Installment 11 of a series on case analysis
© Will Taylor, MD 2001 (bio)
An Anamnesis of Lyme Disease
Applying the process of determining the
Genus Epidemicus to a Subacute Miasm
The Botanical Family Ericaceae and Lyme Disease
We could restrict the repertorization of our anamnesis to the botanical family Ericaceae:
The similitude to Lyme disease of the Ericaceae as a family suggests an interesting comparative study of these remedies as a group. I'd like to begin below with some fragments of a comparative study of this group in the context of their similitude to Lyme disease, with the understanding that this is a process that could be continued to considerably greater detail.
The Ericaceaids are represented in our Materia Medica by 13 remedies:
Only 3 of these - Ledum, Rhododendron, and Kalmia - are reasonably represented in our literature. Gaultheria procumbens has been only poorly characterized, principally from its empiric use in the Eclectic and botanical medical traditions, with a fragmentary proving in crude/toxic dose.
As a family of related remedies, these four Ericaceaids cover the common or genus symptoms of Lyme disease well. This is not to suggest that other remedies may not be useful in treating individual cases of Lyme disease - but the analysis above suggests that this group of remedies describes a central core of symptomatology essential to appreciating the common process of this disease.
Rheumatic symptoms are central to all four. From Franz Vermeulen's Concordant Materia Medica, the opening lines in the description of these remedies read:
Ledum - "Affects esp. the rheumatic diathesis, going through all the changes, from functional pain to altered secretions and deposits of solid, earthy matter in the tissues …"
Rhododendron - "Rheumatic and gouty symptoms well marked …"
Kalmia - "A rheumatic remedy …"
Gaultheria - "Inflammatory rheumatism, pleurodynia, sciatica, and other neuralgias, come within the sphere of this remedy …"