George Vithoulkas

Another interview with George Vithoulkas by Dr. Manish Bhatia! Learn the full story behind Materia Medica Viva and much more!

MB: George, welcome once again to the Hpathy Hot-seat! It was exactly three years ago when we had our last exchange for Hpathy and this time around I want to focus on the academics – specifically on your contribution to the homeopathic Materia Medica. I recently received the 12th volume of your Materia Medica Viva and that is where I want to start from.

The first volume of Materia Medica Viva was published way back in 1992 and now you have reached the 12th volume. Can you narrate for our audience the journey so far? What prompted you to take on this mammoth work? What inspires you to continue with it and how has been the journey so far?


George Vithoulkas

GV: It is true that this was an enormous task that I undertook, ignoring the implications and complications that proved to be more troublesome than I could imagine at that time. The work was prompted by the enthusiasm and insistence of some of my students of those years. Realities proved to be different than I had imagined.

The first blow came when a contract appeared out of the blue that had been forged by one of the secretaries I had during those times. In the forged contract it was stated that I was supposed to give all the rights of all future books – including the MM VIVA – to this person with a royalty of 2.5%! It was the first blow!

My first thought at the time was that I would stop writing the MMV. It was such a deep disappointment. Then I had second thoughts. I approached an American lawyer concerning this forgery who assured me that this was a big offense in the American legal system drawing a huge punishment but I have to prove it. I asked him how and he directed me to the best graphologist in the UK, who was also working for the Intelligence service. He confirmed the forgery. After many journeys to UK and extensive correspondence and legal aid (which was all expensive), the result was that her lawyer suggested to spare her and not go to the court. In the meantime I had stopped writing for about two years as this painful experience transpired.

Later on, I received a loan from a German foundation with the contract to return 50% of my royalties to this foundation. In the meantime, I found out soon that only few people were really interested to buy the book, most tried to get it through illegally downloading through torrents etc. Out of 1500 volumes that Archibel printed for the first 3 volumes, four years later, we were left with 1000 copies unsold, which I bought from them for $1 each volume.

We still have unsold volumes from these 1500 initial volumes! Why? Because  people would either download it for free from the Archibel website or they would buy illegal digital copies available as download “torrents” for a very small price.

In spite of all this, I kept up the work in order to give to the profession what I perceived was a reliable piece of information that also contained my experiences in the form of the Materia Medica Viva.

MB: George, this is shocking! People can really stoop to any level for money. But I am full of praise and admiration for you that you decided to continue with this work despite the hurdles faced. You yourself probably cannot fully appreciate the legacy that you are developing for the future homeopathic generations through this extra-ordinary work. Before we move forward, I would like to make an appeal to the whole homeopathic fraternity to financially support the development of Materia Medica Viva by ordering a copy right now! (see the links at the end)

Coming to our next question now: Apart from the size and scope of the work, what is the fundamental difference between your earlier work ‘The Essence of Materia Medica’ and Materia Medica Viva? Has your understanding of the 51 remedies described in the Essence of MM changed over the course of years and has their presentation changed?


Materia Medica Viva

GV: There is no end to the modifications and additions that could manifest in conjunction with the human symptomatology and the variety of symptoms that a remedy can cure in different individuals. I had always maintained that a remedy picture could be synthesized by three areas:

1. The symptomatology that results from either sub-toxic effects in provings and also from accidental poisonings from toxic doses.

2. By provings in high potencies and

3. By the feedback we receive from cured cases.

Nobody can claim that a reliable symptom picture could result ONLY from one of these sources alone. I left out, of course, as ridiculous, the idea that a proving could also come from the “imagination of a person”, as Jan Scholten suggested in his book. Anybody can easily assess what kind of symptomatology will result if 50 “fantasizing provers” try to imagine the possible symptomatology of a remedy! You will get 50 different variations of a remedy. When such ideas are proposed in the homeopathic community and are accepted by a part of the community, I feel really disappointed and disheartened that such notions have any place in our science.

I say all this in order to explain what I did when I was asked -many years ago – to give lectures on Materia Medica. The first two conditions – provings on low and high potencies – were already established and I had nothing to add; the provings were recorded clearly in our books. I then thought that what was missing was the third condition – that of the feedback from cured cases, especially on a psychopathic level. I felt that if I tried to describe what I had seen in my practice in thousands of cases, if I could summarize my experience from follow-ups in the deviations of the mental-emotional picture of the patients under the remedies prescribed, I might be able to add some new information that could be useful to the profession. That is how the Essences were developed. These were overview information on the psychopathic area of the patients.

