We are truly fortunate to have with us today Dr. Sunil Anand from India, a close associate of Dr. Rajan Sankaran’s. Sunil, can you tell us about your homeopathic practice?
Hi Elaine, I would be happy to. I have a practice that comprises of a fair mix of children and adults. I have re-located to Pune which is a city 200 kms from Mumbai. I have a practice in Mumbai as well which is managed by two assistant doctors and I supervise that clinic once a fortnight.
The location of my clinic is in a cosmopolitan area which gets me patients from the corporate families. What is interesting is that it is in a suburb of Pune and so close to the countryside. This also gets me many references of families of farmers who speak only the local dialect, which in turn made me learn the same. This was tough initially but what is pleasing now is that the methods we follow can be used even with patients who have no idea of the English language and one can still retain the purity of the same method and get results.
I see one new case every morning, five days a week. In emergencies and urgent requests from doctors or fellow homeopaths, I accommodate an extra case in the day. Most new cases are seen in the morning session only, as I am most alert then and a first session can take from two to three hours. The follow ups are taken in the evening session. The cases are generally recorded, with consent, on video; so are the follow-ups. These help me to review the cases later and also use them for lectures at the homeopathic college in Pune where I teach and also while conducting seminars in India and in foreign countries.
The college where I teach is a degree course and also has a P.G. Department for courses in M.D. Homeopathy. This gives me a chance to interact with students, interns and post-grads which I find very satisfying and stimulating. The same college has an O.P.D. (Out Patient) where I conduct two O.P.D.’s. One is pediatric (as I see a lot of children and have given several lectures and seminars on Pediatric Homeopathy) and the other is a general one. As this college is on the other side of the city I get to tap patients and referrals from that part which makes it easier for some of them to see me here due to my clinic being a long distance away. It also gives me the opportunity to see patients from a lower strata of society and verify that the same methods can be successfully used with them as well. Seeing patients in a college is a challenge as there are the allopathic doctors who are monitoring some of your cases and one sees acutes as well as pathological cases that one would not see so readily in a private practice. One also has the advantage to admit those patients who need close observation and these are mostly done by the post-graduate doctors along with a regular R.M.O. You are most welcome to come and visit our work here.
My work with a large number of patients in the O.P.D. made me realize the importance of first hand observations which are often, according to me, the clue or key to the inner depths of the case, especially where one has to make a quick, yet accurate, prescription due to the large numbers. This method I have named Subjective Homeopathy as it deals with actions, mannerisms and choice of expressions frequently used by patients which in turn lead us to their inner core if followed diligently.
This is what I do besides having fort-nightly meetings with the members of our group including Rajan, which they have been kind enough to keep on days which follow my visits into Mumbai. We also conduct various courses in homeopathy from Mumbai and Pune. The details of that could be had from our web site www.homeopathyindia.org.
Well, I can’t top that! In fact, I ran out of breath somewhere between your college and your clinic! But, let me ask you a question, I am fascinated by what you call Subjective Homeopathy, can you give us some examples?
Sure. These six cases are presented here in a condensed format from the original so that the reader can get a glimpse of the recent case-taking methods that we follow.
1. Case of Agaricus – Eight year old boy with cerebral palsy and convulsions
This boy, besides the regular features of a spastic child, had severe lack of co-ordination. But what was very characteristic was that to keep him busy while the interview was going on, the mother gave him a coin to play with. In contrast to the poor co-ordination at all levels I was surprised to see him spinning the coin with comparative ease. Also the boy had no concept of danger. One of the attendants would always be by his side at all times. The reason being that he had run out, in the past, on the road oblivious to the traffic. Based on these two main observations I gave him Agaricus 1M which was repeated frequently keeping the advanced pathology in mind (children have very good vitality and depending on the case and requirement, in my experience do well on repeated high doses when needed) and he responded very well.
The rubrics chosen after a search were-
Gesture makes, involuntary motions of the hands, winding a ball, as if
Runs about in most dangerous places
If I could ask a question, you said it was odd that such an uncoordinated child was capable of spinning a coin with expert control; yet, I didn’t notice that you picked a rubric for that. I noticed you chose a rubric for the palsy–the incoordination, the uncontrolled gestures; and you chose “runs about in dangerous places”, which we know goes for Agaricus, but, I didn’t see a rubric for the super-control he exhibits with the coin. Is that somehow a mere polarity of the lack of control, and hence, not a separate symptom?
