Carbon: Organic and Hydrocarbon Remedies in Homeopathy by Roger Morrison
REVIEWAuthor's review: Molly Punzo, MD.
Roger Morrison's previous two works, the highly respected Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms, and Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology, grace the bookshelves of most homeopaths and are required reading in many, if not most, homeopathic schools. Morrison's latest contribution to the filed of homeopathic literature will no doubt take its place alongside these works.
Carbon: Organic and Hydrocarbon Remedies in Homeopathy is the culmination of many years of practice, detailed research, careful analysis, and reflection, and it includes a host of illustrative homeopathic cases. Morrison gives us insight into a family of remedies that have been previously under-prescribed and poorly understood. He presents more than 200 carbon-based remedies, never before bound in a single text, such as Acetic acidum, Carbo vegetabilis, Carbo animalis, Petroleum, Diamond, Graphites, Kreosotum, Terebinthina, Benzoic acid, Glonoinum, Chloroformum, Naphthalinum, Manganum, Menthe piperita, Mentholum, Mercurius cyanatus, and Zincum valerianicum (how many of us have prescribed that one recently?). There is so much to be gleaned simply by reading the introduction and early chapters. Morrison reminds us that without the carbon molecule, which is at the very core of all living things, no life on earth would exist. A whole branch of chemistry-organic chemistry-is devoted to the study of carbon and its compounds.
Nowadays, the word "organic" is often used to mean "healthy," as in organic food or farming. But as Morrison points out, many organic chemicals-those chemicals with carbon as part of their make-up-are anything but healthy. Such organic chemicals as petrochemicals, plastics, food additives, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and solvents have proliferated with the industrial age, exposing our bodies to some level of toxicity on a daily basis.
Given the ubiquity of such toxic carbon compounds, it becomes clear that to call oneself a homeopath, one must have more than a passing knowledge of the carbon remedies. One must get to know the toxicology as well as the homeopathic symptoms, themes, patterns, and peculiarities so as not to miss these prescriptions in practice. What if, as Morrison suggests, there is a correlation between the sheer number of these toxic organic chemicals in our environment and the high number of affected patients needing a carbon-based homeopathic remedy? And what if, as Morrison believes, chemically and environmentally sensitive patients are much more inclined to need a carbon-based homeopathic remedy? Without an intimate understanding of these remedies, we will miss opportunity after opportunity to help.
The first part of the book, then, gives a thorough history of organic chemicals, most of which are highly toxic. The next section deals with major, minor, and general themes of the carbon remedies. The third part (the meat of the book) provides a detailed materia medica of the carbon remedies. Many of these remedies are familiar to homeopaths, while others are largely unknown.
If you are wondering how Morrison chose and ultimately grouped the remedies included in the book, the answer is chemically complex and beyond the scope of this review. It's interesting to note, however, that he includes certain plant remedies in the carbon family, such as Camphor, Eucalyptus, and Wintergreen, because they have high concentrations of organic (i.e., carbon-based) volatile oils, and many of their proving, clinical, and toxicological symptoms are, in fact, the result of these volatile organics.
Morrison certainly does a thorough investigation of the family of carbon remedies. At the end of this 842-page book is an organic chemistry review, which may be nostalgic for some and torture for others! One need not get caught up in this section of the book, however, in order to be able to recognize and prescribe these organic carbon remedies. Thank goodness for that!
In writing this book, Morrison intended to shine light on an area of much ignorance-while providing homeopaths with invaluable tools (remedies) and a corresponding how-to manual (this book). Upon reading it, I felt intrigued, humbled, and even somewhat intimidated. It has made me want to study organic chemistry all over again with new eyes and ears. One thing you can say about our profession-there is no such thing as completing your course of homeopathic study! Just when I was feeling safe to come out of the water and onto the land (isn't that how organic life on Earth evolved, after all), Morrison's book shows me how much more there is to learn. It is with gratitude that I contemplate the vast amount of investigative, experiential, and explorational effort that went into the writing of this profound and sophisticated book. It's right out there on the cutting edge.
Published in Homeopathy Today magazine of the National Center for Homeopathy , April 2005 edition.
How to Use This Book, Contents and excerpt of chapter The Major Themes of the Organic Compounds in http://www.narayana-publishers.eu/Carbon/Roger-Morrison/b1906