The Homoeopathic Aggravation

Of course, the explanation is that the patient is as sensitive to the medicine that will cure her as to the disease that she has. Diseased states, then, are made worse by unnecessary repetition and by the dose not being small enough, that is, by the dose being very crude. The third, fourth and sixth are dangerous potencies, if you are a good prescriber, If you are a poor prescriber, you will demonstrate but little of anything. You will naturally go to the higher and higher potencies for the purpose of departing from what seems to be a poisonous dose.

This action differs from the aggravation of a c.m. potency, during the latter the patient feels decidedly better. It is short, it is decisive, and only the characteristic symptoms of the disease are aggravated. The disease itself is not aggravated; the disease itself is not added to, and is not intensified, but the symptoms of the disease stand out sharply and the patient says, “I am getting better.” The symptoms sometimes are a little alarming, but intermingled with this is a ray of light that convinces the patient from his innermost feelings that he is getting better. “I feel much better this morning,” says the patient, though the symptoms may have been sharpened up.

160. We are accused nowadays of having departed from Hahnemann. Hahnemann wrote of the 30th potency in one of the stage of his life, as sufficiently high and sufficiently low. We can easily see that it was in the earlier period of his investigations that he made the remark that potentizing must end somewhere. we are accused of departing from Hahnemann, because we give different doses from what Hahnemann gave. Now I want to show you that this is not so.

Read paragraph 279: “It has been fully proved by pure experiments that when a disease does not evidently depend upon the impaired state of an important organ the dose depend of the homoeopathic remedy can never be sufficiently small so as to be inferior to the power of the natural disease which it can, at least, partially extinguish and cure, provided it be capable of producing only a small increase of symptoms immediately after it is administered.

Now, if we go to the 200th potency and find that that will aggravate, if we go to the 50m. and find that that will aggravate, if we go to the cm., the mm., etc., and find that they will aggravate that they still have the power to intensify the symptoms, the remedy has just the same curative power in it. If we have the potency so high that it is not capable of producing an aggravation of the symptoms, we may then be sure that there is no medicinal power left. We are up to the 13mm. and the end is not yet.

Now we have never made the claim that every potency will suit everybody. The potency must correspond to the state of the patient. If we ever find a person who will be aggravated in his symptoms in the most positive and definite fashion, that potency will be verified. We have not departed from Hahnemann, but have acted in accordance with his doctrines.

280.This incontrovertible axiom, founded upon experience, will serve as a rule by which the doses of all homoeopathic medicines, without exception, are to be attenuated to such a degree, that after being introduced into the body they shall merely produce an almost insensible aggravation of the disease. It is of little importance whether the attenuation goes so far as to appear almost impossible to ordinary physicians whose minds feed on no other ideas but what are gross and material. All these arguments and vain assertions will be of little avail when opposed to the doctrines of unerring experience.

Now, can there be any doubt of what Hahnemann meant when he speaks of the smallest dose? Can there be any doubt but that he means attenuation, and attenuation up and up until we reach that point in the attenuation that we do not observe a slight aggravation of the symptoms? In the note to paragraph 249, he says, “All experience teaches us that scarcely any homoeopathic medicine can be prepared in too minute a dose to produce perceptible benefit in a disease to which it is adapted. Hence, it would be an improper and an injurious practice when the medicine produces no good effect or an inconsiderable aggravation of the symptoms, after the manner of the old school to repeat or increase the dose under the ideas that it cannot prove serviceable on account of its minuteness.

So the senses have no relation whatever to the minuteness of the dose. The medical man is inclined to measure doses from the standard of a poisonous dose. He will measure off a little less than that which would poison, and call that a dose. It must be seen, it must yet be visible. This is not the test that Hahnemann offers. He offers the test of the dose as one capable of producing a slight aggravation of the symptoms. We see he does not limit attenuation, but he practically teaches it is unlimited, and the end has never been found.

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.