Elaine, in fact the rubric taken indicates the need to have precise rhythm like the winding of a ball (closest to the spinning of a coin) in spite of incoordination at all other levels. This I have seen as one of the main contradictions in Agaricus and hence that rubric becomes that much more important. Its like the grotesque dancing at one level as against the expression of eloquent poetry, both aspects seen in the same remedy.
2. Case of Coffea- Four year old girl with recurrent septic tonsils
This girl was busy playing with a game that required her to fit blocks of different shapes. This was happening and being observed while her mother was narrating the child’s symptoms to me. After playing the game the way it was meant to be played, she got restless and created her own version of the game by turning the board around and creating one pattern of design after the other with those blocks. Soon she graduated into assembling and reassembling at a very rapid speed a completely new design. Based on these I chose for her Coffea 1M based on the rubrics-
Quick to act
The pregnancy history later confirmed that the mother too must have been in the state of Coffea when she described her intense fear of death due to the pains of labor. This is a known symptom of the remedy. This only further confirmed the remedy to me. Her septic tonsils cured very rapidly.
Sunil, I don’t think I would have come up with Coffea in this case unless the mom said that the child was too full of ideas and excitement to get to sleep at night or that the child wakes from the slightest noise, etc. I’m afraid I would have asked the usual questions (“When did it start, what was happening at that time, what are the sensations, what makes it better or worse, etc.”) and I really doubt this line of questioning would have led to Coffea. My question is, did you pursue this line of questioning and did it produce a remedy such as, say, Mercurius or Hepar, and if it did produce such a remedy, what do you expect would have happened if you gave it? On the other hand, what led you to disregard the picture the chief complaint was putting out–assuming it was putting out a picture–and go instead for clues from the mother’s pregnancy and behavior of the child in the office, which, I have to say, might have led to choosing the wrong rubrics, such as “Industrious” or “Hurried”?
Elaine, that’s a good question. The answer is that repeated patterned behavior in the clinic is like an acute physical presentation, which makes the picture more evident as it gets things to the surface. Once one understands it in its pure essence it combines the sensation, the general as well as the mental. What I am trying to convey is that a child acts more than what it speaks. The observations that are in a form of a pattern, speak volumes about the inherent characteristics of that child. It offers us an insight or an entry point into the case which one can then easily confirm at a later point in the case once other aspects are further understood.
What happens is that we do not think of a remedy because we have a mind set about every remedy and its presentation due to the standard format in our materia medica. For instance, in this case of Coffea, once one understands that the primary need for the child is to act in great speed as she is almost trying to time herself every time, it can only be translated as a need to act quickly rather than be industrious. Calc fluor. is very industrious but not necessarily with a need to act quickly. Then we see the need to create beautiful patterns one after the other. So she is now not only being quick but having an active artistic bent of mind to be able to create one design after another. Let us try to project what sort of work involves creating one design after another in a short time, quickly. For me it reminds me of a team of people at an advertising agency. Is it not interesting that there is invariably a coffee vending machine there and they indulge in it a lot as it keeps the stimulation of ideas up!
That is the state of Coffea as I understand it. Further, Rajan now mentions easy stimulation of the mind as the main sensation of the rubiaceae family to which Coffea and China belong.
At an initial stage, till one is not very familiar with the method of subjective homeopathy, one can confirm at a later stage of the case what one saw as an initial observation. Like in this case, once one zeroes down to Coffea with the help of the first two rubrics, the fact that both the child and the mother are easily excitable leading to sleeplesness and that the mother was mortally scared of death due to pain during labor further confirms the idea of Coffea. To be precise, the observation can lead us to the generals and sensations in a particular case.
3. Case of Cicuta Verosa- Delayed milestones with asthma and eczema
This six year old girl walked into my clinic and was transfixed by a picture of a boy weeping put up inside my chamber. She kept asking in a very childish speech as to why this boy was crying. On further enquiry, the mother related that she was very sensitive to stories that have anything sad in them like the three little pigs. She was also very interested in the paper weight and the stethoscope rather than the regular toys that were available in the clinic. Moreover the child had skin eruptions which were quite extensive but hardly any itching. Based on this information she was given Cicuta Virosa 1M. Besides an improvement in her asthma and eczema, her teachers confirmed that she was learning and concentrating very well as compared to before.
