Cure & Recovery


Natural recoveries following treatment consisting of mere palliation of symptoms should not be mistaken for cures nor falsely paraded as such. A Cure is Always a Result of Art and is Never Brought About by Nature….


The Recall of the Medical Profession.- The advent of homoeopathy in the world opened a new era in medicine and gave new meaning to the word “Cure.” In the Organon of Medicine, Hahnemann, in military parlance, “sounded the recall” to all physicians in the field and laid before them a new plan of campaign and a new method of attack upon the enemy forces of disease. For the first time in history it then became possible to treat diseases under scientific principles and perform true cures by medication.

The New Ideal.- Hahnemann contemplated the entire field of medicine from the standpoint of an ideal and efficient therapeutics. In the first paragraph of the Organon he penetrated directly to the heart of the matter and declared that the “physician’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health- to cure.”

Here Hahnemann took his stand. From this point he viewed his field. By this standard he measured all physicians, all medical theories, methods and systems and he desired and demanded the same measurement for himself and his own method. He asked but one question, applied but one test, *Do they cure the sick? Experience and observation of the men and methods of his day showed clearly that they did not cure. In the light of a vast and comprehensive knowledge and a bitterly disappointing personal experience, he pronounced the medicine of his day a failure and set about its reformation.

Cure was not then, as it has since become in the dominant school of medicine, an obsolete term. Physicians still talked and wrote of “cures,” but vainly sought to find them. “The Art of Healing” or “The Healing Art” were familiar phrases, but the thing itself, like a will-o’-the-wisp, eluded them-then as it has ever since.

In the second paragraph of the Organon, Hahnemann gives, for the first time in medical history, an adequate and satisfying definition of the ideal expressed in the world “Cure.” The highest ideal of a cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable and most harmless way, *on easily comprehensible principles.”

Principles, not Precedents.- In those last four words lies the main point of the whole matter. Cure is dependent, not upon precedent, opinion or speculation but upon the application of *Principles; principles, moreover, that are “easily comprehensible.” The only principles that are easily comprehensible are principles that *are true. The only principles that are true are principles logically deduced from facts – *all the facts that belong to the field of research involved. Simplicity – comprehensibility – is the highest criterion of Truth. The greatest truths are always simple.

Medicine in general and therapeutics in particular are authoritatively classified among the Arts.

From time immemorial the practice of medicine has been called “The Art of Healing,” hence, a cure is a product of art. Let us consider what is meant by Art.

Art Defined.- Art is practice *guided by correct principles in the use of means for the attainment of a desired end.

An artist is one who is skilled in applying knowledge or ability to the accomplishment of a concrete purpose.

Psychologically, art is the superior work of reason and intelligence, actuated by a sense of beauty and the “eternal fitness of things”

Art transcends nature. It represents the victory of mind over matter, of man over nature. The Artist can take a hint from nature and devise some quicker or better way of accomplishing certain purposes; as when the homoeopathic artist takes the crude materials that nature provides and adapts them directly to therapeutic ends by potentiation, rendering them directly to therapeutic ends by potentiation, rendering them harmless, more active, more potent, more assimilable and hence more efficient.

Art not Imitation of Nature.- Art is not mere servile imitation of nature, nor of nature’s processes, although such base imitations are constantly being foisted upon the medical profession and the public in the name of art or science.

Hahnemann says: “The vital force, capable only of acting in harmony with the physical arrangement of our organism, and without reason, insight or reflection, was not given to us that we should regard it as the best guide in the cure of disease. What man of sense would undertake to *imitate nature in her endeavors of coming to the rescue…. No, the true healing art is that *intellectual office incumbent on *the higher human mind and *free powers of thought, discriminating and deciding *according to cause.”

To illustrate: Many examples of the working of the homoeopathic principle may be found in nature: The happy but unexpected results of accidental experiences, such as relief from rubbing a bruise, applying snow to a frozen ear, or radiant heat to a burned finger; the instinctive actions of sick or injured animals, as when they eat grass or leaves to produce vomiting when they are nauseated, or lick the secretions from their own wounds or sores.

If a homoeopathic artist desired to profit by the observation that a dog had apparently cured himself by licking the pus from his own sores, or that a human victim of septicaemia had recovered after accidentally or intentionally ingesting a portion of his own morbid secretions, he would not think of imitating these procedures. Desiring to ascertain the value of “autogenous pus” as a possible remedy, he would first submit the morbid product to the recognized scientific process of modification by mechanical potentiation, according to the method of Hahnemann and carry it to a point where there could be no question of the non-existence of toxic or septic qualities.

