Aphorism 241 to 250

On the other hand, however, practice shows us that though a single one of these small doses may suffice to accomplish almost all that it was possible for this medicine to do under the circumstances, in some, and especially in slight cases of disease, particularly in those of young children and very delicate and excitable adults, yet that in many, indeed in most cases, not only of very chronic diseases that have already made great progress and have frequently been aggravated by a previous employment of inappropriate medicines, but also of serious acute diseases, one such smallest dose of medicine in our highly potentized dynamization is evidently insufficient to effect all the curative action that might be expected from that medicine, for it may unquestionably be requisite to administer several of them, in order that the vital force may be pathogenetically altered by them to such a degree and its salutary reaction stimulated to such a height, as to enable it to completely extinguish, by its reaction, the whole of that portion of the original disease that it lay in the power of the well-selected homoeopathic remedy to eradicate; the best chosen medicine in such a small dose, given but once, might certainly be of some service, but would not be nearly sufficient.

But the careful homoeopathic physician would not venture soon to repeat the same dose of the same remedy again, as from such a practice he has frequently experienced no advantage, but most frequently, on close observation, decided disadvantage. He generally witnessed aggravation, from even the smallest dose of the most suitable remedy, which he has given one day, when he repeated the next day and the next.

Now, in cases where he was convinced of the correctness of his choice of the homoeopathic medicine, in order to obtain more benefit for the patient than he was able to get hitherto from prescribing a single small dose, the idea often naturally struck him to increase the dose, since, for the reason given above, one single dose only should be given; an, for instance, in place of giving a single very minute globule moistened with the medicine in the highest dynamization, to administer six, seven or eight of them at once, and even a half or a whole drop. But the result was almost always less favourable than it should have been; it was often actually unfavourable, often even very bad – an injury that, in a patient so treated, is difficult to repair.

The difficulty in this case is not solved by giving, instead, lower dynamizations of the remedy in a large dose.

Thus, increasing the strength of the single doses of the homoeopathic medicine with the view of effecting the degree of pathogenic excitation of the vital force necessary to produce satisfactory salutary reaction, fails altogether, as experience teaches, to accomplish the desired object. This vital force is thereby too violent and too suddenly assailed and excited to allow it time to exercise a gradual equable, salutary reaction, to adapt itself to the modification effected in it; hence it strives to repel, as if it were an enemy, the medicine attacking it in excessive force, by means of vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, perspiration, and so forth, and thus in a great measure it diverts and renders nugatory the aim of the incautious physician – little or no good towards curing the disease will be thereby accomplished; on the contrary, the patient will be thereby perceptibly weakened and, for a long time, the administration of even the smallest dose of the same remedy must not be thought of if we would not wish it to injure the patient.

But it happens, moreover, that a number of the smallest doses given for the same object in quick succession accumulate in the organism into a kind of excessively large dose, with (a few cases excepted) similar bad results; in this case the vital force, not being able to recover itself betwixt every dose, though it be but small, becomes oppressed and overwhelmed, and thus being incapable of reacting in a salutary manner, it is necessitated passively to allow involuntary the continuance of the over-strong medicinal disease that has thus been forced upon it, just in the same manner as we may every day observe from the allopathic abuse of large cumulative doses of one and the same medicine, to the lasting injury of the patient.

Now, therefore, in order, whilst avoiding the erroneous method I have here pointed out, to attain the desired object more certainly than hitherto, and to administer the medicine selected in such a manner that it must exercise all its efficacy without injury to the patient, that it may effect all the good it is capable of performing in a given case of disease, I have lately adopted a particular method.

Samuel Hahnemann
Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) was the founder of Homoeopathy. He is called the Father of Experimental Pharmacology because he was the first physician to prepare medicines in a specialized way; proving them on healthy human beings, to determine how the medicines acted to cure diseases.

Hahnemann's three major publications chart the development of homeopathy. In the Organon of Medicine, we see the fundamentals laid out. Materia Medica Pura records the exact symptoms of the remedy provings. In his book, The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homoeopathic Cure, he showed us how natural diseases become chronic in nature when suppressed by improper treatment.