Hahnemann speaks of the dose, whose repetition depending on my factors, is never a matter of routine, or of the proclivities of the prescriber, but always depends on the reactions of the individual patient.
In acute sickness without structural changes ( I will give you cases), the effect of the first dose may be dramatic, and establish such instant and complete reaction that no second is needed. Or in (say) pneumonia, after a marked improvement all round, the disease may a few hours later, again get the upper hand; and experience shows that the remedy generally needs to be repeated in from four to six hours for a couple of days till the temperature not only comes but remains down.
In deadly and most repaid disease, such as cholera Hahnemann tells us that the repetition of Camphor must be in three to fie minutes till reaction is established or with Cuprum or Veratrum every hour or half-hour… He says that remedies which act for a considerable time have the duration of their action diminished in proportion as the disease is acute.
In chronic disease the call to repeat varies with every case, The symptoms demanded a remedy,. and the return of symptoms modified will demand its repetition.
But there are other factors that come in. Some remedies are deep and long-acting : some superficial and short acting. Some patients respond actively : others are sluggish and slow in their response. The question of the potency also comes in : since re- action varies with different potencies, and lengthens out with the higher potencies.
Therefore experience and observation alone can decide as to repetition; which depends on the individual reaction of the patient to the individual medicine.
This allowing the remedy to act was one of the great obstacles as Hahnemann foresaw, to the acceptance of his work. His rule is, that the dose of the carefully selected homoeopathic remedy should act till it has accomplished its effect.
“Perceptible continuous improvement, whether in acute or chronic disease so long as it lasts counter-indicates the repetition of any medicine whatsoever.” He says that every new dose of medicine would disturb the process of recovery.
And is not this reasonable? Medicines do not cure : they merely stimulate curative reaction in the patient: and so long as this is full swing it is foolish to interrupt. The call for repetition is the renewed call of symptoms.
Hahnemann says, and we have proved it : “The surest way to hasten the cure is to be let the medicine act so long as improvement continues… He who observes this rule with the greatest care, will be the most successful homoeopathic practitioner”… and one may add. Vaccine-practitioner – as has been found.
One of Hahnemann’s greatest followers has told us, that “More cases are spoilt by the too-hasty repetition of the remedy, than from any other cause.”
But Hahnemann foresaw the long years in which even his own followers, convinced of the Law of Similars, would yet doubt his teaching in its regard, and would do inferior work, because of the two great stumbling-blocks to its acceptance – the small dose, and the infrequent dose. He says:”My doctrine in regard to the magnitude and the repetition of the dose will be doubted for years… I do not comprehend it-but facts speak for themselves. The truth of the proposition is demonstrated by experience in which I have more faith than in my intelligence… If physician do not carefully practice what I teach let them not expect to be successful in their treatment.”
And here let me say, that it is the experience of all of us whose practice is guided by the homoeopathic law, that the closer we stick to the doctrines of Hahnemann, the better our results.