The symptoms which go to make the choice of the remedy often stand outside those that go to make up the pathology of the case….

Phosphorus, 79; Nux vomica, 77; Sulphur, 74; Pulsatilla, 70; Natrum muriaticum, 68; Lachesis, 65; Calcarea, 63; Mercurius, 60.

Now I do not claim that I can with certainty always predict the remedy that will come out ahead. I remember another Phosphorus case in which I predicted Calcarea ostrearum would be the remedy, and the result of the “hunt” placed it second.

After this work is done, I find that about the first seven remedies may be taken for further comparison. Not only the totality of symptoms but those that are characteristic and peculiar (see Organon. paragraph 151), must be recognized. For instance if with the two remedies, Nux and Phosphorus in the above case. Phosphorus had five characteristics, while Nux vomica had ten, the latter remedy would deserve preference, and further examination of the pathogenesis, verified and unverified, would place it there. This is where the judgment and skill of the man with long experience and practice in the art of prescribing becomes invaluable.

This was in the case of a physician who had been obliged to give up practice on account of an organic heart trouble. Phosphorus put him on his feet and set him going again in good shape.

To the skillful and experienced physician, the case so taken may sometimes stand out so prominently in its characteristic and peculiar symptoms as to carry on its very face the sure indications for the remedy. But other cases will come to us so complicated that the best of us must make long and arduous study of it. Especially is this true in chronic disease.

The old saying used to be ( and was sanctioned by Hahnemann) that acute diseases generally tend to recovery; chronic never. There is much truth in it.

None but the true homoeopathic physician realizes the importance of thoroughly taking and working out such cases.

It is worth 25 dollars to 100 dollars to make the first study of a very difficult case, and mark out the line of treatment.

Rarely will a case come out so clearly that the cure can be performed with one remedy, but a succession of remedies will be necessary, and here is where the so called complementary relations of remedies come in for recognition and skillful application.

Some will object that they cannot afford to pay such a price for a single study of a case. Well, it is probable that such will pay more than that for work done over and over again, because not well done at start; and worse still, will stand little if any chance of ever getting a cure. It is clear case of “penny wise and pound foolish.”

Many persons go through life invalids patching symptoms, or temporary manifestations of disease, which, if understood and dealt with in their entirety, as they should have been at the start, they might have been well and happy.

To be sure it is for the pecuniary advantage of the physician to do that kind of patching a few dollars at a time, without curing it. It makes him, or some brother physician, a “job” for life. If the patient gets tired or disgusted, and goes to Dr. A, one of Dr. A.’s patients does the same thing, and comes to him, and so the good work goes on. Physicians are about the only profession that are expected to do a good job for the same pay as a poor one.

They are not expected to charge any more for prescribing for phthisis pulmonalis or any other chronic case that takes a week of careful study to do good work than they do for a simple case of indigestion from over -eating, which would get well of itself if let alone.

The physician cannot therefore injustice to himself and the family dependent upon him spend the necessary time upon it. The pay is the same. So the doctor gets discouraged because he is not paid for good work, and the patient because he, or she, gets no benefit.

The biggest humbugs on earth get more wealth out of patient nostrums, out of the “grand elleptical Asiatical particurial nervous cordials,” that are warranted to cure at the ills to which flesh is heir than the most educated, able and conscientious physician in the world.

Hence there is small encouragement for the educated physician, and less hope for the victims. Clairvoyants, ignorant Indians, charlatans and quacks of all shades and varieties “boom their wares” and the true physician looks on disgusted, but helpless. The people as ignorant of medicine as those who impose upon them “want to be humbugged,” and are.

If we object we will be met with the bluff that “you are mad because you want the money there is in it.” What do the quacks and pretenders want?

If you object we will be met with the bluff that “you are mad because you want the money there is in it.” What do the quacks and pretenders want?

But there is after all a bright side of this picture. There are persons, and quite a good many of them, who believe in the educated physicians as well as educated men in the older professions. They know how to appreciate the study, time, patience and pains taking of the honest physician who works for them, and are willing to pay him. Only for this the practice of medicine, scientific medicine, would become a lost art.

P.S. – On reviewing the foregoing I feel constrained to add, lest we be charged with not being up-to-date, especially in pathology, that for purposes of diagnosis, prognosis, hygiene, etc., which are certainly important, the tests for evidence of disease, bacteriological, chemical, etc. should not be neglected. The urine, the sputum, blood, excretions, etc., furnish important signs.

But for purpose of prescribing, we do well to remember the teaching of Chas. G. Raue, who stood high both as pathologist and prescriber. He said : “The symptoms which go to make the choice of the remedy often stand outside those that go to make up the pathology of the case.” Every prescriber according to Similia similibus curantur understands this.

Once more we want to call attention to the value of Homoeopathy in the line of prophylaxis. A physician of eminence was asked, “when was the proper time to begin the treatment of tuberculosis?” His answer was, “With the grand-parents.”

That the weaknesses of the parents are visited upon their posterity to the third and fourth generation goes without saying, and the proper treatment and care of the mother and child in utero, through childhood, is more important than is generally realized, and all this is especially within the domain of homoeopathic medicine.

Dr. E.B. Nash 1838- 1917, was considered one of our finest homeopaths and teachers. He was Prof. of Materia Medica at the N.Y. Homoeopathic Medical College and President of International Hahnemannian Assoc. His book Leaders in Homoeopathic Therapeutics is a classic. This article is from: :The Medical Advance - A monthly magazine of homoeopathic medicine - edited and published by H.C. Allen, M. D.