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Updated: Jun 4

I am going to tell you the history of Homeopathic Psychiatric Practice in the US, from our past.

There was a Psychiatric Homeopathic Hospital known as ‘Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital, Middletown, New York’. Opened in 1874, this institution had

  • a large complex of 47 buildings

  • 3092 beds

  • 17 staff homeopaths

  • a large number of nurses and

  • a large pharmacy which carried no allopathic medicines whatsoever.

The treatments were carried out strictly along the lines introduced by Hahnemannian Homeopathy.


The Middletown institution treated 11000 patients between its inauguration in 1874 and in 1916. It was described as the finest HOMEOPATHIC INSANITY INSTITUTION in the world!!!

Again, the treatment was of the strictest homeopathicity and the results were little short of miraculous.

The superintendent of the institution was Dr. Seldon Haines Talcott (1842-1902), AM, MD, Ph.D., who was the Professor of Mental Diseases at the New York Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1869 and from New York Homeopathic College in 1872.

Dr. Talcott was Chief of Staff at Ward’s Island Homeopathic Hospital in New York city from 1875-1877. In April 1877, he took over the administration of the Middletown Hospital which he headed until his death in 1902. His lectures at the medical college were recorded and presented in the textbooks, called Mental Diseases and their Modern Treatment published in 1901.

At this facility, there were not only hospital measures for the recuperation of the mentally sick but the INDICATED HOMEOPATHIC REMEDY was applied with conscientious fidelity in each and every case.

“These were the methods pursued at the institution under my charge during the past quarter of the century.“ (Mental Diseases and their Modern Treatment, S H Talcott, Preface, p. 1)

The treatment at the institution was based on 9 therapeutic principles:

Dr. Talcott’s lectures at the college covered the subjects:

The homeopathic treatment at Middletown was based on four cardinal principles:

  • Similia similibus curanter

  • Single remedy

  • Minimal dose

  • Potentized remedy

No allopathic medicines, narcotics, sleep-inducing drugs were used at this institution.

The prescriptions were based on the study of 3 cardinal areas:

An example of the Materia Medica taught for the TREATMENT OF THE INSANE may be found in Dr. Talcott’s lectures on the treatment of mania.

In this address, he reviewed what he called the ‘big 4’ in the treatment of Mania:

On this basis, Dr. Talcott compares the symptoms of these cardinal mania medicines along with the other medicines like:

Aconite Bryonia Cantharis Gelsimium Nux vomica


Lachesis Rhus toxicodendron Tarentula Hispania Veratrum viride Sulphur

Among his suggestions, we find

  1. Hyoscyamus is a remedy that is called for when there is a low grade of maniacal excitement than that which calls for Bell and bell tears off clothing for destructiveness. Hyosyamus tears off clothing for the purpose of exposing the person and the purpose of exciting the passions of others

  2. In this lecture, Dr. Talcott mentions using Belladonna 3C-30C in very excitable patients and 1C/1X in dull, heavy, stupid patients.

  3. Stramonium is even more fierce than the belladonna; he was laughing like Hyosyamus, rather like the hyena; he waxes eloquent and pathetic in the despairing of salvation like the prover of Veratrum album, and is greatly troubled with hallucinations.

  4. Veratrum album combines as primary effects, the wildest vagaries of the religious enthusiast, the amorous frenzy of the nymphomaniac, and the excretative passions of the infuriated demon, each striving for ascendancy.

  5. Aconite is useful when there is high fever as well as mental anxiety, restlessness and fear of death.

  6. Veratrum viride which also has high fever, rapid pulse, great restlessness ‘is often indicated in the maniacal attacks to which epileptics and paretics are subject.‘

  7. Nux vomica is obstinate, incorrigible, cross, ugly and sometimes studious.

  8. Bryonia, also an ugly remedy, the NV moves about while the bryonia keeps still because all his symptoms are aggravated by motion.

  9. The Lachesis is very sensitive and persistently loquacious, and the prover feels as if death had over-taken him.

  10. Tarentula is for crafty, cunning maniacs, full of mischief, prone to sudden fits of destructiveness, such as knocking down pictures, or sweeping bric-a-brac from a mantelpiece, or pounding a piano, or a helpless child.

