Contribution on the Relation of Homeopathy to the Sciences (1904)


We should not stop until we have proven a few medicines as carefully as Natrium -mur. and Sulphur, for instance, not that I would imply that the well proven remedies are now commonly prescribed to their limit….


Our Materia Medica is growing, perhaps not as rapidly as in the days when fewer remedies were in use, for the very good reason that our needs are not as pressing as those of our forefathers. They builded well, albeit not as extensively as might be wished; but then one or two generations could not do everything, else had they made us idlers and good for nothings, and we have enough such weighing us down now.

Most of the later remedies have been experimented with in a very desultory fashion, and theft pathogeneses abound in meaningless generalities that lead nowhere and are often worse than useless; such things do not work to our advantage, but they rather encourage idle speculation and guesswork. The only thing that has saved this work from total oblivion is the fact that it comes more or less under the eye of an immeasurably larger number of clinicians than was formerly the case, and if the fragmentary provings contain a grain of truth, however small, it is sure to be found and used. But consider the tremendous waste of time and effort and the immense number of useless, if not harmful, prescriptions that are involved in this very tedious process, which after all differs from the allopathic procedure only by a hair’s breadth. lf such be our methods all excuse for separate existence has vanished, and it were better to return to the empirical methods that palliate acute diseases, and in lieu of curing chronic ones consign them to the hygienist.

Of course, all of us resort to the general storehouse of medical knowledge for various things we may need, and these fragments come in to fill the small niches in our practice in many ways. But I am much afraid that from occupying a very subordinate place in the homeopathists work they have, among a very large class advanced to the first position and have gradually supplanted the legitimate application of the law of similia, greatly to the detriment of the patient and the demoralisation of the physician.

It may be accepted as a general proposition that such practices are patch work and seldom strike at the fundamental disease, to say nothing of eradicating the underlying miasms, which is, of course, entirely beyond their sphere of influence. For this purpose it is necessary to fall back on the antipsorics, whose number is as yet somewhat limited and their scope therefore not what in the future I hope it may be. The time is ripe for a further extension of deep acting pathogeneses, and such as have given us a hint of their possible future usefulness should be thoroughly proven.

It is quite possible that we have had enough of generalisations and the spreading of a little knowledge over a vast surface, and it is high time that a little deeper work be done. We should not stop until we have proven a few medicines as carefully as Natrium -mur. and Sulphur, for instance, not that I would imply that the well proven remedies are now commonly prescribed to their limit, for such is not the case among the general run of practitioners, who, alas, it seems, seldom look into our textbooks on Materia Medica after leaving college. This is in part due to the glamour and glitter of surgical achievements, which lure many an incompetent into a field where talents of the highest order only can hope to arrive at even a measurable success; it is perhaps easy to say that such material will yield even less honour to Homeopathy; but this can, in the nature of the case, be but partially true, as their devotion to our school, if consistent, would at least have the negative merit of not destroying their patients by poorly considered cuttings, and would leave them in a position to make many incidental cures

In making provings a definite and systematic method should be followed, in order that the finished work may, by its symmetry, appeal to the trained mind as something in itself the result of care and thought. As a suggestion I will illustrate the matter with a rough diagram, intended as a guide by which the symptoms may be systematised for study, or it may be used as a guide in following an analytical study of a given case through the repertories.

Now, all these are distinct groups around which certain symptoms revolve in a more or less orderly manner, expressing themselves as an individual phase of the disordered life force; and right here is where the specificists fall down by treating these isolated groups as though they constituted the whole disease, because perchance they are most in evidence. No greater mistake could be made. But this is digressing somewhat. The concrete expressions of each group naturally fit into each other, forming the separate pieces which go to make the whole mosaic of the disease and lacking parts mar the picture in proportion to their absence or indistinctness.

C.M. Boger
Cyrus Maxwell Boger 5/ 13/ 1861 "“ 9/ 2/ 1935
Born in Western Pennsylvania, he graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and subsequently Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia. He moved to Parkersburg, W. Va., in 1888, practicing there, but also consulting worldwide. He gave lectures at the Pulte Medical College in Cincinnati and taught philosophy, materia medica, and repertory at the American Foundation for Homoeopathy Postgraduate School. Boger brought BÅ“nninghausen's Characteristics and Repertory into the English Language in 1905. His publications include :
Boenninghausen's Characteristics and Repertory
Boenninghausen's Antipsorics
Boger's Diphtheria, (The Homoeopathic Therapeutics of)
A Synoptic Key of the Materia Medica, 1915
General Analysis with Card Index, 1931
Samarskite-A Proving
The Times Which Characterize the Appearance and Aggravation of the Symptoms and their Remedies