The Scope of Homeopathy



Primarily homoeopathy has nothing to do with any *tangible or *physical cause, effect or product of disease although secondarily it is related to all of them. Effects of disease in morbid function and sensation may remain after the causes have been removed. Removal of the tangible products of disease, if it be too far advanced may have to be relegated to surgery. Homoeopathy deals directly only with disease itself, *the morbid vital processes manifested by perceptible symptoms, which may remain and continue after the causes have been removed and conditions changed.

It stands to reason, as Hahnemann says, that every intelligent physician, having a knowledge of rational etiology, will first remove by appropriate means, as far as possible, every exciting and maintaining cause of disease and obstacle to cure, and endeavor to establish a correct and orderly course of living for his patient, with due regard to mental and physical hygiene. Failing to do this, but little impression can be made by homoeopathic remedies, and what slight impression is made will be of short duration.

Having done this he addresses himself to the problem of finding that remedy, the symptoms of which in their nature, origin and order of development are most similar to the symptoms of the patient, and to the proper management of it, when found, as to size and frequency of doses.

While gross pathological tissue changes, organic lesions, morphological disproportions, neoplasms and the physical effects of mechanical causes are not primarily within the domain of *Similia, and therefore are not the object of homoeopathic treatment, the morbid processes from which they arise, or to which they lead, are amenable to homoeopathic medication. Homoeopathic remedies, by virtue of their power to control vital functions and increase resistance, often exercise a favorable influence upon physical developments well as upon the tangible products of disease or accident. Thus, the growth of tumors may be retarded or arrested; absorption and repair promoted, even to a total removal of the morbid product or growth; secretions and excretions may be increased or decreased; eruptions, sores and ulcers healed. But all these happy tangible results are only incidental and secondary to the real cure which takes place solely in the functional or dynamical sphere, quelling disturbance, controlling metabolism, antidoting poisons, raising resistance and bringing about cure by the dynamical influence of the symptomatically similar remedy.

Following the exclusion method adopted by Dake, in his “Therapeutic Methods,” and using a modification of his phrasing, the sphere of *Similia may be defined as follows:

1. Homoeopathy relates primarily to no affection of health where the exciting cause of disease is constantly present and operative.

2. It relates primarily to no affections of health which will, of themselves, cease after the removal of the exciting cause by physical, chemical or hygienic measures.

3. It relates primarily to no affections of health occasioned by the injury or destruction of tissues which are incapable of restoration.

4. It relates primarily to no affections of health where the vital reactive power of the organism to medicines is exhausted, obstructed or prevented.

5. It relates to no affection of health, the symptomatic likeness of which may not be perceptibly produced in the healthy organism by medical means, nor to affections in which such symptoms are not perceptible.

The class not excluded, the one in which homoeopathy is universal and paramount to all other methods, must be made up of *affections of the living organism in which perceptible symptoms exist, similar to those producible by pathogenic means, in organisms having the integrity of tissue and reactive power necessary to recovery, the exciting causes of the affections and obstacles to cure having been removed, or having ceased to be operative.

The sphere of Similia in medicine is thus limited to those morbid functional conditions and processes which result primarily from the dynamic action upon the living organism of morbific agents inimical to life.

The living organism may be acted upon or affected primarily in three ways; (1)Mechanically. (2) Chemically. (3) Dynamically. The causes of disease fall naturally under these three heads.

Under the head of mechanical causes of disease come all traumatic agencies, such a lesion, injuries and destruction of tissues resulting from physical force; morbid growths, formations and foreign substances; congenitally defective or absent organs or parts, prolapsed or displaced organs, etc. These conditions are related primarily to surgery, physical therapeutics and hygiene.

The destructive action of certain chemical poisons such as the acids and alkalies is a sufficient illustration of the chemical causes of disease, although all such agents have also secondary dynamical effects, which come within the sphere of homoeopathy. Diseases arising from these causes require the use of chemical or physiological antidotes, combined in some cases with measures for the physical expulsion of the offending substances, and followed by homoeopathic treatment for the functional derangements which remain or follow.

