“No amount of telling the patient that he will be better with all his symptoms when the constitutional remedy will cure the disease, will keep him calm and happy. He needs a redressal of his symptoms that he has presented to you at the clinic right away”,
Dr. S.P. Koppikar “70 years of clinical experience in Homoeopathy.”
As I imagined the idea of “Lesser Known Remedies in Homoeopathy”, the above lines of Dr. Koppikar brought a smile on my face and a flash of remedies into my visual field, which I have been using for the last 25 years of my practice. The industrial revolution has long been overtaken by the digital revolution and we have armchair intellectuals sitting at the desks peering at the bright screens ahead of them for hours at a stretch. This is true of every profession, as the surgeons are operating remotely through robots even as the homeopaths are searching for rubrics on the screen rather than looking at their patients.
Not to forget the software pros whose occupation demands it. All this has brought the cervical spine into picture with pain and tightness of the muscles of the area. Stiffness of the neck being the predominant symptom will insist an Xray to show a straightened cervical spine without any pathology of the discs or the bone, as a 30-year-old is unlikely to show any degenerative changes. Muscle stiffness and tightness would readily yield to Lachnanthes without the service of Cimicifuga or Mag phos. This was suggested by my Guru, Dr. Siva Shankar Kunapareddy who has over 55 years of clinical practice.
A few months ago, while seeking replenishment of dilutions at the clinic, with Acid fluoric amongst the list, our friend at the pharmacy dished out Acid formic! Before planning to return it, I thought of consulting Boericke. In the discussion at the end of the remedy, Formica rufa was high praise for Formic acid. With modalities similar to Bryonia and having affinity on the aponeurosis of the muscles, fascia, periosteum, it is very widely used in arthritis. It doesn’t promise much when the articular surfaces are already damaged, but under its hood is the acute arthritis similar to polyarthritis.
It prodded me to Chikungunya where we have the inflammatory changes typical of an acute arthritis, where the patient is in a sort of a shock as to why on a seemingly fine morning has difficulty even to take a step! Well, a friend was made. For all acute arthritis-like symptoms, whether it is chikungunya, polyarthritis or gout, Acid formic has been handy in relieving the pain and also adding a spring in my step in treatment of arthritis. Acid formic has hence given a break to Bryonia, Rhus tox and Colchicum who are ‘on the bench’ for now.
Well, let me tell you a secret. Allopaths make very good friends and often give us something to ponder about. I had a chat with my friend whose profession is to peer into people’s eyes, measuring the ‘pressure’ and at the end of it, insist they look at the world through a new pair of lenses. That fine evening he was talking about Glaucoma. ‘You know’, he said with the enthusiasm of a kid, ‘glaucoma is not just an increased intraocular pressure but the research of the day says that it is also decreased perfusion to the optic disc which is evident by the pallor’. In a low tone I just asked if there is any remedy to improve perfusion to the optic disc. The answer was obvious, “NO. At least not yet”, he added hurriedly. Hmm…. That was a wisdom nugget for me.
I was waiting to go back to the Repertory. Murphy is my favourite and helps me navigate even through the pathological symptoms. But the drugs that were listed under Glaucoma did not enthuse as far as the above symptom was concerned. Well, if no one has it, then Boericke should be the one sought. Lo! He never disappoints. Under, Eyes chapter, Optic disks, pallor, visual field contracted, retinal vessels shrunken – is only one remedy and that is Acetanilidum. Hence all my patients with Glaucoma continuing with the allopathic ‘eye drops’ to decrease pressure always get generous doses of this remedy at my clinic. That’s an area where only Homeopathy can help. Well, what is the evidence that it works? If there is no worsening of the visual field for at least for five years, then the remedy has done its job.
Many a time, we come across a morose, never-happy personalities at our clinic who only complain of not having any energy or enthusiasm for anything. They run about their day with little interest and would like to postpone everything while their impatience and their sad and weepy moods disturb the happiness of the family. Under such circumstances, we consider the malfunctioning of the thyroid gland, and turn towards getting the thyroid tests done. These being normal, our minds go to the anxiety and depression chapters. But when the Argentums, Ignatias, Natrum murs and Aurums return empty handed, I ask to check the Serum Cortisol levels.
Interestingly, they are found to be above the normal limits! Well the textbook of medicine, our ally in such circumstances says that the ‘fight and flight hormone’ is not being utilized by the metabolism enough and there is an apathy for using this chemical, much like the ‘insulin resistance’. The proving of tautopathic hydrocortisone shows up many symptoms and in such circumstances, I have prescribed Hydrocortisone in high potencies to correct the ‘usage’ of this chemical in the body and make no mistake about it, homeopathy seldom fails.
