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Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy may be unfamiliar subjects, but nonetheless are very pertinent to modern times.

The Society of Homeopaths was honoured to listen to pediatrician Dr Micheala Glöckler at their recent conference in London.

Dr Michaela Glöckner - paediatrician with a deep understanding of Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy
Dr Glöcker

German born Dr Glöckler now lives in Switzerland and has a deep passion for Applied Anthroposophy and the availability of choice and cultural diversity.

Anthroposophy (Anthro-po-sophy) is a philosophical system associated with polymath Dr Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). The word means human (anthropos) wisdom (sophia).

Steiner had great respect for Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) who documented the principles of Homeopathic Medicine.  Indeed Anthroposophic medicines are low potency homeopathic preparations.  In the UK, Weleda is one well know name in the manufacture of both homeopathic and anthroposophic medicines.

While writing this blog, I found a interesting (but quite long) article comparing Steiner’s work and Homeopathy.

Dr Glöckler spoke with great passion through the morning session, almost without notes, surely challenge enough, without that of speaking in a foreign language.  Gut gemacht!

Waldorf Schools

Waldorf Education follows the Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner. The name comes fom the town of Waldorf, a town near Stuttgart.

Wikipedia gives a good overview. Do bear in mind that the Wikipedia perspective is coloured by their philosophy which is not as definitive as they would like you to believe.

Children according to Steiner-Waldorf teaching, learn in three ways: imitation; experience (often painful); and, insight or understanding.  Education should be age appropriate.

Education should also be in the real – not the digital world – and that real world incorporates an awareness of Higher Worlds (i.e. the spiritual). 

Dr Glöckler warned us not to delegate our potential (or consciousness) to the internet; to do so risks delegation to the State and potentially the control the powerful and often negative forces.  

Healthy learning is active (analogue) not passive (digital). Ultimately what we truly understand is self-education. 

She moved on to consider in closer detail a child’s development.  There are three seven year cycles: first (0-7) brain, then emotional (8-14); and finally consciousness and responsibility (15-21).  

As a aside (but relevant) children’s author Michael Morpurgo also had something to say on the value of early years education on the BBC yesterday.

Having been a school governor for almost twenty years, I can say that national curriculums and such like are eternal subjects of debate. The rise in home schooling rather demonstrates the dissatisfaction with a one size fits all view-point.

Anthroposophy in Medicine

All across Europe – and even in land of her birth – mainstream medicine increasingly denies the teachings of Hahnemann and Steiner.  The reason, Dr Glöckler explained, is a failure to understand the working principles.  At the core is a battle of philosophies: the technology focused trans-humanistic view versus the spiritual path. 

Each human being has its unique spiritual destiny which is ignored at our peril.  She urged everyone to campaign for the legal status of integrative medicine (see https://eliant.eu/en/).

Modern medicine, for all its benefits, focuses solely on the physical body. This approach is wonderful in emergency medicine, when life is threatened. However the nature of disease – or better ‘dis-ease’ – is much more complex. Your physical symptoms can have roots in anything from infection, through emotional issues to your genetic inheritance.

The book shown below provides some excellent guidance on how parents and carers can treat illnesses and guide their children.

Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy - Guide to Children's Health

‘Deficitarian’ – The Human as perceived in Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy

Dr Glöckler coined the term ‘deficitarian’, stimulating the ‘little grey cells’ of the audience to action!  

The underlying philosophy of Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy recognises that humans are not perfect by nature; this is both our deficit (hence ‘deficitarian’) and our catalyst to growth.  The ‘deficit’ then, is the gap between what we are and what we must become.  

Life, health and illness extend beyond the domain of modern medicine with its physical / material focus.  Life is neither visible nor material.  Illness may be inconvenient, but it is also a rebalancing process and necessary for long term health (hence a child’s fever is ‘healthy’).  

As humans we live in constant interaction with our environment – from the microcosm (e.g. microbiome) to macrocosm (e.g. cosmos).  A focus on the physical body alone denies the constant interplay between that body (mostly water) with its metabolism (warmth driven), and the immaterial etheric (life force), astral (emotional) and thought processes. Ultimately, we live a life of thoughts. 

Paracelsus – a story

Dr Glöckler retold a story about Paracelsus a notable 16th century Swiss physician. He, together with five other medical men, discuss the cause of death of a man during a cholera epidemic (but substitute any disease you like). In abbreviated form the story goes thus:

The question is, ‘Why did the patient die’?

The first doctor says: ‘It is the [cholera] bacteria that caused the death – obvioulsy the patient died of cholera’

The second doctor responds: ‘As only 10% of those infected from the contaminated water died, you cannot say this. The death could be due to poor natural immunity’.

The third doctor says: ‘Positive feelings strengthen the immune system, and negative weaken. The patient was frustrated in his soul and was not in balance. This is the cause.’

The fourth doctor says: ‘All well and good, but actually the patient’s ego (spiritual identity) was weak, thus his tolerance of frustration was undermined. At the core, this is why he died.’

The fifth doctor then chips in: ‘I looked up the astrological tables; the stars point to a lethal crisis. His life was over, it was his time to die.’

Everyone now looks to Paracelsus, who smiles and says: ‘You are all correct, there are five causes of illness and five ways to health. A good doctor must know all of them equally well and walk with each person the most promising path to healing.’

In this parable, Paracelsus demonstrates the complexity of the human constitution.


Homeopathy is (w)holistic medicine, its consideration goes much further that the orthodox diagnosis.

The latter has value in determining the trajectory of the ailment and the urgency of intervention. However, all too often the outcome is management of symptoms and a failure to consider the underlying cause.

For this reason the initial homeopathic consultation takes time. Its purpose is to try and reveal the underlying cause and reestablish harmony in the body.

I recall one case when attending the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy in Greece, where a patient’s problems originated some decades in the past. The lady had suffered physical assault from her father or step-father. The college principal, Prof. Vithoulkas, opened with the remedy Arnica – a remedy know for repair of deep bruising. Why? Because the body had held that memory.

If you judge you have never been well since some event in the past, physical or emotional, and would like to find out whether homeopathy might help you, please book a discovery call via my website.

Should vaccine pros and cons be a subject of debate? I last wrote a blog on Vaccines back in August 2022 after reading a book by Dr Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bystrianyk, titled Dissolving Illusions, Disease Vaccines and the Forgotten History. That blog and this are mostly about vaccines, but I touch on homeopathy at the end

Society of Homeopaths Position Statement

Any debate on vaccine pro and cons has a certain minefield quality and so I tread carefully!  As with my earlier blog, I open with the position statement of the Society of Homeopaths with whom I am registered.   You may read it as somewhat political.

“The Society does not permit RSHoms to provide advice on, or participate in a patient’s decisions regarding vaccination. In line with current UK law, they may signpost patient to information on vaccination from reliable sources, including the NHS, so that they can make a fully informed decision. Homeopaths will support patients in their decision.”

And that is the guidance I will follow.

No Argument, No Discussion?

Absolutes keep things simple, but actually most things are not that simple. Including this topic.

Although a long time ago, I was vaccinated as a child (and our family doctor was Faculty of Homeopathy member) and our son also. I am no fundamentalist either way.

However, I am in favour of ‘informed consent’. Retired GP Dr Bob Leckridge covers the point rather well in his thoughtful and recent blog.

I am also rather a fan of the writings of Dr Malcolm Kendrick and I referred to his blog on vaccines both in 2022 and last month.   His last paragraph rather sums up my concern:

‘Yes, Jenner is a now national treasure; vaccination has also become a national treasure. Both exist in a realm above all criticism. This is never a good thing. Particularly not in the world of science. But it has happened. Dare to critically examine either, at your great peril. Try suggesting that the whole concept of vaccination was pure luck, primarily based on a two-thousand-year-old idea, and you will be attacked. This, I guarantee.


Let’s first consider the concept of risk as this is central to the question of vaccination.  

In my past career in the petrochemical industry, risk management was as daily consideration. Here is a simple formula:

Risk = Probability x Consequence.

For example there is a high probability that in the winter months that you ‘catch’ a cold but mostly the consequence is low as you will recover in a few days.  Thus, the high probability is offset by low consequence and the net risk is low.

In contrast – taking the beginning of the pandemic as an example – potentially, both the probability and consequence were high. Thus, there was a case for intervention to mitigate the risk. Whether or not you agreed with the subsequent actions of Government does not matter, it is the principle that I wish to share.

What is an acceptable risk is a rather complex matter. It varies according to time a place.  On a recent overnight train journey in India I found the carriage exit door wide open as we thundered along!

In contrast, there’s a current spat between the operator and rail regulator over the necessity of having central locking on the heritage carriages used on the Jacobite excursion train in the west highlands. 

Clearly different perspectives.

Vaccination programmes are a form of risk management. We balance the risk from the disease against the risk from the vaccine.  

Vaccine History

The timeline shown below is helpful.

Vaccine debate pros and cons - look how the schedule has changed since my birth

I was born in 1954, my son in 1989. I invite you to find these dates and consider how attitudes change.

Now look at the find the full current schedule here.

It seems that we are increasingly risk averse. Granted, in the past there was no choice but to accept the risk as the vaccines had not been developed.

My Favourite Guide

Halvosen debates vaccines pros and cons

If you wish to research this subject, the book shown alongside is an excellent and thoroughly researched, as the listings at the end of the book show.

