The Curious Case of The Bushmaster Snake (Lachesis)

Many years ago a homeopath went to South America seeking potential new remedies to add to homeopathy’s materia medica. Once there he heard of a fearsome snake so poisonous that it could easily kill a human. Specimens are usually over 6 feet long & snakes over 14 feet have been recorded! It’s Latin name means, roughly, ‘brings silent death’. They are capable of multiple strikes, injecting a large amount of venom. Even the bites of juveniles can be fatal. The venom itself is hometoxic (it destroys red blood cells) & this results in organ degeneration, shock & frequently death if the correct anti-venom is not administered in time.

Returning to our story, our intrepid homeopath, a man by the name of Constantine Hering (the father of American homeopathy) paid some natives to go into the jungle & find a specimen of the Bushmaster so he could take a sample of the venom for further study. They returned with their prize, but immediately fled as soon as the money had changed hands. Unfortunately for Hering the snake bit him as he was attempting to extract the venom, and his last words before losing consciousness was an instruction to his wife to record all the symptoms he exhibited thoroughly! Luckily he survived, though he never regained the use of his left arm. This brave man, one of the West’s most brilliant doctors in his time, brought us a most useful homeopathic remedy for afflictions of the blood.

Nearly 200 years later homeopaths are still finding Lachesis useful in all manner of complaints involving the blood & circulation. Earlier this week I visited a patient I had been treating for (among other things) intolerable hot flushes connected with the menopause. After taking her case a month ago I decided that Lachesis would suit her symptoms. To my pleasant relief her hot flushes gradually decreased in intensity until, just 2 weeks after taking the remedy she no longer gets them. To say the patient was pleased would be an understatement!

Denialists can argue that if 100 people are given Lachesis, by chance a few will probably show an improvement in their symptoms…all that is happening is that I’m being ‘fooled by randomness’ & at best offering the patient a nice counselling session. Alternatively they may argue that one incident proves nothing. All I can say is that I gave a remedy that corresponded to the symptoms of my patient & the patient got better. If this is your normal everyday experience of practising homeopathy…day after day you give remedies & people get better, what conclusions would YOU draw?



2 Responses to The Curious Case of The Bushmaster Snake (Lachesis)

  1. kevin morris March 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Your point is well made. We are scientific and homoeopathy correctly practised constantly tests the hypothesis, that being that a remedy that can create symptoms in people who are well can also treat similar symptoms in those who are ill. The fact that homoeopathy has spread to the four corners of the world by little more than word of mouth tends to give the lie to those who tell us that the patient would get better anyway or that it is merely placebo. If we can create the most wonderful cures with merely placebo, why on earth don’t all those old school doctors resort to the same- especially since the results of their treatments are so often far worse than the placebo would lead to?

    Your article struck me all the more because it refers to that giant of homoeopathy, Constantine Hering (1800-1880) He was a major figure in homoeopathy’s development and is regarded as the father of American homoeopathy. He was born in Oschatz in Germany and whilst studying for a medical degree at Leipzig University, he was asked to assist a busy doctor who was attempting to disprove homoeopathy. He threw himself enthusiastically and resourcefully into his task, reading the works of Samuel Hahnemann and conducting provings of several homoeopathic remedies. His Damascene conversion came about when he received treatment for an arm that had become seriously infected. Having become convinced of homoeopathy’s effectiveness, he left university, and eventually travelled to the United States, where he became the towering figure he still remains to this day.

    We seem to be faced with mountains of scurrilous criticism and specious arguments about homoeopathy’s effectiveness nowadays, but it is instructive to remember that it was ever thus. It is to be expected that when conventionally trained doctors are faced with often miracuous cures by homoeopaths, many will see homoeopathy as a threat to their livelihoods. A very small percentage of those critics have either the intellectual curiosisty or the honesty to allow what they discover to change their lives. Hering was certainly one of the greats of homoeopathy, but he was certainly not the last to find his life changed out of all recognition by homoeopathy.

  2. After more than 200 years of existence of homoeopathy, isolated examples of cures have little value in promoting the system. the examples quoted should have more wider applications in day to day illnesses to prove the efficacy of system

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