Starting Off: The 1st Steps…
Before learning how to use the homeopathic medicines, it is important to understand what homeopathy is. Some good books provide a good, solid introduction to homeopathy.
THE BEST INTRODUCTORY BOOKS ON HOMEOPATHY:
* Discovering Homeopathy: Your Introduction to the Science and Art of Homeopathic Medicine, Dana Ullman, MPH (foreword by the Physician to the Queen of England. An overview of homeopathy, the homeopathic viewpoint on specific diseases, history, and research.)
* Essential Homeopathy, by Dana Ullman, MPH (a short introduction …only 112 pages)
* Homeopathy: The Great Riddle, by Richard Grossinger, PhD (written by an anthropologist who describes homeopathy as an important school of thought in medicine)
* Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Eart Medicine, Timothy Dooley, MD, ND (a good short book on the homeopathic paradigm
to health and disease)
* The Consumer’s Guide to Homeopathy, Dana Ullman, MPH (a good introductory book with lots of insight about
using homeopathy for a wide range of health problems)
* Resonance: The Homeopathic Point of View, Richard Moskowitz, MD (This is an intelligent introduction to homeopathy.)
* Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, Amy Lansky, (An excellent, intelligent, and well-thought out overview of homeopathy, along with a personal story of a woman whose child is cured of autism with homeopathy)
Homeopathic Family Medicine
The most popular books in homeopathy are those that teach people how to use these natural medicines to treat families. There are some excellent homeopathic self-care books.
HOMEOPATHIC FAMILY MEDICINE BOOKS
* Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines, by Stephen Cummings, MD, and Dana Ullman, MPH (America’s most popular homeopathic family medicine book)
* The Complete Homeopathic Resource for Common Illnesses by Dennis Chernin, MD, MPH (an excellent and very comprehensive home care book–over 400 pages–and it comes with a beautifully-designed CD-ROM that includes a mini-repertory, materia medica, and more. Dr. Chernin has been a homeopath since the 1980s, and he is also the public health director of two counties in Michigan)
* Homeopathy A-Z, Dana Ullman, MPH (This is a truly beautifully illustrated book that people love!)
* Homeopathic Family Medicine, (an eBook) by Dana Ullman, MPH (this ebook as an Acrobat file integrates family medicine with evidence from scientific studies. See www.homeopathic.com for more details, including six free sample chapters. You can purchase a one-time download or a two-year subscription)
* Homeopathic Self-Care: The Quick and Easy Guide, by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, MSW, and Robert Ullman, ND (an excellent self-care book written by two highly respected naturopathic homeopaths)
* The Homeopathic Emergency Guide, Thomas Kruzel, ND (This book should be obtained after either of the above books are purchased because it does not provide information on dose or potency, but it does provide detailed information about more remedies.)
* Homeopathic Medicine at Home, by Maesimund Panos, MD, and Jane Heimlich (a good basic introduction to learning to use a homeopathic medicine kit)
There are other practical homeopathic self-care books that cover a more narrowly defined and specialized area of practice.
SPECIALIZED SELF-CARE BOOKS
* Everyday Homeopathy for Animals, Dr. Francis Hunter, MRCVS, VetFFHom (an exceptional book with specific information on how to treat dozens of different animals, as well as birds, fish, reptiles, and even rats, mice, and turtles.)
* Homeopathy for Epidemics, Eileen Nauman, DHM (a good modern text for learning about the key medicines for present-day viral agents and chemical threats)
* Emotional Healing with Homeopathy, Peter Chappell, RSHom (an excellent book for laypeople or health professionals
who want to learn what homeopathy has to offer people who have experienced various emotional traumas)
* Homeopathic Medicines for Pregnancy and Childbirth, Richard Moskowitz, MD (the best book on the subject; it contains a foreword by the authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves.)
* Sports and Exercise Injuries: Conventional, Homeopathic, and Alternative Treatments, Stephen Subotnick, DPM, DC.
(This is a great clinical guidebook to treating sports injuries)
* Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing, Asa Hershoff, ND, DC (This book covers sports injuries plus various
other types of musculoskeletal problems.)
