Administration of the Remedy

Kent’s discussion on the Hahnemann’s guidelines for selection of potency and repetition of dosage. He further added that repetition should be guided by the demand of the patient….

It may be supposed by some that there is little to be said about the administration of the homoeopathic remedy; by others that there is little to be learned beyond what can be found in the writings of Hahnemann. It should not be expected that Hahnemann could lay down fast lines for the use of the higher and highest potencies when he never used them. What he said about the use of remedies applies largely to the lower and 30th potencies. What he says about these is very useful about the administration of remedies in all potencies, but he gave general rules and nothing more could have been given at that time. An extensive experience with all kinds of potencies and constitutions, varying degrees of sensitivity, will lead a good observer to make no fast lines to be followed by himself or others.

The difference in the activities of a given remedy in the 30th and 10m upon the same constitution is most wonderful, and the difference in the 10m and cm. is still more wonderful in some instances. In some constitutions the 1m is not repeated with advantage and in others stoical, several doses are necessary. The very high potencies seldom require repetition, if clearly indicated, to produce a long curative action in chronic cases, but in severe acute sickness in robust constitutions several doses in quick succession are most useful. In a typhoid with a high fever the best work is done by repeating the remedy until the fever begins to yield, which is at times several days. In a remittent fever the remedy may be repeated until the fever shows signs of failing. While the fever is rising in robust constitutions the remedy may be repeated with advantage, and in some cases it is positively necessary.

It never matters whether the remedy is given in water in spoonful doses or given in a few pellets dry on the tongue-the result is the same. It has been supposed by some that by giving one or two small pellets that a milder effect would be secured, but this is a deception. The action or power of one pellet, if it acts at all, is as great as ten. If a few pellets be dissolved in water, and the water is given by the teaspoonful, each teaspoonful will act as powerfully as the whole of the powder if given at once, and the whole quantity of water if drank at once will have no greater curative or exaggerative power than one teaspoonful.

When medicine is given at intervals the curative power is increased and may be safe if it is discontinued with judgment. When a positive effect has been obtained the medicine should always be discontinued and the greatest mischief may come from continuing to give it. Therefore, it is not always that the technical single dose is the best practice, but the single collective effect is always to be sought.

The correct observer will soon learn whether this is to be secured by a single dose or a series of doses. But after this has been secured there is never an exception to the rule-wait on the remedy. In acute sufferings and in emergencies the above plan is best suited. In chronic diseases for the first prescription the single dose dry on the tongue will be found ever the best. After several doses have acted well, and when given at long intervals, the action is growing feebler and feebler, and the symptoms still call for the same remedy, a series of doses will show a stronger and deeper action, and this is even true if the potency is given much higher. Furthermore, it becomes safe to do this after several doses of a given medicine have been given singly and at long intervals, when it would not have been good practice with the first doses. When the 30th and 200th potencies are used it is much oftener necessary to give the medicine in water than when using higher potencies. These potencies have much milder curative action than the higher and highest potencies, and therefore, they are far more suitable to the very nervous and excitable women and children and to some men.

To suit all degrees of sensitivity in chronic diseases the physician must have at his command his deep acting medicines in the 30th, 200, 1000, 10m, 15m, cm. and mm. potencies. With many chronic patients, if the remedy fits the symptoms or is the similimum, any potency will do all the curing it can in two or three doses at long intervals and a higher potency must be selected. It is better to begin low and go higher and higher. Each change of the potency brings new and deeper curative action. It has been said by some, go very high at once and accomplish it at once, but it is not true that the cure is accomplished. In many chronic diseases the patient must be kept under the remedy a long time, and the remedy must be managed so that the curative power will not be thwarted. This continued action is best secured by the conservative method. In this way the cure is always mild, gentle and permanent. Again, to give the very high potency to the feeble and extremely sensitive, we bring back old complaints and symptoms too violently and too hurriedly, and fail to sustain the curative action long enough to eradicate the underlying miasm.

To avoid the shock or aggravation some give at night, others in the morning, but there is no difference. A deep acting chronic remedy should seldom be given in the midst of a paroxysm or exacerbation, but at the close. This is an old settled rule that nearly all follow. To give a deep-acting remedy in the midst of great suffering would be to court aggravation and increase the suffering and use up the curative power of the remedy uselessly. The dose would be worn out, and when repeated would often fail to act. It is necessary to nurse the case on to a fortuitous moment and then give the medicine. That moment is after the excitement has past-when there is a calm. If it be a menstrual suffering, after menstruation, if it be chronic sick headache, after the headache, if it be intermittent fever, after the paroxysm, will be found the best time to give the dose of medicine.

The management of incurables differs widely. No two are alike, and it is soon observed that medicines ever so carefully selected aggravate and palliate, and the force of the remedy is soon used up and a new one must be found. It is seldom that the remedy works in more than one potency, and it is not uncommon that the remedy acts but a few hours. The rapid change in symptoms and states compels the patient to be ever near the physician.

The following axiom should always be held in mind: When the symptoms change the remedy must be discontinued, as it ceases to be homoeopathic; therefore, whatever action it may exert cannot be curative and may be detrimental.

The single dose in all sensitive people anticipates this change of symptoms and must be the safest for general practice.

The repetition of the dose to intensify the action of the remedy must not be considered as the rule, but the exception.

It is unsafe for the beginner to indulge the desire to repeat too much-it should always be restrained.

The physician who prescribes in water universally will cause suffering in many of his sensitive patients, and it will appear to him that the disease is growing worse al he will change his remedy when, he should cease to give medicine.

The higher the potency the greater the aggravation caused by this kind of repetition.

Physicians who practice only in the country among people who are strong and live out-door lives do not see the sharp aggravations that are seen in the city. The country people will stand more abuse from repetition as well as from crude drugs.

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.