Homeopathy from childhood to old age
Seminar with Dr Pawan Pareek
[Permission given to use this article from the Autumn 2015 issue of Homeopathy in Practice by the author]
A small group of homeopaths was delighted over the last weekend in April by a seminar with Dr Pawan Pareek, a cheerful and very enthusiastic homeopathic doctor from Agra, India.
The ambitious topic covered a broad range of both conditions and remedies.
According to Dr Pareek – and I’m sure most homeopaths would agree – many modern diseases are emotionally generated: stress and anxiety lead to depression which leads to insomnia and this can cause blood pressure to rise, resulting in heart disease, possibly diabetes, and a weakened immune system. Stress may encourage people to smoke or drink alcohol, leading to atheroschlerosis, raised epinephrine and cortisol, which can cause diabetes and high blood pressure. Anger weakens the liver and grief the lungs, worry affects the stomach, stress is felt in the heart and brain, while fear is stored in the kidneys.
Knowing this, the case taking process is, of course, vital to choosing a good prescription: the focus must be on the four ‘W’s: what (the symptoms with their sensations), where (location), when (modalities) and why (causation). It is essential to know what may have caused the condition and what the symptoms, are both common and uncommon. The common symptoms help you to know about the disease and the uncommon ones help you to prescribe.
The seminar was illustrated by successful cases from Dr Pareek’s busy clinic where he sees over 100 patients a day, prescribing mostly polycrests.
In each case, background information was provided on the condition treated, then informative materia medica keynotes on the remedies used with valuable differential diagnoses to distinguish them from similar candidates.
The children’s cases included a two-year-old with cerebral palsy who was given first Cicuta, then Causticum and finally Baryta carbonica; then a 13-year-old boy with nephrotic syndrome, on steroids and in ICU, who was given Helleborus which brought him out of the ICU. Another was a six-month-old baby boy with hydrocephalus and otorrhoea, also in the ICU, who was given Zincum metallicum, followed by Arsenicum album and Bacillinum as an intercurrent. We also heard about a 12-year-old girl with pain in the lower right abdomen, a fever and vomiting, a suspected appendicitis but which appeared normal on ultrasound. The child had a low-grade temperature treated with anti-tuberculosis drugs for a year with negligible improvement. Her liver and heart were enlarged; she had fluid on the lungs and difficulty breathing. The senior physician was advising a heart transplant!
Considering the symptoms: irritable, weeping, sad, swelling all over the body, thirst-less, urine in drops and the patient being hot by nature, Dr Pareek prescribed Apis 200 weekly over a period of several months until all her vital organ functions became normal. Some time later she started getting frequent colds, a fever in the evenings and a return of the pain in the abdomen. Arsenicume iodatum 200 weekly brought her back to health again. A useful differential diagnosis in this case: comparing Apis with Pulsatilla; both are irritable and weepy, thirstless, better for fresh air and can have oedema but Pulsatilla is cold by nature while Apis is hot. Also, Pulsatilla, as we know is mild and gentle but Apis is jealous, suspicious and irritable. A last child’s case was that of a 10-year-old boy with terrible burning micturition and abdominal and testicular pain. Berberis vulgaris tincture was prescribed, unfortunately with no avail. It was followed by Hydrangea which brought very rapid relief. Both Berberis and Hydrangea are left-sided and effective stone-breaking remedies but Hydrangea can be distinguished by irritable, violent anger and the profuse deposit of white amorphous salt, which would be picked up in the urinary report. Berberis complains of pain in the back and would sit over to the painful side for relief.
Adult cases included a middle-aged man who had been suffering with frequent loose motions for a decade after losing money in a property deal. Aloe 30, four times a day, then Merc sol 200 weekly, helped considerably and were followed by Ars alb 1M, once every 10 days bringing great improvement.
Another was a middle-aged mother of three young children suffering from chronic liver disease. Treatment started with Phosphorus 200, then moved on to Arsenicum Album 200.
A further adult case was a teenager with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and a history of TB in the family. She was on the pill to bring on menstruation following amenorrhoea for three years. The condition had started when the pulmonologist had given her a cough syrup for a bad cough. She became puffy, her eyes protruded, she was thirst-less, weepy and hot, so Dr Pareek gave her Apis 200 once a week. She improved, Apis was repeated, and then other symptoms emerged which led him to Ars iod 200. Over a period of treatment with these remedies, her periods returned and her scans revealed no further PCOS. When later her severe cough returned she was given a single dose of Tuberculinum 200.
More adult cases included a middle-aged man with recurrent bladder cancer who improved dramatically on Hamamelis 30 tds then Thlaspi bursa pastoris tincture and finally Thuja; a 76-year-old depressed female stroke victim with uncontrollable hypertension, on tranquilisers and in the ICU, was prescribed several doses of Arnica, which brought the blood pressure down, then Aurum metallicum for further improvement and Calendula for her bed sores; a 62-year-old female case of chronic hypertension leading to renal failure and hypothyroidism, again in the ICU, treated with Ignatia, then Cuprum arsenicosum for cramps and cunvulsions and finally Ars alb; lastly, a very poor elderly gentleman with benign hypertrophic prostrate, unable to pay for the necessary operation but treated successfully with Chimphilla umbellata tincture, then Conium.
In summary, not many British homeopaths see patients in the ICU but Dr Pareek’s keynote prescribing was not only fascinating but educational, and always interspersed with amusing stories and jokes. Aside from this, Dr Pareek gave us his basic rules, a large number of useful tips, and, of course as is often the case with experienced Indian homeopaths, valuable differential diagnoses.
His basic rules:
- Start with a medium potency unless your knowledge of that particular remedy suggests otherwise.
- If improvement continues, don’t change the remedy but lengthen the interval between the doses and if there is still improvement, stop all the remedies.
- If the case has improved and then slipped back, it is better to give a higher potency of the same medicine than to change. Consider how long the patient has had the ailment.
- Before making a new change, look up the complementary remedy relationship e.g. Nux vomica, Sulphur and Lycopodium are related, as are Belladonna and Calc Carb, Ars Alb and Thuja.
- The higher the potency used, the greater the interval before repetition (200 = once a week, 1M = once every 10-15 days, 10M = once a month)
Some of Dr Pareek’s useful tips:
- Abrotanum and Iodum ar both good for emaciation and marasmus.
- Nat Mur, Silica and Calc phos can help with thumb sucking in children.
- Phos, Nat mur, Ars alb, Ars iod and Iodum are worth considering for Thalassemia.
- Vanadium is good for treating lack of oxygen to the brain but not to the lungs.
- For genital herpes, he would consider Ars alb, Nit ac, Merc sol, Rhus tox and Sulph.
Some of his differential diagnoses:
- The liver enlargement of Carduus marianus is transversal while that of Chelidonium is vertical.
- Carduus likes cold things while Chelidonium likes hot drinks.
- Lyc is better for passing wind through the rectum, Carbo veg is better for passing wind through the mouth; China is not ameliorated by either!
- Tuberculinum, prepared from the pus in a tubercular lung, is depressed and melancholic, chilly and worse in a warm room, but Bacillinum, prepared from tubercular lung tissue, also depressed or melancholic and chilly is okay in a warm room.
For those of you who missed Dr Pareek’s seminar in April this year, you might want to consider a trip to India to hear him speak. ‘Homeopathy Beyond Theory’is a clinical practice workshop he is organising at his clinic in Agra between 5-10 March 2016. There will be both paper and live cases. More information on his website: www.drpawanhomeopathy.com
Helen Kimball-Brooke LCPH MCHE MARH