These were misunderstood later by a lot of my students for two reasons:

a. They thought that these were the only symptoms that should be taken into consideration in prescribing, and that was wrong and

b. The students thought that I was describing “personality types” and started giving information of different personalities that they were encountering in their practice.

These original Essences were reproduced by certain people in the form of a book, which they called “The stolen essences” and was published without my name, which was really audacious!

The most amazing thing was that in 1983, while I was a speaker on an International Congress in Washington DC, somebody approached me and asked me if I wanted to buy a fantastic book on Materia Medica. He showed me a hand typed book in a copying machine without any publisher! I looked and I recognized my lectures in it. I asked the price and he said it was $30! Later on I found the same book in England again without my name and was mentioned that the book was written by… “Gnomes, fairies etc!”

Some people were making money, but in what a filthy way!

By the time I was so busy giving lectures and new information to the profession that I did not have the time to take care of such matters. More and more essences and details on the levels of health, of the follow-ups and analysis of cases were being synthesized. Yet I felt that people were stealing my ideas without ever paying any tribute to my name. On the contrary they were starting to spread rumors that Vithoulkas’ teachings were old fashioned, dogmatic etc. in order to cover their own stealing of ideas.

These were the kind of ethics we had adopted in our profession!

For years I did not say anything to stop this situation and let things evolve, in a wrong direction of course, as I found out much later.

In any case, to complete my answer to you concerning transference from the “Essences” to the Materia Medica Viva :  I tried to give whatever information was already established, from the classic books of MM, filtered as reliable according to my understanding and experience, plus the “Essences” of the big remedies and the “Essentials” in smaller and lesser known remedies.

As I stated in the beginning, the complete picture of a remedy will not be apparent before a lot of cases have been systematically organized and their follow ups of the patients are carefully evaluated.

MB: Very true! The old knowledge base cannot be replaced with anything. The clinical data does impart a greater understanding of our remedies but how much focus do you put on the provings? Do you go through the drug proving before writing about a remedy for MM Viva?

GV: Before answering your question I would like to expand a bit on the idea of the provings. Unless they have been done in a correct way I do not trust them. And I consider the ‘correct way’ the one in which they collect symptoms by –

1. A proving with material doses.
2. If the substance is toxic, then from accidental poisonings.
3. From high potencies on sensitive individuals.
4. Information that originates from cures on clinical cases and correct evaluation of the follow-ups.

This last source of information, though it can be very crucial, has become a source of misinformation in our contemporary western societies, where a lot of so-called cures are only placebo effects due to the disturbed collective affectation on the mental emotional part of the inhabitants of USA and old Europe. A lot of hysterical reactions, a lot of mentalising and despair coming from depression that affects a great part of our societies, are some of the reasons that in a follow-up of a patient, the information given should be carefully evaluated to exclude the possibility of self-suggestion.
I give all such details of placebo effect and their respective parameters in order to be recognized in my new book “LEVELS of HEALTH” that has just been published by the IACH in the beginning of May 2010.

In my Materia Medica, I have tried to give the information coming from all those 4 parameters in the way I have seen and experienced in the 50 years of my practice.

Yet one has to be aware that for only one individual, in a restricted length of time of his life, it is not possible to give everything that is potentially to be extracted from the source of the thousands of remedies already existing in our Materia Medicas. There was a lot more information coming from my practice, but it was not possible to confirm for long enough to include all the symptoms that were cured by the remedies.

I despise superficiality and exploitation of the naiveté of some people in the west that believe everything and anything. In India you are more practical and more matter of fact in these issues.

As an example of misinformation I can give you the following: In my lectures in Celle Germany in 1990 I have said that if we knew the symptomatology that each element of the periodic table can produce then most probably we would not need more remedies. Jan Scholten was following me at that time and surely heard this and a few years later he presented the symptomatology of the elements of periodic table, saying that you do not need to have provings, but to…. imagine the possible symptomatology!

The MMV is down to earth information that has been useful to me in treating thousands of cases without the need of the “elements” or the superficial provings coming from people in a state of excitement, if not hysteria.

