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A Fantasy in Materia Medica (Great Grandpa Homoeopathy's Family Reunion)

Prof. Dr. Diwan Harish Chand

This paper, on Fantasy in Materia Medica, written by Dr. Diwan Harish Chand was prepared for refresher course in Homoeopathy conducted at Colombo in September, 1960. It was first published in the British Homoeopathic Journal, Vol. LI No. 2 (April 1962). The article gives an easy understanding of the Materia medica and the basic characteristics of each drug. Great Grandpa is Homoeopathy personified. The remedies in the text are also personified to show how Homoeopathy deals with living people in all their aspects and not just disease entities.

It was the old great grandpa's birthday. Full of life and feeling like one rejuvenated to youth, with the added advantage of the wisdom of the years behind him, he had endeared himself to every section of society. Instead of feeling worn out and outdated he felt more at home in this age than in the age he was born for. He felt that his medical philosophy and scientific experiments were being better understood now. On this historic occasion he felt like having a family reunion and invited his large number of children and their children and their children and also did not forget the family friends. That made something like a township spring up at his country mansion and his farm. It was a memorable dinner, for arrangements were made to serve almost everything under the sun. The great grandpa was an experienced man and new that the family and the others assembled from all corners of the globe to which they had spread in the course of a century or more were a funny lot with their peculiar cravings and eating habits.

According to convention, drinks went round first. The white Arsenicum, the mons Asarum europeum, the anaesthetic Acidum carbonicum, the mountaineering Coca, the string manufacturer Kali bichromicum, the snaky Senorita Lachesis, Mr. Nux vomica, the stoop shouldered Phosphorus, the psoric Psorinum, the capricious Miss Pulsatilla, the hypos*x**l mons, Selenium, the freckled Sepia and the king of Psora, His majesty Sulphur were all keen on alcoholic drinks. They felt it was an occasion to really celebrate. Sulphur was easiest to please here. This ragged philosopher couldn't care less whether it was brandy or wine so long as it got him drunk to philosophize. Nux Vomica , the big business executive was also a boozer. He had numerous cares and worries of business and felt that drinks were essential to make him forget all that and let him enjoy his evening leisure to the full. He could do with beer or brandy but didn't like ale. But these drinks and the highly seasoned food that he preferred made him a dyspeptic. He also suffered from peculiar type of constipation with ineffectual urging and repeated insufficient stools. The late nights and poor sleep gave him a hangover in the morning. The highly oversensitive Asarum had a great craving for alcoholic drinks of all types. The one with a preferential weakness for beer was Kali bichromicum. The chilly Psorinum also wanted beer.

Mr. China, debilitated from loss of vital fluids, the dizzy Alumina and Sepia, the washerwoman, couldn't stand beer at all. They all had a continental taste and liked wine. The suspicious, jealous and snaky Senorita Lachesis also craved wine.

The old timer, venous and sluggish Carbo vegetabilis, who was cold but still craved air and stood in front of the fan, felt a sense of great heat after taking wine. Natrum muriaticum craved beer and for that matter all bitter drinks and bitter food. The lethargic, dopey Opium with a red face and hot sweat, went for brandy. Lac caninum, the bitch's son (for he was nursed on bitch's milk) desired whisky, possibly because of the black and white dogs on the bottle. The inquisitive Agaricus asked what was the reason for the best whisky coming from Scotland. Someone answered that it needed more than mushroom sense to know that! The money wise Scots thought that was the best way to make people lose their senses and then their money! The lean, stoop shouldered Phosphorus was an aristocrat who has spent a lot of time in France and thought the mellow wine the best drink. He wanted all drinks really cold. In this company was a curious Madame Selenium who craved alcohol before her menses time and preferred brandy. The anaesthetic Carbolic acid was a drunkard but his stomach won't hold out so he would vomit afterwards.

Great grandpa often though of introducing these drunken folks to the prohibitionist and reformer, Spiritus Quercus glandium or Angelica or Acidum sulphuricum to help them get rid of their habit.

Most of the ladies were taking soft drinks. The beautiful, wide-eyed, rosy cheeked Miss Belladona craved plain cold water and also lemonade. The anaemic, blushing Ferrum took tomato juice. An aristocratic drink here was the apple juice preferred by the lame Guaiacum and the rattly Antimonium tartaricum. The nausea stricken Colchicum wanted effervescent beverages.

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