Errors in Homeopathic Practice


As regards the vegetable kingdom there are two important guiding principles. The first is that the plants should be collected in their milieu i.e. to say in their wild state. Take care of the plants grown in gardens for using in the preparation of tinctures. A big laboratory of Germany has a big botanical garden where plants growing on mountains and in plains are grown in order to avoid the cost and to set up a better organisation. It is possible that such plants may give results, but it is an error of a priori because the plants should be collected in their milieu or in their wild state.

The second rule is the following. We must begin with alcoholatures (tincture made in alcohol) and not from tinctures i.e. to say tinctures made from fresh plants. This is easy to do for indigenous plants but for plants growing in hot countries it is very often difficult to be certain of its origin. The rule for the fresh plants has its value. In a word the alcoholature, in order that it may be of any value, should begin as much as possible on the spot of collection of the plant itself. As for example an exotic plant sent to France in dried condition may not have any action. It is necessary that the person who collects the plants should make the alcoholic tinctures on the spot and then send them to another place, otherwise the tinctures may not have equal value.

(The time of collection has also some importance. The general rule is that the plants should be collected in blooming state. There are plants that grow in shade and there are others that grow in the open. The degree of insolation must have some influence on the quantity of the juice of the plant and the quality).

To us, homoeopaths, our perfection in the practice of homoeopathy has no value if we are not sure of the original drugs which we use for the preparation of our medicines. If we do not get the desired effect of a medicine we prescribe, we do not apply it any more thinking that the prescription is defective while perhaps it has not given desired effect because it is not prepared from a good source. Let us then be absolutely sure that the sources are good in order that we may not accuse the medicine for being ineffective. We should, on the contrary, accuse ourselves because we have failed to take the proper precautions. This is of course a difficult question.

It may be noted here that when we apply the globules dissolved in water mixing it with a spoon for 5 to 10 minutes we get much more rapid results.

The are some laboratories that have replaced Psorinum of Hahnemann which is scrapings of the itch, by scrapings of eczema. This is an error because Hahnemann established the pathogenesis of Psorinum preparing it from the scrapings of itch.

Similar is the case with Hydrophobinums. It should be made from the saliva of a rabid dog, and not from the marrow of a rabid dog. The remedy prepared by the Pasteur Institute may be interesting but it is not the Hydrophobinum which contains other organic substances, found in the saliva.


In the animal kingdom there are other rules. Hahnemann, as for example formulated the rule that the entire body of the animal is to be used. For the serpents and other big animals only the venom is used but for the small insects the whole is to be used to start with.

However as regards the serpents we must know that the venom of the animal has no value if the animal is not caught in its country of origin and if possible in liberty. The venom of the serpents kept in captivity in Europe has not as much value. When these animals are not in freedom, but are in conditions comparable to those of a free state, we may get some results. This is the rule for all the venoms of serpents kept in captivity in the antivenomous Institute of Rio de Janero. The Institutes of this kind are famous in Brazil.

There the serpents live as if in liberty in gardens and for preparing the Antivenomous serums the venoms are gathered during the time of the year when they are more active.

The case of Apis is interesting. Sometimes Apium virum acts better in oedema than Apis. In this case also we must be sure of the stock used by the pharmacists. The Germans have found out the active principle of Apium virus which they have isolated in the form of Apisine. You may use it by subcutaneous injections in 6x. This 6x dilution of Apisine is much more active than Apium virus in rheumatism. We must be very careful about Apis. Many homoeopaths very easily get the idea that Apis acts in all cases of oedema. This is one of the causes of failure with Apis because the oedema of Apis is painful, rosy, hot and inflammatory. It is for this reason oedema of cardiorenal origin does not come within the sphere of Apis.

The question of the stocks of medicine is very important and very delicate to deal with because finally it leads us to the question of the “Trade mark” This question arises in homoeopathy and it also arises in pharmacology. We are forced to apply Digitalis of such and such “Trade mark” because the action of Digitaline is variable according to the region where it is produced. But the question is more grave and more delicate in homoeopathy for the very reason that we have no means of control. We can control the efficacy of a homoeopathic medicine only by its application to our patients. Our question is always a relative one. We may think (and the anti homoeopaths actually think so) that there is a coincidence if they have an amelioration and naturally we may always doubt the value of our medicines. A particular case does signify nothing. We cannot be sure until and unless we experience the effect of a drug in several thousands of cases. In a word we may say that we have to have a certain confidence in our suppliers.

The case is the same with opotherapy where the question of “Trade mark” is important. As regards hormone such as the Testosterone the “Trade mark” may play an important part. The laboratories that prepare them do more controlled physiologic experiments.

(The problem of physiological experiments is less important in the case of Testosterone because it is a crystallised salt, but for a complex powder the question is different).

As regards homoeopathic remedies it is not possible because we have no criterium of control. We know that such and such product is good when we have experimented on several patients.

(There would have been a rediasthesic control. But it has not yet reached perfection).

But such experiment will vary according to the person who is entrusted with the control.

(Is it possible for us to know the value of stock).

We have in that case no scientific basis.

(By the principle of Boyd?)

There is also a personal factor. The case is the same with the apparatus of Abrums for diagnosis. Emanometre is a transformation of the apparatus of Abrums which in the hands of Boyd and Mac Care, produces marvellous results.

(Lastly we may say that in our colleges, with the teaching of the different branches of homoeopathic medicine, we must have a course of pharmacology also. We must not forget that in India we cannot accept in to the rules laid down in foreign pharmacopias. We must try to establish our own pharmacopea always with special consideration of our Indian herbs growing in a climate which is so different to that of other lands. Secondly it is also necessary that we have our own materia medica for the very reason that the drug action is variable according to the climate of its origin. In other words we, Indian homoeopaths, must have our own Materia Medica and our own Homoeopathic Pharmacopea. R.M.).

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.