Importance of diet and regimen during the treatment and for the maintenance of health is not new to the world. Infact its importance is known to the world since 500BC .
Great Greek physician and father of medicine Hippocrate who went far ahead to say ‘”Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food.”
Egyptian physicians (also) held that food, if subjected to insufficient or faulty digestion, could be transformed into morbid entities.
Arab physicians, although they recognized that foods and drugs constitute the pillars of therapy, differed in the importance they accorded to each.
The importance of diet was, however, stressed by many, of whom Avicenna who expressed it in several verse of his Canticum: “To preserve health, medicine acts in two ways. To maintain the temperament give a similar diet. To alter the nature of the body, give its contrary (verses 791-798).
Dr Hahnemann also emphasized about diet and regimen but contrary to believe then he gave different places to diet and medicine required for treatment. According to him remedy is must for cure but if diet and regimen are not corrected they will maintain the disease. In chronic disease he states that “ A strict homoepathic diet and mode of living dose not cure chronic patient as our opponents pretend in order to diminish the merit of homoeopathy , but the main cause is the medical treatment . This may be seen in the case of the many patients who trusting these false allegation have fro years observed the most strict homoeopathic diet without being able there by to diminish appreciable their chronic disease , this rather increases in spite of diet ,as all disease of a chronic miasmatic nature do from their nature.
But in the disease due to transient dispositions caused due to faulty diets or habits one must correct them in order to attain health.§ 77 he gives eg: of disease due to deficiencies or due to excess etc.
But in cases of pure miasmatic disease DR Hahnemann says
§ 256 “But should we find, during the employment of the other medicines in chronic (psoric) diseases, that the best selected homeopathic (antipsoric) medicine in the suitable (minutest) dose does not effect an improvement, this is a sure sign that THE CAUSE THAT KEEPS UP THE DISEASE STILL PERSIST, and that there is some circumstance in the mode of life of the patient or in the situation in which he is placed, that must be removed in order that a permanent cure may ensue”.
Proper hygienic and dietary measures must be taken recourse to before administration of remedial drugs, which are used as specific stimuli to rouse the vital force to react against the morbific agent and overcome their noxious influences. In the chronic disease we have to be more careful in dietic and hygienic matter as they may easily upset the patient in a surreptitious manner as it is rightly explained in § 259-36 in Organon of medicine 6th edition
Considering the minuteness of the doses necessary . and proper in Homeopathic treatment we can easily understand that during the treatment everything must be remove from the diet & regime which can have any medical action. In order that the small dose may not be overwhelmed & extinguish by any foreign medicinal irritant further in § 260, Hahnemann 1989 – 36 quotes. Hence the careful investigation into such obstacles is so much the more necessary in the case of patient affected by chronic disease, as they are disease causing errors in the diet and regiment, which often passed unnoticed . Further he states, the most appropriate regiment during the employment of medicine in chronic disease consist in the removal of such obstacles to recovery and in supplying them necessary the reverse. Innocent moral and intellectual recreations, active exercise in open air almost all kind of weather daily, walks slight manual labour suitable nutrition unmedicinal food and drinks etc.
In the note to this paragraph Hahnemann gives a list of things that he felt were important to “avoided as far as possible or be removed” while attempting a cure of a prolonged chronic disease. He used the word “as far as possible” because it difficult to remove such things all in most cases. These avoidables hold true in todays life too.
- “Coffee; fine Chinese and other herb teas”
Coffee can be a great obstacle to the cure. Hahnemann wrote that coffee was one of the greatest aggravators of the Psora and the chronic miasms. Also it is non for its action as universal antidote.
- “Beer prepared with medicinal vegetable substances unsuitable for the patient’s state; so-called fine liquors made with medicinal spices; all kinds of punch; spiced chocolate; highly spiced dishes and sauces; spiced cakes, and ices.
It is best to avoid excessively spiced food, liquors, candies, ice creams, and the like. The chronic miasms cause many false cravings that make a person desire things that are the very worst for them. In this way the miasms feed themselves rather then the person. Moderate spicing usually is fine unless the individual is idiosyncratic to them.
- “Odorous waters and perfumes of many kinds; strong-scented flowers in the apartment; tooth powders and essences and perfumed sachets compounded of drugs”.