Dr Halvorsen carefully considers each disease, its hazards and the associated vaccine.

He also dips into the commercial aspects and marketing strategies. Unfortunately, these sit below the radar. Such matters may or may not trouble you, but like it or not this is a multimillion pound global business, not an altruistic undertaking.

One Example

MMR is a vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (German measles). It is a combination of three live attenuated viruses.

Back in the 1990s it was the subject of a scare linking it to autism. Halvorsen covers the whole story dispassionately in great detail and I don’t propose to summarise the story here. It is surely the ultimate ‘landmine’ topic. Suffice to say, all concerns have been ‘kicked into touch’.

What is interesting is the risk from measles, the most problematic of the three. Complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis and ear infections can result.

He tells us in Chapter 10, Measles – the ‘Killer’ Disease, that at the beginning of the twentieth century this was undoubtably true:

‘The number of people dying from measles was greater than the deaths from smallpox, scarlet fever and diphtheria combined.  However by the time of the introduction of the vaccine in the late 1960s the rate had fallen to one in 10,000 cases’. 

And the hazard is not uniform, as with most diseases the malnourished and immune compromised are at greater risk. This echoes much of what is to be found in book by Humphries and Bystianyk reported in my August 2022 blog.

Risk Revisited

The question arising is the point at which the risk from vaccination exceeds the risk from the disease.

My son with great kindness (and a wind-up!) gave me the book Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre. Goldacre, by the way, is less than complementary about homeopathy. Be that as it may, he writes well. Like Dr Kendrick (see Doctoring Data), he recognises the number games that pharmaceutical firms play.

On the subject of risk, Goldacre writes the following:

‘Whenever we take a child to be vaccinated, we’re aware that we are striking a balance between benefit and harm (my emphasis), as with any medical intervention.  I don’t think vaccination is all that important: even if mumps orchitis, infertility, deafness and death and the rest are no fun, the sky would not fall in without MMR.  But taken on their own, lot’s of other individual risk factors aren’t very important either, and that’s no reason to abandon all hope of trying to do something simple, sensible and proportionate  about them, gradually increasing the health of the nation, along with all the other stuff you can do to the same end.’

Which is fair. Except that I don’t think most people are aware of the balance between benefit and harm. You can always have too much of a good thing.

Which brings us back to informed consent and Dr Leckridge’s blog.


Life is a risky business. You can die or be injured by of lots of things.

As a child, I remember borrowing a friends bike. He did not tell me about the poor brakes. My run down the hill ended as I clipped the back of a moving car. No real harm done, but a second earlier I could have crossed in front with worse consequences.

Once I ran into a clothes line getting a nice ‘burn’ a fraction below the eye.

I also saw a school mate knocked into the air by a car (he survived); someone further down the school didn’t when tragically he ran round the front of the bus and failed to watch out for a passing car.

I stand with all the doctors mentioned above. It should be possible to have a fair and open discussion on any medical intervention, the current vaccination programme included. It may be the ‘bees-knees’ in health care, but is the benefit overstated and risk underplayed? A common strategy, Halvorsen notes.

As it stands the ‘system’ incentivises adherence to a rather inflexible policy; hardly an environment of ‘informed consent’.


Barely mentioned in this article and there are a range of views. Individuality is a fundamental principle in homeopathy, so ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t quite gel. And immunity is not just about antibodies (the end goal of vaccines) but strong innate health.

Dr James Compton Burnett (1840-1901) a notable homeopath from the past, noted that amongst those vaccinated against smallpox a few suffered adverse effects, which he was able to address. As of old homeopathic treatment can address such effects today should they arise.

Some time back, I wrote a short blog on the topic of Homeopathy and Christianity. It seemed to generate some interest and I return to the topic.

Homeopathy and Christianity

In a journal I edit, a retired GP reminisced about his career as a GP in Surrey. The wonderfully initialed Dr R.A.F. Jack introduced him to Homeopathic Medicine at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. 

He wrote, ‘A surprise that hurt came when the head of a large family that had benefitted from homeopathic prescribing courteously requested that I should no longer prescribe that sort of medicine.  The gentleman had attended a Christian Alpha Course where he learned that homeopathy was “the work of the devil”  and he wanted nothing more to do with it’.

Curious, because the obituary for the aforementioned Dr Jack says that his local Evangelical Church minister introduced him to Homeopathy. 

Alpha and Omega

The Rector of my local Anglican Church, assured me that the Alpha Course does not mention Homeopathy. He invited me to attend, and duly ‘hoisted with my own petard’ I went along!

For those unfamiliar with the Alpha Course, it is simply an introduction to Christianity.  It runs over several weeks allowing free discussion and sharing of views.  The course originated at Holy Trinity Brompton (known for short as HTB) has been very successful over the years. The accompanying videos are fronted by priest Nicky Gumbel, a former barrister from a lineage of barristers. Thus, one is assured of a gifted communicator (which he is).

The evenings were sociable, proceeding as expected. There were few surprises (writing as a Church attender of long standing) and indeed no mention of Homeopathy.  

Christian Healing was the topic one evening: through prayer or the laying on of hands.  What surprised me here was the expressed exclusivity; that Christian Healing stands apart from other forms of similar intervention.  So, for example Christian laying on of hands is appropriate, but Reiki (a similar process) is not.

Some argue that if it is not ‘Christian’ there is risk of attracting negative energies.  It is not difficult to reach a ‘work of the Devil’ viewpoint, if you follow this line. The energetic (see below) nature of homeopathic medicines doubtless adds to the angst.

As the Japanese words Rei (universal)-ki (life energy) show, healing energies are – and surely must be – universal. The universality of ‘healing’ is also apparent in a landmark study initiated by Sandy Edwards of the Healing Trust. I suggest the keyword in healing is ‘intent’ (or love) and not orientation to any particular creed.

Homeopathy and Christianity - Alpha Course

So does the ‘work of the Devil’ argument make sense?

Information Age

Perhaps the non-material (aka energetic or spiritual) concept troubles you? If, so then consider that all around you are the waves and signals of this Information age. Ne’er a molecule to be seen. A software download to the body is a good analogy for a homeopathic medicine, the active component of which is non-material. It informs, nonetheless.

This is the world of physics rather than chemistry; the world of Energy Medicine.

Energy Medicine is a general term for therapies that aim to maximise the innate healing potential by rebalancing ‘energy’ flows in the body. This contrasts much of orthodox medicine which is predominantly concerned with symptom management often requiring long term medication.

Christian Medical Fellowship

If you have a moment, look at the website of the Christian Medical Fellowship and search on the word ‘Homeopathy’.

This article by retired GP George Smith is one that caught my eye. His concluding summary is as follows:

It is appreciated that there are committed and zealous Christians – including past and present doctors, nurses and missionaries – who have found homeopathy acceptable and useful in their ministry. In today’s climate of integrative medicine, it is particularly relevant for Christian doctors and nurses to decide whether or not they find homeopathy acceptable. Scientific evidence, biblical guidance and discernment from the Holy Spirit all play a part in making this decision. Having said this and taking into account everything discussed in this article, it is my own conviction that homeopathy clearly falls far short of being a therapy that can be acceptable to use or recommend.

Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good, abstain from all appearance of evil.

(1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, King James Version)’

Back in the Day

One might ask what The Bible has to say about 21st century medicine FULL STOP, orthodox or complementary or alternative?   Surely the answer is absolutely nothing!  

The works of physicians like Galen (129-216AD) give some insights into the practices of the time. Dr Malcolm Kendrick touches on the subject in this amusing blog from August 2022.

I made a quick skim of the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The healings of Jesus or Nazareth, divide between those healed through faith or belief, and the exorcism of demons.  Neither are explicable rationally in terms of current medical knowledge (which is rather the point).

Did the withered hand, the leprosy or the possessed heal instantly? We cannot know, but this is the inference, hence they are miraculous events.

With tongue firmly in cheek, I observe that Jesus never once wrote a prescription saying ‘take thee to the pharmacy’!  

Jesus asks us to consider our spiritual nature. He tells us who we are (made the image of God) and what our conduct should be towards our fellow man.  There is plenty here for the CMF to consider.  

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Though our NHS and the medical treatments offered have much to commend them, the story is not always rosy.  The human body is hugely complex. Despite the advances of the 20th century, there is much we do not understand. Technology brings new insights but sometimes at the cost of lost past wisdom.

Dr Smith, appears to present a balanced argument. But instead reflects the dominant reductionist bio-chemical model and the ‘skeptic’ platform. He is entitled to his view. But this has no relevance to the Biblical message.

Finally, a concluding aside. It puzzles me that Doctor Homeopaths – Members of the Faculty of Homeopathy – are rarely consulted when an assessment of Homeopathy is required.  I suspect that some will be members of the CMF. One would think that commentary on any other speciality in medicine would come from one knowledgeable in that speciality!

Don’t you?

Thank you for reading. Next time I will return to considering first aid remedies in homeopathy – probably on the topic of hayfever – well, there is an upside to all this rain.

Do book a free Discovery Call if you wish to explore if Homeopathy can help you.

I happen to be a school governor, and on occasion I have to sit on a panel considering whether or not to exclude a child from school for behavioural reasons.  Those meetings always get me thinking of homeopathy and mental health.

