Avian realm – birds as medicines

Again this is an old review formerly published in the Homeopathic Times

BIRDS: Homeopathic Remedies from the Avian Realm.
Available at www.minervabooks.co.uk and Emryss Publishing etc.

Three great homeopaths have co-ordinated these provings. Some however are the work of others, for example Jeremy Sherr, Elizabeth Shultz, Todd Rowe and Peter Mohr.   

Dr. Jonathon Shore may be known to some of you already for his teaching. Having been influenced by George Vithoulkas, he was one of the first of a new generation of homeopaths in the U.S. that helped revive classical homeopathy there. He would have taught many of the British homeopaths in the eighties. We can rely on Jonathon for good quality classical homeopathy.

In this volume he presents the provings of sixteen bird remedies. The way he has presented the material and his own depth of insight means this book succeeds in painting clear pictures of each remedy.   

The provers have employed different proving techniques; toxicological, Hahnemannian, “modern classical,” “modified classical,” “trituration,” seminar and meditation. Mainly though the trituration method has been employed (p.170).   

In the foreword, Roger Morrison explains the reason we need these bird remedies. He says that in Clarke’s dictionary we find 997 remedies. Of these, 589 are plants, 300 mineral and 82 animal. Jonathon and his friends have now re-addressed the absence of the avian species.   

Roger et al. begin by giving us the background to birds from a physical and behavioural point but also a morphological and a  nomenclative understanding. He also includes an overview of the bird provings as a whole; the genus epidemicus if you like. This led him to a significant discovery; that Jeremy Sherr was wrong, or at least he was right but for the wrong reason! In his proving of eagle, Jeremy assumed there were so many shoulder and hip symptoms because his remedy was made from a bird which had been injured. Jonathon however found this to be a characteristic of bird remedies generally along with stitching pains in the eye.   

He then proceeds to give the characteristic of each bird remedy, then he gives us the provings. After this comes the icing on the cake, a plethora of cases from various homeopaths.   

Unlike mineral remedies birds cannot be so easily classified or put into their boxes. The bird mind organizes itself around concepts, ideas which allow for a dynamic shifting of emphasis.   

Jonathon and his colleagues have perceived the mind of each remedy and grasped the dynamic in the pathogenesis of each remedy. They have also distinguished between the dynamics of land and water birds and communal and nuclear birds.   

My only questions remain – and this is true of so many newer provings; why should there be a predominance of mind symptoms? Also, the frequent references to “abuse.” Is this due to todays consciousness or is it an Americanism? Further, the proving of Bubo-v. has more information in the “Key Features” section than in the proving itself.   

While homeopaths can work hard and publish great material, they can be lacking when it comes to marketing. I’d like the authors to have included a list of pharmacies providing the new remedies. Louis Klein’s book is guilty of the same omission.

Having said that, it remains an invaluable book, very readable and stimulating. It gives us sixteen new remedies which are irreplaceable.

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