Different ways of Finding a Remedy

What is important for finding the remedy in a case? The importance of peculiar symptoms, general symptoms, family history and causative modalities in deciding the simillimum for a case….

DIFFERENT WAYS OF FINDING A REMEDY In Homoeopathy, the REMEDY is the thing. Potencies and administration are the questions that divide us- are matters of personal experience.

Brilliant work has been done by people of widely different range of potencies and administration, provided that they had found the remedy. Without that the magic refuses to work.

We are here to consider DIFFERENT WAYS OF FINDING THE REMEDY, because the essential thing, for a homoeopathic prescription (and on this we are all agreed), is A LIKE REMEDY FOR A LIKE ABNORMAL CONDITION But, in order to get the “like” remedy, one must get accurately the disease-picture that has to be matched. And perhaps the most difficult thing of all is taking the case.

Somebody said the other day, “If the case is well taken, it is impossible to find it.

Pathological case-cause-taking will not help. Symptoms that go to make up the diagnosis, we must have, but they will seldom lead to the curative drug.

This may point to a group of remedies, useful in such a disease. They will not pick out the one remedy demanded by the symptoms of THIS patient.

Dr. Drysdale laid it down that “The greater the value of a symptom for diagnoses, the less its value in the selection of the remedy.” This does not mean that we must not or need not diagnose! We must!-of only to discount symptoms common to the disease, and not peculiar to this patient with the disease; or symptoms dependent on disease ultimates, mechanical perhaps, and not expressive of the patient. Also for prognosis; and for information as to what range of potencies it is wise to employ.

Again, in sheet self-defense. Failure to diagnose may wreck the physician, while “Diagnosis, without the remedy is poor consolation for the patient.”… “These ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.

As a matter of fact, homeopathic case-taking, is merely a big addition to ordinary case taking, it never supersedes it. Just as homoeopathic materia medica is a huge addition to the materia medica of the schools. The homoeopathic doctor is all that the others are-and then MORE.

First, then, briefly to consider taking the case. It is all Hahnemann. But, instead of quoting. I will try to cut it down.

Begin by writing down the patient’s statement in the patient’s own words.

Why? To avoid errors and misconceptions, but especially for purposes of comparison.

The materia medica consists of the statements of simple people, in simple language. The match.

This has been a reproach to homoeopathy. Its facts are not recorded in the scientific terms of our day.

And yet it is just this simplicity of truth that has saved homoeopathy, and made it available for all times and for all peoples. Had it been done into the scientific jargon of a hundred years ago, it would be long obsolete. The science of one generation is often the nonsense of the next. And conversely in this instance. For what, in homoeopathy, has been decried as nonsense for a century, is now being recognized as the latest would in science. TRUTH IS GREAT, AND HAS A WAY OF PREVAILING IN THE LONG RUN You have recorded the patient’s story. Now you start on the quest of the “strange, rare and peculiar.” That is to say, you take him through it again, and make him amplify and qualify his statements. By this means you may stumble upon one or two invaluable symptoms, peculiar to himself, and not merely diagnostic of the disease. The fact that he is breathless-in asthma-will not go far. It is part of the programme, and common to all asthmatics.

But the fact that he can only breathe when lying flat or in the knee-elbow position, may be peculiar to THIS case, and highly diagnostic of one or two or three remedies. You will underline that. If you are so skillful, or lucky, as to get two or three invaluable symptoms, your work may end here. For turning up the drugs that have caused these symptoms, you may find in one of them, a complete picture of the patent’s case, disease and all. This seems to have been a common method of finding the remedy with Dr. Erastus Case, and it led him to brilliant results with many rare remedies that would not “work out” by more tedious repertory methods. His little book is well worth study-stuffed full, as it is, with instructive cases.

Next, you try to extract anything definite and well-marked in the general symptoms of the patient: his (especially) altered reactions to environment, mental and physical. The effect on him of temperature, humidity, thunder, foods, light, noise, smells; his cravings and aversions, with delicate probings for mental symptoms, especially where these denote change from his normal.

You may get help from nurse, from friends or relations (who will often lie, by the way, if the patient is present). And all the time you are using your own observation to check, to confirm, and to note the things that you are not told.

