Similitude in therapeutics

The sphere, the possibilities and the actual limits of the principle of similitude in therapeutics. In practice, very few patients do not react according to the principle of similitude, either because they are in a state of a very old disease or very much advanced (some agonies), or for some personal reasons. …

Now we must show what is precisely the real value of the application of the great principle of similitude in therapeutic, defining its sphere, its possibility and its limits.

The sphere of the principle of similitude

In practice, very few patients do not react according to the principle of similitude, either because they are in a state of a very old disease or very much advanced (some agonies), or for some personal reasons. Among the latter, which are sometime very difficult to precise. there is one which is very well known: the alimentary intoxications, immoderate and prolonged use of coffee of chamomilla, of some medical substances as for example the menthol may hamper the patient to react according to the law of similaris. These facts are to be compared with that of phylaxy as described by Billard.

Action in space: The field of action of substances prescribed according to the law of similitude is very wide. Let us consider it at first as regards space then as regards time.

All the apparatus, organs, tissues, regions of the organism of man may be influenced in their functions, and even in their structure by substances called similar. In this case the local elective actions of these substances should be considered in relation to effect on the tropism of tissues and of organs.

Some substances seem to have a specific action on a gland or on an organ. As for example the remedy of vegetable origin Ceanothus for the spleen.

Other substances act electively on some tissues. Thus Phosphorus on the nerve cells and on the parenchymas, the Silicea on the neuralgia, the conjunctive tissues, on the web of the tissues or of an organ.

Finally there are other substances that have a topographic action. Thus the Chelidonium on the posterior and inferior part of the thorax (that is to say the right lobe of the liver, the base of the right lung and the cul-de-sac below the pleura.

Hierarchised action: But it is very important to define the hierarchy, intensity, of the substances called similar, on the different parts of the human organism.

We may admit that there exists in the organism the possibility to group the symptoms according to the seven- successive planes, according to the most subtle up to the most material.

These are the following:

1. The psychic Plane.

2. The central nervous system.

3. Vegetative of sympathetic system

4. The endocrines to which is closely related.

5. Humoral plane, zone of phenomenon, physico-chemical of the blood and humors.

6. The viscera.

7. Finally the mechanical Plane, which are the outlets of eliminations, in the formes of secretions and excretions through natural outlets.

According to confirmed experiences, it is evident that the substances prescribed according to the principle of similitude act specially on the morbid troubles of the superior planes and still more on the intermediate planes; sympathetic, endocrinal and humoral.

2. Action in time. Functional troubles and lesions

It is for this reason the principle of similitude is rather applicable IN THE STAGE OF FUNCTIONAL TROUBLES

In his remarkable lectures (inaugural) in the course of medical pathology, Prof Abrami has recently shown the importance of functional troubles, a problem of which “the solution is interesting not only for the conception of what we must do about the morbid troubles, but also our process of the examination of the patient and our methods of treatment”. He said that there are some cases of FUNCTIONAL DEATH without lesion.

One may die out of an emotion. “And more than the half of the affections from which man suffers are purely functional.” “Besides, in every affection with organic lesion some functional troubles are added, which create the symptomatology and commands the evolution.” It is the trouble of the functions that give to the affection of the organs some different pictures. There are some permanent lesions with intermittent symptoms.

There are even some cases in which the functional trouble is intricated with symptoms of organicity to such a point that in some cases it constitutes the essential of the disease. Well: these muscular contractions, these arterial spasms, these vaso-motor troubles, these secretory or tensional etc., are essentially of the sphere of the principle of similitude. The reaction of the organism in a specific sense is the rule in these cases.

When there is no resorption of the toxins, one may even find that some lesions disappear.

There arises a problem here: When and in what cases, an organic lesion should be considered as fixed and definitive? Is there a ditch so deep as one believes between the lesions and the simple functional troubles? One may think so, because some troublesome facts are there: personally we have seen several times the beginnings of dry gangrene disappear with Secale given in small homoeopathic doses. Similarly some cheloids with the fluoro hydric acid; and also some onyxis, important deformations of nails treated only by Anantherum.


3. Action according to the age and space

If we compare the effects of medicinal substances called similar in animals, inspite of the few facts reported on this fact, we may find some differences in relation to the biological specificity. M. Dutems, the veterinary doctor at Montargis, has observed that the dogs and the bovides are very sensitive to the homoeopathic remedies and it is easy to treat them by this method. Thus very often some cures are obtained of infectious icterus of dogs with Phosphorus in small doses, whereas this disease is so often mortal if it is treated by habitual method. On the contrary, the horses do not react well to the remedies prescribed according to the principle of similitude. In the horse the therapeutic by shock would be very often more useful.

In man the similar remedies act well in all ages, still more better in young ages. The old men or only the men of ripe age want sometimes some reaction to these similar remedies. Or rather they have a first negative phase of aggravation. But the case is not similar in cases of children for whom the microdoses may be used with much less precaution. Their effects are more sure and rapid. However I must make a remark: In the babies it is good to stick to the analogous remedies and to abstain to give some specific remedies such as nosodes, isopathics, the serums. The babies do not produce antibodies. And very rigorously specific action may be dangerous. Same is the case of high dilutions of medicines of temperament.

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.