* Prozac Free: Homeopathic Alternatives to Conventional Drug Therapies. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, MSW, and
Robert Ullman, ND. (This is an excellent book to learn about remedies for anxiety and depressive states.)
* Whole Women Homeopathy, Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, MSW, and Robert Ullman, ND (This is the best book on homeopathic women’s health.)
* Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs: Small Doses for Small Animals, by Donald Hamilton, DVM (This book is the BEST book on treating cats and dogs.and this information CAN be applied to treating other animals as well!)
Children’s Health Care
THE BEST BOOKS ON CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE:
* Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants, by Dana Ullman, MPH (This is the best book on homeopathic pediatrics.)
* Ritalin-Free Kids, by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, MSW, and Robert Ullman, ND (This is not primarily a how-to book as it is a good book that describes why homeopathy is so successful in treating these children and what medicines they use to do so.)
* Rage-Free Kids, by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, MSW and Robert Ullman, ND. (This is not primarily a how-to book as it is a good book that describes why homeopathy is so successful in treating these children and what medicines they use to do so.)
* Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child, by Janet Zand, ND, Rachel Walton, RN, and Bob Rountree, MD (The strength of this book is that it provide a great deal of information on various natural medicines for children, including nutrition, supplements, herbs, flower remedies, and homeopathy. The homeopathic sections are a little weak, so we encourage that you supplement this book with a book that specializes in homeopathic children’s health.)
* The Homeopathic Treatment of Children: Pediatric Constitutional Types, by Paul Herscu, ND, DHANP (This is a great book that discusses the nine leading homeopathic “constitutional” types in children.)
* The Vaccine Guide, by Randall Neustaedter, OMD (Although this is not a book on homeopathy, it is written by a leading homeopath. This is the best book presently available on the vaccination issue!)
It is also helpful to understand homeopathic philosophy, especially if you want to understand homeopathy more seriously. The following books are invaluable for understanding the different paradigm of healing that homeopathy represents. See also the section on “homeopathic methodology” to learn more about how to put homeopathy into practice.
THE BEST BOOKS ON HOMEOPATHIC PHILOSOPHY:
* The Organon of the Healing Art, Samuel Hahnemann, MD (This was the 1st book on homeopathy, written by its founder. This edition is the newest and best translation of this seminal book)
* Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy, James Tyler Kent, MD (Written in 1900, this book sought to update Hahnemann’s writings.
* The Science of Homeopathy, George Vithoulkas (Written in the 1970s, this book further updated the writings of Hahnemann and Kent.)
Books on the homeopathic methodology are similar to those on homeopathic philosophy, though the former describe in greater detail how to practice homeopathy.
* Achieving and Maintaining the Simillimum: Strategies for Case Management, Luc De Schepper, MD (a very useful textbook for the serious student or practitioner on how to practice classical Hahnemannian homeopathy)
* Hahnemann Revisited, Luc De Schepper, MD (a very useful textbook for the serious student or practitioner on how to practice classical Hahnemannian homeopathy)
* Homeopathic Methodology: Casetaking, Repertory, and Case Analysis, by Todd Rowe, MD, CCH (Written by the former President of the National Center for Homeopathy and a teacher at the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy, this book provides a good
introduction to casetaking, repertorization, and case analysis)
* The Handbook of Homoeopathy, by Dr. Gerhard Koehler
* Principles of Homeopathic Philosophy, by Margaret Roy (Originally written as a textbook for those doing distance learning, this is an excellent course in homeopathic thinking!)
* The Homeopathic Conversation, by Dr. Brian Kaplan (This is the best book on homeopathic casetaking.)
* Potency in Homeopathic Prescribing, by Julie Bernard (This is the best book on determining the dose and potency.)
* Hahnemann Revisited, Luc de Schepper, MD, PhD. (This is an excellent book on homeopathic methodology, with some
emphasis on the use of LM potencies, Hahnemann’s last major contribution to homeopathy.)
The Next Steps…
The History of Homeopathy
Homeopathic principles of healing pre-date Hippocrates and have been utilized in many cultures throughout the world.
