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This book review is reprinted from Volume 3, 2010 Edition of Spectrum of Homeopathy with permission from Narayana Publishers .
Colors in Homeopathy
By Ulrich Welte
Narayana Publishers 2009
ISBN : 978-3-939931-97-3
Reviewed by : Peter Tumminello
This book by Ulrich Welte, a German homeopathic doctor, is a unique and valuable offering indeed. It is a significant contribution to the expanding dimensions of homeopathic prescribing. In actuality, it is a dual item, a textbook and a fold out colour chart.
The significance of colour has always been an interesting symptom for the astute homeopath. I myself had noted that Sulphur clients tended to wear a strong red, Platina clients to wear black, and those clients needing gem medicines were commonly attracted to the colour of the gem. This principle of colour choice was taken up in a methodical way by Doctor Hugbald Volker Mueller (deceased) of Cologne, in 1985. In that year, he had 'the Conium experience' where he identified the colour choice of Conium clients (Conium classically desires darkness) as being black though a series of Conium presentations. Thereafter, he decided to question each client on his/her favoured colour and tabulated the results. He found that many clients who were cured by a particular medicine made the same colour choice.
Some time after his initial insights, the methodology was introduced to Drs Ulrich Welte and Herbert Sigwart. Along with other German homeopaths, they worked on the clinical significance of this symptom in many thousands of cases and after testing a number of prototypes developed the chart which is currently in use. Dr Welte finally published the results of this work in the first edition of this book in 2003. The information contained in this book and its companion chart take the symptom of colour choice away from being an aside that every observant homeopath has been aware of, into the realm of quantified research and clearly discernable methodology.
The textbook itself is a short and direct read with a foreword by Jan Scholten, who lauds the work and uses the symptom in his practice. It establishes the history of the symptom, its development by Mueller, and the fulfilment of that development prior to publishing. Dr Welte explains at length how to procure an effective colour choice from the client. Essentially, he directs us to encourage the client to choose a colour that appeals when they are unfettered by intellectual considerations and the one that makes them feel good. As he says: "If we succeed in making him or her really interested, so that they dive into the colours with childlike simplicity, we are likely to get the desired result."
The colours themselves are a standardised set of 125 which satisfies our need for a set criterion to enable the ongoing choice and clear remedy relation for each colour. The number of colours means that the choice is highly specific. This propels the colour into the realm of a characteristic and, at times, peculiar symptom. The symptom of colour choice itself is a general symptom of unusual flavour. While it is a general, it cannot necessarily be classified as a specific physical or mental symptom, as it relates to the feelings which encompass both. The natural extrapolation of this, is that it is a highly specific descriptor of the quality of the vital force at the time it is chosen.
The information on medicines related to each is thoroughly recorded in the book, primarily in the form of rubrics. Dr Welte has grouped similar colours and given the set of remedies which have a known relationship to these colours. Each medicine is given a bold, italic, or standard entry according to the number of curative clinical confirmations. An example is the colour lavender/light violet, which included 6 related colours in the chart. The medicines ascribed to this colour are: Anan, art-dr, aven, hist, murx, stront-c, stront-p, trit-r. This information is further supported by a list of remedy names and the clinically related colour or colours. He has listed close to 900 medicines in this edition!
Dr Welte has carefully addressed many associated questions: the difficulties associated with the symptom, changes in colour preference, aversion to a particular colour, its relationship to materia medica, and multiple colour preferences. In addition, through long observation of colour associated with medicines, he has gleaned and written a significant amount of material on psychological dimensions associated with each colour.
The Colour Chart: In previous editions of this publication, the colour chart was included in a single volume with the text. Dr Welte has now chosen to make this chart, the clinical tool of the methodology, a separate hard cover booklet. It is in fold out form with the standard 125 colours of the previous editions as well as newly added silver and gold. The fold out form enables all the colours to be viewed simultaneously, which is an improvement on the previous work. On the back of the main chart, there are photographs of a series of gemstones, which vividly suggest colours from the warm and cool parts of the spectrum to prime the client for a more refined choice.
Overall, this symptom is an unusually precise way to lead us to prescriptions that we may not have previously considered. This has happily been the case in my practice. In other cases, it can be the confirmatory symptom that helps differentiate between medicines with a similar symptomatology, thereby giving added confidence to making the prescription. It is heartening indeed to get such a confirmation.
Dr Welte and his collaborators have presented the colour symptom in a readily usable, understandable, sustainable, and clinically efficient way. It enables us to squeeze the sweet juice of characteristic symptomatology from the client in a practical and gentle way. It is a joy to use, as the choice of the favourite colour gladdens the heart. Children positively love the process. I can't recommend this work highly enough; it is a fine arrow in our quiver of symptoms and an outstanding adjunct to homeopathic practice.