JS: I would like to tell you a bit about Lycopodium. For those of you who know something about it, I hope I can add a little. This is Lycopodium clavatum and it is the spores of the Club Moss. Club Moss is a little evergreen trailing fern; it belongs to the family of cryptogamia, which includes ferns and mosses that are
propagated by spores. Those of you who have seen ferns, you see on the underside of the leaves there are little black spores. And Lycopodium is made from
the spores of the Club Moss. The plant as a whole was used in ancient times as a tonic and a diuretic. Actually, in the seventeenth century, it was
recommended as a decoction for cardiac pain, flatulence and diseases of children and young girls, in addition to being used in rheumatism, gout, nephritis and
This is in the seventeenth century - you see, it is interesting, all the homoeopathic remedies really, there is nothing new under the sun, as it says in Ecclesiastical. They are all substances which have been used, really, over the ages in one form or another. So, of course, it fell from favour and was
considered to be totally inert, the spores being used as a dusting powder and as an excipient for pills. So the real use of Lycopodium in recent medical history
was as an inactive binder for making medicinal pills. And occasionally what would happen is that when the spores were used as a dusting powder, something
like talc, certain people would develop very severe skin reactions to this. It was only with the advent of the microscope that it was discovered that these spores
are little tetrahedrons which contain a fluid within them. When this fluid is released, it is extremely irritating to the skin. And of course, as long as these spores
remain intact, then the powder and substance is completely inactive.
So of course Hahnemann, for reasons known only to himself, triturated these spores and released the active oil, made up his remedy and made provings
recording over one thousand symptoms. So I am going to present to you here a remedy image in different vignettes or facets. I have tried to arrange the lecture so that as we go along, these facets will show an evolution of an image, and also how the remedy presents itself with increasing age and increasing
decompensation. Remedies have not only images, but they have time relationships as well. The remedies have a time body of how they are in the early phase
of pathology, how they are in the middle, and how they are in the late phase of pathology. And many times we can get quite confused, because when you read
in the repertory that this remedy has this symptom or that symptom, you will see that it corresponds to a phase of pathological decompensation. So symptoms can be very contradictory, in a sense. This is one of the reasons why in the repertory, symptoms can be contradictory, because they correspond to
Lycopodium is one of the main remedies which exemplify the idea of the inner and outer split, the dissociation between the inner and the outer: the inner man
and the outer persona. So we can look at remedies from the point of view of their centre of gravity and of the relationship of this core of the remedy to the
surrounding world. And we can see for instance in Sepia the weakness in the sexual sphere and the absence of natural affection, in Natrum muriaticum the
idealism and emotional vulnerability. These remedies are remedies in which the imbalance appears to affect primarily the sphere of interpersonal relationships. I just give you these two as a sort of example and now we are talking of course about pathology on a more psychological level. Of course you can't say that
headaches have to do with interpersonal relationships, but when you see cases of Sepia and of Natrum muriaticum which have advanced beyond purely
physical pathology, you will see that their troubles arise in their relationships with people: in interpersonal relationships.
Now Lycopodium is very important in the interpersonal sphere, is very much involved, but the core of the matter is not quite so central. The core of
Lycopodium involves its relationship more to the world and life in general, rather than to the interpersonal sphere. And the main issues here are issues of
cowardice, fearfulness and lack of confidence. Fearfulness in the face of the challenges offered up by life. Cowardice is not just fear. We have to use words and
we have to be careful as best we can, because each word carries its own particular meaning. So Lycopodium has cowardice, and cowardice implies not just
fear but a certain sort of moral weakness. You see, the Oxford dictionary defines cowardice as an ignoble fear, a weakness of character. And so you can add if
it is not in your repertory, lack of character: Causticum, ; Lycopodium, ; Silicea, . Lack of character, a fear and an unwillingness to face the
responsibilities of life. We are talking now about the inner core of this remedy, the inner man, so- to-speak.
JS: The Oxford dictionary ...
JS: Thank you very much. Who knows, the remedy is?
JS: Medorrhinum, yes, they are talking and suddenly they can't remember what they were going to say.
You see, in a way, the repertory is a very interesting document, but it has great dangers. There was a very interesting article in one of the European
homoeopathic journals; I think it was the Classical Homoeopathic Quarterly, which is quite a good journal. It was by this guy Klunker, who was examining the
various techniques of homoeopathy, and he gave a criticism about the use of the repertory. His claim was that true homoeopathy exists only in the study of
materia medica and he made some good points. But if we use the repertory, you will see actually that almost everything that we know about the remedies can
be found in the repertory, if you know where to look and how to look.
I want you to use your repertories, which I hope, some of you have. No homoeopath should ever be without their repertory, absolutely. You should never take a
case; you should never even try without. I mean, I have noticed myself, just incidently, sometimes if I work at the clinic and I have to change from one office to
the other and I sit down to start taking the case, I realise that something is missing. It is as if there is sort of a gap and I look around, and I see the repertory is
not next to me. I have to leap up and get it and put it down before I can start to take my case. One other thing about looking in the repertory on occasions like
this is, it is an additional association to fix these facts in your mind, it is another hook. Because in the end, we can't remember everything, but there is a lot we
have to remember, so the more help we can get the better.
Lycopodium, this fear and unwillingness to face the responsibilities of life is characterised in the repertory through the relationship of this remedy to their own
children. Children, flies from his own (page 11, Lycopodium, ). A small rubric with one remedy. It shows that there is something here in this remedy which is
very important. And just a little bit above that, children, dislikes her own (page 11, Lycopodium, ; Platinum, ). Platinum is there of course, but Lycopodium
is a two. Platinum does not want the children, Platinum hates children. Lycopodium it is not like that, they dislike.
AD: Sometimes I wonder about ... why is Sepia not in the rubric children, dislikes her own?
JS: Why is Sepia not in this rubric? Because the relationship of Sepia to the children is quite different than this. As we discuss Lycopodium more, you will understand why. Sepia doesn't dislike her children. They irritate the hell out of her, you understand? And even Sepia can feel quite bad, some remorse,
because they feel the lack of affection and they know in a way that there should be this affection. And that is one of the reasons why Sepia is one of the main
remedies for weeps, telling of her sickness, when (page 94, Sepia, ). Because when they come in front of you and they are in front of themselves in a certain
way, because always we reflect back to the state of the patient, they go into the state where they realise their lack of affection, their lack of connection to the world and they start to cry. It is not the only reason, but one of them. So this is different here, you see?
Platinum doesn't want children, the thought of children disgusts them, it will mar their image; it is a whole different thing. Lycopodium, it is the responsibility.
