Aphorism 151 to 160


These aphorisms elaborate the need for uncommon, rare and strange symptoms both in drug provings, as well as in the treatment of the sick person….


§ 151

But if the patient complain of a few violent sufferings, the physician will usually find, on investigation, several other symptoms besides, although of a slighter character, which furnish a complete picture of the disease.

§ 152

The worse of the acute disease is, of so much the more numerous and striking symptoms is it generally composed, but with so much the more certainly may a suitable remedy for it be found, if there be a sufficient number of medicines known, with respect to their positive action, to choose from. Among the lists of symptoms of many medicines it will not be difficult to find one from whose separate disease elements an antitype of curative artificial disease, very like the totality of the symptoms of the natural disease, may be constructed, and such a medicine is the desired remedy.

§ 153 Fifth Edition

In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms1 of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.

1 Dr. von Bonninghausen, who has already distinguished himself by his labours in connection with the new system of medicine, has lately increased our obligation to him by the publication of his important little book setting forth the characteristic symptoms, more particularly of the antipsoric medicines, entitled Uebersicht der Hauptwirkungs-Sphure der antips. Arz., Munster, bei Coppenrath, 1883, and the appendix thereto (containing the antisyphilitic and the antisycotic medicines) at the end of the second edition of his Systematisch-alphabetisches Repertorium der antipsorischen Arzneien, bei Coppenrath in Munster.

§ 153 Sixth Edition

In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms1 of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is  more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.

1 Dr. von Bonninghausen, by the publication of the characteristic symptoms of homoeopathic medicines and his repertory has rendered a great service to Homoeopathy as well as Dr. J.H.G. Jahr in his handbook of principal symptoms.

§ 154

If the antitype constructed from the list of symptoms of the most suitable medicine contain those peculiar, uncommon, singular and distinguishing (characteristic) symptoms, which are to be met with in the disease to be cured in the greatest number and in the greatest similarity, this medicine is the most appropriate homoeopathic specific remedy for this morbid state; the disease, if it be not one of very long standing, will generally be removed and extinguished by the first dose of it, without any considerable disturbance.

§ 155 Fifth Edition

I say without any considerable disturbance. For in the employment of this most appropriate homoeopathic remedy it is only the symptoms of the medicine that correspond to the symptoms of the disease that are called into play, the former occupying the place of the latter (weaker) in the organism, and thereby annihilating them by overpowering them; but the other symptoms of the homoeopathic medicine, which are often very numerous, being in no way applicable to the case of disease in question, are not called into play at all. The patient, growing hourly better, feels almost nothing of them at all, because the excessively minute dose requisite for homoeopathic use is much too weak to produce the other symptoms of the medicine that are not homoeopathic to the case, in those parts of the body that are free from disease, and consequently can allow only the homoeopathic symptoms to act on the parts of the organism that are already most irritated and excited by the similar symptoms of the disease, thus changing the morbid affection of the vital force into a similar but stronger medicinal disease, whereby the original malady is extinguished.

§ 155 Sixth Edition

I say without any considerable disturbance. For in the employment of this most appropriate homoeopathic remedy it is only the symptoms of the medicine that correspond to the symptoms of the disease that are called into play, the former occupying the place of the latter (weaker) in the organism, i.e., in the sensation of the life principle, and thereby annihilating them by overpowering them; but the other symptoms of the homoeopathic medicine, which are often very numerous, being in no way applicable to the case of disease in question, are not called into play at all. The patient, growing hourly better, feels almost nothing of them at all, because the excessively minute dose requisite for homoeopathic use is much too weak to produce the other symptoms of the medicine that are not homoeopathic to the case, in those parts of the body that are free from disease, and consequently can allow only the homoeopathic symptoms to act on the parts of the organism that are already most irritated and excited by the similar symptoms of the disease, in order that the sick life principle may react only to a similar but stronger medicinal disease, whereby the original malady is extinguished.

