6th Observation

This sixth observation is too short relief of symptoms. The relief after the constitutional remedy does not last long enough, does not last as long as it ought to. You have the amelioration, but of too short duration. …

The higher and highest potencies will act in curable cases a long time. When I say act, I only speak from appearance; I should say they appear to act a long time, for the remedy acts at once and establishes a condition of order upon the patient, after which there is no use in giving medicine. This order will continue a considerable length of time, sometimes several months. The patient will get along just as well without any medicine, and get along better with out that medicine that helped him than with it.

In curable cases, whose prospects are good, they will go along for a long time, and become very much relieved of their symptoms. Now, if the patient comes back at the end of the first, second and third week and says he has done well, that he has been improving all the time from the cm. of Sulphur, but at the end of the fourth week he comes back and says, “I have been running down,” the physician must then pass judgment. Has this patient done something to spoil the action of this medicine? Has he been on a drink? Has he handled chemicals? Has he been in the fumes of Ammonia? No, he has done none of these things.

This condition is really an unfavorable one. To have a medicine act but a few weeks, whereas it ought to act for months thereafter, will make you suspicious of that patient. If nothing has taken place to interfere with this medicine in his economy you may be suspicious of this case. This sixth observation is too short relief of symptoms. The relief after the constitutional remedy does not last long enough, does not last as long as it ought to. If you examine the third observation you find that there you have the quick aggravation followed by long amelioration; but in this, the sixth, you have the amelioration, but of too short duration.

In instances where you have an aggravation immediately after, and then a quick rebound, you will never see, absolutely never see, too short an action of that remedy; or, in other words too short an amelioration of the remedy. If there is a quick rebound that amelioration should last; if it does not last, it is because of some condition that interferes with the action of the remedy; it may be unconscious on the part of the patient, or it may be intentional. A quick rebound means everything in the remedy, means that it is well chosen, that the vital economy is in a good state, and if everything goes well, recovery take place.

In acute cases we may see this too short amelioration of the symptoms; for instance, a dose of medicine given in a most violent inflammation of the brain may remove all the symptoms for an hour, and the remedy have to be repeated, and at the end of that repetition we find only an amelioration of thirty minutes. You may make up your mind, then, that that patient is in a desperate condition, it is too short an amelioration. The action of Belladonna in some very acute red-faced conditions is instantaneous.

In five minutes I have noticed the amelioration come, but the best kind of an amelioration is that which comes gradually at the end of an hour or two hours, as it is likely to remain. If it is too short an amelioration in acute cases, it is because such high grade inflammatory action is present that organs are threatened by the rapid processes going on. It is too short amelioration in chronic diseases, it means that they are structural changes and organs are destroyed or being destroyed or in a very precarious condition.

These changes cannot always be diagnosed in life, but they are present, and an acute observer, who has been working earnestly for years, will often be able to diagnose the meaning of symptoms without any physical examination whatever, so that he can prophesy as to the patient. Such experiences of an intelligent physician in a family will cause them to look upon him as wiser than anyone else, for he knows all about their constitutions. This he acquires by studying their symptoms, the action of remedies upon them, and their symptoms after the medicines have been given.

This enables him to know the reaction of a given patient, whether slow or quick, and how remedies affect each member of that family. This belongs to the physician, and he should be intelligent enough to know something about them when he has been treating them a little while. The old physician is in possession of this knowledge, while the student and the new physician have it all to learn.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.