General Pathology of Homoeopathy

Every proving is the clinical record of an artificial disease produced by some drug. Every case of sickness demands its corresponding drug, which is found by comparing the symptoms of a patient and the symptoms of drugs. For every disease arising from natural causes there has been found, or may be produced by some drug, a similar artificial disease, symptoms corresponding with symptom, often to the minutest details. This similar corresponding drug, once found and administered in the proper dose, proves to be the curative. Upon this easily demonstrable fact is founded the homoeopathic healing art. From this fact was deduced the healing principle, which is the scientific basis of homoeopathy.

Acceptance of the idea that disease may be cured by drugs is quite general, but the truth of the related idea that drugs also *cause disease, and each drug its own specific disease, although partially recognized, is by no means as clearly recognized as it should be. The alcoholic, the drug addict and the “dope fiend,” have long been regarded as “victims of a *disease,” by some regarded as a peculiar psychical disease and by others in other ways; but only very recently has it dawned upon a few of the “regular” profession that the mysterious, indefinite disease from which the addicts suffer is, in each case, a definite, specific *drug disease, caused by and representing the action of the particular drug to which he is addicted; that the *opium addict suffers from the opium disease, the “coke fiend” from the *cocaine disease, etc.

Homoeopathy should have taught them this long ago. Few seem to realize that a very large part of the disease met with in ordinary practice is the result of what may be called involuntary poisoning. Symptoms are constantly appearing in our clinical records which are the product of drugs, either self-administered or ignorantly prescribed by that class of physicians who are forever prescribing for the results of their own drugging without knowing it.There are many, even in the homoeopathic school, who do not realize this fact and who fail to see that the problem before them is as often one of antidoting a drug as of curing a true natural disease. This has a very practical bearing on the case, for the first step in such cases is to seek out and stop the use of drugs and antidote them, rather than to blindly proceed to give more drugs. Nature unaided will often remove many of the symptoms in such cases if the dosing is stopped and a little time is given. The remainder becomes the basis of homoeopathic prescribing under accepted homoeopathic principles, and the case as a whole affords an opportunity for the discerning physician to impart some wholesome instruction in the rules of right living.

Hering said: “The last taken drug affords the best indication for the next prescription.” The experienced homoeopathic physician, therefore, gives particular attention in the examination of cases to ascertaining what drugs have been previously used, with a view to stopping their use and antidoting such as have been most influential in producing disorder, as revealed by a study of the symptoms.

Over-dosing and too frequent changing of remedies in homoeopathic practice often leads to the confusion of the prescriber and the damage of the patient.

This was exemplified in a case seen by me in consultation with a young physician. The patient was an infant about eighteen months old who had been under treatment for two weeks. The diagnosis was indefinite, because the nature of the initial disease was obscure. The case did not at first seem serious and probably was not; but the child was now obviously very sick and there had been no signs of improvement. The young physician exhibited his up-to- date card record of the case, very neatly kept. It contained the symptoms of the first examination, quite fully and clearly taken, with temperatures, pulse and respiration carefully charted. The first prescription was Belladonna 3x, which manifestly as to remedy, if not to dose, corresponded closely to the symptoms as recorded and was a good prescription. But the record showed that on his visit the following day, finding his patient slightly worse, he had changed the prescription and given two other remedies, also in very low dilutions, in alternation.From that time on the prescription was changed almost daily, two remedies in alternation being given each time and presently, palliatives and adjuvants, cathartics, stimulants, etc., began to show on the record. In the two weeks of treatment some twenty different medicines had been given, in strength ranging from mother tincture to 3x dilution. The result, of course, was inevitable. Given the sensitive organism of an infant, acted upon by such a number of medicines but slightly removed by dilution from the crude state, each one being capable of exciting more or less toxic reaction, and one could surely foretell the result – “confusion worse confounded.*” Every drug given had produced some effect, if not the effect desired. The resulting symptom picture was of the well-known “composite” character, blurred and indefinite, with little or no character. Hardly one clear-cut, definite symptom could be found-much less that group of consistent and co-ordinated symptoms which is required in making an accurate homoeopathic prescription. It was a clear case of getting lost in a very small patch of woods. If the doctor, after making his first prescription to Belladonna 3x had known how to rightly interpret the fact that the patient seemed *somewhat worse the next day instead of better, as he had expected; if he had then discontinued the remedy without giving anything else except placebo and awaited the curative reaction, he would have found his patient much improved on the following day. Without knowing it he was then witnessing that “slight aggravation of the symptoms” following the exhibition of a well-selected remedy of which Hahnemann warns us. Better still would it have been if he had given the Belladonna in the thirtieth or two hundredth potency in the first instance, instead of the 3x. There would then have been no aggravation, the patient would have been better on the second day, and would probably have gone on to rapid recovery. Instead of this, however, the doctor misinterpreted the facts, thereby doing himself, his patient and homoeopathy injustice. Believing that he had made a wrong prescription, he changed it. In his beginning confusion he further departed from sound principles by giving two medicines in alternation, thus multiplying the sources of error and confusion. From this point on, like a man lost in the woods, he was simply “walking circles around himself” – hopelessly lost as far as his own efforts were concerned, until somebody came and guided him home.