  11. Sulphur is usually used as an intercurrent remedy. Also for ‘fantastic mania’ when the patient decks himself in gaudy colors and puts on old rags of bright hues and fancies them as the most elegant decorations.


Mrs. X, age 27 yrs, was confined 6 weeks before being brought to the hospital. 3 days after confinement, she was attacked with puerperal fever which lasted about one week. When the fever subsided, she seemed well mentally.

Two days afterwards, and twelve days after confinement, the patient began to show signs of insanity. She was excited most of the times, obscene, religious, noisy, destructive, sleepless by spells. For a short time, she imagined herself wealthy but she had no fixed or continued delusions.

The day following her arrival at the hospital, she was very noisy, and destructive. She kept declaring, ‘I am under this flag. My ship is 45, I came under false colors.’ She mistook those around her for persons she had known before. When food was taken to her, she broke the dishes, was very violent, and seemed to have hallucinations of sight and hearing which frightened her.

The patient was given Stramonium.

After several days of excitement and incoherency, she became more quiet, and better natured. Then she complained of pain in the head through the temples and over the top. Her pupils were considerably dilated, for sometime. At first, she cared little for food but afterwards had an excellent appetite.

Some weeks after admission, she began to talk to imaginary people, heard voices, but what they said did not seem to disturb her, she was good-natured and jolly.

On account of her jolly delirium, her tendency to destructiveness and particularly, her inclination to remove all clothing, she was given Hyosyamus and this remedy seemed to have a favorable effect for a time.

At length, she began to menstruate, had a profuse flow of bright red blood. During her menstruation, she became obstinate and pugilistic than usual. Her pupils were largely dilated.

On account of her intense ugliness, destructiveness and the dilated pupils, flow of bright red blood, she was given Belladonna.

A little later, the patient was not only wild, noisy, destructive, and inclined to remove all clothing, but she began to smear herself and her room with feces. She then had a slight period of depression, and during this phase, she inquired about her children and husband for the 1st time in several weeks, and then she began to improve.

In about three months, after her admission to the hospital, she became quiet, pleasant and rational. She continued to gain steadily and in a little less than 4 months from the date of admission, she was discharged as recovered.

This case was remarkable for the violence of the mental manifestations and great physical unrest. It is considered a rather un-favourable symptom, where the patient smears herself with feces and, inspite of that, the case recovered, though noisy, destructive, violent day and night for several weeks.

Also, she was nearly all the time good-natured. There are larger hopes for patients who are cheerful in spirits than those who are depressed, crying, sullen, sad, morose or obstinate.

The Middletown lectures offer a glimpse of the insights of Dr. Talcott, who had observed thousands of Psychiatric patients, over a period embracing more than 25 yrs. Such a humane mental institution existed in the USA is truly wonderful.

Unfortunately, all of the homeopathic mental hospitals closed due to political repression by the AMA and the medical industrial complex as well as the withdrawal of financial support by the government.


Some patients are prone to acute mental crisis including MANIA, or a NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. This is accompanied by intellectual confusion, sensorial distortions, emotional mood swings.

  • Strong Emotional Stress

  • Trauma

  • Shock

  • Fright

  • Vexation

  • Grief

  • Drinking, And Drugs

often trigger this type of crisis.



A boy of twelve years, was brought to the hospital in a condition of mania. He had abnormal energy levels, mother needed to restrict him from going out. He had no discrimination of what to eat, what not to eat. He did not have good eye-contact and was not considerate about what was told to him. Occasionally following commands without any involvement or understanding. He was never like this earlier.

All this started few days back when the child went to the countryside, and missed the bus going to the grandparents’ house and mother and son had to walk few kms in the burning sun heat. He suffered sunstroke with high fever for which he was taken to a local quack who prescribed an anti-pyretic but fever did not come down. Then strong antibiotics were prescribed for bringing his fever down. This brought the fever down but the child started behaving abnormally, they waited for a night but it did not change. He was admitted and started with psychiatric treatment. Strong psychotic drugs given to the child without any relief.

His energy level is not hyper now but there is something which needs to be treated and we need to clearly understand and demarcate as to what needs to be treated.

