Now, I submit, when the doses are thus reduced according to this fixed STANDARD or law handed down by the founder, they will invariably be “spirit-like.” There is, then, a law of potency; and that law is expressed in terms as clear and decisive as the law of similars. The similarity of the pathogenesis of a given drug to a case of disease is a matter to be decided by the prescriber; and the diminution of the doses so that they will excite a scarcely observable homoeopathic aggravation must also be decided by the prescriber.
But that the remedy chosen must itself be able to produce an affection similar to the individual sickness to be cured is LAW; and that the doses shall be so reduced that the preponderance of their symptoms over those of the natural disease shall be “scarcely observable,” is also LAW– emanating from the same fountain-head and belonging to the same system.
It is high time that we come right to the front on this question and re-teach what Hahnemann taught, and not cater to the ignorant prejudices of the uneducated masses, neither for the sake of practice nor a few medical students. If we are going to be Hahnemannians; if we are going to maintain pure Hahnemannian Homoeopathy, let us turn out the pure, unadulterated, naked article.
We have a pure food law, and we ought to have a pure Homoeopathy law. If it is important to this nation that a can labelled “beans” shall contain beans, and not beans and something else, how much more important is it to his patrons that a physician professing to be a homoeopathist shall be compelled to practice Homoeopathy or change his label! No one circumstance has been so fatal to the perpetuation of Hahnemannian doctrine as the fact that the masses have been confronted with allopathic practice under the homoeopathic name.
They have now concluded that there is not much difference in the two systems; and that the balance of difference, whatever it is, belongs to the old school–by right of discovery. As a matter of fact, they have never seen pure Homoeopathy demonstrated, and do not know what it is. This is a great injustice to the founder and a daily hindrance to the real homoeopath.
Let those who court the success which the master enjoyed note his warning words: “It seems to me my duty to publish the great truths to the world that needs them, untroubled as to whether people can compel themselves to follow them exactly or not. If it is not done with exactness, let no one boast to have imitated me, nor expect a good result”.
L. P. Crutcher:–It is inspirational to hear a paper of this kind and we are glad to hear Dr. Holloways conception of the truth, but I do not subscribe for one minute to the contention that the crude drug is never curative. If there is no curative power in the crude drug, there can be none in the potency which is made from it. That power may be on a low scale, it may be only slightly developed, but it must be there.
I believe thoroughly in potentized preparations and use them constantly, but I cannot take the stand that the crude drug is entirely non-operative. The element that cures never kills, as it does in the old school. Some patients and some cases of disease may require a low potency or a crude form of the remedy, but I do not regard that as an important contention and the principle that Dr. Holloway insists on does not seem to me so important as he makes it. The main thing is to select the remedy, in any potency, according to the homoeopathic law.
Dr. Leonard:–It strikes me that Dr. Holloways paper was strictly Hahnemannian. It is not whether the drug in the crude form will cure or not, but in what form will it make the safest and best cure. The best method is as the doctor has described it. The crude drug or the large dose may cure, and I believe does sometimes cure, but if it does so it does it upon the homoeopathic law which is a law of universal efficacy.
Anything that is cured at all, is cured by the homoeopathic law because there is no other law of cure. You may make an axe-handle out of a tree, but you would be foolish to use a whole tree to make one handle. It took me a long time–thirty years–to get rid of my notions about the crude dose. You have seen chicks running around with pieces of shell sticking to them. It took me a long time to shake off all the shells.
Joseph Luff:–I am glad that I am able to say that I endorse this paper from A to Z. If papers of that character were more frequent, papers assertive of the principles of the Organon and then papers verifying the principles by clinical experiences and practical cures, there would be no need of any other propagandic work. The danger to Homoeopathy lies in the apathy of its own men and such work would remedy it. Homoeopathy has the right to challenge investigation of all the claims that it makes.
A man who has convinced himself that the crude elements in drugs are the only efficacious ones, is incapable of comprehending that paper. The radical ground taken by Dr. Holloway is inspiring. In my limited experience and in my lonely work, far from any other Hahnemannians, I have greatly felt the need of some kind of moral support and I am very glad to be able to be here and get the benefit of it. All the experience that I have had, has increased the conviction that Hahnemann was right and was supported in his discoveries by the truth.
I believe in them as I believe in religion. I believe that God Almighty raised Hahnemann up for His own purpose, and Homoeopathy is the voice of God in medicine. I hope that I can reach a point where I can put into actual practice the enthusiasm that is engendered by the hearing and publishing of such papers as this. It makes me more anxious than ever to be a thorough and expert Hahnemannian.
C. M. Boger:–The man who is able to use high potencies only has something to learn, and the man who can use low potencies only has much more to learn. The man who has learned to use high potencies has come up through many troubles to the point he has attained; but that does not invalidate the fact that the low potency user has also learned a good deal. We cure disease by the use of remedies, and we become skillful by what we do ourselves, not by what others do for us. What does a cure mean? A cure means that a reaction of the vital forces against a diseased state has been started up by the exhibition of a remedy.
The law of similars is much larger than the Organon; it is a universal law, and anything that is capable of exciting a reaction is capable of making a homoeopathic cure, and from that standpoint every real cure is a homoeopathic cure. There is no other true cure; there can not be. If you send a patient into a different and more appropriate climate and get a favorable reaction, it is a homoeopathic cure.
