Group Analysis Evaluation
As the remedies of a synonymous grouping of plants will, in suffering, have many sensations in common with the others of the same grouping, every remedy also manifests sensations which are distinctive to that remedy alone as every remedy state is a feeling distinctive in itself.
[Samkelisiwe Nonduduzo Mngadi]
Group analysis or kingdom analysis method is a relatively new method of classifying homoeopathic remedies. The group analysis method links similar remedies in terms
of their botanical and natural history. It then analyses common characteristics from these remedies, thus forming a generalised picture of the whole group or kingdom.
The aim is to form a broad understanding of all the remedies within the group by carefully studying the common characteristics found throughout the whole group.
The group analysis method therefore highlights the polycrest remedies and subsequently illuminates the lesser-known remedies, forming a complete picture of the group.
Group Analysis: It is the study of a group of remedies, rather than the individual remedies. In group analysis, the aim is to look at groups of remedies and then extract from these groups that which is common .
The group analysis method links and classifies naturally related substances by their common symptomatology. This ground-breaking system of classifying remedies offers
a new perspective on popular remedies while highlighting overlooked remedies, thus offering a broader understanding of the whole materia medica .
[Edward Peter Phahamane]
1.0 INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
The development of group analysis by new masters of homoeopathy such as Scholten,Sankaran and othersis the continuation of the workof the great old masters of homoeopathy such as Hahnemann, Farrington and others (Gray2000). Group analysis has come at the right time, when the accumulated mass of homoeopathic data is tending to inundate earlier grouping systems such as the miasms and the overall appreciation of materia medica. It is a relatively impossible intellectual task for a physician to remember over 3000 remedies during prescription. Students in homoeopathy may also have the same intellectual problem while learning materia medica (Sankaran 2002).
Therefore, in order to remedy this problem, intuitive, creative and problem solving minds of people such as Sankaran (2002), Scholten (1993) and Mangliavori (in Vidal 2005)
have thought of and designed systematic methods of arranging remedies according to central themes, kingdoms and states of matter. The need to remember a huge
number of remedies during prescription in order to match individual patient symptoms to remedy symptoms in the materia medica not only makes homoeopathy
difficult to practice but also affects the remedy selection outcome, the treatment outcome of the patient and the general effectiveness of homoeopathic treatment (Sankaran 2002).
If remedies do not seem to work, a very common public perception is that homoeopathy is slow, or does not work and only rarely is it perceived that the choice
of the remedy might be wrong. The outcome of homoeopathic treatment is pre-destined by the careful choice of the remedy. Thus, group analysis aims to fine-tune
the remedy selection process to improve the competency and efficiency of homoeopathic treatment (Gray2000).Group analysis not only systematizes mass homoeopathic data
but also illuminates smaller remedies by defining their characteristics alongside relatively large polychrests. Group analysis can also be used to predict the potential remedy within
a related group which is closer to the case. For example, according to the Sankaran kingdom model of group analysis, the plant kingdom has sensitivity as a major theme;
the mineral kingdom has structure as a major theme, the animal kingdom has survival as a major theme. During case taking, the practitioner can use presented symptoms as a
guide and can discern which is the main kingdom and forecast that a remedy in that kingdom is likely to be most suitable.
This forecast does not exclude the Law of Similars, miasms, the knowledge of learned materia medica and the holistic nature of homoeopathy (Sankaran 2005;Scholten 1993). However successful group analysis may have been with the majority of homoeopathic practitioners, there have been controversies, debates and heated criticism regarding the
group analysis approach. According to this criticism, group analysis is viewed as a new method therefore as such it is perceived in some quarters to be based on non-homoeopathic principles, making it a threat to the dogmatic principles set out by Hahnemann and therefore not an acceptable way to arrive at a remedy.
Even so, group analysis has sustained itself through this criticism because it follows on from the principles of miasms and the repertory which are forms of systematized grouping methods consistent with the works of the great old masters of homoeopathy which are still in use today. Robust science welcomes criticism and group analysis embraces the development of homoeopathy as an objective, competitive science suitable for the current era (Moskowitz2002; Vithoulkas 2000 and Gray2000).New research on group analysis
has revitalized the advancement of group analysis. This research relies on high quality material data sourced from the materia medicas, reputable journals and repertories.
The caution to use quality data helps advance the acuity and competency of group analysis as well as its acceptance within the broader homoeopathic community.
The emergence of group analysis, like all other new grouping methods such as miasms, has met its challenges in some quarters of the homoeopathic community but continues
to sustain itself through these challenges because of its dynamic design which incorporates the Law of Similars, the knowledge of learned materia medica
and aholistic approach to homoeopathy (Kasiparsad 2012).The emergence of group analysis does not replace, substitute or reduce the dogmatic principles set forth by Hahnemann,
or the knowledge and application of learned materia medica but to fine tune the selection process of remedies in a clinical setting (Moskowitz2002).
Homoeopathy is on an evolutionary growth journey in terms of provings being constantly conducted and new remedies entering the materia medica and new symptoms entering the repertory. Therefore filter techniques are needed to guide the system of prescribing to help practitioners and students to get the correct remedy individual to the patient (Kasiparsad 2012). Group analysis can be such a filter technique.
1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT
The materia medica of homoeopathic medicines consists of more than 3000 individual remedies. It is impossible to remember all remedies individually, so some sort
of an organisation system is helpful. Miasmatic organisation is already well known. Group analysis is emerging as a helpful tool for organising knowledge and warrants further exploration.
The researcher aimed to extract the common characteristic symptomatology of five selected homoeopathic remedies belonging to the acidum family as represented in the known materia medica and repertory. This was performed by analysing the selected remedies according to the group analysis method as proposed by Sankaran(2002) including kingdom analysis and sensations (Sankaran 2005). The study further compared these results with Scholten’s analysis of mineral acidums (Scholten 1993) and Mangialavori and Marotta’s (2005) analysis of acidums. Remedies were selected on the basis of the number of repertory rubrics they appear in, with an increase in number of rubrics corresponding to an increase in significance. Based on an extraction process using the Radar® 10 Synthesis (Archibel 2008) repertory software, all the acid family remedies were listed in order of most significant to least significant, according to the number of rubrics per remedy.
1st choosing five well represented acidum group of homoeopathic remedies in the repertory.
2nd identifying, analysing and describing common sensations in the acidum group of homoeopathic remedies according to known materia medica.
Sensations are defined as “consciousness of perceiving or seeming to perceive some state or condition of one’s body or its parts of senses or of one’s mind or its emotions...”
3rd analysing and describing the reactions to the sensations. In other words a person feeling a particular sensation or set of sensations may be inclined to act or respond in a certain way. In simpler terms reactions can be active, passive, or compensatory. An active response is a reflex action following a stimulus, a passive response is an arrested or negated reflex action following a stimulus and a compensated response is an adapted action to the known or like stimulus (Sankaran 2002).
4th analysing and classifying individual remedies in terms of Sankaran’s miasms in terms of known homoeopathic literature.
5th identifying the themes which emerge from the acidum group. “A theme is an idea that persists in or pervades a work of art or literature...” (Oxford Dictionary2013).
The application of group analysis as a tool used to achieve the above aims further tested its viability and validity and furthered understanding of its competency and its limitations.
1st acids, with the exception of a few which are well proven, are rarely prescribed and are poorly understood in terms of their therapeutic action as outlined in the current grouping models such as the Sankaran’s miasmaticmodel and the Scholten periodic table model (Wulfsohn 2005).
2nd According to the knowledge of the researcher, there has never been a group analysis of the acidums except that of Scholten who only analysed mineral acids.
Therefore, there was a gap in knowledge regarding the acidums in homoeopathic materia medica and practice.
3rd The success of Sankaran in the development of the group analysis methodology based on the scientific classification of matter, as seen in kingdom analysis, and on the
sensations and reaction to sensations associated with each substance, is a break-through discovery (Sankaran 2002; Sankaran 2005). The sensation approach will add value
to Scholten’s approach which is based on analysis of the periodic table of elements (Scholten 1993). This methodology has provided a window of opportunity in research and the researcher wished to apply Sankaran’s discovery to acids.
4th Scholten (1993), and M. Tech. Homoeopathy students at the Durban University of Technology have conducted group analysis evaluation studies that have yielded valuable information and have refined the understanding of remedy relationships in terms of materia medica (Leisegang 2007). This research output will add to that body of knowledge.
The unique nature of acidum remedies as described by Farrington (1992), who applauds their curative actions in chronic diseases, makes this study worthy to pursue so as to contribute to a better treatment outcome for chronic diseases in homoeopathic practice.
2.5 HOMOEOPATHIC PRESCRIPTION ACCORDING TO GROUP ANALYSIS
Higher education training institutions for homoeopathy students such the Durban University of Technology have introduced the use of computer technology to facilitate the modern growth of homoeopathy and to improve its competency as a science and as a therapeutic tool for health-care. Computer programs such as Radar®, MacRepertory® and Reference Works® homoeopathic software offer repertories and quick access to information from various homoeopathic textbooks for evaluation and comparison of treatment options. These computer software programs save time during case analysis, and enhance efficiency and accuracy of the prescription by providing readily available information from various textbooks. The inclusion and application of group analysis, in addition to the application of the Law of Similars, in this computer software, improves the accuracy of the prescription but it does not substitute the knowledge of learned materia medica (Kasiparsad 2012).
[Dr Marion Weston]
Group Analysis according to Massimo Mangliavori
Mangliavori’s attempt to overcome the use of isolated symptoms as a basis for a prescription is to define the characteristic and fundamental themes that best express the dynamic psychosomatic system (Zwemke, 2004:34).
His concept of “homeopathic families” is not limited to the classification systems of botany, zoology or the periodic table, but is based on precise comparisons of fundamental themes and their nuance and has been verified through extensive clinical application. By observing and studying his patients over many years, he recognized patterns that led him
to the utility of defining themes that describe the complex reality of patients as well as the multiple expressions of remedies in the materia medica.
The basis of Mangliavori’s “homeopathic families” stems from the observation of similarities between different substances. Some share physical characteristics, some contain the same poison, mineral or alkaloid: some might be members of the same biological family or some derive even from different biological families, but have similar cultural
use (Zwemke, 2004:35). An example are the so called “drug remedies”. Even though these remedies belong to unrelated botanical families like Opium to the Papaveraceae family, Convolvulus duartinus to the Convulvulaceae family, Cannabis indica to the Cannabaceae family or Piper methysticum to the Piperaceae family,
they share the most fundamental themes with Bufo rana, a remedy from the animal kingdom.
