Great Women of Homeopathy
As a homeopathic consultant for many years, I find the inspiration of homeopaths before me to be of encouragement and worthy of emulation. Two great women stand as a beacon of light in our world of interest-group medicine that is so prevalent in today’s world.
Dr. Dorothy Shepherd, my posthumous mentor, was an English medical doctor practicing in hospital clinics and emergency rooms after WW1. She used conventional methods learned in medical school, hospitals and clinics. Then, as luck would have it, she learned of homeopathy via veterinarians and homeopathic physicians abounding in England at the time. After putting her full attention to the study of this vast body of medical literature, she slowly began incorporating it into her daily practice in the emergency room and clinic where she worked.
As WW11 rolled around and trauma became a customary fair, she wholly depended on her new medicine entirely. Since Dr. Shepherd advanced to using homeopathy full time, she never reverted to the “ways of old” again. Having a full staff at her call, she taught and instructed them in the homeopathic protocols for all emergencies including pre and post operative procedures. Her conventional antiseptics were replaced with Calendula, her protocol for broken bones was to administer Arnica, then set the bone. Conventional analgesics that carried side effects were replaced by Hypericum, Arnica and Ledum. Fever cases were given Belladonna, psychological trauma was treated with Aconite and Gelsemium. And her case load wasn’t light. London and surrounding areas where she practiced were under frequent bombings, so her experience was like working in a MASH unit, only with ill prepared civilians.
Her work was one of diligence and commitment to her patients and dedication to the calling of homeopathy. And indeed it was a calling of stature. Her writings are documented evidence as a beacon against the tide of conventional modern medicine. In her books, she illuminates her day to day experiences of her transformational thought carrying her away from drug laden medicine to homeopathy. Here is a woman, thoroughly trained in the ways of her professors and colleagues, who finds her tools frustrating and causing more harm than good. Before her transformation towards a more rational medicine, she found her clinic a source of frustration and ill equipped for the sheer numbers of civilians who flooded her doors. And so she found a solution in homeopathy.
Yet, Dr. Shepherd is not the only symbol of hope who hailed and readily used homeopathy. Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, was a crusader for the medical care of the poor in India. She used homeopathy along side conventional medicine, but she had a particular interest in homeopathy because of its effectiveness and low cost. Therefore, she taught her ministry of sister-nurses to treat the poor with this medicine of historical notoriety . She and her sisterhood are reputed to have set up tables in the market on the streets of Calcutta with their homeopathy kits and repertories ready for the onslaught of the needy. They treated scabies with Sulphur, skin infections with Arsenicum iodatum, the grieving with Ignatia (named after St. Ignatius) and the wounded with Calendula. She opened her first homeopathic medical dispensary in Calcutta in 1950 and her following, the Missionaries of Charity, continue her work throughout the world today.
It is no wonder that these woman were stalwarts in their perspective worlds. They had inner strength, probing minds and hearts that were attuned to the good of humanity. I hail their works among those with the courage to stand against the forces of cartel medicine. They are to be imitated as they are the carriers of the good name of homeopathy and the well being of humanity.