POSSIBILITY OF ACTION OF SUBSTANCES NATURAL TO THE BODY
Naturally, with this critique on the claims and theoretic foundations of Schussler’s system, nothing is rejected relative to the therapeutic utility of his tissue remedies. Homeopathy has always maintained the medicinal effectiveness of materials natural to the body. This does not refer to disturbances provoked by injection into the blood stream or by oral administration in enormous amounts of such substances as sulphur or sodium chloride. Much more it has and does assert that regulating and healing effects of these substances can also be observed by smallest amounts under definite circumstances; indeed, such an action may even be obtained in the healthy under suitable conditions of investigation and symptoms produced by small amounts of such physiologic substance. If we assume these considerations which have remained uncontested within homoeopathy are correct, then we must still question how such actions are possible. To this explanation belong obviously certain presumptions on the part of the organism, particularly special sensitivity to the material involved. By drug provings on the healthy it is exactly these symptomatic sensitivities which are developed as signs of the constitutional type which is named after the substance. And again in the therapeutic use the totality of morbid symptoms indicates by its similarity with these known to us from provings that the sensitivity probably lies in the direction of this substance. These presumptions on the part of the organism obviously are not sufficient for the desired explanation. Because the substance is introduced daily in the food in an amount at least equal (with calcium for example the daily utilization by the organism amounts to one gram!) so that the minimal amount medicinally introduced must seem to be superfluous. If, however with the potencies of such substances, characteristic effects can be obtained, then the basis for this may lie in the drug having another form, than that in which it appears in the food. With solid drugs the method prescribed for preparation requires, even up to the dilution of 10, trituration with sugar of milk and indeed for one hour with each step in the dilution(today decimal dilutions are usual, that is, one part to nine parts of the vehicle). Our ideas today proceed from the thought that the alteration in the size of the particles signifies an entirely new state of form which is made responsible for the new possibilities of action. Up to a certain step we can appeal by comparison to the known peculiar actions of the colloidal state. How far beyond this the state of form attained by the prescribed preparation differs from the usual molecular solutions in their possibility of action, we can only form provisional general ideas; so for example that by definite states of division of the material, new ways open up in the organism, perhaps equally to cell groups which reflexly regulate the threshold for the material concerned. Experimental points of attack are present for a closed circle of effects, by alteration of the ion milieu in the vegetative nervous system and receptive cells to again balance alterations in the ion milieu. These are encountered later in this book (Loewi’s study: vagus irritation, which can also be effected through potassium preponderance, produces alterations in physiologic perfusion fluid through the heart muscle which can also act on a second nerve-heart muscle preparation in the sense of a potassium stimulus). So the thought lies near that an altered unusual state of form can be responsible for a new unusual way and rhythm in the effects of ordinary daily used materials.
It must always be remembered that the amount of substance attained or attainable by the potentization prescribed in no way agrees with theoretically determined amounts. For this the technique employed is decisive. Therefore it should be stated exactly in each case under discussion (for example the preparation of the potencies in the same container or in several). To what step in the potency actions attained by this or that technique is merely a matter of observation and therefore not discussed here.
If now the experiences of homoeopathy on the effectiveness of potentized substances natural to the body are considered correct, then the detailed drug pictures furnish constitutional types of first rank for these drugs, as has been discussed above.
SUPERIORITY OF OBSERVATIONS OVER THEORY IN THE DOCTRINE OF CONSTITUTION
But we do not fall into the error of attempting to construct the medicinal effect of substances normal to the body from their chemical properties. The opposite method alone is correct: the individual drug pictures obtained by observations exist by themselves, independent of any construction. Subsequently we may progress from them to better insight and survey and with increasing certainty and knowledge the drug picture will proceed even more clearly in the direction of chemical regularity as it is fixed by the periodic system of elements. The greatest caution is necessary in such considerations. Because the actions from the elements are changed and varied under the conditions of experimental study: first through the chemical affinities of atoms and atom groups in which they are applied as drugs; then again through the preferential affinities which they have for certain materials of the organism. Only when one considers the total systems of powers, in and on which the action of elements proceeds, can one hope to arrive to some extent at its characteristic effect.
The factual material available up to the present impels us to foresee the natural lawful connections more in a preliminary way than to determine exactly each individual case. But the method of the conception and the therapeutic evaluation of constitutional types as it is transmitted to us by the history of the thought which has been described may well hold as a great acquisition of homoeopathy as for all medicine.