The Group Analysis controversy
In direct opposition to the modern trends in homeopathy are the views of Vithoulkas (2000), Olsen (1996) and Winston (2000), who express concern about the new ideas and theories. Their criticism lies in the perception that these ideas would limit the acceptance of homeopathy into mainstream medical practice.
Vithoulkas (2000): the new concepts are based on imagination and magical thinking rather than on facts,
Winston (2004): that group and kingdom analysis are the ‘edges’ of homeopathy and entreats homeopaths to be fully grounded in the classical basics before venturing forth.
Moskowitz (2002): In his article “The Fundamentalist Controversy” examines the controversy between what he coins ‘fundamentalism‘ and ‘innovation’ and the world wide opposition that has arisen to the ‘new teachings’. Regarding the accusation that the teachings were largely speculative in nature (Winston, 2000), Moskowitz (2002) comments: “……. while Scholten’s themes are not always identical to Sankaran’s, they overlap to a great extent, and their methodologies are similar. To discern the common features of a
class, Sankaran uses a computerized study of remedies with newly developed hard and software, which has enough memory to access the vast homeopathic literature and to
scan it at high speed. In addition he uses group analysis to deduce the symptoms of unproven remedies, not instead of proving them, but as a test of his thinking, precisely in
the spirit of modern science, which judges hypotheses by the accuracy of the predictions they generate”.
cult, it is considered to be the most diabolical plant. It is said in the culture that there is nothing better than to destroy, kill, demolish, finish off the plant, as evil comes
naturally to it, and no one dares touch it.
This follows the ideas that we have developed from other sources about the Anacardiaceae family.
The point is that with the knowledge we have, we try to develop a framework, and if that framework is correctly developed, it also fits the members we don’t yet know.
Frans and Linda show how we can do it with families we don’t know so well – for example, the Araliaceae family.
It’s a small family, unknown in homeopathy, so how do we build up a framework of knowledge?
All families have a type, a member of the family that represents it in the best way. And we can draw certain conclusions from that type, regarding the other members
that belong to the same family. Our member as type of the Araliaceae is Ginseng, which has 500 symptoms in the repertory. It is hard to develop an idea based on so
We can draw conclusions about a species or a family from Materia Medica or outside of material medica, from the biological properties, herbal uses, folklore etc.
What does the plant contain is a most important question.
Even in the very beginning of homoeopathy there arose a great need and desire amongst homoeopathic physicians to classify and categorise a seemingly unmanageable list
of proven remedies that could no longer be comfortably held in memory. The medieval ‘Doctrine of Signatures’ (where a morphological relationship is drawn between
that of a particular substance to a particular disease or organ) was perhaps one of the earliest attempts made to make sense of a large and ever growing materia medica
However this type of remedy selection was largely condemned and met by fierce opposition by Hahnemann who believed that such methods posed a major threat to
scientific homoeopathy – albeit that this concept, even though in a more circumspect and circumscribed manner than in the past, is still in use today (Vermeulen, 2004:xi).
The most useful and probably the longest serving method of remedy categorization and selection was only developed in 1833 following the production of the very first
repertory by Boenninghausen. Since then many different versions of repertories have been published with the most popular and widely used being Kent’s repertory
which has now formed the basis of various hardcopy and computer software formats which now circulate the world over. Unfortunately however, even the repertory
has been unable to improve the understanding and recognition of all remedies (smaller and less well proven ones such as the imponderabilia). It has however, when
coupled with computer software programmes and effective search engines, made it possible for homoeopathic physicians to easily access and analyse vast sums of collected
observations and centuries worth of work for any commonalities (Souter, 2005:13).
Argues that the practice of homoeopathic medicine has never been easy, since homoeopathy is one of the very few, if not the only, of the scientific disciplines that begins
with the specifics in its methodology of remedy identification. He further states that a scientific discipline should firstly investigate in more broad terms and then ask more
specific questions in order to bring about further refinement, differentiation, and clarity. In this way the monumental task of remedy differentiation and selection would be
made far easier if physicians were able to follow a system like group analysis, rather than randomly searching through a jungle of symptoms listed in the materia medica
In this respect the concept of group analysis seems to be a natural and inevitable progression of homoeopathy in its study and understanding of the nature of whole groups
of remedies (Sankaran, 2002:6).
2.5.2 The Challenge
The challenge with the concept of group analysis is that up until the last decade the most common method of studying and applying homoeopathic remedies has been to
look at each remedy separately (Scholten, 1993:23). Group analysis differs in that it basically concerns itself with the comparison of groups of remedies and then extracting
what is common from that group (Scholten, 1993:23). These extracted symptoms are then used to formulate themes which indicate the basic expression of a group as an
entirety (Scholten, 1993:23).
This allows the homoeopathic physician to consider and delve deeply into a particular group of remedies (Natrum or Carbonicum groups) and isolate the most appropriate
remedy for the patient once the common thematic expression of that group has been correctly identified (Scholten, 1993:23; Souter, 2005:12).
Unfortunately homoeopathy as a science has always resisted or shown very little interest in the classification of remedies up until the last decade.
Winston (2002:36) states that the conflict essentially lies on whether or not homoeopathic case taking and analysis should still be approached using the ‘’traditional’’
methods as laid down by Hahnemann; or whether the latest concept of group analysis should be adopted and fully utilized instead. Like any other new paradigm of
thinking, the concept of group analysis has therefore also sparked major debates between those in opposition - the adherents and those who are not too sure about it
Scholten (1993:11) is quick to point out however that the concept of group analysis is certainly not new to the science of homoeopathy. According to Scholten (1993:23) homoeopathic physicians such as Clarke, Morrison and even Vithoulkas are all said to have applied this concept in practice. In his book ‘Lectures on Clinical Materia Medica’, Farrington (2002) was also noted to have devoted much of his time in the development of a method which bares a remarkable resemblance to that of the modern day
concept of group analysis, even though he conceived his method over one hundred years ago.
By far, the two most influential teachers and avid supporters of the concept of group analysis in the past decade Scholten and Sankaran (Thompson and Geraghty, 2007:102). Scholten introduced the concept of group analysis to the modern era by creating groups of some of the major elements and respective salts used in homoeopathy by utilizing
the scientific model of the periodic table of elements as his basis (Scholten, 1996:6). Scholten proposed that each row/series corresponded to a particular general theme, and
that each column/group from left to right of the periodic table outlined the degree of development of that particular theme of the series in question (Scholten, 1996:13).
This type of understanding has made it possible to prescribe an intersecting remedy with a higher degree of confidence provided that the patient required a remedy from
the mineral kingdom in the first place.
2.5.3 Refinements in Group Analysis
Sankaran on the other hand explored and developed the concept of group analysis in a slightly different manner to that of Scholten. He first subdivided all homoeopathic
classification of drugs’’ he then went further by specifying the distinguishing features (thematic expressions) that he had observed in each of the kingdoms)
For instance, the animal kingdom according to Sankaran (2006:2) can be distinguished from the other known kingdoms in that its features are primarily focused upon
issues of ‘‘survival, victim/aggressor tendencies, feelings of being dominated or persecuted, and onflict’’; whereas the features of the mineral kingdom revolve around
issues of ‘’performance, structure, defence, relationships, attack and a lack of security/support/identity’’ (Sankaran, 2006:4).
However Sankaran’s major breakthrough in his concept of kingdom analysis is that he further subdivided each of the kingdoms into its component ‘‘family groups’’ and noticed
that each family of remedies could also be defined along a set of thematic expressions (Sankaran, 2002:20). For instance, the plant kingdom was further subdivided into the
various botanical families such as the Anacardiaceae, Berberidaceae, Cactaceae, Compositae, Conifers, Hamamelidae and the Liliiflorae to name but just a few (Sankaran, 2002).
He then drew differentiations between each of the many botanical families by ascribing a set of basic sensational and thematic expressions that he had observed and which he truly felt characterized each particular family from the other (Sankaran, 2002:22). His next problem however was to be able to differentiate between remedies within the same botanical family that essentially shared the same thematic expressions. Sankaran’s solution was to draw upon his extended miasm model and thus he begun to further classify members of a common botanical family into their respective miasmatic tendencies (Sankaran, 2002:22).
According to Scholten, Sankaran’s approach is virtually analogous to that of the concept of group analysis where a row/series is intersected with a column/group – here, remedy families and miasms are instead being ‘’crossed’’ in order to identify a remedy (Sankaran, 2002:5).
Scholten further states that the discovery of these groups is a major step forward in the homoeopathic analysis of cases and remedy selection, as it is now possible to extend the drug pictures of little known remedies so that they become full and meaningful pictures (Sankaran, 2002:5). He further argues that Sankaran’s work in group- and kingdom analysis has now brought homoeopathy further into the second scientific stage – the stage of classification, categorization and grouping (Sankaran, 2005:5). This has made the practical application of homoeopathy far easier in terms of remedy prescribing and patient management, as well as allowed the understanding of remedies to become far more exciting and insightful.
2.6 THE SCIENCE OF LIGHT AND COLOUR
Colour theory has occupied philosophers and scientists from a variety of disciplines throughout the ages (Valberg, 2005:275). Today, the study of colour vision has become central in an effort to understand the behaviour of the neural networks of the human brain, and in this context, has aroused a rather passionate debate regarding the role of colours in our understanding of nature and of ourselves (Valberg, 2005:275). Though colour and light are quite distinct intellectually, both the natures of light and of colour are almost always inextricably bound and closely related in theory (Lamb and Bourriau, 1995:66).
According to modern physics, light is either regarded as a ‘‘wave-form’’, a concept which is attributed to the investigations of Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), or as stream
of particles (photons) as asserted through the experiments of Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). Unfortunately however, modern physics is still in a quandary when attempting to ‘‘explain’’ what precisely light is - as both theories are still considered to be in conflict even today. Therefore, modern science does not have any good unifying alternatives to
this dualistic concept to ‘‘explain’’ light and have thus begun to use either the ‘‘particle’’ or the ‘‘wave-form’’ analogy depending on which one suits best at that moment in
time. Light is considered to be a part of the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation which consists of everything from radioactive radiation to radio waves
Introduced the principle of perfinity, which corresponds to affinity, meaning related. This principle states that similar substances will have similar qualities, and the resemblance
in one field or dimension, indicates a resemblance in another field. In homoeopathy, this can be translated as “similar remedies will have similar pictures”.
An example includes the Solanaceae family which includes members such as Atropa belladonna, Hyoscymus niger (Henbane) and Datura stramonium (Thorn apple).
The botanical study of the forms and structures such as the flowers are alike, and were therefore in the past categorized in one family. It was discovered that the Solanaceae
plants share chemical molecules which include characteristic alkaloids such as atropine, hyoscine, scopolamine and solanines.
Research has shown that the DNA of plants from the same family have DNA sequences that are typical of the family.
