Medicine Aggravation

Medicine Aggravation in Homeeopathy explained by Dr. Fortier Bernoville in his book WHAT WE MUST NOT DO IN HOMOEOPATHY….

1. Rare cases of complete hypersensitiveness :

There are patients who react in a general way to all medicines and develop some pathogenesis even when rarely repeated doses and lower dilutions of such medicines are applied. There are some patients whose sensitiveness is extreme and there is aggravation by all medicines that they take. It is said that they have become sensitised to all substances, homoeopathic as well as allopathic. It is a kind of general sensitiveness. In such case it is extremely difficult to prescribe for them, and before being placed under Homoeopathic treatment they may require nature cure therapy.

Fortunately, these patients are rare. They are seen one in a thousand. These patients are built up ideally and have controlled pathogenesis. They are very much annoying to treat, but they show us the pathogenesis of our remedies.

To these patients it is necessary to give first of all “Saccharum Lactis” and some inactive globules without telling them that the doses contain no medicine in order to avoid auto- suggestion. Once that hypothesis is eliminated, they should be taken up by very mild physical means. When they cannot tolerate any homoeopathic medicine we should stop all medicines. We should treat them in the method of the naturists. We cannot even apply to them physiotherapy in the form of rays, short waves etc. because they will have aggravations. When we take them up from the point of view of homoeopathy we shall give them in lower dilutions some medicines acting on the mind. One of the best medicines in such case is Ignatia 6, because the 200 and the M give the greatest chance of aggravation. Even Ignatia 6, should be given with care.

I have very often said that it becomes necessary to abandon homoeopathy for treating these patients and to apply to them the methods of naturists. You must be very careful in doing such a treatment. Take a subject who is not very sensitive, put him under a vegetable diet, he will become more and more sensitive. You may eliminate from his food some substances which disagree with him but he will end by showing some real anaphylactic accidents the day he begins to take those substances again. This is due to the sensitivity.

If you are forced, in these rare cases to abandon homoeopathy and to apply nature cure you must not leave your patient for a long time under nature cure but you must very slowly bring him back under homoeopatic treatment giving him for example Ignatia 6 in the middle of a meal thrice daily.

In the same way very mild opotherapy given during meals may give excellent results in hypersensitive patients.

Now we have eliminated that questions: the total sensitiveness of the patients to all remedies, to all medicinal excitations, allopathic, homoeopathic, to gross doses and infinitesimal doses.

It remains for us the question of patients who are aggravated by particular medicines. We will speak specially of polycrests, ground remedies and constitutional remedies.

Hypersensitiveness to such and such particular medicine and medicinal aggravation.

We have said that the unicists look for an aggravation while we try to avoid aggravations by the help of drainage and canalisation. But even after drainage and canalisation there may be aggravation. Of these aggravations we must try to distinguish that which is beneficial : Aggravation which comes immediately after taking the medicine, lasts, for a very short period and is followed by amelioration. For instance, a patient who has taken Sulphur or Natrum sulphuricum may have aggravation for 24 hours and then he begins to feel better on the second and the third day. If the patient is not pusillanimous, and does not abandon his medicine after that aggravation, he will very soon feel the good effects. The effect will continue and he will feel better and better.

But this aggravation, should be checked specially in old patients who cannot tolerate it. There is besides a very characteristic point, viz. that the constitutional remedies do not cause aggravation in children. Aggravation in children is rare. While in adults this aggravations is very frequent, I have not seen even two cases of such aggravation in children in my practice. Young and old patients have very frequent aggravation. In advanced age, especially after 50, these temporary aggravations become more dangerous to tolerate, even though durable amelioration follows :

There is another series of patients, more rare, who react with persistent aggravations, as for example from 8 to 10 or even 15 days after the absorption of a high dilution. They should be treated with still more care. The medicine used should not be repeated; neither the method of Nebel, taken up after wards by Renard should be applied. In a word none of the methods that we have proposed should be applied.

The aggravation which lasts for a long time after taking a high dilution does not become dangerous if -the medicines are repeated in frequently. Whenever you have such an aggravation, you should increase the interval of the following doses and the patient will become normal.

We are now going to study the nature of some particular remedies.

Sulphur : This is a remedy easy to understand. It is the back bone of our materia medica. It acts in acute as well as in chronic cases. It has the characteristic of being on the borderline of the acuteness and chronicity. We give it at the end of an acute case or in the beginning of a chronic case, sometimes also in the beginning of an acute case when the patient falls back from a chronic state which had existed before.

The aggravation of Sulphur, we may say, is much more dramatic and evident than dangerous or hidden. For example, when this remedy causes an eczema to appear or aggravates an eczema which already existed, the aggravation is not dangerous because soon everything will become normal. In these cases do not apply higher than 30. And when a very high dilution, 200 or M, has caused an aggravation come down to 30 and repeat it rarely.

In arterial hypertension, Sulphur in dilution is sometimes dangerous in oxygenoid and lean types and in young patients. But in these cases there is also the question of dilution.

