Why Be A Half Homoeopath - 1.
NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HOMOEOPATHY 1993 Jul / Aug Vol II No 4.
Dr Gunavante S M.
(Editor: Dr. Gunavante, in this issue, has brought into FOCUS a vital and most neglected aspect of Homoeopathy, the "Chronic Miasms". This article, which is in two parts, invites readers to contribute their viewpoints and experiences. If enough articles are received, we shall be glad to devote a Special Issue to the Chronic Miasms only.)
Synopsis: Understanding the Miasms; Miasms, inherited or acquired, remains latent for generations - Psora, the hydraheaded Infections - Meeting the Challenge - Importance of Nosodes - Suppression, its harmful effects - Characteristics of the three Miasms - Take the Active Disturbing Miasm - Not the surface totality - Tracing the link between the miasm and the remedy. (continued in the next issue).
Hahnemann discovered the Law of Similars as the curative principle, and then proceeded to prove nearly one hundred remedies. He put the symptomatology of the proved remedies into practises and he was getting marvellous results. However, he began to notice that patients who had experienced remarkable relief initially were coming back again and again either with relapse of complaints or with altered symptoms. Why did this happen? To find an answer to this problem it took Hahnemann twelve years of laborious research and experimentation. He discovered that the true, natural chronic diseases are those which owe their origin to a chronic parasitic miasm or germ (a chronic parasitic micro-organism). They never cease to torment their victim with constantly renewed suffering to the end of his life, unless, cured by the Homoeopathic art. These conclusions he had succinctly given in the Organon, from Aphorisms 72 to 82.
Many able practitioners of Homoeopathy have tried to explain the significance and indications of these three Miasms, viz. Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis, viz. Dr. J.H. Allen (Chronic Miasms), Dr. H.A. Roberts (Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy), Dr. Phyllis Speight (A Comparison of the Chronic Miasms), Dr. Hari Mohan Chowdhury (Indications of Miasms), etc. But none of these, in my opinion have made it so easy to grasp the true meaning of this difficult subject than Dr. Margaret Tyler. Her massive contributions in her writings and her innumerable cases have been summarised in her booklet, "Hahnemanns conception of Chronic Disease as by Parasitic Micro-organisms". In this book (which is worth much more than its weight in gold), she asks "Does Homoeopathy fail us, or do we fail Homoeopathy? Probably we, all of us, limit ourselves of half-Homoeopathy, and therefore reap only half results".
Hahnemann said that acute conditions may pass off even without treatment, and that "Chronic diseases only, are the TEST of the genuine healing art, because they do not of themselves pass into health". Every Homoeopath has to ask himself how far he is passing this test in his daily practise. A close look at society today, no matter whether rich or poor, will reveal innumerable cases of chronic diseases staring us in the face - diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disorders, mucous colitis, tuberculosis, bronchial asthma, mental aberrations, heart attacks, cancer, etc. What is the share of Homoeopathy in alleviating, if not curing, these conditions?
We will take a long step in meeting this challenge if we take up the study of the Chronic Miasms in all earnestness, and do not stop in our endeavour to master this - the other most important "half" side of homoeopathy - till we are able to report successes after successes - as Margaret Tyler did in her time.
Understanding Chronic Miasms
We give here what Hahnemann has to teach us:
- Chronic diseases owe their origin to a chronic parasitic miasm or germ (micro-organism). They constantly extend their sway not withstanding the most robust constitution, or the best habits of life (of mind and body) or the most carefully regulated diet.
- The miasms (read INFECTIONS) may be acute or chronic; Whether acute or chronic, they are parasitic diseases caused by micro-organisms.
- In both cases the infection takes place in a MOMENT. "If you scarify a rabbit, and take two dabs, (one in each hand) of streptococcus and of iodine, and dab on one (iodine) as fast as you can after the other (strepto), you are TOO LATE to prevent infection".
- All chronic diseases originate and are based on fixed chronic-miasms, which enable their parasitical ramifications to spread through the human organism, and "grow without end". (Ch Dis 1.23).
- The chronic miasms are semi-vital morbid miasms (infections) of a parasitical nature, which can only be neutralised and annihilated by a more powerful remedy producing analogous effects". (Ch Dis 1.53).
- Gonorrhoea and Syphilis are two Venereal Miasms. They are chronic parasitic diseases based on a fixed chronic micro-organism, whose parasitical ramifications spread (eg) through orchitis; which later cause acute gonorrhoeal rheumatism, followed by endocarditis which assumed a malignant type and proved fatal. "The gonococcus was obtained in pure strain from destructive lesions on the mitral valve".
