THE BANERJI PROTOCOLS: SOME PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS
I had a very classical training in homeopathy. The kind of ‘only one remedy is allowed’, ‘wait to repeat the remedy’ and ‘prescribe only on the totality’ training. So, when I first read of the Banerji Protocols years ago, they did not make much sense to me. Prescribing remedies for illnesses, fixed remedies?
I have never questioned if this was homeopathy or not as the remedies prescribed where homeopathic remedies. But the system did not make much sense in classical homeopathic terms, so I did not look into it any further.
As the years went by, I became more aware that my training was falling short for the complex cases that my clinic presented. These were not cases of a simple cold or teething issue, or cases where the acute or chronic grief was the main feature of the case. My patients presented me with complex pathology most often several ones entwined in the case and with symptoms that needed attention there and then. Treating the children that were coming to my practice became very laborious as those children were not responding to the miasmatic remedies or constitutional remedies as I was expecting. Those remedies would only stir the vital force to throw out symptoms of the central disturbance making it uncomfortable for the patient and myself to navigate through their cases.
At that point, I realised that something was missing in my practice and I became aware that by using different methodologies, success rates sharply increased. As I started to incorporate those, I became curious about the Banerji Protocols and started to study them. I introduced them into my practice, and they became my most successful tool and they often exceeded my expectations. It had become clear to me that this was a very powerful system and it was far from two remedies together for a given disease. Those remedies were successfully treating illnesses with no aggravations. Although at the beginning I did not understand it’s meaning, and I was simply applying them as per instructed by the Banerjies, in time I began to understand a bit more about how they worked and why they worked.
The protocols became less of a focus and it was becoming obvious that this methodology was focusing on remedies that targeted systems of the body. The same remedy was repeated for different protocols that had similar disease processes, so, for instance, they would use Hepar 6c as an antibacterial agent for soft tissue infections or Thuja 30 for diseases of the urinary system. In the same way, Hepar 6c was used for the lymphatic system, Nit-ac 3c as a specific for mucosal tissue  or Merc Sol 200 for changes in the microflora. So when you look at the remedies and their affinities you begin to understand a bit more why the remedies in a protocol are put together, for instance, you will find Mer Sol as a part of the Oral Candidiasis Protocol and also in the Colitis Protocol.
The “protocols” can be seen in a different light when interpreted in that way, they are very cleverly put together with a lot of knowledge of the Materia Medica. And above all, the protocols are used on hundreds of patients per day, surpassing the method as simply a theory, as evidenced in the Banerjies incredible success rates.
At this point, my mind was bursting with questions as to why the protocols worked in the way they did as they do not obey the cardinal principles of homeopathy. I began to question my training and what we were taught about homeopathy. If what we know to be the tenets of homeopathy are to be the working pillars of our profession, the Banerji Protocols should not work, however in my experience, they are the strongest and most predictable tool in my practice.
Treating disease with specific homeopathic remedies goes totally against the individualised process in homeopathy but, could it be possible that the protocols were another way of entering the vital force of the patient by addressing the symptoms that the patient was presenting? Could they act as constitutionals in some way? This sounded plausible to me and offered a solution to unfold the mechanism of action behind the Banerji Protocols.
In my personal opinion and experience, the Banerji protocols address all miasmatic, fundamental and lesional layers as well as “constitutional” or the also called totality prescription in the majority of the cases. In my clinic, I do not have the opportunity and privilege to see the hundreds of cases that pass through the Banerji Clinics, what I do have, is time to sit down with my patients and take a full case. When I prescribe a Banerji Protocol, I do the opposite to them, I analyse the protocol against the case of the patient- I deconstruct the case. I know what protocol I am going to prescribe, and I ask questions that are central to understanding those remedies on a totality level. I study the case to try to see if there is any resonance between the protocols and their life history. To my amazement, the remedies prescribed in the protocols most often match either the causation, mental picture or miasmatic susceptibility in the case.
Of course, the Banerjies provide 3 lines of remedies and also, they recommend treating other symptoms as needed. So, some of those lines will be more relevant to the case of the patient than others and more often this would be the curative protocol in that particular case. Also, important to mention that in a given case, often the patient requires more than one protocol, as you will be treating several ill-health problems at the same time so patients often will be on a couple of protocols or more. This is paramount in understanding the depth at which the Banerjies work, as they are treating different layers parallel to each other in the same case. Thanks to this, the case progresses much faster than with other methods.
In some cases, the protocols are based on acute and chronic remedies for instance in the Colitis Protocol as in the second line remedies the protocol consist of Aurum 200 and Merc Sol 200, Aurum being the chronic of Mercurious . In other cases, the remedies in the protocols are complementary to each other such as in Diseases of the Kidneys Protocol where Bryonia and Lycopodium are complementary remedies . This is not to say that all protocols are set in this way, but it is very interesting to see that there is a lot of sense to why those protocols would work. Different lines tackle different angles of the case and it seems that this is relevant to why more than one line is needed to produce the maximum success rates they accomplished when dealing with a disease.
For instance, if we look at the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Protocol , we notice that the first line is Tuberculinum 200 and Nux Vomica 30 and the second line is Ignatia 200 and Cheledonium 30 + Merc 200. The first line will be addressing a miasmatic susceptibility, a digestive and liver cleanser organ support and an antispasmodic with an -stress out- aetiology. The second line will be focusing on a different area, which centres around grief and anxiety, a state of emotional instability as the main causation for both remedies. Furthermore, Ignatia’s main affinity is the nervous system and it is another great antispasmodic remedy and Merc+ Chel is used as liver support and a highly inflammatory remedy to combat any imbalance of the internal mucous membranes in the bowels. The combination of each line works in harmony because the remedies complement each other, one working on a chronic deep level and the other one on a lesional level relieving symptoms but at the same time, complementing the action of the other one.