Having thus removed the obnoxious qualities of the substance and raised it form the physical to the dynamical plane, he would next submit it to the test of proving upon healthy persons; or, if he chose to approach the problem first from the clinical side he would administer doses of the potentiated substance to the person from whom it was taken and observe results, checking them up later by the results of a proving.

To illustrate: Venomous reptiles and insects inject their poison by puncturing the skin and obtain quick and positive results. This suggests but not justify the use of the hypodermic needle for therapeutic purposes, than which no more pernicious violation of the principles of true medical art was ever devised.

The use of the hypodermic needle for therapeutic purposes is merely a slavish imitation of nature, and of nature in her most malignant moods. The avowed object of the procedure is to get “quick” and “positive” results, but like many other questionable medical expedients, it is a violation of the principles of the healing art and an evil to be combated by every homoeopathician.

If every hypodermic needle in existence were destroyed it would still be possible to cure or relieve every curable disease quickly and safely, by means of the appropriate medicine administered by the natural channels.

Imitation of nature is a paltry substitute for art. Whatever may be the outcome in the long run and final accounting, nature, temporarily at least, works irrationally, blindly, painfully and wastefully; as when she creates a million spawn to secure a dozen fish; or suppurates and eye away in the effort to remove a splinter from the cornea. Undoubtedly law underlies all such efforts, but it is a law violated, thwarted or hampered in its operations by adverse conditions. Art thereupon steps in, removes obstacles, quiets disturbance, improves conditions and accomplishes results *with the least expenditure of force, by means perhaps similar, but always superior to those used by nature.

Cure is never accomplished by methods which are but a mere imitation of nature or nature’s processes. Recoveries, only, result from such methods. Frequently great injury is inflicted upon the patient by the use of such methods, because many of nature’s processes cannot be successfully imitated by man. There is always something which eludes us in our attempt to grasp nature’s deeper secrets.

Distinction Between Cure and Recovery.- The favorable outcome of medical treatment may be either a *cure or a recovery. To realize the ideal of cure, it is necessary to know the exact meaning of these terms and to be able to discriminate between them.

Failure to discriminate between cure and recovery engenders confusion of thought and leads to pernicious practices. The terms are not synonymous. Natural recoveries following treatment consisting of mere palliation of symptoms should not be mistaken for cures nor falsely paraded as such. In either case, a false standard is set up, injustice is done to the ideal of cure and scientific progress is retarded.

A Cure is Always a Result of Art and is Never Brought About by Nature.- Nature, however, aided or unaided, often brings about a recovery, under the operation of natural laws. Fortunate indeed is it for humanity that this is true.

Aside from homoeopathy, sanitation and surgery, the only real progress in handling the problem of disease during the last century has been in the adoption of hygienic methods of treatment tending toward natural recovery – the abolition of all drugs and dependence upon rest, diet, regimen and good nursing – known as the expectant method. The rate of mortality in certain diseases has fallen in proportion to the degree that meddlesome medication has been superseded by sound hygienic methods.

Definition of Recovery. – Recovery is the spontaneous return of the patient to health after the removal, disappearance or cessa1tion of the exciting causes and occasion of disease, or as a result of treatment which is not directly and specifically curative in its nature.

Recovery takes place by virtue of the existence of sufficient integrity of organs and inherent power of reaction in the patient to overcome the disease-producing agency without the aid of the homoeopathic or healing art. Recovery is favored by the application of sound principles of mental and physical hygiene, judicious mechanical or surgical treatment when required, avoidance of drugs used for their “physiological” (really pathogenic) effects, and by enlightened sanitation.

The Expectant Treatment Inadequate.- Nature unaided, however, or with all the aid afforded by the expectant treatment and by sanitation and surgery, is unable to cope successfully with many forms of severe disease. Such disease as cholera, yellow fever, pneumonia, diphtheria, typhus and typhoid fever, smallpox, and many other disease take a heavy toll in mortality, practically uninfluenced by the expectant treatment, except as compared with the much greater mortality under ordinary drug treatment. If diseases are divided into three classes with regard to their rate of mortality, the highest mortality is found among those treated by ordinary drug methods, the next lower under the expectant method, and the lowest under homoeopathic treatment.