Our homeopathic dilutions stand in good stead in treating menstrual irregularities. By far the commonest today, PCOS, is easily brought to normalcy. The master of the endocrine orchestra, the pituitary gland is not at its best in stimulating the chain of hormones in the endocrine spectrum, while the hypothalamus – pituitary axis is the area of concern. In such cases I put my money on Macrotin. A young friend of mine, Dr. Bhaskar, a voracious reader, said that when he was looking up Cimcifuga for its characteristics in dysmenorrhoea, he read that the active principle of the drug, Macrotin helps the young girl get rid of amenorrhoea. Incidentally, this active principle has its seat of action on the pituitary. I have been reserving this remedy for amenorrhoea due to central causes and feel tempted in prescribing this in infertility due to menstrual irregularities.
Amongst the challenges in clinical practice is that of palliating a patient in cancer. There are some stages which are beyond the paradigm of cure and when it comes to carcinoma of the stomach no remedy matches in relieving pain more than Ornithagalum. I have seen this happen in not just the gastric lining but also in hepatic, bile duct and pancreatic malignancies too that cause significant pain. Once a patient has received a dose of Ornithogalum, they yearn for it in the place of a morphine patch! Though this is not a lesser known drug, I thought of drawing attention towards it.
I had a case of recurrent fever that would occur every other week, rising late in the evening to subside through the night. The child had a history of adenoids cured with our medication and was now having some innocent lymph glands swollen around the neck. All pathology ruled out, the friendly paediatrician got to task by doing an FNAC of the gland and also Serum ADA, but was disappointed to find no trace of Tuberculosis. He was all set to put the child on a course of anti-Koch’s at a little pretext. All this while the Arsenics, Mercs, Barytas, Phos, Lycos, Cantharis, Tuberculinum didn’t help.
The mother insisted that the child would have milk and fall sick, and on further insistence revealed they would always procure unpasteurized milk. Just to neutralize lactose intolerance, Mag carbs and Lac cans were prescribed but to no avail. It was then the thoughts pointed towards any bovine source of infection, and Tuberculinum bovinum was prescribed. The rise in temperature never recurred. With this experience in mind, whenever I come across people who work with birds or in poultry, falling sick with respiratory tract infections, I have been prescribing Tuberculinum aviare and it has always been effective.
If there is one thing very common in Indian women, it has to be anaemia. But there are situations where the serum iron seems to be good but the peripheral picture shows a microcytic and hypochromic anaemia. It is due to a low iron binding capacity and there being not enough co-factor sites able to lock the iron for the red blood cells. My associate Dr. Annapurna Yemmanuru was reading a book of ‘Narayani Remedies’ by Swami Narayani and Swami Ananda and referred to a piquant indication where they suggest Cuprum met and Cuprum ars to improve the assimilation of Iron. Every time it is indicated we just wait to see the improved peripheral blood picture on the next visit. A pleasure indeed! Would love to add the indication of the legendary, Dr.Prasanta Banerji for anaemia, Vitex negundo mother tincture, which comes in pretty handy too.
Another rising incidence in the population the world over is that of hypothyroidism. The iodine is either deficient or not absorbed easily. The best fortified food is salt. As a matter of fact, there is enough research which says that, NaCl carries iodine into the body better than any other foods, beverages, condiments or seasonings. There is also research to show that, when the body is given inordinate supplementation of iodine, there is also an increase in cases of overt hypothyroidism!
We have a peculiar situation here. So as to stimulate the body for absorbing enough iodine through the fortified food and also to see that excess is denied, what could be better than homeopathy! Homeopathy helps maintain this wonderful balance. While I was reading high school biology with my daughter, I understood Natrum iodatum in a better way. Let me throw my hat into the ring of ‘Posology’. For improving assimilation, I find a remedy in lower potencies prods the metabolism. With this thought I have always been prescribing Natrum iodatum in 6c potency along with the constitutional remedy in all patients of hypothyroidism with quicker results.
The same is the case with Gun powder too. J. H. Clarke has been very kind to us by experimenting with and recording all its golden symptoms in ‘Gunpowder as a War Remedy.’ It is a remedy which never fails in keeping the infection at bay, usually in cases of boils, abscesses, carbuncles, furuncles etc. It corresponds to suppuration in a great number of forms. When indicated along with the deep acting medicine, whether it is the streptococcus or the staphylococcus, they remain silent for long periods of time.
The vistas of homeopathy are far and wide and whichever way we may decide to prescribe, this gentle and rapid science of medicine has never disappointed the practitioners of this art. Indeed, the privilege of practicing homeopathic medicine vests with all of us.