In this way, the protocols are very cleverly put together from a homeopathic perspective- lesional and constitutional- and as a result, the aggravations of the medicines are checked as both aspects of the case are taken care of at the same time. This together with a faster repetition where the action of the previous dose is checked with the next dose make the Banerji Protocols the gentlest of all methodologies in homeopathy. Altogether a very impressive methodology that stands the test of time going back to 150 years and it is strongly supported by the incredible amount of cases and analysis on their database. Something unheard of with any other methodology for the inability to replicate the same results due to individualisation on each case.
So how do the Banerji Protocols relate to homeopathy? The Banerjies themselves state that they do not follow the cardinal principles of homeopathy . But are the Cardinal Principles of homeopathy correct as we know them? Or are they part of a reality that we have constructed with the limited understanding that we have about homeopathy. The principles of energy in which homeopathy is based are changing and evolving as we speak, and something that Quantum theory suggests is that reality is not objective. This leads us to question the connection between thought and reality . Maybe the concept of Vital Force is constructed with our limited understanding of life and described within the framework of the limitations of our language. This makes it difficult to further understand homeopathy as a whole.
But in the same way that the present theories of relativity and quantum physics present some incompatibility, methodologies in homeopathy present the same problem. Relativity theory looks at the big cosmic picture and quantum physics looks at the very small subatomic picture, both theories seem to be producing incompatible results. In homeopathy, the Banerji Protocols look at the small picture and more classical approaches look at a much larger picture suggesting they are completely different from one another. But just as in physics we know that both theories form part of the bigger picture, even if we cannot understand it right now, the Banerji Protocols are an integral part of understanding homeopathy, just as any other methodology.
Probably the Banerji Protocols do not follow the theory of Chronic miasms or Vital Force because the definition of those terms is incorrect. Homeopathic remedies are based on energy and the Banerji Protocols tap into that energy, no doubt about it. The Banerji Protocols are homeopathic, for sure. If there is something to learn from them is the fact that they teach us something about the nature of homeopathy; somehow it seems to be simpler than we make it be. It is more predictable than we have expected and maybe, we are just making it too complex ourselves.
If the Banerji Protocols can address disease, this means that humanity has some common grounds where we all fall in, there may be some individualised aspects but there are some common ones as well for all of us. For instance, this can be seen with the homeopathic trio of remedies and acute chronic relationships, they are predictable, we know that one follows another one well.
Let’s look at the famous trio; Sulphur, Calcarea, Lycopodium. We know that a constitutional Sulphur is likely to follow with Lycopodium and Calcarea at some time along with their life. The Calcarea child turns into a Sulphur teenager and very likely he will need a few doses of Lycopodium along with their life.
In our clinic, from a more classical perspective: we may see it as the easy-going, plodding-along toddler that has now grown into a young man that during his academic education is likely to feel that a teacher undermines his knowledge in the class in front of his friends, he feels challenged and as a result, he may start to develop gastric issues with digestive problems. Later to be diagnosed with dyspepsia and a gastric ulcer.
In here we see the clear picture of the famous trio emerging and a prescription would be very clear at this point, Lycopodium would be one of the clearly indicated remedies at this stage. However, the Banerjies, are able to access this aspect of the case from another perspective, pathology. This pathology responds well to their first protocol for dyspepsia and gastric ulcer: Arsenicum album 3c and Lycopodium 200. Here, the Banerjies do not know the full story behind that prescription and they do not need to, because they are tapping into that energy from a sideway, looking at the symptoms of that pathology and the body system affected. Their methodology is disease based.
The pathology of a patient creates symptoms and those symptoms, are the pointers to our homeopathic remedies. Most diseases target the same organs or tissues and tend to produce similar symptoms. That is why Banerji Protocols have 80% success rates, because the symptoms fit the diseases well. On the other hand, looking at constitutional remedies, we can also predict what remedies patients are more likely to need at some point in their life, depending on the life situations that they encounter and how they affected them. There is a cause and effect relationship and either side, tells us the same story, whether we understand it or not.
David Bohn talks about an undivided wholeness were both quantum theory and relativity are compatible . He explains this by understanding it from a new order and measure. This undivided wholeness in only fragmented by us, we can only see a small aspect of it which makes us think that they are unrelated. He uses the analogy of a hologram, and in fact, this is a great analogy to understand what is happening when taking a case in homeopathy or analysing it with different methodologies. We can only see a fragmented reality as only a small side will be highlighted during the consultation but that side, forms part of an undivided wholeness, regardless if it is analysed by the physical world, emotional, spiritual or a mixture of all. It all forms part of the same reality and somehow, they are all connected; the Banerji Protocols allow us to understand a tiny fraction more of that wholeness, and we should not take it for granted.
We boost our own ego by believing that only we can understand the disease process in every single patient that passes through our clinic, but in reality, the Banerjies show us that most people will fall into certain categories, labelled diseases. In reality, this is not so different from the concept of miasms where certain symptoms are allocated to a certain miasm. The problem with the theory of miasms is that it is theoretical. The Banerjies have gone further and tested against a population and give us results providing empirical proof that the Banerji Protocols do work. Understanding a bit more about the Banerji Protocols will only help us to understand homeopathy a bit better and in turn, to be able to help our patients faster. They provide us with a small window to the inner workings of something that although present, we cannot comprehend – energy principles and workings.
- Banerji, P. and Banerji, P. 2013. The Banerji Protocols. India: Pratip Banerji
- Bohm, D. 1980. Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul