Hippocrates wrote “Vomitus vomitu curantur” He also has said Est limus salibae sub lingua rabiosi canis qui, datus in potu, fieri hydrophobos non patitur” (There is under the tongue of the rabid dog a slime formed by its saliva, which taken in drink, guards against rabies. (Pliny-Natural history)
Later on the theory of signature gave a second breath to Isopathy. This was the primitive form of the law of similars.
Paracelsus said “The similar cures the similar, the scorpion cures the scorpion, mercury cures mercury. The poison is mortal for man except if in the organism there is another poison with which it may fight, in which case the patient regains health. With this aim in view he used very weak doses of the poison in question. He also recommends the Fell Tauri for the hepatic cirrhosis and the extract of the spleen for the “obstruction” of the spleen. He mentions blood serum to stop haemorrhage and equally mentions about the use of the opotherapic products.”
Robert Flud says in his “Philosophia Mysaica” (1638): “But do we not see generally that the similar which the nature has modified by putrefaction, has in fact particularly notice action for the similar. Thus the worms expulsed by the organism, dried, powdered and given internally kills the worms. The sputum of subjects suffering from phthisis cures after appropriate preparation Phthisis. The spleen of man having undergone a particular preparation is a remedy against the splenomegale. The stone of the bladder and of the kidney cures and dissolve the stones.”
Athanasius Kircher in his work “Manges sive de arte magnetica” 1634) says: “The poisonings may be cured generally by their counter poisons. Thus the spider bite will be cured by the application of a spider, the scorpion bite by the application of a scorpion, the poison of a rabid dog is drawn out of the body by application of the hairs of the same dog.”
Then comes Lux. Lux was born on 6th april, 1776 at Oppeln in Silicea. After finishing his secondary education he took to veterinary medicine. From the year 1820 he occupied himself with Homoeopathy, which he applied with much good sense and success in the veterinary medicine. He published himself a review called “Zooiasis” in which he published his articles.
On the request of a hungarian man to supply him homoeopathic medicines against carbuncles and glanders he tried to replace the simile by aequale. He took from animal suffering from carbuncle a drop of the blood which he diluted up to the 30th. He made the same thing with a drop of the nasal mucus of an animal suffering from glanders. The success that he obtained encouraged him be continue in this line.
Dr. Kleinert, a historian of Homoeopathy says that he “Constructed an edifice made of mixture of hypotheses and propositions associated in such a learned manner, that it is not possible to know where ended the field of results obtained experimentally and where begins that of the hypotheses”.
Lux advised to dilute each substance of contagion because it cannot be used in undiluted form. He referred himself to the experiments of Constantine Hering with the serpent venoms, also about the liquid formed with the eruption of itch which was taken up by Gross Griesselich and Attomyr. He even said to push the dilution beyond 30, because even a 30th dilution of Malleinum may have injurious effect.
Hahnemann was rather indulgent in his criticism of Lux. He wrote in a note of the 5th edition of his Organon “One may admit of the truth of a fourth method of applying the medicines against the diseases: for example, the THE ISOPATHIC METHOD, that of treating a disease by the miasm which has caused it. But even granting this could be done, which would certainly be a most valuable discovery, yet after all, seeing that the virus is given to the patient highly potentized, and thereby, consequently to a certain degree in an altered condition, the cure is effected only by opposing SIMILIMUM SIMILIMO.
At that time Hering was studying on the point and was making correspondence with Hahnemann. But this method of treatment was used at that time by Lux in a large scale. Lux used the word Isopathik, because in the Greek language. is meant the identical (Lux– Die Isopathik der Contagion, 1833, Leipzig).
The homoeopathic physicians received with much enthusiasm the publication of the words of Lux and Hering and gave to the new method the name Isopathy.
Unfortunately after some years of the use more or less adventurously done, this method was bitingly criticised, specially by Rapou in his “Doctrine homoeopathique”, and it was first discredited and finally fell into oblivion. But according to Janot, though most of the French homoeopaths forgot Isopathy, yet some still used that method. As for example De Guidi used Morbillinum, Arnaud at Paris used systematically Vaccinum, diluted in all the cases of small pox. So Isopathy was not completely forgotten. Only so much importance was not attached to this system.
