In 1922, Dr W.E. Boyd introduced the work he had been doing on “emanations” to his colleagues at the British Homoeopathic Association with a little trepidation!
He stated that:
“Today the world is on the threshold of the invisible and in the presence of forces of which it knows little, but which it regards with awe.” (1)
In 1917-18 he had come to the conclusion that the splitting of the atom released “wave motion” in some manner. He was obviously greatly interested in relating this phenomena to the action of high potencies in homoeopathic dilution’s. (1a)
Dr Boyd investigated the work of a Dr Abrams of San Francisco, an orthodox medical man who had originally set out to show the fraud of homoeopathy. Abrams had used a machine originally designed by Dr Starr White of Los Angeles, by which he attempted to detect minute quantities of energy proceeding from the blood and other body secretions.
Abrams had discovered that the reflexes of a healthy human, standing facing due west, connected with a wire to the earth, became sensitive to the magnetic field of the earth.
After some preliminary experimentation, Abrams discovered that he was observing the increased strength of reactions due to potentisation and he also claimed that his machine could be used diagnostically, and identified areas of dullness to percussion upon the abdomen of each subject which related to certain disease states.
Indeed, Abrams eventually published a list of differential diagnoses, depending upon the ohms of each dull area found, and further claimed to be able to diagnose many conditions via their “vibratory rates”.
Boyd investigated this research, expressing surprise that the diagnostic accuracy of Abrams machine was indeed very good on occasion. Boyd also found the inaccuracies which Abrams discovered, and he felt this was due to poor experimental control of external influences – it seemed that onlookers or even slight contaminants would negate or confuse the results – and that the human subject was a “big problem” preventing scientific accuracy.
The machine basically reads the electrical energy from the patient based upon saliva samples (Abrams used blood samples) and percussion of the abdomen. The air gap between the measuring device and the abdomen allows a reading of the “intensity” of the person.
However, Boyd confirmed that the instrument could detect deviations of the human system long before any question of pathological diagnosis could be made. (1b)
Boyd was convinced that Abrams’ machine was a form of wireless, acting as an inductor and actually picking up minute waves of ether, or wave motion. It appears that a human subject can even function as an aerial to a wireless! (1c)
When Boyd began to insert potentised remedies into a copy of Abrams’ machine, he found that they recorded definite measurable effects. He also found that the machine could be used diagnostically, and that by also introducing an indicated remedy in a bottle near the subject on the machine, that the dull areas of percussion on the patient’s abdomen disappeared! When the bottle was then removed, the dull area again registered on the patient’s abdomen. (1d)
After Dr Boyd’s paper was read to the Association the comments were “polite” and Dr Burford suggested that Boyd should have called his paper Transcendental Homoeopathy! However, all agreed that as homoeopaths, they should keep an open mind, and Boyd was sent on his way to do more research into this interesting phenomena.
In 1923, a year later, Boyd presented another paper. This time it was to popular demand for information as the press had got wind of the research, especially since Boyd now had a Biet Research Fund to investigate his findings further. (2)
By this time, he had redesigned the machine completely, ironing out most of the problems of interference, but still stating that it was being modified and improved all the time. The machine was now called an emanometer.
Boyd was actively investigating the machine’s use as a diagnostic tool and he had had considerable success identifying various waves implicated in certain conditions – the C wave was found in cases of cancer, the AW wave indicating kidney trouble, the D wave for catarrh, the T wave for tubercular conditions, F and H for staphylococcus infection, J wave for streptococcus infections, the N wave for the liver etc.
He had also found to his surprise that when a true similimum was administered, the machine detected that the abnormal activity within the patient was cancelled out completely. (2a)
This paper was mainly concerned with the diagnostic use of the machine, which appeared to be clinically useful. However, Boyd stated that the machine was not specifically useful in providing a single disease name to any particular case.