For instance, intoxication with the plants from the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family produces characteristic symptoms such as paralysis of the parasympathetic system, raised heart rate, rapid respiration and dilated pupils. The symptoms of the individual provings of the remedies which are members of the Solanceae family have been shown to have similar symptoms in the material medica. Therefore, members of the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family have similarity in form, chemicals, DNA, intoxication and materia medica picture (Scholten, 2005:41 - 43).
Perfinity (a principle behind all this. The principle is that similarity in one field or dimension indicates similarity in another field. Similar substances will have similar effects.
Scholten has given the principle the name “Perfinity” because I couldn’t find a good word in our language. The nearest is affinity, but that means “related”. Perfinity means
that similar substances will have similar qualities, the similarity in one field working “through” (per) in another field. In homeopathy this can be expressed as “similar remedies
will have similar pictures”. It’s a principle that is encountered everywhere in science, industry and nature) is an extrapolation of group analysis as substances are grouped
according to certain similarities amongst them.
[Ruth Heather Hull]
Sankaran (2005a) developed a formalized approach to group analysis and his methods are now being used in group analysis research. Master’s students at Durban University
of Technology have applied Sankaran’s methods to homoeopathic remedies of the acidums (Phahamane, 2014), the synthetic recreational drug isolate group (Chhiba, 2013);
the Salicaceae plant family (Kasiparsad, 2012); Class Aves (Harkhu, 2011); Class Arachnida (Weston, 2010); Class Insecta (Vogel, 2007); Kingdom Fungi (Leisegang, 2007);
and the Graminae plant family (Wulfsohn, 2005).
A Critical Evaluation of Group Analysis
Is group analysis, as its critics argue, “demolishing the corner stones” that constitute homoeopathy’s scientific edifice (Vithoulkas, 2008)? Is it “totally unscientific and illogical”
Does it forsake Hahnemann’s principles of homoeopathy as laid out in “The Organon”? In order to answer these questions, the group analysis approach needs to be evaluated
in terms of Hahnemann’s basic principles of homoeopathy, these being unprejudiced observation, treating the totality of the case and using only medicines proved on healthy individuals.
Many homoeopaths believe that a case well taken is a case half cured and essential to successful case-taking is unprejudiced observation. In Aphorism 83, Hahnemann (O’Reilly, 2010: 130) wrote: “This individualizing examination of a disease case... demands nothing of the medical-art practitioner except freedom from bias and healthy senses, attention
while observing and fidelity in recording the image of the disease.”
If a homoeopath allows their patient to talk freely and give their case in their own words then the remedy can reveal itself during this process. It is vital that the homoeopath
does not interrupt this process, put words into their patient’s mouth or ask leading questions. Aphorism 84 Hahnemann (in O’Reilly, 2010: 131): “The physician sees, hears and notices through the remaining senses what is altered or unusual about the patient....
The physician keeps silent, allowing them to say all they have to say without interruption”. A potential weakness when applying group analysis is that the homoeopath may be
biased towards what group they think their patient may belong to. For example, on first encountering the patient the homoeopath may think the patient is an ‘animal’ and then
throughout the consultation ask ‘leading’ questions or only consider specific symptoms as relevant in order to prove that the patient is an animal. As Vithoulkas (2010): when
using group analysis a homoeopath has the potential to “give information not according to the facts but mostly according to one’s own projections, rather than concrete facts on which one can base a prescription”.
This tendency to have a remedy in mind first and then attempt to ‘fit the patient into it’ is not only a weakness in group analysis but in homoeopathy as a whole and it is especially found in inexperienced or novice homoeopaths who still have a limited knowledge of the materia medica. What it highlights is that fundamental to homoeopathic prescribing, whether one is using group analysis or another approach, is a good knowledge of the materia medica and proficient case-taking skills. Hahnemann (in O’Reilly, 2010: 64) wrote
in Aphorism 7: “Thus, in a word, the totality of symptoms must be the most important, indeed the only thing in every case of disease”.
Homoeopathy does not treat diseases, but rather individuals in a diseased state and this can only be seen through considering the person on all levels: physical, mental and emotional.
It is in assessing an individual on the totality of their symptoms that group analysis excels as it looks for the basic sensation that is expressed on all different levels in that individual.
For example, sensitivity is a basic sensation shared by plant remedies and an individual needing a plant remedy will demonstrate sensitivity across all levels of their being, from the physical pains they feel to the emotional causes of the disease, from their attraction to beauty and art to their sensitive language and hand gestures. Repertorisation is an invaluable part of remedy selection yet it can cause a homoeopath to rely too heavily on individual symptoms and miss the totality of the case. However, when used together, repertorisation and group analysis form a powerful combination that can aid a homoeopath, even a novice one, to identify the correct remedy. The following is a simplified example to demonstrate how these two tools work together successfully.
A patient suffering from anxiety presents with the feeling of everything being unreal, almost as if he is intoxicated or removed from reality. As he tells you his case you notice he makes mistakes while speaking. He says he is thirstier than usual and has a dry mouth.
The following rubrics are repertorised and all of them include the remedies
After repertorising the symptoms of a patient, the homoeopath can use group analysis to help narrow down the remedies to one that most suits the totality of the patient.
Bitis arietans arietans will have more animal characteristics. For example, their anxiety may be about being attacked by another person, feeling threatened or not belonging to a
Cannabis indica will show more plant-like qualities in his manner of speech, the way in which he dresses and his sensitivity. He may, for example, be noticeably sensitive to pain, emotions and external beauty.
Hydrogen, on the other hand, will reveal mineral qualities. For example, his anxiety may be due to his feeling that no one notices him, that he has no identity, no structure and no support.
If used correctly, the group analysis approach follows Hahnemann’s principles of unprejudiced observation and treating the totality of the person. However, it does not follow
H.’s principle of using only medicines proved on healthy individuals. Hahnemann (in O’Reilly, 2010: 144) was very specific in his choice of medicines, saying that each medicine used by a homoeopath must first be tested on healthy individuals: Aphorism 106, “The entire disease arousing efficacy of the individual medicines must be known; that is, all
the disease symptoms and condition-alterations that each medicine is especially able to engender in healthy people must first have been observed before one can hope to be able
to find and select from among the proven medicines, the apt homoeopathic remedy for most of the natural diseases”.
Scholten (1993), Sankaran (2005a) and Mangialavori (2010) all argue that one advantage of group analysis is that, by way of deduction, it enables a homoeopath to use smaller,
less well presented or even unproven remedies. The researcher believes that the way in which group analysis opens up the world of smaller, less well known, yet proven remedies
is a great strength of this methodology.
However, the researcher is against the idea of using group analysis to apply unproven remedies and of homoeopaths following what Hahnemann (1825) referred to as “guesses prompted by false lights in theoretical maxims and chance ideas what they could and should find only by impartial observation, clear experience, and pure experiment”.
Instead, the researcher believes that this methodology should be used as a platform to encourage new research and provings to be performed and also to validate the importance
of looking at the toxicology of a substance and its action on an individual in its raw form.
H. himself first decided to prove China (Cinchona officinalis) only after observing the negative effects that large doses of it had on individuals. If researchers use group analysis
as a base to discover more substances and to understand their toxicological and physiological effects on individuals, then they will have a wealth of substances which
can be proved, according to Hahnemann’s principles, and used as homoeopathic remedies. Vithoulkas (Bhatia, 2010) criticises group analysis saying: “if one learns properly the remedies already available, he will have no great need for new unproved remedies. To the question whether we need new provings in order to cover a small percentage of cases
that are outside our usual remedies, the answer is yes, we do need new provings, but to teach that those new unproven remedies are the basis of modern homoeopathy to the
novices, is a disaster”.
Lilley (2015) another renowned modern homoeopath, is also against using unproven remedies, believing “the more you know the basics, the less you need peripheral remedies”.
However, our modern world is constantly changing and evolving and homoeopaths today work in a very different environment to what Hahnemann experienced in his time.
Fraser (2002: 3) writes how “Mercury, Sulphur and blood-letting have been replaced by thousands of different drugs, radiation, and amazingly complex surgery....
When Kent and Clarke talk of vaccination they are referring almost exclusively to smallpox vaccination; yet children today will often have had vaccinations for up to a dozen different diseases”. Hence, it is important that as homoeopaths we also change and evolve with our time and use remedies, or discover new remedies, appropriate for the age in which we live.
Using unproven remedies is a contentious debate as the principle of proving medicines on healthy individuals is fundamental to homoeopathy. In homoeopathy, like cures like.
A medicine that engenders specific symptoms in a healthy person will cure those same symptoms in a sick person and one cannot know the healing power of a medicine until
it has been proven on a healthy person. As Hahnemann (in O’Reilly, 2010: 72) says in Aphorism 20, “This hidden spirit-like power in the inner wesen of medicines to alter the
human condition and thus to cure diseases is, in itself, in no way discernible with mere intellectual exertion. It is only by experience, only through its manifestations while it is impinging on the human condition that we can distinctly perceive it”.
There are two arguments against using unproven remedies.
1. if an unproven remedy is only given to a sick person, how does one differentiate between the remedy’s curative action (and hence create a picture of this remedy) and
symptoms of the disease itself? In Aphorism 107 Hahnemann (in O’Reilly, 2010) argues:
“If, in order to perform this investigation, medicines are only given to sick persons (even when only one simple and singly prescribed medicine is given) one sees little or nothing definite of their pure actions since the particular condition-alterations expected from the medicines are mingled with the symptoms of the present natural disease, and are therefore seldom distinctly perceptible.”
2. the actions that a remedy has on a person can be very different to what has been intellectually deduced about that remedy. An example is the remedy Hepar sulphuris calcareum. This remedy is a blend of two well-known remedies, Calcarea carbonica and Sulphur.
Calcarea carbonica: chilly, passiv with many fears, much apprehension and always worse for cold.
Sulphur is a hot, egotistical remedy < for heat. When combining the remedy, using intellectual deduction alone, how does one know what the new remedy will be - hot, cold, apprehensive, egotistical? How does one deduce that Hepar sulphuris calcareum will have the unusual sensation of having a “splinter in the throat”? The full picture of a remedy,
the totality of the symptoms of this remedy, can only be produced through first giving it to a healthy person. Although the researcher finds group analysis a practical and effective methodology if correctly applied, she believes that it should only be applied to remedies that have already been proven. It can, however, form a platform for research by indicating possible new remedies within groups that can be proven before use.
To conclude, the researcher believes group analysis to be a powerful methodology that is not “demolishing the cornerstones of homoeopathy’s scientific edifice” but rather emphasizing the importance of employing Hahnemann’s principles, of using repertories, of recording faithfully a patient’s symptoms, and, above all, of studying and understanding remedies in their totality.