Entozoa or organized living animal parasites, when their presence in the body gives rise to disease, must be expelled by mechanical measures or by the administration of medicines capable of weakening or destroying them without endangering the person suffering from their presence. Dynamical treatment on homoeopathic principles may be required to remove the functional derangements and restore the patient to health.

The effects of dynamical causes of disease, by which is meant all those intangible and medicinal or toxic agents and influences which primarily disturb the vital functions of mind and body., come legitimately within the sphere of *Similia. These are very numerous, but they may be roughly classified as (1) mental or psychical, atmospheric, thermic, electric telluric and climatic, (2) dietetic, hygienic, contagious, infectious and specific the last three including all disorders arising from the use or abuse of drugs, and from all bacterial agents or pathogenic microorganisms which produce their effects through their specific toxins or alkaloids. Homoeopathy successfully treats bacterial or zymotic disease, such as cholera, yellow fever, typhus and typhoid fever, malarial fever, diphtheria, tuberculosis and pneumonia, by internal homoeopathic medicines, without resorting to bactericides, germicides or anti-septics. Such agents have their use only in the field of sanitation, which is environmental, not personal. We disinfect the typhoid patient’s excretions but not the patient himself.

Again quoting Dake’s admirable exposition, but qualifying his third proposition, and adding a fifth paragraph:

“The domain of *Similia may be reached by another route, Looking at the various drugs and other agencies capable of influencing health, and advancing, as before, by the method of exclusion, it may be said:

1. The homoeopathic law relates to no agents intended to affect the organism chemically.

2. It relates to none applied for mechanical effect simply.

3. It relates to none required in the development or support of the organism when in health.

4. It relates to none employed directly to remove or destroy the parasites which infest or prey upon the human body.

“Looking over the armamentarium of the therapeutist for agents not excluded, one class is found, namely; *those agents which affect the organism as to health in ways not governed by chemistry, mechanics, or hygiene, but those capable of producing ailments similar to those found in the sick”.

In regard to Dake’s third proposition it can and will be shown that, inasmuch as the development and support of the organism when in health depends upon the principle of *assimilation as demonstrated by Fincke, the principle of *Similia does relate to these processed; for assimilation depends upon mutual action, upon action and reaction, and this is the fundamental principle of homoeopathy.

To the foregoing proposition as formulated by Dake one more should be added.

5. The homeopathic law relates to no agents or drugs administered for their direct or so-called physiological effects.

Circumstances arise occasionally which make it necessary, temporarily, for the homoeopathic physician to use drugs in “physiological” (really, pathogenic) doses for their palliative effect. Although the ruling principle of his medical life is *cure by symptom-similarity, and that end is always held in view as an ideal, he is not thereby forbidden the use of palliative measures in cases where they are appropriate and necessary.

Hahnemann, after showing the futility of antipathic medication as a curative method, and pointing out the dangers incidental to its use, admits the utility and necessity of resorting to palliation in certain emergencies. In a note to Paragraph 67, he says:

“Only in the most urgent cases, where danger to life and imminent death allow no time for the action of a homoeopathic remedy-not hours, sometimes not even quarter hours and scarcely minutes in sudden accidents occurring to previously healthy individuals-for example, in asphyxia and suspended animation from lightning, from suffocation, freezing, drowning, etc.- It is admissible and judicious at all events as a preliminary measure, to stimulate the irritability and sensibility (the physical life) with a palliative, as for instance, with gentle electric shocks, with clysters of strong coffee, with a stimulating odor, gradual application of heat, etc. When this stimulation is effected, the play of vital organs goes on again in its former healthy manner, for there is here no disease to be removed, but merely an obstruction and suppression of the healthy vital force. To this category belong various antidotes to sudden poisonings; alkalies for mineral acids, hepar sulphuris for metallic poisons, coffee and camphor (and ipecacuanha) for poisoning by opium, etc.”

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.