Without going into inappropriate detail, I recall one case where the child concerned was both disruptive in class and suffered from anxiety.  Clearly a mental health issue at the core. Although it is something all schools try to avoid, there really no option but to approve the exclusion. And then we all hope that in due course CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service) will turn things around.

Wearing my homeopathic hat, I saw a different perspective, though as a governor I had to act in accordance with my role and keep my thoughts to myself.  That perspective is the general subject of this blog.

Ghost in the cupboard?

Shortly it will be Halloween or the eve of All Saints Day.  It marks the end of the summer and has an association with the boundary between the living and the dead, hence ghosts etc.  There is a nice explanation of the origins of halloween here https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

I lived in Belgium for a while and I recall the churchyards full of flowers – mostly chrysathemums – at this time. And of course there are the traditions of childhood, the pumpkin laterns, ghosts and so on. Here is a photo from my garden of this year’s crop.

Our inherritance - ghostly presence. Homeopathy and mental health

Not much to do with the topic of this blog, you might think.  Well, quite.  

Yet, Homeopathy uniquely recognises what might be described as ‘ghosts in our cupboards’. Homeopathy and mental health are not strangers.

Dr Samuel Hahnemann on Mental Health

Dr Samuel Hahnemann who set down the principles of homeopathy. Homeopathy and mental health.

I introduced you before to Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755 – 1843), the German physician who set down the principles of homeopathy.  For the most part he put a structure to a theory that stretched back into antiquity, that of like cures like, or the law of similars.

However, his real genius was to come up with the concept of the ‘miasm’ (from the Ancient Greek word for ‘pollution’). 

If you look up the word ‘miasma’ in a dictionary it has the traditional meaning of some invisible and unpleasant vapour that caused sickness.  A sort of smog.

Today we know that the cause was more likely to be contaminated water supplies.

Here is the famous story of Dr John Snow and cholera in London and an amusing cartoon courtesy of the Wellcome Collection (creative commons license).

But this was not what Hahnemann meant by the word ‘Miasm’, rather it was something in our inheritance that impeded cure.  We are after all the product of our parents, grand-parents, great-grand-parents and beyond … reaching back into history. 

Hahnemann’s genius was to touch on epigenetics. Factors that change how your genes are expressed.  It is frontier science today and you can find out more here.

This was Hahnemann’s ‘light bulb’ moment.

Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay

Miasm impacts the health of adult and child

To give an example, tuberculosis or TB was a disease that was once rife causing death in a quarter of the adult population in the 19th century. It is not much remembered today although antibiotic resistant strains are on the rise again.

Although the rise of TB post dated Hahnemann’s life, his observation was that epidemic / endemic diseases like TB can leave a taint (the miasm) on the genetic code that passes down the generations.  This is quite different from the original disease. 

This taint expresses itself in our make-up; both mental and physical. It can underly our disease picture especially in chronic long term conditions. If for example you are prone to chest infections or asthma it could be that you are ‘tubercular’ epigenetically speaking.

But the influence goes beyond the physical. Tubercular types can be restless, dissatisfied and always seeking pastures new (‘the grass is greener on the other side’). There may be fear of dogs and cats especially in children, who might also be inclined to destructiveness and head banging (in toddlers).

Homeopathy can address this; in a sense it retunes the body. 

Homeopathy – distilled down – is about restoring harmony.

Yes, Homeopathy can help with minor ailments at a superficial level, but deep homeopathy starts a healing process and is much more profound. 

The pace of change depends to some extent on how long the condition has been present and it does necessitate some commitment.  Hence the term ‘patient’!

Homeopathy is not a pill for every ill, nor a quick fix.


If this article about homeopathy and mental health has interested you – please share it with others.
And if you think homeopathy might help you, do take the opportunity of a free discovery call to find out more.

Joint and Muscle Pain - can homeopahy help?

© Can Stock Photo / leonido

Homeopathy Solutions for Joint and Muscle Pain – The Hippy Shakes

Homeopathy can help with joint and muscle pain. With early intervention may save the surgeon’s knife. Now, there is no denying the wonders of modern surgery and hip-joint replacement. This seems to have become almost a right of passage when you get to my sort of age.  Moreover, these days patients are in and out or hospital quicker than a tyre change by a Kwik-fit Fitter.


Interestingly, in the not too distant past, surgeons where rather the second class citizens of the medical world. Often the last resort. 

Should your barber or hairdresser’s premises sport a red and white striped pole, this harks back to the days of the barber-surgeons who would undertake certain surgical procedures as well a giving a ‘short back and sides’. 

A Trade Guild was established in 1540 (the livery company exists to this day), but by 1800 the two organisations were split and the Royal College of Surgeons established.

Joint Replacement – Spare Parts – Man the Machine

However, what fascinates is when friends tell me that their hip or knee has ‘worn out’. It is Man the Machine. There is of course a certain truth in this, the X-ray or scan doesn’t lie.  However, as I pointed out in an earlier blog the cells in our bodies are in a continual state of death and renewal.  Apparently some 10 million cells die and are replaced every second.  Indeed, I recently read that if you see someone you know after six months or so, not one cell of their face remains from the last time that your paths crossed!

Now if you think about it, the real problem is not wear and tear, apparent as that may be. Rather it is the regeneration ability that has diminished.  Clearly the ageing process is a key factor, unless you happen to be the athletic sort in which case aggressive wear and tear might outstrip the ability to repair.  As we enter the Wimbledon tennis season, I find it very interesting to compare the likes of Federer and Djokovic with Nadal and our own Andy Murray, the former two having suffered less on the injury front. 

Innate Healing

The real question is how we might best preserve the underlying capacity of the body to repair and maintain itself. 

 Dr Samuel Hahnemann of whom I spoke last month, wrote in his Organon of Medicine:

“In the state of health the spirit-like vital force (dynamis) animating the material human organism reigns in supreme sovereignty. It maintains the sensation and activities of all parts of the living organism in a harmony that obliges wonderment.  The reasoning spirit who inhabit the organism can thus freely use this healthy living instrument to reach the lofty goal of human existence”

“Without the vital force* the material organism is unable to feel, or act, OR MAINTAIN ITSELF. Only because of the immaterial being (vital principle) that animates it in health and in disease can it feel and maintain its vital functions. 

(* Without the vital force the body dies; and then delivered exclusively to the forces of the outer material world, it decomposes, reverting to its chemical constituents.)

“…it is only this vital force thus untuned which brings about in the organism the disagreeable sensations and abnormal functions that we call disease”

Dr Samual Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine 6th Edition, Translated by Künzli et al, Gollanz 1989

Quite simply he is saying that we are animated by an immaterial source of dynamic energy which preserves our health, and if this energy supply is disturbed then disharmony and disease will result.

Logically then it is of great importance to the balance of the body that this flow of energy is maintained.  The longevity of our joints depends upon the harmonious existence between  the immaterial life principle (vital force) and material (physical) body.

Homeopathy is Vitalist

The vital force is central to homeopathic philosophy, a principle that sits well with the philosophies of acupuncture, osteopathy and other systems of medicine (Chinese, Indian etc).   Although the precise mechanisms remain obscure it is increasingly clear that potentised homeopathic remedies interact energetically (or informationally) in some manner that restores harmony to the living organism (read again the first paragraph from the Organon of Medicine, above).

Homeopathy may not seem to be an obvious therapy for musculoskeletal injury but there are a range of remedies well suited to such as hip joint disease.  Here below are but a few examples with brief characteristics. The task for the homeopath is to match the symptoms of the patient to the characteristics of the remedy. Homeopathy is the application of the natural law of similars – like cures like.

As you proceed down the list that follows, you move from the more acute (short term) to the more chronic (deep seated).

Homeopathy is unlikely to restore established pathology, and as the old saying goes “a stitch in time saves nine”.

Colocynthis – cannot stand / sit, worse for motion, neuralgia and spasm, better for pressure, right sided

Rhus Tox – classically pain on first movement, then eases, better for warmth

Phytolacca – shooting pain like electric shock, swollen hot joints, inflamed periosteum

Pulsatilla – shifting pains, sense of dislocation, worse for warmth in any form

Natrum Sulph – pain extends to knees, better for walking and cold application, worse for damp

Causticum – pain as if dislocated, worse on first motion and lying on hip, extends down or up

This article is a reflection on the long history of homeopathic medicine, a medical system based with a rich history and profound philosophical basis

Throwing Baby Out with the Bathwater – the hazard or either/or thinking

History of Medicine. Baby in the bathwater.  Homeopathy tossed out like bathwater is lost to history?
© Can Stock Photo – anitapatterson

Back to the future?

The rich history of homeopathic medicine is interesting. It seems to me that we are rather good at throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  Something new comes along and out with the old, lock stock and barrel. 

One example that I find interesting is the arrival of the supermarket.  I recall as a child ‘Safeway’ (an American company)  opening a store in the suburb of Glasgow where I was born.  The store, so modest by modern standards, precipitated the demise of the grocers’ shop with its relatively limited stock, yet personal service and even home delivery. 

Let’s be fair the new world had much to commend it: light, airy, enticing aisles of shelves and shopping trolleys.  It was a revolution, and as revolutions do, it swept away the past.  Fast forward and this modest affair would be replaced by larger ‘sooper-dooper’ hyper-markets and out of town malls as we continued to adopt the latest trends from our cousins across the ‘pond’.  

