“There is no road to the practice of homeopathy — whether it is the clinical road or the symptomatic road — which does not entail close and constant study of the Materia Medica”. J.H. Clarke, The Prescriber.
It is the branch of medical science which studies the origin and preparation of drugs, their doses, and their mode of administration; also, the drugs themselves. In homeopathy, it is a reference work listing remedies and their therapeutic actions.
In its most basic form, a materia medica consists of quotes from the persons who ‘proved’ the substance. When homeopathy was in its infancy the number of drugs or remedies in the materia medica was very small. It was relatively easy to go remedy by remedy and look up symptoms in order to find the curative remedy that matched the patients illness.
“The healing occurs because the artificial drug disease that replaces the natural illness is stronger, yet in a gentle way and of much shorter duration and soon after having distinguished the natural illness, it disappears on its own”. G. von Keller, Classical Homoeopathy Quartly 4, 1991, p. 123.
Before a remedy can be become a medicine listed in the materia medica it first must be tested on healthy volunteers to determine what symptoms it produces and therefore its medical/curative properties in treatment when it is prescribed according to the Law of Similars.
Symptoms produced during a proving are then recorded in a homeopathic materia medica (a record of substances and the symptoms they produce) to help homeopaths locate and prescribe that substance for future use.
Provings have been conducted for over 200 years but with the increase of scientific interest more recent ones have been conducted “double-blind” and with a placebo control. This means that both provers and supervisors involved in the proving do not know what is being tested, or, who is receiving placebo and who is receiving the potentised substance. Such measures help to reduce “observer prejudice” that could influence the reporting or recording of symptoms.
A proving is complete when no new symptoms can be produce from a substance after numerous tests in a number of potencies over a range of constitutions, ages and genders. To date, over 5,000 substances have been entered into the homeopathic materia medica, with some being more fully proved than others.
Most provers come from a homeopathic background, i.e. practitioners and students who contribute their time to the knowledge base of the profession and to obtain first hand involvement in the actions of a remedy they may need to recognize and prescribe for future patients.
"I saw in Leipzig, Germany the celebrated veterinary Lux, who was the first to apply the homeopathic treatment to the diseases of animals. Notwithstanding the difficulties of that practice, where the rarity of symptomatic expressions made the indications very obscure, Lux obtained a great success.” Rapou says…
Although homeopathic remedies are used in the treatment of animals, provings are not conducted on animals. Apart from ethical concerns, animals are not able to provide accurate verbal information on the symptoms they are experiencing. They also react in different ways. Provings on animals cannot provide reliable information and are totally unnecessary. Animals do have many of the same symptoms and diseases as humans do and a well chosen remedy matching the animals symptoms will work the same as it would for a human.
In circa 1813, in Leipzig, Hahnemann lectured on the use of homeopathy in animals (at the Leipziger Okonomischen Gesellschaft, of which he was a member). The manuscript for this lecture is held in the Universitatsbibliothek, Leipzig. He stated, “The principles and application in animals were broadly similar to those in humans.” Veterinary homeopathy has developed ever since. Boenninghausen and Lux were early proponents.
Wilhelm Lux was a practicing veterinary Homeopathy in 1812. From that point on, there have been many successful homeopathic veterinarians and these practitioners have recorded their findings in clinical application and homeopathic treatment.
For a complete guide in learning how to give a remedy, repeat the dose and what potency to use for animals in both acute and chronic disease we recommend…
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