Author: Jan Scholten
Homeopathy and Minerals
Knowledge of new remedies
In homeopathic practice it has been observed that in many cases it is difficult to achieve a good and rapid cure. There can be many causes for this. An important cause is that a little known remedy is needed. The aim of this book is to add to the amount of remedies at our disposal.
An important method used in this book is the study of groups of remedies. For this I will use the term 'group analysis'. Groups of remedies which contain the same element will be compared and the common symptoms extracted. Afterwards those symptoms will be applied again to the various remedies which contain that element.
This method will also be used in the Ferrum group, a group of chemically related metals. Because the characteristics of this group are a bit more diverse the common traits are a little more general.
The method is not entirely new, but the way it is being applied here is. For a description of the method I would like to refer to the chapter Group analysis.
In one aspect this book is unusual in homeopathy. It is the first book in which we look at the remedies from a more abstract point of view than before. The abstraction is not that we go deep into the theme of one particular remedy but that we go deep into the theme of a group of remedies: for instance the Natrums. This creates a new level of looking at remedies, one could call it a 'meta' level. This abstraction even makes it possible to predict, to a certain extent, the picture of unknown remedies. In practice these predictions prove to be largely correct.
Together with the group analysis the development of 'themes' has taken place. These themes appear to be an effective way of handling the information given by the patients. This in turn influences the course of the interview. Information about the history of the patient and the situational causes prove to lead to remedies. Especially the link of the Carbonicums to the father, the Muriaticums to the mother, the Sulphuricums to the partner and the Phosphoricums to the brothers and friends has led to many positive results.
While comparing and describing the remedies the emphasis will be on the mind pictures. The group analysis has appeared to give the best results with the mind pictures of the remedies. This is also because the mind picture is always present in one form or another in a remedy, whilst the physical complaints may vary. The different ways to look at diseases will be talked about in the chapter 'Disease as creation'.
This book has been written for practising homeopaths. It should not be viewed as a book for beginners. The well known Materia medica will not be discussed in detail. It will only be quoted to clarify new remedies and to compare them with known remedies. Besides this however, new aspects of old remedies will also be highlighted. This book has also been written for every interested reader.
Structure of the book, Sections
To clarify the emphasis on the mind picture I started with the chapter 'Disease as creation'. Following this is a chapter on group analysis, its meaning and its use.
After this come the basic remedies, first the Cations :Calcarea's, Magnesiums, Kali's, Natrums and single elements. Then the Carbon element and the Carbonicums separately. And so on with the Muriaticums, the Sulphuricums and the Phosphoricums.
Next come the lesser used groups with the remedies belonging to them: the Baryta's, the Acidums, the Ammoniums, the Nitricums, the Fluoratums, the Broma-tums and the Iodatums. Lastly come the remedies of the Ferrum group.
As an extra I describe Argentum metallicum and a search strategy that has proved to be very valuable to me, namely a timetable.
From the general to the detail
Every time the group analysis will be given first and afterwards the results of that analysis will be applied to the remedies belonging to the group. This approach was more practical for me than doing it the other way around. In practice the group analysis has involved a constant switch between materia medica, repertory and patients' notes. But by sticking to this order the book has become clearer and easier to follow. The disadvantage of this method is that in the introduction of a remedy group the symptoms sometimes appear to be 'out of the blue'. The disadvantage of doing it the other way around would be that everything would seem to be detective work and therefore difficult to follow.
Structure of the chapters
In the chapters about groups (for instance the Calcarea's) the themes of that group will be discussed one by one. Following this will be the general traits (the influence of weather, the times, food, menses, sleep and movement) and the most important complaints.
The chapters on the individual remedies start with a short introduction. Then follows the part with the key concepts. I have added this part to be able to work more quickly with these concepts and to be able to imagine new combinations. Then follows a look at the remedy according to the group analysis. The lesser known remedies will be illustrated with a case, together with analysis and remedy reactions. Finally I will give the picture of the remedy, wherein I have included all those symptoms which are in my view the most important in order to be able to prescribe the remedy.