If a proving was made in a serious way and if I had used it with success, I will include it.

These were the ground thoughts that made me construct the MMV.

MB: Our provings, especially those of polychrests, have thousands of symptoms in them. Yet most books on Materia Medica list either a few dozen or at most a hundred or two hundred symptoms for even large remedies. How do you filter from the provings what needs to be included as characteristic for the remedy?

GV: If a master of our science can give the keynotes or the essence – as I called it in the beginning – of the polychrests, he would be doing a service to the community. This does not mean that the rest of the information is useless and could be ignored. Such details could be searched each time in the repertory and then in the full MM.

But if a novice pretends to know everything and gives from his own experience the “essence” of the remedies, surely he will drive the students astray. The essence of the remedy is understood only after you have seen thousands of cases and several ones from each remedy cured that you may start forming an idea of what is essential in a remedy.

If people think that curing with homeopathy can become an easy task, bypassing the hard work by tricks, they will be utterly disappointed after having damaged of course, the patient and also homeopathy.

MB: One of the methods of study of homeopathic material medica has been group-study of closely related remedies. People like Kent, Hering, Farrington etc, have all noted the similarities in various groups of remedies derived from the same mineral group or related species. There are texts available which describe the gist of the ‘Kali family’, ‘Natrum family’, ‘Lac remedies’, ‘Snake remedies’, ‘Papaveraceae family’ etc. There have been characteristics described as common for animal remedies, plant remedies or mineral remedies. What is the role and relevance of such group study and derivative information based on comparing materia medica or rubrics of different remedies? Do you ever use this methodology while teaching or writing MMV?

GV: No I do not use the group methodology. The reason is not that I believe that study of group remedies is necessarily wrong, but that such study will be a waste of precious time as it will give information not according to the facts but mostly according to one’s own projections, rather than concrete facts on which one can base a prescription.
In some instances there is a possibility that by chance a different remedy of the group could be chosen at random and may act but this is not a science, it is a lucky strike. If provings are done properly and if such provings are put into practice and prove effective, then we can be talking about similar qualities of different drugs belonging to the same family or group. But we have to remember that each remedy has its own individual characteristics even belonging to the same group and therefore we cannot generalize, in the same way that different sufferers are having their own personal characteristics of their disease. This is the best way to success. Bypassing hard work of studying remedies properly in order to find easy ways for prescribing, will finally prove disappointing to both the homeopath and patient.

I am a practical man and I want to see real effects when I prescribe and I am considered a good prescriber -as all those who have attended my courses can confirm- yet I can assure the homeopathic community that out of this 90-95% of successful prescribing, I have never used remedies that were considered as new and proved in a superficial way. This means that if one learns properly the remedies already available, he will have no great need for new unproved remedies.

To the question whether we need new provings in order to cover a small percentage of cases that are outside our usual remedies, the answer is yes, we do need new provings, but to teach that those new unproven remedies are the basis of modern homeopathy to the novices, is a disaster.

MB: Twelve volumes of MMV and you have just covered remedies till Iris V. How many more remedies and in how many more volumes, do you wish to cover the rest of it? Is there any timeline that you have set for yourself for the next volumes?

GV: I am expecting another 6 volumes to cover all the remedies I want to cover.

MB: Has MMV been translated in many languages? Or is it available only in English?

GV: Translations have already started in Italian, German and Spanish.

MB: You have dedicated your MMV to your wife in very special words:
“Dedicated to the only person I know who has really sacrificed her life for Homeopathy: my wife Zissula”
Please share with us her role and influence in your homeopathic life?

GV: My wife provided for me the environment and the care I needed to accomplish my work, which I consider as a mission and dedicated almost all my time to it. She was always caring for my needs, even before I expressed them, always considering, never complaining, never demanding, always working in silence with unlimited love and patience, sharing with me all my sorrows and disappointments, providing the warmth of a family that I lost while I was very young, during the second world war.

I feel that the Gods have given her to me as a present. I do not think that I could have ever accomplished what I did without her presence.

MB: Before we part, please tell our readers from where they can buy their copy of MMV?

GV: The 12 vol. of MM Viva are available from the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy for 270 euros

Individual copies can be bought from here:

MB: Thank you ,George, for these insights into the development of Materia Medica Viva. I look forward to an early completion of the remaining six issues. It has been a pleasure to have this exchange with you. Thank you!

