participants calcutta clinical training programme

Calcutta Clinical Training Programme 2023 : Janet Banerjea RSHom

Janet Banerjea RSHom

Most of us have adapted to the diverse way of practising that the recent pandemic has forced upon us. Various digital platforms have enabled the profession to continue to ‘take the case’ and prescribe accordingly. The telephone has also provided a means to communicate when the patient is unable to use other means. Teaching from Allen College also continued throughout those years of uncertainty and confinement with all concerned logging on and joining in via the chat box or more latterly having the confidence to ‘unmute’ and speak.

The clinical course in Kolkata was suspended for two years because with the varying environments in which clinics are held are not conducive to on line communication, the slum; the rural clinics and even the contact with the pathology in the classroom would not be conveyed through a streaming service. So, finally after a two year break we welcomed participants from Japan, U.S A, Ireland, South Africa, Mumbai, Punjab, Orissa and Andra Pradesh.


The medical Doctor from Hyderabad commented how embarrassed he was about prescriptions for fever for example and the approach of one size fits all. He was impressed by the diligence of finding the correct similimum. He vowed to leave pharmaceutical practice when he feels confident enough with the individualised approach.

Dr Banerjea Examining

Having been to many other courses in both the U.K and Mumbai the Irish participant was overwhelmed by the generosity of knowledge and skills shared. The structure of the course and the structure of prescribing has reinstated his commitment that he has. He said he had lost his way but fallen in love with homoeopathy again after this course.

The homoeopaths are encouraged to record ‘clinical tips’ (Historically a book, but now I note electronic devices). Certainly, the compilation of notes bulges with information, new information about polychrests and ways of viewing the words in Materia Medica, the useful implementation of Tinctures in drug dependent cases, small medicines which can revive the case when apparently ‘stuck’.

Clinical Explanation

Taking notes

Checking the Materia Medica
The waiting room

The course is only possible by the big heartedness of the patients who enjoy sharing their story and changes in health from the homoeopathic treatment they receive. For those of you who know the course, or have read about this course, a reminder that patients travel long distances. Those that strike me as being committed are those of low income whose journey is an extraordinary expense, arrive from 800 miles away having spent the night at Howrah railway station before arriving at the clinic for a shower before their appointment. Others travel on coaches, others fly. It is evident that person to person communication is after all irreplaceable.

Sharing symptoms
More patiently waiting

As there was plentiful scattering of leading questions (see Aph. 87) I was requested to take new cases to demonstrate Aph. 83 – Aph. 105, however I could not speak the patients language, so engaged the help of the students who spoke both Hindi and Bengali. One of the cases was most confusing. Declaring a pain from front to back of the abdomen before having a cyst removed from the pancreas. However, on a re-take he was insistent it was on the left and it was gall stone surgery. We spent time trying to clarify and the more we asked, the more confused the symptoms became. It may have been a shyness or an attempt at pleasing us all, (Aph. 97) concluded it was not the confusion of language but in face a case of Pulsatilla as described in Nash’s Leaders in Homoeopathic Therapeutics.

Nash-‘We sometimes have patients come to the office and find, in trying to take their case, no ‘head or tail’ to it. It is mixed’. The suffering and pain is now here, now there. The symptoms are contradictory, as we term them. This condition should always call attention to Pulsatilla and it will often clear up and cure the case.’

Calc Iodum

We heard a long narration of thanks and gratitude from a parent of a boy with birth brain damage. The boy who is now 12 years old was independent and achieving an average of 76% at school after the consultant at the allopathic hospitals gave no hope. The touching thing was not the previously prepared written oration but the son’s obvious embarrassment from his father’s behaviour. He was squirming on the seat just as a 12 old might do. Demonstrating how well his development of emotional and intellectual capacity had improved from the initial condition when he had little or no interaction with his surroundings. The case had taken time but with patient and infrequent repetitions of Calc Iod the family were extremely thankful to have a son who was integrating so well after being given a dismal prognosis from the paediatricians.

Rural Camp-Kakdwip

One of the challenging days was the visit to the rural camp, some 40 cases were seen and explained, however this was not the challenge- a cacophony of noise emitting from the largest speakers was in close vicinity. A local and apparently important football game was taking place next to the tents erected as temporary accommodation for our group and the nose from the speakers were encouraging the teams but definitely making it hard work for the clinic. However, after numerous requests the noise was eventually subdued enough to finish the day more comfortably.

Ammoniacum Dorema was given to a child of 9 years of a weak constitution, with persistent rattling mucus after the change of season. Sensitive to cold with tough, hard mucus. Other homoeopaths who had tried Antimonium Tart, Natrum Sulph etc, over time had failed to make a change. Continued improvement was evident after Ammoniacum Dorema.

Lyssin (Hydrophobinum) a deep acting nosode was prescribed for a boy with severe Autistic tendencies, including restlessness and hypersensiteness. His characterising symptom is the shouting and agitation when nervous. The Doctrine of Lyssin we are familiar with – the dog barking (shouting) when nervous or startled.

Oleum Santali given to a patient with slow flow of urine from bilateral hypertrophy of the prostate. Other prescriptions from around the city included Conium, Causticum, Sarsaparilla, Thuja.

Success from the small medicine.

Medorrhinum given to a 35 year old man who confessed to having a bizarre cruelty to animals. A compulsive desire to squash insects and kick dogs. His joint pain was not relieved by Rhus Tox or Phytolacca but given the newly admitted symptom Medorrhinum was prescribed with confidence.

Natrum Iod was the choice for a young patient with a uterine tumour confirmed by sonography. Her case had features of retention, swelling of the foot, generalised oedema and constipation. The history of grief from loss of her father 7 years previously and consequent headaches She never speaks of her grief so we term ‘Silent grief’. Hot patient. Oily face and felt much better in open air.

She had a history of glandular swelling at each slight infection which justifies the Iod component of the prescription.

The participants were reluctant to leave the classroom at the end of the day and frequently stayed on for an hour or so before leaving for dinner together. I conclude.

The members of the 2023 group have

  • a revival of interest
  • revisited the Materia Medica
  • restored their confidence
  • renewed their knowledge

Diverse experiences, cultures and personalities under the canopy of a shared passion in The Healing Art.

Janet Banerjea RSHom

February 2023

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