Most of the time after meeting a patient for the first time, I don't prescribe a remedy immediately at the conclusion of the consultation. It is my habit to study the information gathered during the session - my notes, observations and impressions - afterward, in order to integrate it all together, come up with a treatment strategy and an initial remedy.
During a consultation, it is easy to have a remedy come to mind and color my perspective. So, step backing affords me the opportunity to drop my prejudice and gain a more objective frame of reference. It also affords time the opportunity to study not only the patient's information, but medical and homeopathic literature relevant to the case as well.
During these study sessions it is not unusual to come across something that reminds me of the case of a patient other than the one at hand. Typically, it is because I unearth a new remedy or gain a deeper insight, a different perspective or simply recall forgotten information about a known remedy - and the image of someone else comes to mind.
These images are one of the most captivating aspects of homeopathy. When sufficiently understood, remedies present themselves not just as medicines for particular pathologies or as indicated for particular symptoms, but as integrated pictures of states of being. One studies a remedy, and not only the image of a patient arises, but perhaps also of a relative, friend, acquaintance or public figure.
Sometimes it is uncanny how well this 'remedy picture' seems to capture the very nature of the person. This can become something of a parlor game for homeopaths, especially students and teachers. It is a useful mnemonic device to learn materia medica by linking the image of a particular homeopathic remedy to a famous personage.
Recently, just such a thing occurred for me while reviewing a case. I was wondering with the remedy 'Fluoricum Acidicum' (Fl-Ac) - or homeopathically prepare hydrofluoric acid (hydrogen floride - might be fitting, so began reviewing relevant reference material.
By way of background, this remedy was incorporated into the materia medica in 1845 base on experiments performed by Constantine Hering, the 'Father of American Homeopathy'. It is what is called a 'syphilitic remedy', meaning that on the physical level its action relates to and is curative of destructive pathologies such as the decay or degeneration of bones and teeth, various types of ulcers, varicose veins and foul discharges. The patient generally feels great body heat but it is associated with weakness and wasting away of the body. Amongst many other symptoms and illnesses, it has been used to treat brain diseases, liver problems of alcoholics, syphilis and gonorrhea, bed sores and fistulas.
But what often identifies the need for this remedy, especially when the physical pathology is not so developed, is mental and emotional disposition can come together as a very distinctive, very florid personality.
To understand this personality better, it is useful to reference a bit of modern homeopathic theory developed by a brilliant Dutch chemist turned homeopath name Jan Scholten. He came to the realization that homeopathic remedies made from mineral substances - of which there are a great number - could be understood in terms of their place on the periodic table. Each row, from 1st to the 7th, correlates to certain stages in human development and each column, from the 1st to the 18th column, also represented a capacity to progress along the developmental stage of that particular row.
Thus, the evolution of a human being could be traced from the simplest elements hydrogen and helium that lie on the first row and which signify embodiment and conception, all the way through to the heavy, radioactive elements of the last row which correlate to the end of the journey, and the disintegration of being. In terms of clinical application, patients can manifest signs and symptoms, oftentimes relating to their mental or emotional state, that indicative of a particular stage of development that corresponds to a row and column.
It is important to recognize that the chronological age of the patient may not - actually, usually does not - correspond at all with the stage of development he or she is exhibiting. An elderly person may exhibit thoughts and feelings characteristic of the early rows that correspond to birth, infancy and childhood. Or, conversely, a young child may have characteristics of later stages of development. Where a person falls along the periodic table can be due to inborn constitutional attributes or life experiences (including fetal experiences), or a combination of both.
Along these lines, the main component of Fluoric acid, Fluorine, is found in the 17th column, that is to say, very near the end of the 2nd row. This row of the periodic table correlates with the birth process beginning with Lithium in the first column where the separation from the mother has not yet begun and ending with Neon where the process is completed. Fluorine is the stage before completion; it is the point of emergence and separation from mother. There is a great urgency in Fluorine to sever connection and break relationship.
This destructiveness is a parallel to the syphilitic nature of the physical pathology. The aversion toward intimacy is especially pronounced in the family and marriage. Instead, as a compensation, they are attracted to material things and develop great physical appetites for food and sexual activity. This leads to an extravagant, albeit superficial life style.
In earlier stages, the Fluoric acid person is actually quite energetic. They tend to be hurried, restless and cheerful. They can quick minded well though prone to distraction. They also As time goes on, the toll of their extravagance and fast paced life can lead to an exhaustion of their inner vitality, resulting in a break down physically into depletion and degenerative illnesses,
Money is a paramount preoccupation for them. They strive to accumulate it and are fascinated by the power that it brings. There is no idealism associated with how it is to be earned or used - money is an end in and of itself. Likewise in sexual relations, they are profligate and often crude. These are people who ogle the opposite sex.
In his book 'Homeopathy and the Elements' published in 1996, Scholten himself vividly described the Fluoric Acid persona (edited for brevity):
"Demanding total glamour, push anything and anyone aside in the all absorbing desire to shine and glitter... love to be the big macho guy for everybody to look up to...
Very arrogant....They radiate success and they want everyone to notice. But they don't like to put too much effort...it would be nice if someone just gave it too them!
They hate hierarchies... the thought that others have some power over them is horrifying.
They like money and possessions. Large estate, cars... clothes, a pick of the most beautiful women. On the way to getting this they might be quite mean and miserable...Or they might weal and deal and buy up things cheap...
... they gamble in casinos and lotteries, their whole life is one big gamble.. to get all this money and these women and this lucrative position fast they have to take risks and gamble.
...Easygoing and smooth ... with others, they can just as easily drop you when they've have enough. Others may initially be flattered ..., but subsequently find that they are talking to a brick wall emotionally....Hard and vindictive after being hurt. They won't forget... and they'll fight it out with that person regardless of their status or position,...
In extreme situations they can become totally ruthless....They don't care about norms and values, cheating and ling if it suits their purpose. They won't hide the fact either, except when it is their own interest...
...A true narcissist, they forge ahead without any consideration for others. Sooner or later other people catch on and start to avoid them, so they end up lonely and isolated.
From the above can be seen that they have psychopathic tendencies. Terms such as 'ruthless criminal', 'unscrupulous sex-maniac', 'absolute psychopath' could be applied to them."