Yesterday our small team travelled by bus for our monthly visit to a local migrant worker camp. There were no critical emergencies this time. (During the last visit a little girl was brought to me with a severe case of poisoning from local berries.) She was screaming and terrified. I gave a quick dose of Ipecac 1m and with seconds she was vomiting up the berries. After 10 minutes she was calm and resting in her fathers arms. I gave a dose of arsenicum album 200 as a follow up.
Yesterday’s trip however had a profound effect on all of us.
The inhabitants of the plastic tent camp are all from Rajasthan. They live far away their native place in order to make a menial wage that they can not earn at home. Mostly the men and women perform the hard physical labor of carrying bricks and cement on their heads, or digging ditches, As first glance the women and children seem fine. They are dressed in colorful outfits with lots of imitation jewelry. A closer look however reveals a different story. The men suffer from alcoholism and as a result they, as well as the women and children, are malnourished. The 200 rupee a day salary ( about 4.50) doesn’t go far after a bottle of expensive rot gut whiskey and some cigarettes.
When the first little boy came to me with a bloated belly and loss of appetite, I was not surprised to learn that he eats sand and the chalk he gets from school. I thought, aha! a good rubric. ( inedible things,lime, desires.) But then when the local school teacher came to me for her own anemia, she told me that all the children steal the chalk and eat it. Many of these people are “surviving” on only a few chapatis a day. Yesterday we saw 45 patient during the 6 hours of work. Thats better than the 50 we saw in 3 hours last time. but still a challenge. This time I was able to do simple computer repertorization with most cases. What happened was interesting. Sulphur and sulphur salts kept coming up in most of the cases. It seems everyone had itchy skin. In the moment I thought that I can’t give sulphur to so many people. I was working very quickly and looked for other more accurate remedies, but sulphur kept coming for all kinds of ailments. , not just itching. I felt at a loss, and overwhelmed by so much hunger, poverty, and weakness.
At the end of the day I had some time to let the impressions of the days events soak in. I began to think about sulphur and poverty and itching and Psora. It was like I was getting a lesson directly from Hahnemann himself. I had never encountered the psoric miasm so clearly and directly before. Of course I have read the Chronic Diseases a number of times, and know all about the theory. However, in the west we just don’t see it like this. Whether the scabies itch is the source of all human suffering or not is open to debate, but the fact that there is a correspondence between this disorder, and poverty is unmistakable. To focus on the causal aspect here is, I think to miss the point. Of course we can say that because poor people are malnourished they are susceptible to parasitic skin diseases. However, the energetic quality of these very poor people, FEELS like itching and scratching. There is something deep here, that goes beyond the purely simplistic, logical causal relationship. Yesterdays lesson was a good one for me. I still wonder whether as homeopaths we can treat “poverty” I think maybe its possible. Certainly Hahnemann thought so. Unfortunately Psora is alive and well in poor rural India. I think on next month’s visit I will stock up on sulphur salts, psorinum, calc carb, lycopodium and other very psoric remedies. I think there is some “hope to keep trying”. Very Psoric! As a final note I would once again urge any homeopaths or advanced homeopathic students to come and work with us for a weekend or longer. We really need volunteer help as well as donations. You will learn a lot, help people in need, and not regret a moment of time spent doing this work!