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.