All those of you who have children realise the tremendous responsibility of children. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, four weeks a month. I mean,
they are there and they are tremendous responsibility. And this is what it means, flies from his own children. The implication of this in relationship to facing the
challenges and the responsibilities that life offers up. Desertion of one's children, a serious state of moral deficiency. Lycopodium has many fears and
cowardice goes with a fearfulness. So this is a fearful and anxious remedy.
The anxieties revolve mostly around health. In your repertory you can raise to a three both anxiety, health, about (page 7, Lycopodium, ) and anxiety,
hypochondriacal (page 7, Lycopodium, ). Anticipation is the other great anxiety of Lycopodium (page 4, anticipation, complaints from, Lycopodium, ,
addition from Vithoulkas). Also anxiety, house, in (page 7, Lycopodium, ) and anxiety, walking while, in open air (page 9, Lycopodium, ); I don't know
why, but they are quite prominent.
The fears of Lycopodium relate to people. It is interesting here, the difference between anxiety and fear; they are anxious about the state of their organism,
about their health and about what will happen. They are fearful of people. Fear of being alone, fear of men, fear of people. All this is in the repertory. Fear,
people, of (page 46, Lycopodium, ). It is a big rubric, but Lycopodium is a three. And just below that you see fear, children, of (page 46, Baryta carbonica,
; Lycopodium, ). Now you have to be pretty afraid to be afraid of a child. We can understand how Baryta carbonica might be terrorised by children.
Fear, alone, of being (page 43, Lycopodium, ), but there is a certain keynote idea in Lycopodium which expresses this very well. And the idea here (it is in Kent) is that they want someone around in the house, but not in the same room. They want to know that someone is in the house, but they don't want them in
the same room. Now, what does this mean? Mostly this happens when they are sick, or it happens at night when robbers could break in, and they need to
know that someone is there, in case anything goes wrong. Maybe there is a fire, and they have to rise to the demand and deal with the challenge. They want
to know that someone else is there. Say, something goes wrong, there is someone else who can take responsibility and who can handle it. But at the same
time they can't face scrutiny, they don't want to be seen for what they are and so they want the person in another room. They don't want to be seen; they want
the person there, but somewhere where the person can handle the difficulties when they arise, but is not going to be having the eye upon them, so-to-speak.
It is very difficult for this remedy to speak in public. Lycopodium is one of the main remedies for people who will tell you they can't stand up in front of a crowd
and make a presentation. You see people, they can't make a presentation to their office staff. People work in advertising, they have to make presentations, and
it terrifies them. And this is the same idea, that they are up and having all the eyes upon them. Maybe someone will see what the real truth is, so-to-speak, or
what they fear to be the real truth: their inner inadequacy. So it is difficult to speak in public.
You can see fear of trifles (page 47, Lycopodium, ). There is fear, undertaking anything (page 47, Lycopodium, ). And of course you will find this also under timidity (page 89, Lycopodium, ) and under lack of confidence (page 13, confidence, want of self, Anacardium, ; Lycopodium, ). What is the main
remedy there? Anacardium. Lycopodium is only a two. Now have a look at cowardice (page 17, Anacardium, ; Lycopodium, ) and where is Anacardium?
Lycopodium is a three. So this is the difference between these two remedies in a way. There is a difference between cowardice and lack of confidence, pretty
Now we have, so-to-speak, the inner state of this remedy. A feeling of inadequacy to rise to the demands of life and the fears which arise from this core, from this central feature. And so how does this particular organism transform these energies? One way we can look at the human organism is, it is a machine for
transforming energies. Food comes in, it is transformed, it goes out. Air comes in, it is transformed, it goes out. Ideas come in, they are transformed, they go
out. So pathologies have the same way. If you have this machine and it has certain deficiencies, then what it takes in, it will put out, with the cast of these
deficiencies. Each remedy has its weakness and the way in which the organism as a whole compensates for this weakness. And herein lies the difference
between one remedy and another.
How does Lycopodium compensate for this weakness? The way that this remedy compensates is through bluff. They raise up an outer image which is exactly
the opposite to the way that they feel inside. And this is what it means: inner and outer split. Now you have to be very careful here, because more or less our
system of education brings us up in such a way that each of us are forced to present ourselves externally different from the way that we feel inside. This is
tremendous pathology of our culture and, I don't know, probably worldwide. Not only West, but East and North and South. Certain cultures who live closer to themselves, closer to the earth, I am sure have less of this. We have a tremendous degree. We are taught from day one: don't do this, don't do that, don't
express yourself this way, this is not good manners, this is not the way to behave, this is the way ... And so it goes on. So all of us have this split. And you
can dish out Lycopodium to everyone that comes into your office, if you are not careful. And those of us who first heard about this remedy, used to dish it out
just like that, because everyone seemed to be Lycopodium, especially in America. That is probably why in a certain sense Thatcher, Bush and Reagan have
such a close relationship, because Lycopodium and Natrum muriaticum are complementary remedies. It is one way of looking at it, of course! But the British
are Natrum muriaticum and the Americans are Lycopodium, you see. Love of power, the only remedy, really (page 69, power, love of, Lycopodium, ).
Lycopodium presents this external persona. The pathology here is not an emotional closure or a defensiveness as we see in Natrum muriaticum. Natrum
muriaticum feels inside tremendously sensitive and vulnerable and they don't want to show it, so they have this stiff upper lip. This is the split of Natrum
muriaticum and Ignatia even more so. But from Lycopodium it is a bluff. From a posture which reverses the inner state of fearfulness and lack of confidence and
presents an image of the man, of the suave man of the world, confidence and power. A well-protected persona. So the inner man: cowardice, fearfulness and
feeling of inadequacy. The outer man: sophisticated, urbane, moving easily amongst people, charming, never makes a mistake, always perfect, right there and
It is interesting, I will show you the videos later. It is a hard remedy to find if they don't give you the big physical keynotes, because these are people who you
will not get inside, unless you are really tuned to what the possibilities are, they will fool you absolutely. Every time you make a probe, they will turn it around. I
remember years ago when we started, we would video our cases and show them to each other. This one practitioner showed this case which she couldn't find
the remedy for. And it was a beautiful example of this. Every time the practitioner would ask some really germane question to the point, the patient would
beautifully turn it around. She would just say: "Oh, yes, why, I never noticed what a lovely pendant you have from your neck.” And the practitioner was saying:
"Oh, oh yes, isn't it beautiful, my grandmother bought it for me," and gone. The whole interview completely deflected.
So, the outer shield. The outer shield is of course more or less sophisticated, depending upon education and circumstances. I mean, we can't see that a day
labourer Lycopodium is going to be the same as someone who has been educated at Eton. But you have to see the idea. Mostly Lycopodiums like to go into
JS: Professions, especially those of?
