We are very pleased to inaugurate a new Townsend Letter column on
the clinical use of homeopathic medicine. We’d like to give you an overview of our practices
and to share our plans for this and future columns. We are naturopathic
physicians specializing in classical homeopathy, our main mentors being George
Vithoulkas and Francisco Eizayaga. Although we adhere to classical homeopathic
principles, we have great respect for many areas of holistic medicine and make
nutritional recommendations to all of our patients, based on naturopathic and
Ayurvedic principles. We use herbs when indicated, offer lifestyle suggestions,
and many of our patients also choose to see us for counseling, hypnosis,
fasting and cleansing. This gives you an idea of our theoretical foundation. We
find homeopathy to be the mainstay of our treatment and generally base our
therapeutic rationale on traditional homeopathic principles of healing.
In this column we intend to present clinical cases treated successfully
with homeopathy. In addition, we plan to share Materia Medica information on
the remedies used and also to include homeopathic principles of case analysis.
We are happy to receive any feedback from readers and colleagues as to what you
would like us to share with you.
We recently gave a presentation on the use of Ayurvedic body typing to
help con-firm classical homeopathic prescriptions at the International
Conference on Holistic Medicine and Healing in Bangalore, India. There we
were asked about any success we have had in treating hyperactivity, often
considered to be quite difficult to treat by both orthodox and holistic
medicine. We would like to start our column with this very challenging case of
hyperactivity which responded beautifully to a single dose of the correct
M.G, aged 5, was brought to us on l/20/89 by his foster mother, a
long-time patient of ours with a chief complaint of maladaptive behavior. He
had been under her foster care for four months and at a child care center for
emotionally disturbed children since age two. He had been removed from his
parents’ home by Children’s Protective Services due to drug problems, violence,
and neglect. At two and a half he was placed in a foster home with his younger
brother for five months where he was described
as “demonic”, violent and abusive. His voice would take on different qualities
like dis-tinct personalities. In the next foster placement with a minister’s
family, his younger brother was adopted but he was not, which he was unable to
His biological father, who had become remarried to a Native American woman with
four childten, then took him for seven months, during which time he was
physically and emotionally abused. During one beating he was left with a large
open wound on his forehead, the scar of which still swelled and pulsed when he
was under stress.
This was followed by five successive placements before he arrived at the home
of our patient. The day he arrived there, he” demolished” one of the bedrooms
for three hours. Soon after she had him placed in a regular kindergarten.
M. presented in the office with bright red hair and very physically
active. His foster mother described his usual behavior as follows. He
screamed, scratched, cursed, threw objects, fought, and bit regularly, all of
which behaviors seemed to be out of his conscious control. He frequently became
violent and tried to pull out his foster mother’s hair. (At this point in the
interview, M. was smiling mischieviously.)
His face would contort, his eyelids flutter, and he would tremble when angry.
She re-ported that M. had to actually hold himself stiff to be good. Otherwise
he was wild and easily distracted, with an attention span of a two-year old. He
was unable to remem- ber the names of his fellow kindergarteners. He could be
very jealous and impatient. He once pounded a developmentally disabled child in
the face. He could not tolerate loud noise (he could cover his ears and scream)
nor being touched. His foster mother couldn’t even put on his shoes or socks or
dry him after bathing. She described his personality as Dr. Jeckyl and Mr.
Physically, M. had lots of clear mucus with some snorting and gagging
until he had eliminated dairy products, but his behavior remained unchanged.
His suborbital swelling was 75% improved after he stopped ingesting dairy
products. He picked his nose often. Other bodily systems were asymptomatic. He
had various nervous habits and tics. He was always hungry, could eat six meals
a day, and loved dairy products, bread and butter, sugar and white flour. When
we asked him what he most liked to do, he replied “Kill dinosaurs”. Physical
examination revealed no significant findings.
For those of you who are homeopaths, stop reading now, study the case, and
decide which remedy you would give before turning to the rest of the
A single dose of homeopathic Stramonium 200c was given to M. in
the office. The foster mother had already tried allergy elimination. No other
dietary recommenda- tions were made in this case. The follow-up report by the
foster mother was as follows. All the facial tics, tongue clicking, and
grimaces disappeared within the month after the remedy was given. He completely
stopped cursing and had only one angry outburst a month, a drastic improvement.
Within three months his behavior was enough im-proved that he was put up for
adoption. His only remaining symptom was continuing to talk in several
different voices. A report ten months later indicated that he was still doing
extremely well and had been adopted by another family.
In analyzing this case homeopathically, it was clear that the center of
gravity was on the mental and emotional levels. Most striking was this child’s
violent tendencies which he was unable to control. This violence even
manifested itself neurologically in the form of tics and grimaces. Though there
are many homeopathic remedies which fit rage, screaming tantrums, and
hypersensitivity to noise, what was most striking in M.’s case was the
violence. Though it could be said that his upbringing would lead inevitably to
such behavior, we see in homeopathy that individuals re-spond very differently
to childhood abuse. He could have as easily become pathologically withdrawn.
Homeopathic Stramonium (Thorn-apple) should always be considered in
violent thoughts or behavior, particularly when accompanied by convulsions or
other neurologic symptoms. Behavior and thoughts are intense and may include an
exaggerated loquacity, inappropriate laughing, singing, or praying, auditory or
visual hallucinations. Individuals needing Stramonium may go into
adrenaline-type rages and temper tantrums, uncontrollably moved to act on their
impulses. They often have extreme fears (which probably would have been
elicited during further interviews with this child), particularly of the dark,
dogs, death, and water, as well as claustrophobia. Also common is stammering of
a convulsive-type nature where the person struggles to get the words out.
Children needing this remedy are often im-pulsively, rather than cunningly,
malicious and, if asked, will often say they would like to smash someone. These
children often wake from frightening nightmares and may even sleepwalk. From
both the symptom picture and the response to the remedy, Stramonium was
obviously the correct homeopathic prescription for this child. If further
contact with this child were possible, the voices, whether imaginary
play-mates, hallucinations, or subpersonalities, would need to be further
explored. Stra-monium , as well as a number of other remedies, covers
Homeopathy treats according to the totality of symptoms. This means that
all of the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms in each case must be
elicited, graded ac-cording to their importance and pathology, and included in
the remedy picture. This is what makes each case quite unique homeopathically.
Had another child come in with the similar behavioral complaints, but had also
been a bedwetter and mas-tubated daily or had warts and a known family history
of gonorrhea, a different remedy would have been given. In order to find the
correct remedy at any given time, it is of utmost importance not only to gather
all the important symptoms, but to really understand how these symptoms affect
the individual’s life. Even with nearly identical symptoms, how the case is
skewed in terms of what is most limiting to the person may tip the balance to
one or another remedy. In this case it was the un-controllable violence so
characteristic of Stramonium.
Dr. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Dr. Robert Ullman are licensed
naturopathic physicians and are board certified in homeopathy. They are
President and Vice President of the International Foundation for Homeopathy
where they teach homeopathy to licensed health care professionals. They
practice in Edmonds, WA at 131 3rd Ave., N., Edmonds, WA 98020 and can be
reached at (206) 774-5599. Their new book, The Patient’s Guide to Homeopathic
Medicine, is now available.