Boyd again reiterated that the machine was a wireless receiver, but whereas ordinarily wirelesses tune down to 100 metres, his emanometer tuned down to less than a metre. Someday it may be possible to listen in to a patient’s saliva which would tell you as if from a telephone, the exact drug and potency to use in any particular case. However, the human subject continued to “get in the way” and affected the “wireless” in a way that they had not yet determined. (2b)
By 1925, the interest surrounding this research of Boyd’s was even greater. By this time, the War Office had come in on the research, bringing in experts from orthodox medicine (Sir Thomas Horder) and from the Air Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority. Even a member from the Society of Psychical Research was included. Such was the state of the art in the 1920’s!
Boyd reported again on the extent of his research into diagnosis, commenting that the wireless analogy continued to be of great assistance, but that it did not entirely explain the phenomena. Boyd stated:
“I might mention a certain amount of evidence exists to support a theory that we are dealing with some form or variation of energy co-existent with so called electro-magnetic waves, and accompanying them”. (3)
Boyd again maintains that there is a correlation between clinical states and the reactions obtained on the emanometer (3a), but he is wary of the actual interpretations of such correlation’s (3b).
Interestingly, in the same Journal (4), Dr Granville Hay stated that Sir Thomas Horder reported on this research to the Royal Society of Medicine (a report which was heard in absolute silence after a long and laboured apology for presenting it in the first place!) demonstrating conclusively that the energy in the remedy sulphur in the l0M potency was measurable with Boyd’s emanometer beyond a shadow of a doubt.
In his maiden speech to the British Homoeopathic Association in 1926, Dr W.R. McCrae MB ChB delivered a lecture on the Relationship of Remedies entitled: “Drug Groups and their Value as Therapeutic Agents”. (5)
He asked the question, “Why does one remedy follow another?”
Dr McCrae had been working with Dr Boyd’s emanometer for five years. Dr Paterson had visited Boyd in Glasgow to investigate this research. (8) As well as investigating the machine’s use as diagnostic tool, Boyd had previously used the machine to demonstrate active substances in potentised remedies, detecting the presence of gold in Aurum metallicum 6x and 7x and marked activity in Radium bromide 10x. (10). Similar machines had been used since 1862 to demonstrate such activity in potentised remedies, but Boyd had made the emanometer a legitimate tool of research by this time.
In 1927, Dr Boyd published more results of his experiments with the emanometer (6) claiming that:
“..this brings the sequences and relationships of the facts of homoeopathy within the sphere of etheric phenomena. The equipment and the findings are planned in general, in terms of wireless. The homoeopathic equation is instrumental, not deliberative”
The remedies were grouped via their relative intensities by placing them inside the machine. (6) (8) (9)
Based upon two years observation of over 5,000 prescriptions using the Emanometer of Boyd (6), Dr McCrae grouped the remedies into twelve groups, and suggested that persons belonging to one group would always belong to that group unless “…violent physical or mental shock..” prevailed.
TABLE 1 THE TWELVE GROUPS OF REMEDIES (lst draft list 1926)
aconite, alumen, brom, ferr met, guiaicum, oleander, sepia, verat alb, verat vir.
all, cepa, agnus cast, aurum met, crotal, hyos, lach, merc dulc, merc vir, murex, naja, sulac.
alfalfa, cina, cinnabar, dros, gunpowder, lac can, mag carb, med, nat carb, TNT.
amm carb, amm mur, ant crud, bar c, bry, card mar, calc c, calc c, flor, con, dig, dulc, ign, kali mur, mosch, onosmond, podo, sod sal, sarsap.
agar, a11 sat, aloes, alum, amb gris, apis, arg nit, bell, bovista, carc, chlorine, cimic, cupr, ferr p, staph, kalamia, ledum, lyc, mag phos, mang, nat ars, nat mur, nat phos, nux mos, phos, ph ac, plumb, sabad, secale, sil, spig.
anac, anthrax, angelica, ant t, ars, bism, cact gr, ladm, calc sil, calc sul, cuccus, flour ac, gels, glon, graph, grat, lith carb, malaria, mephitis, merc iod, millefol, smab, sang, squil, spong, tarent h.