§ 156

There is, however, almost no homoeopathic medicine, be it ever so suitably chosen, that, especially if it should be given in an insufficiently minute dose, will not produce, in very irritable and sensitive patients, at least one trifling, unusual disturbance, some slight new symptom while its action lasts; for it is next to impossible that medicine and disease should cover one another symptomatically as exactly as two triangles with equal sides and equal angles. But this (in ordinary circumstances) unimportant difference will be easily done away with by the potential activity (energy) of the living organism, and is not perceptible by patients not excessively delicate; the restoration goes forward, notwithstanding, to the goal of perfect recovery, if it be not prevented by the action of heterogeneous medicinal influences upon the patient, by errors of regimen or by excitement of the passions.

§ 157 Fifth Edition

But though it is certain that a homoeopathically selected remedy does, by reason of its appropriateness and the minuteness of the dose, gently remove and annihilate the acute disease analogous to it, without manifesting its other unhomoeopathic symptoms, that is to say, without the production of new, serious disturbances, yet it usually, immediately after ingestion – for the first hour, or for a few hours – causes a kind of slight aggravation (where the dose has been somewhat too large, however, for a considerable number of hours), which has so much resemblance to the original disease that it seems to the patient to be an aggravation of his own disease. But it is, in reality, nothing more than an extremely similar medicinal disease, somewhat exceeding in strength the original affection.

§ 157 Sixth Edition

But though it is certain that a homoeopathically selected remedy does, by reason of its appropriateness and the minuteness of the dose, gently remove and annihilate the acute disease analogous to it, without manifesting its other unhomoeopathic symptoms, that is to say, without the production of new, serious disturbances, yet it usually, immediately after ingestion – for the first hour, or for a few hours – causes a kind of slight aggravation when the dose has not been sufficiently small and (where the dose has been somewhat too large, however, for a considerable number of hours), which has so much resemblance to the original disease that it seems to the patient to be an aggravation of his own disease. But it is, in reality, nothing more than an extremely similar medicinal disease, somewhat exceeding in strength the original affection.

§ 158

This slight  homoeopathic aggravation during the first hours – a very good prognostic that the acute disease will most probably yield to the first dose – is quite as it ought to be, as the medicinal disease must naturally be somewhat stronger than the malady to be cured if it is to overpower and extinguish the latter, just as a natural disease can remove and annihilate another one similar to it only when it is stronger than the latter (§§ 43 – 48).

§ 159 Fifth Edition

The smaller the dose of the homoeopathic remedy is, so much the slighter and shorter is the apparent increase of the disease during the first hours.

§ 159 Sixth Edition

The smaller the dose of the homoeopathic remedy is in the treatment of acute diseases so much the slighter and shorter is the apparent increase of the disease during the first hours.

§ 160

But as the dose of a homoeopathic remedy can scarcely ever be made so small that it shall not be able to relieve, overpower, indeed completely cure and annihilate the uncomplicated natural disease of not long standing that is analogous to it (§ 249, note), we can understand why a does of an appropriate homoeopathic medicine, not the very smallest possible, does always, during the first hour after its ingestion, produce a perceptible homoeopathic aggravation of this kind.1

1 This exaltation of the medicinal symptoms over those disease symptoms analogous to them, which looks like an aggravation, has been observed by other physicians also, when by accident they employed a homoeopathic remedy. When a patient suffering from itch complains of an increase of the eruption after sulphur, his physician who knows not the cause of this, consoles him with the assurance that the itch must first come out properly before it can be cured; he knows not, however, that this is a sulphur eruption, that assumes the appearance of an increase of the itch.

“The facial eruption which the viola tricolor cured was aggravated by it at the commencement of its action,” Leroy tells us (Heilk, fur Mutter, p.406), but he knew not that the apparent aggravation was owing to the somewhat too large dose of the remedy, which in this instance was to a certain extent homoeopathic. Lysons says (Medorrhinum Transact., vol ii, London, 1772), “The bark of the elm cures most certainly those skin diseases which it increases at the beginning of its action.” Had he not given the bark in the monstrous doses usual in the allopathic system, but in the quite small doses requisite when the medicine shows similarity of symptoms, that is to say, when it is used homoeopathically, he would have effected a cure without, or almost without, seeing this apparent increase of the disease (homoeopathic aggravation).

Samuel Hahnemann
Samuel Hahnemann