Drug proving gives the knowledge of effect of a drug substance on a human being, as a whole, not on the parts. Similarly when drug is prescribed should be given on totality of symptoms not for the isolated organ. …


Disease in general

Disease in particular.

Remedies in general.

Remedies in particular.

The only possible way to conform to the above trend of thought and thereby establish a system of therapeutics, is by proving drugs as Hahnemann taught. We may now see clearly what is to be understood by proving drugs, and we may define it as that conjunction of the given drug force with the vital force of man, whereby a given drug has wrought its impression upon man in a manner to make changes in his vital order, so that his sensations, mental operations and functions of organs are disturbed. When a large enough number of provers have registered sensations, mental changes and disturbed functions so that it may be said of a drug that it has affected changes in every organ and part of man and his mental faculties, then may it be said that it has been proved; not that all of its symptoms must be brought out, but it has been proved sufficiently for us. In other words, its image has been established. It is then known what there is in man that through its conjunction has been brought out. When this particular perfect image of man has been observed fully by a rational physician, the nature of the sickness that this drug is capable of curing may be fully perceived. The danger of using drugs whose properties are known only as related to a single organ must now appear, as drug is curative, or is a remedy, only because it is capable of producing symptoms on the entire man similar to such symptoms as the man is capable of having. The remedy finds its place in man and develops its own nature; but if it has not in it that which can rise up and so impress man, it could not be capable of developing these symptoms. Man’s image is therefore in all elements of plant and earth, and when that susceptibility exists in man then the proving may be wrought; but if that corresponding image is not in man at the time, then man is proof against the drug, except in increasing and larger doses. Such provings exclusively are not desired, as they only impress a single organ with gross symptoms which are so unlike natural disease that a rational physician sees not therein the image of man, and stumbles into the grosser observation of artificial sickness, and is led to the ultimates, viz., pathological anatomy, rather than a rational study of the Materia Medica. Many of our provings are wonderfully defective for the above reason. Hahnemann’s remedies will stand forever, as they are well-rounded provings from many degrees of strength in drugs and susceptibility.

The examination of an epidemic is in all nothing but the consideration of a similar number of provers. The steps from the whole group to individuals are in all cases the same. The case is as follows: When a given epidemic, or endemic, comes upon the land, as many cases, most carefully written out, as can be gathered, are to be arranged in the Hahnemannian scheme, all symptoms under regional headings, so that prevailing disease may be viewed collectively, as a unit, or, as tire image of a man, or as though one man had suffered from all the symptoms observed. The same course applied to a large group of provers will bring the totality of the symptoms before the view as though one man had felt and recorded all the symptoms obtained, and the image of man may be then seen in the totality of the symptoms of the scheme. The particular or individual study in the epidemic cannot be properly made until the symptoms are studied collectively, and in this kind of study is the same as after a proving has been arranged in schematic form in order to ascertain what other remedies and diseases are like it diseases as to their symptom image, and not morbid anatomy the same as to remedies as to their symptom image. In this there can be no theory nor theorizing. The record of symptoms is to be considered either in natural disease or in the proving of a drug to ascertain so far as possible all the remedies that are, in general, similar throughout, in their fullness, to this one now under study. Books have been so arranged. Bell on Diarrhoea is but an anamnesis of all there is of that prevailing disease, and so must every single case, either in mind or on paper, be presented. Here we see the series to work out our cases by. Every epidemic and every man sick must be so wrought out; first the general and the particular; remember that the particulars are always within the generals. Great mistakes may come from going too deeply into particulars before the generals are settled. An army of soldiers without the line of officers could not be but a mob; such a mob of confusion is our materia medica to the man who has not the command.

Hahnemann was not able to manage psora until he had completed his long and arduous labors which ended in the anamnesis of psora. After he had gathered from a large number of psoric patients all the symptoms in order to bring before his mind the image of psoric man, he was able to perceive that its likeness was in sulphur, et al. Boenninghausen arranged the anamnesis of sycosis which has been perfected by recent observers. The anamnesis of syphilis must be arranged in this same way by every physician before he can treat it successfully. By this means we may settle in a measure the miasmatic groups. The vast labor that Hahnemann put upon psora, before he discovered that this was the only way, shows how difficult it is to bring before the mind the full image of a prevailing disease. It is many times more difficult to solve the problem and find the similar remedy in isolated diseases and uncommon acute diseases. Boenninghausen’s Repertory of Chronic Diseases (never translated), is arranged on this plan with symptoms and remedies graded. An experienced eye glances over the repertory and arranges in his mind the anamnesis by singling out the remedies that are suitable to the general image of the disease that he has fully mastered. The expert prescriber has fixed in his mind the image of the sick man before he takes up a book or thinks of a remedy. He masters the sickness before he asks himself what is its likeness.

We must avoid the confusion of mind that often comes from thinking in the old way, not knowing what to call disease,.and what to consider as only results of disease. When advocating the above principle, I was once asked how to go about an anamnesis for epilepsy, for Bright’s disease, diabetes and other so called diseases that have been arranged by old nosology. It must be first understood that these so called diseases are not disease as the homoeopathist thinks, but the results of diseases known as miasms. Psora, syphilis and sycosis are the chronic miasms to be arranged in schematic form, and the arrangement in such form includes all the symptoms of each of the three. Thus we have a foundation to build upon, and all curable cases, if properly studied, will be cured before they become structural. An attempt to arrange a schema for disease results could only fail, as the group worked at is but fragmentary.

A practical illustration comes to us at once when we think of Hahnemann’s prevision, inasmuch as he was able to say that Cholera resembles Cuprum, Camphora and Veratrum. This he saw in the general view. When La Grippe comes the natural course to pursue by Jim who follows Hahnemann will be to write out carefully, as in one schema, the symptoms of twenty cases, more or less, the more the better, and then, after careful consideration by the aid of repertories, make a full anamnesis of all remedies, and the ones showing a strong relation throughout will be the group that will be found to draw from in curing the epidemic. Only occasionally will the physician need to step outside of this group. But no man can predict which one of this group will be required for any single case. But, in time of such hurry, when a large number of sick people must be visited in a day, the physician knowing the constitution of his patrons, much time may be gained in selecting for each sick person, from this group, the remedy he needs. In a large proportion of the cases, the remedy will be found in this group. One will suffer with strange symptoms corresponding to the characteristics of one of the remedies in this group, and another will show forth the demand in like manner for another. As there are no two sick people alike, thus no two persons will give forth an identical display of peculiar symptoms. Though several persons may need the same remedy, each one of the several persons must call for the remedy by virtue of the symptoms peculiar to himself. When all of these features are properly understood, it will be clear to the mind how it is that every prover contributes his portion to the grand image that makes the disease likeness into the image of man.

Now, as like causes produce like effects, and as the causes of natural sicknesses have never been discovered, we can only reason from the effects of natural causes as we reason from artificial causes.

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.