A mother tincture may make a homoeopathic cure, not with- standing Dr. Holloways contention. The true and artistic way to start up a reaction is to touch the vital force so gently with a similar remedy that it will come back to health without unpleasant accompaniments.
If the touch is too violent, it may be too much for the life of the patient. That is the rock bottom foundation of every cure; Hahnemann knew it, although he did not say so. You should use potencies when you know how to use them. That is no excuse for murdering patients with the tincture. The use of all remedies according to the homoeopathic law involves the touching of the vital force so as to bring about a proper curative reaction; it does not always take a high potency to do this–it generally does, but not always. This is something that we have to learn by observation and experience.
P. E. Krichbaum:–Being of a materialistic turn of mind the first dose of medicine that I gave was Belladonna 4m. That was my first prescription. I was working with my brother at the time. He was going to a meeting of the Kentucky State Society and left me in charge of a very sick baby. He said for me to take Johnsons Therapeutic Key and go down and see that child.
I had learned that the first requisite of a physician was to look wise, so I went down there looking as wise I could. I drove home thinking hard about it and the harder I thought the harder I drove and I came near killing my brothers horse. I heard the next day that the child was better. I am so materialistic that the case of medicines that I carry with me in my daily practice is full of 9m remedies and nothing lower. Occasionally–very rarely–I go into the low potencies.
Not very long ago I gave Ipecac in the 1st decimal to a case of asthma in an old person. Such practice, however, is with me the exception.
L. P. Crutcher:–I do not know of any law of potency. If there was such a law, the doctor could know beforehand what cases needed the high and what the lower potencies.
President:–You will get over most of your troubles before you solve that question.
Dr. Baxter:–The curative power of drugs is liberated by the process of potentizing them, but it seems to me that it can not be liberated in all drugs at the same point. Drugs are different in character. They range from hard mineral and chemical bodies to volatile substances, like Rhus tox and Camphor. It does not seem likely that the curative force of all these substances will be liberated at the same point. Part of the reason, at least, for different potencies lies in the differing character of medicinal substances.
W. D. Foster:–I have practiced Homoeopathy to the best of my ability for a long time, and I have always taken pleasure in listening to discussions upon the potency question. The question seems to be so wide and so broad that it seems hardly possible to define a line upon which all physicians will agree. I have never been able to secure the remarkable effects from high potencies that have been claimed for them by others; or at least only occasionally. It is a question that will no doubt continue to agitate the minds of homoeopathic physicians in all time to come. I have been much interested in both paper and the discussion that I have heard.
President:–Any more discussion? If not I will call upon Dr. Holloway to close the discussion.
J. C. Holloway:–I confess that it is a little
K. disappointing, after working along in small country town L. where the allopaths are rampant and there are no homoeopaths to consult with, to come to the International Hahnemannian Association and find a number here not ready to stand up for what Hahnemann taught. In differing from me not a man cited Hahnemann. I know what Hahnemann taught; not a man living can controvert a single item of it, and I claim to be a Hahnemannian because I follow what Hahnemann taught.
I was once as crude a mongrel as ever lived–a mutton headed mongrel–too stubborn to listen to better teaching. I went to Dr. Kent and asked him if he could teach me to cure syphilis, gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea and all those serious diseases with the potentized remedy and nothing else. He said, “Yes, sir, I can.” I told him that I had no confidence in the high potencies, and I told the truth when I said that, but it was my absolute ignorance.
I am surprised that any man of the Hahnemannian Association will say that the tincture would cure when the potency would not; I know that such is not the case. You will find nothing in my case lower than the 200th. and I treat all kinds of acute and chronic cases that any man treats. I will compare notes with any man in acute or chronic diseases, and I never use anything lower than the 200th.
I want to cite one case. My own boy had one of the worst cases of prolapse of the rectum that I ever saw. It seemed to be very slow and hard to cure. I consulted a number of Hahnemannians, but they could not help.
I watched that case for a long time before I found the remedy. At length a diarrhoea revealed the fact that Mercurius sol. was needed. That remedy in the 3m cured the diarrhoea, the straining and the tenesmus and at the same time I observed that the condition of the rectum was helped for two weeks. Then it came down again very dark and bloody with a tendency to sit and strain.
I made the same improvement for three successive times with the 3m, each improvement lasting two weeks. Then I gave one dose of the same remedy in the 50th and the condition went away never to come back from that day to this and that has been four years ago. No one need tell me that there is not more power to cure in the 50m than in the crude drug or in the low potencies. I know there is.
P. E. Krichbaum:–I rather resent the tone of Dr. Holloways remarks. He seems to be laboring under the impression that nobody but himself has any right to an opinion. I am just as good a homoeopathic physician as he is, and would be glad to compare my results with his. To make an idol of Hahnemann is sure to hurt the cause of true Homoeopathy. I do not believe that Hahnemann was divinely inspired or that he knew everything that there is to be known. At the same time I believe that I pay him fully as great reverence as Dr. Holloway, but it is more rational.
L. P. Crutcher:–How high did Hahnemann himself go in the potency line?.
J. C. Holloway:–I tell you that we if knew as much as Hahnemann did we would know enough to practice more successfully than we do.