Oversensitive Patients


If you work long among sensitive patients you will come cross those who have been actually poisoned by the inappropriate administration of potentized medicines.


ORGANON $ 44 et seq.

Drug poisoning such as we referred to in last lecture is not always due to the prescribing of crude drugs. If you work long among sensitive patients you will come cross those who have been actually poisoned by the inappropriate administration of potentized medicines. These are oversensitive patients who have received repeated doses of medicine after the medicine and dose that was homoeopathic to their condition was administered.

If a drug that is really homoeopathic to the case is continued, after enough has been given to cure a miasm is established in some ceases by that drug, and this miasm imitates one of the chronic diseases or one of the acute miasms in accordance with its ability. I have a patient who has been suffering for seven or eight years from the effects of Lachesis. I have patients who are suffering from Sulphur and other deep acting medicines which have been repeated too often when truly indicated, or repeated in sensitive patients when not truly indicated.

The symptoms of the drug coup out periodically years after it has been abused, and the periodical attacks are perfectly typical of the drug. The mineral substances which are perfectly harmless on the crude plane may be poisonous on the dynamic plane, when the patient is oversensitive. There are persons who can drink as class of milk with impunity and be nourished by it, but upon whom a drop of milk, potentized to a high degree and repeated beyond its homoeopathicity, will establish a miasm that will last for years.

A prover of Lac-caninum had a return of its symptoms periodically. She was an oversensitive and prove the medicine indiscriminately, and has suffered ever since from its poisonous effects, whereas if it had been given prudently, the disease would have established itself upon the body like any other acute miasm, would have run its course and disappeared. It is unwise to make provings upon oversensitive subjects in that way.

I tested a very high potency of Lachesis on an oversensitive patient, giving but a single dose, and that patient ran the course of the Lachesis disease in about two months; the symptoms disappeared and never returned. While the Lachesis was in progress the patient;s chronic symptoms were suppressed, but after it ran its course and disappeared her chronic symptoms come back. This is in accordance with the doctrines. She was oversensitive, and while the dissimilar Lachesis disease was in full blast her chronic disease was supersede.

These are instances when such a patient is truly homoeopathic to a remedy, and if that remedy be repeated after enough (I mean in the internal sense) has been given to cure it ceases its homoeopathic relation and and acting through the general susceptibility creates a miasm upon this extremely sensitive patient. When a patient is hypersensitive you must avoid the use of the c.m. and other very high potencies, which will make your patient sick, and use instead the 30th and 200ths. In cases where the remedy is indicated such potencies will work quite quickly.

$49 We should have been able to meet with many more real natural homoeopathic cures of this kind, if, on the one hand, the attention of observers had been more directed to them and, on the other hand, if nature had not been so deficient in helpful homoeopathic diseases.

Hahnemann, in $46, gives examples of these natural cures. We occasionally meet with these cures now. We find patients that are threatened with phthisis go to the South, because it has been proved that such cases can go into a vitiated climate and stay for a number of years, and actually receive benefit from this disease-producing neighbourhood, and go away well. Other go into a climate more wholesome and they are not cured. The miasms can cure all similar diseases, and the curing substances are in attenuated form. The evils that arise from these swamps are similar to the evils of the economy of the patient, and that similitude is antidotal, is curative, and causes change back into order in accordance with eternal law that governs the action of similars.

There was time in the earl days of Homoeopathy when, taking into views the great array of disease forms to be contended with and the very few medicines then at his command, the homoeopath was worried to find remedies similar to all of his cases. That cannot be true now. If the homoeopath will work in a systematic way, he will be able to command enough of the Material Medica to meet all the diseases that he comes in contact with symptoms of which are sufficiently observed.

Every man should put himself to the task of studying the Materia Medica; he has no time to lose, no time to fool away. The physician can really have no excuse at the present day to leave our proved medicines, the medicines that are recorded in our books; he can have no reasonable excuse for stepping aside in to ways that are dark, treacherous and recommended only by tradition.

Some physicians hold that it is liberal to do anything for a patient. This is a pitfall, a rock, that will destroy any physician that will not avoid it. We know that there are doctors, who claim to be homoeopaths, who attempt to justify, upon some ground or other, the administration of remedies merely to palliate and relieve suffering. With such men there must be a lack of sturdiness in listening to the sufferings of a patient.

It seems to me that no one who is honest, and who has knowledge of the stupidity that comes after the administration of a medicine that will cause the symptoms to disappear, will actually tie his hands against the finding of a remedy that will be suitable to cure. As surely as the voice of the symptoms is hushed, so surely does the physician put out of his way the opportunity for selecting a homoeopathic remedy.

When the index to the remedy is spoiled the ability of the physician to benefit his patient is destroyed. If you give quinine, go on with it; if you give an opiate, go on with it; do not go back into Homoeopathy. This man who does these things is a homoeopathic failure. Some men are incapable of grasping the homoeopathic doctrines, and fall into mongrelism, which is a cross between Homoeopathy and Allopathy. I would prefer an allopath to one who professes to be a homoeopath, but does not know enough Homoeopathy to practice it.

Why should you put crude medicines upon the diphtheritic membrane in addition to giving your remedy? If the crude drugs do anything they will spoil the appearance of the throat, and you will not be able to know what your remedy has done. If these adjuvants to the remedy do anything at all they will effect such changes, as will damage the case; if they do not effect changes, why use them?

