Oct 10, 2017
There are a lot great homeopaths who have contributed greatly to our Materia Medica in a variety of ways, but when I realized that I wanted to start bringing more MM into the podcast- I thought about calling the person who wrote the book I reach for the most- Frans Vermeulen, the creator and author of Prisma….
Frans graciously agreed to talk with me, shortly after he and his wife Dr. Linda Johnston, moved to Texas.
Now, before I make some short remarks about our conversation, I want to make sure we’re all on the same page about who Frans Vermeulen is, and what he has contributed to our Materia Medica. I’ll save the biographical details for him, as he shares them in our conversation.
Publication wise, he has published
Prisma- as I mentioned- and the
The Concordant Reference, first and expanded Second Edition
I’d like to share a review by Will Taylor, commenting on these two references:
Franz Vermeulen's Prisma is - first of all - a beautiful book. Care in creation is what we've all come to expect from a work of Vermeulen's, and this offering merely brings that expectation to a new level. While the author's Concordant Materia Medica has become the gold-standard of a luggable reference to our medicinary - fodder for the 'left brain' of our art - Prisma strikes off in a new direction, as a resource for the right-brained appreciation of our materia medica. It is often far too easy for us to regard our remedies as little white pellets with unpronounceable names and incomprehensible lists of symptoms. Vermeulen counters this loss with detailed descriptions of the substance in the natural world, folding in generous volumes of insight from anthroposophy, folklore, mythology, toxicology and eclectic use.
While the Concordant is the hands-down winner for succinct comprehensiveness in describing the symptomatology of our remedies, Prisma turns to the task of bringing the most essential of these symptoms to life. In the Main Symptoms sections, carefully-selected narratives from the provings, cases or classical teachers expand the meaning of individual symptoms. One can begin to imagine that Ernest Farrington, Constantine Hering or Margaret Tyler were reading over your shoulder and expanding on each point. Vermeulen's Concordant is one of the few books of which I own 2 copies -one at the office, one at home so as never to be without it. Prisma, I am certain, will join that honor.
Will Taylor, MD
The Synoptic Reference 1 published in 2012
covers 500 remedies including polycrest and rare, new and small remedies.
Synoptic Reference 2, published in 2015
49 Organic compounds, chemicals and drugs
30 Nosodes, sarcodes and biochemicals
208 Traditional and 398 New Remedies
Materia Medica based on 732 Provings from 29 countries
Monera Kingdom- Bacteria and Viruses- Spectrum MM Vol. 1
History of bacteria, viruses & diseases
· classification & relationships
· Scientific data
· Provings old, new & redone
Kingdom Fungi- Spectrum MM Vol. 2
Vermeulen’s library of books about fungi expanded from one single book to 80 during the course of his research. As the homeopathic materia medica of fungi is far from complete, most of the information is synthesized from other sources. In the past, the fungi have been grouped into the Kingdom Plantae, and sometimes as ‘excrescences of the earth!’ Now, however, particularly with the means of DNA testing, it is important that these organisms, and also the fungus-like moulds and yeasts, take their place in their own Kingdom. We must desist from making any comparison between the plants and fungi.
Fungi, the second book in the Spectrum Materia Medica series, continues the fastidious research and production standards that we expect of Emryss Publishers. As well as being a valuable materia medica, it also makes fascinating reading.
Synoptic MM 2, of 348 small remedies
and - not last, and certainly not least-
PLANTS_ a 4 Volume set, co-authored with Linda Johnston
This major work details over 2000 individual plant remedies classified in 150 botanic families. Drawing on a wealth of information from provings, clinical observations, herbal uses, folk lore, mythology, botany, personal accounts, toxicology and other sources, the authors weave an in-depth, coherent picture of each botanic family and its members. Each family’s themes and organ system affinities are discussed, supported by the plants’ chemical composition, physiological and pharmacological effects. In addition, for each plant remedy, Plants, lists the number of rubrics in modern repertories, as well as phytochemical composition, official and common names, botanical descriptions and distribution.
Combining the clarity and detail for which Frans' work is renowned with Linda's years of clinical experience promises to deliver a definitive text on plant remedies.
plus articles, DVDs, and probably much more *not to mention* what sounds like a couple of his biggest projects to date that are still in the works, that he shared with me before we wrapped up.
And you’ll hear that we tried to wrap up the call at least 3 times, but it was hard to stop talking! I felt like I had *barely* scratched the surface of my curiosity and questions for an individual who has been immersed and dedicated to our MM for over 25 years on top of 20 years of clinical practice.
—— You also might note that we actually don’t talk that much about materia medica, in terms of remedies. Frans asked me to send him a list of questions or topics in advance, which I was happy to do, though in truth we did not stick to them past the standard first question- how did you find homeopathy? When I talk with guests for the podcast, I want to connect and understand the person and follow whatever interesting thread happens to come up.
Through this conversation with Frans, we get that glimpse of how rich the history of our MM is, both from a specimen standpoint, but also in terms of its lineage and the tentacles that reach out and connect to other disciplines.
These are the tidbits of our heritage which I find to be so fascinating, and often only to be found by connecting with those who have dedicated years of their lives to the study.
Frans has offered us the fruits of his labor through his incredible library, and I’m so grateful that he joined me to share what often cannot be found in books.
But enough of my rambling…
before I switch to the interview
I also want to give you a quick heads up that
You will also hear some distracting back-ground noise on my end about 30 min. into the call…
I conduct these interviews in a small separate office we have at our home, and it dawned on me during our call that I had left the oven on before I headed out to take the call.
Frans and I were on the phone, rather than Skype, and so I continued the call while I took the short walk back into my home to turn off the oven, which was making a jolly little song, and I think my dog was barking.
So- I apologize for that distraction- otherwise the call was uninterrupted and the quality was great.