* Copeland’s Cure: Homeopathy and the War Between Conventional & Alternative Medicine, Natalie Robins (a fascinating history book with some emphasis on Royal Copeland, MD, the homeopath and ophthalmological surgeon who became the Senator from New York and who wrote the law that empowered the FDA and that recognized homeopathic medicines as legal).
* Divided Legacy (4 volumes), Harris L. Coulter, PhD. (Individual volumes can be purchased separately!
This set of books represents a truly monumental body of analysis of Western medical history told from a point of view that is critical of the conventional “rational” Western model of medicine and supportive of the “empirical” tradition in Western medicine.
Volume I covers the period in medicine from Hippocrates to Parcelsus, 15th century;
Volume II covers European medicine from the 15th century to 1850;
Volume III covers American medicine from 1800 to 1915;
Volume IV covers 20th century medicine.)
* Vitalism: The History of Herbalism, Homeopathy, and Flower Essences, by Matthew Wood (This book provides biographies of various Western physicians and healers who honored the vitalist tradition in philosophy and medicine.)
* A Homeopathic Love Story: The Story of Samuel and Melanie Hahnemann, by Rima Handley, PhD.
(This is the true story of the founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, who at an age of 79, met his 2nd wife, who was a French artist, intellectual, and feminist of 34 years of age.)
* The Faces of Homeopathy, by Julian Winston. (This is a great hardback, fully illustrated book of biographies of past and present leaders in homeopathy. A great coffee table book!)
* The Faces of Homeopathy (video) by Julian Winston (This is a video with highlights from the book.)
Most people are not aware of the significant body of basic science and clinical research in homeopathy. Whether you have a personal
interest in research, you will inevitably know others (friends, family, or family physicians) who will ask you what “evidence” is there that homeopathy works. The books listed below are very important for this.
* The Emerging Science of Homeopathy: Complexity, Biodynamics, and Nanopharmacology, by Paulo Bellavite, MD, and Andreas Signorini, MD. (Written by a professor of pathology and a homeopathic physician, this is the best book on homeopathic research. It was recently updated in 2002. Make certain to read and appreciate the two appendices.)
* Homeopathic Family Medicine (an eBook), by Dana Ullman. (This eBook integrates the latest clinical research in homeopathy with practical clinical information that is useful to health and medical professionals as well as to consumers.)
* Classical Homeopathy, Michael Carlston, MD (This book was published by a major conventional medical publisher,
and it is a well-referenced textbook that is a solid introduction to the science and art of homeopathy.)
* Homeopathy: Science or Myth, Bill Gray, MD (This is a good book on research, though it only refers to and discusses those experiments that showed that homeopathy worked; it doesn’t discuss the various studies that didn’t show an effect.)
* Homoeopathic Science and Modern Medicine, by Dr. Harris Coulter (This is an excellent review of homeopathic science prior to 1980.)
Constitutional Types: Homeopathic “Bodymind” Personalities
After learning the basics of homeopathy, some people love to study various homeopathic medicines as a way of finding their own and their friends’ constitutional medicine. Although it is not recommended one self-prescribe a constitutional medicine, it is still a useful exercise. The process of reading about the various typologies and of finding the appropriate one is a mixture of detective work, self-discovery, rational analysis, and intuitive assessment.
* A Homeopathic Guide to Partnership and Compatibility, Liz Lalor (a truly fascinating book that describes 19 key remedy and their bodymind personalities and then what remedy-types are personally compatible with others)
* Homeopathic Psychology, Philip Bailey, MD (This book is an excellent review of the personality of 34 leading homeopathic medicines.)
* Psyche and Substance: Essays on Homeopathy in the Light of Jungian Psychology, Edward C. Whitmont, MD. (This
is a truly brilliant book written by a Jungian psychiatrist and homeopath who provides insight into the cosmology of homeopathy
as well as insights into 10 leading homeopathic medicines.)
* The Soul of Remedies, Rajan Sankaran (Written by one of the most respected homeopaths in the world, this book
summarizes the essence of 100 remedies in one or two pages each.)
* Emotional Healing with Homeopathy, by Peter Chappel, RSHom (This newly updated edition of an invaluable book
for homeopaths and patients.)
