Opposite Effects

For, where large doses of a poisonous substances prove lethal and smaller doses inhibit minimal doses of the same poison actually stimulate the vital activities of the same cells….

While I have been trying to put before you, in all simplicity a number of confirmatory instances must have occurred to you.

For instance, the opposite effects of large and small doses Hahnemann. For, where large doses of a poisonous substances prove lethal and smaller doses inhibit minimal doses of the same poison actually stimulate the vital activities of the same cells.

As Bier says,”The same remedy may stimulate a function when given in small doses, but destroy it if larger doses are administered.”

And he says ” According to Schulz, the great bulk of remedies do not act by neutralising dissolving disinfecting, etc., (i.e. in a metabolic manner) but by irritating certain organs. The latter are thereby stimulated to an activity which promotes the healing process. Since the slightest irritation often produces great reaction, Schulz elucidates the action of the minimal dose : and again since the symptoms of disease often are merely an expression of the healing reaction of the body, he explains the homoeopathic cure by symptoms-similarity (the law of similar). Accordingly the remedy merely augments the natural healing process.’ But of course this is all Hahnemann

The recent Medical Research Council Report on Radium refers to “the general principle that has been established with so many drugs, that large doses and very small doses act in opposite ways.” 8

Taylor has shown that irritated Ergosterol, in small and medium doses, favours the deposition of calcium from blood to bone; but large doses have a reverse effect, and cause calcium to be absorbed from bone into the blood stream.9

Duke in a research on blood platelets found that large doses of benzol reduced the platelet count to a point where the bleeding time was prolonged while small doses of benzol brought about an increase in the platelet count.10 This also held good for a complex substance such as diphtheria toxin – a large dose caused an immediate fall in the number of platelets, while sub- lethal doses stimulated their production.11

It is seen that the same drug may stimulate or depress, given appropriate conditions.

But more crude instances of Homoeopathy, and the opposite effects of large and small doses, are familiar to all. You use Ipecacuanha to check vomiting. Pot. iod. (which Norman Walker tell us produces skin affections diagnosed as gummata ) for gumma : silicylic acid for Meniere’s disease etc.

And Dr Dyce Brown some years ago, published a very long list of drugs used by the official school, homoeopathically and with success. He quotes striking testimonies from prominent physicians and teachers as to their efficacy in conditions caused by them. Among them we find the following.

“Belladonna. – Its power to produce convulsions is well known while Trousseau and Pidoux speak in very high praise of its value in epilepsy, in eclampsia of infants and of puerperal women. They say that Belladonna administered in small doses sometimes produces unhoped for results.

“On the brain the action of Belladonna is well known, causing mania, hallucinations, delirium and general mental excitement. On this Trousseau and Pidoux remark – and this quotation is very important from our standpoint : 1Analogy that guide so sure in therapeutics ought to lead us to use Belladonna in the treatment of mania, inasmuch as Belladonna taken in large doses produces a temporary mania, for experience has proved that a multitude of disease are cured by therapeutic agents which seem to act in the same manner as the disease to which we oppose this remedy.’ This is a beautiful testimony to the law of similars.

“Rhus toxicodendron.- Trousseau and Pidoux, pereira and Sanders of Edinburg testify to its power to produce a skin eruption exactly like erysipelas, with vesicles here and there on the hands arms, face, etc.,; while the first named authors say : ‘This curious action of Rhus on the economy has led the homoeopaths to employ this substance in disease of the skin; but already before them. Dufresnoy’s of Valenciennes had published a paper in which he highly praised the virtue of this plant against skin disease and later against paralysis. From that time we have found from time to time essays on this subject in the different periodicals, and many reliable physicians have confirmed Dufresnoy’s experiences.’

“Stramonium. – Trousseau and Pidoux then quote M. Moreau, of Tours, who says,”It is especially useful in cases of monomania with hallucinations ‘ founding this statement, say Trousseau and Pidoux, on the fact that Stramonium causes hallucinations; and that mania ought to be cured by Stramonium in the same way as the majority of irritating agents are employed topically to cure irritations.’ If this is not Homoeopathy, I would ask, what is?”

But one might multiply indefinitely examples, simple and complex, to show the opposite effects of large and small doses of substances medicinal or poisonous.

John Weir
Sir John Weir (1879 – 1971), FFHom 1943. John Weir was the first modern homeopath by Royal appointment, from 1918 onwards. John Weir was Consultant Physician at the London Homeopathic Hospital in 1910, and he was appointed the Compton Burnett Professor of Materia Medica in 1911. He was President of the Faculty of Homeopathy in 1923.
Weir received his medical education first at Glasgow University MB ChB 1907, and then on a sabbatical year in Chicago under the tutelage of Dr James Tyler Kent of Hering Medical College during 1908-9. Weir reputedly first learned of homeopathy through his contact with Dr Robert Gibson Miller.
John Weir wrote- Some of the Outstanding Homeopathic Remedies for Acute Conditions with Margaret Tyler, Homeopathy and its Importance in Treatment of Chronic Disease, The Trend of Modern Medicine, The Science and Art of Homeopathy, Brit Homeo Jnl, The Present Day Attitude of the Medical Profession Towards Homeopathy, Brit Homeo Jnl XVI, 1926, p.212ff, Homeopathy: a System of Therapeutics, The Hahnemann Convalescent Home, Bournemouth, Brit Homeo Jnl 20, 1931, 200-201, Homeopathy an Explanation of its Principles, British Homeopathy During the Last 100 Years, Brit Homeo Jnl 23, 1932: etc