JS: Law, politicians, priests. Doctors, too. The politicians, lawyers and priests. The bully, not the torturer. There is a difference here. Not the Nazi, like
Anacardium, but the bully. The one who kowtows to superiors and terrorises the underlings. Terrorises the wife and the children. At the office: "Lick, lick, lick, lick, yes sir, yes sir, no sir, no sir.” And they come home: "Get this, do this. Get that. Out of my way!!” At the office: "Yes sir, yes sir.” This is the idea, very
much so. Now of course, no one is going to tell you this, you have to find it.
Who has read Carlos Castaneda? His more recent book "The petty tyrant.” He describes this character of the petty tyrant. This is Lycopodium; small,
inadequate tyrant. And you can see that in your repertory, who can find the rubric?
JS: Dictatorial, yes (page 36, Lycopodium, ). So this is the persona. Do you know what persona means? Mask. This is why we all have persona here. The mask of Lycopodium: haughty, contemptuous, extroverted, presumptuous. Presumptuous (page 69, Lycopodium, ), one remedy. When you see a rubric
with one remedy, it means either or two things:
It means that the rubric is totally insignificant and has very little use.
Or it means that this is a central feature of this remedy. A unique aspect, almost a keynote in a way of this remedy.
You can search through your repertories for rubrics which have just one remedy, in the mind and the general section, and you will understand very much about
the essential nature of many remedies by studying in this way, if you apply the creative side of your mind to the endeavour. And of course a computers makes
this whole job a lot easier.
Presumptuous, according to the Oxford dictionary: to presume, to undertake without adequate authority or permission. Just above presumptuous we see the
next important thing about Lycopodium, power, love of (page, 69, Lycopodium, ). It is interesting how in this whole huge book, one line above the other,
these things are connected. Unduly confident, arrogant, love of power. So these two rubrics (to undertake without adequate authority and love of power)
characterize the outer state of this remedy, in the same way as those rubrics relating to children characterize the inner state.
So you see this sort of terrorising. I was fortunate enough to make a very nice prescription in a four-month-old child, who was brought to me because of quite
severe atrial septal defect. She went for surgery, because of pulmonary hypertension. I didn't close the the atrial septal defect, but when I saw the child I
thought: "Well, what can I do here? The best I can do is to give the remedy the child needs.” And the kid was sitting, or she would just be in a little crib in the
office and she was just there smiling and ... you know. Very sweet, very nice. The mother said: "This kid is a terror.” I said: "A terror?” She said: "Yes,
whenever we are at home by ourselves this kid is screaming and screaming and we can't do anything with her. And whenever we take her out she is just so
good, no one believes us.” She says: "Yes, and there are certain times when she is totally inconsolable. Completely inconsolable. The bad time is in the late
afternoon.” I said: "Well, there is only one remedy I can give this child. Lycopodium.” I mean, so for all the psychologizing, I don't know. But this four-month-old
child was terrorising her parents.
Don't make the the mistake of thinking that children don't know. We have this idea from our egotism, that children don't really exist in themselves until they
reach a certain age like this. From the moment of birth, before birth probably, children are fully formed in their beings, in their nature. Who has ever looked at a
child's hand? I am talking about a new-born child. Some people have, yes? What have you observed? The lines on the palm are fully formed, it is just the same as the adult's hand. Isn't this remarkable? You see, you have this little thing there, just a little round face, completely immature, no lines of character, no
personality showing through. And you expect the hand to be the same, a sort of little flabby thing. And you look at the hand and every line is exactly there.
Here is something which is coming into the world, formed. A certain part. So I am just saying, don't make the error of thinking that children don't know.
We digress, but this is just interesting in a way. A patient of mine, I had taken care of her for some years, she was pretty weird, and now she was going to
have another child. And she had one child, he was three years old. A very precocious child. At the the age of three I called them one day and he answered the
phone and he said: "Oh, Doctor Shore, you are going to treat me with homoeopathy, aren't you?” So I said to her: "Look, you know, the children know, the child in your womb, this child knows. You have to ask the child ...” She was terrified of the labour. I said: "You have to cooperate with this child.” So she
thought (giggling kind of) ... She went home and she is playing with the other kid and she asks him: "M., can you remember when you were born?" and he is
playing and he looks up, he says: "Oh yes, what I couldn't stand, was I couldn't see my feet. And when they put me on that scale, it was so cold," and he
carries on playing. He came out and he was stuck. After his head came out his shoulders got stuck and it took a while to get him out. Very interesting. So
little babies, they are not all they seem to be.
So of course along with this external persona, you can imagine how someone is. Confident, presumptuous and arrogant. What is going to happen to them if
you push in front of them, in a line, in a queue; how are they going to respond? "Excuse me, my good man, don't you know, you can't come in front of me
here, you push in behind me.” The main physical pathology of Lycopodium is what?
JS: Flatulence, bloating. Overexpansion. "Excuse me, my good man ...” They puff themselves up. Of course, loss of face, reactive anger, hurt pride. Ailments
from egotism. Ailments from anger. Intolerant of contradiction. Mortification, ailments after (page 68, Lycopodium, ). You see, mortification, what does that
mean? What are the necessary ingredients?
JS: Humiliation and shame, as opposed to indignation. Have a look at the rubric indignation (page 55). Some of the remedies are similar, some are not.
Indignation is a certain sort of anger, righteous anger. Mortification is anger with shame, humiliation. So of course Lycopodium has to be a three in this rubric.
JS: There are some other elements worthy of note. One is laughing, anxiety, during (page 61, Lycopodium, , only remedy). Laughing, looked at, when (page 62, Lycopodium, , only remedy). You see how many remedies are in these rubrics. So here it points the way again, to the defence of this remedy;
how laughter is used as a sort of cover-up, this is laughter from anxiety.
AD: Why is it for laughter during sleep; it is a three (page 62, Lycopodium, )?
JS: Maybe they dream of funny things? I don't know. These polychrests are very big remedies. In other words, they cover many facets of human existence,
and we know hardly anything about them. Despite the fact that we have all this information, we still don't know all there is to know by far about Lycopodium,
about Sulphur, about Natrum muriaticum; there is much more to know. True homoeopathic research is the revealing, is the deepening of the knowledge we
already have. We don't need to find new remedies; we need to understand better our old remedies. So the information I am giving you here is a sort of a guide
to enable you to perceive in a way, to pull together many of the apparently diverse and contradictory facets of these remedies. But it is not the whole story.
And so Lycopodium laughs in their sleep and I have no idea why. There may be a whole other side to this remedy which I have not come across, which I don't
know. Maybe in their sleep people challenge them and they laugh. I don't know enough about the dreams of Lycopodium. There is much we have to learn,
really. It is a good question from that point of view.