* Prozac Free: Homeopathic Alternatives to Conventional Drug Therapies. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, MSW, and
Robert Ullman, ND. (This book provides insights into constitutional types as well as important medicines for acute anxiety and depressive states.)
* Dreams, Symbols, and Homeopathy: Archetypal Dimensions of Healing. Jane Cicchetti, RSHom, CCH (This is a brilliant book that integrates Jungian psychology and homeopathy.)
* Homeopathic Remedies for Life Stages, Didier Grandgeorge, MD. (This French pediatrician and classical homeopath
provides great insights into the important remedies at the varying stages of life.)
* The Spirit of Homeopathic Medicines: Essential Insights to 300 Remedies. Didier Grandgeorge, MD (This book provides brief but lucid insights into 300 medicines.)
* The Homeopathic Treatment of Children: Pediatric Constitutional Types, Paul Herscu, ND. (This book describes the 9 leading pediatric constitutional types.)
“Materia media” are Latin words that mean “materials of medicine,” that is, the various medicines used in homeopathy from the plant, mineral, animal, or chemical kingdoms. Homeopathic medicines are listed in Latin so that homeopaths (and patients) can be precise with the exact source of the medicinal substance.
There are hundreds of homeopathic materia medica, and there are different styles in which they are written and organized. Since materia medicas are full of detailed information about a medicine, it is necessary to study each medicine in a systematic way so that you can retain as much information about it as possible. Each person develops his or her own systematic way to study the materia medica. One common method is to summarize the key mental and physical general symptoms along with the characteristic physical symptoms on an index card or a sheet of paper. In general, students of homeopathy learn the medicine more effectively when they try to memorize key features of the medicine and when they get a deep feeling about it. Some people make up mnemonic devices. Others may meditate on a medicine’s characteristics. Some people even make drawings of the person who would typically need this medicine. And some people dramatize this medicine in a short play. It’s good to encourage study group members to discuss a medicine without the use of their notes, and ultimately to check with notes only when someone questions the accuracy of a symptom or at the end of the discussion.
One systematic way to learn about a medicine in a study group is to discuss its most characteristic symptoms first. Afterwards, there should be discussion of the psychological symptoms, then noteworthy physical general symptoms, then noteworthy physical symptoms, and finally, the less characteristic symptoms. When discussing the physical symptoms, it is helpful to talk about them in the order of head to toe.
INTRODUCTORY MATERIA MEDICA
The following are the materia medica to consider getting first:
* Pocket Manual of Materia Medica with Repertory, William Boericke, MD
* First Materia Medica, Margaret Roy, RSHom
KEYNOTE MATERIA MEDICA
* Studies of Homoeopathic Remedies, Dr. D.M. Gibson (Written in the 1960s, this semi-modern book provides an excellent overview of 100 remedies)
* Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms, by Roger Morrison, MD (This modern textbook is used by almost all of the homeopathic schools as an important way to learn the leading features of 300 or so medicines.)
* The New Synoptic One, Volume I Frans Vermeulen (Written in the 1990s, this work synthesizes many homeopathic
masters, and as such it is many materia medica in one.)
* Synoptic Materia Medica, Volume II, Frans Vermeulen
(Written in the late 1990s, this is the best materia medica of the new and little known medicines.)
* Keynotes of the Materia Medica, H.C. Allen, MD
* Materia Medica of Homeopathic Remedies, Dr. S. Phatak
* Nash’s Expanded Work, (including “Leaders”), E.B. Nash, MD
* Materia Poetica, by Sylvia Chatroux, MD (This is a book of poems that well describe the key physical and psychological traits of the leading remedies used in homeopathy. This is not just a book of poems, it is FULL of practical insights about these medicines!)
PROFESSIONAL LEVEL MATERIA MEDICA
(see also materia medica on “constitutional types”)
* Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica, James Tyler Kent, MD (a classic)
* Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, (3 volumes), John Clarke, MD (a classic with lots of details)
* Concordant Materia Medica, Frans Vermeulen (This is one of the leading materia medica textbooks.)
