The spirit of the Homeopathic Materia Medica, the spirit of homeopathy that is, is the spirit of Liberty, the Spirit of Truth, the spirit of Self-sacrifice. Absolute allegiance is the smallest homage it can demand. No trouble, no suffering must be counted in its service, or in the cause of its advancement.

WHEN an allopath is first confronted with Hahnemanns Materia Medica Pura, he cannot tell what to make of it. It certainly is not literature. It says little or nothing about the disease which each remedy will cure; it offer no scientific theories to explain how the remedy acts; it simply presents the reader with a bare list of symptoms! From the allopathic standpoint this is at once ludicrous and contemptible.

And if the readers glance should first alight on one of those “funny” symptoms, which we know are of such enormous importance in prescribing-like the “imagines himself made of glass” of Thuja, for example-an explosion of merriment is very likely to arrest all further desire to explore the new domain.

But let us look a little closely at those symptoms-lists of Hahnemann and see if we can discover something of their essential import.

Taking a broad view of the field we find, first of all, that the symptoms are arranged in a definite order. This order is mainly anatomical, and, as a result of this, it is possible to find all the symptoms of any drug which are related to any particular part of the body.

These symptoms-lists, as we all know, are a record of the effects of the various drugs as observed in the persons who have tested them, by taking the drugs when in health. But the order in which they are arranged in then Materia Medica is not the order in which they occur in the provers. This has given rise to no little criticism on the part of some authorities. This is not “scientific”, say they.

But theoretical questions do not enter here; the only point we have to consider is: Are the symptoms available for individual use, in their individual capacity? Or, in using a symptoms, is it necessary to have not only the symptom itself, but the other symptoms of the prover, in the same sequence in the case we are treating, before we can successfully prescribe the remedy? The only test here is the test of practice. That test answered for Hahnemann, and it answers for us, that each individual symptom has its face value for prescribing purposes, independently of the other symptoms it may have been associated with in the prover who first noted it.

Therefore it follows that Hahnemanns arrangement, like most of his practical deductions, is the truly scientific one.

Now what is the result of all this? It is really, when we come to took at it, of most tremendous importance. The whole life and soul of homoeopathy resides in it. The Spirit of Homoeopathy is the Spirit of Liberty. The beauty, the grandeur, the glory of homoeopathy is its freedom.

If we were tied up to the “scientific” explanations of drug action which appear in allopathic text books; if we were tied up to any sequence of occurrence as the symptoms appear in the day-books of the provers, the uses of our Materia Medica would be so curtailed that our liberty would not be worth a moment;s purchase. As it is, every individual symptom of the Materia Medica is a separate coin stamped with natures own insignia, and available always for its face value.

We all know the difference between paper bonds and liquid assets, and how convenient it is sometimes to convert former into the latter. Well, in Hahnemann;s Materia Medica we have the drug powers of the world converted into liquid, with the individual advantage, that no matter how much we spend of them, the funds are never exhausted. On the contrary, the more we spend the more we possess.

Take another and allied simile. You know the old adage: Corpora non agunt nisi soluta- “Bodies dont act except in solution”. It is not absolutely true, but it is true enough for our purpose. Look at the difference between ice and water for instance. Ice has a thousand uses-but we must turn it into water before we can wash our hands with it our sail our ships, or make our tea, or quench our thirst.

John Henry Clarke
John Henry Clarke MD (1853 – November 24, 1931 was a prominent English classical homeopath. Dr. Clarke was a busy practitioner. As a physician he not only had his own clinic in Piccadilly, London, but he also was a consultant at the London Homeopathic Hospital and researched into new remedies — nosodes. For many years, he was the editor of The Homeopathic World. He wrote many books, his best known were Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica and Repertory of Materia Medica