AD: It is a three for dreams, misfortune, of (page 1241, Lycopodium, ).
JS: Now to contrast that, let us have a look. How does Natrum muriaticum do it; when does Natrum muriaticum laugh? What is the rubric?
AD: Inappropriate places.
JS: Inappropriate places, at serious matters. Look at laughing, serious matters, over (page 62, Lycopodium, ; Natrum muriaticum, ). You see
Lycopodium is there, but more so is Natrum muriaticum. You see the defence of Natrum muriaticum; they don't really want to talk about the things which are emotionally sensitive to them. So when you talk about serious matters, about the husband who has died, about the wife who has died, about the grief, they
can laugh. And you think, what is this? They should be crying and they are laughing. And this gives you the clue: "Well, maybe this is Natrum muriaticum here
in front of me.” Lycopodium, where they laugh it is different; they laugh when they are looked at and during anxiety.
Lycopodium is also conscientious about trifles. Now Lycopodium can appear to be fastidious, but it is not a real fastidiousness. It is a definite unwillingness to
make mistakes. So they take particular care about what they do: about their work, about their appearance, about the appearance of their home. And you start
to get the idea that this care about the work that they do, about how their home looks when visitors are coming, has the feel of pathology about it. We always
have to distinguish between what is appropriate and what is pathological. It is appropriate to try and do your work without making mistakes. There is nothing wrong with that. But you get the idea that so much energy goes, not into doing the job properly, but into not making a mistake. And then you begin to feel:
"Oh, oh, here lies pathology.” Calcarea has what? What is the fear of Calcarea in their work? Fear of being observed in making mistakes. Lycopodium has the
fear of being found out. You see, such subtle differences and yet they make the whole world.
So the inner man, the outer persona. The avoidance of intimate contact and genuine responsibilities. So you begin to understand, here is a person who feels
really inadequate inside, sort of cowardly and presents this wonderful external image. What is it that is going to be really threatening to them?
AD: Being exposed.
JS: Yes, and what is the most exposing situation one finds oneself in?
JS: Marriage, close relationships, yes. Because when someone is with you in the morning and in the afternoon and in the evening and in the middle of the
night, you can't release your gas without them hearing you. You see? You can't maintain your image of perfection all the time. And the closer they get, the
more possibility there is that they are going to see through the crack. So what sort of relationships do Lycopodium like?
AD: They don't like to get married.
JS: It is called: one night stands. I don't know what they call it here, but this is the idea. Not too close. Fear of marriage, what are the remedies? Nux vomica
and Lachesis. Not Lycopodium, it is a little different. Marriage implies being tied down. And so especially Nux vomica, I don't know why exactly, and Lachesis;
they are afraid of getting married.
This guy that I showed you (see paper case 7), the one who had the irritability and the digestive trouble; I gave him Sulphur and he relapsed. After he had Nux
vomica he got married. Now I have seen this myself a number of times; people who I have treated with Nux vomica, shortly after the treatment they got married.
With Lycopodium it is a little different. There is fear of intimate relationship, actually. What marriage symbolises in the repertory, so-to-speak, is not quite what Lycopodium is afraid of. In the early stages of Lycopodium pathology, what will come out quite prominently are their sexual relationships. This is where you will
also get the hint of the remedy, because what we see (especially amongst men, but really these days no less so amongst women) is this bluff, love of power.
The hero, the macho image, the conqueror; this is it. The idea of sexual potency comes very much to the fore. So the characteristic Lycopodium male, this
idea, will project this macho virile image, in which the dream is one of conquest and instant gratification: the one night stand. Free from the demands of
intimacy, of responsibility. You go, you meet, you do it, you are great, you are fantastic, you are gone. This very much so. So Lycopodium is the sort, they go
to apply for a job and there is this secretary in the office and immediately they try, they have this dream of making it with the secretary, just sort of quickly.
This sort of prurient literature that you read or the sort of stories, maybe they still do tell each other, I don't know. I mean adolescents, university and high
school students gather in the bars and the guys are boasting, you know: "Oh yes, I met this one and we quickly went there and we did it and wow it was great
and she thought I was fantastic.” This is the story and underneath there is a totally different story. So you would imagine that Lycopodium is one of the main remedies for what?
JS: Impotency, yes, of course. So you see, the idea of being trapped in the monogamy of marriage. These are men who may frequent prostitutes, for the
same sort of reason. They have more fear about their sexual prowess and so the relationship with someone who you pay for this, it is much easier than
actually having to meet another person face to face. And of course our culture allows men much more freedom in this respect, but one of the advantages of the equalization of the sexes is that women now have equal opportunity to exhibit their Lycopodium pathology and you will see it more and more. And so there is
also the rubric increased desire in widows (page 717, desire, increased, widows, in, Lycopodium, , addition from Vithoulkas).
The next phase, or maybe not only the next phase, but in a somewhat different type of Lycopodium, this strong sexual impulse, this desire for instant
gratification and sensual indulgence, comes to be experienced as a weakness, as a lack of control. Maybe now we are going into politics, and these days
when politicians are so much in the public eye, some of these indulgences have to be controlled. But Lycopodium of course, being naturally of weak moral
character, has great difficulty in controlling these indulgences. And then they begin to feel that these energies, these forces are a sort of crack in their facade,
that it is going to expose them. Or maybe the feeling even arises through some form of inner sincerity. I am not saying that every person who needs Lycopodium is a total moral degenerate; please don't get me wrong. Pathology happens at various levels.
This is another thing, just incidentally, but some people say: "Oh God, I would hate to be this remedy.” Or they say: "You know, it is so much nicer to be
Pulsatilla than Thuja.” I mean, this is really a wrong understanding of life. And it is true that I suppose were I to choose to be a remedy, I would rather not be
Fluoricum acidum or Anacardium. But at the same time I don't believe that one can make a judgement upon the true nature of a person by the pathology which
So when these people begin to experience their weakness, what do they do? They close down. They make an attempt to exercise control, so they stop eating
and they become pure vegetarians. Or they say: "No more sex for me, I will be celibate.” Fasting, rigid diet, ascetic moralism are structures used to protect
against the ever-arising inner tendencies. But because all of this is pathological, it is a very fragile balance. So what happens is, periodically the old patterns
break through. And they go on a binge, sexual binge, eating binge, drinking binge and then they close down again. This is something you will see with a
Lycopodium that is like this. You will get the idea of this attempt at control. And when they are in this sort of ascetic moralistic phase of course, they are the worst. Like the ex-cigarette smoker. You see, when someone lights up a cigarette at the other end of the room they say: "Put that out!! That filthy, dirty habit!!”
