The mixture of several medicines, even if the effects of each single medicine on the human body were accurately known (- the prescription writer, however, often knows not the thousandth part of their effects -), the association, in one prescription, of several such ingredients, I repeat, many of which are themselves of a very compound nature, and the peculiar action of any one of which is as good as unknown, although in reality it always differs greatly from that of the others, and the administration of this incomprehensible mixture to the patient in large and frequently repeated doses, in order therewith to obtain some purposed, certain, curative effect, is a piece of folly repugnant to every reflecting and unprejudiced person.30

30. The absurdity of medicinal mixtures was perceived even by adherents of the old school of medicine, although they still continued to follow this slovenly plan in their own practice, contrary to their convictions. Thus Marcus Herz (in Hufeland’s Journal, ii, p. 33) reveals the pricks of his conscience in the following words: ‘When we wish to remove the inflammatory state, we do not employ either nitre or sal-ammoniac or vegetable acids alone, but we usually mix several, and often but too many, so-called anti-phlogistics together or give them in the same case in close succession. If we have to combat putridity, we are not content to look for the attainment of our object from the administrations of large doses of one of the known antiseptic medicines, such as cinchona bark, mineral acids, arnica, serpentaria, etc., alone; we prefer associating several of them together, and count upon their community of action; or from our uncertainty as to whose action is the most suitable for the case in question, we throw together a number of different substances, and almost leave it to chance to effect the end we have in view, by means of one of them. Thus we seldom excite perspiration, purify the blood (?), overcome obstructions (?), promote expectoration, or even evacuate the primae viae, by a single remedy; our prescriptions for these objects are always composite, almost never simple and pure, consequently neither are our observations in reference to the actions of each individual substance contained in them. To be sure, we learnedly institute certain grades of rank among the remedies in our formulas; on the one to which we particularly commission the action, we confer the title of base (basis), the others we call helpers, supporters (adjuvantia), correctives (corrigentia), etc. But this classification is evidently almost entirely arbitrary. The helpers and supporters have just as much part in the whole action as the chief ingredient, although, from want of a standard of measurement, we are unable to determine the degree of their participation in the result. In like manner the influence of the correctives on the powers of the other ingredients cannot be quite indifferent; they must increase or diminish them, or give tbem quite another direction; and hence we must always regard the salutary (?) change which we effect, by means of such a prescription, as the result of all its ingredients collectively, and we can never obtain from its action a pure experience of the individual efficacy of any single ingredient of which it is composed. In fact, our knowledge of what is essential to be known respecting all our remedies, as also respecting the perhaps hundred-fold relationship among each other into which they enter when combined, is far too little to be relied upon to enable us to tell with certainty the degree and extent of the action of a substance, seemingly ever so unimportant, when introduced into the human body in combination with other substances.’

The result naturally belies every expectation that had been formed. There certainly ensue changes and results, but none of an appropriate character, none beneficial – all injurious, destructive!

I should like to see any one who would call the purblind inroads of such prescriptions on the diseased human body a cure!

It is only by guiding what still remains of the vital principle in the patient to the proper performance of its, functions, by means of a suitable medicine, that a cure can be expected, but not by enervating the body to death, secundum artem; and yet the old school knows not what else to do with patients suffering from chronic diseases, than to attack the sufferers with drugs that do nothing but torture them, waste their strength and fluids, and shorten their lives! Can it be said to save whilst it destroys? Does it deserve any other name than that of a mischievous [non-healing] art, It acts, lege artis, in the most inappropriate manner, and it does (it would almost seem purposely) alloia that is to say, the very opposite of what it should do. Can it be commended? Can it be any longer tolerated?

In recent times the old school practitioners have quite surpassed themselves in their cruelty towards their sick fellow-creatures, and in the unsuitableness of their operations, as every unprejudiced observer must admit, and as even physicians of their own school have been forced, by the pricks of their conscience (like Kruger Hansen), to confess before the world.

It was high time for the wise and benevolent Creator and Preserver of mankind to put a stop to these abominations, to command a cessation of these tortures, and to reveal a healing art the very opposite of all this, which should not waste the vital juices and powers by emetics, perennial scourings out of the bowels, warm baths, diaphoretics or salivation; nor shed the lifes blood, nor torment and weaken with painful appliances; nor, in place of curing patients, suffering from diseases, render them incurable by the addition of new chronic medicinal maladies by means of the prolonged use of wrong, powerful medicines of unknown properties; nor yoke the horse behind the cart, by giving strong palliatives, according to the old favorite axiom, contraria contrariis curentur; nor, in short, in place of lending the patient aid, to guide him in the way to death, as is done by the merciless routine practitioner, – but which, on the contrary, should spare the patient’s strength as much as possible, and should, rapidly and mildly, effect an unalloyed and permanent cure, and restore to health by means of smallest doses of few simple medicines carefully selected according to their proved effects, by the only therapeutic law conformable to nature: similia similibus curentur. It was high time that he should permit the discovery of homÏopathy.

By observation, reflection and experience, I discovered that, contrary to the old allopathic method, the true, the proper, the best mode of treatment is contained in the maxim: To cure mildly, rapidly, certainly, and permanently, choose, in every case of disease, a medicine which can itself produce an affection similar( ) to that sought to be cured!

Hitherto no one has ever taught this homÏopathic mode of cure, no one has carried it out in practice. But if the truth is only to be found in this method, as I can prove it to be, we might expect that, even though it remained unperceived for thousands of years, distinct traces of it would yet be discovered in every age.31

31. For truth is co-eternal with the all-wise, benevolent Deity. It may long escape the observation of man, until the time foreordained by Providence arrives, when its rays shall irresistibly break through the clouds of prejudice and usher in the dawn of a day which shall shine with a bright and inextinguishable light for the weal of the human race.

And such is the fact. In all ages, the patients who have been really, rapidly, permanently and obviously cured by medicines, and who did not merely recover by some fortuitous circumstance, or by the acute disease having run its allotted course, or by the powers of the system having, in the course of time, gradually attained the preponderance, under allopathic and antagonistic treatment – for being cured in a direct manner differs vastly from recovering in an indirect manner – such patients have been cured solely (although without the knowledge of the physician) by means of a (homÏopathic) medicine which possessed the power of producing a similar morbid state.

Even in real cures by means of mixtures of medicines – which were excessively rare – it will be found that the remedy whose action predominated was always of a homÏopathic character.

But this is observed much more strikingly in cases where physicians sometimes effected a rapid cure with one simple medicinal substance, contrary to the usual custom, that admitted of none but mixtures of medicines in the form of a prescription. There we see, to our astonishment, that this always occurred by means of a medicine that is itself capable of producing an affection similar to the case of disease, although the physicians themselves knew not what they were doing, and acted in forgetfulness of the contrary doctrines of their own school. They prescribed a medicine the very reverse of that which they should have employed according to the traditional therapeutics, and it was only in consequence of so doing that the patients were rapidly cured.

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.