There is at present a great necessity for information on the homeopathic treatment of children. We do not actually have enough
literature on the subject apart from Borland’s booklet which is
quite good but not sufficient for the needs of our time. I feel that
Paul Herscu’s book goes further than any other homeopathic book
in giving detailed information which will be very useful to any
practitioner who treats children.
Homeopathic care is a great benefit for the healthy development of children. In my thirty years of practice I have seen children who were treated homoeopathically for a long period of time
and who have developed and become healthier than their siblings
who did not receive homeopathic treatment. I continually observe
that children who have been treated well with homeopathic
medicines usually exceed in height their parents and siblings who
have not been similarly treated. This simple observation shows
how deeply homeopathy can affect the body, most probably reaching to the very genetic level of the body.
I would also like to say that I consider Paul Herscu to be a
person who is not only deeply devoted to homeopathy but also
is an excellent practitioner.
During my first years of studying homeopathic materia medicas,
I often found myself going over the same pages again and again,
unable to grasp and retain enough of the information to apply it
easily. Bits of information often seemed unrelated to each other
and therefore hard to remember.
Later, after poring over these texts so many times that the
material seemed second nature to me, I was able to look at them
from a different perspective and notice patterns not easily discerned up close. For instance, if one were to organize the most
valuable materia medicas chronologically, one would find that
they parallel the evolution of homeopathy itself.
The first materia medicas written contained mostly proving
organized according to the various sections of the body. What
they amounted to, in fact, was a "laundry list" of symptoms.
Lacking the wisdom that comes from the oft-repeated experience
of many, these books nevertheless provided something priceless to
the practice of homeopathic medicine: the raw materials with
which future homeopaths could build. Doctors read these materia
medicas, began to apply the remedies successfully, and recorded
The next generation of materia medicas consisted of these
ever-growing records of clinical experience grafted onto the older
Finally, by the late nineteenth century, some materia medicas
contained primarily clinical experience and little else. For example, Hering's Guiding Symptoms and Kent’s Materia Medica are
both rich treasuries of clinical experience and are very valuable as
such. More complete knowledge on how the remedies should be
applied in actual practice, rather than theory, was made available
in books like these.
This transformation of elemental data into practical wisdom
through the process of analyzing and compiling one’s own and
others’ clinical experiences continues to this day with the writing of modern materia medicas, which usually contain scant theory but ample experiential knowledge. Yet there is still something
important missing from this continuum: materia medicas that
vividly describe whole syndromes, whole symptom complexes,
just as they appear in real patients and as they are commonly
treated in practice today. I have approached the material with
this in mind and have attempted to present it in a manner that
makes it easily accessible to the reader. It is my belief that this
book, and books following this concept, represent a necessary
next step in the further evolution of materia medicas.
This book is also intended to help solve another problem with
existing materia medicas: the dearth of theoretical, experiential, or
any other type of homeopathic information available regarding
children. Remedies are usually described primarily in the context of adults, leaving a large and treacherous gap in the literature. Attempting to apply that knowledge to an infant or a child
has frustrated many homeopaths, myself included. We have often
found ourselves prescribing solely on the basis of keynotes, which
we were loath to do because keynotes do not adequately reflect
the totality of the youngster’s presenting symptoms and underlying weaknesses.
Because we could not fully recognize the remedy picture of a
child from the available inadequate descriptions, we floundered
and were sometimes left unsure of the correctness of our prescription. This situation is particularly unfortunate because such
a large number of homeopathic patients are children—and tragic as well, because the early and proper homeopathic treatment of
children can contribute greatly to sound development and lead
to a healthier adulthood.
Borland advanced the cause of paediatric materia medica with
a short discourse, Children’s Types, published as a monograph on
materia medica for the treatment of children. It consisted of brief
compilations of clues upon which he would prescribe a polychrest
remedy. Since his first step early in this century, no great strides
have been made in the field of paediatric materia medica.
To my great fortune (though I thought it misfortune at the
time), early in my career as a homeopath I was thrown into a
busy practice that served hundreds of children. Overwhelmed by
an unceasing flood of paediatric cases, I struggled to find the simillimum with tools and training that were inadequate to the task.
The struggle lessened as I began to find the correct remedies by
careful observation, long hours of study, and the grace of God.
In retrospect, I saw that the correct remedy was eventually
found in countless cases without recourse to information contained in any materia medica. Talking with colleagues, I found
that many of them wrestled as I had with this paediatric dilemma
and craved help that might make this part of homeopathic practice easier. I proceeded to gather information from a great many
successfully cured cases in my wife’s and my practice, which has
evolved into this book. It is my fondest hope that others will add
to this body of knowledge with their own experience, and in so
doing continue to build a strong and eminently useful paediatric
With this book, then, I wish to accomplish two things: first, to
help fill the gap in paediatric materia medica; and second, to write
a materia medica that I myself would like to read. Such a book, I
thought, would describe syndromes just as they are seen in real
patients. Psychologically, it would offer behavioural profiles of
patients not in theory, but exactly as seen in office visits, complete with all their attendant expressions and actions. Physically,
it would describe how individual diseases present in actuality. A
student or practitioner would not need to memorize a list of disparate symptoms or compile symptoms to fit the patient sitting in
front of him or her; the complete state of the patient could be
read about here in its entirety, just as it presents itself in nature.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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