Homoeopathic remedies

Homoeopathic remedies for chronic rhematism with their indications, time- modalities, doses have been suggested by Dr. Fortier Bernoville in his book Chronic rhematism….


Let us now speak about functional remedies which are legion. They are numerous because the question of chronic rheumatism has not yet been properly solved. Often we have failures. Gradually as we arrive at a good knowledge about a question and get good results, we make a selection of remedies (as for example we have simplified the treatment of diphtheria in 50 years). It is impossible to keep in mind all the remedies used in the treatment of chronic rheumatism. Each among us does not use more than 35 to 30 medicines while nearly 150 medicines are indicated in chronic rheumatism. It is often said that one does not cure a patient because one has not used the best remedy. However we must try to find out the good remedies.

Before enumerating the remedies and classifying them in groups, I must insist on a special point the localisation.

The young homoeopath who takes a repertory finds it ridiculous to learn that question when he finds that a remedy is given for the wrist, another for the second phalange of the index of the right arm, another for left knee etc. For a long time I also believed that it is stupid to classify the remedies according to the localisations. But such a reasoning is ridiculous because the remedies act according to the local tropism; there are some affinities in relation to the tissue which we cannot yet explain. It is always Dr. Nebel and his successors who have put the question. It may seem absurd to localise too much. It is the homoeopaths who should try in the future to understand well the importance of localisations. In any case we must remember that some remedies have local affinities. It is a very interesting and important question, unfortunately very difficult to answer. Here is how we have classified the functional and organic remedies of chronic rheumatism.

Let us take up Calcarea carbonica with its troubles of metabolism of calcium. By its side we may places Calcarea phosphorica and Calcarea fluorica. The latter acts well in the 3x when you have cartilaginous as well as bone and muscular pains in persons whose articulations are deformed, whose ligaments become ossified. He begins for example with a rheumatism of the spinal chord which becomes later on hypertrophysing osteitis. You will often find syphilis in the heredity. You will often find syphilis in the heredity. Calcarea carbonica may be given to big, fat, soft, chilly, hesitating and indolent persons who think that they will never be cured.

Sulphur has digestive and hepatic troubles when he has rheumatism The very moments he begins to have rheumatism he will require other remedies.

This subject for example has periodic diarrhoeas alternating with rheumatism. You can give him Dulcamara. He may have enterocolitis with swelling of the abdomen, false membranes in the stools aggravation by sweets. He may have arterial hypertension, buzzing in the ears, congestive troubles. He is often a great eater who is never satisfied. He feels weak when he is hungry, feels better after eating. He may have cutaneous troubles in the relation with his digestive troubles. Antimonium crudum is related to Sulphur. He is rheumatic, having always a white-coated tongue with distended intestine, who feels better after a laxative or if a good intestinal drainage is effected.

Nux vomica may also be used as a complementary to Sulphur. By the side of these satellite remedies of sulphur in chronic rheumatism we have another group that acts on acute articular rheumatism. The best remedies are Ferrum phosphoricum Bryonia, Rhus tox, Apis, Pulsatilla. These remedies will be useful in persons who suffer from rheumatism with occasional and periodic acute or sub-acute inflammation. Suddenly the joints are attacked. It is a form of gouty rheumatism.

Ferrum phosphoricum and Aconite have intense pain dry heat, joints painful to touch, with possible fever but not yet any swelling. Aconite has aggravation in dry cold. The subject then passes to the stage of Bryonia; amelioration by rest, aggravated by movement, pricking pains, painful joints, clear intra- articular rheumatism, often fixed. From Bryonia the evolution is towards Rhus tox and Apis. Both are complementary to Bryonia but incompatible. These are two horses of the same harness but they go different directions. Rhus tox has the modalities inverse to those of Bryonia and we then enter into the group of hydrogenoid remedies which we will soon see. From Bryonia the patient goes to Apis.

The subject will have then all the symptoms of Apis: pale, rosy swellings, pains redness but the swelling is predominant.

After Apis, or even without passing through the stage of Apis, the patient may come to the field of Mercurius solubilis. Often the rheumatism is aggravated at night. The patient has frequent sweats, oily, bad smelling sweat. The mouth is moist but no thirst.

After Mercurius you have the stage of Pulsatilla and of Silicea. If the patient has suppurations he enters into the stage of Hepar sulphur. Pulsatilla and Silicea often indicate venous congestion, amelioration and finally cure. At this time you can use Sulphur to check periodical relapse.

The chronic rheumatic patient may follow two paths. That of the digestive and hepatic troubles and that of periodic attack of acute or subacute rheumatism.

The other groups are related to Lycopodium, Natrum sulphuricum and Thuja.

