“Homeopathy refuses to reveal its secret to the casual inquirer”
Dr. M. L. Dhawale
Understanding how to study materia medica has been a difficult subject since its origin. Dr. H. C. Allen stated , “The way to study the materia medica is to study it. The way to teach it, is to teach it. If we can remember the time when we tackled algebra or geometry or German, we will remember that we had to do more than merely read it before we mastered it. The facts of the materia medica are there and can be mastered only by study, and we must each do it in our individual method of work.”
Here through three individual cases we will try to study clinical expressions and implications of the great salt of potash, Kali carbonicum.
Name: Mr. K T Age: 59 years old Occupation: Retired govt. officer. Date of case: 1st December, 2011
|RS, NoseThroatSince 4 days
|Coryza, Watery+ à Cough, Minimal Expectoration, Breathless ness+, Burning+, Hoarseness of voice+Heaviness+||A/F: Change of weather< Draft+++< lying down+++
O/E: Generals: NAD RS: AEBE, no harsh sounds. Oral: Mild congestion+
Diagnosis: URTI – Laryngitis
Totality: A/F Change of weather Draft aggravation
Lying down aggravation Dry cough
Head, heaviness with cough
Arsenicum Alb was in my mind and I prescribed it in 200 potency TDS.
The next day the patient showed no improvement. He shared that he had marked aggravation at 4 AM. and cannot lie down hence.
Referring to Boger’s Synoptic Key, Nux Vomica and Kali Carbonicum were coming up. But Nux Vomica did not cover the aggravation on lying down. So, Kali Carb 200 TDS was prescribed and the very next day he was relieved from all the complaints.
Name: Mrs. S Age: 34 years Occupation: Housewife
|Lumbar backRight sidePara-spinal region
Since 6 – 7 days
|Pain, severePulsating||A/F:? Exertion< lying on painful side++< pressure+++
< forward flexion++
Only > while lying on opposite side+++, otherwise pain in all position
O/E: Generals: stable, Right lumbar para-spinal tenderness, forward bending-painful. Spine: NAD
Group of remedies: Kali carb, Nux vomica, Natrum Muriaticum, Platina, Spongia.
She shared that she had on and off backache since delivery of her last child. Kali Carbonicum 200 BD was given and in little time she registered the amelioration. Total relief achieved within three days.
Name: Mrs. B J Age: 47 years Occupation: House wife
Education: B. A. Religion/cast: Hindu/Brahmin Vegetarian Address: R
|Bil. KneesLeft > RightSince 1 1/2 year
On and off
|< raising up from sitting< up stairs< exertion physical
> Warm application
|Head||Pain+++, throbbingCold++ to touchPerspiration+||< while constipated+++< MILK+++< fermented food++||Restlessness+|
|Integumentary system, Soles||Cracks+++||< winter|
The patient :
Appearance: Fair, Obese+ Wound healing: normal
Hunger: cannot tolerate, Feels internal trembling, has to attack food, especially in the evening; feels weak while hungry. Cravings: tasty foods, ice cream+, chocolates+
Perspiration : moderate, no staining Menses: regular cycle flow: moderate
Pain++ in abdomen at commencement of menses Staining++ offensive++
Thermal: Dislikes Summer+++, Bath: Tepid in all seasons except winter
Cover: not otherwise, one in winter. Fan: summer & monsoon- Full, winter – slow
Sleep: Dreams: of the dead++
Mental disposition: expressive and talkative. Anxious if any family member is ill. Irritable+
O/E: P- 78/min BP: 124/78 mm No pallor
RS: AEBE GIT: NAD CNS: NAD CVS: NAD
Right knee: Tenderness+, swelling+, no redness, no heat
Left Knee: Tenderness++, Swelling+, no redness, no heat
Diagnosis: Bilateral OA Knees
Group of remedies after studying the case: Graphites, Kali Carb, Iodum, Pulsatilla
Final remedy: Kali Carbonicum covers all generals and characteristic modalities also.
|17/10/11||Case taking||Kali carb 200 single dose|
|30/10/11||Much better, now no constant pain in knees, can able to upstairs without pain. Characteristically Hunger aggravation is relieved markedly||Sac lac|
|14/11/11||Knee pain increased due to exertion||Kali carb 200 single dose|
|23/11/11||Better but still not much improvement, as there is continuous exertion||Kali carb 200 single dose|
|29/11/11||Improved in general. Since last night URTI. Thirst increased, Body ache+, Fan aggravation||Arsenicum Album 200 BD for two days followed by Sac Lac|
|6/12/11||Improved||Kali carb 200 single dose|
|16/12/11||Absolutely no complaints. No knee pains, no headache, constipation and hunger aggravation||Sac lac|
“The remedy must be adapted to the patient, not the patient to the remedy. In taking your case and hunting through your repertories and materia medicas, don’t make the mistake of getting a remedy too firmly fixed in your mind or you court disaster. No remedy is a fixed thing. It is capable of producing many different kinds of action in different people. For instance, in one person it produces liver disturbances, in another cutaneous and in yet another mental. All the same remedy, but variations of its action. This is plainly shown in our provings.” – Boger (Read at the A. F. for H. Post Graduate School, June 1931.
In ‘The Study of Materia Medica’ Master Boger mentioned “The true physician is the man who knows how to make the best cures, and the most expert healer is the man who knows best how to handle his materia medica.” Homeopathy requires lifelong learning, through action based experiences and letting them correct our interpretations. It is often quite opposite to the experience of other fields, as homeopaths feel more energetic and younger, case by case, patient by patient. Probably that’s why Master Hahnemann was eager to publish his improved opus (5th edition of Organon) at age of 78 years. Hail Hahnemann!
Boger C M, Collected writings, The study of Materia Medica, page – 118
Boger C M, Collected writings, Vital Energy, page – 51
Dhawale M L, Principles & Practice of Homoeopathy, Homoeopathic Physician, page – 15