Ringworm is a nosode, the centre point of the ringworm miasm. This miasm lies between psora and sycosis. It is characterized by an element of struggle as well as a resigned acceptance. The nosode was prepared from scraping of the eruptions of tinea taken from an infected patient. Histopathological examination of the scrapings confirmed it to be tinea.
I conducted a proving of this nosode. From the result of the provings, as well as from the patients that I have treated with Ringworm, I have understood the main feeling of this nosode to be that the task at hand is just beyond where the person can be sure of success.
The main action of the prover or the patient is therefore trying to do something, trying to accomplish a task. He starts with a kind of lack of confidence, becomes hopeful, tries to accomplish the task and struggles at it. At some point however he decides that it is not going to work, that he will not be able to accomplish the task by this method, that it is beyond his reach. So he gives it up, and accepts that he has to live with it.
As a result, he doesn’t do anything for quite some time. After a while however another possibility seems to open up for him and he becomes hopeful once again. He starts trying and struggling all over again, only to give it up after realizing that it is beyond him. So there is an alternation between struggling and trying, and then giving up, between hopefulness and resignation.
I have found that, in the dreams of most of the provers as well as in the lives of most of the patients, one can see an alternation of this struggle with periods of inertia, whether it is trying to reach college on time, trying to give up smoking, trying to get rid of his illness or trying to build a relationship. A typical example would be the struggle of an obese person trying to lose weight; there are periods of jogging, walking, dieting (struggling), followed by periods of indolence, calories, chocolates (acceptance).
The dream of one of the provers is worth noting. He dreamt that he was inside a tent and was trying to come out. But outside the tent were thousands of crows that pecked at him each time he got out. So he had to get back in again. He would try repeatedly to come out but each time he would have to give up and go back inside.
This dream clearly brings out the alternation between the struggle and the resignation. Other provers had dreams with similar themes. For the details of the proving of Ringworm, I refer the reader to my book, “The Substance of Homoeopathy”.
I have seen that these patients generally lack confidence. There can be egoistic talk like in Sulphur, or on the other hand, a cover up like in Medorrhinum. There can be anxiety attacks as well. But the pathology and symptoms all come and go in phases.
There is often a history of fungal infection, either in the groins, or in between the toes, with periods of terrible, intolerable itching, alternating with periods of no itching whatsoever. The symptoms never really become acute or destructive, and the person feels that he will have to live with the problem, although it would be better to try and get rid of it. He struggles periodically but when he fails, he just accepts it.
The remedies that come closest are Calcarea sulphurica, Magnesium sulphuricum and Calcarea silicata.
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To read about the philosophical approach to developing these remedy pictures, see Dr. Sankaran’s introduction to Soul of Remedies: