In the grading of symptoms to determine their relative value and force for the selection of the curative remedy there are two grand divisions of symptoms, common and uncommon; this cleavage prevails from mind to body, mental and physical, from generals, those relating to organism as a whole, to particulars, those predicated of the organs or parts of the body.

The basic principle underlying all our philosophy that must be perceived, if you would excel and grow in ability to apply the Law, is that appertaining to the “life force: and its manifold manifestations, whose processes constitute the varying phenomena of growth and development, spiritually, mentally and physically, all of which are summed up and recognized as health or sickness in proportion to the harmony or order that prevails in the play of said processes.

This “life force” is that which is prior to, and builds and repairs and fuses together into one concrete whole the multitudinous and diverse varieties of cells that are combined to make up the body organism. And it is that mystic substance that, departing, leaves the body a decaying and disintegrating mass responsive only to the forces of physical change in the world of matter.

The life force is that which reflects the ego, or the individuality with its loves, its fears, and imaginations, its desires and aversions and its innumerable responses to environment. It is likewise the fixed power that determines each characteristic crystal in the mineral kingdom, each flower, shrub and plant in the vegetable kingdom and each species of the animal world.

Accepting the premises that health is nothing more than an orderly process in the play and action of the life force, and that disease is only disorderly life action, we are enabled to approach the realm of cause by perception.

Life force, like electricity, is one of the imponderable substances, it can not be analyzed or seen or known by any scientific process, we are cognizant of it only by and through its effects and manifestations.

These things teach us why potentized remedies cure disease by removing its cause in the restoration of orderly life action.

Physiology teaches that there is a period cycle in the life of every cell in the body and that at stated periods a complete new mass of cells composing the body organism is born; this might be called a cellular cycle. Cells developed under the stimulus of disordered life force must be imperfect for the uses for which they were ordained, and of this disorderly process is continued over a period of time sufficient for a number of cellular cycles to elapse it will inevitably result in morbid tissue growth and pathology.

On the other hand, the process may be reversed and morbid anatomy may be removed by restoring normal life action over a period of time sufficient for enough cellular cycles to elapse to produce normal body cells and tissues. Even the wildest advocate of the germ theory of disease acknowledges the life force as a fundamental factor in sickness which he calls body resistance.

But it remains for the Homoeopath operating under the “Law of Cure” to control that body resistance in such a way that germs become negative and inoperative things in the process of life and health.

When a state of susceptibility to a disease, or to certain drugs, or to certain temperature changes is present in a given case, it exists because the life force of that individual is flowing in disorder. And the symptoms that manifest in that individual can be removed, together with that susceptibility and the tissue changes that may be present in the body, with drug whose provings on healthy people have produced similar symptoms and susceptibilities.

It now is apparent why symptoms of the mind are more important to the Homoeopath than physical symptoms are ; in the hunt for the indicated remedy they are the things that speak of the patient as a whole.

In the grading of symptoms to determine their relative value and force for the selection of the curative remedy there are two grand divisions of symptoms, common and uncommon; this cleavage prevails from mind to body, mental and physical, from generals, those relating to organism as a whole, to particulars, those predicated of the organs or parts of the body.

Common symptoms are those found in many cases of sickness (diagnostic) and in the provings of many remedies; the uncommon are those peculiar to the individual under treatment, and they speak of patient and are the unerring guides to the remedial drug.

General symptoms are such as relate to the patient as a whole; they may be mental or physical, common or uncommon, but they are more valuable for the selection of the needed medicine than particular symptoms are which only relate to parts of the body.

To be a successful prescriber of the homoeopathic materia medica one must know these fundamental things. The important mental generals symptoms besides being divided into two grand divisions, common and uncommon in point of value, have three groupings.

The first and highest grade are those relating to the will or the affections; a man bent on self destruction manifests the deepest disorder. The second grade are perversions of the rational mind, and the third, disturbances of the memory.

The physical generals which constitute the desires and aversions of the stomach together with the sex desires and the body responses to physical environment form the lowest general grade.

A convenient way to assist in remembering these things is to draw a diagram of four circles, one within the other.

The inner circle to represent those symptoms relating to the will, which typifies the affections.

The next inner circle representing perversions of the intellect.

The third circle typifying the memory in its perversions.

The fourth and outer circle symbolizing symptoms of the physical body. From the outer circle at right angles straight lines may be drawn to represent the body parts and organs, which stand for the particular symptoms.

