Law of similars

The law of Arndt Schulz gives a justification to the use of small doses and in the limit of that homoeopathic law and allopathically where small doses join together…

There are some general and theoretical limits and some partial limits or some practical limits:

General and theoretical limits: They are excellently expressed by M. Martiny who has studied the biological problem of Homoeopathy (Le Monde Medical, December, 1935). The law of Arndt Schulz gives a justification to the use of small doses and in the limit of that homoeopathic law and allopathically where small doses join together (Prof. Agr. De Lore, Review of compared pathology, January, 1937).

According to that law:

Small excitations provoke the vital activity;

The mediums augment the excitations;

The strong excitations depress it;

The very strong excitations abolish it.

M. Martiny has shown that “when a cell is submitted to an exterior chemical action, three modalities may be produced.

1. The cell is killed, the albumins are coagulated by the exterior substance, the colloidal chemistry of its compound is broken up. The brutal action without subtility, without specificity, having the only interest relative to the homoeopathic pathogenesis. This destructive action may be local by a direct action on the tissue or on the contrary elective by a direct action on the tissue or on the contrary elective by attack in two times. There is between the organ attacked and the toxic product a biochemical affinity a syntony, which is called pexy.

“Macroscopic or microscopic pathological anatomy, that important basis on which the medicine reposed fifty years ago, help to note in a rough manner but very apparently, the experimental pathogenesis.

2. The cell is affected by a toxic dose but not mortal: its suffering is translated by a functional symptomatology. The physio-pathology shows essentially the quality of the first action and thus is precised the pathogenetic picture of the toxicity.”

3. WHILE THESE TWO AGGRESSIVE MODALITIES OF THE REMEDY BELONG TO THE SPHERE OF PHARMACODYNAMICS AND WILL ALWAYS GIVE SOME SUCCESSES FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF EXPERIMENT ALLOWING TO CERTAIN ALLOPATHS TO SAY THAT IT IS TRUE IN THIS FIELD, there exists a third method by utilising only for experiment some hypophysiological doses or even infinitesimal. “Thus every brutal shock to the organism being avoided, the cellular reactions seems more pure and more complete.”

“The physiological doses or lightly hyperphysiological or even infinitesimal help us to register the primary effect of the exterior agent followed afterwards by a delay more or less long some secondary effects, very often inverse of the primary symptoms.

“The hypophysiological doses and infinitesimal doses help to register the primary effects in an absolutely clear way in patients particularly sensitive or sensibilised. But the reaction is on the contrary terrible variable in its intensity, according to the balanced state more or less perfect of a living cell at the moment of the medicinal shock.”

“It is for this reason difficult to realise experimental homoeopathy. The latter is not alone the pharmadynamic test of a medicinal substance, toxic in infinitesimal dose. It is also of a medicinal substance, toxic in infinitesimal dose. It is also the research of the specific reaction of a cell to the minimum action (toxic or not) of a substance foreign to the tissues or to the humors on an organism prepared by analogy or identity to be infinitely sensitive against the substance.”

However, it is the experiment which, in future will set better the limits of the use of the substance in minimum doses, WHICH DOES NOT ACT CLEARLY BUT ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLE OF SIMILITUDE. There is therefore a theoretical limit for the application of the law of similaris which resides in the doses used. The toxic doses which kill the cell is to be rejected. The physiological doses are of the sphere of the classical medicine. There remain the minimum doses which are so often of the sphere of similitude.

“The action of these doses is of catalytic order, provoking such an excitement, a specific reaction” (M.Martiny).

AS REGARDS THE PRACTICAL OR PARTIAL LIMITS OF THE APPLICATION OF THE LAW OF SIMILARIS, they are related to the perfection of the technique of homoeopathy.

During long time some very much enthusiastic minds, some times wanting in critical sense, limited themselves to apply in all cases the subjective rule of the principle of similitude, without being occupied themselves with the clinic. This method has pushed to the maximum the study of pathogenesis. But we think that it has not helped the practitioners to discern exactly the cases in which the sideration of the organism or any other cause could hamper the reaction of the cells in relation to the substance applied according to the law of similaris, in small doses. The study of the materia medica has been pushed very for but its therapeutic application does not suffice. ONE SHOULD NEVER DIG AN ABYSS BETWEEN THE CLINIC AND THE THERAPEUTIC. One may say that the diseases may by labelled and that one should treat only the patient. However it is very necessary, for doing the duty of a doctor, to base the therapeutics on the deep knowledge of the pathology and of the clinic.

It is for these reasons, in the last years, some modern homoeopaths, specially in our country, reacting against these ideas, are forced to fix the value and the limits of the application of the principle of similitude for each of the chapters of pathology. For each disease, for each patient that we wish to treat, our duty is to compare all the methods, all kinds of medication in order to select the best one. Each case is individual, to be sure, and contrarily what think the traditionalists, there exists some “case-types to which is used the “treatment-types.” Thus we have been able in these last years, to propose a treatment-type of certain cases of cholecystitis, of certain states of migraines, certain cases of renal calculus, and still others, by fixing the value and limits of the application of these methods and their counter- indications.

THE UTILISATION OF PRACTICAL LIMITS of the application of the principle of similitude are very far from being well known in their integrality, and THEY WILL STILL VARY IN THE FUTURE FOLLOWING THE INCESSANT COMPARISON THAT WE WILL DO IN GOOD FAITH BETWEEN THE METHOD OF THE TREATMENT BY SIMILAR SUBSTANCES AND THE OTHER THERAPEUTICS. The field of action which, from now seem to be the appendage of the principle of similitude is very vast so as that we do not search to aggrandise it at the expense of the other methods.

In the future one will surely find out some applications more and more sure of the therapeutics by the similaris and will discover other laws.

From now the principle of similitude should be considered as one of the most important basis of the scientific therapeutics and of biological phenomena.

Mauritius Fortier-Bernoville
Mauritius (Maurice) Fortier Bernoville 1896 – 1939 MD was a French orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Chief editor of L’Homeopathie Moderne (founded in 1932; ceased publication in 1940), one of the founders of the Laboratoire Homeopathiques Modernes, and the founder of the Institut National Homeopathique Francais.

Bernoville was a major lecturer in homeopathy, and he was active in Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis, and a founder of the le Syndicat national des médecins homœopathes français in 1932, and a member of the French Society of Homeopathy, and the Society of Homeopathy in the Rhone.

Fortier-Bernoville wrote several books, including Une etude sur Phosphorus (1930), L'Homoeopathie en Medecine Infantile (1931), his best known Comment guerir par l'Homoeopathie (1929, 1937), and an interesting work on iridology, Introduction a l'etude de l'Iridologie (1932).

With Louis-Alcime Rousseau, he wrote several booklets, including Diseases of Respiratory and Digestive Systems of Children, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Rheumatism, treatment of hay fever (1929), The importance of chemistry and toxicology in the indications of Phosphorus (1931), and Homeopathic Medicine for Children (1931). He also wrote several short pamphlets, including What We Must Not Do in Homoeopathy, which discusses the logistics of drainage and how to avoid aggravations.

He was an opponent of Kentian homeopathy and a proponent of drainage and artificial phylectenular autotherapy as well.