best homeopathic remedies found to be effective in the cases of Sciatica described by Dr. Fortier Bernoville….


Sciatica is a very well known affection. Its definition can be found in any pathological treatise, so we do not make an attempt to define it. We insist only that one should not make errors of diagnosis. Our therapeutic study is only for essential and old sciatica which the doctors should not confound with secondary or symptomatic sciatica. If the clinic is not sufficient the doctor must try to diagnose it by all means, by radiography, by lumbar puncture etc. We have not divided our study into chronic and acute forms. The same medicine may suit both the cases. We have given only those symptoms of the remedies that correspond particularly to both acute and chronic sciatica. We are not discussing here the question of pathology and aetiology, not because we ignore their importance but because the study of the ground will help us to deduce naturally the answer to those questions.

Our friends will excuse us for the long list of remedies. We have tried to be complete but it is possible that we may have left out some of the medicines.

1. Morbid ground:

The knowledge of the ground is an essential factor for the sure success of the treatment.

In simple cases the medicines symptomatically used may alone cure the pains but in stubborn cases constitutional remedies are to be added to them. The constitutional remedies will be very frequently indispensable to avoid relapse.

On what grounds sciatica develops: Sycotic ground is the most important of all. The subjects are mostly hydrogenoids, sensitive to humidity and to variations. Aggr. while standing at night, by the heat of the bed by rest (need for movement). Amel moving the feet, to find a cold place, by moderate walking. Piercing, drawing pains with heaviness, numbness from hip to foot.

General: Horror of washing. All-gone feeling in the stomach at 11 a.m. Burning feet morning diarrhoea. Cutaneous eruptions

Thuja (200, m) – Sycosis. Hydrogenoid.

Left sided (non-exclusive). Aggr. by immobility, on bed, by humidity. Amel. while moving constantly. Drawing pain along the nerve, in the soles.

General: Obsessions. Fixed ideas. Lower lip bluish-white. Sweat of uncovered parts. Genito-urinary affections. Tendency to proliferations (Warts etc.)

Let us then study eight remedies with their indications: (1) Cimicifuga (30, 200, M)- With the preceding it is one of the most important of ground remedies for sciatica. It is useful in rheumatoid pains having a particular affinity for long muscles on which, because of its spasmophile tendency, it produces cramps. Left sided. Aggr. while lying down; should go out of bed During menses. Amel. by continued movement, by pressure, in open air. Violent pains with anxiety in legs. Heaviness. Incessant restlessness of the lower limbs, cramps. Utero-ovarian troubles. Irritability. Fear of becoming mad. Hysteria.

(2) Lycopodium (6, 30, 200, M-) Insufficient liver. Carbonitrogenoid. Cancer state. Indifferent laterality (more right sided). Aggr. by rest, in bed, lying on the painful side, while standing. Amel. by movement.

Chronic sciatica, periodic with remission. Pains after every four days. Weakness and stiffness of the limbs. Cannot stretch the leg. Bad digestion. Face like an old man. Big belly and lean limbs. Horror of solitude. Aggr. from 5 to 8 P.M.

(3) Lachesis (12, 30, 200, M) – Endocrinal intoxication, menopause, alcoholism. Indifferent laterality. Pain going from left to right. Aggr. after sleep, standing, by movement, by contact. Amel. by menstruation, by discharges, while lying down, by not hot application Burning pain along the nerve. Loquacity. Jealousy. Gushes of heat. Alternate excitation and depression. Bad effect of solar heat.

(4) Nux vomica (6, 30, 200, M) – Hepatic insufficiency. Digestive intoxication. All sorts of abuses. Indifferent laterality. Aggr. by movement, in the morning (4 to 5 A.M.), by cold. Amel. by rest, hot application.

Tearing pain from above downwards with spasm. Jerking of muscles, contractions, stiffness. Sensation as if the limbs are paralysed. Abuse of stimulants. Excess of sedentarism. Business cares. Irritability. General amel. by wet and mild climate.

(5) Natrum sulphuricum (200, M) – Hydrogenoid. Rheumatism. Congestion of liver Indifferent laterality (more left sided). Aggr. by all forms of humidity; lying on the left side. Abuse of quinine. Amel. by dry weather, by pressure, change of position. Disgust of life. Tendency to suicide. Flatulence, thirst, morning diarrhoea. Inflammation of fingers around nails.

