Here it is the question to study the value of the principle of similitude in therapeutics and in biology. It is necessary to study the theory and the technique of application in order to define:
1. ITS FIELD, i.e., to say its sphere of action in the human or animal organisms.
2. ITS POSSIBILITY, in extension, in intensity and in duration.
3. ITS LIMITS, which is to be precised in each well defined case.
The therapeutics is not yet considered as a science. Pathology has the right to that title and even the clinic which is the science of individual pathology.
The therapeutics is not yet a science and it cannot become a complete science but only when it will be built up on some laws and general unquestionable principles. At present it is only an art, which consists in the application of some systems or formulas variable according to the diseases.
We propose to show that the principle of similitude should be one of the most important basis to edify the science of therapeutics.
Hippocrates has researched and defined the laws of health based on hygiene, on diet and appropriate climates. In different times Paracelsus, then Van Helmont, Stahl and other rallied themselves to the law of similaris, which was so long time neglected, although very often applied by tradition, by sorcerers and the empirics of all times and of all countries.
Samuel Hahnemann had the genius to make of the principle of similitude a universal law and some of his disciples proved themselves more intransigeants that their master who made places for palliative medicine, to other methods. In practice the use of dynamised microdoses (wrongly called infinitesimal) was a necessary corollary, though neither universal nor absolute, of the principle of similitude.
But we must first of all give an exact definition of this principle and it is there where lies the essential of the problem. If we at first take into consideration the action of the material substances taken out of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdom, used as remedies on the human organism, a definition of this kind is proposed to us:
EVERY SUBSTANCE WHICH IN GROSS DOSES. TOXIC OR PHYSIOLOGIC ARE, CAPABLE TO PROVOKE IN A HEALTHY SUBJECT A GIVEN SYMPTOMATIC PICTURE MAY ALSO CAUSE TO DISAPPEAR SIMILAR SYMPTOMS IF IT IS PRESCRIBED IN SMALL DOSES.
It seems to us essential to modify that definition in the following manner:
THE SUBSTANCES WHICH IN GROSS DOSES, TOXIC OR PHYSIOLOGIC, ARE CAPABLE TO PROVOKE IN A SUBJECT APPARENTLY HEALTHY. BUT SENSITIVE a given symptomatic picture. MAY ALSO in numerous cases, and in other subjects who are ill and sensitive, CAUSE TO DISAPPEAR SOME SIMILAR SYMPTOMS IF THEY ARE PRESCRIBED IN SMALL DOSES.
“(It is Dr. Nebel of Lausanne who proposed to add the word `sensitive’) Numerous facts show that the experiments give some different results according to the sensitiveness of the subjects who were even apparently healthy. There are all possible cases of anaphylaxy, idiosyncrasy, and mithridatisation. An infinitesimal dose will be powerful in a sensibilised subject whereas strong dose will be useless in a subject who is accustomed” (Prof. Loeper). Why these modifications?
Because the patient should be in a state of receptivity in order to react to the remedy called similar, and that, that state of receptivity depends on his SENSIBILITY DIRECTED IN A SENSE. This sensibility depends on the biological specificity which “DOMINATES THE PARTICULAR RELATION OF AN ORGANISMS WITH THE EXTERIOR MILIEU” and that may be defined according to Dr. Martiny “AS BEING THE POWER OF A LIVING MATTER TO APPROPRIATE ITS REACTION TO THE EXCITING NATURE”
There is no rule without exception, there is no law without undefined sphere in biology as well as in physics.
But there are some facts that show that that sensibility may vary. Thus the experiment of regretted Biliard who was the professor of physiology at Clermont-Ferrand. Let us mention here the statement of the professor regarding PROPHYLAXY. Some neurotoxins, such as the serpent venoms, the tetanotoxin, the typhotoxin, the diphtherotoxin may no more act even in mortal doses if the organism is already under the influence of another neurotoxin such as spartein.
The impregnation of the nerve cells by that substance checks an other impregnation, even in triple or quadruple doses will not be able to attack the organism which is already protected by a hypotoxic dose of a substance similarly neurotropic. From these facts we may compare the action of the homoeopathic medicines such as Belladonna as a preventive of Scarlatina according to the founder of homoeopathy.
And the action of local tropism of certain substances for certain tissues and certain organs is itself a characteristic of that biological specificity which is at the basis of the application of the law of similitude.
It is curious to observe that during the last fifty years the paths followed by the official school and by homoeopathy have been parallel, that is, to say they were nearer but without allowing to meet each other. Bedsides the directions were inverse for the two schools.
The convergence began to take place since to short time ago, thanks to the neohipporatic movement.
Homoeopathy is based:
1. On the principle of similitude of which:
2. The corollary is the use of microdoses.
But it is the corollary which is generally admitted by all the officials: the action of microdoses in the forms of hormones, of diastases, of vitamins amino bases, of metal colloids, of antigens, of vaccines of toxins, of catalytic substances etc. As regards the principle of similitude it is well admitted by the officials that it may be used in many cases, but it is not even now accepted in order to give it a general sense, It is for us, homoeopaths, to show that the principle of similitude is one of the laws of therapeutics.
Professor Loeper expressed himself in this way to the Society of Comparative Pathology in December, 1936.
“The utilisation of vaccines, the reactogens of all kinds, serve as examples and proofs and atleast has established some striking analogies. The classical therapeutics does not hesitate now to use the infinitesimal doses of histamine in urticaria and asthma, that it does not hesitate to use the typhoid vaccine. It hopes even for the ground of injection and also some combinations which give birth to new products, more personal, more adapted and more specific.
“We are glad to see that we are no more on the antipodes, the one from the others and we can attribute to Galien and Hippocrates, the contraries and the similars.”
We rejoice to catch a glimpse of the possibility of the use of a chemical body in minimum doses to fight the diseases which will be produced in the organism by the higher doses of a similar substance.
Let us call it, if you like, the chemical vaccination and let us accept that it is similar to microbe vaccine rather than to the biological vaccination, which proceeds from an analogous principle and which arrives at the same end.
Thus we help and we will help still the slow rediscovery of the principle of similitude to outrun the official therapeutists. Before defining the sphere, the possibilities and the limits of the application of the principle of similitude, we are going at first through a new sphere of this principle, which is due to the latest discovery of biology.