Interview to IJHM (Indian Journal of Homeopathic Medicine)
FACE TO FACE
with Prof. George Vithoulkas
Interview by Dr. Sanjay Modi, Dr. Nimish Mehta, Dr. Kamlesh Mehta Mumbai, INDIA
More than 200 years have passed since Dr. Hahnemann. How much the science have progressed? Many teachers have tried to simplify and taught. In 20th century again homoeopathy began to rejuvenate especially in European countries, the major of the credit goes to Dr. George Vithoulkas, an international teacher, veteran homoeopath & winner of many awards, the latest being The Gold Medal of the Hungarian Democracy presented by the President of the Country in the Hungarian Parliament on the 16th of May this Year. In 1996, he received the Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Noble prize) for Health in the Swedish Parliament. During his visit to Mumbai in January 2000, for a biggest ever course, he spared a special time for IJHM and gave an exclusive interview. He answered very vital issues on scientific clinical practice, research, and education in Homoeopathy. Is there any possibility about reaching standardization in homoeopathy and making it scientific? Dr. Jugal Kishore also joins the discussion, as it is a vital issue, difficult to resist for any homoeopath. We are sure the following interview would also stimulate your mind; if you have any suggestions, write back to us. We would be glad to print them as a discussion as one of our attempt towards standardization in Homoeopathy. We are thankful to organizers Medicure Foundation, esp. Dr. Jawahar Shah & Dr. Farokh Master for making this opportunity available for the interview.
Q: What is your opinion about the present trends in Homoeopathy as regards various hypothesis and beliefs with respect to - classical homoeopathy equivalent to single dose and single remedy, methods of prescribing based on doctrine of signature; dream provings; one sided mental pictures of remedy etc?
A. Dr. G. V. : Dreams, whims and fantasies are confusing the students; thereby they fail to get genuine results by going straight in to the basics. They apply all these nonsense and eventually they get disappointed. They can not know who is giving real and valuable information and who is bluffing in order to impress the naive students. Unfortunately this is the worst thing happening today for our system. In this way homeopathy will be going further and further away from the possibility to be recognised as a scientific system of medicine. Allopaths or pharmaceutical companies are not as much threat to us. The threat comes from our own people, who propagate their claims and ideas without having any scientific basis or confirmation for them.
I was the one who talked about classical homeopathy and in fact the majority of those teachers who are propagating it today have been my students. Some of them, very few fortunately, are adding their own whims and ideas most of which are causing confusion. I have never said that in classical homeopathy all patients could be cured always with one remedy and a single dose. Deep pathology cases will need most probably a series of remedies, in a specific and precise order. The sequence is important and must be correct in order to have really curative results with such deep pathology cases.
Q: How do you think we should approach to this particular problem? Give some guidelines, criteria, and checkpoints to students and practitioners so that they can scrutinize and evaluate the ideas and concepts for systemic applications in order to present them from going astray in practice.
A. The problem is that students do not have enough information to scrutinize and differentiate between correct and incorrect. As a result they are following this and that teacher, eventually getting confused and disappointed. They like to call it Modern Homoeopathy in order to bluff to people and believe in things, which are totally crazy. If these students do not stick to the basic principles and understanding of Homoeopathy they are going to be lost. My effort is double in order to clarify this field. To stop the fantasies injected in to the materia medica on the one hand and to induce the people who want to do provings to make them in a correct way Ideas like if a person looks like an animal will need an animal remedy are ridiculous and confusing. Others are lecturing on remedies that from a chemical point of view cannot even exist! All these kinds of fantasies are presented and propagated through so called homeopathic journals. I would be embarrassed even to have to write my objections The nonsense is of such magnitude that you remain speechless when you read them.
Q: Won't you think there is need for international forum for scientific thinking where like-minded people come together?
A. I totally agree with this idea. I have thought that we should have an international committee that will screen all these new ideas and decide whether they can belong o our science. It is good to have new ideas that will improve the science, but instead if we allow to have whims of sick minds injected in to the scientific body of homeopathy we will finally have a system that will be deeply ill. You can't give a remedy just by thinking about the remedy and the person will get well. Or you cannot write the name of the remedy, put over it a glass of water, and let the patient drink it believing that is taking the remedy! There are homeopaths who do not understand the basics and cannot recognize even a simple case of Calm. Carb, Selfware, or Belladonna instead, due to confusion, they prescribe... milk of the bear.
Q: Sir, what is your view regarding the control or check on these novel trends of prescribing ?
A. Whatever is nonsense should be declared as such. If there are some good ideas they should also be investigated thoroughly and properly- and find out which is valid and acceptable for the system. But to start teaching these ideas before any real confirmation is not only wrong it is totally irresponsible.
I was amazed to hear about the proving of Radium from America. There was a group who took the remedy and another was the control group. The result was that all the symptoms of radium-brom. was produced by the... the control group !
Dr. J. K. : Proving by every one is impossible if one dose was given and everyone proves. It is all fake. We have conducted many detailed classical proving. And such thing never happens.