(6) Ignatia (30, 200, M)- Intoxication reflecting on nerves. Result of grief and cares. Indifferent laterality (more left sided). Aggr. by change of position, standing, by walking. At night in open air. After eating, by coffee and tobacco. Amel. by rest, by lying down, during eating. Pain with spasms, intense, stiffness, cutting pains in the hips. Sensation as if coxo-femoral articulation is broken. A remedy for women. Physical and mental hypertension. Paradoxal alternance of gaiety and sadness. Contradictory symptoms. Never speak about her ennuies.

(7) Causticum (6 30, 200) – Hydrogenoid. Chronic rheumatism. Indifferent laterality. Aggr. by temperate humid weather, heat of the bed, by heat. Numbness and restlessness of limbs. Heaviness, weakness, tremblings. Sensation as if the tendons are very short. Chronic rheumatism with crushing pain on the articulations. Sympathy for others. Fear of darkness. Sensation of an open sore.

(8) Sepia (30, 200, M)- Hepatic insufficiency. Genital affections. Tuberculinism. Indifferent laterality (more left side) Aggr. in the morning and in the evening by humidity and in cold. Amel. by violent exercise, by heat. Weakness and agitation, heaviness of the limbs. Sadness Indifference. Aggr. by consolation. Bearing down. Cannot lie on the left side.

Let us cite here four other remedies that are less frequently used: Calcarea carbonica (psora, sciatica after working in water). In the antecedents we find gonorrhoea, vaccination or serological injections.

(1) Two ground remedies are useful: Thuja and Natrum sulphuricum. The first one is more important than the second one. The nosode Medorrhinum will give good result.

(2) Psoric ground of arthritis is very favourable for sciatica: Sulphur and Psorinum are the ground remedies, the first one is more important than the second. If there is doubt that tuberculosis is closely connected with psora, Marmoreck and T.R. should be used in oxygenoids and T.R. in hydrogenoids. These will be the remedies.

(3) For syphilitic ground Luesinum is to be used. (4) The cancer ground, with its deep intoxication, its eliminations or its fixations along a nerve is also a cause of sciatica. The ground remedies such as Lycopodium, Arsenicum etc. should be carefully individualised because of the morbid transfer. The most recommendable nosode is heterogeneous or autogenous sanguintherapy (isopathy). Finally we should recommend not to omit in the interrogatory an enquiry on possible traumatism.

2. Ground Remedies.

We are first of all talking up the study of some remedies that we consider particularly as remedies of the ground of sciatica but if they cover well the cause, may also be used as symptomatic remedies. When they are used as ground remedies, they are to be prescribed in high dilutions(200, M). The most important are Sulphur and Thuja.

Sulphur (30, 200, M)- Psora. Left sided Graphites (Psora, chilliness), Natrum muriaticum (tuberculinics, aggr. on sea side) and silicea (tuberculinics, extreme sensitiveness to cold) and we will add two nosodes: Medorrhinum and Luesinum.

Medorrhinum (200, M) – Indifferent laterality. Aggr. of all symptoms while thinking about them. Amel. on sea side, at night. Changing character, impatient, anxious. Time passes very slowly. Fear of becoming mad. Sensation of heat; burning pains in the brain; sweating palms. Conscious of her uterus (Dr. Chiron); bad smell of the skin of secretions.

Luesinum (200, M)- Indifferent laterality. Aggr. at night, on sea side. Amel on mountains. Excessive nervousness, anxious for his health, diminution of memory. Continually washes his hands, desire for alcohol. Pains increase and decrease gradually. Bone pains. Headache Deep longitudinal crack on the tongue (Dr. Chiron). Restlessness of the limbs which he must move continually. In sciatica movement and walking ameliorate.

Considered as ground remedies, they should be used in high dilutions (200, M) and should be repeated at long intervals (three weeks or one month).

3. Symptomatic remedies.

In sciatica if one wants to be successful one must look for “Simile” or “Similimum”. The result will be as favourable as the medicines are individualised. Two remedies may be repeated alternately, at an interval of two to three hours, when more than one remedies are chosen. In chronic cases, 6 or 30 once or twice. When there is the possibility of finding a single remedy it is then the triumph of unicism and in that case the medicine may be used according to the Kentian fashion, in high dilution and waiting for the results.

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.