Homeopathy Papers Materia Medica

Broken Down Constitutions – Nosodes

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The author discusses the nosodes and their use in broken down constitutions.

Author: Not Known

This month we will look at the nosodes, and although our main object will be to indicate their use in broken down constitutions, we will also examine them from a rather wider point of view. And if space will permit, we will conclude with a brief account of the symptomatology of one nosode—Tuberculinum. A nosode is a preparation from the morbid tissue of a person suffering from the disease for which a remedy is required. For example, Bacillinum is prepared from a sample of pus taken from the diseased lung of a person suffering from tuberculosis, potentized in the same way as any other remedy, and administered according to the same law of similars. It is important to note that, generally, only diseased matter from human beings is used and not, as in the case of vaccines used by the allopathic profession, matter from the bodies of animals. The only exception which I know to this rule is Professor Kent’s Tuberculinum bovinum, which he obtained from the glands of tubercular cattle. Possibly he used this remedy because some of his cases of tuberculosis were of the bovine type, contracted from infected milk.

Hahnemann himself was the first to use nosodes, and he introduced Medorrhinum, the nosode of gonorrhoea, Syphilinum the nosode of syphilis, and Psorinum, the nosode of psoriasis. Other nosodes were added to the list by various people as time went on, including Variollnum, the nosode of smallpox, Bacillinum the nosode of lung tuberculosis, Diphtherinum the nosode of diphtheria, Pertussin the nosode of whooping cough, Parotidinum the nosode of mumps, Morbillinum the nosode of measles, etc., etc. In recent years Dr. Paterson has done much work on a group of intestinal nosodes, prominent among which are the dysentery nosode, the Gaertner nosode and the Sycotic nosode. In view of the prevalence of intestinal complaints in these days, it seems likely that increasing use will be made of this group of nosodes. Cancer nosodes have also been prepared, the chief of which are Carcinosinum and Scirrhinum, and many cures have been effected with their aid.

An important modern field for the use of nosodes is in prophylaxis against epidemic and other acute infectious diseases. Experiments have shown that the nosode of a disease, when administered to healthy persons in small infrequent doses, will protect against that disease, and this method of protection is far safer than inoculation or vaccination with serums obtained from the bodies of animals.

For example Diphtherinum will protect against diphtheria and Variolinum against smallpox. The late Dr. Compton Burnett used this method of protection against smallpox and not a single case which he treated developed that disease. Similarly, Pertussin will protect against whooping cough and Morbillinum against measles, although in the case of this disease Pulsatilla and Bryonia may be equally effective. The usual method of administering nosodes as prophylactics is to give one dose of the nosode once a week for about six weeks. Experiments made in France tend to show that the higher potencies protect for longer periods than the lower potencies.

There are certain rules to be observed when administering nosodes which perhaps had better be mentioned now. It should be remembered that nosodes are very powerful remedies and that the prescriber must be sure of his ground before administering them. First, they should only be used in high potency, and while the actual potency is a matter for the conditions of the particular case, a good general rule is not to go below 30c. The 30c, the 200c, and the \m potencies are probably the most frequently used, and all can be highly effective. Secondly they should not be repeated too often—usually not at intervals of less than a week. Thirdly when confronted with acute conditions, it is advisable not to prescribe nosodes without really expert advice, in case an aggravation is produced. Lastly, one must not get the impression that, because a disease condition has its origin in one of the chronic miasms—psora, syphilis or sycosis—that it can be treated with the nosode of that miasm. The general symptoms of the patient must agree with the symptoms of the nosode as ascertained by provings on healthy individuals. In other words, nosodes must be administered according to the law of similars, just like other remedies.

What of the use of nosodes in broken down constitutions—those chronic cases of lingering ill health are the subject of our special study in this series. Let us remember:

(a) That these cases are suffering, probably by inheritance from some generations back, from at least two of the three chronic miasms.

(b) That their bodily economies have probably also been poisoned by various vaccinations and inoculations with animal serums.

(c) That their medical history may include attacks of acute disease such as measles, scarlet fever, etc. Incidentally some authorities regard these diseases merely as acute manifestations of the three basic miasms, but we will not pursue this point now.

Such constitutions present a difficult problem for the prescriber to unravel, for they seldom show a single drug picture, and indicated drugs often fail to benefit. It is in these circumstances that the prescriber should look to the deep acting remedies, and particularly to the nosodes, and in this field he will probably find the key which will remove the obstacles to progress. Professor Kent gives a good example in his lectures on Materia Medica. He instances the children of sycotic parents who do not thrive, and look waxy and pale, as though about to go into consumption, although they do not actually develop this disease. They fail to react to well selected remedies. Such children require Medonhimim in high potency, and after this is administered they react better to other remedies. The sick headaches of women are another type of case in which a nosode may be required. Although these headaches may be relieved by such remedies as Iris versicolor, they are not really cured by them, and have a tendency to recur with increasing severity. Such a condition may be permanently cured by Tuberculinum in high potency administered at infrequent intervals in between the acute attacks.

Hay fever is another chronic complaint which may best be treated by a nosode—Psorimim. The remedy should not be given during the hay fever season, but during the off season, and three or four doses are often sufficient to effect great improvement. Sometimes, in the midst of a plethora of particular symptoms, a patient will exhibit some marked general symptom such as severe nightly aggravation, prostration on waking in the morning, or amelioration in mountain air. If these symptoms were shown, Syphilinum would of course be indicated. Again, mental conditions such as forgetfulness, constant tension, and a constant state of hurry would be an indication for Medorrhinum, and a dislike of washing coupled with an unhealthy skin and offensiveness of the bodily discharges, an indication for Psorinum.