Dr. G. V. : This is true So many times we give a wrong remedy but how many times do we see a symptom suggesting a proving. ? very rarely I have tried to find many times even one symptom of the remedy as a proving and it was very seldom that it had this observation. Now in this modern trend of provings, they give one dose of 12c and all he provers develop symptoms, and out of these a book with two thousand symptoms is written I like provings if they are done correctly and seriously, but, out of 2000 symptoms recorded may be, 10 or twenty belong to the remedy. But who can make it out which are these correct symptoms within so many useless ones that have been imagined by the prover. Probably there was one prover who may have had real symptom, he others only imagined them. B this practice they bring on confusion in to our science. Who can rely on such provings, yet all this trash is going in to our books and our repertories
Dr. J. K. : Proving is a very imp task. I have done some provings. One could see clearly these people who really had symptoms were something like phenomena, entirely different and could see sharp line emerging out of the picture. One can clearly differentiate between those who were sensitive and there who are on 'placebo', proving is a very delicate process and has to be scientifically conducted, based on guidelines given in the Organon. Even the placebo has to be used well so that symptoms of provers who are making symptoms, all the time can easily be discarded.
Q: Sir, how do we address these questions?
Dr. G. V: I have given precise instructions in my book the science of Homeopathy. Also Hahnemann's instruction in the Organon should be conducted. He says every substance can make a proving as long as taken in large enough doses. That means you can prove a vegetable, which you eat daily. One can crush a kilo of vegetable, prepare mother tincture out of it and give it frequently to all the provers in that form; then you will produce symptoms. The point is that once you potentize the material only the sensitive provers, who had developed symptoms from the mother tincture of the plant will give you some reliable information
Q: Even the likes of Margaret Tyler, Sir John was presented before a particular audience, their ideas were accepted, discussed then they came into text matter. We have been seeing a trend of doctors presenting cases without any authority or apex body. Is there a need of such scientific body, which would check and scrutinize their provings so that everything is not injected into the system?
Dr. J. K. : Main thing is that the upcoming whims and confusion should be stopped and should not be released to the system.
Q. Sir, would you like to say something for undergraduate regarding what could be done so that their education be more consolidated and we can bring out better Homoeopathic professional? Since you have been teaching for long and moving all over the world so that we would wish to have your guidance as well as Dr. J. K. who has worked a lot on the syllabus committee?
Dr. G. V. : To me it's a matter of teacher. You have to invite the right teachers to have the right education. If you invite the wrong teacher, people who simply try to impress, but not give the truth, students will be misguided and confused. As I said most of those with "new" ideas are my students. I gave them information, I gave them the basics and they became famous; but suddenly they became different speakers. They say, "Why do we need these basics?" Now they teach that if one looks like a snake you must give a snake remedy!. I had a case that had done very well on it. I presented this case to the students and I asked them, "What does it look like - a vegetable, a mineral or an animal. " They all said : looked like an animal. The remedy that cured was Belladonna. Belladonna means beautiful women but... he looked like an animal. There are strange crazy ideas going on. Will you give a nosode if the patient looks like a microbe!!!
Q. What is your opinion of the recent miasmatic classification such as of malaria, cancer, ringworm etc.
A. The issue of miasm is a serious one and cannot be discussed in an interview. For Hahnemann's time this was correct, today we have much more complicated problem to face.
Q. Yes sir, suppose newer things came up because system is advancing, then what steps should be taken to control to maintain 'scientifically' of system? Is there a new kind of radical change required in understanding the miasm?
Dr. J. K. : Miasms are there in the basic genetic code that belongs to us due to various causes. Kent says "syphilis is destructive, sycosis is overgrowth which are too simple way of defining miasm. We are paying too much attention to that we should go to the very basic thing of pathology - genetics, familial tendencies etc. It is like a phenomenon, which is a mixture of tendencies, genetic code and many things such as drug, pollution etc. that contribute. This is why Homoeopathy is becoming more difficult to apply. We used to have cancer cases not tempered by Allopathic drugs and good results could be obtained. As the cancer cases come with different kinds of treatment taken like chemotherapy etc., so it becomes altogether different picture. Thus becoming difficult to cure and can only be palliated.
Dr. G. V. : In order to understand miasms, one should agree on the definition of miasm. The definition of miasm has different parameters. There should be an infecting agent, which bring about systemic disturbance and that should have the capacity to be passed on to future generations. There are parameters on which one can talk about miasm. In same cases you may give Tuberculium for tubercular miasm, and Carcinosin when there is cancerous predisposition. But for me the most important is to find the correct remedy based on the symptoms irrespective whether the case is cancer, tuberculosis, or something else. It is the patient who matters the most, with the symptoms that are given out through his immune system, through his individualised defences.
1. The system should be practiced, taught & advanced on scientific principles. Fantasies & hypothesis should be avoided
2. Basics should be given most importance & all the prejudices should be corrected.
3. Experimentations, new provings, theories, inventions should be well examined & scrutinized before putting to the homoeopathic world. Lot of work & activity has again begun in Homoeopathy with its spread & newer technology since about 2 decades. This demands scientific committee like 'International Forum for Scientific Homoeopathy'. All homoeopaths should come forward for such purpose of standardized homoeopathy.
For those who want to read more on this VERY IMPORTANT subject, you can read the following articles by Prof Vithoulkas: Is homeopathy doomed into oblivion ? (article & video) and Situational Materia Medica.