With the great conscientiousness which should be shown in the restoration of a human life endangered by sickness more than in anything else, the Homoeopath, if he would act in a manner worthy of his calling, should investigate first the whole state of the patient, the internal cause as far as it is remembered, and the cause of the continuance of the ailments his mode of life, his quality as to mind, soul and body, together with all his symptoms (see directions in Organon), and then he should carefully find out in the work on Chronic Diseases as well as in the work on Materia Medica Pura a remedy covering in similarity, as far as possible, all the moments, or at least the most striking and peculiar ones, with its own peculiar symptoms; and for this purpose he should not be satisfied with any of the existing repertories, – a carelessness only too frequent; for these books are only intended to give light hints as to one or another remedy that might be selected, but they can never dispense him from making the research at the first fountain heads. He who does not take the trouble of treading this path in all critical and complicated diseases, and, indeed, with all patience and intelligence, but contents himself with the vague hints of the repertories in the choice of a remedy, and who thus quickly dispatches one patient after the other, does not deserve the honorable title of a genuine Homoeopath, but is rather to be called a bungler, who on that account has continually to change his remedies until the patient loses patience; and as his ailments have of course only been aggravated he must leave this aggravator of diseases, whereby the art itself suffers discredit instead of the unworthy disciple of art.
This disgraceful love of ease (in the calling which demands the most conscientious care) often induces such would-be Homoeopaths to give their medicines merely from the (often problematic) statement of their use (ab usu in morbis) which are enumerated in the introductions to the medicines, a method which is altogether faulty and strongly savors of allopathy, as these statements usually only give a few symptoms. They should only serve as a confirmation of a choice made according to the pure actions of the medicines; but never to determine the selection of a remedy which can cure only when used according to the exact similitude of its homoeopathic symptoms. There are, we are sorry to say, even authors who advise following this empiric pathway of error!
The third leading mistake which the homoeopathic physician cannot too carefully nor too steadfastly avoid while treating chronic diseases, is in hastily and thoughtlessly – when a properly moderate dose of a well selected antipsoric medicine has been serviceable for several days, – giving some other medicine in the mistaken supposition that so small a dose could not possibly operate and be of use more than eight or ten days. This notion is sought to be supported by the statement that on some day or other, while allowed to continue its action, the morbid symptoms which were to be eradicated, had shown themselves somewhat from time to time.
But if once a medicine, because it was selected in a correct homoeopathic manner, is acting well and usefully, which is seen by the eighth or tenth day, then an hour or even half a day may come when a moderate homoeopathic aggravation again takes place. The good results will not fail to appear but may, in very tedious ailments, not show themselves in their best light before the twenty-fourth or thirtieth day. The dose will then probably have exhausted its favorable action about the fortieth or fiftieth day, and before that time it would be injudicious, and an obstruction to the progress of the cure, to give any other medicine. Let it not be thought, however, that we should scarcely wait for the time assigned as the probable duration of action to elapse, before giving another antipsoric medicine: that we should hasten to change to a new medicine in order to finish the cure more quickly. Experience contradicts this notion entirely, and teaches on the contrary, that a cure cannot be accomplished more quickly and surely than by allowing the suitable antipsoric to continue its actions so long as the improvement continues, even if this should be several, yea, many* days beyond the assigned, supposed time of its duration, so as to delay as long as practicable the giving of a new medicine.