A group analysis of 5 acidums. [Edward Peter Phahamane]
A group Analysis Evaluation of the Class Arachnida. in Terms of Known Materia Medica, [Dr Marion Weston]
A group analysis evaluation of existing avian. (bird) homoeopathic remedies in terms of known materia medica, [Harkhu, Nershada]
A group analysis evaluation of selected synthetic recreational drug. isolate remedies in terms of known materia medica, [Chhiba, Ujaswee]
A group analysis evaluation of the kingdom fungi. of homoeopathic remedies in terms of known materia medica, [Leisegang, Kristian]
An investigation of the concept of homoeopathic imponderabilia. using a Hahnemannian proving of focused pink light, [Somaru, Nevorndutt]
A group analysis evaluation of the class Insecta. in terms of known materia medica, [Vogel, Alta]
A group analysis evaluation. of selected psychoactive plant remedies in terms of known materia medica [Ruth Heather Hull]
A group analysis of the Salicaceae. plant family of homoeopathic remedies in terms of known materia medicae, [Kasiparsad, Suraj Vishal]
A group analysis of Sarcodes. [Ghanshyam Kalathia and Meeta Nihlani]
A study of the relationship between the natural history of the Solanaceae. species and the general and mental symptomatology of the Solanaceae remedies [Long, Bryan Henry]
A study of the relationship of 6 spiders. [Mangliavori]
A group analysis of Synthetische Drogen. [Ujaswee Chhiba]
Families composed by knowing Homeopaths:
Dr. Teste, einen französichen Homöopathen, in Fussnoten erwähnt von Clarke in „A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica„ unterscheidet folgende Gruppen:.
Copaiva unterscheidet sich nicht von Sep.
Cor-r. + Chel. comprehend the entire therapeutics of whooping cough
Capsicum - Chelidonium - Viola odorata formen für Teste eine Gruppe
Acidum muriaticumgruppe.: Benommene Kopfschmerz. vermindertes Sehen + optische Illusionen. Geräuschen in Ohren. Gehör vermindert, Nasenbluten, Geschmacks-/Geruchsverlust, Lippen mit Rissen, schlechten Atem, heiser, gelähmte Zunge, SexVERlangen,
Bryoniagruppe.: gemeinsam starke Konstitutionen. essen viel Fleisch. Wirkung ist größer bei Fleischesser als bei Vegetarier. (Alle sind giftig außer All-s + Lyc).
Causticumgruppe.: 1. Eine/mehrere/alle Funktionen werden kurze Zeit angeregt. 2. für lange Zeit unterdrückt. Nerven/Muskeln. (Lähmung). unwillkürlich Harnverlust. Verantwortlichkeit
Coniumgruppe.: Schlank, lang, geistig gut drauf
Ferrumgruppe.: 1. kurz, sanguinisch mit Kongestionen, 2. Entfärbung des Gewebes, volle Ader, Erstarrung aller Funktionen, trockene Schleimhäute, schleimige/purulente Absonderungen,
Drüsen vergrößert, passive Blutungen, Trägheit der unwillkürlichen Muskeln, Schwellungen
Ipecacuanhagruppe.: Übelkeit/Erbrechen, umgedrehte Peristaltik, kongestive Kopfschmerz, Wechselfieber,
Lycopodiumgruppe.: Wichtigste Wirkung an Verdauungsorganen, Brot hergestellt aus Sauerteig < und abgeneigt, oft peinliches Aufstoßen, blasse/weißliche/wolkige/schleimige Urin, Menses: oft stinkend/VIEL/FRÜH; Haarausfall, entzündete Augen(lider), Lebenswärmemangel.
Pulsatillagruppe.: Ängstlich/veränderlich, Arbeit abgeneigt, schwankendes Gemüt, Augen, Kreislaufgefäße, wenig Körperwärme,
Merc-c. will act in men on indications for Merc. Both Merc-c. and Merc. antidote Sep, which antidotes them in turn but imperfectly." "this neutralization of Merc-c. by Sep.,
and v.v., does not take place thoroughly except in the case of males, nor does the neutralization of Merc. by Sep., and v.v., take place thoroughly except in females."
Toxic nightshades or their look-alikes: Bell. Stram. Mand. Hyos. Lyss. Gall-ac.
Mittel erkennen durch Erforschen Naturphenomenen oder Prüfüngsergebnisse:
Acidums. (Patricia Le Roux/Jan Scholten/Massimo Mangialavori)
Aurum Group. (George Lukas)
Cobras general. (Dr. Farokh Master)
Carbon. remedies as a family
Understanding Gases. through Chemistry (Catherine Sharfstein/Lou Klein)
Schlangen. (Farokh Master)
Familien und Subfamilien
Das Spiel mit den Ähnlichkeiten kann also auf verschiedene Ebenen -auf Systeme und Subsysteme- bezogen werden. Ich erinnere mich an ein nettes Beispiel, das ein
lieber Kollege von mir einmal gebracht hat: Er verglich ein Auto, ein Pferd und einen Tisch miteinander. Alle benützen ihre vier Extremitäten und stehen damit auf dem Boden. Unter diesem Gesichtspunkt sind sie einander ähnlich, und wir könnten somit aus Auto, Pferd und Tisch eine Familie machen.
Ich bin sicher, diese Ebene der Ähnlichkeit stellt den Großteil unserer Kollegen nicht zufrieden. Vielleicht sind einige nicht einmal damit zufrieden, überhaupt von einer Familie
der Autos zu sprechen, auch wenn es zwischen einem Smart, einem Ferrari Testarossa und einem Land Rover mögliche Analogien geben kann.
Vielleicht können wir uns langsam einigen, wenn wir uns auf die Sportwagen konzentrieren:
Lamborghini, De Tomaso, Maserati, Bugatti, Lotus, Aston Martin, Jaguar et cetera. Diese können wir wiederum klassifizieren in alle Lamborghinis, in alle Autos vor Baujahr 1980, in alle roten, in bestimmte Hubraumgrößen oder in Turbomodelle und so weiter. Auch die traditionelle Medizin ist wie andere Wissenschaften diesen Weg gegangen: vom Großen zum Kleinen, vom komplexen zum weniger komplexen Ansatz.
Sie geht von einer Symptomlehre (Semiotik) aus, die beim einzelnen Patienten beginnt, und studiert dann die Organe, die Gewebe, Zellen und Chromosomen bis zu den Genen. Diese Vorgehensweise ist nicht nur typisch für ein bestimmtes Wissenschaftsverständnis, sie ist integrierter Bestandteil eines großen Teils unseres westlichen Gedankengutes, in dessen Schoß auch die homöopathische Medizin entstand, heranwuchs und aufblühte. Wenn man behauptet, eine der Grundlagen der Homöopathie sei die Individualität der Medikation, so muss man fähig sein, diese Individualität durch Anwendung eines vielschichtigen Ähnlichkeitsprinzips zu erkennen. Vor allem bei chronischen Fällen mit schweren, langwierigen und komplexen Pathologien muss man oft wochenlang warten, bis man die Reaktionen der Patienten auf das Medikament beurteilen kann, und damit gibt es im Grunde nicht viel mehr Möglichkeiten, als sich nur ein paar mal im Jahr zu treffen. Es ist aber kein einfaches Unterfangen, mit nur wenigen Konsultationen im Jahr die Individualität der Arzneien genau zu definieren. Ich habe die Erfahrung gemacht, dass es durch den Ansatz nach Familien -wenn er gut angewendet wird- möglich ist, die Großen Themen zu erkennen, da sie normalerweise das Erste sind, das zum Vorschein kommt, wenn man beginnt, den Patienten kennenzulernen.
Dann können wir die grundlegenderen Aspekte herausfiltern und bewegen uns innerhalb eines sehr exakten Kontextes, und so lernen wir mit weniger Umwegen das Universum jener Menschen kennen, die uns als Arzt gewählt haben. So gesehen wird in einem genau definierten Kontext die Bewegung vom Großen hin zum Kleinen nicht reduktionistisch, sondern „selektiv“. Wer Pulsatilla nach Silicea verschreibt und dann, nach Ausbleiben des erhofften Erfolges, zu Sulph. übergeht, hat nach obengenanntem Modell in seinem Patienten zuerst ein Auto, dann ein Pferd und schließlich einen Tisch erkannt. So kann man es zwar auch machen, und so wird es seit Jahrzehnten gemacht. Seit Jahrzehnten regen die homöopathischen Arzneien, wenn der Patient über gute homöostatische Fähigkeiten verfügt, zumindest eine Reaktion an, die mehr oder weniger präzise und mehr oder weniger wirksam ist. Wenn aber die homöostatischen Fähigkeiten sehr gering sind, muss die von der Arznei überbrachte Botschaft so exakt wie nur möglich sein. Andernfalls müssen wir
für unsere Misserfolge weder Kaffee, Minze, die Miasmen, die falsche Potenz der Arznei, die Erdstrahlen und anderes mehr verantwortlich machen. All das ist möglich.
Aber sind wir sicher, dass wir wirklich die beste Arznei gewählt haben?
Wie alle anderen Formen der Medizin vermag auch die homöopathische Medizin gewiss nicht alles. Genauso wie die anderen -und sicher oft noch intensiver- tun wir Homöopathen alles, was wir können. Das ist unsere erste Pflicht, die wir gegenüber unseren Patienten haben. So passt es uns also ganz gut, Silicea nach Pulsatilla zu verschreiben, wenn wir zu diesem Zeitpunkt ein Problem nicht anders lösen können. Eine Notwendigkeit zu rechtfertigen ist eines – sie zur Methode zu erheben jedoch etwas anderes! Innerhalb einer Familie kann man Unterfamilien finden, auf die die Ähnlichkeitsregel in unterschiedlichen Graden angewendet werden kann. Wenn wir alle so tüchtig wären, dass wir sofort und ganz leicht die beste Arznei, also das Simillimum, erkennen, bräuchten wir derartige Überlegungen gar nicht erst anzustellen. Ich bin jedoch sicher, der Großteil der Homöopathen arbeitet mehr oder weniger bewusst an seiner eigenen Klassifikation. Die Frage ist nur, an welcher und mit welchen Voraussetzungen.
Ich glaube man muss unterstreichen, dass das von mir vorgeschlagene Komplexitätsmodell keinesfalls empfiehlt, alle Schlangen der Materia medica, eine nach der anderen, durchzuprobieren, wenn die Verschreibung von Lachesis nicht wirkt. So einfach ist das nicht. Schauen wir uns also noch einmal den Verlauf an: Wir gingen davon aus, dass die Idee, die wir uns vom Patienten gebildet haben, ausreichend begründet war und damit nicht revidiert werden muss. (Das allein schon ist nicht wenig und eröffnet ein neues Kapitel, auf das ich später eingehen werde.)
