If we deduct the cases in which the specific remedy for a disease of never varying character has been made known to physicians of the ordinary school (not by their own investigation, but) by the empirical practice of the common people, wherewith they are
enabled to effect a direct cure, as for instance, of the venereal chancrous disease with mercury; of the morbid state resulting from
contusions with arnica; of marsh ague with cinchona bark; of recent cases of itch with flowers of sulphur, etc. – if we deduct these, we find, that without almost any exception, all the other treatment of the old school physician, in chronic diseases, consists in debilitating, teasing and tormenting the already afflicted patient, to the aggravation of his disease and to his destruction, with a great display of dignified gravity on the part of the doctor and at a ruinous expense to the patient.

Blind experience sometimes led them to a homÏopathic mode of treatment,32 and yet they did not perceive the law of nature in obedience to which cures so effected did and must ensue.

32. Thus they imagined they could drive out through the skin the sudatory matter which they believed to stagnate there after a chill, if they gave the patient to drink, during the cold stage of the catarrhal fever, an infusion of elder flowers, which is capable of removing such a fever and curing the patient by its peculiar similarity of action (homÏopathically), and this it does most promptly and effectually, without causing perspiration, if but a small quantity of this infusion, and nothing else, be taken. To hard, acute swellings, in which the excessive violence of the inflammation prevents their suppuration and causes intolerable pains, they apply very warm poultices, frequently renewed, and behold! the inflammation and the pains diminish rapidly, while the abscess is rapidly formed, as is known by the yellowish shining elevation and the perceptible softening. In this case they imagine that the hardness has been softened by the moisture of the poultice, whereas it is chiefly by the greater heat of the poultices that the excess of inflammation has been homÏopathically subdued, and the rapid suppuration been enabled to take place. – Why do they employ with benefit in many ophthalmiae St. Yve’s salve, the chief ingredient of which is red oxide of mercury, which can produce inflammation of the eyes, if anything can? Is it hard to see that they here act homÏopathically? – Or why should a little parsley juice produce such evident relief in those cases (by no means rare), where there are anxious, often ineffectual, efforts to urinate in little children, and in ordinary gonorrhoea, which is well known by the very painful, frequent and almost ineffectual attempts to make water, if the fresh juice of this plant had not the power of causing, in healthy persons, a painful, almost fruitless, urging to urinate, consequently cures homÏopathically? With the pimpernal root, which causes great secretion of mucus in the bronchia and fauces, they successfully combatted the so-called mucous angina – and quelled some kinds of metrorrhagia with the leaves of savine, which can itself cause metrorrhagia, without perceiving the homÏopathic curative law. In cases of constipation from incarcerated hernia and in ileus many medical men found the constipating opium, in small doses, to be the most excellent and certain remedy, without having the most distant idea of the homÏopathic therapeutic law exemplified in this case. They cured non-venereal ulcers of the fauces with small doses of mercury, which is homÏopathic to such states – stopped some diarrhoeas with small doses of the purgative rhubarb – cured hydrophobia with belladonna, that causes a similar affection, and removed, as if by magic, the dangerous comatose state in acute fevers with a small dose of the heating, stupefying opium; and yet they abuse homÏopathy, and persecute it with a fury that can only arise from the stings of an evil conscience in a heart incapable of improvement.

Hence it is highly important, for the weal of mankind, to ascertain what really took place in these extremely rare but singularly salutary treatments. The answer we obtain to this question is of the utmost significance.

They were never performed in any other manner than by means of medicines of homÏopathic power, that is to say, capable of producing a disease similar to the morbid state sought to be cured; the cures were effected rapidly and permanently by medicines, the medical prescribers of which made use of them as it were by accident, and even in opposition to the doctrines of all previous systems and therapeutics (often without rightly knowing what they were doing and why they did it), and thus, against their will, they practically confirmed the necessity of the only therapeutic law consonant to nature, that of homÏopathy – a therapeutic law, which, despite the many facts and innumerable hints that pointed to it, no physicians of past epochs have exerted themselves to discover, blinded as they all have been by medical prejudices.

For even the domestic practice of the non-medical classes of the community endowed with sound observant faculties has many times proved this mode of treatment to be the surest, the most radical and the least fallacious in practice.

