Introduction to Bowel Nosodes

Introduction about the concept behind Bowel nosodes. Paterson compiled a list of bowel organism with their related homoeopathic remedies and to associated a clinical picture, i.e. to offer a “proving” for each type of bowel organism. In this case the word “proving” is not used in the strict Hahnemannian sense-experiment on the healthy human-but on clinical observation of the sick person….


THE name of one of your illustrious countrymen, Louis Pasteur, will for ever be remembered as the founder of the science of bacteriology. It was he who first isolated and identified a specific germ and related it to a definite clinical entity (disease). Following upon his discoveries, medical science concentrated on the laboratory technique for the isolation and identification of a specific germ for each known disease, and the Koch postulates were accepted as the standard for declaring any germ capable of pathogenesis-of having power to cause disease. The motto of the medical profession is still Tolle Causam, find the cause, and to-day there are many who consider that germ are the only cause of disease and are working to discover the specific germ or virus for well known clinical entities.

It must now be accepted as scientific fact that specific germs, in many cases of disease, can be isolated and identified, but is it a true conclusion that the specific germ is always the cause of the disease? The subject is too great to be dealt with in all its aspects in this short session, but a little time must be given to considering the general question, namely the role of the Bacterium in Nature because one’s opinion on this must determine the value one places on the use of bacterial products-vaccine or nosodes-in the treatment of disease. As the subject of this paper deals with the intestinal flora, I propose to limit my remarks to consideration of the role played by the B. Coli and coliform organism found in the intestinal tract.

The role of the intestinal bacteria. B. Coli can be isolated from the intestine of all warm blooded animals and have been found on grasses outside the body, where there seemed to be no possibility of faecal contamination. Most workers consider the B. Coli to be a harmless saprophyte and to be non-pathogenic in the healthy bowel. Its function is to break up into the more simple substances the complex molecules of the organic combinations which from the bodies of plants and animals, or of the complex substances which result the digestive processes in the intestinal canal and are excreted. It is important to note this function in the further study of the intestinal flora and irs relationship to disease.

In nature, where there is balance, there is no dis-ease and the germ, in this case the B. Coli in the intestinal tract, perform a useful function. Where the intestinal mucosa is healthy the B. Coli a non-pathogenic. Any change in the host which affects the intestinal mucosa will upset the balance and will be followed by a change in the habit and the bio-chemistry of the B. Coli, which way then be said to become pathogenic, but is should be noted that the primary change, the dis-ease originated in the host, which compelled the bacillus to modify its habit in order to survive. I would ask you to keep this sequence of events in mind as a great deal of what I have to say about the intestinal nosodes is based upon this conception which I have confirmed by clinical and laboratory observations over the last twenty years.

In 1936 I presented a paper to the British Homoeopathic Society, which was published in their Journal of April, 1936, under the title of “The Potentised Drug and its Action on the Bowel Flora” and it dealt with the clinical and bacteriological observations on 12,000 cases. A brief summary of the findings is as follows:

(A) Non-lactose fermenting bacilli were isolated in 25 per cent of the stool specimens examined.

(B) The appearance of non-lactose fermenting bacilli often followed and seemed to bear relationship to the previously administered homoeopathic remedy-the choice of the remedy being made according to “the law of similars” and prepared by “potentization”.

In the laboratory one observed an unexpected phenomenon, that from a patient who had previously yielded only B. Coli, there suddenly appeared a large percentage of non-lactose fermenting bacilli of a type which one associated with the pathogenic group of typhoid paratyphoid.

If one accepts the view, generally held, that the B. Coli of the intestinal tract is a harmless saprophyte and is non-pathogenic it must be concluded that, so far as the intestinal tract was concerned there was no evidence of disease in these patients during the first series of examinations.

Now the patient’s stool yielded a large percentage of presumably pathogenic organism, and according to the accepted Pasteur and Koch theory, the patient was suffering from disease. Clinical investigations, however, revealed that the patient did not feel ill, but had experienced a sense of well being which he had attributed to the last medicine he had received. Since the non- lactose fermenting bacilli had appeared after a definite latent period of 10 to 14 days, following the administration of the remedy, it would seem that the homoeopathic Potentised remedy had changed the bowel flora, and had caused the dis-ease. The pathogenic germ in this case was the result of vital action set up in the patient by the Potentised remedy. The germ was not the cause of the disease.

Is the “specific germ” the actual cause of disease, or is it the result of the action of the vital force (Dynamis) which characterizes all living cells, in their resistance to dis-ease? That is a question which I must ask you to consider and answer for yourselves in the light of the observations I have placed before you to-day. Meantime, it will be sufficient for the purpose of continuing the subject of this paper, if we agree that each germ is associated with its own peculiar symptom picture (disease) and that certain conclusions may be made from these clinical and laboratory observations and translated into the practice of medicine.

(A) The specific organism is related to the disease.

(B) The specific organism is related to the homoeopathic remedy.

(C) The homoeopathic remedy is related to the disease.

From my observations I have been able to compile a list of bowel organism with their related homoeopathic remedies and to associated a clinical picture, i.e. to offer a “proving” for each type of bowel organism. In this case the word “proving” is not used in the strict Hahnemannian sense-experiment on the healthy human-but on clinical observation of the sick person.


It is not possible to give a detailed account of each type in one session, so I propose to give you a brief summary for each, indicating a keynote, the main action.

From this, and our knowledge of the associated homoeopathic remedies, you should be able to formulate a more complete picture of the symptom complex of these bowel organism, and later I shall indicate how this knowledge can be put into practice.

John Paterson
John Paterson 1890 – 1954 was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy. John Paterson was a Microbiologist, who was married to Elizabeth Paterson, also a Microbiologist. They both worked at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital and at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital.
John Paterson was President of International Homeopathic Medical League in 1939.
John Paterson wrote The Bowel Nosodes, and he was responsible for introducing them into British homeopathy n the 1920s.