CONCERNING THE TECHNICAL PART OF HOMOEOPATHY1
Since I last* addressed the public concerning our healing art, I have had among other things also the opportunity to gain experience as to the best possible mode of administering the doses of the medicines to the patients, and I herewith communicate what I have found best in this respect.
A small pellet of one of the highest dynamizations of a medicine laid dry upon the tongue, or the moderate smelling of an opened vial wherein one or more such pellets are contained, proves itself the smallest and weakest dose with the shortest period of duration in its effects. Still there are numerous patients of so excitable a nature, that they are sufficiently affected by such a dose in slight acute ailments, to be cured by it if the remedy is homoeopathically selected. Nevertheless the incredible variety among patients as to their irritability, their age, their spiritual and bodily development, their vital power and especially as to the nature of their disease, necessitates a great variety in their treatment, and also in the administration to them of the doses of medicines. For their diseases may be of various kinds: either a natural and simple one but lately arisen, or it may be a natural and simple one but an old case, or it may be a complicated one (a combination of several miasmata), or again what is the most frequent and worst case, it may have been spoiled by a perverse medical treatment, and loaded down with medicinal diseases.
I can here limit myself only to this latter case, as the other cases cannot be arranged in tabular form for the weak and negligent, but must be left to the accuracy, the industry and the intelligence of able men, who are masters of their art.
Experience has shown me, as it has no doubt also shown to most of my followers, that it is most useful in diseases of any magnitude (not excepting even the most acute, and still more so in the half- acute, in the tedious and most tedious) to give to the patient the powerful homoeopathic pellet or pellets only in solution, and this solution in divided doses. In this way we give the medicine, dissolved in seven to twenty tablespoonfuls of water without any addition, in acute and very acute diseases every six, four or two hours; where the danger is urgent, even every hour or every half-hour, a tablespoonful at a time; with weak persons or children, only a small part of a tablespoonful (one or two teaspoonfuls or coffeespoonfuls) may be given as a dose.
(1 This preface was prefixed to Vol. III, of the Chronic Diseases, published in the year 1837.-Tr.)
(*In the beginning of the year 1834 I wrote the first two parts of this work and although they together contain only thirty-six sheets, my former publisher, Mr. Arnold, in Dresden, took two years to publish these thirty-six sheets. By whom was he thus delayed? My acquaintances can guess that.)
In chronic diseases I have found it best to give a dose (e.g., a spoonful) of a solution of the suitable medicine at least every two days, more usually every day.
But since water (even distilled water) commences after a few days to be spoil, whereby the power of the small quantity of medicine contained is destroyed, the addition of a little alcohol is necessary, or where this is not practicable, or if the patient cannot bear it, I add a few small pieces of hard charcoal to the watery solution. This answers the purpose, except that in the latter case the fluid in a few days receives a blackish tint. This is caused by shaking the liquid, as is necessary every time before giving a dose of medicine, as may be seen below.
Before proceeding, it is important to observe, that our vital principle cannot well bear that the same unchanged dose of medicine be given even twice in succession, much less more frequently to a patient. For by this the good effect of the former dose of medicine is either neutralized in part, or new symptoms proper to the medicine, symptoms which have not before been present in the disease, appear, impeding the cure. Thus even a well selected homoeopathic medicine produces ill effects and attains its purpose imperfectly or not at all. Thence come the many contradictions of homoeopathic physicians with respect to the repetition of doses.
But in taking one and the same medicine repeatedly (which is indispensable to secure the cure of a serious, chronic disease), if the dose is in every case varied and modified only a little in its degree of dynamization, then the vital force of the patient will calmly, and as it were willingly receive the same medicine even at brief intervals very many times in succession with the best results, every time increasing the well-being of the patient.
This slight change in the degree of dynamization is even effected, if the bottle which contains the solution of one or more pellets is merely well shaken five or six times, every time before taking it.
Now when the physician has in this way used up the solution of the medicine that had been prepared, if the medicine continues useful, he will take one or two pellets of the same medicine in a lower potency (e.g. if before he had used the thirtieth dilution, he will now take one or two pellets of the twenty-fourth), and will make a solution in about as many spoonfuls of water, shaking up the bottle, and adding a little alcohol or a few pieces of charcoal. This last solution may then be taken in the same manner, or at longer intervals, perhaps also less of the solution at a time; but every time the solution must be shaken up five or six times. This will be continued so long as the remedy still produces improvement and until new ailments (such as have never yet occurred with other patients in this disease), appear; for in such a case a new remedy will have to be used. On any day when the remedy has produced too strong an action, the dose should be omitted for a day. If the symptoms of the disease alone appear, but are considerably aggravated even during the more moderate use of the medicine, then the time has come to break off in the use of the medicine for one or two weeks, and to await a considerable improvement.*
When the medicine has been consumed and it is found necessary to continue the same remedy, if the physician should desire to prepare a new portion of medicine from the same degree of potency, it will be necessary to give to the new solution as many shakes, as the number of shakes given to the last portion amount to when summed up together, and then a few more, before the patient is given the first dose; but after that, with the subsequent doses, the solution is to be shaken up only five or six times.
(*In treating acute cases of disease the homoeopathic physician will proceed in a similar manner. He will dissolve one (two) pellet of the highly potentized, well selected medicine in seven, ten or fifteen tablespoonfuls of water (without addition) by shaking the bottle. He will then, according as the disease is more or less acute, and more or less dangerous, give the patient every half hour, or every hour, every two, three, four, six hours (after again well shaking the bottle) a whole or a half tablespoonful of the solution, or, in the case of a child, even less. If the physician sees no new symptoms develop, he will continue at these intervals, until the symptoms present at first begin to be aggravated; then he will give it at longer intervals and less at a time.
As is well known, in cholera the suitable medicine has often to be given at far shorter intervals.
Children are always given these solutions from their usual drinking vessels; a teaspoon for drinking is to them unusual and suspicious, and they will refuse the tasteless liquid at once on that account. A little sugar may be added for their sake.
In this manner the homoeopathic physician will derive all the benefit from a well selected remedy, which can be obtained in any special case of chronic disease by doses given through the mouth.
But if the diseased organism is affected by the physician through this same appropriate remedy at the same time in sensitive spots other than the nerves of the mouth and the alimentary canal, i.e. if this same remedy that has been found useful is at the same time in its watery solution rubbed in (even in small quantities) into one or more parts of the body which are most free from the morbid ailments (e.g. on an arm, or on the thigh or leg, which have neither cutaneous eruptions, nor pains, nor cramps) -then the curative effects are much in creased. The limbs which are thus rubbed with the solution may also be varied, first one, then another. Thus the physician will receive a greater action from the medicine homoeopathically suitable to the chronic patient, and can cure him more quickly, than by merely internally administering the remedy.
This mode of procedure has been frequently proved by myself and found extraordinarily curative; yea, attended by the most startling good effects; the medicine taken internally being at the same time rubbed on the skin externally. This procedure will also explain the wonderful cures, of rare occurrence indeed, where chronic crippled patients with sound skin recovered quickly and permanently by a few baths in a mineral water, the medicinal constituents of which were to a great degree homoeopathic to their chronic disease.*