Blog - Shilpa Bhouraskar

Using unknown remedies in Homeopathy

The ever growing Materia Medica

During his life Hahnemann proved at least a hundred different remedies and built the basis of the Materia Medica that is still being used today.
During the hundred and fifty years since, some two and a half thousand remedies have been added, some through rigorous provings, others not quite and many more through noting the effects of accidental poisonings.

I remember one particular lecture in Organon where we discussed the limitation of homeopathy. One of the topic was about the limitated number of well proved remedies at any stage and the question which came up was"What would you do in cases that did not fit your known set of remedies? The answer was simply, "Find the closest possible known remedy and work your way out through a zig zag cure".

I understood that was practical and I agreed it worked in most cases.
But my question was what about those cases which still never did well.
Why should the patient suffer just because he did not fit the typical Natrum Muriaticum or a Pulsatilla or even after he or she was prescribed a series of similar known polycrests and nosodes?

I believed there had to be a better way out to use the full potential of the ever growing materia medica of partially proved or forgotten remedies to provide the best for our clients.

Using the potential of the entire Materia Medica

Later during the internship I was posted in Dr Sankaran's OPD. Here I noticed an interesting difference in the way he practiced. He never failed to pick weird peculiar rubrics in a case. Then he looked for them into the depths of his Kent's repertory for remedies known and unknown which were found in these rubrics. He would never hesitate to venture into the world of relatively unknown remedies if they came up strongly for a given set of peculiar rubrics and actually prescribe them.

For example in a case which looked and repertorized Calc Carbonica, he gave a Calcarea Sulphuricum on a peculiar rubric of Lamenting because she was not being appreciated. For another case which seemed very Tarentula, he gave Theridion based on two peculiar rubrics - The knees jerked upwards whenever he coughed and he had a strong craving for oranges.
To my pleasant surprise these remedies worked extremely well sometimes better than expected to unfold the whole case.

I wondered whether these remedies possibly also covered the other common rubrics of the case because many of them belonged the same family. But this could never be confirmed due to the incomplete information in the books.

Later I found the same refreshing approach in other practitioners such as Dr Parinaz, Dr Vijaykar, Dr Sunil who produced consistent deeper cures with newer so called non polycrest remedies with as much ease as the known polycrest remedies.

Finally it gave me the boost to actually attempt using the whole extent of the materia medica in practice.
Here is a case example from my early practice to demonstrate the same. Hope it inspires you to try newer remedies in your practice as well.

Working with completely unproven and new remedies

During the same time, I attended a weekend seminar by Jan Scholten where he spoke about the reverse law of Similars – An unknown remedy picture requires an unknown remedy. This further opened a whole new spectrum of homeopathy for me - a materia medica without the boundaries.

Thus I embarked upon a journey of actually understanding how different practitioners worked successfully with unproven remedies. The fun part was when I tested it in my own clinical practice to find what worked and what didn't work. What were the pitfalls and how to overcome them.

Slowly I realised that there was no difference in the process of case taking and analysis whether you prescribed a known or an unknown remedy. Actually the process had little to do with homeopathy. What needed to change was one's outlook, belief system and the ability to look outside the box if needed to find answers and solutions no matter what.

The actual homeopathic process then became easier to understand. From a homeopathic perspective finding the unknown could mean looking beyond the traditional or known way of homeopathic case taking and understanding of the remedies.

To simplify I have elaborated this case management process in detail in my second ebook, The Quest for Simillimum- miasms and stages. I have given my exact thought process in a step wise manner through a series of cases using different approaches and strategies for the same case.
I have specially selected cases with known remedies so one can doubly confirm the same remedy understanding through both traditional and new methods. I believe that once you develop the confidence of using the process with known remedies it is much easier to use it for unknown remedies.
This is a book for those who want to look at the bigger picture and help your patients with the best of traditional and contemporary homeopathy without boundaries.

Click here to access the book

I would love to hear about your experience of using new known and unknown remedies in practice too. What approach works for you to find them?


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Thank you for these insights, Jean

It is a most beautiful article one can ever read and understand

Thanks Sunit.
I am glad you found it helpful.

Thanks Shilpa for posting this article. You are doing well not only for the sake of Homeopathy but also Homeopaths would be benefitted after reading your valuable contribution.

Debasish Bandyopadhyay

Thank you, Shilpa. Every your article gives something fresh. I'm waiting for them and enjoying!!!

That was a great case Shilpa, I really enjoyed you showing the different ways of arriving at the remedy. Very helpful. Sally

Interesting case on Cobaltum Shilpa. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you Shilpa, good straight aspect.