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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 203-205

Need to revamp Tuberculinum and Psorinum nosodes

Director and Research Head, Life Force, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication15-Sep-2017

Correspondence Address:
Rajesh Shah
Director and Research Head, Life Force, 411-Krushal Commercial Complex, GM Road, Chembur, Mumbai - 400 089, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijrh.ijrh_1_17

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How to cite this article:
Shah R. Need to revamp Tuberculinum and Psorinum nosodes. Indian J Res Homoeopathy 2017;11:203-5

How to cite this URL:
Shah R. Need to revamp Tuberculinum and Psorinum nosodes. Indian J Res Homoeopathy [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Feb 3];11:203-5. Available from: https://www.ijrh.org/text.asp?2017/11/3/203/214834

  Facts About Tuberculinum and Psorinum Top

Tuberculinum, a well-known Homoeopathic nosode, has been in practice since 1879.[1]

There are at least four major preparations in the literature, namely, (1) Tuberculinum[2] from a tuberculosis-infected material, the sputum or pus (from the tubercular abscess) of a patient ‘suspected’ to have tuberculosis (Swan and Fincke before 1879, pre-Koch's preparation).[3],[4] (2) Bacillinum (had confirmed organisms, prepared by Heath and used by Burnett), (3) Tuberculinum (by Robert Koch, believed to be from a glycerine extract of a culture[3] and (4) Tuberculinum bovinum (Kent, bovine type sourced from glands of slaughtered cattle suffering from Tuberculosis).[1],[5] There are no separate indications or symptoms for four varieties.

It is incredible that American Homoeopath Samuel Swan did a pioneering work in developing Tuberculinum;[3],[4] a few years before German physician Robert Koch[5] discovered the organisms Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 1882. However, it must be noted that the preparation by Swan, most likely to have contained not only the M. tuberculosis organism but also possibly other organisms, lung tissues, other proteins and debris. In that case, the Tuberculinum thus prepared by Swan must have been a combination of many unknown biological substances.

  From Back-Potencies Top

On examining the genesis of the Tuberculinum nosode available in the market today (2016) in various pharmacies across India and other countries, one will find that all of the current preparations have been sourced from the successive back-potencies of previously prepared nosode, procured from some other pharmacies, originally the back-potencies from one of the above stated preparations. The author made a communication with several leading pharmacies and confirmed the above information. It was also confirmed that no one makes one's own Tuberculinum for obvious reasons, that is, lack of facility to handle such dangerous organisms.

The Homoeopathy Pharmacopeia of India (HPI)[6] has defined clear instructions about the making of the nosodes. However, Tuberculinum and Psorinum available in the market are not found to be prepared as per the HPI but from the back-potencies.

In other words, the Tuberculinum in use today is supposed to be one which was presumably prepared by Swan in the last part of the 19th century; of which there is no information on its source material available or documented. Furthermore, it must be noted that there are no rules and regulations for the transfer of back-potencies from one country to another country, their form, reliability and their authenticity. There are no tracking records for such transfers over the past 135 years, which also witnessed two world wars.

  Major Indications not Based on Drug Proving Top

Let us look at another dimension of the therapeutic indications of Tuberculinum. This nosode did not undergo a full-fledged proving but a fragmentary proving by Swan[3] on two provers.

On examining the write ups on Tuberculinum by Swan, Burnett, Clarke, Hering and Kent, it was observed that most of the indications were derived from the patients who responded to the treatment by some doses of Tuberculinum or related preparations. The study revealed that the majority of famous and popular symptoms of the mind (such as irritably, fretful, snappish, taciturn, complaining, fear of dogs, cosmopolitan, anticipatory anxiety and fastidious) were not derived from drug proving.[3],[7]

It seems logical that the common physical symptoms of Tuberculinum such as constitution (lean and thin), recurrent respiratory infections, headaches, skin rash, recurrent fevers, low appetite, weight loss, glandular affections, ringworm, diarrhoea soon on waking up, and tubercular diathesis were derived from the common symptoms of the disease. It is worthy of making a note that most of the above symptoms listed by Hering[8] and Kent[7] did not only emerge from drug proving but also from clinical observations.

  Non-Reproducibility Top

It must be noted that the Tuberculinum nosode (any of the above versions) is no more reproducible as its source material as well as the procedure were neither standardised nor documented, in terms of microbial and histopathological characterisation and quantity.

Psorinum was possibly the first and only nosode introduced by Samuel Hahnemann around 1835. The exact year of preparation is not available. There is no mention of Psorinum in Materia Medica Pura (1825) and Chronic Diseases (published in 1835) by Hahnemann,[9] as well as in HPI.

There is an ambiguity about the source material used in Psorinum. As per Hering, Hahnemann had prepared it from seropurulent matter contained in the scabies vesicle.[8] It may be noted that the seropurulent matter in scabies might have potentially contained the mite Sarcoptes scabiei, (discovered by Diacinto Cestoni in 1687); in addition to many more undocumented organisms, bacteria, debris and proteins. Yet, another preparation of Psorinum was made by G. W. Gross from epidermoid efflorescence of Pityriasis.[10] Here, it is difficult to comprehend the meaning of epidermoid efflorescence of Pityriasis. Hering had prepared another Psorinum from ‘a salt from the product of Psora’. It is not possible to fathom of the ‘salt of the product of psora’.

It is clearly explicable that the currently available Tuberculinum and Psorinum nosodes are not reproducible.