- Syphilis always follows on the destruction of the chancre by local applications. "Whenever anyone is so impudent as to destroy this vicarious local symptom, the organism causes the internal syphilis to break out into the venereal disease, since the general venereal disease dwells in the body, and from the first moment of infection it is NO MORE LOCAL".
- Treatment of the chronic miasms must go on TILL THE CURE is complete, "for the least remains of a germ may eventually reproduce the full disease".
- Of Syphilis Hahnemann writes: "It never becomes extinct in itself. It increases from year to year, and assumes new and more dangerous symptoms to the end of life". Chronic syphilis will NOT BE CURED with one dose. Hahnemanns great remedy for syphilis is the best preparation of Mercury (Tyler used Merc cyn, with marvellous effect). He gave it in the 30th potency, but "in cases where a second or third dose should be found necessary, a lower potency may be taken". Taylor suggests: "Besides Mercury, Nitric acid, etc., we have a great remedy for syphilitic conditions in the virus of syphilis: Lueticum (Syphilinum), for which night aggravation is a leading indication.
- The chronic contagion has the peculiar nature of becoming extinct in the body, leaving a SEQUELAE in its train. Many of the chronic infections can enter into a changed, LATENT STATE, and persist as some unrecognised chronic disease. One must RECKON with them if the BEST work is to be done.
Miasms (infections) may be either inherited or acquired. Thus, a Syphilitic or Gonorrhoeal (venereal) miasm may stem from an indiscretion in the patients ancestry, rather than one committed by himself.
Wm Boyd, the pathologist, writes (Textbook of Pathology). "Men are not created free and equal but are handicapped from the beginning. In inherited diseases if the gene is recessive, it may remain dormant for many generations (hundreds of years) before it gets a chance to be free and show its effects". He then gives a long list of diseases of the blood, metabolism, skeletal defects, neuromuscular disorders, disorders of skin, eye, mind, etc. which are all hereditary.
The late Dr. P. Sankaran states in his book "Pathology in Homoeopathy", "We have strong reasons to think that even the residual effect of various diseases can be transferred to the next generation...the placental barrier does not always protect the child, as German measles, small pox, mumps and influenza have all produced abnormalities....viruses tend to be transmitted from one generation to another....the latent syphilis can cause thyroiditis and goitre, allergies, dyspepsias, abdominal pain, peritoneal adhesions, chronic ulceration of mouth, precancerous conditions and even cancer. This is why Paterson, the eminent Bacteriologist says, "Chronic diseases are due to an inherited miasm". Unless these are neutralised, the patient may not improve.
Fortunately, not every episode of infection gives rise to a miasm. A history of measles (Psoric) as a child, does not necessarily imply that the patient has a Measles Miasm. How, then can we decide which miasm it is? Firstly, the very fact that the patient suffers from a RECURRENT (Chronic) disease, such as ulcerative colitis, or migraine, etc., implies the presence of a miasm. Secondly, one may reasonably suspect the involvement of a Chronic Infection, if well chosen homoeopathic remedies based on totality of symptoms cease to produce results after giving initial relief. Of course, in coming to a conclusion about the nature of a recurrent disease, we have to rule out extraneous factors such as nutritional deficiencies, physical trauma or environmental disturbances.
Dr. J.H. Allen writes (Chronic Miasms, p.135): It is often very difficult to see the connecting link between the latent or quiescent state that a miasm assumes and the mysterious processes known as Pathology, that deceive us; or to trace out the lineage from one disease state to another. How short-sighted we are; these latent disease processes are slowly developing day by day, but we do not see the markings or tracings of perhaps psora or some other miasm all the way along. Here is a case of epilepsy, with no apparent cause, coming on in a boy at puberty. Why should this be. Look carefully and you will see a psoric or tubercular diathesis. Again, here is a case of hysteria in a girl of twenty years. She is well developed and to all appearances healthy, but at each menstrual period she suffers miserably from violent dysmenorrhoea, extreme pain, spasms, mania with great mental agitation, dysentery and very strange symptoms; and what is the history of such a case? Tubercular, of course; an aunt and an uncle on the fathers side died of that disease. It is only a mixed miasm that could give us such a combination of phenomena.