About the author

Dr. Manish Bhatia

- BCA, M.Sc Homeopathy (UK), CICH (Greece), MD (Hom)
- Associate Professor, Organon & Homeopathic Philosophy, SKH Medical College, Jaipur
- Founder Director of
- Editor, Homeopathy for Everyone
- Co-author - Homeopathy and Mental Health Care: Integrative Practice, Principles and Research
- Author - Lectures on Organon of Medicine vol 1, 2, 3. CCH Approved. (English, German, Bulgarian)
- Awardee - Raja Pajwan Dev Award for Excellence in the Field of Medicine; APJ Abdul Kalam Award for Excellence in Homeopathy Education
- Visit Dr. Bhatia's website


  • Dear Dr. Manish Bhatia,
    It was a great job of yours to publish the interview of george vithoulkas, who always gives a clear idea as to what homeopathy should be and how we should practice.
    I totally agree with his concepts that we should discourage the empty speculations and theorising in the name of ever increasing new methods and concepts. I strongly believe that if we want to practice homeopathy we should follow the Hahnemannian way or the ways of his actual followers otherwise we shouldn’t practice Homeopathy.

  • George Vithoulkas is a great homeopath, though it is sad to see him again disparage other high quality modern homeopaths. When George’s work for homeopathy initially promoted worldwide, many classical homeopaths criticized him, even though they tended to over-simplify and mis-understand what he was trying to say. Likewise, I believe that George is over-simplifying and mis-understanding what many other modern homeopaths are expressing, including the works of Scholten, Sankaran, and Sherr.

    The bottomline is that many of the most respected homeopaths in America and Europe utilize the teachings of Scholten, Sankaran, Sherr, AND Vithoulkas. Each of these great homeopaths give us additional insights about our practice and our methodology that allow us to use our medicines with greater benefit to our patients. I personally do not know many high quality homeopaths who just have ONE teacher of homeopathy…we usually stand on the shoulders of many homeopaths before us.

    Over the past couple of decades, George has sharply criticized the works of Scholten, Sankaran, and Sherr, though much to the credit of these three outstanding homeopaths, they have refused to “fight” George. They appreciate him too much to throw mud because doing so gets everyone dirty. I sincerely wish that George would re-consider his attacks, especially since so many of his former students are also now fellow students of these and other modern homeopaths.

    • Dear Dana, I think you have misunderstood what george wants to say, as he also quoted that few of his teaching were misunderstood by his students. he is not making a point to demoralize other homoeopaths in any way. what he wants to say is that all the information gathered should be from a authentic sourse and should be collected properly as our masters guide us. nobody is againts to introduce new ideas for the betterment of the pathy. but it should be done in a scientific way. i hope now you have understood.

    • You didn’t understood the context.George Vithoulkas is right . Science and Philosophy are two different things. Philosophy does not need any research or proves whereas Science is based on the same . For ex: even Einstein’s worked hard for 10 years to prove his theory of relativity.Einstein made theory public in 1905 and he took 10 years to prove the same by the help of mathematics. So, If homeopathy needs to be placed among the scientific approach, this type of thoughts should be proved first. Just as George Vithoulkas experimented his theory of LEVELS OF HEALTH for several years in practise and then made it official.

      Hope this makes it clear it my understandings.
      Thank You!

  • Having read this article it shows the dedication an individual has to really understand the amazing healing properties of Homeopathy and also have the confidence and belief to write under difficult circumstances, may
    George Vithoulkas continue to complete the remaining 6 volumes. I look forward to purchasing the completed volumes, and one day look forward to meeting George.


    Moriom Kamir

  • “The essence of the remedy is understood only after you have seen thousands of cases and several ones from each remedy cured that you may start forming an idea of what is essential in a remedy”.
    “This means that if one learns properly the remedies already available, he will have no great need for new unproved remedies”.

    In this interview we can see the diligent worker (George Vithoulkas) who does not despise the ancient or classical knowledge.

    It is notable the strenght that displays in his argument, as in the two statements reproduced above. Hahnemann had written the same claims.

    Maybe he misses, however, the greater openness to free resources that has resulted with INTERNET. Part of the wonder of the Network is that : all of us can find information without cost. His Web site, Mr. Bhatia is a good example of the latter. These include not only to get information but also exchanged. Probably my views and ideas also serve you. Congratulations, then!

