Errors to Avoid As Regards Patients

How can we avoid Errors in homeopathic practice in regards to dianosis of the patient, of the disease and of the remedy discussed by Dr. Fortier Bernoville in his book WHAT WE MUST NOT DO IN HOMOEOPATHY….

Now we should see the errors that we should avoid when treating patients.

While treating this subject we will often be forced to come to some general considerations. The first is the most important. It is that there must be a close relation between the clinic and the therapeutic. We must always keep in mind that in homoeopathy we must make triple diagnosis :

1. Diagnosis of the disease.

2. Diagnosis of the patient.

3. Diagnosis of the remedy or remedies.

If we apply the law of similars directly without taking into consideration the patient on the one hand and the disease on the other, we will end very often only in partial or ephemeral ameliorations. Therefore it is necessary to practise an etiologic therapeutics and this cannot be realised without good diagnosis.

I will speak here only regarding some diseases for which this principle has much more importance.


I take for example the diseases of the heart and of the circulatory apparatus in general. The modern methods of investigation, particularly electrocardiogram, may help us in certain cases to eliminate some homoeopathic medicines of which the patients have all the symptoms, but the application of which might be dangerous or useless according to a given diagnosis.

This is true for some cases of myocarditis. You have to deal with a patient who has fever, an intense precordial pain, and a sudden fall of the blood pressure. Before the era of cardiogram, or even when it was not possible to arrive at a proper diagnosis clinically of the infarcts of myocardia, one was tempted to apply homoeopathy to these patients on symptomatic basis, without knowing how they got the lesions, In such cases, one could not get the desired results that are now obtained. We know now that it is necessary to abstain in these cases from the tonicardiacs in high dilutions. We know that if in these cases we apply medicines to act on the fever we shall arrive at nothing, and remedies like, Naja, Bothrops, Arnica, Arsenicum, are specially indicated to us because we have the physiopathologic knowledge of that disease, an idea which we wanted totally until clinically on the one hand and by electro- cardiogram on the other we learn what happens at the moment of a myocardiac infractus.

Therefore in a general way we must keep in mind that the diagnosis of the disease has an importance, and an importance on which one cannot have the slightest doubt, not only from the point of view of the prognosis as it is believed by the unicists, but from the point of view of the therapeutics, because it may have all sorts of extremely important consequences. The kentian homoeopaths have the habit of saying that practice must be based purely on symptoms and that the diagnosis of the disease has no importance for the treatment; and that it is important only from the point of view of prognosis. This idea is absolutely erroneous and we will find other important examples of



Now I must speak on the question of the relation between the toni-cardiacs and symptomatic and etiologic homoeopathic treatment.

This is important as regards asystole. There are cases where we are forced to apply some toni-cardiacs. In a general way we may use them in minimum doses. We agree with the official school in these cases but rather with the minimalists than with the maximalists and by so doing we will have good results keeping a good relation with our therapeutics. Let us not trust Oubain given intravenously repeated daily for ten days, which does not agree well with Homoeopathy. Oubain for example is good for acute heart weakness. It is a marvellous remedy in this case. But in chronic cases this medicine is used in intravenous injections and in repeated doses. I have often observed that it does not succeed well. By this kind of application of medicine, we get only a momentary amelioration after which there is established a kind of obstruction. We may say that the heart having made its last attempt has become completely tired.

In cardiac weakness, Oubain is a marvellous remedy no doubt, but it is a remedy to which one becomes habituated; one cannot make himself free from its power.

Digitalis in massive doses is also extremely dangerous in weakness of the heart. There are cases of suicides caused by taking digitalis. Digitalis causes tachyarythmia.

As regards the toni-cardiacs there is now a tendency to react against their being used for a long time and in massive doses.

They are now replaced by bromohydrates of quinine and also quinidine.

For the homoeopaths it is a great problem, the question of toni-cardiacs. We are sometimes obliged to apply to these patients in certain cases some toni-cardiacs but they hamper the action of the homoeopathic ground remedies.

I had two very curious cases. A case which I treated a long time ago. The patient was suffering from mitral disease. A young patient having hyposystole, with periodic asystole. He used for a long time Digitalis. When we treated him we applied a dose of Arsenicum Album M or 30 to be followed by a maceration of Digitalis. He took Arsenicum but he did not take the maceration. The urine augmented from 400 grammes to one litre and a half after the use of Arsenicum.

On the other hand we often see that Phosphorus augments the diuresis in astonishing manner in old asystolic patients.

How can the tonicardiacs act in a general way?

(A medicine like Naja act in rheumatic pancarditis. there is no doubt about it, and there is always infection of the muscular fibres).

Naja sometimes causes the systolic rhythm to disappear in few hours.

(Can we treat with oil of Camphor along with homoeopathy).

Yes, that does not prevent the Homoeopathic remedies to act.

In conclusion we may say that we require some homoeopath cardiologists who understand well their clinical diagnosis as well as homoeopathy.


It is evident that in acute cases of heart, such as endocarditis, rheumatic endocarditis, pericarditis, the application of homoeopathy according to the symptoms will give interesting results. But when it is the question of a chronic disease, the case becomes completely different. Take for example a case of endocarditis who has a lesion of the endocardium. In such a case, the endocarditis will not settle the prognosis. It is myocardia, and the general condition which will settle the prognosis. We will have to treat the patient according to his constitution. We will have to give him some diluted tuberculines. We will have to treat the patient a long time before we come to the disease. And the most important and general rule in homoeopathy is: In epidemics of acute diseases it is often necessary to treat the disease first. In the epidemics there is a kind of epidemic Genus, so that all the patient require the same medicine. In certain epidemics of typhoid, Baptisia will be the only remedy, in others the remedy will be Arsenicum. During the epidemic of `flu’ called “Spanish”, in 1918 all the homoeopaths of Europe and of the United States cured the disease with Eupatorium perf.; the homoeopaths of Brazil used Gelsemium. The patients of Brazil had the symptoms of Gelsemium, while Gelsemium is a remedy of acute diseases in a hot countries.

Then in acute epidemics, the diagnosis of the disease leads directly to the homoeopathic remedy, indicated by the symptoms, while in chronic cases, it is the diagnosis of the patient himself which is of the first importance, his temperament, his constitution, his morphology, etiology of his troubles etc….

I believe that there we have to avoid many errors. The first is that we must not base our treatment purely on symptoms. The second is that inversely we should apply only the medicine having a far away action in relation to the lesions in question. And this brings us to another consideration which will be much more apparent as regards the diseases of other organs: which is that there is very often in the local organism a kind of antagonism between the local interest and the General interest of the patient and very often we are forced in homoeopathy to watch and treat the patient in such a way that we do not aggravate the lesions or the local troubles or inversely by respecting the general condition.

In a general way we may say that the allopathic medicine has always the tendency to consider the disease locally; the homoeopaths practise a therapeutic, which is quite different and has the tendency to make a general treatment and does not occupy itself with the local lesion. But the local lesion has also its importance. Some homoeopaths were right to make us wise in this regard. You know that Sulphur for example of which the child has all the symptoms, will ameliorate the general health but it may aggravate the otitis. We cannot, however aggravate a suppuration which will cause some local disorders only because it is the best remedy of the general health.

There is another consideration which is the following :

Very often in chronic cases, the most evident symptoms are of an organ or of a system which suffers, while it is another organ or another system which was really or primarily affected.

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.