the childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse, Oedipus complexes, understanding the process of thinking and feeling, intuition and sensation.

KS: Could you tell us more about your insights into the relationship between the family dynamic and the indicated remedy?

FM: The works of the followng masters have really influenced my understanding of family dynamics:

Edmund Husserl, the father of phenomenology; Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy, the pioneer of transgenerational systemic thinking; Virginia Satir, who developed family sculpture, the precursor of Systemic Constellations; and Bert Hellinger. In the past decade, further advancements in the use of the process have been innovated by practitioners throughout the world. Psychiatrists like Gunthard Weber, Albrecht Mahr in Germany; Chris Walsh in Australia, and psychologists like Hunter Beaumont in Germany; Marta Thorsheim, Norway; Edward Lynch and Dan Booth Cohen in the USA; Judith Hemming, UK.

When I apply the knowledge from the above literature to homoeopathy, I like to begin by taking some solidly known symptoms of the remedy. I then add my own clinically proven cases. For example, in many patients I find that strict religious upbringing in children leads to prescriptions of- thuja and Kali-carb.

KS: You offer clinical training for homeopathy students and practitioners in the Homeopathic Health Center (HHC). What should they expect in your clinic and training?

FM: At the homoeopathic health center we make the students realize that without proper knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, etiology, psychology and other biological sciences it is dangerous to practice homoeopathy. The less you know about these basic sciences, the more difficult it will be to develop accurate clinical judgements, and therefore the greater will be the mistakes and the more time and life will be wasted. It is a great delusion to pretend to practice homeopathy without a sound knowledge of the basic and diagnostic sciences. Lippe, the best prescriber of our school, often repeated that the more one knows about pathology the better homeopath he can become.

Today we are pumping students out of homoeopathic schools (esp. in West) with very little knowledge of how to conduct a thorough physical exam of the patient. Also there is an insufficient knowledge of the necessary basic sciences. The more one is ignorant of physiology and pathology, the greater will be the mistakes in evaluating the symptoms which are critical in determining the most similar remedy. In homeopathy it is critical to prescribe on peculiar symptoms, not on symptoms common to a disease. If you don’t know which symptoms are common, how can you know which are peculiar? Without that crucial knowledge, judgement becomes even more difficult. What Hippocrates said 2500 years ago still holds, “the art is long, life is short and judgement is difficult”.

In order to really fulfil the promise of homeopathy, we at HHC give practical solutions to our current difficulties:

  1. Rediscovering the strict inductive method of Hahnemann. Read Hahnemann, Lippe, Bœnninghausen, P. P. Wells, Dunham. Never forget the last admonition of Hering to the profession: “If our school ever gives up the strict inductive method of Hahnemann, we are lost, and deserve only to be mentioned as a caricature in the history of medicine.”

  2. Rediscovering the basics in taking a thorough case as instructed by Hahnemann.

  3. Rediscovering the study and use of the reliable works of materia medica. The rest needs to be sent to the paper shredder, as Lippe often said when referring to the unreliable texts (plenty of them have flooded the market).

  4. Obtaining the necessary knowledge in basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, pathology, differential diagnosis, etc.

  5. Also we show them how to interpret the language of patients into the language of the repertory.

KS: You have a hard and long working day, give numerous seminars in India and abroad, and you are involved in several other activities like research and managing the IMG Trust. How do you refresh your energy to manage such a taxing schedule?

FM: I get up at 4.30 am, go to the garden for a walk, go to temple to pray and the rest of the time work work and work till 11 p.m. You can call me a workoholic. Weekends I go for a movie to relax. I am fond of food, so I visit new eating places with my wife.

KS: You emphasize the necessity of a thorough understanding of traditional homeopathic philosophy and extensive study of materia medica. How is the homeopathic education in India?

FM: It has its good and bad side. The good side is that there are many opportunities from the goverment of India, but the bad side is poor quality of education in a majority of institutes.

KS: Education is also about lighting of a fire. How do you motivate your students to become good homeopaths?

FM: Hard work, dedication and taking example from my life. My life is my best visiting card for my students.

KS: You introduced homeopathic departments into many hospitals including Asia’s largest allopathic Hospital, viz. Mumbai Hospital. Will India remain a Mecca of homeopathy?

