The Power of the Similimum (1916)

When our late confrere, Dr. H. C. Allen, pointed to the nosodes as the most important of remedies in arousing reaction, he did the greatest thing of his busy life….

The physician’s highest aim should be to cure the sick, speedily, gently and with precision. In order to do this, he must have some idea of what really can be cured, what is more doubtful, and what remains most difficult of all. Certainly no sharp lines can be drawn between these classes, and we commonly see cases pass from one to the other by, or in spite of, our efforts, as the case may be, mainly because human judgement is not capable of fully gauging the power of the most variable of all phenomena, the vital force.

Until now surgery has overcome one great difficulty after another while old-line therapy was sleeping or actually retrograding, a condition which has spread like an infection in the general homeopathic camp, also. Here its effects have been doubly destructive because Homoeopathy has had much more than empirical methods to Jose. Decadence in our own ranks has had many causes, the greatest and most fatal of which has been the glamour which material findings have cast over the whole medical world.

The parade and glitter of the operating room, the power of tangible disease causes and the boastfulness of our regular brethren have all made their appeal to the poorly equipped Homeopath. The wonder is not that so many have fallen and followed devious paths, but that any at all are left who have penetration enough to see the emptiness of what are exclusively materialistic pretensions.

It is almost axiomistic to say that the broader the culture, the more ready is the mind to grasp homeopathic fundamentals, and the narrower the mind and the more thoroughly it is drilled in mechanical routine, the easier it is to put allopathic goggles on its eyes: For this reason especially I am inclined to look askance at much of our hospital training.

True education develops and upbuilds inherent qualities and talents. Above all, it avoids forcing the mind into grooves and hard-trodden paths, where hardly a green blade of originality can grow. Curiosity looms large in our mental makeup, and if it can be so aroused as to interest the student in the continuous unfoldment of nature’s ways, we shall have opened up a path which will safely lead him into the natural sciences, of which Homoeopathy is the one whose ramifications interlock with all of the others most intimately. The laws of physics and our own dynamics, as amplified and extended by modern developments, are all of a piece. Our philosophy is thoroughly Baconian, while our relation to the sciences of botany and chemistry are most intimate.

In the field of practical therapeutics, we draw from, as well as are guided by, all of these sources of knowledge; so that when the prescriber comes to choose the essentially curative agent, he is first governed by the general aspect of the disease as compared cc with the general outlines shown by drug action, which said out- lines of necessity include the minutia upon which Hahnemann said the final choice must almost entirely depend. Obtaining details without being able to grasp the general motive or whole colour scheme only makes for confusion and is especially to be avoided by having the student well grounded in the general relationship of morbid action, whether arising from diseases or induced as a counterpart thereto by drugs.

If some one were to ask me to name the drug which has led me further afield I should very likely recall Lycopodium. Some years ago it fell to my lot to point out the very great power of Lachesis in a large proportion of cases of laryngeal diphtheria; now I wish to speak a like word for Lycopodium in tubercular meningitis. We have all had doubt cast upon the diagnosis of every suspicious case of this disease which recovers, and per contra, the true-to-name seal set upon every one that dies.

A more preposterous kind of reasoning is hard to imagine, especially from the truly homeopathic view point, which takes note not only of all the available life forces and their impedimenta, and not of the time-frayed opinions of what calls itself scientific medicine. If is a practically unanswerable argument when I say that in the early days of my practice these cases nearly all died, while now more than two-thirds of them recover. Even a Homoeopath may learn.

As usual, little things have pointed the true way to this great polychrest. From the very inception of his sickness the patient inclines toward irritability, at times only on awaking. Later, when rolling of the head and the “cri encephalique” ensues, irritability still clings, and the scream also has an angry tone in its note. When the wings of the nose begin to quiver, you are foolish if you wait for them to frankly flap in and out and the cry to subside into a low moan before giving Lycopodium. Part of the time the eyes are half closed and gummy mucus collects on the ball and in the canthi. The urine may be suppressed for a day or two, but do not despair; stick to your remedy and repeat only when improvement halts, then take a step higher with your potency. The interval will probably be four to six days between doses. At best, these are not every-day cases; but we should be well prepared to meet them, and have the courage to see them through to a successful end.

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