Dynamic Materia Medica - Syphilis
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OverviewAfter reading each of the eleven syphilitic remedies one feels that the deeper understanding gained can be applied in a real way clinically.
280 pp hb
DetailsDynamic Materia Medica Syphilis, A Study of the Syphilitic Miasm through Remedies, by Jeremy Sherr, was published in 2002.
This book starts with a chapter called 'Perceiving Materia Medica' in which Sherr establishes the basis for understanding remedies. He introduces a concept 'The Verb' as a tool to perceive remedies.
Sherr then uses the remedy Silica to clearly show how this is applied to gain a deep understanding of this remedy.
After a chapter on the origins of syphilis itself Sherr presents his understanding of 11 syphilitic remedies-Scorpion, Aurum, Eagle, Guaiacum, Hepar sulph, Mercury, Phytolacca, Platina, Stillingia, Syphilinum and Thallium.
In an effort to include left and right brain information Sherr has printed alternate pages in either blue or back and white. One side may contain a poem, a diagram, a quotation or other illustrative material to capture the attention of your 'right brain'. The other side may be quotations from provings, symptom lists, or other factual material to reach your 'left brain'.
The two appendixes cover the syphilitic disease and provide a detailed bibliography.
ContentsIntroduction -- 3-6
Perceiving Materia Medica -- 7-20
Fracastoro's 'Syphilis' -- 21-26
Androctonus Amoreuxii Hebraeus -- 27-40
Aurum Metallicum -- 41-52
Haliaeetus Leucocephalus -- 53-72
Guaiacum -- 73-90
Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum -- 91-100
Mercurius -- 101-122
Phytolacca -- 123-172
Platina -- 173-188
Stillingia Sylvatica -- 189-206
Syphilinum -- 207-220
Thallium -- 221-236
Iridium to Plumbum; The Syphilitic Zone -- 237-242
Conclusion -- 243-248
Appendix A - Syphilis the Disease -- 249-270
Appendix B - Bibliography -- 271-279
Reviewed by Francis Treuherz FSHom.
Here is an exciting, challenging, essential and original book on one of the three traditional yet misunderstood miasms. Take a look at your shelves and do you have a recent textbook on the miasms which you have studied, understood, and enjoyed reading?
I doubt it. For example many people have Ortega's Notes on the Miasms translated from the Spanish by Harris Coulter in an Indian facsimile of the Mexican edition but few have ever finished it from cover to cover.
We have grappled with Hahnemann's Chronic Diseases in the 1896 Tafel translation and never seen the 1845 Hempel version, and we have been forced into studying dry textbooks by Allen, Kent, Close, Roberts or Vithoulkas.
There have been brave but speculative attempts at characterising how miasms may be detected in varied clinical situations: how a skin ailment or an emotional crisis could be diagnosed as being Psoric, Sycotic or Syphilitic by Banejea.
There are 'new' miasms like Cancer or Tuberculosis, and there are even newer miasms like the Lepra or Ringworm of Sankaran. But there has been nothing as deeply and firmly rooted in our history and in our classic methodologies as this.
I was really absorbed while reading this book; I placed sticky notes all over it on pages I want to read again. I understood the Gestalt of one of the provings I never really grasped before. I want to read the volumes on Sycosis and Psora next but I am sure he has not yet written them. I wonder if he will write one on Rabies, the half acute miasm?
Jeremy follows a number of parallel themes through Syphilis. He begins with his method of perceiving materia medica, the most dynamic symptoms are expressed as verbs, static symptoms are expressed as nouns and the more dynamic symptoms are more characteristic.
There are many more dynamic themes in this introductory chapter, illustrations from poetry including his own original poetry, from the Organon, from Galileo, and much more. Some themes are in a thread through the book on coloured pages, pale blue with dark blue print, a left brain and right brain approach.
There are extracts from the epic poem on Syphilis by Fracostoro first published in 1530. Another feature are clean artistic and symbolic diagrams. There are many more subtle and even hidden aspects, as subtle as our materia medica.
Then there are the materia medica chapters, relying on every homeopathic source imaginable from provings through cases and toxicology, and always with blue pages and a dynamic summary: Androctonus, Aurum, Haliaetus, Guaiacum, Hepar, Mercurius, Phytolacca, Platina, Stillingia, Syphilinum - of course, Thallium, and finally the Syphilitic Zone from Iridium to Plumbum.
Some of our materia medica books read like a railway timetable, this one is a contribution to our literature.
At the end of the book is an account of the disease by Tina Quirk which relies on modern sources. She cites Quetel, Nikiforuk, McNeill, Coulter and Karlen among other authors, I thought I was eccentric in having studied these works, but I can now review this chapter as first rate.
I always go for the bibliography when I start a book. I also read this chapter right away after the bibliography. This certainly helps understand the Syphilis as few of us have clinical experience of active Syphilis even if we have seen AIDS.
Jeremy is generous with his acknowledgements to colleagues who have helped with this book. The production standards are high, but there is no index.
This is a work of maturity. Jeremy has transcended the more prosaic yet necessary methodology of provings and the arduous work involved in creating published provings.
He has begun a synthesis of the deeper possibilities of homeopathic healing. He has taken the tedium out of studying the miasms, the parallel lines have begun to converge, and this book will be the roots of the tree of life and knowledge.
Reprinted with permission from Homeopathic Links