* Prisma: The Arcana of Materia Medica Illuminated, Frans Vermeulen (This book brings our medicines to life by describing the nature, behavior, chemistry, applications in medicine or technology, history, and folklore.)
* Drug Pictures, Margaret Tyler, MD (This book is a classic. The author synthesizes the thoughts and experiences of the original classical homeopaths.)
* Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica (10 volumes), Constantine Hering, MD (This is an enormous body of information and experience.)
* Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica (12 volumes), Timothy Allen, MD (This is an enormous body of information and
* Homeopathic Remedy Guide, Robin Murphy, ND (This is an almost 2,000 page reference book that includes many
little known medicines.)
* Encyclopedia of Homeopathic Pharmacopeia (3 volumes), by Dr. P.N. Verma (This book is a pharmacopeia, which means that it describes the specific substance used as a medicine, how to identify it, when it exists or grows, what part is used, and microscopic and macroscopic information about it.
* The Sensations of Homeopathy, Rajan Sankaran (a brilliant new materia medica that links families of medicines
with miasms, and it gives new insights about KEY features of many medicines)
MATERIA MEDICA OF NEW MEDICINES
* Synoptic Materia Medica, volume II, Frans Vermeulen (Written in the late 1990s, this is the best materia medica of the new and little known medicines.)
* Animal Minds, Human Voices, Nancy Herrick, PA (7 new provings of animal remedies, including horse, wolf, elephant, butterfly, rat, dolphin, and dinosaur bone)
* Sacred Plants, Human Voices, Nancy Herrick, PA (new provings into plants used in ritual, including peyote, ayahuasca, ginseng, lotus, mandragora)
* Provings 1 & 2, by Paul Herscu, ND, DHAND (This is a compilation of the BEST articles ever written on homeopathic drug provings. Volume 1 includes a proving of alcohol.)
A “repertory” is a listing of symptoms and those substances that have been found to cause and cure each symptom. For instance,
one would use a repertory to look for a compilation of those medicines that are good for headaches that occur in the front of the head in the morning (in the “head” section, under the subsection “pain,” under the further subsection “frontal pain worse in the morning”). After reviewing a sick person’s various symptoms in the repertory, one can then obtain more detailed information about each of the possible medicines by looking them up in a materia medica. A repertory and a materia medica complement each other.
Studying the homeopathic repertories in a group can be fun. It is common for new students and even experienced homeopaths to have difficulty finding certain symptoms anywhere in the repertory. Getting a group of people to find a symptom can be a game, the winner being the first person to find it. It’s also interesting for a person to give the group a list of symptoms as an exercise to see how many people find all the symptoms. These games can be a playful and effective way to learn.
* Repertory of Homeopathic Materia Medica,
by James Tyler Kent, MD (This is the classic repertory.and it is a great price for a 1,500-page hardback book!)
* Homeopathic Repertory: Tutorial and Workbook, by Karen Allen (This is a very useful tutorial and workbook that help you learn what is in and how to use the repertory.)
* Synthesis, by Frederik Schroyens, MD (This is the most popular and respected modern repertory in print form.)
* Homeopathic Medical Repertory, Robin Murphy, ND (This controversial repertory does not give reference to the
sources of its symptoms, but some people like that it lists symptoms alphabetically rather than the model developed by Kent and others.)
* Thematic Repertory, Jose Mirilli, MD (This unique repertory integrates the specific insights from various materia medica into mental symptoms from the repertory.)
* Modern Guide and Index to Mental Rubrics, by David Sault (This is a useful guide to the definitions of each mental symptoms, along with their synonyms.)
* Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology, Roger Morrison, MD (This is an extremely popular book that describes 50 of the most common acute and chronic ailments seen by homeopaths and their homeopathic treatment. A very practical textbook.)
* Homeopathic Family Medicine (an eBook), by Dana Ullman, MPH (This is a practical clinical guidebook to treating 100+ common ailments. Information about whatever clinical research has been conducted is an integral part of this eBook.)
* Clinical Focus Guide to Homeopathic Remedies (volume I), by Louis Klein, RSHom (Written by one of the leading contemporary homeopaths, this book provides insights into 29 little known but important medicines.)