Through the four circles a vertical line can be drawn to make two quadruple hemispheres standing for the common and uncommon symptoms, respectively.

With this understanding of the relative value of symptoms ones work is wonderfully lightened and confusion in the great mass of symptomatology is avoided.

It also assists in a clear and comprehensive taking of the case, the first essential to a successful prescription. Many ask how do you know the uncommon, rare and peculiar symptoms that Hahnemann and the masters dwell so insistently upon?.

The answer is to learn all the common things relating to disease and to drug provings, and then the uncommon things stand out in bold relief like signal lights through the darkness of night.

There are other things besides finding the indicated remedy that are necessary to success, the foremost being the ability to interpret the meaning of symptoms coming up after the administration of the remedy.

Most physicians have recognized the increase of symptoms known as the homoeopathic aggravation that comes soon after the administration of the remedy in acute cases of sickness, but in chronic cases a period of from two to seven days or longer may elapse before it comes.

The recognition of this aggravation is always hailed as a certain indication of the correctness of the prescription and it should be allowed to act without interference ; that is, the last to come are the first to go.

To illustrate . In a serious case of sore throat, where the inflammation and exudation begins on the left side and travels to the right side under the right remedy the right tonsil gets well first; if this order does not obtain you need take no credit for your patients recovery, which nature, unassisted, accomplished, but in that event the left tonsil, the one first affected, would get well first and the last one affected would get well last.

Another frequent observation many times confirmed is that symptoms go away from within outward, from centre to circumference and from above downward.

This is nicely illustrated in the cases of suppressed skin symptoms.

Eruptions that have been driven in with local applications frequently make the patient sick with severe stomach inflammation, even ulcers with vomiting and pain. Or, a bronchial inflammation has been produced ending in chronic bronchial asthma. And on the administration of the curative remedy these old eruptions have reappeared with a complete relief of the stomach or bronchial symptoms.

Again, a suppressed gonorrhoeal discharge has many times resulted in a severe arthritis even to stiffened and distorted joint.

Also chronic nasal catarrh has eventuated from the same suppression by powerful astringents.

The administration of the curative remedy results in re- establishing and curing the urethral discharge, together with a complete obliteration of all the other symptoms and a perfect restoration of health.

These are only a few of the essentials that must be noted and strictly followed, which is much facilitated by a properly kept record of the patients history and symptom picture.

It is not possible to make the observation and follow the proper procedures noted above without you do keep records. And unless you give the single remedy in the minimum doses you will be unable to confirm the teaching of those men who made Homoeopathy respected and stimulated its wonderful growth by the magic power of the cures they accomplished and all in the face of bitter opposition.

In recognizing the vast importance of the life force as the most potent factor in health and disease, and in studying and interpreting the language of symptoms as the messengers who bring tidings of the inner man and reflect the true state of order that prevails, we need not ignore other important things which may affect health. Our only plea is to place things in their proper order of importance and relation.

I have only praise for anything in the realm of medicine that will aid in the relief of suffering and in the cure of sickness. I recognize as valuable all contributions that have come to us from various sources and gladly give them a place in the store house of knowledge.

But to be truly progressive and to accomplish real results in medicine as well as in any other vocation of life, we must bow to principle and law.

If we are guided by principle and law we soon are able to place things in their proper value and relation to each other.

We will not encroach on the realm of surgery by attempting to a set a broken leg with the indicated remedy, although we may do much toward producing a speedy union of bone by stimulating the life force to specific action along those special lines.

Nor would we attempt with surgery to cure a tuberculous lung when only the proper remedy together with general care is needed.

These are a few stray sparks of thought that may stimulate discussion and bring forth an abundant harvest of mature and ripened fruits for our use.

A. H. Grimmer
Arthur Hill Grimmer 1874-1967 graduated from the Hering Medical College (in 1906) as a pupil of James Tyler Kent and he later became his secretary, working closely with him on his repertory. He practiced in Chicago for 50 years before moving to Florida. He was also President of the American Institute for Homoeopathy.
In his book The Collected Works of Arthur Hill Grimmer, Grimmer spoke out against the fluoridation of water and vaccinations. Grimmer wrote prodigeously, Gnaphalium, Homeopathic Prophylaxis and Homeopathic Medicine and Cancer: The Philosophy and Clinical Experiences of Dr. A.H. Grimmer, M.D.