calc phos, euphras, kali c, lachnanthes, syph, thea.
bart m, berb, carb an, carb v, cauloph, caust, cham, chel, coffea, colch, vcoloc,v diosc, dirca, hamam, hydras, iris v, iod, ipec, kali bi, kali brom, kali iod, kali sul, kreos, lac mac, lymph gland, lyssin, mag sul, merc sol, nux vom, petrol, petrolsel, psor, puls, rad brom, rheum, rhus tox, rhus ven, rhod, rumex, sanicula, senga, stann, stram, sulph, scleros, terels, zinc.
borax, china, china sul, gambogia, kali phos, nat sulph, sabina.
arnica, calc sul, cistus, hep sulph, helleb, ricinus, ruta, tub.
canth, nit ac, thuja.
urticaria, val, off.
Dr McCrae was anxious to point out that this list was not comprehensive, indeed, some common remedies are not included. Dr McCrae claimed that it speeded up the choice of the remedy if you knew what group the person belonged to, because the remedy selection would thus be from the corresponding remedy group.
He made an interesting point about provings. If a person from one group was given a remedy from another, incompatible group, then the proving might “…force the prover out of their natural remedy group”.
This was like the action of an acute illness, which did the same thing, and the result would be that the person would enter another group for a short time, but this new group would not belong to the person or to the remedy being proved.
Thus, certain groups of remedies were inimical to each other, e.g. silica (group 5) was inimical to mercury (group 2), tuberculinum (group 10) was inimical to any remedy in group 5. However, aconite (group 1) was favourable to any remedy in group 6 (for example in a fever, compare aconite and arsenicum here). Also,lachesis (group 2) was favourable to any remedy in group 8 once only in high potency. However, McCrae said much further study was needed.
Interestingly, Dr McCrae indicated that if a husband and wife were of the same group, then the children would also belong to that group. If, however the husband and wife were in a different group, then the children would be either the father’s group, the mother’s group, or rarely, from an independent group. Here also, Dr McCrae stated that much further research would be needed.
Dr McCrae felt that acute illness took the patient out of their main remedy group and into a neighbouring group, for example calc carb (group 4) moved into belladonna (group 5). But he indicated that bryonia (group 4) would prevent a belladonna acute in a calc carb patient.
Giving remedies from distant groups could cause nasty aggravations, thus the selection of remedies from neighbouring groups would be recommended.
The discussion which followed Dr McCrae’s maiden speech is very interesting to read in the Journal. Dr Tyler said that her practice confirmed the tables in her experience, especially the relationship of sepia to guaiacum.
Dr Stoneham was amazed that pulsatilla and silica were from inimical groups, as they were reputed to follow one another well. Also, hepar sulph and silica were considered to be alike, but these were also in different groups.
Dr Wheeler mentioned the attempts throughout the history of homoeopathy to group remedies, and Dr Clarke in his dictionary continually referred to relationships, but Dr McCrae’s paper seemed to go against all of Dr Clarke’s suggestions!
Dr Fergie Woods also complained that Dr McCrae’s findings contradicted all received wisdom in placing ignatia and nat mur in different groups. Also aconite and sulphur were in inimical groups too.
Dr Wheeler found it difficult to believe that no one had never been helped by a remedy from a “different” group, and he concluded that the area was too new for any real value to come out of such a discussion.
ln reply, Dr McCrae defended the research; they had only had the enanometer for five years and this was indeed early days! He
suggested that silica does help a pulsatilla patient and also a sulphur patient – no one knows why – but it seemed to be only in acutes – if silica was repeated in a pulsatilla patient at a later stage, you could get a nasty aggravation!
Dr McCrae also indicated that remedies from the same groups could be antagonistic as well as antidotal, e.g.. pulsatilla and sulphur or calc carb and bryonia and any others?