* Introduction to Homeopathic Medicine in Primary Care, by Sidney Skinner, FNP. (This 464-page book is written for health professionals and provides a good review of remedies to consider for common ailments.)
* The System of Homeopathy, Rajan Sankaran (Written by one of the most respected homeopaths in the world, this book reviews 34 cases, gives the dialogue of the casetaking process, and gives the analysis as to why a specific remedy was prescribed.)
* A Homeopathic Approach to Cancer, by A.U. Ramakrishnan, MD, and Catherine Coulter (An excellent book on the subject.)
* Biological, Chemical, and Nuclear Warfare:What Homeopathy and Digital Medicine Have to Offer, by S. Yurkovsky, MD (This is a well-referenced book that describes what homeopathy has to offer in the treatment of environmental exposures to chemicals, radiation, modern vaccines, new infections, or stresses as a result of terrorism.)
* Homeopathy in General Practice, by Dr. R. Jack (A British physician gives his recommendations for when and how to use homeopathic medicines.)
* Homeopathy as Art and Science, by Elizabeth Hubbard Wright, MD (This compilation of articles is full of insight and wisdom. It includes a series of articles called “A Brief Study Course in Homeopathy,” which is an excellent overview of homeopathic methodology.)
* Diseases of the Nervous System, by Dr. P. Vakil (This book is a textbook that describes leading remedies to consider for common ailments of the nervous system.)
New, Cutting Edge Books
The following books are presently some of the most popular books in the field becaue they are written by highly respected homeopaths
and because they are providing new insights on how to find the best remedy for people.
* Insight into Plants, by Rajan Sankaran (This is a great book about plant families and the 10 leading miasms!)
* The Substance of Homeopathy, by Rajan Sankaran (This is Sankaran’s book on the mineral remedies.)
* Homeopathy and Minerals, by Jan Scholten, MD (This book describes the leading mineral families and the various medicines in which two or more minerals become one medicine.)
* Homeopathy and the Elements, by Jan Scholten, MD (This seminal book describes the elemental table used in chemistry and how each of these elements can be used in homeopathy.)
* Homeopathy and the Periodic Table, by Luc de Schepper, MD, PhD. (This American homeopath describes how he uses the insights initially developed by Jan Scholten.)
Homeopathy is PERFECT for the computer era! The incredible mass of information about the thousands of homeopathic medicines can
easily to stored and access through various sophisticated and yet simple software programs. We have some very simple software programs for learning to treat yourself and your family for common acute ailments, including (in increasing levels of sophistication and range of use):
* Homeopathic Remedy Finder
* The Jacobs Prescriber
* The Homeopathic Resource
To be honest however, these introductory software programs do not hold a candle to the truly impressive expert system programs that are now available. These programs will improve the accuracy of prescribing homeopathic medicines, and they will even increase the speed in
which practitioners can prescribe the correct remedy.
The first thing that you need to know about the three leading professional-level programs that we sell is that there is no “bad” program here…they are all EXCELLENT. Also, each of these programs are continually updated and made even better.
We generally recommend that you consider getting a repertory program first, and then, get a program that includes the various materia medica. Generally, get the most sophisticated program that you can afford, but don’t fret because you can usually upgrade for the simple cost difference between what you spent and what the price of the new program is.
Schools and Distance Learning Courses
Ideally, it is best to attend a homeopathic school or training program rather than do distance learning, but in this day and age, it is not always practical to do so. And the good news is that we are blessed to have several excellent homeopathic distance learning courses, including several courses through the British Institute of Homeopathy and many through the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy.
The British Institute’s courses are the most comprehensive courses that we make available, and each student is assigned a tutor
for each course. Ultimately, if you want to learn to be a homeopath, you will need to take several courses, including:
* Diploma Course
* Post-Graduate Course
* Homeopathy in Practice Course
If you are not a health or medical professional, it will also be necessary to take some basic science courses, either through one
of your local colleges or through the British Institute:
* Anatomy and Physiology
* Pathology and the Nature of Disease
We personally recommend the British Institute’s basic science courses because the textbook used is written by a scientist who has an appreciation for homeopathic and natural medicine.