Wenn nun Lachesis nicht wirkt, dann können wir zumindest an dieser Idee festhalten und innerhalb dieses bestimmten, genau definierten Kontextes weiter suchen. Wir wissen,
dass Lachesis offensichtlich nicht die einzige Arznei ist, die diese Symptome abdeckt, obwohl sie genau dafür bekannt ist. Wir wissen, dass die gesuchte Arznei wahrscheinlich
eine Lachesis- ähnliche Substanz ist. Ferner wissen wir, dass wir beim Patienten wie bei der gesuchten Arznei - etwas noch Spezifischeres finden müssen als Lachesis.
Wir haben also einige wichtige Themen herausgefiltert. Noch wichtiger ist es aber nun, zu verstehen, wie unser Patient und seine gesuchte Arznei versuchen, zu kompensieren; was das gesuchte Paar aus dem gegebenen Thema macht; welche Strategie angewendet wird, wie die Strategien von Lachesis im Vergleich zu anderen Arzneien aussehen, wie sie sich anordnen und wie sie sich zeigen. Wir wissen auch, dass wir erkennen müssen, in welchem Augenblick, in welcher Phase einer möglichen Kompensation oder Dekompensation
wir uns befinden. Wir haben ja bereits gesehen, dass die Arzneimittel-prüfungen in unserer Literatur nicht das ganze mögliche Entwicklungsspektrum einer Arznei beschreiben, sondern nur Teile oder Momentaufnahmen aus der Dekompensationsphase wiedergeben.
Das vorher behandelte Beispiel Coca wird in der Literatur als eine Art Dummkopf, als introvertiert und unfähig beschrieben. Doch in Wirklichkeit stimmt diese Phase der Arznei
nur mit den weiter fortgeschrittenen toxikologischen Symptomen überein. Außerdem wird diese Phase in der Klinik öfter gesehen,, weil Coca sich in diesem Stadium eher an den Arzt wendet. Davor fühlt es sich gesund, unzerstörbar, voller Kraft und fähig, große Dinge zu vollbringen. Wann aber ist Coca dann krank geworden? Erst im Augenblick der Dekompensation?
Dasselbe gilt auch für andere, sehr häufig verwendete Arzneien, wie zum Beispiel Ignatia, das zum symptomatischen Polychrest par excellence für unverarbeitete Trauer geworden ist. In dieser Hinsicht ist Ignatia gleichwertig mit Arnica für Traumata. Es ist möglich, dass es wirkt, dass es hilft. Aber die Phase von Ignatia, die üblicherweise in der Literatur beschrieben ist und um die herum sich der homöopathische Konsens“ gebildet hat, entspricht einem der allgemeinsten Momente der Dekompensation dieser Arznei. Ein echter Ignatia- Patient, den wir Homöopathen als konstitutionell bezeichnen, war auch schon vor der Trauer so. In diesem Fall sind eine frühzeitige Diagnose und eine Verschreibung bereits bei den ersten Symptomen der Dekompensation von großem Nutzen – und zwar nicht nur auf einer streng symptomatischen Ebene, sondern vor allem für die gesamte Entwicklung und des Wachstums des Patienten, für seine Beziehung, die der Ignatia-Patient zu sich selbst und zu seiner Umgebung herstellt.
Das ist genau der Weg, den H. vorschlug zur Erreichung „des höheren Zweckes unseres Daseins“ (§ 9, Organon). Es ist das, was viele Kollegen gewöhnlich und oberflächlich
eine Besserung auf „mentaler Ebene“ nennen. Aber ist es wirklich nur der „Geist“, der in diesem Fall eine Besserung erfährt? Wissen wir nicht aus Erfahrung, dass damit
immer auch eine Besserung vieler somatischer Symptome, vieler Verhaltens- und Gefühlssymptome einhergeht?
Die homöopathische Familie als Ausgangspunkt
Ich denke, es ist wichtig zu verstehen, dass das Konzept „homöopathische Familie“ nichts anderes ist als ein Ausgangspunkt. Wie jeder andere Ausgangspunkt kann auch
dieses Konzept mehr oder weniger ausgeweitet werden – wie der Zoom eines Fotoapparates. Der Sinn im Erstellen homöopathischer Familien ist alles andere als eine neue
Form eines starren unveränderlichen Rahmens für Symptome und Themen: ganz im Gegenteil!
Ich verstehe darunter eine Art komplexen und dynamischen Denkens, die das Studium der Substanzen, der Arzneien und der Klinik gleichzeitig erweitert, vertieft und sinnvoll verbindet. Alles in allem geht es um einen Ansatz, der nur dann sinnvoll und nützlich ist, wenn er in die Praxis der täglichen Arbeit integriert wird.
Kehren wir zurück zu unserem Beispiel Lachesis, zum homöopathischen Konsens, der uns die Lachesis-ähnlichen Arzneien als Familie definieren lässt: Innerhalb dieser Familie können wir auch an die Subfamilie der Elaps-Ähnlichen denken (Elaps, Naja, Hydrophis) und an die übergeordnete Familie der Reptilien (Heloderma, Amphisbaena, Lacerta, Tyrannosaurus). Wir können unseren Blickwinkel noch mehr erweitern und Arzneien in Betracht ziehen, die interessante differentialdiagnostische Aspekte aufweisen wie zum Beispiel Melilotus officinalis oder Zincum phosphoricum.
Im Fall der Drogen können wir als zentrales Element Opium nehmen und eine Subfamilie für Cannabis indica und Piper methysticum, eine weitere für Agaricus muscarius,
Bovista und Bufo und noch eine andere für Hydrogenium und Aether oder Anhalonium und Psilocybe erwägen.
Eine Familie mit sehr analogen Aspekten kann die Familie jener Arzneien sein, die ich Amphetamin-Ähnliche nenne – Coffea, Thea, Cacao, Kola, Guarana, Yohimbin.
Nach dem Komplexitätsmodell kann eine Arznei auch mehreren Familien angehören. Das ist der Fall bei Doriphora decemlineata, das viele Aspekte mit den Arzneien der Belladonna-Ähnlichen teilt und in sehr weitem Sinn auch ähnliche Aspekte wie einige der sehr wenigen in unserer Materia medica vorhandenen Insekten aufweist.
Es ist auch der Fall bei Limulus, das einige gemeinsame Aspekte mit den Calciums zeigt und besonders Calcium phosphoricum ähnlich ist. Aufgrund anderer Aspekte
scheint Limulus aber Arzneien wie Millefolium oder Cuprum-metallicum und einigen Arnica-ähnlichen
Sankaran (2006: 256) believes that each remedy has within it the essence of its source. He gives an example of the remedy Lachesis mutans produces left-sided symptoms, the inability to bear pressure or constriction around the neck and a darting movement of the tongue. This remedy is taken from the Bushmaster snake (Lachesis mutans) which has all its organs on the left side of its body, is most vulnerable around its neck and has a darting movement of the tongue. Hence, the symptomatology of the remedy is inherently related to its source.
Continuing with this theme, Sankaran classified remedies into 4 major kingdoms from which they are derived: Plants, Animals, Minerals and Nosodes (nosodes being remedies prepared from diseased tissue).
Plant Kingdom: the underlying quality of sensitivity. Patients requiring plant remedies are sensitive and feel things intensely. Hence, they develop conditions due to emotional or physical shock, strain or hurt and they describe these conditions with emotional and descriptive language. Like plants that constantly need to adapt to survive, ‘plant people’ are adaptable but are easily affected by things and can have abrupt mood swings. Everything about them shows their sensitivity and adaptability: the manner in which they dress, write and even speak will be irregular, disorganised, ‘flowery’, descriptive and sensitive and they will take up professions such as art, writing or nursing (Sankaran, 2006:256).
Animal Kingdom: all about survival of the fittest and hence competition pervades this kingdom. Patients requiring animal remedies have the underlying need of having to be attractive -
through their dress, their speech and their body language they need to be strong
and attractive. Hence, ‘animal people’ come across as warm, playful and communicative but
can also be highly competitive, aggressive and jealous. They tend towards competitive professions such as advertising or sales and develop disorders that make them less attractive or less able to compete, for example, hair loss and obesity (Sankaran, 2006:257).
Mineral Kingdom are the features of structure and organization. People requiring remedies from this kingdom are very organised, systematic and structured in everything they do - the way they dress, the way they talk and even their professions such as accountancy and engineering. These are the people who come to a homoeopath or doctor
with all their complaints written down in a logical, sequential list, full of details and figures.
They develop diseases when there is a breakdown in their structured lives, for example if they lose their job or lose all the money that they have worked so hard to earn and save.
Even their diseases will be structured and unvarying, for example, osteoarthritis or hypertension (Sankaran, 2006:258).
Nosodes Kingdom: derived from diseased tissues or discharges and Sankaran (2006: 71) believes that nosodes represent the “center -point” of miasms because they are made from “tissue so completely overcome by the infection that it no longer has in it the individuality of the person, but has only the signs of the process of the infection”. Sankaran (2006: 259)
Sankaran went on to say that “the indication for a nosode lies in the process and not in any particular sphere or area of life”. Prescribing nosodes, homoeopaths need to look at the process
taking place in a person. Sankaran (2006: 24) illustrates these processes with the following example: Imagine that you are driving a car on a lonely mountain road and suddenly there is a loud noise and the car starts wobbling. You instinctively stop the car and get out as fast as you can. You get palpitations, start sweating and are in a state of great panic and excitement.
Once out of your car, you find that it was only a burst tyre. Your panic recedes on realizing that the situation is not threatening. You realise that you have to change the tyre, and start struggling with it, wondering if you can do it. After some time you realise that you are incapable of doing it and light a cigarette while waiting for someone to help you out.
Finally, you lose all hope – you know that no one is going to help you out and you cannot do it yourself. So you kick the car angrily and lie down, indifferent to what happens.
The four phases of this incident represent the four miasms:
1. Panic – Acute;
2. Struggle – Psora;
3. Feeling of incapacity and cover up – Sycosis;
4. Despair – Syphilis .
New patients sometimes ask: “Does homeopathy work?” my answer is a confident yes followed by the qualifier: “Provided you get the right remedy”. Most patients seem quite happy with this response, perhaps imagining that there are a select few remedies to chose from. With the Helios list running into thousands (and growing weekly) how far this is
from the truth. Choice of remedy becomes a bit like looking for needle in a haystack. This is where a systematic approach to homeopathy comes in. By classifying our remedies
into kingdoms: mineral, plant and animal, we have effectively created 3 smaller haystacks. Further sub-division allows us to sift out a sub-class or taxonomic family, and so forth until we are looking for a specific remedy from a small related group.