Nosodes may also be necessary to counteract attacks of acute infectious diseases, although such attacks may have occurred long ago in the medical history. The acute stage of a disease may pass fairly quickly, but health is seldom completely restored, and many unpleasant legacies may be left behind. We are all familiar with troubles of ovaries and testes after mumps, with deafness after scarlet fever, with ear, nose and throat troubles after measles and with paralysis after diptheria. Administration of the appropriate nosode may remove these sequelae and prepare the way for constitutional treatment of the basic underlying dyscrasia. The late Ellis Barker used this method with considerable success. Perhaps tubercular constitutions present one of the most common types of lingering disease which we encounter, and they have often been treated successfully with nosodes. Dr. Compton Burnett did the outstanding work in this sphere with his Bacillinum, which, as mentioned above, is a trituration of pus from a diseased lung. Burnett produced this remedy and proved its curative value before Koch produced his Tuberculinum. The orthodox allopathic profession ignored Burnett’s cures, but welcomed with great gusto the preparation of Koch, which was injected into tubercular patients in large doses with disastrous results. Burnett’s book Cure for Consumption, records case after case of the successful treatment of tuberculosis with his nosode Bacillinum administered in potency (often the m) and some day, I have no doubt, his work will receive the recognition which it deserves.

Many weakly constitutions are tubercular at base, although they may give no evidence of actual disease. In these cases Tuberculinum and Bacillinum—the two are practically identical—are remedies which may do very useful work. These tubercular constitutions are so common that a short drug picture may not be out of place here. Tuberculosis is a combination of the psoric and the syphilitic miasms and its symptoms are consequently partly psoric and partly syphilitic.

Kent says that Tuberculinum is a very deep acting remedy and is often required when other deep acting remedies fail to hold for very long. It is allied to Psorinum and both Kent and Burnett point out this connection. Burnett says that Tuberculinum is often the acute remedy and Psorinum the chronic. Other allied remedies are Calcarea carb. and Silica, and these are frequently of great use in tubercular conditions.

The tubercular individual has a feeble constitution. He lacks vitality, is debilitated, nervous and always tired. He usually has a thin neck. His pale sunken face sometimes has a circumscribed red patch on each cheek. His appetite is poor, particularly in the mornings. His hands are blue and clammy. He has indurated glands everywhere—a syphilitic manifestation. His abdomen may be large with the spleen region bulging out. In children there is a tendency to ringworm. Tubercular children sometimes have a strawberry tongue and suffer from adenoids. The mental symptoms are particularly marked. The patient is of sullen, taciturn, irritable disposition, generally critical of everybody round him and of the conditions in which he has to live. He has a constant desire for change and is always wanting to go somewhere and do something different. A curious symptom is his optimism in acute lung disease. Although his case may be hopeless, he still thinks he will get better. He cannot rest at night for persistent tormenting thoughts which careen through his head (this is one of the psoric symptoms). Tubercular children can be very difficult. They are inclined to be whining and fretful, obstinate and given to fits of temper if they are approached for medical examination or any purpose which they do not like. Sometimes the mental condition is so bad that it borders on insanity. There is a distinct connection between tuberculosis and some forms of insanity. Kent says that “Phthisis and insanity are convertible conditions, the one falls into the other”, and also that “ the intellectual symptoms and the lung symptoms are interchangeable “.

The tubercular patient is sensitive to every change in the weather, especially to cold and to damp, and cold aggravates all his symptoms. Yet he suffocates in a warm room and can only breathe easily when out in the cold wind. He longs for the open air, and loves riding out in a storm. Storms within and storms without have been said to be typical of the tubercular patient. The tubercular patient has an aversion to meat but a craving for cold milk. Sometimes he has an all gone hungry feeling (c.f. Sulphur) which drives him to eat. Or there may be complete loss of appetite.

There is evening aggravation with a rise in temperature and a rapid pulse. The patient sweats in bed at night and wakes up in the morning with a sore bruised feeling all over his body. He is frequently driven out of bed in the morning with a diarrhoea, but sometimes constipation alternates with the diarrhoea. The constipation stool is large and hard.

Periodic headaches are often of tubercular origin and with the headache there is a sensation of the head being squeezed, as if with an iron band. The headache extends from the neck to the forehead and the pain is usually burning and piercing. In women the menses are too early, two profuse and too long lasting (c.f. Calcarea carb.), but in severe cases they may be absent altogether.

A hint from Dr. Burnett may prove useful. If Bacillinum seems to be indicated but fails to act, a few doses of Thuja may be required. This possibility should not be overlooked in these days of frequent inoculations and injections, for Thuja is par excellence, the remedy for poisoning with animal toxins.

Hydrocephalus and meningitis are forms of tuberculosis and many a cure of these diseases has been effected with Bacillinum.


Clarke, J. H., Dictionary of Materia Medica.

Kent, J. P., Lectures on Materia Medica.

Roberts, H. A., Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy.

Shepherd, Dorothy, The Magic of the Minimum Dose

Burnett. Compton, Cure for Consumption


Excerpted from HEAL THYSELF – February, 1951

Courtesy: www.homeopathycourseonline.com

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  • A point to note here is that any nosode which is old may react adversely. Don’t use nosode more than 6months old. I have experienced that patients either show aggravation of symptoms or totally new symptoms despite non repetitive dosage. It may be because alcohol provides ideal conditions for bacterium or virus to multiply exponentially in ideal conditions of medium and ambient temprature. Throw a nosode after six months, as you might be breeding a potential hazard or poison at your clinic.
    Lastly it is advisable not to use any nosode below potency of 200c.

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