The Hahnemann College’s course is an excellent VIDEO course, but please note that there is no tutor instruction. If you want
personal contact with a homeopath and want whatever questions you think are important answered by someone knowledgeable, the Hahnemann College’s course may not be for you. This set of video courses represents the 1st year of the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy, and if you are not familiar with this school, it is recognized as one of the best in the U.S.
We have developed our own eCourse in Homeopathic Family Medicine, and this course is directed to people who want to learn about how
to use homeopathy in family medicine but may not want to be “homeopathic specialists.” This eCourse is not as comprehensive as the
multiple courses available through the British Institute; instead, it emphasizes how to learn to use homeopathic medicines in acute care, and it provides the most systematic body of information on the clinical research that has evaluated efficacy of homeopathic medicines. This eCourse is particularly useful for health and medical professionals who may not plan to be full-time homeopaths but who want to learn how to integrate homeopathy into their practice. It is also excellent for consumers who want to improve their prescribing in treating themselves and their family and friends. This eCourse includes our eBook as well as various audiotapes. The list of required and recommended books is provided along with the other information about this eCourse. And see the Distance Learning Courses section for other short courses that we offer.
Starting and Participating in a Homeopathic Study Group
You can find one of the almost 200 homeopathic study groups in the United States at the website of the National Center for Homeopathy.
Ever since the origins of homeopathic medicine, informal study groups have been one of the traditional methods of transmitting information on homeopathy. Even at homeopathic medical schools in the 1800s, students and faculty members met outside of the classroom to study homeopathy together. Occasionally, laypeople also participated in these study groups, but more often, laypeople organized their own groups.
Such professional and lay groups are still quite common today. They provide a forum for people to share their thoughts and questions about homeopathic philosophy and methodology, their understanding of how and when to prescribe the medicines, and their experiences with homeopathy. Groups tend to be helpful in guiding people to the best books and articles, and through the complicated process of studying homeopathic materia medica and repertory and the art of casetaking. Of particular importance, the study sessions provide a support group for people who are involved in this distinctively different type of medicine. This kind of support group is sometimes very important to them, since their doctors, colleagues and friends can be very critical of homeopathy whether these people have knowledge of it or not.
If there isn’t a homeopathic study group in your area, or if there is a group but you want to create another one, there are several tried and true ways you can get started. One effective way to start a study group is to invite a nearby homeopath to give a public lecture on homeopathy. Publicize the lecture through flyers and press releases.
Since a large number of people interested in homeopathy have children and are looking for alternatives to conventional medicine, it’s a good idea to post flyers for a lecture or for your study group at local child care facilities, public schools, PTA meetings, YMCAs, public swimming pools, churches, temples, community organization offices, and numerous other places where children and their parents go.
As for press coverage, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get your activity listed in numerous local newspapers. You may be able also to get one of the local papers to write an article about homeopathy that can both promote homeopathy and advertise the lecture.
Inform those in attendance at the lecture that a study group is being formed and that they are welcome to attend. Hopefully, the lecture will inspire them enough to want to learn more. Make certain to obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all those who attend the lecture so that they can be kept informed about upcoming study group meetings and of future homeopathic lectures.
Besides giving occasional public lectures, some homeopaths attend study group meetings. Since most study group meetings may not have
a homeopath in attendance, one or two members of the group should keep a list of questions or concerns that the group raised in previous meetings so that these can be discussed with the homeopath. There are numerous excellent cassette tapes on various subjects
in homeopathy that are very helpful to study groups. Groups of people can listen to tapes together. The facilitator of the meeting can occasionally stop the tape to encourage discussion on certain important points. Some parts of the tape can be listened to more than once since the lecturer may be making a complex yet important point. Cassette tapes can also be very helpful to groups who are unable to get a local homeopath to lecture. For a list of lectures on tape, contact Homeopathic Educational Services. It’s also a good idea to have introductory articles on homeopathy and brochures about how to obtain homeopathic books and tapes at all public lectures and at study group meetings. Brochures from the various homeopathic organizations provide good information about homeopathy and give them access to the wider world of homeopathy. Request a stack of brochures from sources of homeopathic books, tapes, and medicines. Homeopathic Educational Services also has introductory articles on homeopathy that are not only useful but which they allow others to duplicate. An article is available for FREE for each book that is purchased.
