New England School of Homeopathy

The Garden of Homeopathy


The New England Journal of Homeopathy
Spring/Summer 2001, Vol.10, No.1


by Amy Rothenberg, ND, DHANP

Recently we had the opportunity to spend time with a friend who is an avid gardener. To visit her garden is like having a botany lesson and a soil science lecture all rolled together with a talk on art appreciation. The way in which she can tell us about plants, their life cycles and blooming patterns, or antique seed origins continues to amaze and delight us.

Understanding the sequential bloom patterns of the perennials and the way you can use annuals to accent a border, makes us run home, grab the shovel and wheelbarrow and start moving things around in our own modest gardens. Having a working understanding of what sort of soil, what kind of light and how much moisture a plant needs informs her decisions about a planting and gives her a strong philosophical base from which to practice her skillful art form. The breath and depth of her understanding of plants, how they grow, which birds and insects they attract, etc. nears on encyclopedic and inspires and motivates our own interest in this topic.


Come a weekend evening and the children are clamoring to go to our local high school football game. This is not a sport either of us fancy and though each of our offspring is athletic, we steer them away from this particular venue. But community spirit and their need to socialize win out and we find ourselves sitting in the bleachers on a cool fall evening, watching the game. We happen to sit next to a fellow who played quarterback in his high school days. Boy did he know a different side of the game! He was predicting plays, interpreting the referees’ calls and generally shedding light on many heretofore unknown aspects of the sport. Just deciphering what the play vocabulary meant was instructive. He was able to offer historical context for certain aspects of the game and for both teams we were watching allowing a larger drama to unfold. It became easier to figure out why certain players were running where they were, and doing what they were doing. The breath and depth of his understanding of the game were impressive and through his knowledge and expertise our own appreciation and understanding of the game were greatly increased.


Likewise, when we sit with someone who knows homeopathy, knows the details, the history, the origins and the possibilities for healing, our own understanding is broadened. To immerse ourselves in the world of homeopathy is not easy in today’s times. Our numbers, though growing, are small; our geographical distance from each other, sometimes vast. The Internet has helped and we are thankful for that, but one source we can always depend on to inspire our learning and to help us grasp the potential of this science and art is through the library of homeopathic literature. In this issue of the NEJH we are pleased to be featuring the introductory Appreciation of, and excerpts from Julian Winston’s upcoming book, The Heritage of Homeopathic Literature, An Abbreviated Bibliography and Commentary.

It gives us great pleasure to introduce this book to our community for a number of reasons. First of all we love Julian and admire his steadfast commitment to promoting homeopathy and its history and application throughout the world. Secondly, it is an important piece of work. Our literature is filled with many volumes and they are not created equal. It is helpful to follow the historical timeline of these books and to see the channel of knowledge and experience passed down from one teacher to the next.

Many students no longer bother to immerse themselves in the classic literature of homeopathy, grabbing instead for quicker fixes, or distillations of the facts into compiled books. And really this is a shame; the rich culture of our forebears may be easily lost. So we hope you will enjoy the excerpts printed here and will get yourself a copy of this book, so that you may be better informed of our collective history and be further inspired by immersing yourself in the garden of books found in homeopathy.


Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, we have received numerous phone calls and emails wondering about using homeopathy to counter the effects of bioterrorism. This brings up many ideas for the homeopath. Is there one remedy that would be effective for everyone? What about the concept of Genus epidemicus? How would people decide which remedy to give? What potency? How often? What about children? What about vaccinations with the potential agents? All good questions. And as would be expected, there are no easy answers. Some of these questions asked at times of parental anxiety and global uncertainty reflect a deep lack of understanding of some key aspects of homeopathic philosophy. During times of great duress it is common to want a quick fix, but just as the problems of terrorism will not be solved quickly or with band-aid solutions, these issues in homeopathy need to be understood at their foundational levels. It is no time to abandon a strong philosophy. Now, more than ever, our understanding of health and illness and the way homeopathy works is important to elucidate.

Some of the important points which lead to an understanding of how to prescribe at times like this include: how to treat people during an epidemic, understanding the essential difference between acute/chronic illness and the issue of homeopathic prophylaxis. In the Herscu Letter, Paul has taken each of these topics and discussed them fully with clear guidelines and recommendations. There is no short way to answer these points. However, what is very troubling to us is the recommendation that some homeopaths are making at this time. Let us just make one point here. Do not take the nosodes as a preventive measure at this time. Your likelihood of hurting yourself is much greater from that, than from an actual attack. For a full understanding of the topic, please read the Herscu Letter.  And read more on the Herscu Letter Flu website.

In this strange and unknowable time, may you be blessed with love in your home, purposeful work and time for reflection and appreciation of the important things in life.

In homeopathy,

Amy Rothenberg ND, DHANP
Paul Herscu ND, DHANP

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