  • I think Vithoulkas should offer legal downloads of the individual chapters in his MMV for a small fee much as they are doing with music. It seems people want it.

  • I appreciate the dedication of Dr George Vithoulkas to Homoeopathy. I had an opportunity to attend him in one conference which was held at Mumbai. His writings have great influence on me. I condemn such malpractice of not acknowledging the individual from whose writing, reference have been taken. We should follow the professional ethics.

  • I am totally aggrying with Vithoulkas point
    “I am a practical man and I want to see real effects when I prescribe and I am considered a good prescriber -as all those who have attended my courses can confirm- yet I can assure the homeopathic community that out of this 90-95% of successful prescribing, I have never used remedies that were considered as new and proved in a superficial way. This means that if one learns properly the remedies already available, he will have no great need for new unproved remedies.

    To the question whether we need new provings in order to cover a small percentage of cases that are outside our usual remedies, the answer is yes, we do need new provings, but to teach that those new unproven remedies are the basis of modern homeopathy to the novices, is a disaster.”

    In recent years we are finding in seminars a new trend of showing brilliant cures with lessser known remedies or synthetic remedies for some rare disorder and say Pathological prescriptions, and students and practitioners noting them as they have found a key.

    My suggestion to them is FIRST STUDY AND GET WELL ACQUAINTED WITH WELL PROVED AND POLYCHREST in their REAL ESSENCE (yr life may be short to learn them all) then find the rare and rarest.

    One more point I agree with Dana’s point, George idea is good that homeopathy should not be speculative but we can pick the good points from Scholten, Shankaran and Jeremy etc etc with logical/critical thoughts.

  • Yes Exactly Dr. Mehiliquea Shamim , Dr.George has given us a path to work in a classical way, May I call him Father of Essence of Materia Medica(mental level).
    I had also attended his confrence at Mumbai. In fact he has revived homeopathy in Europe and many of classical homeopaths including Geremy, Rajesh Shah, Farookh Master,Robing Murphy, Frederick Schroyens, Bill Gray, Jonathan Shore etc etc has learned from them.
    To criticize a persons thoughts/ writings/ method is a easy job but to change the whole era in new direction is a beg deal.
    See the greatness of Dr.George when he says” Knowing Kent by heart is 4 times better than knowing me.”
    No matter some individual acknowledge his service to homeopathy or not, He will be acknowledged in history of Homeopathy. He is living legand.
    We as a classical homeopath bow at him.In fact I find myself too little to write this Great personality
    May God give him a long life.

  • I have followed George and his teachings since 1989 and I just finished reading his latest book: Levels of Health – the Second Volume of The Science of Homeopathy. This is a great book which gave me knowledge that is well tested, and led to a more refined way to communicate with patients in order to bring about the best possible long term result

    We need high standards which George sets for us to reach for as most of us are lazy and want to find an easy way to do things or to get recognition when we do not yet deserve it or get rich on other peoples ideas or by subterfuge.

    Personally I feel there is a straight line that can be drawn from Hahnemann through the other classic authors such as Hering, Kent, Clark, Nash, Farrington, Lippe and Vithoulkas.

    George has great vision and insight which he has passed onto many homeopaths. I think this legacy will continue and I hope George will continue to bring out the finer points of homeopathy which we can all learn from.

    From this inspiration I have done many tree provings myself which are in a two volume set: Arbor Medica Vol I and II. These are new remedies with cured cases, developed themes. I am also working on a proving of Bay leaf, Rosemary and Sage. [email protected]


    Steve Olsen ND, DHANP

  • Hats off,n thousands of respect to dr.vithoulkas,he is really a great teacher of homoeopathy.his sincerety n dedication to homoeopathy is priceless.what he has suffered is destiny,all great persons in this world has suffered.May Almighty appreciate him.

  • Dear Dr. Bhatia,
    It’s really a pleasure going through the interview of Prof. Vithoulkas. It’s also astonishing to learn how he was cheated. I’ve gone through some of his books and found a new modern approach of treatment which is of immense help in the changing world. Unfortunately our pathy couldn’t proceed forlong years due to lack of proper research and drug proving. We need some more vithoulkas for our onward jouney to fight with the allopaths.

