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First Materia Medica to Buy

📚 Clients often ask me: "If I want to know more about homeopathic remedies, what book should I read?" My answer goes along the lines of: "What smart phone would you buy for someone, who never used smart phones before? 

And more importantly, if you buy a smartphone, suppose for your grandma, and teach her how to use social media, text games and calls, how many features of that phone, how much of what the phone is capable of, will actually be used? 

Homeopathy IS like a smart phone. One can start using it right away, learning just a few symptoms of first aid remedies: i.e. Arnica for bruises, Belladonna for sore throat, Aconite for panic attack etc. And then comes the time when fever, bruises and anxiety are not responding to the remedies used. What do people say then - "Homeopathy does not work".  Do they understand that what they are doing is akin to building deep meaningful relationships with 700 new social media "friends" by liking their status updates? Try calling them to help you move heavy furniture and when no one shows up complain that social media connections are "not real". Like in everything, with Materia Medica Study you can only get out what you put in.

You do want to start with high quality material, at the same time you don't want to be overwhelmed. Background in medical terminology and style of processing new information is very important. It is best if you have some interest in philosophy of Vitalism, have respect for the knowledge and understanding to use it with care. Ideal Materia Medica will appeal to readers with artistic and with scientific-factual view on the world. More often, however, one of these is neglected in favor of another. First, check for the amount of medical jargon used to describe even very simple symptoms. The book may call a stroke "cerebrovascular accident" or an "apoplexy",  reddening of the skin "erythema" or "hyperemia", swelling with fluid retention "edema" or "dropsy". Second, don't expect to find an inlet to the profound knowledge in Materia Medica that reads like a novel. Hoping to study homeopathy by doing light reading is like hoping to study medicine by watching Doc Martin or House.  With these warnings, the best books to start learning about homeopathic remedies are those that you can test drive to see how well you relate to the material offered, style of delivery, formatting of the text, depth of the discussion. Most importantly you and the author of the Materia Medica should have similar views on people and their ailments. 

When you are looking at the book preview decide for yourself if you can:

1. Engage with the text - there is  no point in buying a book if your eyes glaze over after few lines or it feels like you are reading a dictionary and relate to it as much as to furniture assembly instruction manual.

2. Remember relevant information about remedies - seriously, read remedy description, then turn away and write down what you recall. Compare with the original text. Compare with your average retention of new information . 

3. Distinguish between the remedies - select remedies that are very different and absolutely can not be confused, for example - Argentum nitricum and Silica. Repeat a little experiment described in how to test yourself for retention of relevant information. Then do the same with remedies that often look like one another, for example Bryonia and Apis. 

4. Use formatting of the book to figure out what remedy symptoms are most important, what you must see before you decide that the remedy will work.