And the next week you go into the toilet and you see they are smoking. I mean, this struggle which is going on in the person; one must have pity. That is what
I was trying to say about would rather be this remedy or that remedy; all remedies need compassion.
Religious aversion to the opposite sex, you will see this in Lycopodium (page 9, aversion, religious, to the opposite sex, Lycopodium, ; Pulsatilla, ). The
main remedy is of course Pulsatilla. The pathology there being completely different; the pathology of Pulsatilla is one more of fixed ideas. You see how Kent
says: "They get an idea in their minds, men are evil, sex is dirty, and then: that is it.” In Lycopodium it is quite different. It is the same rubric, but in
Lycopodium it is the attempt at the control of the impulses. "I am going to be pure, therefore don't let a woman near me.” It is against the true way. Someone
once said to me something very profound. They said you have to be very careful to preserve a few vices, because if you have no vices, all your virtues become
vices. Very interesting. We have to allow ourselves some vices, because if we become too pure, our whole purity becomes its opposite. And this is the sort of
thing that you see with these remedies, with something that is protecting themselves against the opposite. You know how it is; I am sure with most of us it is
the same. When we are growing up we say: "I will never be like my parents. I am going to be different, I am not like my mother, I am not like my father, I will
never be like that.” And as we get older and wiser we see that in fact, so help us, we are the splitting image of our parents. And there are some who to their dying day never recognise that fact. They are trying so hard to be opposite to what they are, that they never recognize what they are.
Increasing fearfulness. So here we have the structure, the impulses, the tendencies, the attempted control, the failure of the compensations of control and of
bluff; it is no longer working. "I have been found out in the cupboard with my secretary; no one is really believing me so much any more. And now my fears also
begin to break through. I can't really keep those down.” And here the cowardice begins to surface in a more direct manner and the fears arise around almost any situation that cannot be controlled. Almost anything. Especially for instance, fear of being in an aeroplane. Why in Lycopodium?
AD: The closeness of people.
JS: The closeness of people, yes. And so what happens when you are in an aeroplane and you become afraid? It is very hard to hide it. And then you
become afraid that you will leap up and start running up and down the corridor. It is very hard to hide that. So many times there is this fear that something ...
They can't control it and then everyone is going to see. It is just another circumstance. You see, all these things are just circumstances which evoke, which
push the buttons, as they say.
It is appropriate to bring in here another facet of Lycopodium, which is quite different from what we have spoken about, which is an excessive emotionality.
This remedy can be overly sensitive, alternating or changeable moods. Weeps, thanked, when (page 94, Lycopodium, , only remedy). Now we have an even
more interesting situation, in which not only is there a rubric with one remedy, but that remedy happens to be a three. This definitely is what we can call a
keynote, weeps when thanked. By itself it doesn't mean a hell of a lot. But you get the idea that here is someone who is feeling very sensitive, very inadequate
and someone says: "Oh, thank you so much.” Or: "Here is this present I specially bought for you because you are such a wonderful person," and it just
completely overwhelms them that someone would really appreciate them, that they are worth it, that they are worth the trouble of people and they just break
down and cry. Of course there is definite pre-menstrual aggravation of these things in Lycopodium and in this aspect the remedy may well be confused with
Pulsatilla. Weeping pre-menstrually, sensitive, apparently liking consolation and of course they have a complementary relationship.
So if we push it further and things are getting worse and worse, the anxieties are coming more and more and the organism is breaking down more and more, it
finally begins to affect the mind, and we get a sort of mental decompensation. So with the progressive breaking down of the defences, there comes
deterioration of the mind. A state of confusion with an inability to remember or to concentrate. Mistakes in the use of words, mistakes in writing, mistakes in
speaking. I won't go through all of them, but you should look in your repertory in this section and you will see Lycopodium is strongly represented in these
rubrics. Early senility. Lycopodium is put forward as a remedy of infancy and old age.
Similarly the emotional organism may collapse, giving rise to an apathy which deepens into a melancholy and a loathing of life. Now this for Lycopodium is
fairly late stage actually. I can't recall to my mind off-hand cases in which I have given Lycopodium, in which the main presenting problem has been this deep
apathy and loathing of life. I don't know whether anyone here has had that experience, but it is reported in the books. And at this stage, of course, the fears are much less prominent. We have gone through the stage of fearfulness; the organism no longer has energy to produce these sort of fears, the pathology has
moved even deeper and so you don't expect to see the fears. This is late stage in a way.
Of course it is interesting to speculate that the idea that this remedy is useful, is touted as being especially useful in children, is why. Because the main
pathology of Lycopodium affects the gastro-intestinal tract. And the main relationship of infants with the world is through their gastro-intestinal tract. It is a very
big remedy for nasal obstruction in infants. You can look under nose, obstruction, children, nursing infants (page 341, Lycopodium, ); or nose, snuffles in
new-born infants (page 351, Lycopodium, ). Colic, trapped gas. It is definitely a remedy to be thought of in colic, although in my experience, not so common
as one would think. More commonly: Belladonna, Colocynthis and Dioscorea.
JS: Just a little tip about colic in infants: one of the most useful physical signs about the colic is what?
AD: Doubles up.
JS: Doubles up or bends back. You have to see what the kid does. If the kid, when they get the colic they kick their little feet and wave their arms but they do it like this (IB: doubling up), it is one group of remedies. If they throw their head back and throw their arms out like that, it is another group of remedies.
Abdominal pain or cramps, bending backward ameliorates. This is the first thing you want to know. Like when someone says: I have a sore throat; the first
thing you ask them is: which side, left or right? If they say left side, you throw out three-quarters of materia medica. If they say right side, you throw out three-
quarters of materia medica. I am just talking very quickly. Infants have colic; do they bend forward or do they bend backwards? If it is clear they bend
backwards, you throw out ninety-five per cent of materia medica. It is a small rubric. Of course often it doesn't help a hell of a lot and the remedy you give
doesn't work and you have to try again. But five minute consultation infant colic; this is the main thing.
AD: Is it possible a child can present both extension and bending?
JS: Yes, but then you have to look somewhere else for your remedy. So, colic, trapped gas. The child cries all day and is good at night, a keynote for
Lycopodium. The opposite remedy is Jalapa, good all day and cries all night. Also, I believe Psorinum has that characteristic (IB: page 93, weeping children, toss all night, Psorinum, , addition from Vithoulkas).
A little bit older children: intellectual, bookworm-type kids. Large head, puny body, dealing with the world through their minds. This is their defence, their mind.
Intellectual precocity. The precocious remedies, page 69, Asarum; Lycopodium, ; Mercurius, ; Phosphorus, ; Tuberculinum, ; Veratrum album, ;
additions from Vithoulkas.
