This book review is reprinted from the British Homoeopathic Journal Volume 70, Number 3, July 1981, with permission from Peter Fisher, Editor.
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Introduction to Homoeopathic Medicine.
By Dr H. Boyd.
Beaconsfield Publishers, Beaconsfield, 1981.
10.50 pounds. [Editor's note: As of August 1996 Minimum Price Books' price is $28.00]
Homoeopathic doctors are arguably facing a major reorientation. We have a choice between adhering to well tried principles, often described as 'Hahnemannian', in a manner similar to that employed for well over one hundred years, or we may endeavour to learn as much as we can of relevant insights from modern medicine and attempt to integrate these with the continuing applications of long standing homoeopathic principles.
The second approach is to many doctors more acceptable than the former. Although there are obvious dangers in an overemphasis on the limited data of modern technological medicine, this is not an adequate reason for rejecting them. We can see such aids in their rightful place as complementary to the detailed review of presenting symptoms and their development considered so important in homoeopathy. It is an approach that complements rather than contradicts homoeopathic prescribing.
Although the idea of such an approach is easily stated, its application is much more demanding. Part of that application is its presentation in a book. A need for this has long been acute. Introduction to Homoeopathic Medicine by Dr Boyd is an attempt to meet this need.
In the initial chapters, Dr Body reviews the fundamental principles of homoeopathic medicine. Subjects discussed in detail include the similia concept; theories of chronic disease and miasms; homoeopathic history taking and principles of prescribing; the preparation of potentized remedies; research in homoeopathy. These chapters are concise and informative. The second section of the book surveys commonly occurring clinical categories. It begins with Accident and Injury Remedies, then moves on to Headache, Eye Remedies, Respiratory Remedies, etc. The section on psychiatry is extremely brief, but overall this section of the book is a practical presentation. The third section is a review of Fifty Commonly Used Remedies. These chapters include ample prescribing data for the remedies named.
The whole text speaks of the author's personal conviction of homoeopathic principles and his extensive experience in their application. It is a well presented, easily read résumé of a vast amount of literature and experience.
It is a presentation that should appeal to doctors new to the discipline of homoeopathy and prepared to make the conceptual adjustment required if an erstwhile traditional approach to modern medicine is to be expanded. As the author states in his preface, this book is intended to be of particular use to doctors preparing for the M. F. Hom. examination. For doctors already committed to homoeopathy it presents another useful review of principles and prescribing data. To both groups it is a challenge to re-assess the well tried principles and materia medica of homoeopathy in a manner that befits the contemporary scene.
Obviously there is a danger in such an attempt of aiming in two directions at once and going nowhere. Alternatively such tension can be creative, with the assimilation of what at first may appear to be contradictory concepts leading into new levels of understanding. The effect arguably depends at least as much on the reader as on the author. Dr Boyd has reminded us of the need to continue this integration. It is to be hoped that we will pursue the challenge.
British Homoeopathic Journal
Volume 70, Number 3, July 1981