Homoeopathy takes into account the individual, with his personal reactions to environment, physical, mental and moral; his deviations from the normal due to sickness. With Hahnemann, when it comes to prescribing, “we know no disease, only sick persons” whose sickness has to be matched in Materia Medica.
And this is only commonsense, since no illness, if we take trouble to enquire affects all persons alike.
In rheumatism one person like Bryonia in its provings has pain on the slightest movement; another like Rhus, needs to be constantly on the move, to make the pain endurable. One like Rhus is always worse for wet and cold, the other, like Bryonia is more affected by dry weather. One rheumatic patient may have pains intolerable in the warmth of the bed; another only tolerable when warm. It is identical symptom-complex of drug and patient that ensures a successful prescription.
Even in pneumonia for abortive and curative work, the individual patient has to be considered in prescribing. A number of drugs have caused and cured pneumonia – Phosphorus – Bryonia – Nitric acid, etc. But which are we to use? – since one will not do for the other.
The Bryonia patient wants to be let alone – is very irritable : is worse for any movement. Has a white tongue – is dry and thirsty. Cough is dry and painful. The pleura is apt to be involved with stitching pain, relieved by pressure, worse by movement – even respiration – therefore he lies on the affected side.
The Phosphorus pneumonia especially attacks the right base. The patient is unable to lie on the left side. He is very thirsty : wants company – sympathy; there is bright blood in the sputum; or possibly the prune -juice expectoration.
The Mercurius picture in pneumonia is very different and distinctive. Here you have profuse offensive sweat, offensive mouth filthy, tooth-notched tongue, with much saliva of horrible taste. Her Mercurius will quickly cure.
And yet though Homoeopathy knows no specifics for disease, there are certain substances which, in poisonous doses and in provings, reproduce so nearly described disease conditions as to be practically specific for most cases of those diseases.
Crot. horridus (rattle -snake poison) which produces bleeding from every organ and orifice of the body-even the pores of the skin, and which affects gravely liver and kidneys, etc., is our great remedy for black-water fever.
Latrodectus mectans, a spider poison, whose bite occasions symptoms not to be distinguished from those of angina pectoris, proves astonishingly curative, in infrequent doses, for that condition. We have recently seen several such cases.
Corrosive sublimate poisoning as said, simulates dysentery; and in infinitesimal doses cures rapidly most cases of dysentery.
Ptomaine poisoning which simulates arsenical poisoning in its agony of vomiting and purging, its deadly anxiety and restlessness and collapse, is promptly cured by Arsenicum in potency.
Belladonna simulates scarlet fever; and Belladonna given stage of Cholera, has proved astonishingly and rapidly curative in that disease; while in the later stages – with severe cramps Cuprum, – or in collapse with severe vomiting, purging, and profuse cold sweat, Veratrum have demonstrated to the world in the epidemics of 1830 -1 and 1854, the dramatic curative powers of remedies homoeopathically indicated.
Dr. Macloughlin Inspector of the Board of Health, wrote in 1854, to one of the doctors at our Hospital, which had been cleared for cholera patients, “You are aware that I went to your hospital prepossessed against the homoeopathic system; that you had in me in your camp, an enemy rather a friend… That there may be no misapprehension about the cases I saw at your hospital, I will add, that all I saw were true cases of cholera in the various stages of the disease; and that I saw several cases which did well under your treatment which I have no hesitation in saying would have sunk under any other.
In conclusion I must repeat to you what I have already told you, and what I have told everyone with whom I have conversed that though an allopathy by principle, education and practice, yet was it the will of Providence to afflict me with cholera and deprive me of the power of prescribing for myself, I would rather be in the hands of a homoeopathic than an allopathic adviser. You are at full liberty to make what use you please of this later.” It found its way finally into the Parliamentary Blue Book.
In those cholera days of terror, Homoeopathy practically reversed the mortality. For where, under the treatment of the day, two-thirds of the patients died, under homoeopathic treatment two-thirds recovered. While in many places, homoeopathic results almost incredibly dramatic; so much so that in Austria they caused the laws against homeopathy to be repeated.
All these are the more coarse instances of Homoeopathy, easy for any one who wishes to make the attempt.
For the comparison of the finer symptoms, and for more difficult cases, special Symptoms -registers – or Repertories – have been complied; and from these, with a little practice, it is possible to work out the equation between the symptom-complex in drug and disease.