Then quite recently something strange happened, these same major supermarket companies started to open local stores and provide a home delivery service; a ‘back to the future’ moment. 

We tend to ‘rip up the tracks’ a little too enthusiastically.  Reflect on the not dissimilar story of the rise of the motor car and demise of public transportation (Dr Beeching etc.).  Or the over enthusiastic demolition of parts of our cities in favour of new-builds, which rather too often turnout to be rather a disappointment to the communities displaced by the new order.

Revolutions are dramatic. However, often the end result is a new problem.  The solution may be a ‘back to the future’ moment.

I rather favour evolutionary progress, a spiral movement that appreciates both the new and that which preceded it.  

Not ‘Either / Or’ but ‘Both / And’.

Common theme

What on earth has this to do with the history of homeopathic medicine, the title of this article?  The answer is that it is a similar story.  Mankind has been around for millennia, in sickness and in health.  What we now take to be orthodox medicine, (Allopathy or western scientific medicine), was anything but orthodox to our illustrious forebears. Folk have been getting sick (and recovering) for millenia.

The ability to synthesise drugs is very recent. It was only in 1897 that the German chemical company first synthesised Aspirin.  That was just over 125 years ago. The well known antibiotic Penicillin only came into common use in the years immediately after the second world war. You can read about Sir Alexander Flemings discovery here and here.  A medical revolution – that of chemotherapy (I use the term in its widest sense), the ‘magic bullet’ – had begun.

The seeds of this revolution originate some decades earlier. So how did this come about?

The History of Homeopathy and Modern Western Medicine

Modern Scientific Western Medicine (sometimes known as Allopathy) has its origins most notably in the the USA.  Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie made a vast fortune from iron and steel production. In his later years became a major philanthropist, establishing the Carnegie Foundation (‘for the advancement of teaching’) at the beginning of the 20th century. 

An academic, Abraham Flexner, whose studies influenced higher education in North America came to the attention of the Carnegie Foundation who in turn commissioned Flexner to evaluate the state of medical education.  The result was an radical overhaul of medical education, influenced by the emerging medical science of bacteriology by such notables as Pasteur and Koch.  The upshot was the concentration of medical education in relatively few schools, often famous to this day (e.g. John Hopkins), many of which were subsequently funded by foundations such as those of Carnegie and Rockerfeller (J.D Rockefeller, oil magnate).  There is no denying the improved academic standards and the establishment of medicine as a lucrative and well respected profession.  

What is not to like?

From Either / Or to Both / And

Over dominance of one approach has to diminish another.  Either / Or thinking means that there has to be a winner. The winner in this occasion was the scientific-reductionist approach which seeks out the smallest entities in its striving for answers.  From cells to nuclei to DNA and beyond.   From the naked eye, to the microscope, electron microscope and beyond.

The major industrialist benefactors surely understood the scientific model. Human beings are just sophisticated chemical factories.  It all made sense.

A century on, the charitable foundations created by the techology giants, such as the Gates Foundation see things according to their ethos (e.g artificial intelligence and transhumanism).  

But we are not (just) machines but  living conscious beings. We are a mixture of both the material and the immaterial (or spiritual).   

I found it interesting to discover that aspects of Flexner’s recommendations were ignored, particularly in the areas of humanities and ethics.

Other approaches to medicine appreciate a life force that animates us; a life force which out of balance can also lead to disease.  I have written on this before. Millions of people across the globe use these medical models and have for many centuries. Often underpinned by Eastern philosophies.

Contrast the ‘Either / Or’ with that of ‘Both / And’. 

None can deny the advances in medicine in the last 100 years.  But what has been forgotten? 

What happened when the lukewarm bathwater of 19th century medical education was tossed out?  I suggest that there were twins in the bath. One was nurtured whilst the second was neglected.   Especially so in the western world (and the to the greatest exent in the USA and UK). 

It is time to redress the injustice.

History of Homeopathic Medicine – Calcutta and Washington D.C.

India is well versed in western scientific medicine (hence the large number of India doctors who serve the NHS). However, the Indian government supports two branches of health care. One broadly follows the western scientific model, whilst the second, called AYUSH, overseas five traditional forms of medicine.

The ‘H’ is homoeopathy.  Dr Samuel Hahnemann who set down the principles of homoeopathic medicine is a familiar name in India.  Here is a bust in his honour at the Calcutta Homeopathic Hospital.

Curiously slap bang in the centre of Washington DC there is a huge monument to the same man (the first monument erected in memory of a citizen of foreign origin) yet his teachings are all but forgotten in that land.  How strange. You can find a picture of the impressive monument at the bottom of my earlier blog here.

To conclude this article, I quote the late Dr Foubister, latterly consultant physician at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital:

Some years ago Dr Priestman and I had the opportunity to treat some hundreds of cases of pneumonia in the Children’s Ward. We had between forty and fifty admissions each year of primary pneumonia. A few had had penicillin before they were admitted, and in some we used penicillin, but over 90 percent were treated soley by homeopathy. In moribund cases penicillin was given as well as homeopathy, the first to damp down infection and in the second in an attempt to raise resistance. Oxygen was of course administered on the usual clinical indications. [he continues…..] No claim has been made that homeopathy is capable of curing everything. Hahnemann himself taught that it would be absurd not to use treatment other than homeopathy when conditions warranted it, including surgery, which he advocated even in its crude state at that time (early 19th century).

Dr Donald Foubister, Tutorials on Homeopathy (p6/7), Beaconsfield Publishers (1989)

A nice example of Both / And!

Homeopathy a Royal History

Prince (now King) Charles - patron of Homeopathy

Prince (now King) Charles has long been a supporter of Homeopathy and his mother and grandmother before him.

If you live in the United Kingdom you could hardly have missed the Coronation of King Charles III, even if you so wished.

Prince Charles on Harmony

Whatever your views on monachy, few can doubt the new King’s commitment to certain causes. 

Some years ago when Prince Charles, he co-authored wrote a book titled ‘Harmony’.  I think it rather good. It is a theme that clearly dominates his philosophy of life; namely that we should strive to live in harmony with nature. 

One quote in the opening pages is perhaps a good summary of his thinking:

‘if people are encouraged to immerse themselves in Nature’s grammar and geometry they are often led to acquire some remarkably deep philosophical insights.’

His studies into this ‘grammar and geometry of nature’ have resulted in him having strong views on farming, architecture and health.   Needless to say he has faced more than a little criticism across the years.  

Nevertheless many are at least sympathetic to the principles, and increasingly so.  Whatever you may think, he does ‘walk the talk’ and on his farms and estates demonstrates what is possible.

Homeopathy restores Harmony

Although best known for his views on architecture and the rural economy, Prince – now King – Charles has long championed Homeopathy. 

If there was ever a cause for which a ‘thick skin’ is required, this is probably the one!  

As Prince Charles, he was Patron of the Faculty of Homeopathy, and a supporter of Homeopathy at Wellie Level (HAWL) which works with the farming community.  You can read his letter of support on the HAWL website (go to the bottom of the HAWL home page).

With justification, in the book ‘Harmony’ he challenges any who consider homeopathy as just placebo medicine, to explain why it works on animals.

As an aside, the principles of biodynamic agriculture share common ground with homeopathy also.  Thus, it is not just humans and animals that benefit but plants also.

Sadly the scientific-materialist mindset resists thinking ‘outside of the box’. That ‘box’ is the biochemical model, that sees us (and animals and plants) as just sophisticated chemistry sets. A rather narrow view, in my opinion, and about which I have penned a blog before.

Homeopathy has a Royal History

Homeopathy has a long history within the Royal Family.   In his book ‘Samuel Hahnemann, The Founder of Homeopathic Medicine’, Trevor Cook PhD FRSC, a former managing director of Nelson’s Homeopathic Pharmacy in London (est.1860), believes that the wife-to-be of King William IV, Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Coburg-Meiningen, was the first to use homeopathy. 

Her uncle, Duke Ernst of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, brought Hahnemann to Geogenthal (Thuringia, Germany) in 1792 as physician to be in charge of an asylum there.   Queen Adelaide was an aunt of Duke Ernst’s second son Prince Albert who married Queen Victoria. 

More recently, Queen Mary (1867-1953), Consort to King George V, is known to have revived the family interest in homeopathy. 

Trevor Cook goes on to write:

‘Royal patronage now spans more than 160 years to include King Edward VIII (1894-1972) who, as Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, invariably carried his homeopathic medicines in powder doses in his pocket.  His brother, King George IV (1895-1952), named one of his racehorses ‘Hypericum’ after the King had successfully been treated by the medicine’.   

Hypericum is a homeopathic remedy to used treat nerve damage (e.g. crushed fingers). 

A small box of homeopathic remedies also accompanied our late Queen Elizabeth II on her many travels. 

Prince Charles give Royal Warrant to Ainsworths Pharmacy for the supply of Homeopathic Medicines

Ainsworths Homeopathic Pharmacy holds the Royal Warrant to this day as you can see on the cover of their remedy kit. 

Long live the King!

Long live Hahnemann!

A more practical topic this month: homeopathy for tooth nerve pain or neuralgia

Homeopathy can help with teeth pain - image of a decayed or damaged tooth
© Can Stock Photo / milo827

My problem being a neuralgia, on the left side and lower jaw of my face. Tooth nerve pain was the likely cause.