Suppose we look over her latent miasmatic symptoms. She has light brown hair that is dry and lusterless, the dental arch is imperfect, the teeth club-shaped and irregular, the incisors still show a slight serration, the face is pale, but becomes flushed easily from the least excitement the eyelashes are irregular and some of them are imperfectly curved, others stubby and broken, the edges of the lids scaly and red, the hands and feet are cold and clammy the nails thin and imperfect, split or break easily. All these are tubercular or pseudo-psoric symptoms she has a history of suppressed menses from getting wet in a rainstorm, and all her sufferings have arisen since that time. A careful analysis of her whole case revealed tuberculinum to be her remedy, which cured the case and she has remained well ever since. Oh, how much there is in treating diseases from a miasmatic standpoint, it means so much to every honest hearted physician who has a desire to carry out the teachings of Hahnemann in order to make perfect cures!
Psora - The hydra-headed infections
It is significant that the indomitable Tyler had the "audacity" to say that "Not one of the great teachers since Hahnemanns day - even Burnett who with his Vaccinosis, came nearest to it - has grasped the true inwardness of Psora", viz, that the cause of disease is the result of infection caused by parasitic micro-organism, a contagion which lies smouldering and becomes latent in the organism". Dr. S.P. Koppikar who unearthed Tylers unpublished, very carefully prepared, lecture mentioned earlier and presented it before an International Congress in Mexico in August, 1980 laments, "What an unfortunate result came out of Kents observations (Lecture IX on Philosophy) that "Bacteria are the outcome or the results of disease," - whereas Hahnemann repeatedly stressed that diseases are the result of infection caused by the parasitic micro-organism, a contagion which lies smouldering and becomes latent in the organism. Hahnemann talks of Psora as "that immense host of chronic affections", which makes Tyler say that one cannot doubt that "Were Hahnemann alive today, his Chronic parasitic, non-venereal disease (Psora) would long ago have sorted itself out into not one but a dozen such".
With increased knowledge of microbiology today, one can identify a number of infective non-venereal diseases which commonly give rise to miasms (smouldering, latent infections). We mention some of them here: German Measles, Brucellosis, Herpes simplex, Tonsillitis, Measles, Chickenpox, Slow virus infection, Scabies-boils, Influenza, Parasitic worms, Diptheria, Mumps, Scarlet fever, Malaria, Pneumonia, Typhoid, Tuberculosis, Cancer and AIDS would come under mixed miasms.
We thus see that the Psoric (non-venereal) Infections afflict mankind under the names of different diseases. It is only when we recognise the origin and nature of different infections that we will be able to find the curative remedy or remedies for each case. We should remember that latent disease may be extraordinarily quiescent and quite unsuspected. The patient may not be ill, and yet is never well until, and as hahnemann points out, shock, misery, trauma (mental or physical) lowers resistance - and things begin to happen.
Meeting the Challenge
A few important steps suggest themselves towards helping us to reap the full (not half) benefits of Homoeopathy, and be full Homoeopaths.
- Probe deeply into the family history of each patient - no matter how trivial his presenting complaint, unless it is a very acute condition - the patients predecessors may have suffered from Tuberculosis, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea or Cancer - going back to at least three generations. We may find it very difficult to get accurate information, but if we look at whatever data that is presented with a high degree of Suspicion, the search may not be in vain.
- Personal history from birth, or even in utero, including the "health" (mental and physical) of the mother, and the information we may get on "Never well since a certain illness" - these are essential.
- The constitution of each patient should be carefully studied, for his disease will be found to be dependent upon some miasmatic basis. The physician should be able to detect the presence of Sycosis for example, in his patient, without a history of gonorrhoea. Let us remember that pthisis may be headed off before an abscess forms in the lung tissue, if we are familiar with the phenomena of its incipiency. The bond between two miasms can only be broken by a prescription that will meet the totality of the more active one. Each miasm has its own phenomena of expressions, its times, modalities and order of arrangement. (113).
- "The constitutional or chronic miasms may be so latent that no symptoms may mark a deviation from health or show their presence even to one who is skilled in a knowledge of miasmatics. We observe this in growing children and in those of a robust nature in whom strong vitality predominates. The chronic miasms become active in the presence of acute disease (such as the diseases of the children), also at the decline of life, when the vitality of the individual diminishes. It is then we find tumours, malignant growths and all the pathology that comes through the mixed miasms at the age of decline, from forty years of age and up. Such is the history of disease in our practice and pathology; the cause always wrapped in mystery and obscurity". (P.114)
"An abnormal symptom is an indication of a disturbance in the vital force, and its clinical or pathogenetic value is of supreme importance to the physician".