Did the hypotheses of Lux supported by the results displeased Hahnemann? His attitude became hostile. He knew Lux, a member of the Homoeopathic society of Leipzig and who wrote to the Master according to Richard Haehl to dedicate a book on Veterinary homoeopathy. The copy found, carries in the handwriting of Hahnemann the following note “No reply”. At that time Hahnemann retired at Koethen. He was 75 years old, had a very authoritative character but he was more supple to his direct disciples Hering, Gross, and Stapf.
The latter, very enthusiastic, did not hide his interest about the new technique. It was he who had the idea to use in dilution the pathological secretions of a patient and to prescribe it to the patient himself. Stapf was the founder of Archive fur die Homoeopathische Heilkunst, in 1882. He however made difference between nosodes coming out of contagious diseases and the others for which he specified the utilisation of stocks coming out of the patient himself, which will be called later on auto- isopathy.
At the sametime Gross and Attomyr popularises the knowledge of Psorinum of Hering. In France Dufrosne and Peochier were the mouthpieces of the new method in the pages of their review La Bibliotheque homoeopathique de Geneve. Weber homoeopathic doctor counselor in the court of Hesse studies for many years the means of fighting isopathically against anthrax and will publish in the year 1836 the most serious and scientific study on isopathic treatment of Anthrax. (Seber-Der Milzbrand und dessen sichersten Heil mittel, Leipzig, 1836).
Hahnemann himself sent to the Library of Geneva for publication, a letter favourable to Isopathy of M. M. Joly about the success of M Theuille during the past of Constantinople. However the last writing of the Master on this question was very pejorative. In a note of the 6th edition of Organon published after his death he wrote “No one would like to establish a third therapeutic method called isopathy, which consists in curing a disease by means of the same infectious principle which has caused it-the identical miasm. But even if we admit that one might do so, as one gives to the patient suffering from the infectious principle, only a very high dynamisation i.e. to say after reducing it to an extreme attenuation followed by succession even then it will not cause a cure but by opposing a Simillimum to the Similimo. To cure by an energy rigorously equal (par idem) is contrary to the common sense, and also to any experience”.
In the year 1865 Isopathy was again revived. It was R.P. Collet who gave to this method a new breath.
Father Denys Collet, a religious person of the order of Dominican and Dr. of Medicine, was born on the 21st December, 1824, at Frazi village of Eure-et-Loire, a student of the college of Nogent le-Retrou, comes to study medicine at Paris. He practices for about 12 years, during which he met father Monsabre and knocked at the door of Dominican apprenticeship of Farvingy-sur- Ozean, at the age of 40. Becomes witness of Homoeopathic cure and engages himself from the year 1865 to study the new method. Himself re-discovering Isopathy he prevented an epidemic of small pox at Flanigny in 1871 using a dilution of 4CH of Vaccine (Vaccinum).
From that time being convinced of his method he takes the advantage of a sojourn of many years at Mossoul, a town of Asia Minor, for the application in a large scale, of Isopathy. Returned in France for his illness, he acts as a physician of a small convent and treats his community by isopathic method. Desirous to makes known his method of therapeutics, he writes and published his book, at the age of 74. (T.J.M. Collet: Isopathie, methode Pasteur par voie interne, 1898). Really speaking Collet did not know what Hering and Lux have done. While wishing to publish his own book he read “The History of Homoeopathy of Dr. Rapou and came to know about the works of Hering and Lux. Collet made very wide experiment on isopathy because as circumstances wished it, he had to pass four consecutive years alone as a military medical officer to practice medicine at Mossoul, with 40,000 inhabitants and there was no medicine available. In his book he could include numerous cases with marvellous results. It is for this reason Jules Gallavardin considered his book “Isopathy” as the “Organon” of Isopathic medicine. Collet was the worthy continuator of Lux and Hering.