It didn’t improve my humour! And it got me out of bed at 3am for a few nights.. 🙁

This blog explains the homeopathic approach to neuralgia.

Acute versus Chronic

Dr Samuel Hahnemann – of whom I have written before – set out the principles of homeopathy. He classified two types of disease (aphorism 72 of The Organon of Medicine).

The common coughs and colds sit with the first group, and such as arthritis or eczema – and much more besides – sit with the second.

The first we recover from without much intervention, the second we do not.

Shall I call the Dentist…or not?

To set the scene, here is a very funny sketch from the USA (Carol Burnett Show). Lest I risk censure – my dentist is highly competent!

So, I have this sensitive tooth and expect it to pass but it doesn’t. I have not had a filling for many a year, but have all too many from a misspent youth (remember “a Mars a day helps you work rest and play“…beware slick marketers!).

Alas it didn’t pass, so my kindly dentist fitted me into his busy day. Alas the visit was inconclusive were fine; even the x-ray. He gave me an antibiotic prescription on an “only if needed” basis.

The cardinal signs of inflammation are long known: warmth, redness, pain, and swelling or in the words of the Roman Aulus Cornelius Celsus (25 BCE – 75 CE) calor, rubor, dolor, and tumor.

At best I scored a shakey 2 out of 4.

So I didn’t take the antibiotics.

Tooth Nerve Pain or Neuralgia

I cannot say that I have had tooth nerve pain as intense before and I don’t commend it. Least of all because of disturbed nights.

It could have been much worst – there is a very painful condition known as trigeminal neuralgia where the pain is much more widespread.

In the ‘wee small hours’ I confess to taking an Aspirin something I have not done for many a year.

Homeopathy for Tooth Nerve Pain – the approach

Homeopaths classically work between two books: Repertory and Materia Medica (often computerised these days).

The Repertory give some pointers as to possible remedies and the Materia Medica detailed information on each remedy.

The selection of the most appropriate remedy is based on the Materia Medica. Here is one classic online example of the Materia Medica by William Boericke MD.

First, I did a simple repertorisation as shown below: symptoms on the left and possible remedies on the right.

A reporterisation in homeopathy for tooth pain.

Choices, choices..

I did not take Verbascum because I didn’t have it in my box.

The ‘picture’ of Causticum did not seem to fit – remember in homeopathy you match the picture of the remedy to the symptoms of the patient.

In the end I alternated Spigelia and Colocynthis.

Spigelia was perhaps the best choice. In a short description from Dr Andrew Lockie in his Family Guide to Homeopathy he writes “Neuralgia on left side of face, tearing pains, twitching muscles, noise makes symptoms worse, pressue makes them better”.

At any rate after a few days everything settled down.

Oh yea of little faith…

Might it have got better anyway? – quite possibly.

Had I taken the antibiotics, I would have said they worked! But I didn’t, rather I used homeopathy and self-prescribed on homeopathic principles.

All I can say is that Spigelia has a reputation in neuralgia of the facial nerve.

It boils down to a balance of probabilities.

So Spigelia worked – maybe! And I am glad the pain is gone.

But in the end the purpose of this short blog was to simpy share with you the homeopathic method in the management of an “acute”.

The clinical trial, I leave to others.

There is a part two to this story which you will find in another blog here


The Memory of Water is key to the understanding of Homeopathy

River of Life: Who or What Am I (or you for that matter)

That water has memory is key to homeopathy and frontier science.

When it comes to our physical body there are some remarkable statistics:

(from Unfolding Consciousness by E. Bilimora, 2022, Shepherd-Walwyn Publishers)

Added to that we are substantially water – roughly two thirds by volume. Indeed over 99% of the cells in the human body are water. (the residual 1% of a million, billion is still quite a lot of other stuff!)

All of which says that we are like a river flowing through life. No moment in time is the same. Life is dynamic not static.

Dr Samuel Hahnemann and Vital Force

Back in November and December I introduced you to Dr Samuel Hahnemann who is credited with setting out the principles of Homeopathy in a small volume titled the Organon of Medicine. It ran to six editions and it is still in print. He died in 1843 at the age of eighty eight.

He was undoubtably a polymath: a translator (he knew a dozen or more languages), a chemist and a medical man.

Hahnemann certainly believed in a life giving or vital force, and so do I. Sooner or later we all experience the death of someone close to us and it is a remarkable fact that at the instant of death nothing really changes at the molecular level, but the conversation stops. What is going on?

Modern medical science is rather dismissive – in fact the nature of ‘life’ is barely mentioned. You might care to ask your doctor his or her views! I suspect you will get a more interesting answer from those working in palliative medicine.

Not so long ago the concept of a life force was taken for granted. As an aside, most Scots of my age will remember the TV adaptation of Neil Munro’s Para Handy, the wily captain of a coastal ship (steam ‘puffer’) named the ‘Vital Spark’. Those living on the islands on the west of Scotland were – and still are – in tune with their nature.

Vital Spark – very interesting, so what?

Hahnemann might have had a simple microscope but little more in the way of technology. He was however a skilled observer of his fellow man and a scientist ahead of his time.

It was in the half-century after his death that an understanding of the inner workings of the body developed (bacteriology, x-rays and so forth). And through the 20th century medical science brought even more sophisitation. To this day the focus is on the inner workings of the body.

However, Hahnemann saw things differently. His view was that disease is fundamentally a disturbance of the vital or life force. To quote him:

So it is the totality of symptoms, the outer image expressing the inner essence of the disease, i.e. of the disturbed vital force, that must be the main, even the only means by which the disease allows us to find the necessary remedy, the only one that can decide the appropriate choice.

Organon of Medicine, Dr Samuel Hahnemann (extract from aphorism 7)

When I speak of disease as a tuning or untuning of the human economy, far be it from me to attempt a metaphysical explanation of the the inner nature of disease in general or of any particular case of disease. I am merely pointing out that the diseases obviously are not and cannot be mechanical or chemical changes in the material substance of the body, that they do not depend on a material disease substance, but are an exclusively dynamic spirit-like untunement of life‘.

Organon of Medicine, Dr Samuel Hahnemann (footnote to aphorism 31)

Now I think it obvious that he was not talking about, say, a broken limb when there is clearly a mechanical cause. Rather, he says that in the absence of an obvious cause, your root of your illness is a vital force untuned.

So [he says] first remove any obvious cause (see January blog), and then bring the vital or life force back into balance (by homeopathic or other means).

Resonance – Love sick

Last week the composer Burt Bacharach died, who with lyricist Hal David penned ‘I’ll never fall in love again” – here is a verse that comes to mind:

What do you get when you kiss a guy?
You get enough germs to catch pneumonia
After you do, he’ll never phone ya
I’ll never fall in love again
I’ll never fall in love again

My point is simply that how we resonate with another person has consequences; good and bad. This is a disturbance of the vital force.

In more general terms how we resonate with our environment can bring about ease or dis-ease.

In homeopathy there is a concept of NWBS (never been well since). Often that can be a traumatic life event.

New Science: Homeopathy and the Memory of Water?

Coming back to water and to quote the famous line from Coleridge’s The Rhime of the Ancient Mariner.

Hahnemann, nineteeth century, old hat. Look at the achievements of modern medical science. Maybe.


Dr Emoto understood the potential of water cristals to store memory - homeopathy uses this principle

The late Dr Masura Emoto in Japan did some interesting work on the affect of emotions on the crystalline structure of water. You can find many images on his legacy website here. Fascinating stuff.

Does this not suggest that our water full bodies do indeed resonate with our emotions? I think so.

Another scientist working on the properties of water is my near namesake and scientist Dr Gerald (Jerry) Pollack . He leads a team of researchers at the University of Washington

Smart guy. What a difference an ‘a’ makes! (Pollack/Pollock)

Water is a strange thing. A combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, it can dowse a fire. Yet as someone wryly observed, puting hydrogen and oxygen on a fire is – in contrast – not a good idea.

Back to Jerry Pollack, he and his team propose a fourth phase of water. The first three you know – liquid, solid (ice) and vapour (steam). The fourth is a liquid crystal like state which he terms EZ (‘ee-zee’ in US pronounciation) meaning Exclusion Zone. It does seem to act as a barrier, but there are wider discoveries.

Without going into detail, this fourth phase has properties that may have significant implications for health. You can get an idea here. Jerry Pollack concludes that EZ water is an energy store (battery) and energy delivery mechanism. Light in the infra-red spectrum (e.g. sun) is a key driver; one reason perhaps why we all feel better in the sunshire.

The potential of EZ water to store information through subtle changes in the lattice structure is an important area of current research. But information from where. I suggest it might be this enigma, the vital force.

Eastern Wisdom

Energy centres - homeopathy seeks to bring these into harmony

© Can Stock Photo / umnola

Ancient wisdom from India and beyond, has long recognised centres of energy in the body. You may be familiar with is chakra, especially if you practise yoga.

The seven principal chakras are shown in this picture and they run along the spine (though most images are from the front of the body).

The word chakra means a disc. Each is a vortex of energy relating to nerve centres in the body. They are invisible yet they can be sensed by some.

Systems of medicine such as Ayurvedic (India) and aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (e.g. acupuncture) seek to balance these centres and maintain a free flow of energy.

