New England School of Homeopathy


The New England Journal of Homeopathy
Spring/Summer 2000, Vol. 9 – No. 1

Amy Rothenberg ND, DHANP

Dear Reader,

Welcome to Volume 9 #1. We hope you will enjoy and learn some things from this issue, in which we have continued to highlight case analysis through the understanding of Cycles and Segments. In addition, you will find a Materia Medica section on the remedy Veratrum album, and a Quick Bytes article on an ethical dilemma which may arise for practitioners of natural medicine; you will also find a number of articles which echo our interest and commitment to using homeopathy for humanitarian service.

Besides the obvious care and commitment to healing all homeopaths try to bestow on patients in private or family practice settings, there is an ever-growing list of communities, families and individuals who cannot access quality homeopathic care due to lack of financial resources, lack of well-trained homeopaths nearby and lack of understanding what it is that homeopathy can offer. In that light, we are publishing articles on teaching homeopathy in Cuba with a plea for support, a recollection of one woman’s experience in Kenya working in a mobile free clinic and a short piece by the dedicated folks at the Homeopaths Without Borders affiliate in the United States. We hope this trio of articles will inspire you to add your own voice and your own time and resources, as you can, to benefit those in need.


We have in this issue a number of articles in which patients responded well to Veratrum album and two articles in which patients did well with Phosphorus. Many know that both remedies cover the symptoms of bleeding and collapse, chilliness and weakness, as well as similar food cravings. They share the need for company and the tendency for anemia. When the complaints are severe and impact the mental sphere few, even inexperienced homeopaths, would confuse these two remedies. However, when the patient is not all that ill, the mistake is not only possible but happens all too often. As we have stressed in our writings, all materia medica and all symptoms are entirely context dependent. To fully understand any symptom we have to see it in the context of the whole remedy. We need to grasp how an individual symptom is connected to those around it. We need to be able to look at the tapestry of symptoms of a remedy and see how they are interconnected and interdependent. Likewise, when we take a case, we need to see how a patient’s symptoms fit into the rest of their lives-physically, mentally and emotionally. We need to understand the landscape upon which symptoms and characteristics play and only then do the details gleaned, make any sense.

In the article, Veratrum Album: The Child’s Mind, we are publishing here a portion of the mind section of Veratrum album, from the upcoming third volume of Pediatric Materia Medica by Paul Herscu. Many of you will recognize the flavor and style of this article from having read Paul’s book on Stramonium. Throughout these pages, be aware of how frequently Paul compares Veratrum with other remedies which have the exact same manifestation of symptoms yet for totally different reasons. It is not enough to simply get the symptoms. It is not enough to get all the modalities. It is not enough to make long lists of rubrics. If you cannot see the landscape and develop an understanding of the cause and effect of the symptoms on the patient, you will as it is said, lose the forest for the trees, and finding the correct remedy will be a hit or miss proposition. Using the Cycles and Segments approach is one way to help you organize your thinking while you’re taking the case, during the time you might take to analyze the case and in the way you use your repertory.

So the next time you’re taking a case, remember, before you get up from the chair, be sure you have an understanding of the patient, not just a laundry list of symptoms and modalities. Be sure you understand why they act the way they do. What does their problem make them do, how does it play out over the landscape of their life? If you can answer those kinds of questions, then you can always go and find the remedy.


For the next issue of the Journal we will be focusing on the topic of death and dying. Paul and I have been touched in the last year by the deaths of our dear friends Christopher Ryan MD and Frank Gruber MD and felt compelled by our own immersion in these chapters of their lives to gather articles and encourage dialogue on this subject. If you have had experiences treating patients who are nearing death and dying, I encourage you to write about them.

Of course most of our work is with helping people get and stay healthy -to optimize their energy, be relieved of physical symptoms, enhance mental function and emotional health-but the longer anyone practices, the more common it will be to treat those who are dying. It can be a scary thing to do and one’s mental clarity can be foggied by the intense feelings which surround such patient interactions and by the hours spent worrying and studying, praying and wondering. But nonetheless, these are patients who surely deserve our compassion and skill and who can benefit immeasurably from both. For information about guidelines for article submission see pages click here.


We would like to welcome three new authors this issue: Carleen Johnson, Susan Slesinger and Suzanne Smith, soon-to-be graduates from the New England School of Homeopathy Three Year Professional Course. It is my hope as teacher that each of my students quickly become a colleague and move beyond what I have taught them. By organizing a case and writing it up, by sharing insight and expertise based on experience, these three women, each with busy, full lives have joined those ranks and I am proud of them.

As teachers in homeopathy, besides making sure students get all the information, it is our job to inspire homeopaths to go out and write and teach themselves. There are so many ways and places to plant our seeds, to show the world what homeopathy can do. So if any of Paul’s or my words as a teacher or writer on things homeopathic, have ever inspired someone else to pick up a pen (or turn on their computer!) or stand up to give a talk or share an opinion because to them it rang true, then for this we are very thankful. Passing on knowledge and information is important; inspiring others to do the same is essential.

In homeopathy,

Amy Rothenberg ND, DHANP

Click Here for Information about ORDERING BACK ISSUES