The toxic effects of drugs prescribed in the ordinary routine of practice are commonly overlooked. In spite of a popular delusion to the contrary, a drug loses none of its power in being prescribed by a man who writes M.D. after his name. Today, as in the dark ages, there are physicians who give drugs as if they believed that each of them at their behest, would find its way through the devious channels of the body and perform the exact task assigned to it. Unlike the chemist and the pork packer, they do not see the “by-products,” nor make use of them.

It was said of the pork packers that they had learned to utilize every part of the pig except his squeal. Then came an enterprising phonograph firm whose agents invaded the slaughter house and actually recorded the squeals for reproduction, thus completing the work of salvage.

It is different with the doctors. If the patient recovers after his dosing all is well and the doctor is confirmed in his faith. If the patient gets worse, or new symptoms arise, all is still well, medically speaking. It is merely a “complication” for which he has a ready name and a convenient pathological classification. If the patient dies there is no lack of causes assignable on a pathological basis, and the requirements of the Health Department are easily met in filling the blanks in the death certificate. Thus “science” is vindicated and the doctor felicitates himself on his diagnostic and pathological acumen. His faith in drugs is not shaken.

Rarely does it occur to the prescriber that the “complication” is but the symptomatic reflection of the drug or drugs he has previously given. Sometimes he does seem to have faint glimpses of that unpleasant truth, as when tetanus, trismus or acute Bright’s disease speedily follow vaccination; or when haemorrhage in lungs, kidneys or retina quickly supervenes upon the administration of massive doses of quinine; or when he happens to recognize one of the “puzzling eruptions” said to be caused by one or more of the twenty-nine drugs named by Glentworth Butler, in his work, “The Diagnostics of Internal Medicine.” But such flashes of insight are rare and accomplish little in stemming the tide of drug which is engulfing so many victims. Though such a physician may be as keen on the scent of the last new bacillus as Buster was on the trail of Bunny Cottontail, his nose is singularly dull when it comes to trailing the *most common of all causes of disease – the preceding drug.

Stuart Close
Stuart M. Close (1860-1929)
Dr. Close was born November 24, 1860 and came to study homeopathy after the death of his father in 1879. His mother remarried a homoeopathic physician who turned Close's interests from law to medicine.

His stepfather helped him study the Organon and he attended medical school in California for two years. Finishing his studies at New York Homeopathic College he graduated in 1885. Completing his homeopathic education. Close preceptored with B. Fincke and P. P. Wells.

Setting up practice in Brooklyn, Dr. Close went on to found the Brooklyn Homoeopathic Union in 1897. This group devoted itself to the study of pure Hahnemannian homeopathy.

In 1905 Dr. Close was elected president of the International Hahnemannian Association. He was also the editor of the Department of Homeopathic Philosophy for the Homeopathic Recorder. Dr. Close taught homeopathic philosophy at New York Homeopathic Medical College from 1909-1913.

Dr. Close's lectures at New York Homeopathic were first published in the Homeopathic Recorder and later formed the basis for his masterpiece on homeopathic philosophy, The Genius of Homeopathy.

Dr. Close passed away on June 26, 1929 after a full and productive career in homeopathy.