These are kids with many fears. They weep at the slightest cause (page 94, weeping at the least worry, children, Causticum, ; Lycopodium, ). The main
remedy there is Causticum. Lycopodium can do it, but if this is the symptom that you have, it is much more likely to be Causticum, if this is the main issue.
Many, many fears, very fearful children, they cry at the least thing, it is much more likely to be Causticum. But these are kids who have this; intellectual types, bookworms, afraid, cowardice. They are cowardly; they can't take the challenge of life. Well-behaved at school, terror at home. Another remedy which has this:
well-behaved at school, terror at home, surprisingly enough is Stramonium.
Of course these are kids who are disobedient at home, you see they insult their parents, the petty tyrants. Of course, if you don't have children like this I am
sure you have seen patients with that. The kids just rule the roast. The parents are running around after the kid. The kid: "Do this, do that.” And maybe they
don't express it like that, they don't say: "Do this!” But you see the kid comes in the office and they are sitting there and they go: "Waaahhh!!” "Oh, you want
this toy, you want that toy, what can I ...?” They give the kid the toy and the kid: "Waaahhh!!” Parent rushes across: "Oh, no, no, come and sit here Johnny.”
And you get the idea. Phew! I mean, life for this parent must be hell. They can't keep the kid ... "Well now, we only go out at nine o'clock in the evening
because you see, Johnny won't go to bed before eight," and you get the feeling: "Who is the boss here?” This idea, Lycopodium.
These kids are irritable on waking. A very helpful rubric (page 60, irritability, waking, on, Lycopodium, ) for kids especially, because they express it so
clearly. They kick and scream when they wake up and the mother says: "Every time the kid wakes up he is just so irritable!” Not only in the morning after a
long sleep; this is irritability on waking. So in the afternoon nap as well. The kid goes down and when they wake up, they are irritable. Not crying, not afraid, but irritable.
And of course a little eczema on the head, the kid is a little older: otitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, flatulence. Although I have to say myself that just in thinking
about it, I don't find Lycopodium such a common remedy in children. I mean, it is more common than Aurum or other remedies, but ... It is a remedy for
childhood, but I just thought it is interesting to think about that, that in my practice it is not so common these days.
AD: Do you think that, because children go through certain remedies at certain stages, like if you see a lot of Pulsatillas, is that because children who are
Pulsatillas get ill when they are young, or is there something about being young which makes them Pulsatillas?
JS: Do children go through certain stages and do we see a lot of Pulsatilla, because Pulsatilla children get sick, or because children are very Pulsatilla in
their nature? I would say for me that it is more the latter. I think children naturally tend to like to be held and carried and are sweet, and so Pulsatilla
corresponds closely to the nature of children. Pulsatilla is much more common than Lycopodium in kids. I really don't know why, we don't want to speculate any more on that.
The pathology as it affects the physical body. It is a major polychrest and what makes remedies polychrests is that they are used commonly for many things.
So every polychrest affects every tissue in the body, every organ, every part. However, each one, as you have seen, has its own particular genius, as might be
said, or flavour. And the primary emphasis of Lycopodium falls upon the digestive system, especially the liver, and also the urinary tract and the genitalia. The
appearance of the remedy may be distinctive: emaciation of the face, neck and upper torso; also Natrum muriaticum and Sarsaparilla have this. I think it is
more reliable for Natrum muriaticum than it is for Lycopodium. If you see someone who has this kind of scrawny neck, thin face and heavy body, it is more
likely Natrum muriaticum, but Lycopodium definitely has that. So, emaciation of the face, neck and upper torso with an excess of weight around the abdomen,
hips and lower limbs. The face may appear wrinkled, and especially the brow has wrinkling in respiratory disease, an important point of observation in acute illness. Lycopodium has two things: fanning of the alae nasi and wrinkling of the brow in respiratory disease. Wrinkling of the brow in brain diseases is
The hair is prematurely grey. Ninety-five per cent of Lycopodium cases will have some measure of definite gastro-intestinal disturbance, so be aware here.
Even though you see this beautiful image that I have presented to you of Lycopodium, if they do not have any gastro-intestinal disturbance or have no history of
gastro-intestinal disturbance, be very, very careful. What I mean to say is not that you cannot give this remedy, but that you have to really suspect your
prescription and you have to search very, very hard for an alternative. So any form of gastro-intestinal disturbance. Bloating, constipation, irritable bowel - it
doesn't matter - as long as there is something concerning the gastro-intestinal tract which is definite. Not: "Oh, sometimes I have a little gas.” Everyone has a little gas. No, it has to be something definite.
There is a very strong desire for sweets. Be careful if this is absent. A Lycopodium picture with no desire for sweets; be careful, there is probably a better remedy. Also be careful if the desire for salt is strong. If they say: "Yes, I crave sweets and salt" and the craving for salt is almost as strong as the craving for
sweets, be careful.
AD: Is it specifically sweets or is it sweet things in general?
JS: It is the taste of sweetness, like that. I would say probably the artificial sweetener which you put in the tea or the coffee, doesn't count.
AD: I was thinking of chocolate, biscuits, puddings and that sort of ...
JS: Sure. But the more sweet, the better. Pastries is more what remedy?
JS: Calcarea. But what I am saying is that if someone said: "I love pastries," and they had Lycopodium symptoms; just fine. It is the desire for sweets, for
sweet things. But if the desire for salt is strong, you must consider Argentum nitricum. This can have similar pathology to Lycopodium: lots of gastro-intestinal
pathology, lots of bloating, lots of loud eructations, lots of fears, extroverted, warm-blooded. If you see sweets and salt, you think Argentum nitricum, be careful
of Lycopodium. If you have a case which you think is Lycopodium, but they don't have sweets and they have salt, you seriously consider Plumbum. Plumbum is sort of a Lycopodium with desire for salt. Now please, don't make a mistake here. I am not giving you the ten commandments. I don't mean to say that every
time you think of Lycopodium and they have a desire for salt, you pop them Plumbum. I am just saying that if you really feel Lycopodium here, and there is a lot of gastro-intestinal pathology, and then you get to ask them this question and you can't get them to say: "Sweets," and they insist on saying: "Salt," then
you go back and you start to look. You think: "Gee, could this be Plumbum?” And then you look in your book and you read up on Plumbum and you start to
see if you can confirm Plumbum. And sometimes you may be surprised to see that actually a different picture unfolds.
JS: If there is a definite desire for cold drinks, again be very careful of giving Lycopodium. It should raise the red flags.
AD: In the repertory I think ...
