If a homoeopathic physician, scrupulous at the wrong occasion, should ask me bow he might fill up the many days after giving a dose, so that it may continue its action undisturbed during the above-mentioned long time, and so satisfy, without injuring, the patient who every day * asks for his medicine, I reply with two words, that he should be given every day at the usual time for medicine a dose of sugar of milk, about three grains, which shall be marked as usual with continuous numbers. I remark here, that I consider the sugar of milk thus used as an invaluable gift of God.**4
(* No old established custom among the people, be it ever so hurtful, can be suddenly changed. So also the homoeopathic physician cannot avoid allowing a new chronic patient to take at least one little powder a day; the difference between this and the many medicinal doses of allopaths is still very great. During this daily taking of a powder, following the numbers, it will be a great benefit to the poor patient who is often intimidated by slanderers of the better medical art, if he does not know whether there is a dose of medicine in every powder, nor again, in which one of them? If he knew the latter, and should know, that to-day’s number contains the medicine of which he expects so much, his fancy would often play him an evil trick, and he would imagine that he feels sensations and changes in his body, which do not exist; he would note imaginary symptoms and live in a continual inquietude of mind; but if he daily takes a dose, and daily notices no evil assault on his health, he becomes more equable in disposition (being taught by experience), expects no ill effects, and will then quietly note the changes in his state which are actually present, and therefore can only report the truth to his physician. On this account it is best that he should daily take his powder, without knowing whether there is medicine in all or in a certain powder; thus he will not expect more from to-day’s powder than from yesterday’s or that of the day before.)
(Chronic patients who firmly trust in the honesty and skill of their physician will be satisfied, without any after thoughts, to receive such a dose of sugar of milk every two, four or seven days, according to the disposition of each, and nevertheless retain a firm confidence, as, indeed, is only just and reasonable.)
(** There were some anxious purists, who were afraid that even the pure sugar of milk, either in itself or changed by long trituration, might have medicinal effects. But this is a vain, utterly unfounded fear, as I have determined by very exact experiments. We may use the crude, pure sugar of milk as a food, and partake of considerable quantities of it, without any change in the health, and so also the triturated sugar. But to destroy at the same time the fear to which utterance has been given by some hypochondriacs, that through a long trituration of the sugar of milk alone, or in the potentizing of medicines, something might rub off from the porcelain mortar (silica), which being potentized by this same trituration would be bound to become strongly acting Silicea(1), I took a new porcelain triturating bowl in which the glazing had been rubbed off, with a new porcelain pestle, and had one hundred grains of pure sugar of milk, divided into portions of thirty-three grains, triturated eighteen times for six minutes at a time and as frequently scraped for four minutes with a porcelain spatula, in order to develop by this three hours strong trituration a medicinal power either of the sugar of milk or of the silica or of both; but my preparation remained as indifferent and unmedicinal as the crude, merely nutritive sugar of milk, of which I convinced myself by experiments on very sensitive persons.)
We cannot flatter ourselves that the antipsoric medicine given was rightly selected, or that it will forward the cure of a chronic disease, if it quickly and entirely destroys as if by a stroke of magic the most troublesome symptoms, old, great, continuous pains, tonic or clonic spasms, etc., so that the patient almost immediately after taking the medicine, fancies himself as much freed from sufferings as if he were already restored, and as if in heaven. This deceptive effect shows that the medicine here acts enantiopathically as an opposite or palliative, and that in the days following we cannot expect anything from this remedy but an aggravation of the original disease. As soon then as this deceptive improvement within a few days begins again to turn to aggravation, it is high time to give either the antidote to this medicine, or, when this cannot be had, a medicine which is homoeopathically more appropriate. Very rarely will such an enantiopathic remedy do any good in the future. If the medicine which is thus antipathic at once in the beginning, i.e., which seemed so to alleviate, is inclined to reciprocal action, it is possible that when the aggravation from this dose takes place, a second dose of the same remedy may produce the contrary, and thus bring about a lasting improvement, as I have at least perceived in ignatia.