The Homoeopathic Aggravation

158.This trifling homoeopathic aggravation of the malady during the first few hours, the happy omen which announces that the acute disease will soon be cured, and that it will, for the most part, yield to a first dose.” That a natural disease can destroy another by exceeding it in power and intensity, but above all things by its similarity, is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So that when this slight aggravation occurs you will seldom, if ever, have to give another dose in an acute disease. When this aggravation does not come, when there is not the slightest aggravation of the symptoms, and the patient appears to be gradually better after the remedy, then it is that relief may cease in the case of an acute disease, and when that relief ceases the reaction has ceased and then another dose of medicine is correct practice.

Relief that begins without any aggravation of the symptoms, does not last so long in an acute disease as when an aggravation has taken place. A slight action of the remedy over and above the disease is a good sign. Again, you will find if your remedy was not perfectly similar you will not get an aggravation except in oversensitive patients, and then it is a medicinal aggravation.

When you find that you get no aggravation of the symptoms in a good vigorous constitutions, none at all, very often your remedy has been only partially similar and it may require two or three of such partially similar remedies to finish the case. If you will observe the work of ordinary physician, you will notice they give two or three remedies to get their patients through where a master gives but one.

159.The smaller the dose of the Homoeopathic remedy, the slighter the apparent aggravation of the disease, and it is proportionately of shorter duration.” This was written at the time of Hahnemann’s experience with what might be called small doses, ranging from the lower potencies to the 30th and seldom much higher. He had had ample experience with the 30th, and occasionally with 60th, but not with tremendous turmoil that comes from the very highest attenuations.

It reads in the correct translation of this (this is incorrect here) : “The smaller the dose is of the homoeopathic medicine, the less and the shorter is the aggravation in the first hours.” It might be considered to mean an apparent aggravation, or an apparent aggravation of the disease. Now Hahnemann observes, as you will find amongst several of his writings, that the disease itself is actually intensified and made worse by the remedy, if the remedy be precisely similar, but if we pass away from the crudity of the medicines, ranging up towards the 30th potency, we get a milder action, and it has a deeper curative action, and the smaller the dose of the homoeopathic medicine the less and the shorter is the aggravation. The idea is that there is an aggravation in the first hours; that is a matter that the paragraph itself admits, and it is this aggravation that Hahnemann is talking about.

It is sometimes true that after the third or fourth potencies of Belladonna in a violent congestion of the brain, the aggravation is violent, and if the medicine is not discontinued the child will die. The disease itself appears to be aggravated, the child seems to be so susceptible to Belladonna that it appears as if were to be added to the disease, but with the 30th potency, as Hahnemann observes, this aggravation is slight and of short duration. Now, in this we get an outside aggravation. It is the drug disease of the remedy added to the natural disease, an aggravated state of the disease caused by the drug. It is true sometimes, in spite of this aggravation, that the patient says somehow or other he feels better.

This aggravation is unnecessarily prolonged by giving too low potencies; it is also prolonged by a repetition of the dose. I recently observed a state that occured from repetition. I sent a very robust young woman, twenty years old, a dose of Bryonia, to be taken dry on the tongue. However, she dissolved it in water, and was taking it at the end of the second day, when I was sent for, at which time she seemed to be going into pneumonia. She had a dry, harsh cough. “What is the matter with my daughter, doctor, is she going to die?” She was proving Bryonia. I stopped the Bryonia, and next morning she was well. This has been seen a great many times when the medicine was similar. If the medicine is not very similar, only partially similar it yet may be similar enough to cure, but you will not see the results that I am now speaking of; but when you make accurate prescriptions, and are doing your best work, you will see these things in the very best constitutions.

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.