As always easier said than done. In the depth of the interview certain characteristics help to clarify the kingdom of the remedy required.
The basic shorthand of kingdom analysis is as follows:
1) Mineral remedies express their vital disturbance as something lacking, incomplete or lacking within themselves. In some ways there is problem with their STRUCTURE.
2) Plant remedies are highly affected and troubled by changes in their outside environment (natural, social and familial). You thus pick up a patient who is highly SENSITIVE.
3) Animal remedies face major issues in terms of a feeling of an internal split, some aspect of a victim – aggressor relationship, etc. The predominant issue is SURVIVAL.
To briefly illustrate the above points Dr. Rajan Sankaran has shown how we can classify a case of spousal abuse. A women may report that her husband shouts at her.
Depending on her reactions we could classify this further. For instance if she feels that the shouting is due to some short fall in her character/personality, the issue is Structural
and thus we could be looking at mineral remedies.
On the other hand, if she felt traumatized by the noise, and has no particular antipathy to the shouter, then a Sensitive plant remedy is possible. Finally, if she said that her husband/partner is the major problem, then a Survival orientated animal remedy is more indicated.
To briefly illustrate the above points Dr. Rajan Sankaran has shown how we can classify a case of spousal abuse. A women may report that her husband shouts at her.
Depending on her reactions we could classify this further. For instance if she feels that the shouting is due to some short fall in her character/personality, the issue is Structural
and thus we could be looking at mineral remedies.
On the other hand, if she felt traumatized by the noise, and has no particular antipathy to the shouter, then a Sensitive plant remedy is possible. Finally, if she said that her husband/partner is the major problem, then a Survival orientated animal remedy is more indicated.
In my experience systematic approaches to homeopathic live and die by an understanding and application of kingdom analysis. But how to get to the kingdom core and remedy source?
The family picture is developed first, and then the differentiation between the family members is analyzed (Scholten, 2005:44). Group analysis can enhance insight and understanding of well
known and relatively unknown remedies (Scholten, 1993: 289). It enables the prediction of a remedy picture without actually conducting a proving.
This can accelerate the pace at which remedies are added to the homoeopathic materia medica. Group analysis also expands the number of possible symptoms and expressions
of a case, which will enable more cases to be understood and differential diagnoses can also become simpler and clearer (Scholten, 2005:40).
Group analysis should be used in conjunction with the traditional homoeopathic learning of homoeopathic materia medica and repertory as this method cannot replace the older methods of learning. It merely gives an opportunity to look at remedies and cases from several viewpoints, as compared to only one viewpoint. Group analysis seems to be a natural and inevitable progression of homoeopathy (Sankaran, 2005b: 667 - 668]. the family picture is developed first, and then the differentiation between the family members is analyzed (Scholten, 2005:44).
Group analysis according focused on the use of the periodic table in homoeopathy to classify and group mineral remedies. Scholten’s method involves studying groups of chemically
related elements where common symptoms are extracted (Scholten, 1993: 11).
[Edward Peter Phahamane]
The need to remember a huge number of remedies during prescription in order to match individual patient symptoms to remedy symptoms in the materia medica not only makes homoeopathy difficult to practice but also affects the remedy selection outcome, the treatment outcome of the patient and the general effectiveness of homoeopathic treatment (Sankaran 2002). If remedies do not seem to work, a very common public perception is that homoeopathy is slow, or does not work and only rarely is it perceived that the choice
of the remedy might be wrong. The outcome of homoeopathic treatment is pre-destined by the careful choice of the remedy.
Thus, group analysis aims to fine-tune the remedy selection process to improve the competency and efficiency of homoeopathic treatment (Gray 2000).
Group analysis not only systematizes mass homoeopathic data but also illuminates smaller remedies by defining their characteristics alongside relatively large polychrests.
Group analysis can also be used to predict the potential remedy within a related group which is closer to the case. For example, according to the Sankaran kingdom model of group
analysis, the plant kingdom has sensitivity as a major theme; the mineral kingdom has structure as a major theme while the animal kingdom has survival as a major theme.
During case taking, the practitioner can use presented symptoms as a guide and can discern which is the main kingdom and forecast that a remedy in that kingdom is likely to be most suitable.
This forecast does not exclude the Law of Similars, miasms, the knowledge of learned materia medica and the holistic nature of homoeopathy (Sankaran 200/Scholten 1993).
Successful group analysis may have been with the majority of homoeopathic practitioners, there have been controversies, debates and heated criticism regarding the group analysis
approach. According to this criticism, group analysis is viewed as a new method therefore as such it is perceived in some quarters to be based on non-homoeopathic principles, making it a threat to the dogmatic principles set out by Hahnemann and therefore not an acceptable way to arrive at a remedy. Even so, group analysis has sustained itself through this criticism because it follows on from the principles of miasms and the repertory which are forms of systematized grouping methods consistent with the works of the great old masters of homoeopathy which are still in use today. Robust science welcomes criticism and group analysis embraces the development of homoeopathy as an objective, competitive science suitable for the current era (Moskowitz 2002/Vithoulkas 2000/Gray 2000).
New research on group analysis has revitalized the advancement of group analysis.
This research relies on high quality material data sourced from the materia medicas, reputable journals and repertories.
The caution to use quality data helps advance the acuity and competency of group analysis as well as its acceptance within the broader homoeopathic community.
The emergence of group analysis, like all other new grouping methods such as miasms, has met its challenges in some quarters of the homoeopathic community but continues to sustain itself through these challenges because of its dynamic design which incorporates the Law of Similars, the knowledge of learned materia medica and a holistic approach
to homoeopathy (Kasiparsad 2012).
The emergence of group analysis does not replace, substitute or reduce the dogmatic principles set forth by H. or the knowledge and application of learned materia medica but
to fine tune the selection process of remedies in a clinical setting (Moskowitz 2002).
Classification and group analysis
In the past, many practitioners used symptoms as the only (or almost only) guide to the remedy without really considering the source of the drug (Scholten, 1993:23).
Due to the similarity between remedies and the rate at which new remedies are constantly being proven and added to the Material Medica, it often made it difficult to distinguish the correct remedy. Therefore, there is a need to organize and categorize the information in the homoeopathic Materia Medica (Wulfsohn, 2005:5 - 6).
Group analysis is now emerging as a helpful tool for organizing knowledge in such a way that information on well-known remedies in the group can elucidate knowledge of lesser known remedies of that group, in this case, the acidum group. A thematic expression that permeates the literature of certain remedies is used to form a family group (Sankaran 2002).
Group analysis is a filter technique, a hierarchical and a qualitative process which can assist practitioners and students to find a correct individualized remedy for each patient
Vogel (2007) states that group analysis is necessary for homoeopathy and its growth because it deepens individual remedy knowledge as well as illuminates lesser known remedies.
However caution needs to be exercised when applying group analysis because only material of suitably high quality must be used, failing which misleading results will be encountered and consequently the vital sensation will be missed. The group analysis tool is recommended to be used with the full knowledge of materia medica and homoeopathic philosophy, not in a reducing manner (Mangialavori and Marotta 2005; Mangialavori and Zwemke 2004).
1. The most common form of group analysis is miasmatic, which has been explained above.
2. The second most common form of group analysis is according to kingdoms i.e. plant, animal, mineral, as explained below.
Group analysis according to Sankaran
Group analysis is a hierarchical and a qualitative process that provides a directed path towards a correct remedy. Searching for a remedy through the bulk of materia medica using kingdoms (animals, plants, and minerals) is comparatively similar to looking at the moon through a telescope. Getting the kingdom wrong is like being one degree off target in setting the focus of the telescope. One degree may not mean much but when this translates over several thousand kilometres the moon will not come into focus. The same is true for the prescription process.
Understanding the correct location of remedies within Sankaran kingdoms is very important (Wulfsohn 2005).
The observation by Sankaran (2002) of different results found by experienced homoeopaths on similar cases led him to pursue and develop the idea of a ‘map and system’ to help navigate
the expanse of materia medica in a systematic way.
This idea was initially developed in 1999 by combining the classification of remedies into miasms, into biological kingdoms and subdivisions of each kingdom (Sankaran 2005).
Another important consideration is the sensation and the response to the sensation which both strengthens the idea of classifications. This is further elaborated by an example, where
Sankaran’s (2002) investigative suggestions show that similar biological families i.e. Loganiaceous plant family have ‘shocked’ as a shared common sensation.
It becomes relatively more possible therefore to use this common sensation to identify a specific remedy within that family with the supplemental use of reaction to sensation. It is however imperative to acknowledge that certain modes of reactions or patterns can be attributed to certain miasms.
The relative overall understanding here is that identification of a reaction as belonging to a certain miasm helps refine the search for remedies within the appropriate family which fall within
Group analysis by Sankaran begins with the division of remedies into various kingdoms and classes i.e. mineral, plant, animal, nosodes, sarcodes and imponderabilia (Sankaran 1997).
Furthermore these kingdoms are subdivided into kingdom components known as family groups. A thematic expression that permeates through remedy literature is used to form a family
group (Sankaran 2002). Sankaran also noticed that characteristic sensations and reactions to sensations emerge from a particular family and he uses characteristics to enhance the efficacy of
group analysis (Sankaran 2002). Miasms are also used to guide the remedy selection process. The evolution and addition of new miasms improves group analysis and makes it adequately
comprehensive for use in clinical practice (Sankaran 1997).
Kingdoms are identified by the distinguishing features of each group e.g. plant remedies have issues with sensitivity, mineral remedies have issues with structure, and animal remedies have
issues with survival. Matching the patient’s expressions of morbid state with the potential substance in nature by means of Sankaran’s method improves the potential for prescribing the correct
remedy (Sankaran 2008).
The mineral kingdom has been observed to be concerned with structure and organization. Any changes that alter the structure and organization cause disease representative of loss of
structure and organization. The typology of these patients involves being highly organized and structured in their way of life as well as ascending to a role or position within a social
structure (Sankaran 1997).
The underlying mineral theme of structure is attributed to their atomic structure as observed in the periodic table.
It is however an important note that the mineral characteristics must be there at the level of sensation to qualify as relevant to Sankaran’s group sensations. It is also arguably important to consider the possibility of finding similar characteristics of minerals such as structure, organization and social role identity in other kingdoms such as plants and or animals.
It is therefore crucial to critically assess characteristics in combination with a clear mineral theme at the centre of the case to safely classify the case as mineral (Sankaran 2003). Scholten (1993) has observed that minerals possess certain similar characteristics within a period or group. Sankaran has also observed that certain mineral groups in the periodic table show common characteristics within the broad theme of structure (Sankaran 2005).