The Superiority of Homoeopathy. – Homoeopathy has gained its greatest triumphs in those diseases which are uninfluenced by even the expectant treatment. Of these cholera is a notable example. With a normal mortality of from forty to seventy per cent. under any other form of treatment, the mortality under homoeopathic treatment, but otherwise under precisely the same general conditions, has been as low as four per cent. Substantially the same is true of other diseases, in all of which the mortality is distinctly lower under homoeopathic treatment than under the expectant treatment, which is itself so superior to ordinary drug treatment that the leaders of thought and research in the regular school warmly advocate the abandonment of all drugs except mercury, quinin and morphin in special cases.

It is the duty of every physician to avail himself of all the resources of hygiene, sanitation and surgery, but it is also his duty to put prejudice aside and investigate the claims of a method of medication which can show such markedly superior results as does homoeopathy.

Homoeopathy alone, of all therapeutic methods, can legitimately claim to effect true cures by medication, as distinguished from recoveries; and this it claims, first, because it is based upon a definite general principle or law of nature; second, because it is able to successfully apply that principle to individual cases; and third, because it does actually restore the sick to health, quickly, safely, gently and permanently, upon easily comprehensible principles.

Relation of Cure to Disease.- A true definition of cure must be based upon a right conception of the nature of disease.

The Standard Dictionary defines disease as “any departure from, failure in, or perversion of normal physiological *action in the material constitution or *functional integrity of the living organism.”

This definition rightly focuses attention upon the dynamical aspect of the subject, for disease is essentially and primarily a morbid dynamical disturbance of the vital powers and functions, resulting in a loss of functional and organic balance.

Primarily and essentially, cure is the restoration directly, by medical art, or normal physiological action. Cures do not consist in the mere removal of the external, secondary, tangible products of disease, but in restoration of the dynamical balance, so that the functions of the organism are again performed normally and the patient is in a state of health.

Disease is manifested perceptibly by signs and symptoms. Cure is manifested by the removal of the symptoms. Strictly speaking the removal of all the symptoms of the case is equivalent to a cure, but if symptoms disappear and the patient is not restored to health and strength it means either that some of the most important symptoms of the case have been overlooked, or that the case has passed beyond the curable stage. All curable cases present perceptible symptoms, but their discernment often depends upon the acuteness of the observer.

Cure relates to the case as a whole: A patient may have his haemorrhoids removed and be relieved of his rectal symptoms; but if the symptoms of the heart or liver disease which preceded and caused his haemorrhoids are not removed the patient is not cured; and so of innumerable other morbid conditions. Cure refers to *the patient, not to some symptoms of his disease, nor to what may be called “one of his diseases.” To say that a patient is cured of his haemorrhoids, but still has his heart disease is absurd. Cure means complete restoration to health.

Cure is not affected by the removal surgically nor by any local means, of the external, secondary, pathological “end-products” of disease, such as tumors, effusions, collections of pus, useless organs or dead tissues; *for the morbid functioning which produced those effects often remains unchanged, after such removal.

Cure is effected only by dynamical treatment according to fixed principles, directed to the primary, functional disorder as revealed by the complete symptom-picture preceding and accompanying the formation of the tangible products of the disease.

Cure is not merely the removal of the *primary causes of disease, for even if all the causes of the disease are known and removable, the effects, having been begun, may continue as secondary causes after the removal of the primary causes. Spontaneous disappearance of the disease does not always occur in such cases, and dynamical treatment is required to restore the patient to health.

The End Products of Disease and Mechanical Treatment. – The tangible, physical results of disease as thus defined may and often do disappear spontaneously when the internal dynamic disturbance is removed by curative medication, but they are not primarily the object of homoeopathic treatment. It may be necessary eventually, to remove them mechanically by surgical art. Surgical or mechanical measures become necessary when the tangible products of disease are so far advanced or so highly developed that they become secondary causes of disease and obstacles to cure. In all cases in which disease has ultimated in organic or tissue changes which have progressed to a point where surgical interference is necessary, homoeopathic dynamical treatment should precede and follow operation; bearing in mind always that such changes are the direct result of preceding and accompanying morbid functional changes, and that the patient is not cured unless normal functioning is restored.

The Object of Treatment.- The primary object or purpose of homoeopathic treatment is the restoration of normal functional balance-health.