Strong perfumes and oils are a sometimes act as antidoting agent canceling agents. They are best avoided. As the case stabilizes and the health improves on can remove the restrictions one by one. The if something happens the homoeopath knows exactly what caused it. As a person gets healthier these things often don’t matter as much as well they are ill.
- “Crude medicinal vegetables for soups; dishes of herbs, roots and stalks of plants possessing medicinal qualities; asparagus with long green tips, hops, and all vegetables possessing medicinal properties, celery, onions; old cheese, and meats that are in a state of decomposition, or that possess medicinal properties (as the flesh and fat of port, ducks and geese, or veal that is too young and sour viands), ought just as certainly to be kept from patients”.
In presnt days diets don’t really use such crude herbs, roots and stalks, nor the various meats mentioned. Our diets are more refined which can be good or bed for health. Raw onions and garlic are more of a problem than those that are cooked in food. Heavy meats and fats are very hard on psorics and sycotics. Such things should be kept at a minimum.
- “as they should avoid all excesses in food, and in the use of sugar and salt”
Too much fat, sugar and salt potentates the chronic miasms and speeds the development of degenerative diseases. A healthy balanced diet is essential to the health.
- “Also, they should avoid spirituous drinks, undiluted with water”
Drug abuse may also includes substances like cocaine, opiates, speed, and marijuana. If drugs and alcohol are maintaining causes which keep up the disease the indiviudal will not get well until they are reduce or stopped.
- “Heated rooms, woolen clothing next the skin, a sedentary life in close apartments, or the frequent indulgence in mere passive exercise (such as riding, driving or swinging), taking a long siesta in a recumbent posture in bed, sitting up long at night, reading while lying down.”
Living in unventilated rooms which are over heated is unhealthy as is living in a unhealthy building. Those who wish to heal must avoid unhealthy surroundings, sedentary habits, sleeping too much in the day, and staying up all night. Fresh air, sunlight and exercise are very important.
- “Prolonged suckling”
Too many babies and too much suckling is very hard on a women. This speeds the aging process and is very stressful. We see this much in third world where young mothers have too many children too quickly.
- Sexual energy either brings one health or destroys one’s life. The venereal miasms pervert the sexual instinct and try to produce states that maintain themselves and spread themselves. Moderation in all things is the best advice when it comes to sexual matters. Dr Hahnemann emphasized on stimulation or suppression of sexual energy is not healthy. Too much masturbation is also not good.
- “subjects of anger, grief or vexation, a passion for play, over-exertion of mind or body, especially after meals.” Emotional stress is the greatest aggravator of the chronic miasms and degenerative diseases. If a person’s emotional life is in turmoil it is hard for even the best remedies to act. For the best results the client should be working on their own emotional and spiritual well being as the treatment goes on.
- “dwelling in marshy districts, damp rooms, penurious living, etc.”
Working and living conditions have a great effect on health. Some people live in areas where negative telluric influences maintain disease others live in substandard housing. Living in crowded cities human beings are exposed to over population, stressful environments and bombarded pollution. Fresh air, sunlight, and pure water are very important and all too rare in some cities and towns. More light, air, plants, color, music makes life in our modern world less stressful. If such conditions can not be change for the better homoepahtic remedies may do little over all good in the long run.
Dr Hahnemann sums up this long list by saying:
“All these things must be as *far as possible avoided or removed*, in order that the cure may not be obstructed or rendered impossible. Some of my disciples seem needlessly to increase the difficulties of the patient’s dietary by forbidding the use of many more, tolerably indifferent things, which is not to be commended.”
Complete change in lifestyle and habits from the patient is difficult to attain hence in the above statement “as far as possible “ is used by master
A well chosen homoeopathic remedies has the power to work though most common food and drink very well. They work through perfume, toothpaste, teas, coffee, spirits, drugs, and medicines if they are not in excess in many cases. It is those cases in which such things are causing or maintaining the disease state and those things which the person is idiosyncratic to the individuals. These are the agents that the homoeopath must seek out in the persons life. These few things are what need to be changed so that the remedy will take affect. Once the remedies retune the vital force toward the harmonious state of health the false cravings of the mind and miasms will lessen and the person will desire those things which are healthy for them.
Dr Hahnemann came to the conclusion that the constitution becomes used to many of things over a longer period of time. If they are not maintaining the disease nor antidoting the remedies there is no reason to remove them all at once.