There is as yet no precise meaning of the word ‘energy’. We’re not talking about coal! Einstein showed that matter is energy (E=mc2) and cosmologists like Jude Currivan present a good case for ‘energy’ equating to ‘information’.

Memory of Water and Homeopathy: Many Threads, Old and New

From the above you can start to join the dots. We humans are mostly a column of water, nourished not just by food, but ‘informed’ by a type of energy; a life or vital force. This energy ‘informs’ may flow via the chakras. And the water of which we are made may receive and store this energy / information, rather in the manner of a software download.

Without the life or vital force we die. We are spiritual (immaterial) beings living a material existance for a while.

This is perhaps most apparent with the development of the foetus, which miraculously delivers a baby from the starting point of the simple division of a single dividing cell. In adulthood these same forces (call them what you will) repair our injuries and keep us healthy to the best of their abilities.

The flow of vital force when distrubed is dis-ease (two words). This disturbance may be transient and self-correcting. If not, in time physical symptoms may emerge.

Acupuncture seems to unblock pathways. Homeopathic medicines which are potentised ultra-dilutions (in water) are likely information carriers which act subtly on that water which is us.

Medicine today is focused on the biochemical. All well and good, but both emerging science and ancient wisdom suggest that there are other paths to healing.


I heard someone on the radio saying that we are living healthier and longer lives than ever before. In fact it is a mantra that is often stated. We take such a statement at face value because it seems to make sense, after all the average lifespan in the UK is just north of 80 years which is a good deal greater than the Biblical “three score years and ten”. And of course childhood mortality is now very low. So far, all for the good.

Living healthier and longer - the chinese way
© Can Stock Photo / kavram


On the other hand, back in ‘lockdown’ when I cycled out into the New Forest and took a wander round a few rural churchyards, I was rather surprised to see people living to a good age a century of more back. Some into their eighties, which I suppose – being the strongest consitutions – would be ninety year olds of today.

I find much the same in rural churchyards I have visited elsewhere, though my analysis is hardly comprehensive.

Curiously, 34 seemed to be a hazardous age in one cemetery in the Outer Hebrides, my guide – a local man – was 43, and so I congratulated him on his achievement!

But seriously, it got me thinking about health. Are we truly healthier? What is the secret to living longer and healthier?


One of the wonders of the internet age is the ability to do a little armchair analysis. The NHS statistics service (NHSBSA) tells us that the cost of medicines prescribed in primary care in England was £9.4 billion in 2020/21, 55% of the total drug expenditure (hospital prescriptions making up the other 45%).

Seems to me that if we were truly living healthier lives, that longevity would not come at this cost.

That my wanderings have been into rural cemeteries in Britian is significant. I suspect the story in the industrial cities would be very different. Factory life was harsh. Social class was and remains today an important factor in health and lifespan.

So, my hypothesis could stand or fall on the data I choose to select (a subtlety not lost on those who write ‘scientific’ papers today, by the way).

Still, I will hazard a guess that rural communities who lived by the seasons, in unpolluted environments, ate simply, and worked hard but suffered low stress, were quite healthy. At a time when there was not much medical intervention either.


We need to understand why our drugs budget is so high. NHSBSA have some revealing statistical collections that tell us that:

Needless to say, the most deprived areas received the higher proportion of the prescriptions.

Drug cost is just a part of the picture. The drugs are a short term fix. In the longer term health conditions become more complex and more costly, especially where in-patient care is required.

How do you react to these figures?

Cardiologist Dr Assem Malhotra has some interesting observations – here is a recent interview with Dr Ken Berry MD on YouTube. It is worth a watch.

Learning from the past

It should not come as a great surprise that the Malhotra and Berry conclude that the fundamentals of health for most of us are quite simple

I have written before about colour and diet, here is a nice photograph to illustrate the point.

Were it possible to go back in time and apply a light touch of modern medical practice, I rather think the longevity of our ancestors would match that of today, with better underlying health. By light touch, I mean simple steps to reduce infant death, handle trauma, and acute life threatenting conditions.

Towards the end of the interview Dr Malhotra explains the true cost to health of poor diet.

In this topsy turvy world is it not strange that ultra-processed food is cheaper than fresh simple food? Deprivation and disease go hand in hand.


Living Healthier and Longer - Hahnemann understood the basics

I suppose this blog should be about homeopathy, yet no mention thus far. Well, here is a snippet.

Last month I wrote about Dr Samuel Hahnemann, generally considered the founding father of homeopathic medicine, who makes it very clear in his profound book, The Organon of Medicine that removing obstacles to cure is the first step to health. Here are his words written in the early 1800s:

It is obvious that every reasonable physician will first of all remove the causa occasionalis; after that the indisposition usually disappears on its own.

Organon of Medicine, Aphorism 7 footnote (in part) – Dr Samuel Hahnemann

It’s the old saying “a stitch in time saves nine”. So what might you sew (or sow) in 2023?


Three string violin

This blog argues that both allopathic and homeopathic medicine have a place in medicine today.

Allopathic medicine and Homeopathic medicine compared.  Homeopathy is an important string!


I am not a musician, but I am told that a good violinist can – within limits – continue to play on three strings should the fourth break. The words of the song “three wheels on my wagon and I’m still rolling along” come equally to mind.

What I wish to argue is that modern western medicine is playing on three strings. There is a missing dimension. Substantially this comes about because the entire focus of medical science is on the material world. Consequently most people today perceive the world only in material terms. All things can be seen, we just need the right technology (e.g. electron microscope and beyond).

Of course there is an obvious flaw here as our emotional life which finds expression in beauty or grief or love is anything but material. This is resolved by stating that our feelings are derived from a material source, such as variations in brain chemistry.

Modern western medicine – Allopathy

The three major strings (therapies) of modern western medicine are surgery, chemotherapy (all drug therapies) and, radiotherapy. Put crudely it is cut, poison or burn. That there is huge competency in these therapies is not in question; after all billions of dollars are spent annually in pursuit of refinements.

This philosophy is clear: the solution to disease is fundamentally surgical or chemical (drug). There is a material problem that needs a material solution.

Let’s consider the matter of joint replacement.

Friends who have had hip replacements or such like are justifiably impressed with outcome. The diagnosis from patient and surgeon alike is that hip was “worn-out”. A bit like some component in your car.

This is interesting because living bone is not the dessicated remains found in an archeological dig, but made of living cells; were it not so, broken bones would not heal. In fact your cells are in a continual dynamic state of death and renewal. So it is not the hip that is “worn-out” but the ability to self-repair. What drives that? And who is researching this? [answer: barely anyone]

Allopathic and Homeopathic Medicine from a Scientific Perspective

Materialist science is not without its critics and I have mentioned the Galileo Commission before. In my March 22 blog I quoted a notable American homeopath in the early years of the 20th century:

Most of the conditions of the human economy that are called diseases in the books are not diseases, but the results of disease. To call a group of symptoms a disease of one part, and another group of symptoms a disease of another part, is a great heresy….. Organic disease is the result of disease

Lectures in Homeopathic Philosophy, Lecture IX Dr James Tyler Kent

This is a little challenging, but what he is saying is that your pathology (organic disease) is the result of a non-material disturbance (untuning) of the life force that animates you.

So long as science has a purely material focus, the ultimate potential of the healing arts is constrained.

Dr Samuel Hahnemann – Homeopathy

Last month I introduced you to Dr Samuel Hahnemann. He set out the principles of homeopathic medicine and the monument in his honour in Washington was the first to a non-American. His genius has been rather forgotten.

photo: Carol M. Highsmith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Hahnemann’s most famous work is The Organon of Medicine a book still in print some 180 years after his death in which he writes:

Dr Hahnemann's seminal work - Organon of Medicine

When I speak of disease as a tuning or untuning of the human economy, far be it from me to attempt a metaphysical explanation of the inner nature of disease in general or of any particular case of disease. I am merely pointing out that the diseases obviously are not and cannot be mechanical or chemical changes in the material substance of the body, that they do not depend on a material disease substance, but are an exclusively dynamic, spirit-like untunement of life.

Organon of Medicine, Dr S Hahnemann. Footnote to aphorism 31

Who do you think you are?

Allopathic medicine focuses on the physical; Homeopathy on the non physical vital force

Such is the title of a well know BBC television series. It is a good question and one I touched in my blog of June 2021 which I illustrated with an image of another BBC icon of years past Mr Blobby.

We are in fact mostly water – at least two-thirds. And when you add in the rest of the ‘soup’, we are really more fluid than solid.

Dr Rudolph Steiner – a notable polymath from the early years of the 20th century – described the human being as a column of water. He is probably best known today for his views on education (Waldorf / Camphill schools).

Everyday – though we are oblivious to the fact – thousands of cells die and thousands of new cells replace them.

We are as a stream flowing through life.

Something must drive this.

The vitalist philosophy – to which Hahnemann, Steiner and others subscribed – perceives a life or vital force as the ‘driver’, though it is invisible.

Without this the body reverts to the elements (death).

Non grata

Which is the latin for “not welcome”, nicely encapsulates the scientific materialst view on the concept of any vital or life force. Francis Crick (co-discoverer of DNA) assuredly was not a fan:

Exact knowledge is the enemy of vitalism

Of Molecules and men (1966) Francis Crick

None doubt his brilliance, but Hahnemann, Steiner and others were brilliant also.

