A few doses of Ledum pal took him back to the football ground!

December 16th, 2009

(Article published in the November 2009 issue of HomeoBuzz, www.bjainbooks.com)

A young boy named F was brought to me by his mother for his chronic pain in the lower limbs, especially the ankle and knee joints. She told me, he was worried not because of the pain, but was not been able to play football, the one and only game he likes to play. Many times he had to play with severe pain as he was the captain of his school football team, but now abstained from playing for a few months because of severe pain and recurrent spraining of ankles. Recently, he received the last call from his school football coach for the selection of new team, which doubled his tension.

Earlier he was treated by a number of doctors including a pediatrician and later by an orthopedic surgeon in a famous hospital in Kerala.

They had done several blood tests and investigations, but the reports were not given to him and kept there itself as a secret. However, they informed his parents that he is having Juvenile Arthritis and advised for longtime medication. He was getting worse even after repeated medication and their financial status was not good enough to continue with modern medicine. Hence, as an alternative they took Ayurvedic treatment from a Government hospital. He felt slight relief from his problems and needless to say the first thing to do after reaching home was playing football. But his first attempt itself was quiet disappointing. There was a sudden return of his pain and was not able to move, hence his schoolmates brought him home from the playground. Finally they consulted me for Homoeopathic treatment; with a question, can homoeopathy do something?

I took his case, but not in a detailed manner as I had some patients waiting in my visiting room to whom I had already given appointment for a detailed case taking. So, I decided to give him an acute drug on the basis of presenting complaints. Since they have not brought any investigation reports such as RA factor, ASO titer etc. I asked them do the blood investigations to diagnose the type of arthritis. As per the information given by his mother, he had history of repeated minor injuries. He was a successful player and was the main target of his opposite team. While playing they used to play foul by kicking on his legs to prevent his attempt to score. I thought repeated injury as causation for his pain. Drugs like Arnica, Ruta, Rhus tox came to my mind. As usual, I decided to start the battle with Arnica, which is the synonym of injury for most of us. Though I decided a remedy, I thought I should satisfy the patient by some sort of clinical examination. Hence I asked him to lie down on the examination table and started gently palpating the joints of his lower extremity. To my surprise, the joints that were swollen and painful were cold to touch. Immediately Ledum pal came to my mind. Even without searching for other characteristics of Ledum such as cold water amelioration, ascending pains, I prescribed him 5 doses of Ledum pal 200 and asked him to take one dose on every alternate day. Of course placebo was given to satisfy the patient and his panic stricken mother. The above prescription was not made after a detailed case taking and evaluation of symptoms; it was rather a blind prescription. Hence I asked them to see me after 10 days with the lab reports.

However they didn’t turn up. I felt he might have got cured completely or consulted someone else for quick relief. After about a month his mother came back with an apology for the late information because of his exams and his father’s transfer. She informed that his pain is completely disappeared and now he plays football without any kind of discomfort and again got selected to the school team. Because of great ease of symptoms, they even forgot to do the lab investigations. Though I got result with Ledum pal I wanted to watch the flow of his condition rather than declaring the case as completely cured. So I told his mother to inform his symptoms on regular basis.

His mother followed my instruction and used to report his condition. There was no recurrence of pain and no other new symptoms. Mentally also he was perfect. However occasionally he used to get throat pain just after taking soft drinks and ice cream. Prescription of drugs like Bryonia 3x, Rhus tox 6c etc. on different occasions helped him from acute complaints. A strong instruction to avoid cold items also helped.

Meanwhile he had a sprain of his elbow after falling during a football match and his friends took him to the same orthopedic surgeon from whom he had taken treatment initially. While taking his case, the surgeon asked about his leg pain. They disclosed the result with the homoeopathic treatment. Sadly, the surgeon denied it and told them that it is not because of Homoeopathy, the disease itself was self-limiting!

For the surgeon the cure is just a placebo effect but for the patient it was a kind of new life. This boy is now playing for the District Junior Football Team, scoring goals for his team. And for me, the selection of Ledum pal itself was a goal.

rafi Homoeopathy

The Magic of Boericke

November 10th, 2009

(Article published in Sept. issue of HomeoBuzz, published by B Jain Publishers, New Delhi)
Ask any Homoeopath “which is the most useful book, when you are at the clinic”, the most probable answer would be Boericke, which is the ultimate book for most of us. This can be understood very clearly if you refer the back volumes of The HomoeoBuzz magazine in which most of the experts who were interviewed in Idol spot section mentioned Boericke as an All time guide for a homoeopath. Now, we have many schools in homoeopathy and this article is never intended to confuse the young chaps by promoting a “Boerickian school of homoeopathy”, but to share my humble views on this wonderful book.

In fact, the book we call “Boericke” is actually a combined works of a few authors like William Boericke, O E Boericke, Gibson Miller, Boennaughausen and a few Indian authors. This work is now available in the market as Pocket Manual Of Materia Medica & Repertory and New Manual Of Materia Medica with Repertory.