  The Symptoms Top

The symptoms in the Materia Medica suggested for prescribing Psorinum are also a mix of those derived from three separate preparations, as described by Hering[8] and Allen.[10] There is only one preparation available in the market. There is no clue as to which of the three preparations of Psorinum is available on the market, used by the profession across the world. Furthermore, the so-called ‘personality type’ or the constitution of Psorinum has been understood on the basis of the mixed symptoms of three different preparations!

  Potency Top

The currently available potencies (30C, 200C, etc.) of Psorinum across the world are prepared from the back potencies purchased by the pharmaceutical companies, as no one manufactures it from the original source. In other words, the Psorinum 30C or 200C origin from 29C and 199C bought by the pharmacy from some old collections of ‘very old’ pharmacies. The ‘very old’ pharmacies are hardly two or five in the world, which are ‘presumed’ to have stored the back-potencies 27C or 28C in large quantity, enabling them to sell 29C to ‘all’ the local pharmacies across the world, for last 185 (Hahnemann) to 140 (Hering) years, which seems practically impossible.

In such a scenario, it seems that the claimed 30C potency sold in the market may be anything between 31 to 40 or more.

  Discussion Top

The currently available nosodes are not based on a scientifically defined pharmaceutical status suitable for any therapeutic agent.

The findings from the review of the history of the making of Tuberculinum and Psorinum nosodes are illustrative and common to almost all the nosodes, which were introduced and prepared in the last part of the 19th century.

One of the most important questions raised is about the non-reproducibility of the nosodes in use. It is, of course, not judicious to have a system, in which the medicines are used which were sourced from the obscure material, over a century ago. Even if such medicines might be producing results in the practice of many practitioners, the approach cannot be continued for future practice.

Such an uncertainty about the source material, therapeutic indications (in terms of symptomatology) and the potencies of any therapeutic agent should be unacceptable by any standard. It is also painful to note that there is hardly any regulation defined in any country to check the tracking system for the source material, transfer and storage of the back-potencies.

Two to three different sources in cases of Tuberculinum and Psorinum should essentially be labelled as separate medicines. Surprisingly, the symptoms in drug-proving, especially in Psorinum, were combined; not allowing the user to know the exact indications for a respective preparation. Ironically, the followers of classical Homoeopathy develop certain personally or constitution types based on such ‘combined’ symptoms, which did not actually belong to any one preparation.

Since microbiology and histopathology were just evolving, it is acceptable that, in the older days, there was no well-evolved, standardised system and process for developing nosodes. It is high time that, now, a fundamental reconstruction of the category of nosodes is called for.

The author proposes an urgent need to review the entire category of nosodes and suggests to redevelop them using the modern scientific process of standardisation,[1] making them available to the profession.

  Conclusion Top

The nosodes Tuberculinum, Carcinosinum, Medorrhinum, Psorinum and Syphilinum have been sourced from the obscure pathological material over a century ago; of which very few literature references[10] are available. Almost all pharmacies use these nosodes (back-potencies) for preparations of subsequent potencies. Back potencies of original nosodes have been used by many companies and handled for such a long period that their authenticity becomes questionable.

There is hardly any documented information and almost negligible evidence about the original source materials. The old nosodes are not reproducible, were not standardised and were not necessarily prepared from the pure strains of organisms. The ill-defined nature of the source, non-reproducibility and doubtful antigenicity are some of the major drawbacks providing limited immunomodulatory efficacy anticipated of nosodes. Furthermore, the organisms have evolved over the time, making it imperative for the development of fresher preparations from the recent strains.[11]

This illustrative review of nosodes and their poorly documented sources open opportunities for revamping of previously prepared (old) nosodes as well as for developing new nosodes. With the advancement in technology, the newer methods in microbiology, histopathology, immunology and medical science are available for standardisation and scientific documentation of the nosodes, which need to be incorporated in modern Homoeopathy pharmacopoeia.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

None declared.

  References Top

Hering C. Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica. Reprint Edition. Vol. 10. New Delhi: B Jain Publishers; 1989. p. 350-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India. 1st ed., Vol 4. New Delhi; Ministry of Health Government of India; 1983. p. 103.  Back to cited text no. 2
Clarke JH. A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, Vol. 3. Available from: http://www.homeoint.org/clarke/t/tub.htm. [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 17]  Back to cited text no. 3
Available from: http://www.wholehealthnow.com/bios/samuel-swan.html. [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 17].  Back to cited text no. 4
Cambau E, Drancourt M. Steps towards the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Robert Koch, 1882. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2014;20:196-201. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24450600. [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 17].   Back to cited text no. 5
Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India. 1st ed., Vol. 4. New Delhi; Ministry of Health Government of India; 1983. p. 136-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
Kent JT. Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica. Reprint. New Delhi; Jain Publishing Company; 1980. p. 1001.  Back to cited text no. 7
Hering C. The Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica. Reprint. Vol. 8. New Delhi; B. Jain Publishers; 1989. p. 538.  Back to cited text no. 8
Hahnemann S. The Chronic Diseases: Their Peculiar Nature and their Homeopathic Cure. 2nd Indian Edition. Vol. II. Calcutta: Dr. N K Banerjee of C Ringer and Co. Translated from the second enlarged German edition of 1935: p. 1.  Back to cited text no. 9
Allen TF. The Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica. Vol. 8. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers; 1988. p. 164. [Last accessed on 2017 Apr 27].  Back to cited text no. 10
Joshi S, Mukerjee S, Vaidya S, Talele G, Chowdhary A, Shah R. Preparation, standardization and in vitro safety testing of Mycobacterium nosodes (Emtact-polyvalent nosode). Homeopathy 2016;105:225-32.[Last accessed on 2017 May 23].  Back to cited text no. 11


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