So you just have to choose your ‘poison’, but…

“Permission to speak Captain Mainwaring”

A familiar phrase from BBC’s Dad’s Army. Unfortunately, there is a tendancy today to denigrate by name calling fine minds past and present who do challenge conventional wisdom. In short, “permission to speak” is denied.

Here are some examples:

Steiner’s views get a pasting on Wikipedia (Anthroposophy)

Dr Malcolm Kendrick, discusses the death of medical research in his recent blog.

And finally:

Dr Tom Cowan MD from over ‘the pond’ who challenges convention and is shunned in equal measure (see quote below).

Progress cannot be made in biology, Cowan argues, until we recognize the fact that our cells are composed primarily of structured wa­ter, and that water is subject to influences from outside the cell: “. . . light and all the various frequencies, energy forms, wavelengths, sounds, colors, thoughts, emotions and other emanations that come to us from the universe.” Wellness occurs when we provide our cells with all that is noble and perfect—nutrient-dense food, sunlight, clean air, pure water, a coherent and native electromagnetic atmosphere, truth, freedom and love—not by poisoning them with vaccines and drugs.


Allopathic AND Homeopathic Medicine: Time to replace the fourth string on the fiddle?

Medicine as a violin needs the string of homeopathy
Photo credit Joanna Voght – Unsplash

Just a thought…

Have a good Christmas


This blog is about remembering the past and specifically the benefits of homeopathy.

The thing is we do forget. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is soon upon us and it serves indeed as a reminder of past conflicts.

But I suspect for most youngsters the two world wars might as well be the Battle of Hastings or Waterloo, though surviving film footage does resonate across time. My late father served in the western desert and Italy in WW2. Were he alive he would be now 106!

By Eric Hill from Boston, MA, USA – Poppies in the Sunset on Lake GenevaUploaded by PDTillman, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6910646

Not just conflict

Of course it is not just about conflicts distant in time. I read this weekend the report of a recent train derailment (2001) in Scotland, fortunately without casualties. The investigators found that it had much in common with the 1988 Clapham rail disaster (wiring error) which cost the lives of 35 people.

The late Trevor Kletz, whom I once met in my Chemical Engineering days, wrote many books on the theme of “What went wrong” – to quote one title. It had a sequel, “Still going wrong”, reminding readers of the shortnes of corporate memory.

I recall him quoting a boy on the radio who notably said that “he didn’t have a memory only a ‘forgett-ory'”. Quite.

Alas, we forget the past and consequences follow.

Bury the past…

Not all amnesia is entirely accidental. All too often the past is denied; inconvenient truths and wisdom brushed aside. The reasons are mixed, there may be gain (corporate or personal), or maybe just a biased manner of thinking.

Influencers … the benefits of homeopathy overlooked

Just over a century ago John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie were the equivalent of today’s Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and more. Through their wealth they funded various charitable foundations that had great influence.

I don’t wish to say that they were bad people. Carnegie, whose humble beginnings were in Dunfermline, Scotland funded many public libraries throughout that land and beyond (the link opens with a picture of my local library in Rutherglen, where I was born).

However, what the poweful have is influence to move society in the direction they believe is best. In this towards what we know as western scientific medicine or allopathy (not that homeopathy is unscientific – anything but).

Enter Abraham Flexner

The gentleman was an a academic engaged by the aformentioned to look into medical training in the USA.

Here is a nice summary of his contribution.

Medicine is generally recognised as a balance between art and science. Science today is solely focused on the material world, a subject I have touched on before. However, human beings are more than a bundle of molecules.

There is a growing concern today that the application of science is too narrow and you may care to read the Galileo Report of the Scientific and Medical Network.

Exit Dr Samuel Hahnemann…who?

The picture below is of a monument located in the centre of Washington D.C. The first monument in that city to a non-US citizen (he was German). Who was this man to get such a grand monument?

Carol M. Highsmith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Hahnemann (1755-1843) is considered the founding father of homeopathy. A scientist before the term was in general use and polymath (he knew many languages). His medical work was of huge significance. Here is a short summary from the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Yet you wont find mention of him in western medical schools today.

Homeopathy was a major force in America at the start of the twentieth century. It’s demise stems from the influence of Abraham Flexner and his sponsors.

Medicine was set a path to that which we see today. There have been many benefits, but all in the garden is not rosy as the burden of prescription costs to the NHS might attest.

Back to the future..

I suggest – well obviously I would! – that we need to look again not just at homeopathy, but naturopathic, and medicine in all its forms practiced throughout the world.

Medical science today is too narrow in its application and the ‘art’ has all but disappeared (though many physicians still recognise the art in what they do).

Seminal Work

Hahnemann’s seminal work is the Organon of Medicine, which is still in print. The opening aphorisms shown below speak to us through time. The rest is not bad either – actually, very profound.

Aphorism 1: The physician’s highest calling, his only calling, is to make sick people healthy – to heal as it is termed.

Aphorism 2: The highest ideal of therapy is to restore health rapidly, gently, permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehensible principles.

Dr Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine

Chasing Clouds?

This week a letter came through the door from the NHS inviting me for a Covid booster jab. I still await guidance on building natural immunity to Covid. Having all become armchair epidemioligists / virologists in the last few years, I find this approach fascinating. By now we all know how much of a ‘shape shifter’ this virus is, and no sooner have the scientists unraveled the code of one variant, then another pops up.

Is vaccination against covid just chasing clouds?

Then we infer boosting is all benefit without risk which would appear to be a subject worthy of discussion. Just last night GB news ran this interesting news item. I will leave you to make your own assessment. What worries me is the lack of informed consent.

However, the good news is that we do know that the virus is now milder and with some sensible precautions you will survive. My father-in-law at 88 returned from an overnight hospital stay with a farewell gift (Covid) and coped fine.

Some DIY

I want to talk about self help. A little refresher from what I penned almost a year ago. Let’s start with Vitamin C, which is has excellent anti-viral properties

You should all have a pot on your shelf at home – NOW. I favour this one. And no I don’t have shares in the company! Vitamin C being water soluble is removed from the body in the urine, so overdosing is not really possible. A clear sign of saturation is a loose bowel, at which point (obviously) you pull back. But as the body needs more vitamin C when fighting a virus you are unlikely to come to grief. Dr Sarah Myhill in her book Ecological Medicine suggests taking Vitamin C up to bowel tolerance. My personal approach is to go high (maybe 10g +) on day one and then tail off. But we are all different and you can experiment. Some Zinc will not go amiss either – just for a few days. She also favours 2 drops of 12% Lugol’s Iodine in a little water as a gargle (+ inhale the vapour) every hour. I haven’t tried this myself but again you have to have it on your shelf (I now have) so you can try it out when you need it.

And don’t forget rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat light (“starve a cold, starve a fever” says Myhill). The worst thing you can do is try an keep going. At the height of Covid, PM Boris Johnson paid a heavy price (hospitalised) for doing that, though one can sympathise given his role at the time. And, please , lay off the Paracetamol – when fever is suppressed, you hamper the natural immune response.


Can homeopathy help? Yes it can, but only to the extent of boosting the immune reponse, shortening the duration of illness, and reducing the risk of complications. Again you need to have a kit on your shelf and know how to use it. Both Helios and Ainsworth’s Pharmacies have their own versions:

Homeopathic first aid can help with boosting immunity to covid

Top remedies are Aconite at the time of onset – if sudden – with fever and restlessness. This is a remedy for the first 36 hours only. The Arsenicum Album picture is also one of restlessness and anxiety with amdesire for company. The is exhaustion and thirst for warm drinks in small amounts. The Bryonia parient on the other hand must lie still, has a very dry mouth (hence is very thirsty – usually for cold drinks), a dry cough and assuredly wants to be left alone, being very irritable. Gelsemium like Bryonia has a slow onset (contra-indicating Aconite for example) but has the classic ‘flu like picture of weakness, achiness and chilliness. The Gelsemium patient also wants to lies still but is not as irritable as the Bryonia type. In Phosphorous there is oppression of the chest and a racking cough, anxiety and a thirst for cold drinks. Consequently it is bit like a mix of Arsenicum and Bryonia.

These are some of the most pertinent remedies in the homeopathic first aid kits. Prescribing may seem a little confusing, but the good news is that the remedies mentioned overlap to some degree, such that some benefit will accrue even if your choice is not perfect.

Living with Nature

The point is that we all have to live with nature in which viruses play an important part. You have a symbiotic relationship with viruses and carry many hundreds if not thousands within you. We have to respect the virus and work at our general health. Pasteur’s germ theory only goes so far. His contemporary Bechamp, recognised the compensating importance of ‘le terrain‘ – our general health. Both men were right. Look after your body and it will look after you.

We all know many friends and relations who have had Covid without great incident. Quite possibly you have had Covid yourself. In the past we were used to winter respiratory infections and we need to get used to coping with them again. And we need to relearn how.

The powerful message on Vaccines

My wife and I just spent a week touring the Western Isles.  I didn’t take this photo as a  substitute for a tree (its a blowy place in winter and the soil is shallow, so trees are few) but it got me thinking about power and the messages we receive.

Holidays give you time to catch up on some reading.  Sad perhaps, but the book I first chose on my e-reader was by Dr Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bystrianyk, titled Dissolving Illusions, Disease Vaccines and the Forgotten History.  It was rather good.

