When I was working at two London HIV/AIDS centres in the 1990’s Jan Scholten published his first book ‘Homeopathy and the Minerals’. I came across it at Ainsworths Pharmacy one day and it immediately made an impression. Of course homeopathic prescribing theories come and go but this was backed up by case after case using (at that time) weird and wonderful remedies like Baryta fluoricum, Magnesium Nitricum, Ferrum Iodatum.
At that time there was a strong tendency to using ‘Polychrests’ like Sulphur, Phosphorus and Natrum Mur with all others, often given just a few lines in our materia medicas, relegated as ‘small remedies’. Jan was one of the first to say ‘look, small remedies are only remedies that haven’t been explored, proved and used.
Of course we are taught that the great Hahnemann specifically advises against speculation and philosophizing as to the nature of materia medica. Yet he himself was certainly not the stiff old school figure that is often portrayed, and indeed speculated throughout his working life. For sure if he was alive today he would be applauding some of the wilder current homeopathic explorations.
So that brings us back to Jan Scholten who broke out of the mould, stuck his head above the parapet, and decided to speculate on a grand scale. He looked at remedy stalwarts like Nat Mur, Calc Carb and Mag Phos and wondered if there were common themes that could be attributed to their individual components. And then went even further and attempted to predict the themes of every element in the periodic table. His work has been supremely successful and led to a complete revolution in our understanding of materia medica.
So, to inspire you in your own explorations I’d like to give you a case from my time at the HIV/AIDS centres.
Case: Female 25 yrs: HIV+
She has been in counselling therapy for over 2 yrs. She has experienced sleeplessness for 4 months since visiting parents.
She says she has many emotions around abuse – anger, tears, breathlessness, sighing, sadness. She feels vulnerable. She dreams of being naked while trying to express herself. Wakes feeling angry, irritable. Was raped in 1989 (for the first time), but has always been scared of boys. Very analytical. She has a ‘given up’ look, sunken chest, small child-like voice and there is a sense of failure around her. She used to be addicted to drugs and alcohol; she also suffers from bulimia/anorexia;. She has a strong fear of failure. She fears what people will think of her- that she is not strong or cannot handle things. She feels deep shame. Father was a military man-very dominant. She is tired, listless, aching muscles. Eczema on face, cysts on neck.
The combination of a dominating father figure who focuses more on success than offering unconditional love to the child, together with a history of anorexia, bulimia and other addictions is a good pointer for Vanadium Metallicum (interestingly Vandium is known as a appetite booster supplement). Vanadium is in the 5th stage of the periodic table in the iron series. 5th stage remedies have a tendency to hesitation. They plan everything but procrastinate due to underlying lack of confidence with a fear of failure.
Rx: Vanadium 9c bd for one week then Vanadium 1M
2 weeks later:
A different person walked in. The first thing I noticed was her voice was stronger, as if she was more powerful. She said she was much improved. She had much higher energy, she felt more passionate about life, sleep was >, skin was >. She said ‘I have so many plans and ideas I hardly know how to channel that energy’. She continued to do well over the next few months until she discharged herself.
Vanadium is a useful, much under-used remedy. It is used in dietary medicine as an appetite booster.
The theme of a dominant parent figure in Vanadium seems very important (and is so common in my experience), as is the sense of a lack of identity. Interestingly this is reflected in the nature of the element itself. Vanadium exists in five different oxidation states and will freely change from one to another. The salts formed in each state are all of different colours. In industry it is used as a catalyst, and as an oxidising agent – it being freely reduced by more dominant agents, and it is added to steel to make it more flexible.
Other keynote symptoms of Vanadium include: Dream/delusion/sensation of missing the boat/train. Craving for liquorice. Aggravation at the time of ovulation. Ailments dating from puberty.
DD: Ignatia, Carcinosin, Staphysagria, Lac Caninum
If you would like to learn how to integrate minerals and elements into your practice I am running a workshop for all homeopaths and advanced students. :
Understanding the Homeopathic Periodic Table:
Prescribing the Elements and Minerals with Confidence
Sunday 18 October 9.30-5.30 in Brighton (Venue TBC)
More info and to book: Click here
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