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Materia Medica Terms requiring explanation

I was wondering if someone knowledgeable can explain some terms mentioned in the Materia Medica of Boericke.

I will start off with two and then add as we go along:


Acid 'debility' ?
Settled despair ?
  fitness on 2014-06-10
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
This is a subject I taught at a homoeopathic college :)

Debility is a theme of the ACID group of remedies - Mur-ac, Ph-ac, Sul-ac, Pic-ac etc. It has been the observation of homoeopaths over the years that remedies belong to natural groups, and those groups tend to share particular themes. Often when you discern the theme in a patient, it may narrow your focus down to a group that reflects that theme (snakes, sulphuricums, compositae plants, nosodes, imponderables etc).

Mineral acids produce weakness and prostration to an extreme degree, often with marked irritability. The vitality of the Acid patient is so incredibly low. I get a lot of use out of the Acids for AIDS patients. The Acid patient has gone very far in a particular direction, so far that they can almost not come back (towards death or a kind of living death).

The element it is attached represents the direction in which they have travelled. Phosphorous represents love, communication, affection, learning, travelling and so on, and so the Ph-ac patient has often become exhausted from one of Phosphorous themes.

The debility of Acids as a group is well known, the idea that the kind of debility is related to the other element is a more modern concept.

'Settled despair' is a description of the kind of depression that Ph-ac suffers from. It is a low-intensity kind of depression, although very deep. Their apathy is connected to their debility - it is not an acute kind of depression, but one that seems long term and has often taken a while to reach the point it is at - it has 'settled' in. It has settled deep into the person, and seems immovable, unresolvable. They often appear to be at the end, exhausted and unable to change things or motivate themselves to do anything about it.
Evocationer 8 years ago
Very nice!

So does a low vitality reflect in weakness of the body or mind too e.g. weak memory, dullness?

Does the weakness result in a lack of desire e.g. aversion to work/exertion (Cal-C)or the desire to work is there but due to the debility he can't work.
fitness 8 years ago
Are you asking how you tell when vitality is low? I assume you are. This isn't exactly an easy question, although in many cases I think it isn't really that difficult.

For the purpose of prescribing, vitality is a physical thing - it reflects how well the patient can handle the potency. When the vitality is low in the mind, it rarely has any effect on the response to a high potency. If the physical vitality can bear it, then I will give the highest potency I think is suitable.

Looking at it generally as a quality though, low vitality as debility can be seen in the following ways:

1. The patient overreacts to potentized medicines. This is one of the sure ways to tell, although for a patient with no experience of homoeopathy this won't be evident.

2. The patient appears debilitated, slow, sluggish, poor to respond, weak. You get to know these patients by sight really, once you have seen a few of them. The way the move is weak, even in their gestures. You can feel the weakness in them even from shaking their hand. This is very hard to get in forum cases though, even when they report such symptoms. I suppose you would err on the side of caution. As we get older it is typical for vitality to get lower so age can be a factor.

3. One of the key signs of low vitality is actually the number of modalities you see attached to their symptoms. Low vitality patients often present with symptoms that seem less peculiar and differentiated. You may still get one or two modalities, although these may not be particularly strong. These patients can actually be hard to prescribe for because the peculiar elements are hard to discern.

High vitality patients on the other hand will often have many modalities, both general and those that modify local symptoms. Their modalities may be quite strong, with various external factors producing marked changes in their symptoms.

4. There may be a lack of symptoms in low vitality patients. They may present with few mentals or emtionals, and vague generals. The disease has often settled into the organs by this stage, because the vital force can no longer hold it back. The organs will tend to show symptoms related mostly to the disturbance of its functions, so these might seem strong, but they will not be peculiar.

High vitality patients will tend to maintain their disease in the mental/general sphere, and often it will affect them more in a functional sense rather than a pathological one. That isn't too say that they won't display tissue changes, but the worst is being held within the other levels of the organism (the higher levels) where it will not usually threaten their survival.

5. The history can provide hints to their level of vitality as well. Low vitality patients do not tend to react very much to epidemics, environmental changes, life challenges, except in very basic ways. They also may show a history of serious illnesses that have resulted in less and less energetic responses. Some low vitality patients actually make the mistake of assuming not reacting to things means they are healthier than others around them (which can be true for people in excellent health as well for obviously different reasons).

This can be reflected in the mental state as well of course, where apathy and indifference begins to become common, as well as a lack of motivation. As with other symptoms, it is often very general rather than displaying a number of peculiarities or modalities.
Evocationer 8 years ago
Very nice explanation and yes you assumed correct.

So low vitality has the same meanings in laymen terms and homeoapthic rubrics?

The reason of this question was that in laymen terms if we say a nervous patient it would point to a certain behavior (e.g. moving restlessly without any reason, a bit absentminded etc) whereas in rubrics its the symptoms related to nerves which might be the above set of symptoms or not.

I had a hard time swallowing this concept when I had a long discussion with a classical homeopath on such differences.
fitness 8 years ago
The idea of low vitality is essentially the same, yes. Obviously our definition for measurement is different based on how we perceive disease.

I am not sure that the words change when used in homoeopathy for things like nervousness - I am not sure I can think of how it would be clearly different from the usual meaning of such a word.
Evocationer 8 years ago

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