The plant kingdom is characterized as sensitive in response to stimuli. The plant kingdom’s acutely comparative sensitivity is attributed largely to external causative factors such as temperature,
light or moisture. Responses relative to these sensitivities may manifest in a physical way, or as acute emotional upsets, being soft and easily strained with alternating modalities.
Plant remedies may feel that a specific sensation acutely affects them and the effects of this sensation may affect the entire being.
Plant remedies are usually less focused on people but are more aware of their own reactions to stimuli (Sankaran 2005).
Despite their sensitivity, plants are adaptable and therefore exhibit less organization and structure compared to the mineral kingdom (Sankaran 1997).
The animal kingdom exhibits survival traits that are important in the definition of a particular animal in its environment. Animals may show a split in their survival. Two opposing polar ends
may be represented in the actions of animals in their environment due to a lot factors including competition for mates, territory, food and group relations. Submission versus
aggression is one of the two opposing polar ends.
Animal remedies like mineral remedies compete within their social structure for dominance or social position. The advantages of living in a higher social position comes with adequacy of
needs and wants which would include mating partners therefore higher reproductive potential, adequate food resources therefore good anatomical strength for defensive efficiency and
attractiveness that secures a resourceful mate therefore adequate social security (Sankaran 2005).
Human beings on the other hand, though considered as animals, have a higher degree of cephalization and therefore may suppress their competitive edges except when in disease.
The presentation of the animal themes could be that of competition, attention and may also show aggression, or deceit if their fundamental debility is not addressed (Leisegang 2007).
Hahnemann himself made the first attempt to group the remedies he was proving according to the notion of Miasms. Well before Koch and Pasteur, Hahnemann perceived that diseases entered the body in form of what he described as ‘Miasms’, - subtle, imperceptible substances that take hold of the Vital Force causing an internal derangement. He thus anticipated the modern concept of microbial infection, however clearly indicating that contagion cannot occur without prior susceptibility (Weiner, 1989:32).
He observed that in chronic disease the best selected medicine often could not prevent relapses or periodic exacerbations and chronic disease nearly always followed a pattern that could be related to one of the 3 Miasms:
Psora, Sycosis or Syphilis (Eizayaga, 1994:288). With the classification of chronic disease and its treatment with anti miasmatic remedies he created the first system of prescribing in homeopathy, and thus simplified the differentiation of similar remedies in each prescription (Sankaran, 1994:21).
Today the miasmatic model has been extended. According to depth and pace of perception, Sankaran (2005:7) distinguishes between ten different Miasms.
Farrington (1992) was one of the first authors who understood the value of looking for deeper and more systematic levels of similarity by following the trail of biological and chemical groupings that already existed in nature (Moskowitz, 2002:2). He realized that if drugs belong to the same family, they must have a similar action and for the purpose of his lectures, he arranged the remedies in three grand divisions, according to the kingdom of nature from which they derived. In recent decades a number of homeopaths have refined and extended the idea of kingdom classification.
In the past, the most common method of studying homeopathic remedies was to focus on the individual remedy. Recently the focus shifted to the analysis of a whole group with the emphasis on extracting commonalities within a group (Scholten, 1993:23). Amongst other homeopaths, Scholten and Sankaran can be considered the prime movers of group analysis of the modern area (Wulfsohn, 2005). The term Group Analysis however was first coined by Scholten (1993:23), who recognizes that this method is not entirely new and has been used in the past by Clarke (1985:358), Morrison (1988:2) and Vithoulkas (1992:235).
In Group Analysis themes and characteristics common to a group of related remedies are distilled out of the overall picture and subsequently applied to the lesser known or even unknown remedies within the group (Scholten, 1993:11). The revelation of a pattern offers the homeopath a broader therapeutic model for application and the possibility of prediction (Klein, 2005:10).
Group Analysis according to Jan Scholten
For many years Scholten expressed his unhappiness about the gaps and the lack of System in the knowledge of homeopathic remedies (Stuut,1993:9). This led him to the investigation of groups of remedies which, although botanically or chemically related, at first sight hardly seemed to have any homeopathic relationship with each other. Scholten (1993:11) compared different mineral remedies - groups of remedies that contain the same element - and extracted common symptoms. For instance Nat-c. Nat-m. Nat-p. and Nat-s. are minerals that contain the element Sodium. The themes and characteristics that are common to the whole group are distilled out of the overall picture and subsequently applied to the lesser known or even unknown Sodium salts (Scholten, 1996:68).
A few years later Scholten went further and applied his theory to the entire periodic table by creating a materia medica of the elements (Savage, 1996). His book “Homeopathy and the elements” (Scholten, 1996) describes the outcome of a comparison of the elements, how they relate to each other and how compound salts modify the picture of a single element. Scholten was able to identify
a pattern running through the entire periodic table by themes that are common to vertical rows/series, as well as horizontal columns/stages. The patterns are more general and the concepts broader than the ones described in his previous book “Homeopathy and the Minerals”
(Scholten, 1993). However Scholten (1996) manages to show a definite evolution of a theme within each row with the idea of a rise and fall according to the progression of columns. In this way he
is able to forecast trends developing within each row and to predict themes and characteristics of lesser or unknown mineral remedies.
Using the current scientific knowledge of the periodic table, Scholten (2005) introduced a new group of remedies -the Lanthanides- to homeopathy. The name Lanthanides means hidden, as many
of them are found in other substances and are difficult to obtain (Klein, 2005:10). To Scholten (2005:10) this fact is already a key to their homeopathic use. Apparently a number of practitioners
have had successful cures using these new concepts and substances to a point where it now forms an integral part of homeopathic practice (Klein, 2005:11). This new ‘system’ implies that remedies may be prescribed without prior proving, even though Scholten (1993) still believes that ultimately these remedies should still be proved. Despite some dangers that come with the new ‘method’, group analysis allows for extension of knowledge in a new way.
Group Analysis according to Rajan Sankaran
While Scholten (1996) mainly explored the periodic table, Sankaran (2008) focused on the differentiation between the kingdoms (viz. Animal, Mineral, Plant...) and how
remedies belonging to different kingdoms would present themselves in a patient. According to Sankaran (2008:17), a differentiation between the kingdoms cannot be done at a superficial level
e.g. through the patients appearance, his/her mode of speaking or behavior. This can only give clues. It is the voice of the source itself speaking from within that can reveal the nature of the kingdom,
as it expresses itself with subtlety.
Remedies of the same kingdom share common traits as do remedies from the same order and family. These traits find expression in a patient and so narrow down the search for a remedy. Once arrived at a biological family the choice of a particular member of that family will depend on the patient’s description of his most inner state.
In the foreword to Sankaran’s most recently published book “Survival”, Schadde (2008:1) notices that even though Hahnemann’s proving taught a lot about how to understand remedies, there was
a missing link, the connection between the patient’s expression of his inner state and the required remedy’s expression in nature. An investigation into the source of the remedy provided a better understanding of the missing link. Sankaran (2008:49) calls the specific traits of the source as they express themselves in a patient “the song of nature” which can be heard and seen when the patient’s deepest level is reached. In order to arrive at this level, there was a need to develop a new specific case taking method. This method allows the patient to access deeper levels of his consciousness where a connection between the inner state and the source can be drawn.
Following Hahnemann’s advice in paragraph 83 of the Organon regarding the individualizing examination of each case of disease and considering paragraph 9 of the Organon -the vital force rules
the sensations and functions- Sankaran refined his method of case taking in order to reach the patient’s morbid state at a level where the source is recognizable (Schadde, 2008:1). By matching the patient’s expressions of his/her morbid state with the analogue substance in nature, Sankaran provides an answer to the proposed missing link.
Sankaran (1997) conducted further investigations into the natural classification of drugs by specifying the distinguishing features of plant, animal and mineral remedies. According to Sankaran (2008:25), patients who need a mineral remedy are concerned with issues of structure, e.g. identity, relationship or performance. Plant remedies deal with sensitivity issues and animal remedies
with issues of survival. The results of Sankaran’s research are published in his book “Schema” (Sankaran, 2005), “Sensation” (Sankaran, 2004) an “Sensation refined” (Sankaran, 2007) and show,
in summary the different concepts and information spread over his books.
Group Analysis according to Massimo Mangliavori
Mangliavori’s attempt to overcome the use of isolated symptoms as a basis for a prescription is to define the characteristic and fundamental themes that best express the dynamic psychosomatic system (Zwemke, 2004:34). His concept of “homeopathic families” is not limited to the classification systems of botany, zoology or the periodic table, but is based on precise comparisons of fundamental themes and their nuance and has been verified through extensive clinical application. By observing and studying his patients over many years, he recognized patterns that led him to
the utility of defining themes that describe the complex reality of patients as well as the multiple expressions of remedies in the materia medica.
The basis of Mangliavori’s “homeopathic families” stems from the observation of similarities between different substances. Some share physical characteristics, some contain the same poison, mineral or alkaloid: some might be members of the same biological family or some derive even from different biological families, but have similar cultural use (Zwemke, 2004:35). An example are the so called “drug remedies”. Even though these remedies belong to unrelated botanical families like Opium to the Papaveraceae family, Convolvulus duartinus to the Convulvulaceae family,
Cannabis indica to the Cannabaceae family or Piper methysticum to the Piperaceae family,
they share the most fundamental themes with Bufo rana, a remedy from the animal kingdom.
Origins of the kingdom classification
Homeopathy views disease as an affection of the whole person and therefore a homeopathic treatment must be holistic and individualistic. For Sankaran (2008:14) the base of disease is a false perception of reality, a delusion which causes an inappropriate and disproportioned reaction. According to the depth of which a situation is perceived, Sankaran differentiates ten possible degrees of perception and its reactive pattern. A Miasm according to Sankaran (2005:19) indicates the depth of how a situation is experienced and is a classification of states (patients’ states as well as remedy states), based on the pace, rapidity and level of desperation.
A perception can be differentiated according to quality - “how” a situation is perceived, or character - “what” is perceived in a situation. The “how” of any phenomenon denotes the “Miasm” and the “what” the “Sensation” (Sankaran, 2005:13). The sensation concept which describes a state deeper to the mind and body, was developed by Sankaran (2005:37) as a result of his investigation into the levels of experience of a human being.
Sankaran (2008:24) found that there are different ways of experiencing the same situation, namely by viewing it as a competition, a loss of structure or a sensitivity issue. These different experiences indicate the different kingdoms, namely the animal, mineral and plant kingdom, from which the remedies are derived. A patient is treated according to the features of the different kingdom he presents. Each kingdom deals with a different issue. Sankaran (2008:26) states: “I understood that the Homeopathic Materia Medica is the human expression of the source itself. The remedies from various sources heal humans with similar states within them. These states, which we call disease must also be, like the remedies, from one of the three kingdoms”.