Some important symptoms:

  1. Anxious/ restless before passing stool

  2. Always needed to be restricted from escaping out

  3. Cheerful, not very irritated


In Organon of Medical Art, in the treatment of 0ne-sided diseases, as we have already studied in the theory part, that in such an acute case, we need to prescribe a certain remedy on the basis of the current totality.

Review of literature:

  1. During the psoric crisis, it is necessary to administer a psoric acute intercurrent rather than chronic medicines.

  2. Such a case cannot be treated straight away in its acute onset, with anti-psoric medicines.

  3. Rather, it must first be treated with medicines such as Aconite, Bryonia, Belladonna, Stramonium, Hyocyamus, Mercury etc.

  4. Selected from the other class of proven medicines i.e. the psorics (Organon of the Medical Art, S Hahnemann, O’Reilly 6th edition, aphorism 221)

  5. The acute remedy is only capable of removing the acute state.

  6. The most emphasis is placed on those symptoms that are marked, peculiar and rare to the pat, not common to all diseases.

Rubrics taken

  • Mind, anxiety before stool

  • Mind, cheerful and foolish

  • Mind, gluttony

  • Mind, escape attempts to

  • Mind, restlessness, drives him from place to place

Mercurius was given on the basis of this totality.

The acute remedy given controlled the current state effectively but we have to prevent the relapse of such a state as well.

  • For this reason, the case should be re-taken with the aim of finding the most complementary chronic remedy.

  • A study of the miasmatic relationships of the symptom groups frequently offers added insights.

  • Boenninghausen’s Concordance and the relationship of remedies found in the Materia Medica are very helpful in finding the second prescription.

  • If such a patient is not given anti-miasmatic treatment, the latent miasm will flare up again in a more protracted attack for less apparent reasons.

  • Such attacks may then take a periodic character until they become chronic states that are more difficult to cure.

  • When mental/ emotional diseases are truly cured, the physical organism will prosper and will become healthy.

  • After many years of observation, Hahnemann developed a differential diagnosis to distinguish those cases based on poor upbringing, unethical activities, bad habits, neglect of the spirit, superstition/ ignorance, from those cases based upon somatic diseases and chronic miasms.

If the mental disease is not yet fully-developed, the following modalities provide insight into the cause.

  • If it stems from the external circumstances, then the mental disease will subside and improve with understanding, well-intentioned exhortations, consolation or earnest and rational expostulations.

  • If it stems from miasms, the melancholic pat will become still more downcast, plaintive, disconsolate, and withdrawn.

  • Someone who is maliciously insane will become still more embittered and senseless talk will become even more non-sensical. (organon 6th edition, Aphorism 224)


Psycho-somatic are better by psychological support while diseases based on organic pathology are worse by psychological support.

That is why those with chronic miasms can become worse under therapy.

Such patients need homeopathic treatment in conjunction with psychological counselling.

Once the remedies begin to act, therapies that were not effective before, begin to produce fruits.

Diseases spun and maintained by the Idiosyncracies

There are mental and emotional diseases that develop in the psyche and progress to the somatic spheres. Such patients show few physical symptoms as their disorder develops from shock, worry, mortification, vexation, abuse or repeated exposure to great fear or fright.

Initially there will be little physical infirmity but in time, somatic complaints of a serious nature will develop.

It is only these emotional diseases, that allow themselves to be rapidly transformed into well-being of the soul, by psycho-therapeutic means. (displays of trust, friendly exhortations, reasoning with the patient, and even well-camouflaged deception.

With appropriate living habits, these diseases apparently also allow themselves to be transformed into well-being of the body.

A long-term psycho-somatic disease will progress to the stage where it produces organic pathology. This state requires counselling and treatment with chronic remedies.

Those predisposed to such psychosomatic states often suffer from inherited and acquired miasms.


  1. Hahnemann was of the opinion that, ‘no-one in mental institutions is ever really and permanently cured by the old school’.

  2. Homeopathic treatment, however, has the potential to produce rapid cures of old mental disorders that arise from psychic or somatic causes or both simultaneously.

For more information and tips on homeopathy get my book At Home With Homeopathy.

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