There can be no reason for administering something that does not effect changes. This question came up one time, and created controversy in an association meeting. One doctor recommended the use of Peroxide of Hydrogen. in pus cavities; he said it did no harm, it did no damage. The question is, does it do anything at all? If it does, the changes it effects injure the case. Lay it down, as a rule, that you will use nothing that can effect changes in a case in addition to your remedy.

After you prescribe a remedy you want to know when you come back whether that remedy has done anything. For this reason you must rest your case upon that which you believe to be the nearest homoeopathic remedy. All changes must be watched, because by observing changes we know what next to do. If something has been given by the patient’s friends and changes have occured in the case from such meddling the doctor is in confusion. If absolutely no changes have occured after his remedy then he is in intelligence and knows what next to do.

Doctors sometimes give opium to suppress pain, but it is more frequently given to suppress the cry of people that stand around listening to the patient. The friends stand there wringing their hands and saying: “Doctor, cannot you do something?” and the poor doctor loses his head and gives a dose of opium. What does he do that for? In order to quiet the cry of the people. He knows he is damaging his patient, he knows he has put out of his hands the ability to cure that patient homoeopathically.

What if the patient does suffer? Can that be an excuse for the doctor destroying his power to heal that patient hereafter? The doctor justifies himself by saying. “If I had not done this the people would have criticized me.” What business is it of the people? If a doctor has not the grit to withstand the cries of the family, the criticisms of the friends, the threatening of his pocketbook and of his bread and butter, he will not practice Homoeopathy very long. An honest man does not fear these things.

There is but one thing for him to consider, what is the right thing he must do. The harangue of the crazy old women who stand around wagging their tattling tongues, what has that to do with the life of the patient or the duty of the patient or the duty of the physician? Will they shoulder the responsibility of the patient’s death, if he die? I say now that the death of a patient is nothing in comparison with violation of the law on the part of the doctor. In both instances the doctor gets the worst of it. The doctor who violates the law also violates his conscience, and his death is worse than the death of the patient.

Generally the physician who has knowledge enough and grit enough to wait will see, before the patient dies, the homoeopathic remedy that will control the case. The whole community is sometimes turned into excitement because a doctor will not do this or that. Suppose the whole atmosphere is blue with effects of their wrath, what has that to do with it? The physician who will stick by the patient and let the people howl is one that will be trusted through any and every ordeal. But the doctor that will flinch and tremble at every threatening is one that will violate his conscience, is one that can be bought, can be hired to do anything, and will abandon his color in time of emergency.

It is hard work for a homoeopathic physician to settle off alone by himself where he has nobody that will stand by him in his tribulations. The attitude of the public must never furnish the physician with indications as to what he shall do. Let him study the patient and the symptoms of the patient. That which is right is protected and supported, and that which is wrong degrades. Let a man lose his self-respect a few times and he becomes a coward and a sneak, and is ready to do almost anything that is vicious and cowardly.

The physician who has done rightly by his patient can look the friends squarely in the face when the patient has died. If he has administered morphine to the patient and turned aside all the symptoms upon which he could find that remedy, it does not seem to me that he can look the friends squarely in the face. Of course, if you act according to principle in this way you suffer for it. You will be called names.

In the 63rd and 64th paragraphs Hahnemann treats of the primary and secondary actions of medicines. There is no necessity for dwelling upon this subject. The primary and secondary actions of a drug are simply the one action of that drug. Some homoeopaths have attempted to individualize between the primary and secondary action. It does not matter what the patient is suffering from, from symptoms which appeared in the primary action or from symptoms which appeared in the secondary action, that drug will cure just the same.

The symptoms that arise are the symptoms that arise from the remedy, and they often seem to oppose each other. In the earlier stages we have sometimes sleeplessness; in the last stages, sleepiness, and one state is sometimes more prominent than the other. For instance in Opium, some provers had sleeplessness first and sleepiness afterwards, from the smaller doses of Opium. It is known that Opium has both sleeplessness and sleepiness, and if the other symptoms agree it does not matter which one of the two is present. If Opium is indicated by the general state of the patient it will cure either of these conditions, and you need not stop to see if it produces one state in one place and the opposite in another. In some provers Opium produces diarrhoea in the beginning, in others constipation. If I should take today a crude dose of Opium, in six hours I would have a diarrhoea that would last for several days and then be constipated for six weeks. To know that drugs have two actions is simply knowing the nature of drugs in general. You will find another example in alcohol; watch two drunkards and you will see the double action illustrated.

There are constitutional states in patients by virtue of which they are always affected in a certain way, and these states are often left after provings, or are found in those who have been poisoned by a drug. All these patients will have alternating symptoms which will confuse the physician before he knows their constitutional state. It is an important thing to know the constitutional state of a patient before prescribing.

You will always be able to do better for your patients when you know all of their tendencies. Of course, in acute diseases symptoms sometimes stand out so sharply that an acute remedy can be administered without reference to any constitutional state. Acute cognates can be established in almost any patient. For instance, the Calcarea patient will need an acute cognate of Calcarea when he is sick with acute symptoms. The acute symptoms fit into and are established and formed by the constitutional state of the patient.

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.