FM: Surely, I want to make one, but first I have to remove a lot of nonsense from homoeopthy that is corrupting the mind of young and lazy homoeopaths.

KS: What will your next book be about?

FM: My next book is on fairy tales and homoeopathy.

KS: Thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge with us today! May you always have enough energy to realize your projects !

Katja Schütt

Editor

Homeopathy for Everyone

About the author

Katja Schuett

Katja Schuett

Katja Schutt, Msc, HP, DHM, PGHom, DVetHom, has studied homeopathy with several schools, amongst which David Little’s advanced course stands out as it offers a really deep insight into homeopathic philosophy and materia medica (simillimum.com). Her current focus lies in working with animals and studying history, the old masters, and research.

13 Comments

  • I will never forget attending a lecture by Dr Master in Bath around 2002. The topic was homoeopathic casetaking in acutes and one case was a strangulated hernia in an elderly man with cancer. Master’s point was that when there is little time in acutes for involved questioning of the patient, the practtioner must sharpen his senses. Based upon the patient’s expression and his cold sweat he prescribed verat alb and the next day his intenstine had returned to its correct place.

    His penultimate comment should give us all pause for thought:

    ‘but first I have to remove a lot of nonsense from homoeopathy that is corrupting the mind of young and lazy homoeopaths.’

  • Your saying about failures in homoeopathy is really true sir… my kind request that is people like you must involve to educate the young homoeopaths. then only our system will become strong.. thank you so much..
    can u pls send me ur web address & about the class conducted by u………

  • Today we are pumping students out of homoeopathic schools (esp. in West) with very little knowledge of how to conduct a thorough physical exam of the patient. The comment above made by Dr. Farokh deserve utmost attention as well as the complete knowledge of Human Health Sciences.

    Even Ayurvedic Vaidyas of 2000 and 3000 BC indicated that ” one must gain complete knowledge of the medicine then practice, half way practitioner is dangerous”

    It is true many many homeopaths/herbalists did not obtain complete medicine education and even schools were not teaching and not making health sciences compulsary. Why because those who were teaching they did not have the same background and this went on and failures continued and Modalities get defamed, rather than a practitioner.

  • I liked Dr. Master’s comments: “At our homoeopathic health center we make the students realize that without proper knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, etiology, psychology and other biological sciences it is dangerous to practice homoeopathy. The less you know about these basic sciences, the more difficult it will be to develop accurate clinical judgements, and therefore the greater will be the mistakes and the more time and life will be wasted.”
    This is an aspect often ignored even by some practicing homeopaths.

  • We definitely need not only the guidance but also the directions as given by Dr Farokh, in relation to
    the teachings and practice of Homeopathy. Even the Royal London college of Homeopathic ‘s Doctors
    have displayed the lack of observation , knowledge and experience. How can you prescribe in the limited
    time scale ( 5 to 7 minutes ) surgery time without the proper understanding the case remains to be clarified
    (not acute and emergency but in chronic prescribing , was the failure exhibited and the bad name earned hence the bad publicity earned from the Media in recent Times , in London)
    This proves the ” West is pumping students out of the Homeopathic Schools …… ” as claimed by Dr Farokh

  • I would like to know if, according to your experience, CHINA SULFURICA is good in order to prevent Malaria.
    Thanks

  • No words from my side than to THANKS. by publishing this article i can say HPATHY boosted the energy of homeopaths.

  • I am a classical Homeopath of 75. I have marvellous results with the patients when i dowse the case with a pendulum. Is it not the reason that I interrogate my subconscious and the collective subconscious? Is Faroukh Master using that method?

  • Thanks to Dr F J Master for the educative interview.One thing I can not understand why he avoided
    KENT and TYLER .Kent was a good observer.Our teacher like Dr J N Kanjilal,Dr S P Dey always insisted us in reading KENT and ALLEN.
    Awaiting comment from Dr Master.

  • i have attended one of dr.prof.FM one day seminar on4th august 2010.its really very useful. i fully agree with prof FM.Basic medical knollege can enhance the ability of a homoeopath to diagnose and treating a patient corectly and sucsessfuly.

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