Dr. Burnett used to say, “With children. lunatics and liars, you have to use your own observation.” He seemed to imply that this was pretty well always.

For there are the persons who “pile it on”-hypochondriacs-or in hysteria. And the persons who conceal; from shyness, from shame; and invariably what is most important.

Remember leading questions evoke misleading answers. Make the patient consider. Never ask a question that can be answered by yes or no. Only record what is considered and definite.

In our earlier days we ask a good many questions, and we write down a great deal. Later on we ask many more questions and record much less.

In complicated and chronic cases get the patient’s PAST HISTORY. He many not remember it the first time; for example that eruption when a small body. He will tell you more after thinking things over the asking people who know.

FAMILY HISTORY is often of the great greatest importance. And what about VACCINATIONS?-frequent-perhaps successful. We will go into that later, with Dr. Burnett’s work.

SMALL-POX is one of the things that may hit you in the eye. It has branded its victim.

And with variolinum you can amazingly improve the health, physical and even mental, of persons who have had small pox. One has seen case, after case where the facial deformity has yielded to what would seem an impossible extent: and that after 40 years! the skin smoothing out and resuming normal coloring after a few doses at long intervals of variolinum 200.

But, may this not be the case with other acute disease and their virtues? Then old malaria or quinine. Here, again, Burnett comes in with his brilliant little monograph, which made the case for Natrum muriaticum.

Look out for T.B. manifestations, scars in neck, T.B. family history. Here you have a legitimate short cut to such drugs as Tuberculinum or Drosera, which raise resistance to tubercle, besides a group of the polychrests, Phosphorous, Psorinum, Calcarea, etc., according to symptoms.

Then Hahnemann’s chronic Miasms-psora, syphilis, gonorrhoea.

If these are not prescribed for, especially in chronic disease, you will not permanently benefit your patient-so Hahnemann says, and such is our experience.

You may cover the superficial drug-picture, but you will have to go, ultimately, for the deep disturbing cause before you can get maximum results. This, as I will show you, is Hahnemann.

Prolonged dosing with any drug will give you that drug’s disease- picture muddled up with the patient’s own symptoms; or it may be the whole case.

The same drug in high potency can antidote itself in crude preparation. But any drug, of course, having the same symptoms, will antidote.

It is always a question of matching symptoms. Among drug- symptoms, many arise from toothpastes, douches, gargles, etc.

A septic tooth may be poisoning the patient. But what about a septic pessary?-foul, very often, and indescribably offensive.

And now THE CASE HAS BEEN TAKEN The patient’s story has been recorded and the common symptoms with which it abounds, qualified, and out of these (unless otherwise, for prescribing) some things “strange, rare and peculiar” have been called and underlined.

Mental symptoms, most precious of all, if marked and true, have been angled for, and, where definite and reliable, recorded.

Where these deviate from the patient’s normal, they are of the highest importance. they may be used as eliminating symptoms, to throw out drugs by the dozen, in whose pathogenesis they do not appear.

And now we have the patient’s disease-picture complete i, e, his deviation from his normal. How are we to match with a drug disease picture? In other words, how are we to find the remedy? How did Hahnemann solve the problem?

Hahnemann and his immediate followers had great advantages over


They had fewer remedies to choose from. They knew them better, and could recognize them more easily in their patients.

For years, for half a lifetime, they had been “proving” drug after drug, and suffering its effects in their own minds and bodies. Naturally, they had less difficulty in recognizing a personally-experienced drug-picture in a patient. It had been branded on their memories by suffering.

Margaret Lucy Tyler
Margaret Lucy Tyler, 1875 – 1943, was an English homeopath who was a student of James Tyler Kent. She qualified in medicine in 1903 at the age of 44 and served on the staff of the London Homeopathic Hospital until her death forty years later. Margaret Tyler became one of the most influential homeopaths of all time. Margaret Tyler wrote - How Not to Practice Homeopathy, Homeopathic Drug Pictures, Repertorising with Sir John Weir, Pointers to some Hayfever remedies, Pointers to Common Remedies.