JS: Yes; I am telling that in a chronic case, if they have a definite desire for cold drinks, they have strong thirst, they want to put ice in their drinks, they can
only take it from the refrigerator, they really like it; be very suspicious of your Lycopodium prescription. The chances are that in a case like that, if you are compelled to give Lycopodium because that is really the only remedy which you can truly justify, that there is another remedy underneath. Maybe it is going to
Sulphur. Lycopodium - Sulphur, that is how it goes, Lycopodium - Natrum muriaticum. These are the remedies that have thirst for cold drinks, and probably it
is what we call a layered case. This is the way you have to think if you see this thing there.
It is one of the main right-sided remedies, especially if the symptoms go from right to left. Right-sidedness is very strong in Lycopodium. It is very helpful, it is
very reliable; it is one of the main remedies. Worse in every way from four to eight in the afternoon, a very strong feature of this remedy. Now, if it is from three
till seven and it is a good case for Lycopodium, it is good enough. If it is from three to five and it is a good case for Lycopodium, it is all right, although maybe it
is Sepia. But if someone says: from four to eight, then it is very strong for Lycopodium. However, there are other remedies. So for instance, someone has
acute illness and you walk in and you see they have this sort of wrinkling over here, and you have just heard my lecture and you think: "Aha!” And then you
ask, what time are they worse? And then they say: "Oh, in the later afternoon from four to eight," maybe it is Helleborus. Maybe they have some sort of brain
thing and it is not in the chest; be careful. Lycopodium is not the only remedy from four to eight, but it is very strong in this remedy.
Ameliorated in the forenoon; just before noon this remedy feels better and also in the evening and after midnight. Have a look (page 1343, midnight, after,
ameliorates, Lycopodium, , only remedy). It is not so well known for Lycopodium, but you will see it there very strongly. Also, of course, evening
ameliorates. Now what happens? In the later afternoon, around four o'clock the energy drops; they feel terrible. And then at eight o'clock they start to feel better
and then they say: "Yes, I feel better in the evening.” The main remedy for evening ameliorates is what?
JS: Medorrhinum, sure. This stuff you have to know, if I wake you up three o'clock in the morning and I say: "Evening ameliorates," you have to say:
"Medorrhinum.” Very important, because what I am telling you here, this stuff you have to know literally in your sleep. Because when you are taking the case
there are many things that you have to be concentrating on. And there is certain amount of information which has to be completely unconscious and automatic
in you. So that you can really take in the other important stuff. So when people are talking and they say: "Oh yes, I feel bad. You know, it is funny, I always
have this argument with my wife when I get home from work," and you say: "What time do you get home from work?” They say: "Oh, I get home around three
or four.” You are interested in this man's relationship with his wife, with all the factors at work, with this and that, but in your mind you know, this is
Lycopodium time. And so this becomes an important symptom for you, not just something which is going to pass by.
This is the real difference which you will see in people who are experienced homoeopaths who take good cases. How come the patients always say to them
exactly the right thing and they never say the right thing to you? This used to be a total mystery to me. I remember when I started and I would get these cases to study from people who were more experienced than me, and the case would come out and it would be clear Phosphorus. They would give every Phosphorus
symptom. And I said: "How come my patients never tell me the story like this?” And of course the truth is just this, that when you know the remedy, when you
know these things, you notice what the real homoeopathic symptoms are. And so there is just a little extra emphasis; your question goes in this direction and
not in that direction, and the whole thing unfolds. So there are certain things which are just so important to know, I can't emphasise it enough. And of course
what it is that is important to know, we all keep a secret, so you have to come here and listen to me!
Lycopodium is one of the remedies which maybe warm-blooded in a general way, yet the pains are ameliorated by warmth. Especially the stomach and the joint pains. Except the head symptoms. The head symptoms are definitely ameliorated by cold, especially cold air, open air and aggravated by a warm room.
Lycopodium is one of the remedies that must sleep with the window open, otherwise they feel especially bad on waking in the morning. This is a helpful
confirmatory for this remedy. They are generally worse for sleep. Unrefreshed sleep and they wake irritable, especially the mental state. They wake with this
bad sort of mental state. You will see if you look: sadness, morning, waking, on (page 76, Lycopodium, ); suicidal, waking, on (page 85, Lycopodium, );
loathing of life, waking, on (page 63, Lycopodium, ); loathing of life, morning (page 62, Lycopodium, ); irritability, morning on waking (page 58,
Lycopodium, ). That is when they wake in the morning and this is the indication of what sort of organic pathology? The liver. The liver remedies wake
irritable. And if you look to see the remedies that are really worse off in the morning, you will see that these are the remedies which affect the liver.
Lycopodium, Nux vomica, Lachesis, all the Magnesias. These are liver remedies.
So under the head. The headaches are worse from fasting, especially if the hunger is not appeased at once, worse from overheating. The headaches are ameliorated by eating, ameliorated in the open air.
The main confirmations:
Right-sided complaints, especially right to left.
4-8 p.m. aggravation.
Irritability on waking.
Sleeps on the right side.
Desire for sweets.
Aggravation from onions.
Worse from missing their regular meal.
Stool first hard, then soft. This is an important, helpful symptom for Lycopodium.
I believe many times Lycopodium is prescribed when Thuja should be prescribed. Thuja and Lycopodium can be confused. Of course none of these remedies
can be confused in their clear, well-developed pictures, but life is not like that, and Thuja has this inner quality which is not like Lycopodium. Thuja does not
have cowardice, but you can confuse them if you don't know. Thuja has this feeling that they are bad inside, dirty. That some way deep down there is
something really, really not right about them. That they don't deserve to be loved. And the way you will see this expressed is this lack of confidence, this feeling of inadequacy and of course you will think: "Aha, this is Lycopodium.” Thuja can be quite hard, they don't like necessarily to show this other side of
themselves, so they are a little bit fastidious and a little bit perfectionistic and then they are aggravated by onions and they have some warts, and Lycopodium
has warts and you think: "I've got you.” You give Lycopodium and it doesn't work, and you can't understand why. So you have to be sensitive to Thuja.
AD: You say they are warm-blooded, yet their pain is better for which?
JS: For warm. Yes. Warm-blooded and they uncover one foot. What is the other remedy which is very close to Lycopodium, but has much more
circumscribed action? Worse from four to eight, uncovers one foot, liver trouble, desire for warm drinks, gallstone colic, pain at the angle of the right scapula.
JS: Chelidonium, yes. Many things in Chelidonium, these sort of small features run parallel with Lycopodium. So if you have an acute hepatitis, with really a
thirst for warm drinks; ninety per cent of the time Chelidonium and not Lycopodium, actually. Maybe not ninety per cent, but if you just shoot from the hip, you first give Chelidonium rather than Lycopodium in this particular case. Also Chelidonium has a much stronger desire for cheese rather than sweets.
