2006 February

Constitutional remedy or constitutional treatment?

by Ai-Ling Makewell
The term constitutional remedy has been a point of irritation for many homeopaths, though it is not serious in its misgivings. It has been problematic for me ever since my student days because the very concept of a constitutional remedy conveys the idea that there is one and only one remedy for an individual throughout his or her life. And this one and only remedy is going to take care of all of a person’s ills and symptoms as the word “constitutional,” according to the English dictionary means, “intrinsic, fundamental, deep-seated, indigenous, and inherent, etc."

While for many people one remedy may suffice for whatever symptoms they are exhibiting at the time of a homeopathic consultation and may be repeated again and again. Many other cases may require one remedy then and another to address the presenting symptoms at another time. Life is not static, as life unfolds there are other manifestations such as environmental impact and life experiences that may change one’s mental, emotional and physical expressions in terms of (dis-ease) symptoms. Vithoulkas’ idea of “layers” may be one way of considering the emerging symptoms on the physical, mental or emotional level. These on the continuum of life’s process can be considered as life’s “turning points.” In that each layer may be markers of life changing events that have made an impact on an individual’s developmental process. In this context I propose to take the phrase “constitutional treatment” instead of “constitutional remedy” to be more appropriate in describing each of the homeopathic consultations and the remedy given to a patient is only appropriate at that time.

Constitutional treatment connotes the process of healing the entirety of the individual in that particular time frame of a person’s life, whereas constitutional remedy implies a remedy that is intrinsic to the individual being treated. The problem with the latter definition further relates to the meaning that a person can be defined as a remedy (Scholten, 1996). When we begin to look at a patient in terms of remedy picture or their psychological profiles, we risk defining him by the remedy he requires, rather than a person in his own right, complex and three dimensional. In this, what we are not dealing with is the bigger issue that "a person cannot be cramped into a remedy, but a remedy can fit an individual's healing requirement at that time in his life." In other words, an individual person is much broader and more complex than a remedy can ever hope to encompass.

The problem with the concept of constitutional remedy is that we have the tendency to conjure up certain psychological drug picture when relating to the person if, for example, the individual happens to have Sepia as a “constitutional remedy.” I sometimes hear other homeopaths discuss an individual in terms of “Oh! She is not Sepia, she is more like a …” At its best, this way of considering a case is simplistic, and at its worst, we type cast our patients as “Sepia” or “Natrum muriaticum, etc.” – a depersonalization that prevents a homeopath to gain deeper insight into the individual who exhibits certain symptoms.

The individual is not the remedy, rather the remedy given at that time of a person’s life may be a representation of a core issue or a problem that has manifested itself in terms of symptoms in the process of self-healing. In this respect all the presenting symptoms, whether these are on the mental, emotional, or physical level in an individual, are the language of the soul showing that the time for healing something deep is at hand. Hence, for most of us we probably need more than one remedy to address certain symptoms presenting themselves at different stages of life.
However, each remedy prescribed by a homeopath throughout the course of a patient’s treatment is a form of constitutional treatment because during each stage of healing the entirety of the individual is being considered. Therefore, my proposal of the term “constitutional treatment” conveys the idea of seeing the patient as an evolving individual having certain problem or disease symptoms at this particular stage of life process rather than seeing them as a “psychological type” devoid of further possibility or even lacking the capacity to change and grow.

The cases in the articles, "A Case of Magnesium Carbonicum and Sepia" and A Case of Magnesium Flouratum, Tilia Europaea and Sandium", will demonstrate my view in favor of the phrase “constitutional treatment” rather than “constitutional remedy.”

Categories: Theory
Keywords: constitution, constitutional remedy, constitutional treatment


Write a comment

  • Required fields are marked with *.

Posts: 12
constitutional remedy and constitutional treatment.
Reply #6 on : Fri December 05, 2014, 16:02:30
Good article on the constitutional treatment. But considering core sensation of the patient in different fields of activity and at different times, a medicine is prescribed. This is constitutinal treatment I guess. But the core sensation is also taken at different times, say, childhood. Then this also can be termed as constitutional remedy?

Posts: 12
constitution, constitutional remedy, constitutional treatment
Reply #5 on : Sun December 11, 2011, 09:40:56
My view may somewhat match with rajib but more clearly in my words:Constitutional remedy may be considered as a supplement alongwith the existing symptom wise treatment irrespective of long/short term.It will not harm but will definately help the other remedies.

Posts: 12
Constitutional Remedy
Reply #4 on : Tue October 04, 2011, 20:14:18
If constitutional remedy for a person changes with the changes in his symptoms, what is the difference between constitutional remedy and indicated remedy?


Posts: 12
Reply #3 on : Wed July 12, 2006, 11:57:31
Dear Ai-Ling,
I could not agree more on your vision of the "constitutional remedy", hope that next article gets rid of constitutional treatment as well, it complicates matters unnecesaraly.
François Weber.

Posts: 12
Reply #2 on : Tue May 02, 2006, 22:20:09
Excellent article making the important difference between constitutional treatment and constitutional remedy. Describing people as remedies is reductionistic.

Posts: 12
Reply #1 on : Thu March 30, 2006, 02:45:06
to put it simply aconstitutional remedy should be given for a long period , whereas other immediate -remedies could be given as short term.