Lycopodium has a kind of acid diathesis which is related to dehydration of albuminoids. Thus it has as complementaries the salts of Lithium: the carbonate, the benzoate, Benzoic acid and also Ammonium benzoicum, a group of four remedies which may act as complementaries of Thuja, but they are at that stage complementaries of Lycopodium. If you use these remedies empirically and not in Lycopodium subjects you will get only inconstant results.

They act better in lower dilutions and in ponderable doses. The high dilutions are generally inefficacious. Sarsaparilla and Kali carbonicum may be placed in this group.

The hydrogenoid group is more homogeneous, and most easy to manipulate. The most important are Rhus tox and Dulcamara which are drainers of Natrum sulphuricum and Thuja. The subject has the need of being drained by Rhus tox (which acts better when applied in the morning), by Rhus radicans or any other Rhus. Rhododendron is aggravated by cold and in humid weather. Rhus tox is one of the most unfaithful remedies, it often fails. When it fails Rhododendron may be used. Perhaps we do not know well the application of the dilutions of Rhus tox or its preparation is not from fresh plant. It is always difficult to have an active Rhus.

Dulcamara is aggravated by humidity or in summer after having suddenly taken cold or having seated on a humid place. Ranunculus bulbosus has, like Rhus tox, some cutaneous affections, eczema or neuralgia or rheumatic pains of the intercostal spaces. Aranea diadema is a typical drainer of all hydrogenoids specially of Natrum sulphuricum: you may use it in 3x in Natrum sulphuricum subjects with Rhus tox 30.

We must not forget that there are other drainers of hydrogenoid state. I cannot indicate all of them here. As for example Nux vomica and Ipecac are often very good drainers in these cases. Ammonium causticum may be related to Aranea diadema. The patient is weak, and down out.

Let us now pass to the compounds of Iodide. It is certain that in allopathy Iodium gives good results in some forms of rheumatism. I think that when we use Plumbum iodatum, Natrum iodatum, Kali iodatum in lower dilutions we somewhat behave like the allopaths without knowing it. Similarly the allopaths sometimes do homoeopathy without knowing it. The most important of these remedies is Kali iodatum which is a remedy for syphilitic condition.

There is another group of remedies which goes out of our field. They are remedies for neuralgia. These remedies are to be given to persons having hybrid pains, neuralgic as well rheumatic pains. It is the group headed by Kalmia, Guaiacum, etc.

Kalmia is used in the rheumatism of upper limbs. Ledum palustre is used in the rheumatism of the lower limbs. Kalmia is very erratic, it has fulgurating pains. In Ledum palustre the pains go from above downwards.

Guaiacum is related to Thuja and to all remedies that act on the rheumatic pains and at the same time on kidneys. When Rhus tox or Dulcamara do not act you may use this remedy specially when the neuralgia alternates with numbness.

Derris pinata was indicated to me by Dr. Cartier who insists on three remedies which are less known.

Radium bromide is used in homoeopathy in the same manner as it is used in allopathy as radium pomades, which act well in rheumatic patients. It is a good remedy but sometimes aggravates. It must be given in high dilutions. Magnesia phos is to be used in patients suffering from neuralgia who has some very acute pains. The patient cannot bear the pains like that of Chamomilla; he is hypersensitive. These patients have pains at the roots of hairs. Oxalic acid is interesting in chronic rheumatism. The patients have atrocious pains with neuralgia, neuritis and some phenomena that may lead us to think of myelitis.

Mauritius Fortier-Bernoville
Mauritius (Maurice) Fortier Bernoville 1896 – 1939 MD was a French orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Chief editor of L’Homeopathie Moderne (founded in 1932; ceased publication in 1940), one of the founders of the Laboratoire Homeopathiques Modernes, and the founder of the Institut National Homeopathique Francais.

Bernoville was a major lecturer in homeopathy, and he was active in Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis, and a founder of the le Syndicat national des médecins homœopathes français in 1932, and a member of the French Society of Homeopathy, and the Society of Homeopathy in the Rhone.

Fortier-Bernoville wrote several books, including Une etude sur Phosphorus (1930), L'Homoeopathie en Medecine Infantile (1931), his best known Comment guerir par l'Homoeopathie (1929, 1937), and an interesting work on iridology, Introduction a l'etude de l'Iridologie (1932).

With Louis-Alcime Rousseau, he wrote several booklets, including Diseases of Respiratory and Digestive Systems of Children, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Rheumatism, treatment of hay fever (1929), The importance of chemistry and toxicology in the indications of Phosphorus (1931), and Homeopathic Medicine for Children (1931). He also wrote several short pamphlets, including What We Must Not Do in Homoeopathy, which discusses the logistics of drainage and how to avoid aggravations.

He was an opponent of Kentian homeopathy and a proponent of drainage and artificial phylectenular autotherapy as well.