Now I have to tread carefully here, as the Society of Homeopaths is precise on its guidance to members. 

Source – Society of Homeopaths Website

So, in line with the above, I simply draw to your attention some of the themes in the book which I found interesting, and hope you might also.

The opening chapters consider the nature of transmissible disease and the epidemics that often result.  It is a remarkable fact that God, Nature, Evolution (you may choose one or more) has gifted us with a remarkable physiological system, that by means of innate and adaptive immune response protects us from innumerable bacteria and viruses.  Actually our bodies contain trillions of these and it is only a very few that bring us to grief.

It should than come as no surprise that a healthy nourished body fights infection best.  I have written on this general topic before.  Nothing controversial here, I hope.

Poverty and filth

These opening chapters describe the lives of the poor in Dickensian times and up until the early years of the 20th century. This short passage serves as a brief summary:

Humphries, Suzanne; Bystianyk, Roman: Dissolving illusions (p32) Kindle Editions

Bad living conditions‘, is rather an understatement: overcrowding, foul air, polluted water, vermin and running sewage etc.  The silver vinaigrette was of doubtful value

By chance we passed through a cemetery in North Uist, and it is remarkable how many lived to a good age in a rural setting in contrast to the industrial cities.  You might care to wander through a churchyard in the New Forest, a very rural part a century of more ago, and see if you come to the same conclusion.

The simple fact is that by improving nutrition and living standards, lifespan increased dramatically during the twentieth century.   

The ‘illusion’ referred to in the title of the book is the extent to which advances in health are attributed to advances in medical therapeutics.  That is not to deny the advances in medicine and surgery during the 20th century, just that they tend to take too much of the credit.


The second half of the book focuses on the principal diseases, smallpox, diphtheria, polio, whooping cough, measles and so on.  The general theme was that each had declined significantly before medical intervention (usually vaccine).  

As a Glaswegian this statistic struck me:

Humphries, Suzanne; Bystrianyk, Roman. Dissolving Illusions (pp 328-329). 2013 Kindle Edition

My generation caught measles as a matter of course, and with some sensible nursing from Mum, we survived unscathed.  

In the UK measles vaccination commenced in 1968 and the chart below is quite interesting.  I will leave you to draw your own conclusions. 

Homeopathy and Vaccines - the decline of measles before the vaccine was available

Considering the theme that underlies all the diseases covered in the book, the lines below from a book by Daniel M Davies, Professor of Immunology at Manchester University came to mind:

New Medicines?

So is it new medicines we really need, or better living conditions?   Returning to Humphries and Brystianyk:

What do you think?

Wanted Dead or Alive

Vaccines using attenuated / live viruses yield a better immune response that those using inactivated material. In technical terminology they are more antigenic. 

The feared disease of my generation was polio, and you’d think it would be a heroic story (I did too).  In fact it is complex, and you’ll have to read the book if you wish to know more. Suffice to say that inadequacies in diagnostics, treatment, vaccine development, and environmental factors all underminine innate immunity. Add to this the media generated climate of fear mean that polio continues to cast its shadow. A fear, the authors argue, that is disproportionate to risk.

The polio vaccine story is interesting.

The polio vaccine comes in two forms. The live / attenuated Sabin vaccine – (that given orally on a sugar lump in my day) and inactivated vaccine (Salk), as used in the DTP jab – the P being polio.  The former (Sabin) being ‘live’ – as mentioned – is more antigenic. 

The problem with the ‘live attenuated’ Sabin virus is that it can be excreted in faeces. Latterly this proved to be a more significant cause of polio outbreaks than the ‘wild’ virus (vaccine-derived-poliovirus or VDP). 

The vaccine used in the UK today is the inactivated version for that reason.

In some parts of the world the live / attenuated form is still used. The source of the polio virus recently identified at a sewage treatment plant in London is thought to be India or Pakistan. Two countries that still use the live / attenuated vaccine.   

(Somewhat similarly, the book tells the tradgedy caused by inadequate viral inactivation in the original Salk vaccine, which resulted in significant viral spread – here is a paper on the story The Cutter Incident. Though the currently used vaccine is a version of the Salk type it has obviously been modified to ensure no repeat of the Cutter debacle.)

Moving onward…

How dare you..

I am a bit of a fan of fellow Scot, Dr Malcolm Kendrick, GP and author.  As an insider, he can better observe the medical system than most. 

Dr Kendrick is the author of an excellent book titled Doctoring Data. In this book he shows you how numbers get manipulated to justify decisions.

His particular interest is heart disease, and he questions the high cholesterol hypothesis in cardio-vascular disease. Consequently, he challenges the current enthusiam for ‘statins’ – a profitable business.

He has a new book on the subject.

There is one other topic which he observes to be off limits: vaccination.  Just in the last week or so he penned a very interesting blog titled Vaccines – how did they come about?

And lo, homeopathy gets a mention…

‘Homeopathy is mocked’.

‘Vaccination is venerated’. 

Yet, as he elucidates they have a common ancestry.    How interesting.

The original use of cowpox virus to protect against smallpox actually follows the homeopathic principle of “like cures like” (law of similars). Today, the term vaccination has taken on other meanings.  

Back to Humphries and Bystrainyk for clarification:

As an aside, the Covid mRNA “vaccines” are further removed still from Jenner’s “vaccine” concept. Ne’er a cow in sight.

So where does this leave us?

I return to the strange photo at the top of this blog, which shows a power line. 

As Prof. Davis noted the pharmaceutical industry is a business and power and money as we all know are close bedfellows.

Alas there is not a lot of transparency (nor science) when power and money are involved. The issue reaches well beyond the matter of vaccines as comedian Russell Brand entertainingly explains on YouTube here.

Next time I’ll return to homeopathy with a reflection on the second book I read on holiday. Is homeopathy placebo or not?

By the way, if the subject of childhood vaccination interests you, I commend Dr Richard Halvorsen’s well researched book.

Finally, to do justice to the people of the Western Isles, there is rather more to see than power lines. Here is Tarbert (Harris) on a beautiful sunny day.


Symptoms are key to treatment in Homeopathy just as they are in orthodox (allopathic) medicine, but the interpretation is different. Winston Churchill once said that “Jaw, Jaw is better than War, War” and I suggest that his sentiment has some relevance in the practice of medicine.

The interpretation of symptoms is dfferent in homeopathy
Sir Winston Churchill

Symptoms in Homeopathy and Allopathy

Symptoms are symptoms but the interpretation can be different.

Take a look at any text on modern drug classes and you can clearly see that modern western medicine is on a war footing.  There are anti-biotics; anti-depressants; anti-fungals; anti-inflammatories; anti-virals…just as we have anti-aircraft; anti-tank; anti-personnel and so on. 

This is “War, War”.

Clearly modern pharmaceuticals are effective, but they are not always curative in the long term.  There is quite a queue in my local chemist for repeat prescriptions ..

Most modern drugs have not been around that long, the first antibiotics only appeared in the 1930s. We tend to forget that.

Yet mankind has suffered sickness, for thousands of years…and been healed. Naturopathic and hydropathic “cures” were once the norm..at least for those who could afford it. Not that such treatments were always successful either.

Let’s be honest, symptoms are inconvenient at best, and often worse – so a magic bullet has much in its favour – especially in an impatient age.

The trouble is that the “enemy’s” protest may have virtue. Perhaps a little “jaw jaw” might bring about a longer lasting peace?

Of course to “jaw jaw” you have to understand the language. 

The Meaning of Symptoms

Symptoms are the body’s language. The attempt of the body to cure itself.

Easier then to shoot first, and ask questions later! This is suppression.

But what if the “enemy” regroups and shoots back. An uneasy truce might be the best result.

Homeopathy is “Jaw, Jaw” medicine. It is guided by the “Law of Similars” – often simplified to “like cures like”.   Homeopathically this means finding the medicine that best imitates the symptom picture.

The subject is covered in more detail in this article by the late Dr Stuart Close:

The general philosophy in homeopathy, naturopathy, and other traditional / complementary therapies is that the body tells you what it needs to cure itself.

Therefore, rather than supressing the symptoms, they should be encouraged.  A sort of swords into ploughshares approach!

Here is a simple example:

The symptoms of flu can often be helped with the Homeopathic remedy Gelsemium
Gelsemium (yellow jasmine)

Gelsemium, homeopathically prepared from a plant of the same name, has particular characteristics that come from “proving” the medicine on healthy people, knowledge of its herbal properties, clinical experience and so on.

Students of homeopathy learn the phrase “droopy, drowsy and dull”,  as the Gelsemium symptoms are just that: 

It is one of a number of medicines that have helped Covid patients – but ONLY if their symptom picture matches. The remedy stimulates an immune response that reinforces the action of the body and speeds up cure.

It is a useful remedy which you will surely find in any homeopathic first aid kit, such as shown in one of my recent blogs

*Interestingly it is said that, Gelsemium – presumably in herbal form – was once used to instil fearlessness in soldiers .  In truth this “courage” was more likely to be loss of fear through instilled apathy (what do I care if I live or die…)

society of Homeopaths

Disclaimer: I am a qualified professional homeopath and not a medical doctor. The NHS has many resources, and seeking the opinion of your GP is always of value.

© 2024 Allan Pollock