There are two cases where Sulphur may really be dangerous and where one can really made an error in not giving in proper time : 1. In Phthisis, Sulphur should never be given higher than 30 and 2. In suppurative patients this medicine should rarely be repeated.

Last of all, Sulphur should not be trusted in otitis in children. Sulphur is a medicine whose action is like fire and which aggravates the disease. It is a remedy which serves the interest of the organism and disserves the local interest. Therefore in children suffering from adenoids, even if the nose alone is affected, Sulphur 30 may, acting well on the general health, be dangerous because it will cause an otitis to appear. Chavanon goes still further and says that Sulphur should be totally avoided in Children.

I think that if the nose is well disinfected and the application of Sulphur becomes necessary, it should be applied when it is indicated in children.

Generally if you wish to avoid aggravation do not apply on principle more than 30, and in cases of suppurations and phthisis do not even use 30.

Phosphorus. This remedy is to be avoided in some rare cases. First of all we must avoid it in pulmonary or laryngial tuberculosis.

In certain cases of asthma with undiagnosed tuberculosis, Phosphorus 30 may be indicated but it should be used very prudently.

On the contrary, Phosphorus is very useful in hepatic cases, and in cases of cholecystitis where Phosphorus 200 and M should be applied. In these cases this remedy is absolutely harmless. It may only cause a temporary aggravation but not very dangerous.

The aggravation in tuberculosis by Phosphorus was a very disputed question. The homoeopaths who really disputed over its action are those who have had the chance of using this medicine twice or thrice in 200 in pulmonary tuberculosis and confronted no aggravation. But they change their opinion when they are confronted with an aggravation. There are a number of homoeopaths who have seen their patients die rapidly with an extremely rapid caseation, after a dose of Phosphorus 200. When there is pneumothorax the effects of Phosphorus are not dangerous, but it must be said that the aggravation of Phosphorus is dangerous in pulmonary tuberculosis with caseation.

Chavanon got an amelioration with Phosphorus 30 in a patient suffering from laryngial tuberculosis. Phosphorus acted in that case because the patient defended well, but it is an exceptional case.

Silicea : This remedy follows almost the same rule as Sulphur i.e., to say in all cases of pulmonary tuberculosis or when the patient has a tendency to suppurations, it should not be applied in high dilutions.

On the contrary when there is no tuberculosis, but you find sclerosis and septic tumors, you will not get any effect if you do not use Silicea in high dilutions.

Silicea, Aurum muriaticum natronatrum and Calcarea fluorica are in my opinion the trio for uterine fibroma, to which are added Thuya, Lachesis and other auto-inflammatory remedies. In this case Silicea acts in 1000 like a ground remedy with Calcarea fluorica 1000 and Aurum muriaticum natronatrum which we apply in 6x. This last medicine acts remarkably well in 6x dilution.

In the same way we must not be afraid of applying it, in high dilutions in all sorts of cellulitis, sclerosis etc. It is the best remedy that we know of in all kinds of cellulitis with periaortic inflammation and in symptoms of pseudo anginas. In the last case Cholesterinum M and Calcarea fluorica M are to be added to Silicea M.

In short : Sclerosis-Silicea M Cellulitis which is a torpid infection, Silicea

M. Acute suppuration-Silicea 30 generally Pulmonary suppuration-Silicea 12 or 30 with care.

Natrum muriaticum : In high dilution it is a marvellous remedy for oxygenoid types, children, adolescents, weak and worn out patients.

On the contrary it should not be applied in hydrogenoid patients having nephritis. We may use it in this case in a dilution not higher than 6x.

We should avoid Natrum muriaticum in high dilutions in patients suffering from malaria because it will antidote Quinine. On the contrary it is a marvellous remedy for patients who have suffered from malaria, who have not taken quinine for a long time, and who are suffering from the consequences of malaria.

Whatever may be the constitution and the age of the patient Natrum muriaticum produces always good results in high dilutions in diabetic patients and patients suffering from migraine even in advanced age.

Lycopodium : It has reputation for aggravation but this is much exaggerated. It is a marvellous remedy in all dilutions and it may be applied in children as often as one likes, high dilutions. But in aged persons it should be avoided or given with care. If it is at all necessary to apply it in old patients, use first a dose of Liver 200 and then apply it. It will give no bad results Is it because it is antidoted or canalised by Liver? This question remains to be studied.

On the contrary Lycopodium may cause temporary aggravation. Very frequently it gives temporary shocks without danger and it may play tricks with those homoeopaths who have very little experience with it.

Lycopodium should never be given without proper drainage.

Thuya : Thuya resembles Lycopodium as regards aggravation. Very frequently if gives temporary shocks like that of Lycopodium. These shocks are not dangerous. This is a remedy which can be used to anaphylactics and patients having cervicobrachial neuralgias.

Thuya is a kind of Sulphur of the central nervous system; as for example, it cures the kidney and the liver by causing aggravation of a sciatica. It will aggravate cervico-brachial neuralgia by curing the symptoms of langour. Therefore it will do some good to the patients by causing some disagreeable symptoms, but it is not dangerous.

