Acute Remedies and Chronic Remedies
I was reading an email from one of my students where she asked me a question. She was working on her presentation on Hahnemann Chronic Miasms and wanted to know if certain remedies were acute or chronic. She referred to Hahnemann's "Acute" and "Chronic miasmatic disease classification where he mentioned a few "acute " remedies such as Coff., Bry., Ign., Ip., Cham., Acon., Arn., Rhus-t., Ant-c., etc.
So her questions were -
Do we really have acute and chronic remedies in Homoeopathy?
Can certain remedies only work in acute situations and have no effect on deeper chronic miasmatic conditions?
It was hard to just reply in a few words so I decided to create this post and provide my thoughts in detail based on my experience and research because for me Homoeopathy is a medicine of Experience.
And I did not want my students to believe things just because I said so or even Hahnemann said so...
So let's look at what experience and research shows.
The evidence through Proving
The first evidence can be found when we study provings.
When we conduct provings of unknown substances, it is seen that no proving can never bring out the same symptoms in every prover. While some general symptoms are similar, each individual prover will bring into play his own peculiarities. For the same substance one prover will bring the emotional symptoms more clearly while another would bring the chest symptoms more strongly and a third the rectal symptoms.
The proving team then put it together as if one man had proved that medicine.
So the picture of a remedy depends on how extensive the proving was irrespective of the substance proved.
Ideally every remedy needs to be proved on hundreds and hundreds of people across all demographics, at different times and places. This could possibly allow a full expression of the whole nature of the remedy. And how it affects the entire person and manifests through every organ of the body.
But unfortunately, most of our provings are patchy so the scope of application of majority of our remedies is restricted to acute therapeutic or specific action.
Interestingly when some of these remedies are reproved or enriched through clinical use the potential of their scope expands that confirms that the real depth of many remedies is still unexplored.
The evidence through Clinical Cases
Next we study our clinical cases and look at what our experience shows us.
Over the years through thousands of cases across different cultures and background, my personal experience tells me the same story which I am sure many of you would agree.
Many of these "acute remedies" have unfolded the entire chronic condition for so many of my patients.
Eg I remember a young Man his 20's and who had asthma since he was a little child. Interestingly the remedy based on his chronic and acute manifestation was the same. It was Rhus toxicodendron. This remedy not just helped during the acute episode but even shifted the chronic tendency to get these episodes.
He has been well since I last saw him more than 10 years ago. But there is an interesting reason why I remember this case. He mentioned that he had forgotten the taste of ice-cream. He avoided it ever since he was a little child because that triggered the asthma. And within three months as the frequency and intensity of the asthmatic attacks subsided, he could start eating ice-cream again.
On the other hand I have seen so called "chronic remedies" like Sulphur clearing acute diarrhoea in hundreds of little infants at a primary health clinic in India within a few doses.
It was a genus epidemics at that time in that little town where I had my set my rural clinic.
And this is not just my experience. We have seen most of the experienced homoeopaths including Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, Kent and others talk about using an acute intercurrent when the acute picture is not covered by the chronic baseline remedy.
So if the same remedy does not cover both the "acute" and a "chronic"phase, then separate remedies are used to match different phases that complement each other.
Eg Kent gives an example. Belladona can cover the symptoms of an acute headache because it matches the acute state of the patient's exacerbation. And then a complementary remedy such as Calc Carb that matches the deeper chronic state inbetween the episodes can complete the work or take it from there.
However there are many cases that show that Belladona has a chronic phase. Eg I remember one of my teachers who had resolved a case of Hypertension completely using Belladona. Here it worked as a deep acting Chronic remedy!
Stages and Remedy Picture
So the purpose of today's blog is to re-enforce the concept that no remedy can be just acute or chronic.
It would be limiting the potential of our remedies if we use them as one or the other.
In fact when I developed the Stages Concept a few years back to find the best approach for my patients. I realised that I could use the same template to understand the remedy in its entire disease expression, from local to general, in acute and chronic manifestations.
It not only helped me identify the gaps in the remedy picture due to patchy proving but even fill those gaps through a variety of creative tools and resources in homoeopathy today.
If you need more information on the Stages Template and how you can use it to simplify your homoeopathic practice, kindly download my ebook - When your favourite Approach Does Not Work. The first book is free and you can download it from the left side of this blog page
In the meantime I just received an email from an extremely relieved mother this morning. And I thought I should share her child's case today.
Although the case is still work in progress I want to share it because it clarifies and reinforces the concept of acute and chronic remedies for me all over again.
And more importantly taught me some unknown facts about a remedy that I thought I knew "well"
Our patients are after all our best teachers.
Watch this video to find more about the case and my learning…
I would love your frank feedback on this.
What does your experience say about Acute and Chronic remedies.