  • Vithoulkas’s Essences was one of the first such Materia Medica I read when I began as a student 17 years ago. I loved it. Also his little book Homeopathy of the New Man, and The Science of Homeopathy. I thought he was great. He was clearly an amazing contributor/lecturer for the learning of Homeopathy. Since then, I must say, I have become less interested in his no doubt invaluable teachings/Materia Medica because of his interest in so scathingly deprecating homeopaths like Scholten, Sankaran etc. Ditto what Dana Ullman has written. That George comes almost from a tradtional Positivist scientific paradigm lends a great deal of rigour to his work, but he thereby lacks an open-mindedness to other epistemologies. A shame. That he attacks reflects on his personality, and is unnecessary, in my opinion.

    Sincerely, Genevieve Ahearne

  • Homeopathy is a very difficult field to work with. When symptoms are entered in the reperories that has no other foundation than inspiration or theorizing, our work is only getting even more difficult to accomplish. I therefor believe that Georg Vithoulkas do have a strong point in demanding that the source of information for the remedies should be based on the three old and golden rules:

    “1. The symptomatology that results from either sub-toxic effects in provings and also from accidental poisonings from toxic doses.

    2. By provings in high potencies and

    3. By the feedback we receive from cured cases.”

    If we are to keep homeopathy as a way to health for people of the world, our standards have to increase from what I have seen during my 20 years of work.
    Science is improving and so is the field of conventional medicin. Homeopathy is falling behind more and more due to lack of the rationell foundation it must stand on.

  • Dear Bhatia.

    You have done a great job by publishing interview with great vithulkas. It would more educative if u publish more interview of him about how he is dealing cancer cases. If u can arrange more interview of Dr Ramakrishan on his modern techniques of cancer or other chronic diseases.


    • Thank you for your feedback. We have done one interview with Dr. Ramakrishnan in the past and we will try to bring him back in our Hot-seat again in future.

  • this revelation about his(PROF VITHALKOUS) emotional trauma is very sad & disheartening. Dr Bhatia this seems to happening everywhere!! even today look at the low priced editions of books that have come out for the benefit of all yet students will buy books from seniors, steal them from college libraries or simply not bother about them… all this for golden books like KENT, ORGANON OF MEDICINE, ETC. it is sad that we do not feel the need to allow good literature to survive, we can spend on movies, clothes, chips & phones yet to pay under 500 INR for quality literature we weep or are apathetic.if we want Homeopathy to survive then we need literature to remain alive, & we need to encourage good literature from modern stalwarts to also survive!! PLEASE ALL HOMEOPATHIC LOVERS KEEP BUYING YOUR OWN COPIES OF BOOKS & SUBSCRIBE TO ALL HOMEOPATHIC JOURNALS- we need to take pride in our science, cheating & pliagarism is a bad thing to do !!

  • Thanks for the interview with George Vithoulkas.
    His gigantic knowledge and indepth views are very much appreciated among the homeopathic community.

  • Having studied with George what seems apparent to me is his deep concern for the quality of information that is out there for Homeopaths. George has worked for many years studying and treating deep pathological conditions in westernised people. We all know as Homeopaths how easy it is when we get those cases where patients are healthy enough to present us with a really clear remedy picture and then one or two prescriptions cures the case but unfortunately with the real depletion in health in the western world this is not so common now. George has dedicated his life to developing real Homeopathy for Homeopaths to learn how to tackle not only the easy pathological cases but deep pathological cases and the rules on how to do so based on experience of over 200,000 cases. I can only imagine what it must be like for him when he hears of Homeopaths presenting new information to the public which is not fully proved or understood to the depth in which George has worked before presenting his ideas. Yes he may appear cantakerous to some but in my opinion who can blame him! There is certainly alot of mickey mouse homeopathy out there and we all know it.

  • hi !the interview was excellent as it gave an oppurtunity to hear from GV.Only one thing you have to learn from him is that we have to think independently.Many concepts he has given which are of his own.It could be because he has dared to think independently.Independent thought is the need of the hour for the growth of any homeopath.Then only we can explore more and more.

  • dear, its realy pleasure to read some excelent words of world master from ur side–its realy priceless.Homoeopathy will flurish by the great Homeopath like George Vithoulkas, & like u too.
    thanks for doing a great job

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