The Proving of Medicines

The Proving of Medicines. Every simple medicinal substance, causes a peculiar specific disease-a series of determinate symptoms, which is not produced precisely in the same way by any other medicine in the world….

Proving of medicines the inevitable corollary from the law similia similibus curentur-Little known of the positive action of medicines when the homoeopathic law was discovered-That little in favour of homoeopathy-Hahnemann did not at once commence to prove medicines-He appeals to his colleagues to assist him. His appeal is neglected-He exposes the weakness of the system of his colleagues-And thereby renders himself obnoxious to them-He publishes his first provings-His first directions for proving- He rejects homoeopathic aggravations as a pathogenetic source-His final directions for proving-His provings with globules of the 30th dilution-His pathogenetic sources-Various with globules of the 30th dilutions-His pathogenetic sources-Various doses used by Hahnemann in his provings-What has the old school done in the way of physiological provings? The empiricists-Heraclides- Mithridates-Attalos Philometer-Nicander-Matthioli’s and Richard’s poisonings-Haller’s recommendation to prove-Alexander’s experiments-Experiments on the lower animals despised by Hahnemann-Jorg’s proving society-Its labours appropriated by Hahnemann- Wedekind’s and Martin’s efforts to induce others to prove-The provings of the allopathic society of Vienna-The provings of Rademacher’s followers-Pereira’s approval of provings-Resolution of the Strasburg scientific congress-Forbes’s recommendation of proving-Of what use are proving to allopathists? They are only available by homoeopathists-Piper’ rules for proving-Schron’s direction for proving-His disapproval of provings with the 30th dilution-His proposal for arranging the pathogenetic effects-Griesselich’s rules and cautions-Names of the most distinguished provers-Hering approves of proving with the 30th dilution-And practises it-He proposes to prove medicine in the high potencies-His list of pathogenetic sources-A society in Thuringia established to prove 30th dilutions-Watzke’s reasons for re-proving Hahnemann’s medicines-Drysdale’s remarks on provings-Trinks disapproves of proving with high dilutions, and rejects symptoms obtained from patients-Curtis’s proposal for negative provings-Absurd substances that have been proved-Mure’s provings of hides, diseased potatoes, guano, lice, etc, -Hering’s doubtful medicine-Wurzler’s pudding-How provings should be conducted_Medicines should be proved in small doses, but not in high dilutions only-Patients an impure source for drug-symptoms- Poisoning of lower animals useful-Duty of all homoeopathists to prove.

HAHNEMANN having, by his simple and rational experiment with cinchona bark in 1790, conclusively established the great therapeutic law, that to cure diseases medicines must be used which possess the power of exciting similar diseases, at once perceived that the whole edifice of the old Materia Medica must be rebuilt from the very foundation, as that Materia Medica furnished nothing positive regarding the pathogenetic actions of drugs, but was composed almost entirely of supposititious accounts of the virtues of drugs, principally derived from the empirical employment of these drugs in disease. If you would read a masterly exposure of the weaknesses of the ordinary Materia Medica, I cannot be better than refer you to two essays of Hahnemann’s, which you will find in the collected edition of his Lesser Writings. These are the essay on The Three Current Methods of Treatment, (Lesser Writings, p. 592.) and that entitled Examination of the Sources of the ordinary Materia Medica. (Ibid., p. 748).

It is sufficiently obvious that the inevitable corollary from the axiom “that to cure diseases we must select medicines capable of causing similar diseases” is, “in order to be practise successfully, we must ascertain what morbid states the different medicinal substances produce.” Hahnemann accordingly, after viewing the subject in every possible light, and examining carefully every method that had been proposed for ascertaining the action of drugs, came at last to the conclusion that the only way to do this is “to test the medicines singly and alone on the healthy human body”.

Hahnemann now began to search diligently all the records of medicine, to see if he could find examples where the various medicines had been so tested, and try them on this own person, in a desultory and unmethodical manner however, as the results he has recorded of his researched and experiments for the next six years show. (Essay on a New Principle.) The conclusion to which Hahnemann came, that medicines must be tested on the healthy body before; they can be properly applied in disease must have been attended with feelings almost akin to despair, when on examining the records of medicine of medicine he found so little of a positive nature was known concerning the pure action of drugs, and when he become convinced that the whole business of testing medicines on the healthy had yet to be done. We can well imagine the feeling if despondency that must have taken possession of him when, after ransacking the archives of his art, he found absolutely nothing that could avail him in practice.

R.E. Dudgeon
Robert Ellis Dudgeon 1820 – 1904 Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1839, Robert Ellis Dudgeon studied in Paris and Vienna before graduating as a doctor. Robert Ellis Dudgeon then became the editor of the British Journal of Homeopathy and he held this post for forty years.
Robert Ellis Dudgeon practiced at the London Homeopathic Hospital and specialised in Optics.
Robert Ellis Dudgeon wrote Pathogenetic Cyclopaedia 1839, Cure of Pannus by Innoculation, London and Edinburgh Journal of Medical Science 1844, Hahnemann’s Organon, 1849, Lectures on the Theory & Practice of Homeopathy, 1853, Homeopathic Treatment and Prevention of Asiatic Cholera 1847, Hahnemann’s Therapeutic Hints 1847, On Subaqueous Vision, Philosophical Magazine, 1871, The Influence of Homeopathy on General Medical Practice Since the Death of Hahnemann 1874, Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica, 2 vols 1878-81, The Human Eye Its Optical Construction, 1878, Hahnemann’s Materia Medica Pura, 1880, The Sphygmograph, 1882, Materia Medica: Physiological and Applied 1884, Hahnemann the Founder of Scientific Therapeutics 1882, Hahnemann’s Organon 1893 5th Edition, Prolongation of Life 1900, Hahnemann’s Lesser Writing.