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Homeopathic Cure of Rheumatic Fever
by W. Karo, MD
Editor's Note: This talk occurred in Nottingham, England during November, 1942. Times were desperate in England during World War II, and people were living in an era before antibiotics, but the principles described in this cure of rheumatic fever are as applicable today as they were 70 years ago. Readers may recognize Nottingham, England as home to the Robin Hood legend, the man who would steal from the rich to give to the poor.
The following case demonstrates the validity of the homeopathic law, "Let like be cured by like", in an acute feverish condition. Some years ago I was called to a patient suffering from acute rheumatic fever. The patient was a young man, 28 years of age, who had been suffering from this ailment for at least seven weeks. So far he had been treated with strong doses of aspirin, but without any effect. The patient was in a very bad condition, with temperature running up to 100.4 degrees in the evening, chills in the morning. The tongue was red and very dry. Both knees and elbows very painful, swollen, the skin reddened. It was undoubtedly a case of acute rheumatic fever.
The diagnosis was right, but the treatment based on this clinical diagnosis was a failure. I took the case homeopathically, that means I asked the patient to tell me his whole history and thus I got the following symptom picture: The patient feels worse at 11 a.m. He suffers from diarrhea nearly every morning, his pains are burning; he feels much heat in his feet which he likes to uncover and put out into the air. His skin is dirty gray and dry; his whole back and face covered with pustules and small vesicles, his thighs eczematous.
The patient has been suffering from skin troubles since childhood. Such a symptom picture is exactly the same as the drug picture of Sulphur, one of our oldest and most valuable drugs. There could be no doubt that Sulphur was the remedy for this patient. I prescribed Sulphur 30c three times daily five drops. The patient quickly took a turn for the better, and made a speedy recovery. Temperature went down to normal after two days. The patient did not feel pain in his knees and elbows any more, the swelling of the affected joints diminished and finally disappeared in two weeks' time. The patient was soon completely cured, never to have another attack. All his other complaints-diarrhea, eczema, etc.-- vanished as well.
This case is a rather significant one, and there are several things you can learn from it. First of all, it underlines what I have tried to explain to you, that the homeopath always considers the whole symptom picture of his patient and is much more interested in the whole constitution and heredity of his patient than in his local, acute ailment. Furthermore you will learn that the homeopathic drug, provided that it covers the whole symptom picture, not only cures the acute local disease but will also clear up the most different disorders of the patient.
Think of our patient once more. All his ailments, such as eczema, diarrhea, arthritis, etc., are according to the allopathic point of view different diseases, having nothing to do with each other. The homeopath takes a quite different view of it. If the different symptoms fit all in one drug picture, then the drug thus determined is capable of curing several diseases which actually seem to have no relationship to each other. It is this aspect which chiefly differentiates Allopathy from Homeopathy. I repeat: The allopathic doctor prescribes a medicine according to the clinical diagnosis; the homeopath gives a drug suitable to his patient's individuality and constitution.
In other words, the allopath prescribes a medicine for rheumatic fever, the homeopath prescribes a drug for a special patient suffering from rheumatic fever. The homeopath faces the same problem, when treating a patient, as the allopath does when he is considering the clinical diagnosis. He chooses among the different diagnoses the only one which is adapted to the special condition of the diseased organ; the homeopath chooses among the various drugs the only one which is, according to the law of similars, the most helpful to his patient.
In conclusion, I must stress the fact that Homeopathy can only be successfully practiced when based on general medical knowledge. Homeopathy embraces all branches of medicine. It uses, as I have explained to you, all the various modern aids of investigation to arrive at an exact clinical diagnosis. "Only in actual medical treatment does it differ from Allopathy. The difference is that it makes a specialty of drugs and their action. It is not only science but an art in the selection of the indicated drug." Nobody can learn Homeopathy in a short medical course. We must devote our whole life to it. Our patients’ thanks and gratitude will be our reward.
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About the Author
W. Karo was a homeopathic physician who described this homeopathic cure of migraines during a lecture to colleagues in Nottingham, England in November 1942.