Some unique features of Boericke are:

  1. It is said “Every time you read Boericke, you will be getting something new”. In fact, I have experienced this many a time. I read the book on a regular basis. But, even now, when I go through any drug in this book, I get something new that I have not noticed previously.
  2. There are many hidden points in Boericke that can be utilized in our day-to-day practice.
  3. This is one among the books in homoeopathy that contains almost everything needed to prescribe.
  4. If there is no computer with us, at least we should have Boericke, as it is a treasury of information.
  5. When you go for a medical camp, books like Boericke can be of great help.
  6. It can be used by a classical prescriber as well as a keynote prescriber or a person who gives specific remedies and even lower potencies.
  7. Since modern terminologies are used in this book, modern medical people can also understand the efficacy of homoeopathy.
  8. In the examination point of view, it is very essential for the students to get the therapeutics of all clinical subjects.
  9. It is a treasury of rare remedies, poorly proved drugs, forgotten drugs etc.
  10. Mother tinctures are given due importance. In the new manual, there is a separate chapter for tinctures.
  11. Nosodes and sarcodes are also given under separate sections.
  12. Materia medica contains useful doses along with the non-homoeopathic use in material doses.
  13. Most of the drugs in the Materia Medica section contain a relationship part. Here, apart from relationship there are a number of rare drugs.
  14. Though the remedies in repertory are few, there are many useful drugs that help in practice.
  15. There is a number of single remedy rubrics, which are very useful in practice.
  16. When we are confused between a few drugs, read Boericke, it will surely guide us to the right remedy.

Different sections of Pocket Manual Of Materia Medica (Reprint edition 1998):

1.Materia Medica by William Boericke (Abies can to Zingiber)
2.Repertory by Oscar E Boericke
3.Index to repertory
4.Therapeutic index
5.List of remedies in common name with page number
6.List of remedies in pharmaceutical and Latin names with page number
7.50 homoeopathic Indian drugs proved by Indian doctors
8.Relationship of remedies with duration of action by Gibson Miller
9.Sides of body &drug affinities from Boenninghausen’s Lesser writings
10.Essentials of rare and uncommon remedies reproduced from regionals of Boericke 1991 edition.

Different sections of New Manual Of Materia Medica (3rd Revised & augmented edition):
Here some changes have been made using modern terminologies, new spellings and abbreviations. Apart from that, more information is given along with new additions in Indian drugs. Index of drugs with common and Latin names is given in the beginning. There are some footnotes in the bottom of some pages with the name of source book.

1.Materia medica from Abies can to Zizia
3.Index to the repertory
4.Therapeutic index
5.Some Indian drugs
6.Important Nosodes
7.Important Sarcodes
8.Important mother tinctures
9.Rare and uncommon remedies
10.Relationship of remedies
11.Sides of the body
12.Drug affinities
13.List of abbreviations
14.List of remedies with common names
15.New abbreviations

Repertory by O E Boericke:
Nowadays, new drugs are added under different rubrics of various repertories. But such addition may be confusing while doing a bedside prescription. Here comes the importance of clinical repertories like Boericke, Phatak, Clarck’s etc. Repertory by O E Boericke is one of the most popular clinical repertories. It was introduced in the third edition of Boericke. It has 24 chapters from Mind to Modalities, which follows the Hahnemannian schema. Here the rubrics are arranged alphabetically, with extension under Cause, Type, Location, Character of pain, Concomitants and Modalities. There are 1409 medicines given in the repertory. The use of technical or clinical names as rubrics makes this repertory unique. Drugs given in italics are more frequently verified. This work is very useful for reference, bedside prescription and to repertorize cases with more clinical symptoms and one-sided diseases. Since it is a clinical repertory, in the prefatory note itself the author has suggested to refer general repertories like Kent or Kneer to repertorize cases that are rich in symptomatology.

New Materica Medica and repertory books are published frequently and new versions of softwares are introduced with newly added symptoms and newly proved drugs. But, the Boericke still stands unique in many ways, and is cherished by most of us as a full-time guide.

1.Pocket manual of Hom Materia Medica & Repertory- B Jain publishers, New Delhi.
2.Boericke’ New manual of Hom. Materia Medica With Repertory- B Jain publishers, New Delhi.
3.Reference to Repertories- Dr P V Siju- B Jain publishers, New Delhi.
4.Essentials of Repertorization- Dr S K Tiwari, B Jain publishers, New Delhi.

About the author: Dr Muhammed Rafeeque is the alumni of Bharathesh Homoeopathic medical college Belgaum. He is the author of Be a Master of Materia Medica, Rapid prescribing, Drug Addiction and Its Side effects - A Homoeopathic Approach, published by B Jain publishers New Delhi. Now he is practicing at family Homoeopathic clinic, Kerala. He blogs at www.familyhomoeopathy.com/blog

rafi Homoeopathy