Book Review – Homeopathy through the Chinese Looking Glass: Homeosiniatry Revisited

Written by on November 25, 2015 in Acupuncture, Book Review, Homeopathy with 0 Comments

Title: Homeopathy through the Chinese Looking Glass: Homeosiniatry Revisited

Author: Dr. Joe Rozencwajg, NMD,

Publisher: Emryss Publishers

Year: 2011

Though I had purchased this book a few months ago, I could not finish reading it until last week. Thanks to the heavy rains in Chennai, I got some extra spare time now!

In this book, Dr. Joe Rozencwajg gives a nice overview of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and shows how many of the ideas can be applied to homeopathy. In particular, he tries to come up with a repertory of homeopathic remedies in terms of TCM classification.

For example, Yin and Yang are two core concepts in TCM, which denote dual and opposite qualities. Everything in the natural environment can be classified as Yin or Yang. Those with basic properties of fire, such as heat, movement, and dryness can be classified as Yang. Similarly, those with basic properties of water, such as coldness, weakness, stillness, and downward motion can be classified as Yin.

Based on the above idea, Dr.Joe identifies the remedies Sulphur, Nux Vomica, Opium, Arsenicum Album, and Lycopodium (among many others) as Yang remedies. Likewise, he cites Natrum Muriaticum, Dulcamera, Calcarea Carbonica, and Silcea as examples of Yin remedies.

The first half of the book deals with the various concepts and elements of TCM with examples of homeopathic remedies corresponding to these. Then there is a chapter on how to apply these ideas in homeopathic practice, followed by a concise materia media of the major remedies. As an example, the description of Veratrum Album includes the TCM characteristics: Deficit of Qi and Blood, Deficit of Yang, and Deficit of Fluids.

The second half of the book is a mini repertory, which Dr.Joe calls Homeosiniatric Repertory. This lists various remedies under TCM headings, similar to our normal repertory with remedy weights. To illustrate, under Shen Deficit, you can find abies-c (2) and acon(4), whereas under Shen Excess, you will find abies-c(1), absin(3) and agarin(3).

Overall, I found the book interesting. Since I have a background in acupuncture and homeopathy, I could easily relate to the ideas discussed. As Dr.Joe himself has admitted, this book is just a starting point and a lot more remains to be done. I find the repertory section of very limited value since the classification is not fine-grained and most of the rubrics are large (more than 500 remedies). Such rubrics cannot be used to effectively differentiate between remedies in a case. And some remedies, especially the polychrests, appear under many rubrics.

I feel Dr.Joe could have devoted a chapter discussing various Syndromes of TCM and correlate symptoms to syndromes. For example, Abdominal Pain can be due to any of the syndromes Blood Stagnation in The Stomach, Heat in the Colon and Liver Qi Invading Spleen. This type of knowledge will prove useful in arriving at the correct remedy.

Anyway, I think interested readers should read this book for what is presented in it, and expand their knowledge by reading more specialised TCM books. (I have a huge collection of books, and if anyone is interested, I can suggest some good ones.)

Another book that links TCM and homeopathy is:

Interpreting Chronic Illness: The Convergence of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy and Biomedicine, Jerry M.Kantor, Right Whale Press, 2011.

Interested readers may want to check out this book also.

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