This book review is reprinted with the permission of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians
P.O. Box 21488, Portland, OR 97212
Reviews of a New Book by Jan Scholten
Published by Stichting Alonnissos, Servaasbolwerk 13, 3512 NK, Utrecht
Foreword by Rienk Stuut
6 1/2" x 9 3/4" paperback, 295 pages, $45.00, US [Editor's note: As of September 1997 Minimum Price Books' price is $40.80]
in Europe, Hfl7O (60, with 10 for postage) paid by eurocheque or at bank number 44.36.02.573, of address above.
Homoeopathy and Minerals
Reviewed by Frans Kusse, MD
Dr. Kusse edits Similia Similibus Curentur [review reprinted from SCC, the Dutch homeopathic journal].
When I met the ideas of Jan Scholten for the first time in December l992, I was surprised; enormous possibilities offered themselves. Now, some months later, after having had experiences with these 'new' remedies, I can speak of a fundamental revolution in homeopathic thinking. The method Jan is offering in his book seems too beautiful to be true, but it works! It is not easy to explain his method briefly, but I shall try to do so with an example from the practice of his colleagues.
A woman, 30 years of age, comes with a variety of complaints, such as allergy to the sun, pain in the right forehead, sciatica right, intestinal troubles, swollen and painful breasts before menses and fatigue.
Mind: she needs attention, a compliment. "I didn't dare to ask for attention and got irritated when my husband didn't say anything about my work. My mother had too little time for us and I was the one who managed. I was a 'big girl'."
The theme of 'attention' is found in the muriaticums and the 'timidity' and 'insecurity' in the calciums. The remedy: Calcium muriaticum ('desire for attention, but not daring to ask for it'). The woman was cured after the remedy.
By analyzing different minerals (calcium, natrium, phosphorus, sulphur, barium, etc.) and metals Jan has developed some essential concepts for every element. In practice it is possible to make many combinations of these concepts and so find the remedy that fits the patient.
Try to imagine what it means once we have found the essential concepts of every element of the periodic system.... Maybe that is what Kent felt when he said that all remdies could be found in one kingdom (mineral, plant or animal). The work of Arij Vrijlandt, who has studied the periodic system in his own way, has its place here.
This book gives us the beginning; now we practising homeopaths have the task of verifying and expanding this information. A huge task and a fantastic challenge.
Homoeopathy and Minerals: Reviewed by Jay Yasgur, RPh., MSc.
An interesting book has just been written by Dutch homeopath, Jan Scholten, entitled Homoeopathy and Minerals.
It concerns the mineral remedies of the homeopathic materia medica. In thirteen chapters Jan discusses and presents cases dealing with the carbonicums, muriaticums, sulphuricums, phosphoricums, barytas, the acids, ammoniums, nitricums, fluoratums, bromatums, iodatums and the ferrum group. How the author differs from others in his approach to studying these remedies is through his method of 'group analysis'.
"In group analysis we look at groups of remedies and we extract from these groups that which is common. The next step is that those symptoms will be used in the various remedies which contain that element." (Scholten, p. 23)
This is not necessarily a revelation when one considers Dixit's body of work. And yet Jan's approach is nevertheless interesting and neatly ordered. Another aspect of his approach emphasizes that patients are the ones best able to tell the practioner what is happening after they have been helped with the remedy.
Remedy themes is an important part of his approach and really to understand the essence of a remedy one needs to have a deep grasp of the group theme in which that remedy resides. For instance, there are many sub-themes to the Carbonicum group (self-worth, work ethic, meaning and values, shyness, and dignity) but Jan feels the overall theme is the father figure and that each of the Carbonicums has this thread: 'meaning, dignity, work, and social position.'
"In practice, these remedies often prove to have had problems with father figures or authorities. In Graphites the father is there, but he is separate from the family, he is always away, only loosely connected. In Nat-c. the father can be completely absent. In Mag-c. there can be a power struggle with the father or with the authorities." (Scholten, p. 38)
Vanadium, Niccolum, Cuprum, Zincum, Chromium, and Ferrum, etc. are all transition elements and are analyzed as a group in the Ferrum chapter. Though not combination remedies, these single elements can be analyzed as a group and similarities can most easily be seen in the better known Zincum, Ferrum, and Cuprum. Jan theorizes five psychological areas where these remedies find expression:
1) Forced. Here persons have feelings that they have to do something or comply to some rule. It is a compulsive feeling to fulfill some task, either driven by outside forces or inner ones.
2) Suppression. Here persons allow their emotions (feelings, thoughts, wishes) to be suppressed by outside forces. This can be expressed neurologically when physical symptoms, e.g., rashes, are suppressed, as in Cuprum and Zincum.
3) Crime. This sub-theme could also be called delusion. When one has failed to live up to something, or has done something wrong, it can be expressed in a crime. For instance, persons may feel they are being chased by the police, that they've committed a crime or they have neglected their duty. 'This theme may appear in dreams: the police, less so animals or robbers, are pursuing them. In this instance the police represent the law and patients feel they have committed a crime. Cobaltum has this particular delusion.
4) Anxiety of conscience. Great feelings of guilt and anxiety of conscience are present. Very minor faults/crimes/lies are seen as major issues to be concerned about. 5) Restlessness. Because of the pursuit issue, behavior may tend to be hurried and restless. They are unable to sit still and do nothing. Nearly all practitioners are aware of the restless feet of Zincum and, if severe, this symptom can be present in the bed.