In recent cases of frost-bitten limbs frozen sour crout is applied or frictions of snow are used.33

33. It is on such examples of domestic practice that Mr. M. Lux founds his so-called mode of cure by identicals and idem, which he calls Isopathy, which some eccentric-minded persons have already adopted as the non plus ultra of a therapeutic method, without knowing how they could carry it out.
But if we examine these instances attentively we find that they do not bear out these views.
The purely physical powers differ in the nature of their action on the living organism from those of a dynamic medicinal kind.

Heat or cold of the air that surrounds us, or of the water, or of our food and drink, occasion (as heat and cold) of themselves no absolute injury to a healthy body; heat and cold are in their alternations essential to the maintenance of healthy life, consequently they are not of themselves medicine. Heat and cold, therefore, act as curative agents in affections of the body, not by virtue of their essential nature (not, therefore, as cold and heat per se, not as things hurtful in themselves, as are the drugs, rhubarb, china, etc., even in the smallest doses), but only by virtue of their greater or smaller quantity, that is, according to their degrees of temperature, just as (to take an example from purely physical powers) a great weight of lead will bruise my hand painfully, not by virtue of its essential nature as lead, for a thin plate of lead would not bruise me, but in consequence of its quantity and massive weight.

If, then, cold or heat be serviceable in bodily ailments like frost-bites or burns, they are so solely on account of their degree of temperature, just as they only inflict injury on the healthy body by their extreme degrees of temperature.

Thus we find in these examples of successful domestic practice, that it is not the prolonged application of the degree of cold in which the limb was frozen that restores it isopathically (it would thereby be rendered quite lifeless and dead), but a degree af cold that only approximates to that (homÏopathy), and which gradually rises to a comfortable temperature, as frozen sour crout laid upon the frost-bitten hand in the temperature of the room soon melts, gradually growing warmer from 32ž or 33ž (Fahr.) to the temperature of the room, supposing that to be only 55ž, and thus the limb is recovered by physical homÏopathy. In like manner, a hand scalded with boiling water would not be cured isopathically by the application of boiling water, but only by a somewhat lower temperature, as, for example, by holding it in a vessel containing a fluid heated to 160ž, which becomes every minute less hot, and finally descends to the temperature of the room, whereupon the scalded part is restored by homÏopathy. Water in the act of freezing cannot draw out the frost isopathically from potatoes and apples, but this is effected by water only near the freezing-point.

So, to give another example from physical action, the injury resulting from a blow on the forehead with a hard substance (a painful lump) is soon diminished in pain and swelling by pressing on the spot for a considerable time with the ball of the thumb strongly at first, and then gradually less forcibly, homÏopathically but not by an equally hard blow with an equally hard body, which would increase the evil isopathically.

The examples of cures by isopathy given in the book alluded to – muscular contractions in human beings and spinal paralysis in a dog, which had been caused by a chill, being rapidly cured by cold bathing – these events are falsely explained by isopathy. What are called sufferings from a chill are only nominally connected with cold, and often arise, in the bodies of those predisposed to them even from a draught of wind which was not at all cold. Moreover, the manifold effects of a cold bath on the living organism, in health and in disease, cannot be reduced to such a simple formula as to warrant the construction of a system of such pretentions! That serpentsÍ bites, as is there stated, are most certainly cured by portions of the serpents, must remain a mere fable of a former age, until such an improbable assertion is authenticated by indubitable observations and experience, which it certainly never will be. That, in fine, the saliva of a mad dog given to a patient laboring under hydrophobia (in Russia), is said to bave cured him – that ‘is said’ would not seduce any conscientious physician to imitate such a hazardous experiment, or to construct a so-called isopathic system, so dangerous and so highly improbable in its extended application, as has been done (not by the modest author of the pamphlet entitled The Isopathy of Contagions, Leipzic: Kollmann, but) by its eccentric supporters, especially Dr. Gross (v. Alg. hom. Ztg, ii, p. 72), who vaunts this isopathy (aequalia aequalibus) as the only proper therapeutic rule, and sees nothing in the similia similibus but an indifferent substitute for it; ungratefully enough, as he is entirely indebted to the similia similibus for all his fame and fortune.

The experienced cook holds his hand, which he has scalded, at a certain distance from the fire, and does not heed the increase of pain that takes place at first, as he knows from experience that he can thereby in a very short time, often in a few minutes, convert the burnt part into healthy painless skin.34

34. So also Fernelius (Therap., lib. vi, cap. 20) considers that the best remedy for a burnt part is to bring it near the fire, whereby the pain is removed. John Hunter (On the Blood, Inflammation, etc., p. 218) mentions the great injury that results from treating burns with cold water, and gives a decided preference to approaching them to the fire, guided in this not by the traditional medical doctrines which (contraria contrariis) prescribe cooling things for inflammation, but by experience, which teaches that the application of a similar heat (similia similibus) is the most salutary.

