Marion Belle Rood, MD, was one of the great elders in American homeopathy. She practiced in her hometown of Lapeer, Michigan for over fifty years.
She was a pioneer in science and medicine. As the only woman in her physics masters program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, she helped work on the quantum theory during the 1920's.
After two years of teaching mathematics at a convent in Tennessee, she attended New York Homeopathic Medical College as the only female student in her class, graduating in 1932. Harvey Farrington was one of her professors.
She earned her living while going through medical school by tutoring the children of the Rockefeller family. During that period of time, the term "homeopathy" had been dropped from the school's title, in order to maintain accreditation. This was happening in all the remaining homeopathic schools at that time.
Dr. Rood received her advanced training in homeopathy from her family physician, Dr. Harriet Knott, who in her later years, while blind, lived with Dr. Rood supervising her cases.
Dr. Rood was also a colleague of A.H. Grimmer. Grimmer invited her to join his practice in Chicago, which had been Kent's practice. However Dr. Rood wanted to stay in her rural home town and it was in this small town she remained, practicing from 1932-1992.
Her approach to disease was deeply influenced by her understanding of chronic disease and the miasms. Her tremendous understanding of the pathogenesis of disease enabled her to solve the most difficult cases. J.H. Allen's Chronic Miasms was central in her understanding of prescribing medicines miasmatically.
Far advanced of an isopathic application of nosodes, she knew and developed some of the rarer remedies' relationship to the miasms.
Dr. Rood could open to a page in Hering's Guiding Symptoms and find the case before her mirrored there, word for word. She treated multiple generations within families, often in the same morning.
Dr. Rood used homeopathy in treating cancer in hundreds of cases. While there can be no question that homeopathy is effective in many forms of this disease, her results were the constant discussion of the patients who waited outside her door.
Stories about Dr. Rood are of a legendary nature. Most of them are true. She lived outside of town where the road turned to dirt. Rood's Lake Road had been named after her grandmother, and was the site of their farmhouse on the edge of a state wilderness preserve.
Dr. Rood had moved to this house after the family house in town, from which she practiced for many years, had been the victim of arson, due to political rivals of her father and brother who were lawyers.
She did not have a telephone, nor take appointments. Her clinic hours began at eleven in the morning. Patients came from around the country and the world to line up on her dirt road.
Cars lined up outside her driveway by eight in the morning. She would open her door and treat the first in line, and continue until till 1 a.m. daily, sometimes later. She worked until the last patient had been treated. Patients would eat picnic lunches, stand on the porch and chat, while waiting.
In Dr. Rood's office in her living room, patients sat amidst piles of books, cats and dogs, dishes covered in lace, and wooden boxes filled with medicines. Records were kept on large file cards.
She sat behind a small wooden side table with Kent and Knerr's Repertories guiding her. Busts of Hahnemann and Hyphatia watched over her. Hyphatia was a young woman mathematician and astronomer from Alexandria, and a leading proponent of neo-platonic thought.
Patients reported that she would leave you with an issue of Scientific American when she went to prepare your remedy, then quiz them about the articles when she returned.
As a scientist, Dr. Rood kept a wide range of journals piled through out the living room in which she saw her patients. She would regularly lecture to her patients on the relationship between homeopathy and current developments in science, whether they could appreciate her insights or not.
She felt strongly that a background in physics was essential for a homeopathic education. She had a tremendous ability to perceive where homeopathy had been confirmed in the scientific literature, or solutions to medical problems in the scientific literature, unsolved due to the lack of homeopathic thinking.
She had special interest in Interferon research, which she felt had proven Hahnemann's description of viral interference as spelled out in the Organon, yet pharmaceutical approaches had failed in utilizing the discovery of interferon effectively.
Along with Dr. Wryth Post Baker she testified before the Senate, to maintain the status of the pharmacopoeia. She also donated vast sums of her personal savings to the legal effort to keep the HPUS an official compendium.
Her life extended over 97 years, from August 11, 1898 to December 22, 1995.
1. American Homeopath
"Marion Belle Rood, MD" 1997
2. J Yasgur
"A Selected Homeopathic Obituary: Rood, Marion Belle"