Book Review (in Homeopathic Links, 2012/ Vol. 25, p. 130.)
Notes on Miasms, Heredity and Nosodes
Filip Degroote MD.
Publisher: BJain Archibel sprl, Belgium, 2010.
Softcover, 248 pp., paperback, price: EUR 20.
Reviewer: David Nortman, Israel .
The topic of miasms is one of the most contentious in all of homeopathy. They are divergent views about the number of legitimate miasms, from Hahnemann's original three, through the expanded classical canon which includes also cancer and tuberculosis (this is the model Degroote follows), to Sankaran's clinically based ten-miasm model which mostly dispenses with psora. Meanwhile multiple theories circulate about to use nosodes and isopathic agents, promoting confusion - especially in light of the lack of proper provings and clinical prescribing criteria for many such remedies. It is not surprising, then, that many homeopaths cast doubt on the whole enterprise, disregarding or rejecting miasms altogether and at the best employing nosodes and isotherapeutic agents on the same symptomatic basis as "ordinary" remedies.
It is into this fray that Degroote enters, collating classical information about nosodes and various isopathic agents and exploring their clinical application. This he supplements with original material on how to apply such substances based not only on clinical indications but also on a method of energetic examination based primarily on applied kinesiology, as described in his 1992 work Physical Examination and Observations in Homeopathy. Thus a full appreciation of the present work, portions of which are indecipherable on their own, is considerably dependent on familiarity with his former work.
Notes on Miasms, Heredity and Nosodes begins with a review of miasms from the classical and psychological perspectives. This is followed by a more general discussion of heredity and pausible mechanisms for miasmatic inheritance through epigenetics (the study of heritable alterations in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in DNA sequence), which makes scientifically pausible the inheritance of characteristics acquired during the lifetime of one's ancestors.
Starting with the classical five nosodes (including the subtypes of Tuberculinum), Degroote clearly outlines the indications for their use and method of diagnosis, with energetic testing supplementing the more familiar diagnosis through family anamnesis.
In a short but intriguing chapter Degroote proposes that the classical nosodes are underused as complementary remedies early on the treatment of chronic conditions: according to him what passes for a homeopathic aggravation frequently contains clues pointing to a nosode that can address the ancestral layer that has temporarily surfaced; seizing the opportunity at this stage advances the case dramatically, greatly accelerating the otherwise slow or unsatisfactory curative effect of the main remedy when used alone.
Employing the bowel nosodes is trickier because they don't possess a clear individual picture. Prescribing them thus requires a heavier reliance on the energetic examination as well as correlation with previously prescribed remedies, for which a list of bowel nosodes and their related remedies is provided. Finally, "isopathic nosodes" of bacterial, viral, and mycotic (fungal) origin are prescribed based on their known relation to specific diseases, supplemented once again with differential diagnosis by way of the energetic examination.
By offering a supplementary diagnostic tool, especially one that purports to the objective and reliable, Degroote offers a way out of the predicament one finds oneself when faced with situations that seem to require a certain type of remedy, for which no clear symptomatic indications exist. Despite minor shortcomings in editing and organization, the material is written clearly and succinctly in a form that is usable in clinic.
All considered, those who are not proficient in Degroote's method of energetic examination may find this work of limited utility, instead finding sufficient guidance about exploiting the substances under discussion in such works as Lou Klein's Miasms and Nosodes and Frans Vermeulen's Monera and Fungi. Conversely, those who are willing to undertake a study of Degroote's entire system of energetic examination and its application to miasmatic prescribing - for which both of his books are mandatory reading - may benefit considerably from investigating his diagnostic method and the expanded clinical horizon it promises to bring.