Vital sensation and the three kingdoms
According to Sankaran (2005:26) symptoms can be divided into sensations and actions. “Each action arises in response to a corresponding sensation and each sensation must excite a particular action, even if one does not perform the action. Sensation and action are equal and opposite” (Sankaran, 2005:26). For example a perceived insult causes an insulting response. This concept proves itself useful with remedies where proving or clinical cases have yielded only the action or only the sensation (Sankaran, 2005:29).
Sensations can be felt on a physical or mental level and denote an abstract experience. Sankaran speaks of seven levels of experience, which can be developed during the case taking process. The aim is to guide the patient to the sensation level where the differentiation between kingdoms can be made. “Vital Sensation” is a term coined by Sankaran (2008:74) and describes the pathological core sensation of a patient. A Vital sensation is expressed not only at the “Vital level” of a patient’s being which is deeper to both mind and body, but is also present in his physical symptoms and his mind state. In health sensations arise from being in the moment, whereas in disease an abnormal energy pattern and an abnormal fixed sensation prevents a patient from experiencing life in the moment (Sankaran, 2008:75).
Sankaran (2008:75) thinks that the Vital Sensation is not specific to human beings, but is shared by all beings and substances on this earth: “It is terrestrial as opposed to energy which is universal”.
A patient’s Vital Sensation for example might be that of “pressure”, a theme that is found in nature as well: certain elements like metal are subject to pressure and certain plants and animals are sensitive to pressure. In a healthy patient this sensation of pressure will be transient and only felt when subjected to changing weather patterns, whereas in a sick individual it will be felt permanently independent from any outside circumstances.
The Vital sensation that has to be developed in a patient during the homeopathic case taking process is the expression of the “Source”. The source indicates the required substance from which a homeopathic remedy is then prepared. If the remedy is chosen carefully and matched to the energy pattern of the patient, it can achieve a cure (Sankaran, 2008:18-19). “Depending on which kingdom is the source, human beings can be mapped into one of these three kingdoms” (Sankaran, 2008:92). The Vital Sensation has a different expression in each kingdom. According to Sankaran (2008:25), patients who need a mineral remedy are concerned with issues of structure, e.g. identity, relationship or performance. Plant remedies deal with sensitivity issues and animal remedies with issues of survival.
The plant kingdom
The basic quality of a plant is sensitivity (Sankaran, 2008:93). Due its inability to move, a plant for its survival needs a heightened sensitivity to adjust to changes in the internal as well as external environment. A patient needing a plant remedy has a similar energy to a plant - he/she is of a sensitive nature. The Vital sensation will be that of heightened sensitivity and reactivity with the patient continuously adjusting and adapting to the many internal and external influences. The expressions used are: “I am affected by this”, “I am sensitive to this”, “this hurts me”, “I can’t bear it”, “this touches me” (Sankaran, 2005:5). The manner of dressing is sensitive and shows preference to flowery and irregular patterns. Presentation of the complaint is descriptive with symptoms described randomly and not completely, wandering from one subject to the other. Causation is physical and mental shock or hurt.
The main issue of plant remedies is sensitivity and reactivity. Plant remedies are affected by circumstances, people’s opinions, temperature, weather etc. and have one general state, with predominance of one basic, common sensation as well as its opposite (Sankaran, 2008:27). Sankaran (2005:29) concludes that remedies from certain plant families share the same sensations which can be experienced by a patient directly or as the exact opposite.
For example the sensation in the Euphorbiaceae family can vary from the experience of being “bound, tight or taut” to “released and loose” (Sankaran, 2008:96).
While each plant from a given family shares the same sensation, the pace and (Miasm) in which the sensation is experienced and the reaction to the sensation differs from plant to plant.
The mineral kingdom
In 2003 Sankaran, drawing clues from Scholten’s work, began his personal investigations into the periodic table. In his book ‘Structure”, Sankaran (2008) depicts the periodic table as a map of human development from the womb to tomb, each row representing a certain stage of human life and each column a different development within that stage. The main issue in minerals is about structure, completeness and incompleteness. The problem lies with the patient himself and not with the opposite person like in the animal kingdom. The experience is of something lacking or missing, a feeling of being incomplete and dependent and the question is about capability as opposed to the question of adaptability which is predominant in the plant kingdom.
Structure is understood in terms of existence, identity, position, relationships, security, performance and responsibility with each row showing a development in regard to these issues (Sankaran, 2008). For example the 3rd row in the periodic table is concerned with issues of identity the fourth row with security and the sixth row with issues of responsibility. Each row shows a rise and fall in the development of one of the above mentioned themes.
The animal kingdom
According to Sankaran (2008:98) the fundamental issue in animals is that of survival and although the theme of survival of the fittest holds true for all living creatures, including algae, fungi, plants, etc., it is most evident in the animal world. It epitomizes a competitive situation of the stronger versus the weaker, the aggressor against the victim, the predator versus the prey. One important component of the basic competitive nature is the desire to attract attention, not only outwardly through certain appearance and pattern of movement, but also through characteristic behavior and speech which can be excited, lively, vivacious and animated. Alertness and rapid responses are also characteristics.
Fears are of being neglected, looked down upon, of failure in competition, loss of strength and attractiveness, of being dominated, persecuted, attacked - of being the victim. The issue of dominance is strong and is experienced as “somebody is doing that to me, I am being victimized bullied, tortured, abused etc.,” and shows a clear split between self and others (Sankaran, 2008:101). The conflict is not only with people, but also with one self and has its basis in a split within oneself. The patient expresses this split in the feeling of not being good enough, of being worthless. The delusion of an existing hierarchy in the sense of “somebody is above me or below” - the issue of superiority and inferiority is yet another expression of the victim/aggressor theme (Sankaran, 2008:24-25).
According to Sankaran (2008:26) each animal has certain physical characteristics that make it vulnerable to predation of a particular kind and therefore over the ages has developed certain defence mechanisms. He concludes that each group of animals is hence distinguished from the other in the peculiar nature of attack they experience as well as perform and in the type of defense mechanism they adopt against attack. Both aspects are expressed by the patient, as victim and aggressor are two sides of the same state.
There are general modes of attack and defence in the animal kingdom which are described by the patient in the depth of the sensation. These expressions and behavior patterns when recognized during the case taking process can give clues to the required remedy. The reaction to the constantly experienced threat of survival causes a basic and instinctive reaction - “fight or flight”, depending on the strength of the individual. A sense of loss of one’s freedom to be oneself and to express oneself can lead to the delusion of being trapped, caged, captured, defeated, chained or imprisoned with a strong desire to escape and to be free. This sensation, together with freedom from being victimized, exists in almost all the animals, but is most marked among birds (Sankaran, 2008:28).
Sexuality and attractiveness is vital to reproduction. In the animal remedies the theme of attractiveness/unattractiveness/self disgust and the theme of jealousy are strongly present. In Sankaran‘s (2008:29) opinion, animal patients are more often presented in seminars due to their liveliness and animated behavior. However to understand the sexuality of an animal remedy and to distinguish
it from that of a plant or a mineral, it is necessary to go into the depth of the sensation of a patient. For example the sexuality in the plant remedy Hyoscymus at the deepest level is the fear of losing the partner. It is the sensitivity of the plant that is the basis and the sexuality is the expression of it. The mineral remedy Phosphorus at the deepest level has the need to develop an identity different from his own family - the sexuality in this case is a matter of structure (Sankaran, 2008:29).
There is a sense of rhythm in most animals with many of them making sounds in order to communicate. Among all the animals, are Arachnida the most sensitive to music (rhythm) and vibration (Sankaran, 2008:30).
Unlike plant remedies, animal remedies do not have one main sensation and its opposite, but one prominent sensation which represents the movement of that animal and many others alongside it, representing different aspects like attack and defence mechanisms, sexuality or jealousy. It is not possible to determine one pattern in an animal remedy, but according to Sankaran (2008:27) there
is a whole story involved, a process described as “first I fly, then I grip, then I run, then I eat, then I get trapped and then I try to free myself”. The multiplicity of sensations and the unfolding of
a process can be discerned as case taking progresses.
The relevance of Miasm differentiation in the various kingdoms
With plant remedies, where whole families share the same sensation, in order to differentiate one plant from the other, it is vital to determine the degree of desperation of each plant. Only an understanding of the depth to which the sensation is experienced and the reacting to this perception will give an indication of the Miasm in each plant. Through classification it is possible to arrive at the right remedy (Sankaran, 2008:31).
Regarding miasmatic classification of the mineral kingdom, there are only hypotheses available at this stage. They are controversial and according to Morrison (2008:67) still require verification through clinical trials. “In the animal kingdom, Miasms are a good indicator of where to look, but normally when we understand all the qualities of the animal we don’t have to worry about the Miasm - it is automatically covered” says Sankaran (2008:30). For Mangliavori (2005:33) a consideration of the miasmatic background of a remedy is not necessary and he suggests that every remedy can have the power to cure chronic cases, as long as its specific pattern of reaction fits with the strategy present in the patient.
However, a brief overview of Sankaran’s proposed Miasms is presented in tabulated form in Appendix A. The keywords that are listed under each of the ten Miasms describe the intensity, pace and depth of perception of a situation/sensation and its reaction to it. The name of a Miasm derives from the disease it closely resembles in terms of action and pace. Sankaran’s (1991).
Class Arachnida/Order Araneae
Spiders (order Araneae) are the largest order of arachnids and 7th in total species diversity among all other groups of animals. Spiders are found worldwide except for the Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every ecological niche except no air and sea colonization has taken place. As of 2008, approximately 40.000 spider species, and 109 families have been recorded by taxonomists (Platnik, 2009).
the phylum Arthropoda,
subphylum chelicerata (animals with jaws and without antennae),
class Arachnida (scorpions, ticks, opiliones, mites, whip spiders, false scorpions).
order Araneae (spiders).
two sub-orders Mesothelae
infra-orders Mygalomorphae (baboon spiders, trapdoor spiders, tarentulas and the so called bird-eating spiders)
Araneomorphae (Coddington, 2005:18-24).
suborder Mesothelae = one family including 40 species
Araneomorphae (orb-web spiders/wolf spiders/jumping spiders, and the only known herbivorous spider, Bagheera kiplingi
For the purpose of this study, the focus lies on the order Araneae. Due to the broad nature of the class Arachnida and its many orders, a limitation to the order Araneae seems to be a logical step since this order contains all spiders with its common characteristics. Except for the scabies mite, spiders are quantitatively better represented in the materia medica with more available rubrics and therefore a formalized computer search is expected to yield better results.