Rubrics and Indications-
Sensitive to sad stories
Delusion objects are as attractive as toys
Eczema without itching ( Phatak’s Mat. Medorrhinum)
Sunil, did you feel you needed to find an etiology of head injury, etc. in this case to feel good about giving Cicuta?
When there is an obvious history of injury, one definitely thinks of the remedy. But don’t we know of so many cases that have invariably been subjected to cerebral anoxia and in a way resulting in subtle forms of brain injury without being very obvious? There are many cases like that. The causative factor though it cannot be ignored need not be present all the time to think of a remedy that way we understand it.
Let us take the example of Arnica. It is only when we understand that injury can be at an emotional level as well, which in turn creates an aversion in arnica patients to being approached and sympathized by others that we understand the core issue of the remedy. All remedies need to be understood in this way. Maybe a new materia medica is the need of the hour?
4. Case of Merc I.F.- Boy five years old with acute tonsilitis
This boy had been on Merc-sol. with partial relief. What was very evident was the aggression as he invariably came to the clinic with a toy machine gun. His father who was an acquaintance collected piranha fish at home in their aquarium and loved watching the smaller fish being eaten by the predator fishes. So it was obvious to me where the state of violence was passed on to the boy from. But at one point the remedy stopped helping. The parents were very anxious as the boy had come to me with pus points, high fever and a toxic look but the gun was still an accompaniment! I was a bit perplexed by the remedy not helping him though indicated. So I decided to speak to him directly and requested the parents not to interrupt him. When asked about the type of pain, he said in a sure but aggressive manner that it was as if someone was inside his throat and stabbing him with a sharp knife. He now was given MercuriusI.F 1M, single dose and by the next day he had settled and subsequently the repeated attacks also came down.
The main rubric chosen was-
Delusion, man in the room intending to perforate his throat with a gimlet (a sharp spear like weapon. Till that point the only gimlet I was aware of was the alcoholic drink!)
Excuse me, was this at least a right sided tonsilitis? (I’m trying to see if I might have had even the remotest chance of finding this remedy!)
When one gets such a deep understanding of the issue of someone with violent intent entering your private space, at that point frankly, the side affinity becomes irrelevant to me. See the rubric “delusion, surrounded by enemies”. The only remedy is Merc-sol. Through the rubric “Man in the room intending to perforate his throat with something sharp”, one can now understand that in Mercurius i.f., in comparison to Merc sol, the enemy has moved in close enough range to pose a more serious threat to life making it in my understanding an even more acute remedy for acute symptoms than Merc sol. itself. Does that make the prescription clearer to you?
It definitely helps to know that rubric exists, and yes, Merc-i-f. is the only remedy for that delusion, and then you’d have to be smart enough to apply it to a sore throat and not say, OK, “Throat, pain, sharp”, and Merc-i-f. isn’t even there, so…I guess you’re not going to tell me if it was a right sided sore throat, are you?
5. Case of Lac Defloratum – One year old girl with recurrent colds and epiphora (stricture of the lachrymal duct for which a probing generally is indicated)
This infant was a very subdued and somewhat anxious child. Besides the watery eyes which would get worse during coryza she had a lactose intolerance which had developed when her mother had to stop nursing her and start the child on formula milk due to acute mastitis and sore nipples. She was also very acutely constipated which had resulted in fissures and very painful and hard stools. The mother had a very sad story. Though her husband was supportive, he was hardly around due to work and she had to tolerate the taunts and abuse of her mother-in law who was a very dominating lady and would be very rough with her and make her do all the house-hold chores. The mother was a very religious and pious lady who was very timid and tolerated this abuse as she felt it was her duty. She had a claustrophobic tendency in closed spaces and also would get migraine like headaches from milk. While she was relating her sufferings the child even though too young to comprehend what she was saying, seemed to notice her mother sobbing silently and became very agitated herself and started wailing too. During this time the father who was present started talking soothingly to the child and at once the child stopped crying, started smiling and sort of talking back in childish garble. In their own way the two were carrying on their own sweet conversation. This phenomena was observed by me repeatedly. The father would talk to the child whenever she seemed upset and the child would attempt to talk back and instantly calm down. This observation along with the history of the mother made me give the child a dose of Lac-deflor. 200 to which she responded very well. The surgical probe was not required and she even started tolerating milk over a period of time.
