An old Irishman walked into the clinic one day, and after giving his symptoms, said, “Doctor, what is the matter with me?” The physician answered, “Why, you have Nux Vomica,” that being his remedy. Whereupon the old man said, “Well, I did think I had some wonderful disease or other.” That is an outgrowth of the old- fashioned folly of naming sickness. Except in a few acute diseases no diagnosis can be made and no diagnosis need to made except that the patient is sick. The more one thinks of the name of a disease so-called the more one is beclouded in the search for a remedy, for then the mind is only upon the result of the disease, and not upon the image expressed in symptoms.
A patient of twenty-five years of age, with gravest inheritances, with twenty pages of symptoms, and with only symptoms to furnish an image of sickness, is perfectly curable if treated in time. After being treated there will be no pathological results; he will go on to old age without any tissue destruction. But that patient if not cured at that early age will take on disease results in accordance with the circumstances of his life and his inheritances.
If he is a chimney sweep he will be subject to the disease peculiar to chimney sweeps. If she is a housemaid she will be subject to the disease peculiar to housemaids, etc. That patient has the same disease he had when he was born. This array of symptoms represents the same state before the pathological conditions have been formed as after. And it is true, if he has liver disease or brain disease or any of the many tissue changes that they call disease, you must go back and procure these very symptoms before you can make a prescription. Prescribing for the results of disease causes changes in the results of disease, but not in the sickness except to hurry its progress.
We will see peculiarities running through families. In the beginning is this primary state which is presented only by signs and symptoms, and the whole family needs the same remedy or a cognate of that remedy; but in one member of the family the condition runs to cancer, in another to phthisis, etc., but all from the same common foundation. This fundamental condition which underlies the disease of the human race must be understood. Without a knowledge of this it will be impossible to understand the acute miasmatic disease, which will be considered later.
It is a well-known fact that some persons are susceptible to one thing and some to another. If an epidemic comes upon the land only a few come down with it. Why are some protected and why do others take it? These things must be settled by the doctrines of Homoeopathy. Idiosyncrasies must be accounted for. Many physicians waste their time searching after the things that make their patients sick.
The sick man will be made sick under every circumstance, where as the healthy man could live in a lazaretto. It is not the principal business of the physician to be hunting in the rivers and the cellars and examining the food we eat for the cause of disease. It is his duty to hunt out the symptoms of sickness until a remedy is found that covers the disorder. That remedy, which will produce on healthy man similar symptoms, is the master of the situation, is the necessary antidote, will overcome sickness, restore the will and understanding to order and cure the patient.
To get at the real nature of the human economy, and to lead up from that to sickness, opens out a field for investigation in a most scientific way. Sickness can be learned by the study of the provings of drugs upon the healthy economy. Hahnemann made use of the information thus obtained when he stated that the mind is the key to the man. The symptoms of the mind have been found by all his followers to be the most important symptoms in a remedy and in a sickness. Man consists in what he thinks and what he loves and there is nothing else in man. If these two grand parts of man, the will and understanding, be separated it means insanity, disorder, death.
All medicines operate upon the will and understanding first (sometimes extensively on both) affecting man in his ability to think or to will, and ultimately upon the tissues, the functions and sensations.In the study of Aurum we find the affections are most disturbed by that drug. Man’s highest possible love is for his life. Aurum so destroys this that he does not love his life, he will commit suicide. Argentum on the other hand so destroys man’s understanding that he is no longer rational; his memory is entirely ruined. So with every proved drug in the Materia Medica. We see them affecting first man’s mind, and proceeding from the mind to the physical economy, to the outermost, to the skin, the hair, the nails. If medicines are not thus studied you will have no knowledge of them that you can carry with you. The Materia Medica has been established upon this basis.