The basis of the homoeopathic prescription is the totality of the symptoms which represent the functional disorder – *the abnormal process of the disease itself, not its ultimates or “end products.”

The physician who prescribes for a tumor or any other tangible product of disease is misdirecting his energies and courting failure.

Physicians are constantly mistaking the *product for the *process of disease. the product can only be changed by changing the process. Destroying the product does not change the process. Correct the faulty process and the product will take care of itself, so far as homoeopathy is concerned. this defines the sphere of homoeopathy and this is what we mean when we say that the cure of disease is a dynamical problem.

A Law of Cure Implied.- The accomplishment of even one true cure medication implies the existence of a governing principle or law of cure by medication. The occasional occurrence of accidental cures very early attracted the attention of medical men and led them to seek for such a law. Glimpses of the law were had by individuals from time to time down the ages, but it eluded the searches or failed of demonstration until Hahnemann finally grasped it comprehendingly and made it the basis for the therapeutic method which he named homoeopathy.

Many were deluded mistaking natural recoveries for cures. Their attempts to “imitate” invariably failed. Others abandoned the idea of a general principle of cure by medication and denied its existence, refusing to accept the demonstration when it was finally made. That is the attitude of the average member of the dominant school to-day. He denies the existence of a general principle of therapeutic medication. “We do not profess a cure,” he says’ “we only aid nature to bring about recoveries.” In this he is at least honest, and consistent in his use of terms.

The Requirements of Cure.- The first requirement of a cure by medication is that it shall be *the result of the direct application of a definite general principle of therapeutic medication. The result may be accidental or intentional on the part of the prescriber in a given case, but its relation to the means employed must be capable of rational explanation and demonstration by reference to the governing principle.

A general principle is capable of systematic demonstration, not only once but repeatedly and invariably, under stated conditions. Given the principle, it is always possible to formulate a method or technic, by means of which the principle may be successfully applied to every case within its scope.

*The second requirement of a cure by medication is that it must be individual. A general principle according to which any action takes place is always capable of being individualized. The ability to meet the varying requirements of individual cases proves the existence and truth of the principle involved.

A true system of therapeutics must be able to adapt its basic principle and its remedy to the needs of each individual case.

There are no cures for “diseases,” no remedy for all cases of the same disease. Cure relates to the individual patient, not to the disease. No two cases of the same disease are exactly alike. Differences of manifestation in symptoms and modalities always exist in individuals. It is these differences which give each case its individuality, and create the need for an individual remedy.

The Morphological Factor.- Every individual develops according to a certain morphological tendency or presdisposition, inherent in his constitution. It is from this tendency that he derives his individuality. This tendency or predisposition may be or become morbid. If it does, the symptomatic form of that morbidity will also be individual. It is necessary, therefore, to study each case of disease from the morphological as well as the semeiological standpoint in order to be able to determine its individual form and characteristics.

The new morphology includes all the facts and phenomena, anatomical, physiological and psychological, functional and organic, normal or abnormal, which represent the individuality of the subject. It aims to establish in each concrete case the particular kind or variety of organization, development and functioning which gives it individuality and differentiates it from other similar cases, thus providing a reliable basis for the rational interpretation of symptoms and the selection of the remedy indicated for the patient.

The Examination of the Patient and Construction of the Case.- Disease is primarily a dynamical disturbance of the vital functions of the individual organism, manifesting itself by signs and symptoms. Symptoms are the only perceptible evidence of disease and the only guide to the curative medicine. For the prescriber the characteristic symptoms of each individual in the totality constitute the disease and their removal is the object of treatment and the cure.

*The third requirement for the performance of an ideal cure, therefore, is a complete and impartial collection and record of the facts which constitute the natural and medical history of the individual.

This should include not only physical and constitutional signs, the heredity and family history of the patient; how he was born, raised and educated; his occupation, habits, social and domestic relations; but a chronological symptomatic history of all his diseases, indispositions, idiosyncrasies, accidents and vicissitudes, as far as they can be recalled.

In considering the recorded results of each examination, the homoeopathic therapeutist pays particular attention to the unusual, peculiar, exceptional features or symptoms which give the case its individuality; for, by these, under the guidance of the principle of symptom-similarity, he is led to the remedy needed for the cure of the individual case.

Stuart Close
Stuart Close