"The above mentioned symptoms are all linked to the same basic feeling: anxiety of conscience. As soon as one of these symptoms is known in any one remedy, the rest of the picture can be built up by careful analysis." (Scholten, p. 226)
"DD bromatums: The feeling of guilt in the bromatum is different; it is more the result of their passions and their instinctive actions. In the ferrum group the guilt is a result of the fact that they haven't been able to fulfill their task, they have failed. The persecution is therefore of a different kind: the bromatums are being chased by God, the ferrums by the police.
DD kaliums: The duty consciousness of the kalium resembles that of the ferrum group. But in the kaliums the impetus comes from within themselves; they just carry out what they see to be their task. The ferrum group has to fulfill a task that has been forced upon them by someone else. That is why they feel as if they are being censored, as if they are being chased. (Scholten, p. 226)
I hope the aforementioned examples serve as 'tasty-bits,' piquing your curiosity in this well organized treatise.
Aside from these thirteen sections, Jan discusses 'Disease as Creation'. In this chapter disease is viewed in a variety of ways: as a process of 'wear and tear'; as a threat; as Original state; as talent or strategy; as illusion; as temptation; as protection; as symbol; as cultural phenomenon; as myth or fairy tale; and as creation or game. To be sure, Jan is not the originator of these strategems. As a philosophical concept, disease has been discussed and debated by many; Hahnemann, Whitmont, Eizayaga, Dhawale, Sankaran, Vithoulkas, Dixit, Joseph Campbell, and J. T. Kent, to name a few.
Jan recognizes that it is possible and perhaps essential to look at disease from these different angles. After all, if we didn't, we'd be doing a disservice to our patients. These differing views don't necessarily exclude one another although one may be more applicable at a particular time than another. Jan does feel, however, that 'disease as creation' gives the most meaning and depth to the concept of disease, for it 'brings the responsiblity, and therefore the ability, to heal, back to man himself'
Jan discusses, and hypothesizes about, little known remedies, which have few references and some which lack proving data. Calc-nit, Chlorum, Calc-mur, Kali-mur; Ammon-sulf; Ammon-phos (in fact, the entire Ammonium section is quite interesting, as is the Nitricum section), Barium-nit, Kali-nit, Nat-nit, Mag-fluor; Kali-fluor, Barium-fluor, Calc-brom, Mag-brom, Ferr-mur; Mag-iod, Nat-iod, Vanadium, Chromium and Manganum. These remedies are not well known. Jan presents case studies which makes this information all the more refreshing.
A section concerning 'times of the remedies' is included and appears to be quite comprehensive.
Though this innovative book is well laid out and organized it has no index. In reality it probably does not really need one, yet at the very least an index to the case studies would have been helpful. Another criticism is that remedy names are not capitalized or italicized. Though not a major fault it does hinder one's ability to quickly search for remedies within the text. Probably more of an annoyance is the use of a sans-serif typeface for the text of the book. I have come across a number of books and journals which use sans-serif type faces. I don't know why authors or publishers choose to use this kind of typestyle. Perhaps it is thought to be striking, different or distinctive but the problem is is that it is harder to read and the eyes tire easily. It would be just as easy to typeset text using a serif typestyle such as Times Roman. Other typestyles then could be employed to break up the ,monotony' by highlighting sections, headings, keywords, etc.
These points aside, however, Jan's treatise is provocative, timely and of interest. The psychological aspects he paints of the remedies are quite bold, much like the daubings of the expressionist painters of the first part of this century.
This is an insightful, valuable book, easy to pick up and read a few pages or chapter during the spare moments of the day. Yet it offers much to ponder and integrate.
"As mentioned before, I would hereby like to invite the reader to use the information given in this book, to apply the concepts and to
critically appraise the results. I hope that it will provide new possibilities to help your patients, particularly in those cases where it has up to now been difficult to achieve satisfactory results. It will no doubt become clear that some parts of this book can be improved. It is already clear that there is great scope for increasing our knowledge. In any case, I would very much like to hear from you.
(Scholten, p. 291)
Jay Yasgur is a licensed pharmacist and the author of A Dictionary of Homeopathic Medical Terminology.
Jan Scholten is uniquely qualified for the task he has set himself, having studied chemistry and then philosophy before beginning his medical study, which he completed in 1983. He then began the study of acupuncture and homoeopathy, along with other healing modalities. From 1985 on, he has had a fulltime classical homeopathic practice. Currently he practices alongside five other homeopathic medical doctors. He states that the material in this book has gone through much discussion with his fellow practitioners at the Homeopatische Artsencentrum in Utrecht, the Netherlands. and is undergoing the one, true test of such hypotheses in the clinical practice of each of these homeopaths. It is clearly Jan Scholten's hope that other practising homeopaths will find this material similarly useful. "In our group practice, the number of cases which can be solved using the group analysis method has proved to be 5 to 10% of the total. This is only a rough estimate, partly as the method is still being developed further. ... However, a word of caution to the beginner, who may be tempted to apply the terms too loosely: it does take time before one is used to applying the concepts with sufficient accuracy" (p 291).
In our next issue of Simillimum, we intend to publish an in-depth review and further excerpts from this meticulous and thoughtful work which, we feel, will receive, and amply reward careful study.
Summer 1994 Volume VII No. 2 / 103 SIMILLIMUM