Other intelligent non-medical persons, as, for example, the manufacturers of lackered ware, apply to a part scalded with the hot varnish a substance that causes a similar burning sensation, such as strong heated spirits of wine,35 or oil of turpentine,36 and by that means cure themselves in the course of a few hours, whereas cooling salves, as they are well aware, would not effect a cure in as many months, and cold water37 would but make matters worse.

35. Sydenham (Opera, p. 271 [edit. Syd. Soc., p. 601]) says the spirits of wine, repeatedly applied, is preferable to all other remedies in burns. Benjamin Bell, too (System of Surgery, 3rd edit., 1789), acknowledges that experience shows that homÏopathic remedies only are efficacious. He says: ‘One of the best applications to every burn of this kind is strong brandy or any other ardent spirit; it seems to induce a momentary additional pain (see below, ¤ 157), but this soon subsides, and is succeeded by an agreeable soothing sensation. It proves most effectual when the parts can be kept immersed in it; but where this cannot be done, they should be kept constantly moist with pieces of old linen soaked in spirits.’ To this I may add that warm, and indeed, very warm, alcohol is much more rapidly and much more certainly efficacious, for it is much more homÏopathic than when not heated. And all experience confirms this in a most astonishing manner.

36. Edward Kentish, having to treat the workers in coal pits, who were so often dreadfully burnt by the explosion of fire-damp, applied heated oil of turpentine or alcohol, as the best remedy in the most extensive and severest burns (Second Essay on Burns; London, 1798). No treatment can be more homÏopathic than this nor is any more efficacious.

The estimable and experienced Heister (Institut. Chirurg., Tom. i, p. 33) confirms this from his own observation and extols the application of turpentine oil, of alcohol and of very hot poultices for this end, as hot as ever they can be borne.

But the amazing superiority of the application to burns of these remedies, which possess the power of exciting burning sensation and heat (and are consequently homÏopathic), over palliative refrigerant remedies, is most incontestably shown by pure experimentation, in which the two opposite methods of treatment are employed for the sake of comparison, in burns of equal intensity in the same body.

Thus Benjamin Bell (in Kuhn’s Phys. Medorrhinum Journ., Leipzic 1801, Jun., p. 428), in the case of a lady who had scalded both arms, caused one to be covered with oil of turpentine, and made her plunge the other into cold water. In half an hour the first arm was well, but the other continued to be painful for six hours longer; when it was withdrawn one instant from the water she experienced much greater pain in it, and it required a much longer time than the first for its cure.

John Anderson (Kentish, op. cit., p. 43) treated in a similar manner a lady who had scalded herself with boiling grease. ‘The face which was very red and scalded and excessively painful was a few minutes after the accident, covered with oil of turpentine her arms she had, of her own accord, plunged into cold water, with which she desired to treat it for some hours. In the course of seven hours her face looked much better, and the pain was relieved. She had frequently renewed the cold water for the arm, but whenever she withdrew it she complained of much pain, and, in truth, the inflammation in it had increased. The following morning I found that she had had during the night great pain in the arm; the inflammation had extended above the elbow; several large blisters had risen, and thick eschars had formed on the arm and hand; a warm poultice was then applied. The face was completely free from pain, but emollient applications had to be used for the arm for a fortnight longer, before it was cured.

Who can fail to perceive in this instance the infinite superiority of the (homÏopathic) treatment by means of remedies of similar action, over the wretched treatment by opposites (contraria contrariis) of the antiquated ordinary school of medicine!

37. John Humter (loc. cit.) is not singular in asserting the great injury done by treating burns with cold water. W. Fabricius of Hilden, also (De Combustionibus libellus, Basil, 1607, cap. 5, p. II), alleges that cold applications in burns are highly injurious and productive of the most serious consequences; inflammation, suppuration and sometimes mortification are caused by them.

The old experienced reaper, although he may not be in the habit of drinking brandy, will not touch cold water (contraria contrariis) when he has worked himself into a violent feverish state in the heat of the sun – he knows the danger of such a proceeding – but he takes a small quantity of a heating liquor, a mouthful of brandy; experience, the teacher of truth, has convinced him of the great superiority and efficacy of this homÏopathic procedure, whereby his heat and fatigue are speedily removed.38

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.