Dr McCrae felt that there are groups of people and also remedy groups too. People seemed to have the opportunity to change groups in infancy, but otherwise they seemed to settle down into a certain group for life. Dr McCrae suggested a specific representative remedy for each group (6)
- calc carb
- kali carb
Dr Gibson Miller had once lectured on this subject and suggested a principle:
“That general symptoms were to be compared with particular symptoms in relation to particular organs”.
Dr Benjamin wondered if these groups of people could be related to the blood groupings, and Dr McCrae did go away and study this, but no report seems to have filtered back in report form, so we assume this line of research did not bear fruit.
In 1930, Dr L R Twentyman in his paper “Miasms and Archetypes” (7) attempted to group patients via the miasms, mentioning Dr Borland’s attempt to group “Children’s Types” and referring to Dr Boyd and Dr McCrae’s work in this area. However, the discussion of these ideas eventually drops out of the Journals. (Hahnemann used the miasms to group the remedies though) (11)
Boyd again reported on the development of the emanometer in 1930 (8), giving detailed descriptions of the principle and method and reporting that the machine could easily differentiate sulphur 10m from inert granules with statistical certainty, (1/33,000,000 by accident).
Obviously, there was great interest at the time and research continued, but nothing further appears in the Journals until 1953 when Dr McCrae published his summary of his work in his paper “Elementary Work on Some Electro-Physical Phenomenon” (9).
In this paper, he reiterates the method of the emanometer and the fine tuning of the research into the use of the machine. He gives a fascinating description of the machine and the results of the research.
Dr McCrae had spent some considerable time isolating the patient within the machine to prevent static from the person influencing the readings. Thus the constant percussion “note” from the abdomen can indicate acute illness and serious illnesses via isolated patches of “dullness”, which correspond to disease reactions described by Boyd (6) (8) as different illnesses vary greatly in intensity.
Dr McCrae was now using fluid from the lachrymal sac rather than saliva, as tears were less liable to contamination. These were placed inside the machine and the abdomen percussed, thus the individual’s group was found by exposing a series of body cells in a series, each representing certain non-related groups. The remedies were then chosen from a selected group, comparing symptom pictures and taking the usual case history into account.
Remedies have regular variability, so the matching of the patient to the remedy is possible. Dr McCrae reports that after all these years of research, related groups of remedies are still found e.g. a patient of the 8th group will elicit a reaction from the 4th group (possibly the 5th group also) but never from group 7 or 9.
Patient’s from group 6 will never show a reaction from remedies from the 1st or 10th group. Patient and the remedy are demonstrable at the extreme limit of the intensity scale. Only one accurate remedy from the correct group will allow such a close match.
TABLE TWO: CORRESPONDENCES OF PATIENTS TO REMEDY GROUPS
PATIENT’S GROUP REMEDY GROUP
1 6 or 10
6 1 or 10
10 1 or 6
(1 – 6 – 10 was a remarkably consistent group)
8 4 most frequent
8 5 less frequent
8 11 rare
5 11 most frequent
5 8 less frequent
5 10 rare
4 8 most frequent
4 11 less Frequent
4 7 rare
2, 3, 9 and 12 infrequently found in
especially 3, 9, and 12.
Over the course of one year, a group 9 patient would be seen two or three times a year. A group 3 patient has never certainly been discovered and a group 12 patient has never been discovered at all. Of the 2 groups, these are frequently female. No regularity has ever been found at the menopause, but a group 2 patient, if this is the normal constitutional remedy, are usually found to be related to group 6 or, less frequently to group 4
Two distinct series were demonstrated; 1 – 6 – 10 and 5 – 11 – 8 – 4
Dr McCrae states:
“… a patient never changes from one group directly into a neighbouring group”.
This does not mean that a group 5 patient will never become a group 4, but they may move to group 8 (or rarely group 11) first, and then into group 4. There seems to be a antipathy of one group to it s neighbour, especially if a series of remedies have been given to a patient including a remedy from a neighbouring group, most commonly there will have been an aggravation, which is much worse if repeated remedies from neighbouring groups have been administered.