In between guest attendances from local homeopaths and/or cassette tape lectures, study groups can choose to discuss a particular chapter or a couple of chapters from a homeopathic book. It is best to decide which chapter everyone should read at the previous meeting. It is also recommended to choose a facilitator for the meeting. The facilitator will study the chapter(s) with particular care so that he or she will be able to ask essential questions to elicit the deepest understanding of the material. The group will generally be more successful if the facilitator actively seeks the group’s participation in discussion. It is also worthwhile to take turns being the facilitator.
Once your group gets going, you might consider studying the homeopathic materia medica. Most homeopaths recommend that only one medicine be studied at a time. The chosen medicine should be studied as thoroughly as possible. You should each read about it in several materia medicas, and you might consider reading the chapter numerous times. Another way to learn about homeopathy is to practice homeopathic case taking. Study groups can consider having one person take another person’s case in front of the group and then give the interviewer feedback about his or her ability to elicit symptoms. People who agree to have their case taken should know beforehand that they will be asked intimate questions about their health and life. Participants in such discussions must agree to full confidentiality, and nothing about the person’s case should be discussed to others.
Study groups can also consider breaking down in pairs of people who exchange turns taking each other’s case. People quickly realize how much they don’t know when they first try case taking. This experience is extremely valuable in learning the nuances of interviewing a person to determine his or her homeopathic medicine. Depending upon the study group’s collective degree of knowledge, there are some cases that may be too complex for its members. Generally, people with acute, non-life-threatening illnesses are perfect for study group discussion, while people with chronic diseases should be seen by a medical professional. Stephen Cummings and Dana Ullman’s Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines and certain medical reference books provide some guidelines for when medical care is recommended and when various home-care measures can be considered safe. Discussing cases from outside the study group can also be very instructive, for there is a tendency in study groups to talk only about one’s own cured cases. Although discussion of successes will help the group’s members learn a medicine’s effectiveness, discussion of medicines that didn’t work is also instructive in learning how to prescribe. Even discussion of prescriptions that have uncertain effectiveness can provide their own helpful lesson in learning about homeopathic care.
As you probably have determined from this discussion of study groups, there is much value in studying homeopathy with others. Besides providing a fine opportunity to learn about homeopathy, these groups also introduce you to a great group of people with whom friendships develop that provide their own special healing.
Beyond Books and Study Groups
In addition to learning homeopathy through books and study groups, it is recommended that all those seriously interested in learning about homeopathy attend the various homeopathic conferences and training programs and join all or most of the homeopathic organizations in order to be kept up-to-date on the various educational opportunities. We recommend that you visit the Links page at HES, and then investigate the various links that these sources lead you!
Whether one chooses to dive deeply into homeopathy or to swim slowly into it, the benefits of this art and science will sink in one way or another and change your understanding of healing. Once smitten by knowledge of homeopathy, you will find it hard to settle for anything else.
Dana Ullman, M.P.H. is one of America’s leading homeopathic educators. He has authored eight books, including Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines (with Stephen Cummings, MD, Tarcher/Putnam, 2004), The Consumer’s Guide to Homeopathy (Tarcher/Putnam, 1996), Homeopathy A-Z (Hay House, 1999), and Discovering Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century (North Atlantic, 1991). He has also authored an e-book, Homeopathic Family Medicine, which provides useful clinical information for the homeopathic treatment of over 100 common conditions, plus it provides comprehensive and up-to-date information on clinical research in homeopathy. He has also served in an advisory and/or teaching capacity at alternative medicine institutes at Harvard, Columbia, and University of Arizona schools of medicine.
Dana Ullman is the owner of Homeopathic Educational Services, a resource for homeopathic books, tapes, medicines, software, and distance learning courses and more than 100 free articles on homeopathy.
Homeopathic Educational Services