The indications and rubrics for the remedy were-
The mother and child’s intolerance to milk
Closed room aggravates ( in the mother)
Their constipation which is again typical of the remedy was also a pointer. In short what we can learn and examine in our children cases is to consider the states of either parent or the predominant state of the mother during the pregnancy or the father’s at the time of conception and try to co-relate that with the state of the child. Once one gets familiar with this method without prejudice or forcing a prescription based on either parent with disregard to what is very evident, one can not only use this technique to get better results but also one can get to see childhood states of our remedies in a new light and even the understanding of remedies in adults gets further clarity. This I have termed as Subjective Homeopathy. Where based on one or more observations we gain an entry point to a case and translate the same into appropriate rubrics and in this way reach to the respective delusion or sensation.
6. Case of Teucrium- Five year old boy with asthma and eczema.
This boy was severely asthmatic. As he was on high doses of steroids which had suppressed the asthma he had come out with eczema. During an acute he would get very talkative and his entire body would start trembling. He had to be restricted from a lot of food items that he craved like cold drinks, chocolate and fruit juices. The thing that he kept saying was that the routine foods that he was given were so boring. The mother, realizing this, would give him healthy foods by creating a hype like wrapping up dates in a cellophane colored paper to make it look attractive. These things would really excite the child. It would sort of take away the monotony of a routine life style that he was resigned to due to his asthma. This was the mother’s second marriage. She had left her first husband because there was no excitement and moreover he had a low sperm count due to which they could not have a child of their own. In her second marriage, she got all the things that she lacked in the first one, except that her husband was a very busy builder. While he was around, life would be a lot of fun, but when he was away, it would get very boring for her and spending time with her son became the most exciting thing for her. She had learnt to accept this fact by now. During the pregnancy she had developed an acute distaste and nausea from strong smelling and tasting things like mint tooth paste. The child on the other hand loved mint in any form like Polo or Menthos which again had to be restricted much to his displeasure. The state of excitement seen during the acute as well as at other times as part of his state or as Rajan Sankaran terms the Vital Sensation is seen as a confluence point. When the sensation in the physical and the emotional emerge as one and the same it can be termed the confluence point and indicates deep probing and clarity in case taking. In this case, one can see the use of Subjective Homeopathy while retaining the recent method of Vital Sensations. He was given Teucrium 1M and very soon he was weaned off his steroids and could also tolerate over a period of time all the foods that he was restricted from.
Teucrium belongs to the Labiatae or the Mint family, the sensation of which is excitement. Rajan has placed Teucrium under the Ringworm miasm. So the complete feeling of the sensation corresponding to the miasm would be “There is an effort to try and get excitement alternating with a resignation- a fixed feeling that they must put up with having no excitement.” For further clarification on these methods and newer applications of miasms kindly refer to An Insight Into Plants by Rajan Sankaran.
If I could just jump in here, there is a rubric, “Talkative during fever” and Teuc. is a 3, and the only 3! Unfortunately, “Asthma, talking, amel” is Ferrum. I wonder if Teucrium should be added to that rubric, or possibly understood to be loquacious during any attack? Frankly, I don’t know how I ever could have helped this child who needed Teucrium for asthma; there’s practically nothing written about it in the materia medica.
You are partially correct when you say that loquacity (which is a form of an intense excitement, either nervous or a happy thrill) should be a general symptom of the labiatae family in general. The way the patient copes with that sensation takes us to his corresponding miasm and remedy. As this child learns to cope with his excitement by a resignation alternating with trying to feel some excitement his remedy belongs to the ringworm miasm which is Teucrium as mentioned in Insights Into Plants. If he felt disgusted with his excitement, his remedy would be Ocimum can. (basil) as disgust is the issue of the leprous miasm. If it was important for him to control his excitement, it takes us to the cancer miasm, the remedy being Agnus castus and if he feels destroyed by his excited state it takes us to the syphilitic counterpart which is Origanum. Teucrium, Agnus castus, Ocimum and Origanum all are remedies from the labiatae family. I hope that clarifies the Teucrium prescription. The boring of the nose and rectum which this child had, which I have not mentioned as that was not the main thing that made me prescribe it, only further reinforces the idea of the remedy in my mind.
The vital sensation is what Rajan is working on and we all in the group endorse this idea. From my side, I have tried to present pediatric cases where the same idea can be used with success and clarity. Though I could talk about the vital sensation some more, I would strongly recommend that you get Leela to reach you a copy of Insight Into Plants.
Can we get Leela to pay for it? Thanks Sunil, the time has gone by so quickly, I hope you will join us again soon!