WITH years of experience, one never ceases to be amazed at the change that “a few silly little globules” can effect in acute sickness, and at the startling rapidity of the change: the more acute, the more rapid. In fact, one may almost lay it down, that where, in acute sicknesses, no change is experienced in a very few hours, one has not hit the mark.
Even in such acute illnesses as pneumonia, which have already gone on to physical changes that will need time to reabsorb, there is the astonishing “peace out of pain”; that enhanced feeling of well-being that enables the patient to “sit up and take notice”, so to speak.
Yesterday the acutely-ill patient had all gone to pieces-could care for nothing-could do nothing, perhaps, beyond the ceaseless striving for the least miserable position; today he has collected himself, presents an air of comparative comfort and composure: HE asks for a newspaper: SHE wants to know that her hair is tidy. When a sick canary begins to plume itself, one knows that all is well.
Acute sickness may take time to clear up; but the remedy capable of stimulating the process loses no time to assert itself; and if you have not found it, it is well to know that this is the case. You have to “study up the case again”.
An important point not generally realized by early prescribers, is the smallness of the dose. Not only must the potency, generally, be infinitesimal, but the dose must also be very small; at risk of giving an aggravation that masks your good work, and makes you think that you have not hit the remedy. Doctors of experience, who know their work, will give half a dozen-or fewer-wee globules.
Early prescribers, anxious about perhaps a dying baby, will give drops of perhaps a very high potency for a dose, instead of a few wee sweeties lodged inside the cheek, and slowly absorbed, or a few globules to medicate a teaspoonful of water, of which the babe gets a drop or two for a dose. Hahnemann, keen observer, with years of experience behind him, went so far as to reduce the number of tiny globules for a dose, to ONE! And that he actually worked as he taught, not only in infinitesimals in potency, but also in such minimal doses of his infinitesimals, is evidenced by the little Homoeopathic cases in the hall of the London Homoeopathic Hospital, where his original tiny bottles, of tiniest globules, are on view.
In materialistic days, one is inclined to pour out what would be a whole bottleful of Hahnemanns preparations, destined for the treatment of a number of cases, at one go: or to spill in a sensible amount of tinctures; or, instead of the wee globules, to medicate pilules, or “discs”. This is not at all the Homoeopathy of Hahnemann, and it certainly does not command his measure of success-alas! No one should ever have at hand, for ready prescribing, anything but the tiniest globules; and even these do most brilliantly when used with strictest economy.
“The fitness of a medicine in a given case of disease, does not depend alone upon its accurate prescription, but also upon the requisite and proper size, or rather minuteness of the dose. Too strong a dose of medicine, though quite homoeopathic, notwithstanding its remedial similitude, will produce an unnecessary surplus of effect upon the over-excited vital force; which, in it s turn, acts upon the most sensitive portions of the organism, already most seriously affected by the natural disease.
“Too large a dose of medicine, though homoeopathic to the case, will be injurious; not only in direct proportion to the largeness of the dose, but also in proportion to its homoeopathic similitude, and to the degree of the potentiation of the medicine, and it will prove to be far more injurious than an equally large dose of unhomoeopathic medicine in every respect unsuited (allopathic) to the disease.
In that case, the so- called homoeopathic aggravation (i.e. the artificial and similar drug disease) called forth in the diseased parts of the body by the excessive dose, and the reacting vital force, will rise to an injurious height, while the same similar drug-disease, if excited within proper limits, would have gently effected a cure. Although the patient will no longer suffer from the original disease, yet he will have to endure the exaggerated drug disease, and unnecessary loss of strength.
Curative power will be wonderfully increased in proportion to the reduction of the dose to that degree of minuteness, at which it will erect a gentle curative influence. In view of the infallible proofs of experience, incredulity founded only upon theories, is truly insignificant and ridiculous. the smallest dose of Homoeopathic medicine will operate chiefly upon the diseased parts of the body, which have become extremely susceptible of a stimulus, so similar to their own disease.
“On the other hand, the effect of a homoeopathic dose is augmented by increasing the quantity of the fluid in which the medicine is dissolved preparatory to its administration. Though theories may suppose that the dilution of a dose with a greater quantity of fluid would lessen its effect, nevertheless, experience in the homoeopathic use of medicines, proves exactly the opposite.” (Somewhere he says, that in certain cases, he had even reduced the number of his globules to ONE.) – “ORGANON.”.
Our most successful prescribers today, have all their remedies in smallest globule form. A few of these can be easily given, as a powder dry on the tongue (to be dissolved there before swallowing), or they can be put into a small powder of fine sugar, or sugar of milk; to prevent their being blown away or lost, when the paper is carelessly opened.
Wise old prescribers will also send a “graft” of some remedy needed by a brother prescriber, in globule form, by the post: just half a dozen globules. These can be used to medicate a little alcohol, of which a drop or two can be used to barely moisten, but sufficiently medicate a little bottle of globules, for use. If these becomes slightly sticky, when shaken up, they are medicated.
True Homoeopathy works in immaterial planes, and as Hahnemann says, its facts can only be ascertained by “experience in which I have more faith than in my understanding”.
Some drugs are general and systemic in action, and can be prescribed on the general make-up of the patient (together with his peculiar local rebellions); these one must have at ones finger tips. Such are, Sulphur, found in every tissue and organ of the body, and which may act as vital stimulant anywhere-in a Sulphur patient. Others are Calcarea, Pulsatilla, Lycopodium, Nux, and all the rest of the polychrests, “drugs of many uses.”.
On the other hand, there are remedies with marked selective action on certain organs-or certain tissues: as Chelidonium, which is par excellence a liver remedy; Ceanothus, which chooses the spleen for its action, malign and benign; Crataegus, Digitalis, etc., which pick out the heart. The “Organotherapy” of Rademacher (about 1841) was based on, and describes, such organ remedies. They are a part of Homoeopathy, and some of them were made great use of by Burnett; whose knowledge of things medical was wider than some.
But there are other drugs that have a very limited, but definite and peculiar use; not at all helpful in general sicknesses, but indispensable where their peculiar nosological symptoms are simulated by disease. Among them is Kali bichromicum, whose Drug Picture we are attempting his month. One must know these short- cuts to cure in some very striking and at times desperate conditions. They are easy to learn up, and to recognize when once mastered. One may not often need them, but when one does, one DOES. Here is the advantage of constantly reading Materia Medica, the little known and unusual remedies, as well as those in constant request.