There is a way of checking aggravation caused by Thuya. It is to give Cimicifuga at the same time and in the same dilution or Thuya 300 and Cimicifuga M.

Sepia : It is a remedy very easy to apply. It is a ground remedy which is so to say very well adapted to all patients.

In my practice I have never seen a clear cut aggravation by Sepia. Sometimes it does not act when it is well indicated. particularly in melancholics where it is very often indicated, while in these cases Calcarea Carbonica M will cause an amelioration of symptoms without causing aggravation.

It also acts marvellously in the tuberculosis of the left apex in women.

(Chiron reports that he treated a woman of Sepia type. He drained her for a long time, then he gave her Sepia 200. She was tubercular and he could not check a maddening evolution).

(However Sepia is an antitubercular of the first order).

It acts, marvellously, specially in the tuberculosis of left apex in women.

(Monod gives Sepia 200 and Nux vomica 6 in tuberculosis and he gets good results. I have also tried this treatment with good results in brunettes having hypotension with aggravation during menses. It is a marvellous remedy for congestive symptoms in tubercular patients.

What should be remembered of Sepia is that it acts no more in confirmed melancholia. However if you read the pathogenesis of Sepia you will see that there is a desire for solitude, the recoiling upon oneself etc… Sepia should be applied just at the beginning of the state of melancholia, if not Calcarea carbonica M should be given which will give good effect because it follows Sepia.

Lachesis : This remedy is also easy to manipulate. However, there is one danger. In mania or in hypomania, Lachesis may cause aggravation and causes a state of acute mania to appear if it is given in the beginning, because, when you study well its pathogenesis you find that it is a remedy of the type of mental disease which serves as a refuge of the organism. The patient who has some physical troubles takes refuge in the mental sphere. The leucorrhoea, the loquacity in women during menopause are necessary for the patients. You know that one of the important symptoms of Lachesis is the aggravation of hallucinations which are normal at the beginning of the sleep, This state of slight hypnotic hallucination that almost all of us have experienced before falling deeply asleep is exacerbated in women of Lachesis type. All these unfold in extraordinary rapidity, it is a real succession of kaleidoscopic visions. The patient has dreams during sleep, and during the day he is liberated from them by falling into loquacity. He is forced to talk much in order that this flux words may act like a real drainage on the mental sphere. But in maniac state, this condition is at its height with the absence of sleep and if you give Lachesis in high dilution you will aggravated the mania.

Therefore if you have to treat a case of hypomania do not give Lachesis. The remedies suitable in such cases are Hyoscyamus 6, and Cannabis indica 6. You must know how to apply medicines having centripetal action when remedies having centrifugal action are dangerous.

Besides that, Lachesis is a remedy easy to manipulate.

I will put the question to Dr. Nebel, why he applies Lachesis and Luesinum together which he calls Lu-Lu.

(It is because he considers Lachesis as an important drainer of Luesinum).

Drosera : This remedy should be applied with care. Dr. Curie, homoeopath, the grandfather of Pierre Curie, gave us the results of his provings with this drug. These results are followed by the English school. According to the English school, Drosera should be very rarely or never repeated. It is sometimes given only once in the lifetime of the patient in chronic state.

This remedy is specially indicated in glandular tuberculosis. It behaves like Phosphorus and Tuberculines at the same time.

I have some cases that were marvellously ameliorated by Drosera. On the other hand I have observed that the 60th dilution is more easily tolerated by the patient than the 200.


This is a very intricate question. I will give her only the summary.

We must know well the rules of Nebel. They are as follows :

In oxygenoids who defend well : T.K.

In hydrogenoids with florid type : Denys.

In hydrogenoids and carbonitrogenoids : T.R.

These rules should always be strictly followed.

Serum of Marmoreck : It is not dangerous when one is careful and applies it in lower dilutions. It is dangerous in high dilutions because it favours the anaphylactic symptoms. It may be applied in the 5th or 6th and in these dilutions it is often our best weapon in tuberculosis with cavity.

Spengler : Always well tolerated. It is the satellite of Marmoreck. It seems to me that Marmoreck acts better with Spengler.

It is interesting to state that Marmoreck gives us good results while it is abandoned in Allopathy, because the tubercular antigene does not cause the formation of antibodies. Consequently it cannot act. I think that it acts simply because it is a dilution of the toxin.

T.K : It is very difficult to manipulate. Nebel recommends it only in oxygenoid patients who defend well.

Denys : It is easy to manipulate in homoeopathy. We must start with, say 12th or 30th and we must remember that it acts well in florid types, who have the tendency to become fatty.

T.R.: Inspite of its reputation, it is a delicate remedy to manipulate. Do not give T.R. to a person less than 40 years old. If you apply it before the age of 40 or 50 you will have to face aggravation.

(Chiron applies it in young patients alternating with Natrum muriaticum).

(Of the tuberculins, Marmoreck is the best. Some prefer Bacillinum 200. this remedy is very mild. It does not cause aggravation but it is very often inactive like Spengler. If Marmoreck is properly used, it acts really well).

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.