AD: Chelidonium is there for aversion to cheese (page 480, aversion, cheese, Chelidonium, ).
JS: And also probably desire (page 484, desire, cheese, Chelidonium, , addition from Vithoulkas).
In terms of the desires and aversions, it is an important thing to remember that most of the time what is important is that this organism has a definite
physiological relationship to the particular substance. So a strong desire or a strong aversion; it can be the same remedy. It is the fact that the substance
affects the organism, not in every case, but in most of the cases. Natrum muriaticum: if they have a strong aversion to salt, it is just as good as a strong desire. Sulphur: strong craving for fat, strong aversion to fat; it doesn't matter. Pulsatilla it doesn't matter, because they are so changeable really that there is
no reliable confirmatory symptom for Pulsatilla. They can be any way; mostly they can't stand fat, but if someone has a desire for fat, you can still give them
Pulsatilla. Now of course if they have an overwhelming craving for fat, the chances are that it is not Pulsatilla, but it goes either way. In many remedies it goes
either way. Better by the sea, worse by the sea. The case I gave you, Anna F., a clear Natrum muriaticum and much better by the sea. It doesn't matter; it is
the relationship to the thing which is more important than the way in which it falls out. So you can use these things this way.
It is very funny, this homoeopathy. We have to be at one and the same time extremely precise and completely flexible. And part of the art is to know what it is you have to be precise about and what it is you have to be flexible about, at any one moment.
AD: Considering that, how important is the general feeling ... for chilliness in determining a remedy?
JS: Very important.
AD: If you get a very chilly person, could that be a Sulphur, for instance?
JS: Yes, because Sulphur is a very big remedy and Sulphur can be very chilly, or very warm. But, if you have a person who is very warm, eighty to ninety per
cent of the materia medica you don't have to worry about. People are much more commonly chilly than warm. And I suppose in general the reason is what?
AD: The metabolism, low vitality.
JS: Yes, that generally when people are sick, their vitality is low and their metabolism is lower, and so they are more commonly chilly. So when you get
someone who is really warm, it is a symptom which almost you die before you exclude it; almost - never, never! We never say never here.
AD: Can you then have what are normally regarded as chilly remedies - can they be very warm?
JS: Well, for instance, if you have someone who is Arsenicum and you really want to give them Arsenicum, and they are warm-blooded, what do you do?
AD: Arsenicum iodatum.
JS: You give them Arsenicum iodatum.
AD: Alumina is also very chilly, but in the repertory it is in bold letters for warmth aggravates.
JS: Alumina. I can't say I know so much about Alumina, but usually this sort of thing comes up when there is a difference between the chronic illness and the
acute illness. I don't know; maybe someone else knows. I have not used Alumina so many times that I can say. The usual explanation is that in the chronic
state it is one thing and then in a certain acute it is another thing and the repertory doesn't distinguish between these different states.
JS: Chelidonium desires milk and cheese.
AD: It is not in the repertory (IB: page 485, desires milk, Chelidonium, ; page 484, desires cheese, Chelidonium, , addition from Vithoulkas).
JS: It doesn't matter. You see, when I say to you you have to have your repertory; you should not dream of taking cases without a repertory, it has got to be
there, you have got to look in it; I don't mean that it has to be in the repertory. That is not what I am saying. I am saying that you only have so much cerebral
capacity and no one can be expected to remember everything about all our remedies. And you should not even dream of expecting yourself to remember this.
So you have got to have this thing there, which will remind you of what you already know for one and which can suggest to you that which you don't know. So
when I have a case and they give me a symptom, I look in the repertory and see that there is a rubric and there are remedies in that rubric that I don't know,
and I feel the symptom is important, I will stop. I will pull out my Boericke and I will read that remedy up. Just like that. And if I am not satisfied, I will pull out
Clarke and will read that remedy up, right there if necessary.
AD: What about the patient?
JS: What about the patient?
AD: In front of the patient?
JS: Yes, in front of the patient, of course. They are paying me for something; they might as well pay me to study. This is a very important point and it is a
little different with me, but if I give a remedy and it is a really correct one, and the person comes back for the follow-up visit and they are clearly better, I don't
just let them walk out in five minutes. I have allowed thirty minutes, forty-five minutes for this interview, and I use that time to study the remedy. Now I know the
remedy has worked and so I start to ask them every question: "Did this get better, did that get better. What about this, what about that. How do you feel. Are
your feet cold, are they warm.” I go right through the whole damn thing. And this is how I learn more about the remedy. No question about it. It is not: "Oh, that
worked. Gone.” This is the most golden opportunity to study more about your homoeopathy, because there is only one fact in the end, that the remedy either
works or it doesn't. Whatever we theorise and speculate, the remedy either works or doesn't. Once it has worked, then everything about that case becomes of
..., otherwise we never learn.
AD: Do you think some Lycopodium doctors don't like reading the books in front of the patient? (Laughter.)
JS: Well, yes, I remember when I finished medical school - I didn't really do a general practice; I never quite got that far - having to go and treat the patients
and I kept the book in the car. Then I looked and then something would come up and I would say: "Oh, I just have to get something out of the car.” I mean, what nonsense. When my patients ask me: "Well, how can you tell they are a good homoeopath or not?” I tell them: "A homoeopath who does not open their
book in front of you, that is the quack.” Anyone who presumes to prescribe without consulting the literature, this is the criteria for the quack. Anyway, this is
what I am saying, you understand; it is a source of pride that you open your book in front of the patient. It shows that you are a conscientious prescriber even if
you hold it upside down! (Laughter.) And then it turns out that patients appreciate it a lot. Many of my patients, I would say forty per cent of my new cases, I
do not prescribe in the office; I take them home. In other words, I am rarely so confident that I give them a prescription in the moment. Always I have great
doubt. I take the case home and I study the case at home. And what I have found is that when I say to people there: "Look, I am going to take your case home and I am going to study it for a few days," it is a special bonus to them. Not only have I listened to them so carefully for so long, taking such an interest in
them, but what is more, I am even going to take it and think about them more! I mean, they are really impressed. Don't feel that it shows your weakness; you
will be surprised, it shows your strength.
AD: There is quite a difference between America and Scotland in that context.
JS: Yes, sure, I can only say from my own experience, but I was surprised to find out that what I thought was my weakness turned out to be in the patient's
eye more often an advantage than not. I found people are very appreciative when they feel that you are taking time over them.
AD: ... that is the way I approach patients ...
JS: So I am inadequate, I can't decide on a remedy, I have to take it home, and they think I am wonderful.