This is rarely seen in group 8 patients, as groups 7 and 9 are too small and seldom used e.g. kali carb (group 8), which may explain Kent’s warning about this remedy causing aggravations. This aggravation is commonly seen in group 5 as group 6 is so large and group 4 has so many commonly indicated remedies.
The aggravations thus produced are
“…quite a startling appearance in the electro physical survey..” “..the generalised dullness on the abdomen has an intensity of alarming dimensions”.
This is due to
“…an excess of stray potency energy presented in the patient’s secretions”. This equals a very confused remedy picture “Invariably found in patients who have recently had a series of potentised remedies”, often via self prescribing or in ‘sensitive” patients. (9)
The antidotes are often very difficult to find, but when found, they will allow patients to ameliorate and improve for quite a while. Often responses to the antidote will appear negative after about two or three weeks, but the emanometer will show that:
“…the mass of excess potency energy has been neutralised, a less confused symptom picture is found, and the true remedy elicits the desired result”.
The machine and the technique allows a selection of a remedy
“. ..in conditions which were not revealed in the proving”.
It is especially good for studying small remedies.
The comparison of groups is interesting also. The “tones of symptoms in one group resemble similar “tones” in the other groups.
e.g.: VERTIGO – in each group, the vertigo is similar but compare aconite and glonoin (group 1) to conium and belladonna (group 4) to arnica and vinca minor (group 10).
This is a difficulty in ordinary prescribing. Dr McCrae gives a case here of pneumonia, where baptisia was given, but aralia racemosa was the correct remedy. Baptisia, being a partial similar gave a “satisfactory” result superficially, but :
“…dangerous undercurrents become intensely active and a new, and probably a more dangerous, condition supervenes”. (9)
This proves Hahnemann’s statement in the Organon that only the true simillimum really works. The true similimum neutralises the disease:
“…so alter the electro physical state of the body that it becomes adjusted to a state of ideal balance”.
Thus, the emanometer detects the new intensity of calm balance within the body.
McCrae’s final list of the twelve groups of remedies discovered via the emanometer follows. There are no further references to this work in the Journals from 1953 to the present day.
Interest in this type of research became quite out of fashion in the 1960’s and 1970’s as the Faculty doctors attempted to bring homoeopathy into the “more respectable” arena of modern empirical research. McCrae’s work simply did not fit this bill!
TABLE 3: THE TWELVE GROUPS OF REMEDIES (final draft 1953)
aconite, bromine, cedron, chlorine, cobalt, cyclamen, ferrum met, glonoin,
guaiacum, linium usit, mancinella, oleander, sepia, veratrum alb,
aurum brom, aurum met, aurum mur, aurum, nat mur, bothrops lan,
cenchris cont, elaps cor, heloderma, hura bras, hyoscyamus, lachesis,
murex, naja ‘trip, syzygium, toxicophis, trombidium, vipera torva.
alfalfa, tri nitro toluine.
aesculus hip, aesthusa, amm carb, barium carb, belladonna, bryonia,
calc c, calc flour, calc hyp, calc ovi test, carduus mar, conium, digitalis,
dulc, equiset, eupatr pur, eupatr pur, flour ac, ign, millef, moschus,
myosotis, onosmodium, passiflora inc, podophyllum, sarsparilla, thyroid,
aloe, alum, apis, arg met, arg nit, arum trip, asofoetida, barium mur,
benzoic ac, bovista, cadm ph, cad sil, calc phos, cann ind, cann sat, carb ac,
caulophyllum, ceancthus, cimic race, cina, cichona off, chichona mur,
clematis, coccus cac, cuprum, elat, ferr phos, iris v, kalmia lat, lapis,
lac ac, ledum, lil tig, lobelia, leptan, lyc, mag mur, mag phos, mur ac,
nat carb, nat mur, nat sal, nat sil, nux mos, oxalic ac, phos, ph ac, phyt,
plumb met, ranunc b, raph, sabadilla, salic ac, scirrhinum, calc c, sil, spig,
staph, stron c, tabac, timothy grass, vespa, wyethia.
