Homeopathic Posology

So-called “pathological symptom,” when they exist alone, are as significant and characteristic in their way and may be as clearly indicative of a remedy, homoeopathically, as the earlier finer grades of symptoms. *Whether they are as useful to the homoeopathic prescriber or not depends upon the existence of similar symptoms in the Materia Medica. We can only prescribe for symptoms which have a counterpart in the Materia Medica. From the record of poisoning, over-dosing, and some extreme provings, a well as from clinical experience, we have knowledge of some drugs who symptoms thus derived, correspond very closely to the class of pathological symptoms under the discussion. In the list of such drugs we may find one which fits our case. If that is not possible a study of the *early symptoms from the history of the case, if they can be elicited, may lead directly or by analogy, to the remedy needed. when a case has reached a stage where none but gross pathological or organ symptoms are present, it is usually incurable; but it is not necessarily beyond help by medicines homoeopathically selected even if no results follow the use of the ordinary small doses or potentiated medicines.

*In the terminal conditions, therefore when the patient does not react to well selected remedies, nor to intercurrent reaction remedies, given in potentiated form and small doses, resort to the crude drug and increase the dose to the point of reaction.

When reasonably sure of the remedy give the tincture or a low trituration, first in moderate, then in increasing doses until the dosage is found to which the patient will react, even if it be the “maximum dose” as set down in the books. The “maximum dose” may be “minimum dose” necessary to bring about reaction sometimes. It takes more power to drive an automobile up a hill than it does on the level; and if the hill is very steep the driver may have to go backwards on the road a ways and take “a running start,” in order to gain momentum enough to carry him up. When he gets to top of the hill he can shut off power and “coast” down the other side. That is what the homoeopathic prescriber has to do sometimes, in the kind of cases under discussion.

This does not in the least degree invalidate nor violate the principle of the minimum dose in such cases. The principle of *similia as applied in the selection of both remedy and dose is eternally and universally true. It is as true in terminal conditions in chronic disease marked by gross pathological lesions and symptoms as it is any other kind of cases. The homoeopathic physician fails and falls short of his duty if, at such a crisis, he throws up his hands and lets his patient die or pass into other hands; or if he weakly yields, abandons the principle of *similia and resorts to the routine measures of allopathic practice, based upon theoretical assumptions. Occasionally an allopathic physician is called in who gives so- called physiological doses of some common drug and restores the patient.

He merely what the homoeopathic physician should have the discernment and common sense to do;- namely, give the drug that is *really homoeopathic to the case, but give it in the stronger doses required at that stage of the case to excite the curative reaction. He does what the homoeopathic physician is perhaps too timid, too ignorant or too prejudiced to do. Result: the allopath gets the honor, the family and the emolument; the homoeopathy “gets the laugh;” and homoeopathy “gets a black eye.” The occasional successes of allopathic physicians in such cases are nearly always accomplished with drugs which are essentially, although crudely, homoeopathic. The homoeopathy who habitually uses high potencies is apt to forget or overlook the fact that a terminal case may reach a point where the symptoms call for material doses because the susceptibility is so low that it will react to no other, but will react to them.

Such a case occurred in the practice of the writer. It was a case of valvular heart disease of many year’s standing, which had reached the stage of fibrillation. In a previous crisis it had responded to potentiated medicines. In this instances, however, potentiated medicines, selected with the greatest care, had no effect, An effort was made to arouse the dormant reactivity with intercurrent remedies, also in high potency. Laurocerasus, Carbo vegetabilis, Tuberculinum and Medorrhinum were given, as recommended by homoeopathic authorities.

All efforts failed and the case rapidly progressed toward dissolution. Tachycardia, arrhythmia, oedema, ascites, hydrothorax, passive congestion of the brain and liver, delirium, suppressions of urine and coma foretold the rapid approach of the end. For a period of over three weeks the symptoms had positively and mistakably demanded Digitalis; but doses ranging from forty thousandth down to drop doses of the tincture produced no favorable change.

At this point, by advice of an eminent allopathic specialist who was called in at the request of the family, full doses of special preparations of Digitalis and a salt-free, liquid diet were given. Within thirty-six hours the patient was passing over one hundred ounces of urine in twenty-fours, brain, lungs and liver rapidly cleared up and the case which had appeared absolutely hopeless progressed steadily to a good recovery.

The action of the Digitalis was clearly curative. No pathogenetic symptoms of any kind appeared, for the copious urine was distinctly a curative symptoms. Only six doses of the drug were given, at intervals of twelve hours, and it was discontinued as soon as its full therapeutic action was established.

About one month later, it was necessary to repeat the medication in smaller doses a few times for a slight return of some of the symptoms, due to over exertion.

This patient was not cured in the sense that his structurally damaged heart valves were restored, for that is an impossibility. But the action of the indicated drug was curative in its nature, as far as it was possible to go, his life was saved and prolonged, and he was restored to a measure of comfort and usefulness, when otherwise he would have died.

Digitalis in material doses was homoeopathic to his condition, symptomatically and pathologically and no other drug could take its place at that stage of the disease No other medicine of any kind was given.

In contrast to this case, and in further illustrations of the necessity for being prepared to use the entire scale of potencies, the following case from the practice of the write is presented.

The patient was a girl eighteen years of age, in the late stages of incurable heart disease. She had been under allopathic treatment for over a year, Steadily growing worse. When first seen by the writer she was confined to a chair, unable to lie down or remain in bed. General oedema, ascites and hydrothorax existed. Urine was almost entirely suppressed, only about four ounces being passed in twenty-fours hours. Tachycardia and dyspnoea were most distressing and death seemed imminent.

The history and anamnesis of her case revealed unmistakable Calcarea symptoms. She was given a single dose of Calcarea carb., C.M., Fincke. The reaction and response to the remedy was surprising. Within forty-eight hours urine began to be secreted copiously. For several days she passed from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty ounces per day. Dropsy rapidly disappeared and she was soon able to lie down and sleep comfortably. In about four weeks she was able to go out for a ride in a carriage, and not long after was out walking.She lived thirteen months in comparative comfort and happiness and then died quite suddenly of heart failure, after a slight over exertion.

These two cases represent the extremes of therapeutic resources open to the homoeopathic practitioner.

Susceptibility is Modified by Habit and Environment.- People who are accustomed to long and severe labor out-of-doors, who sleep little and whose food is coarse, are less susceptible.

Person exposed to the continual influence of drugs, such as tobacco workers and dealers; distillers and brewers and all connected with liquor and tobacco trade; druggists, perfumers, chemical workers, etc., often possess little susceptibility to medicines and usually require low potencies in the illnesses, except where their illness is directly caused by some particular drug influence, when a high potency of the same or a similar drug may prove to be the best antidote.

Idiots, imbeciles and the deaf and dumb have a low degree of susceptibility, as a rule.

“There is no rule without its exceptions” and this is especially true in this matter of the homoeopathic doses. Contrary to what one would expect, persons who have taken many crude drugs of allopathic, homoeopathic or “bargain-counter” prescription often require high potencies for their cure. Their susceptibility to crude drugs and low potencies has been exhausted and even massive doses seem to have no effect; as where cathartics or anodynes have been used until there is no reaction to them. Such cases will often respond at once to high potencies of the indicated remedy; in fact they often require the high potency as an antidote. The high potency is effective because it acts on virgin soil, invades new territory, as it were.

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.