– Michael Thompson, FSHom(UK), Published by Doghaus Publications, 1996, 42 pages, soft-bound. Reviewed by Greg Bedayn

When I was a boy, my mother read to me and my brothers the description of an offensive-smelling lump of muck called “ambergris” that would occasionally be found thrown up, as it were, onto tropical beaches, from the bowel of a sperm whale. I remember being simultaneously repulsed and fascinated by this tale of bodily functions of the legendary leviathans of the deep. Later in life, when I became a homeopath, I remember delighting in finding the remedy source in Boericke, and I tried to prescribe Ambra grisea a few times with mixed results; I just couldn’t weave the indications together into a useful picture.
 The United Kingdom’s Michael Thompson, FSHom, has recently given us a gem of a monograph on the indications and folklore of Ambra grisea which provides a useful picture of this remedy. The book includes nine cases, all the expanded prominent materia medica, themes, graphs, maps, and some thoughtful comparisons and conclusions. I have found this treatise concise, uncommonly accessible for reference (his repeated use of “themes” is brilliant), and occasionally even hilarious (Thompson suggests that Captain Ahab could have used a dose of Ambra grisea for his monomania caused by the shock, followed by humiliation, of losing his leg to the great white whale, his nemesis, Moby Dick!).
 Thompson submerses us in Ambergris by flensing off the salient points from the existing body of information, then adding his own clinical observations and rendering it into a compelling, user-friendly guide. Ambra grisea presents various thought-provoking aspects of this remedy and source -why the sperm whale has an intestine 2,400% longer than its body, what this has to do with ambergris production and human constipation -and why the name “sperm” whale (it’s not what you think). Also laid out is the position in which sperm whales have sexual intercourse, and why this position is found in whales and humans only. Did you know that the sperm whale has the largest nose in the animal kingdom, and that Ambra grisea has many nasal symptoms? (Thompson even speculates on a new rubric “constant inclination to blow nose”!) The book also describes the peculiar contents of the actual bolus of aromatic spew (it contains another homeopathic remedy source!), and it’s not from the gall bladder as Hahnemann thought. You will discover why ambergris is used for perfume and how that use relates to the mental pathology of the Ambra grisea patient. The text is expanded and confirmed by information and quotes from experts including Hahnemann, Jahr, Allen, Guernsey, Kent, Phatak, Sankaran, Vermeulen, van Zandvoort, Warkentin, and Herman Melville.
 Thompson has added something new which I enjoyed -he gives the repertory additions that he feels can be safely added to the repertory plus an additional list of speculative new rubrics based on interpretations of whales from studying their anatomy, physiology, behavioral patterns, etc., with appropriate caveats on their clinical confirmation. Ambra grisea, offering a well organized and clear portrait of a remedy, could be used in the future as a guide for those wishing to make a similar contribution to our literature.
 Michael Thompson has been practicing homeopathy in the UK for eighteen years and is a Fellow of The Society of Homeopaths. Ambra grisea is his first book; his second, Snake Venoms and Homoeopathy, a much larger work (in progress), contains research on snake venoms, many cases, new and forgotten provings, and more. 

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Dr.Devendra Kumar MD(Homeo)
International Homeopathic Consultant at Ushahomeopathy
I am a Homeopathic Physician. I am practicing Homeopathy since 20 years. I treat all kinds of Chronic and Acute complaints with Homeopathic Medicines. Even Emergency conditions can be treated with Homeopathy if case is properly managed. know more about me and my research on my blog https://www.homeoresearch.com/about-me/
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