The lesser known remedies will be discussed at greater length,illustrated with a case. I have tried to present the cases in the most complete and exact way possible. I did do some restructuring to keep them readable as a whole. The cases were taken by myself unless otherwise mentioned. They are meant as illustrations of the theme.
Criteria for selection of a case were:
to be illustrative
a clear reaction, preferably with an initial aggravation
a clear and lasting improvement, both physically and mentally
an insight in the accompanying problem
change, letting go of the problem.
I would like to use this epilogue to say a few more words about this book in general.
The group analysis has proved to be a powerful tool in the development of remedy pictures. This method has added to our insight into already well known remedies. It has also helped us to develop a picture of several new remedies.
The method of group analysis makes it possible to think about homeopathy on a new level, an abstract, or even metaphysical, level.
This enables us more or less to predict the picture of a totally unknown remedy.
A great deal of the unknown remedies described in this book have been given to the patients with a feeling of: ‘this just has to be the right one’. It gave us a feeling of ‘Eureka!’. The results were a sort of test to prove the prediction.
The terms which I have used to characterise the different remedy groups are still flexible. Some of the words have already been used in classical texts, others are entirely new in their homoeopathic use.
One has to be careful with words. Words can only point to a state or a feeling, but they are not the feeling itself. So it may be necessary in the future to review some of the terms I have used and, if appropriate, to replace them. It is also possible that some homoeopaths would prefer to use different words to describe a concept.
I have tried to select some key words, words which have often been used by the patients themselves.
The development of the key concepts is an ongoing process. The addition, for instance, of the term ‘desire for unity’ to describe the theme of the acidums, has only recently been effected. Until then I had a feeling that the acidums were not quite complete. But now I really feel that the most important themes of this group have been named.
The concepts can also be of help while we are taking the case. For instance, if we are thinking of Calcarea, we might ask if the patient is sensitive to criticism, and if so, to what kind of criticism. Or, to ascertain the Bromatums, we could ask if the patient feels guilty, and if so, guilty about what?
In principle we could use all the concepts to probe for a reaction from the patient. Sometimes a patient doesn’t know quite how to put his feelings into words. By offering him a few possible key words to describe his feelings, he might attain more clarity about his whole state of being.
Some of the concepts open up a completely new way of looking at the remedies: ‘father’ for the Carbonicums, ‘mother’ for the Muriaticums, ‘partner’ for the Sulphuricums and ‘brothers and sisters’ for the Phosphoricums. This enables us to turn our attention quickly to a certain group.
A theme in someone’s life, or a past event, may remind us of a certain remedy. But the actual reaction to the situation can still vary greatly. An example may make this clear: a woman has lost her mother and she is very sad about it. This could point to Natrium muriaticum But what this woman misses most are the daily conversations with her mother. She used to go and have a cup of coffee and a chat with her mother every morning. So the remedy in this case proves to be Phos-ac.
Another example is a boy who has a mentally retarded brother, who gets laughed at by other people. This might point to Bar-p. But on further questioning it is revealed that he gets extremely angry when people laugh at his brother. This makes Mag-p the correct remedy.
On reading the different variations used in the group analysis, one will notice that I have only used a few combinations out of the 'endless' number of possibilities. This may look like an arbitrary choice out of a range of possibilities. But this choice has mostly been based on what I have personally observed in my patients. And besides, there were some combinations for which I couldn’t possibly imagine any meaningful collective theme. I would like to invite all readers to use their imagination freely to come to a meaningful theme describing the central state of some of these unexplored combination remedies.
The reader will have noticed that I have made frequent use of general characteristics, such as time of aggravation or side of the body. To me these symptoms are often an indication or a confirmation of the right remedy. I would like to hear the experiences of other people on this aspect.
The pictures of the remedies are still tentative. The number of cases on which these pictures are based is still relatively small, apart from which there is always the possibility of personal bias. There were however some reasons why I wanted to add them. In the first place, it is much easier to find the essential information about a remedy in such a picture, than it is by reading through a whole case. And secondly, the pictures are summaries which reflect what I have found to be the main characteristics of a remedy. I wanted to share what has worked for me.
Some of the remedies have been used so extensively that one might already call them ‘polychrests’, should one want to use this term at all.
It is certainly true that the experience of working with and analysing these remedies is not restricted to my personal practice: all my colleagues in the ‘Homoeopathic Centre Utrecht’ are working with these pictures. Once again I would like to invite the reader to experiment with them, and to expand or correct these findings.
In our group practice, the number of cases which can be solved using the group analysis method has proved to be 5 to 10 % of the total. This is only a rough estimate, partly because the method is still being developed further. For example, it has become clear that patients who until recently appeared to be doing well on Calcium carbonicum are now showing an even more definite and clear improvement on Calc-br or Calc-m.
Furthermore, the number of groups for which suitable concepts have been found is increasing steadily. And so there are more and more combinations which can be used. The method appears to be easy, the concepts are easily recognisable and a remedy is soon found. However, a word of caution to the beginner, who may be tempted to apply the terms too loosely: it does take time before one is able to apply the concepts with sufficient accuracy. One has to develop a feeling for these concepts before one can differentiate them precisely. One good way of practising this skill is by applying the group analysis to successfully treated cases recorded in one's own practice.
As mentioned before, I would hereby like to invite the reader to use the information given in this book to apply the concepts and to appraise the results critically. I hope that it will provide new possibilities to help your patients, particularly in those cases where it has up to now been difficult to achieve satisfactory results.
It will no doubt become clear that some parts of this book can be improved. It is already clear that there is great scope for increasing our knowledge.
In any case, I would very much like to hear from you.
Foreword by Rienk Stuut: A look behind the scenes
For many years Jan Scholten, general practitioner and homoeopath, has been expressing his unhappiness about the gaps and the lack of system in our knowledge of homoeopathic remedies.
On one side there is a group of homoeopathic remedies, the so-called polychrests, about which a lot, perhaps too much, information is available.
On the other side there is a very large group of remedies about which very little, if anything, is known. It is this last group, however, which plays a large role in Jan Scholten's practice. That is why one of his expressions is that 'small remedies don't really exist, only little-known ones'. As a pioneer in the use of these remedies which are, in his eyes, often unjustly neglected, he sometimes appears to have a blind spot where the better-known remedies are concerned. But generally -on the other hand- we (his colleagues at the Homeopatisch Artsencentrum Utrecht) still tend not to recognise the unknown and the therefore as yet unloved.
Within our group practice we are constantly surprised by, and treated to, new images of both unknown and known remedies. This makes us look at our patients in more detail so that we may be more able to help them.
If an outsider asked me where Jan Scholten gathers the knowledge about these remedies, I would answer that it would be a better question to ask: where doesn’t he gather his knowledge from? As a homoeopathic physician he opens himself to receive knowledge from all areas, but with one clear goal in mind: the further development of homeopathy. That is the focus of the knowledge he has thus acquired.
This gathering of knowledge does not happen without criticism on the way. It is his patients who have the final word. Ultimately they are the ones who can tell us whether our ideas about our remedies are true. This applies not only to the aforementioned unknown remedies, but also to the so-called polychrests. To put it briefly, the evaluation of that which changes in our patients on the physical and on the psychical level is of great importance. That this is especially important with remedies with a yet unknown picture becomes apparent in this book.
Most homoeopaths start with a proving as a basis for a better knowledge of the remedies. Jan Scholten has the viewpoint that the patients are the people who are best able to tell us what is happening with them after they have been helped by a homoeopathic remedy.
In order to get to know more about the action of our remedies we do need to go deeper into the general psychological aspects of a case. We should not be content merely with the disappearance of symptoms.
A very important and new step that is being described in this book is the way of bringing a system into the study of remedies. Until now our knowledge has been rather haphazard. We see this not only in the pictures of individual remedies, which often consist of a disordered heap of symptoms. We see this even more clearly in groups of remedies which, although botanically or chemically related, at first sight hardly seem to have any relationship with each other homoeopathically.
This book gives an analysis of composites which are chemically related. If we were to compare for instance all Natrum composites with each other then it would lead to a considerable step forward in our understanding if we knew what the Natrum part contributes to this composite. In short, the first step is to define the separate elements. The next step is to understand the dynamic interaction of these elements within their different composite states.
These are the steps that are being taken for us in this book. Sometimes we can, with our available knowledge of Materia Medica, understand the result of these steps. Read for instance the analysis of Natrum muriaticum with the idea, already described by Hahnemann, that mother has died (1985, Vol. 2, page 1078; the original text in Chronic Diseases, page 536, paragraph 97, reads: 'Gedächtniss-Mangel, dass er glaubte, seine (stündlich anwesende) Mutter sey gestorben, weil er sich nicht erinnern konnte, sie gesehen zu haben'. In Tafel’s translation this reads: ‘Lack of memory, so that he thought his mother (though continually present) has died, because he did not remember having seen her’).
Often the ability of the writer to connect creatively his information from different sources, especially the source of his patients, doesn’t make it easy for us to follow. It won’t always be easy for the reader to appreciate the true value of the painted picture, in which case only one piece of advice, given by Hahnemann, will help: 'Aude Sapere' (Dare to know). Dare to know, because it is not only a collection of very interesting remedies that this book has to offer. Its value lies even more in the way of thinking that forms the foundation of these pictures. When we have mastered this, then we ourselves can explore the elements described in this book even further and connect them in a creative way. I myself have already started to put it into practice. We can even apply this method to elements that have not been described yet.
This is how this book can mark the beginning of a significant step forward in the practice of homeopathy and we can see it as the first Organon workbook in the field of knowledge of homoeopathic remedies. It is in daily practice that the rough diamonds which have been mined for us by Jan Scholten need to be polished in order to shine in their full brilliance.
While writing this word of thanks I realise that many people have contributed to my development. In the first instance of course my parents, brothers, sisters and other family members. And later the numerous friends with whom I had many talks and discussions.
As far as my development in the field of homeopathy is concerned, I would like to say a special word of thanks to George Vithoulkas. He has been a tremendous influence in the development of homeopathy as a whole. In his seminars he has shown me his ideas about the essences of the remedies. Alphons Geukens has in his courses enlivened the images with video cases. Rajan Sankaran has further contributed with his ideas about essences and root situations.
I would also like to thank all those homoeopaths with whom I have exchanged thoughts about homeopathy. The influence of all these discussions, although hard to describe, is definitely there.
Also many thanks to my colleagues at the 'Homeopatisch Artsencentrum Utrecht': Maria Davits, Anton Kramer, Alex Leupen, Rienk Stuut and Willem Woutman. The ideas in this book have been created in our mutual discussions, while they also gave their critical appraisal of the manuscript. Anton Kramer, Rienk Stuut and Willem Woutman also offered a few cases for this book and the foreword has been written by Rienk Stuut.
Furthermore I would like to thank those who initially read this book and kindly gave their comments: Kees Dam, Fernand Debats, Henry Hilhorst, Henk Hommer-som, Frans Kusse, Yvonne Lassauw and Rob Peters. Special thanks go to Henry Hilhorst: his comments enriched this book, his encouragement made me persevere.
I thank Ton Davits for his advice on giving this book its format.
I want to thank my patients. Without them this book would never have been written. They kept on trying to answer my (sometimes 'impossible') questions. Their feelings, thoughts and expressions have formed the real content of this book.
Finally I would like to thank the homoeopathic pharmacies - Dolisos, Homeoden and VSM - for preparing the sometimes unknown remedies.
For the translation into the English I want to thank Mariette Honig
and Deborah Collins for checking it; and Roger Savage for the corrections to the second and third editions.
“I dedicate this book to humanity”
Title : Homeopathy and Minerals
Author: Jan Scholten, M.D.
Translation: Mariette Honig
Translated from: Homeopathie en Mineralen
Jan Scholten, 1993
Cover design: Ton Davits
Lay-out: Ton Davits
Foreword: Rienk Stuut
Publisher: Stichting Alonnissos
3512 NK, Utrecht
Telephone and fax: +31.30.2340211
For our email-address please phone us.
Edition: 1st edition, 1993
2nd edition, 1995
2nd impression, September 1996
3rd edition, November 1997
Printer: Drukkerij Haasbeek BV
Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands
©: 1993, J.C. Scholten.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted or translated into any language in any form or by any means without written permis-sion of the publisher.