allium c, alloxan, anac, anthracium, aranea d, ant ars, ant c, ant t, ars alb,
ars met, baptisa, bismuth, cactus grand, cadm ars, cad met, cad sulph,
calc ars, capiscum, caust, cocculus, corr rub, crategus ox, crocus sat, curare,
echinacea, euphrasia, ferr ars, gels, hyper, kali mur, kali nit, lith carb,
malaria off, nat ars, sanguinaria, sambucus, spong t, sticta pul, tarant h,
tarent c, teucrium m, theridion, viola od, viola tri.
chimaphila, kali ars, kali carb, syph.
agar mus, ambr agis, ars iod, Bach’s nosodes, bacilinum, berb v, bufo,
camph, cath, carb an, carb veg, carb sulph, cham, chel, china sulph,
cinnab, coffea, colchicum, colocynth, dros, gnaph, hammamel, hydras,
iod, ipec, kali bi, kali brom, kali hyd, kali phos, kali sulph, kreos,
mag carb, magsulp, medh, merc cy, merc cor, merc dul, merc i f, merc i r,
merc sol, nit ac, nux vom, nat sulp, oenanthe cr, opium, petroloum, petrolselium, plat met, prunus sp, psor, puls, pyrog, rad brom, rad sulp, ranunc scl, rhod, rhus tox, rumex, ruta, selen, SSC, stann met, stram, strop, sarm, streptococcin, sulph, sulph iod, sycotic co, tarax, tellurium, terebrinth, urtica urens, zinc met, zinc sulph.
arnica, calc sulph, chin ars, helleb, hep sulph, lauroc, oleum an, plantago, rheum, senega, symphytum, tub bov, uranium nit.
caloptropis, solan nig, stillingia, thallium ac, thallium met, thuja.
1. British Homoeopathic Journal 1922: pages 334-363
W.E. Boyd MA MD
“Recent Research on the Relation of Certain Electro Physical Phenomena to Homoeopatky”.
1a. ibid page 335
1b. ibid page 340
l c. ibid page 342
1d. ibid page 344
2. British Homoeopathic Journal i923: pages 458-492
“The Relationship of Certain Electro-Physical Phenomena to Homoeopathy (Second Report) with Special Reference the emanometer”.
2a. ibid page 47
2c. ibid page 489
3. British Homoeopathic Journal 1925: pages 346 – 386
“The Boyd Emanometer Research and the Related Physical Phenomema”.
3a. ibid page 367
3b. ibid page 382
4. British Homoeopathic Journal 1925: pages 262 – 263
Dr Granville Hay
5. British Homoeopathic Journal 1926: pages 101 – 125
W.R. McCrae Mb Chb
“Drug Groups and Their Value as Therapeutic Agents”.
6. British Homoeopathic Journal 1927: pages 14 – 21
“The Emanometer of Boyd”.
7. British Homoeopathic Journal 1952: pages 130 – 13
Llew R Twentyman
“Miasms and Archetypes”.
8. British Homoeopathic Journal 1930: pages 299 – 330
“Electro Medical Research and Homoeopathy”.
9. British Homoeopathic Journal 1953: pages 1 – 10
“Elementary Work on Some Electro Physical Phenomena”.
10. Magic of the Minimum Dose page 10
Dr Dorothy Shepherd
The Eastern Press Ltd
ISBN O 85032 112 3
11. Homoeopathic Recorder 1929 pages 641 -644
“Classification of Remedies”
Guy Berkely Sterns
Copyright © Sue Young June 1991
Visit Sue Young’s Website : https://www.sueyounghistories.com/
I would like to be able to contact Sue Young about her wonderful history writings. Will you please provide me her direct email address?