The Highest Ideal of a Cure

But, if on the contrary, he observes after the administration of his medicine that the symptoms take a reverse course, then he knows that his medicine has had to do with it, because if the disease were allowed to run its course such a result would not take place. The progression of chronic diseases is from the surface to the centre. All chronic diseases have their first manifestations upon the surface, and from that to the innermost of man. Now in the proportion in which they are thrown back upon the surface it is to be seen that the patient is recovering.

Here it is that the turmoil spoken of above follows the true homoeopathic remedy, and the ignorant do not desire their old outward symptom to be brought back even when it is known as the only possible form of cure. Complaints of the heart and chest and head must in recover be accompanied by manifestation upon the surface, in the extremities, upon the skin, nails and hair. Hence you will find that these parts become diseased when patients are getting well; the hair falls out our eruptions come upon the skin.

In cases of rheumatism of the heart you find, if the patient is recovering, that his knees become rheumatic, and he may say: “Doctor, I could walk all over the house when you first came to me, but now I cannot walk, my joints are so swollen.” If the doctor does not know that that means recovery he will make a prescription that will drive the rheumatism away from the feet and knees and it will go back to the heart and the patient will die; and it need hardly be stated that the traditional doctor does not know this, as he resorts to this plan as his regular and only plan of treatment, and in the most innocent way kills the patient. This is a simple illustration of how it is possible for the interiors of man to cease to be affected and the exterior to become affected.

It may be impossible for the man to be entirely cured, it may be impossible for this state to pass off, but that is the direction of its passing off and there is no other course. If the patient is incurable, while the means used are mild he may experience great suffering in the evolution of his disease, in the course of his partial recovery. To him it may not appear mild, but the means that were used were mild. In acute diseases we do not observe so much distress after prescribing as we see in old incurable cases, in deep-seated chronic complaints that have existed a long time. The return of the outward manifestations upon the extremities are noticed in such cases where they have been suppressed.

To illustrate: there are many patients how have had rheumatism in the hands and feet, in the wrists and knees and elbows, who have been rubbed and stimulated with lotions and strong liniments, with chloroform, with evaporating lotions, with cooling applications, until the rheumatism of the extremities has disappeared to a great extent, but every physician knows that as the disappearance of his rheumatism progresses cardiac symptoms are likely to occur.

When this patient is prescribed for the rheumatism of the extremities must come back or the heart will not be relieved. That is true of every condition that has been upon the extremities and driven in by local treatment. Just as surely as you live and observe the action of homoeopathic remedies upon man, so surely will you see these symptoms come back. The patient will return and say: “Doctor, I have the same symptoms that I had when I was treated by Dr. So and-so for rheumatism.” This comes out in practice nearly every day.

It requires a little explanation to the patient, and if he is intelligent enough to understand it, he will wait for the remedy to act. But the physician who thinks most of his pocket book will say: “If I don’t give him a liniment to put on that limb he will go off and get another physician.” Now let me tell you right here is the beginning of evil. You had better trust to the intelligence of humanity and trust that he will stay and be cured. If you have learned to prescribe for the patient even though he suffer, if you have learned what is right and do not do it, it is a violation of conscience.

This paragraph appeals to man’s integrity; it is said in the last line ” on principles that are at once plain and intelligible.” Just as soon as you leave out integrity, and believe that a man can do just as he pleases, you leave out everything that pertains to principle and you leave out the foundation of success. But when these principles are carried out, when a man has made himself thoroughly conversant with the Materia Medica and thoroughly intelligent in its application, when he is circumspect in his very interior life as to the carrying out of these principles, then he will lead himself into a use that is most delightful, because by such means he may cause diseases to disappear, and may win the lasting friendship and respect of a class of people worth working for.

He has more than that, he has a clear conscience with all that belongs to it; he is living a life of innocence. When he lives such a life he does not allow himself to wink at the notions that are carried out in families, as, for example, how to prevent the production of offspring, how to avoid bearing children, how to separate man and wife by teaching them the nasty little methods of avoiding the bringing forth of offspring. The meddling with these vices and the advocating of them will prevent the father and mother from being cured of their chronic diseases. Unless people lead an orderly life they will not be cured of their chronic diseases. It is your duty as physicians to inculcate such principles among them that they may live an orderly life. The physician who does not know what order is ought not to be trusted.

It is the duty of the physician, then, first to find out what is in man that is disorder, and then to restore him to health; and this return to health, which is a perfect cure, is to be accomplished by means that are mild, that are orderly, that flow gently like the life force itself, turning the internal of man into order, with fixed principles as his guide, and by the homoeopathic remedy.

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.