SIMILIA SIMILIBUS CURENTUR
is as old as is the history of medicine. Hippocrates, who compiled all of the best medicine knowledge up to his time, recognized it as one method of treatment. This method has been ridiculed from the most ancient times up to the present day. One debunker of those ancient days wrote: “Take the hair, it is written of the dog by which you are bitten.”.
Through the years up to the time of Hahnemann, Similia Similibus Curentur did not gain much headway. This was due to a lack of knowledge as to how remedies act. The ancients knew which remedies produced nausea and vomiting; which produced catharsis; which produced mental disturbances, etc. Accurate knowledge of what symptoms medicine produced on the healthy human being was lacking.
We are all familiar with events that started Hahnemann to prove what symptoms China produces when taken by a healthy person. That was the first thorough testing out of what symptoms a remedy produced upon a human being. This opened up a wonderful new field for investigation. He started taking different remedies and giving them to others and recording both the objective and subjective symptoms produced by the different remedies. He proved the action of a hundred different remedies.
He paved the way for some of the more recent therapeutic applications. Here are two of them. In the proving of China he records this symptoms: “Violent palpitation of the heart with slow pulse and cold skin.” This symptoms is similar to what is now known as auricular fibrillation.
An active principle of China is now used to treat this disease. In the Iodine proving there is a perfect picture of tonic goiter. Nowadays we know what “imbalance” of Iodine plays in the pathology of goiter. There doubtless are many other recorded provings that if properly understood would result in therapeutic measures equal to the above examples.
In the developing his ideas of disease, Hahnemann revived the Vital Force theory. This is an unfortunate word. It is supposed to be the name of “something” of which nobody knows any thing. Words cannot accurately describe something of which we were entirely ignorant. Hippocrates tried to describe this, but could not. Carel says “We are made up of an unknowable reality.”
This is Hahnemanns description of the vital force : “In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the natural body (organism) rules with unbounded sway and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensation and function, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can fully employ this living instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.
The material organism, without the vital force, is capable of no sensation no function, no self preservation; it derives all sensation and performs all the functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being (vital principle) which animates the material organism in health and disease.”.
As a result of his reasoning as above, Hahnemann has this deduction: “When a person falls ill, it is only this spiritual self-acting (autocratic) vital force, everywhere present in his organism, that is primarily deranged by the dynamic influence upon it of a morbific agent inimical to life; it is only the vital principle, deranged to such an abnormal state, that can furnish the organism with its disagreeable sensations, and incline it to an irregular process which we call disease.”
This does not mean that the vital force is sick. It is essential that we get Hahnemanns idea of disease in order understand his subsequent teachings. He mentions time and again that it is a “miasm” that deranges the functions of the patient. This “miasm” comes from outside of the body and produces symptoms in the patient, caused by that “something” he called the vital force, trying to “throw out” the infection. Carrel says : “Illness expresses the adaptation of the organism to a pathogenic agent, or its passive destruction by this agent.”.
When it comes to how a similar remedy cures, Hahnemann puts forth the theory that the remedy given produces a drug disease similar to the natural one, and that it “neutralizes” the disease, and then the drug disease soon runs its course, and then the patient is well. This explanation may be poetic, but it is not exactly true. Even Hahnemann doubts his explanation. In writing of “cure” he says: “It matters little what may be the scientific explanation of how it takes place; and I do not attach much importance to the attempts made to explain it.”.
How a remedy cures is not definitely known. With our present knowledge, one perhaps may say the remedy cures by producing an antitoxin, or an antibody, or an opsome, or by some as yet unexplained process. The remedy as stated above produces a substance that destroys the bacteria, the toxin, etc. Homoeopaths have cured diphtheria long before antitoxin was known. The only way the homoeopathic remedy could possibly cure was by stimulating nature to produce the antitoxin.
The method of treating disease in order to produce a substance to “neutralize” the toxic symptoms of the disease is very common these days. Witness the use of similar remedies to treat hay fever, allergy, etc.; also the use of vaccines, serums, etc.
An exact strain of streptococcus that produces symptoms similar to scarlet fever is now used to cure that disease. Our drug houses are exploiting an extract of poison ivy leaves for the cure of rhus tox. poison. This is a sort of the hair of the dog treatment. All these methods of treatment are based on the plan of treatment of similia similibus curentur and not on contraria curentur.
A remedy that produces a disease and which also cures that disease is surely a similar and not a contraria. No one can deny that. Some members of the old school have broken into the rear window of similia, but they do not recognize or at least do not acknowledge that they are in the domicile of homoeopathy. As the old school develops more of this method of treatment, someone in the future will be brave enough to enter the front door of the temple of similia.
In times past homoeopaths were denounced on account of small doses. It was believed that there was none of the remedy in the solution. Nowadays scientists can subdivide an element to such a small degree that it would turn the average low potency homoeopath green with envy. In our school days we were taught that an atom is the smallest indivisible particle of matter.
Nowadays they smash an atom into fragments and the end is not yet. The only use of the small dose is to avoid a violent reaction as is sometimes caused when a too large dose is given. Hahnemann experimented with all degrees; of dilution, and arrived at the conclusion that the smallest dose that would cure was the best to use for the patient. There is no fixed rule to govern the size of the dose. Our potencies are absolutely useless unless the symptoms of drug action are fitted to the symptoms of the disease. In these days many patients are killed by the new powerful medicines. Some of the remedies have been abandoned because of the fatal results, and others have been modified in the hope that they may not kill so many patients.
No one knows how these remedies act on the healthy person. All we know is from the post-mortems of those who have been killed by these drugs. These remedies are prescribed for the name of a disease or more generally for the names of many diseases. There is no individualisation of the patients symptoms after the method established by Hahnemann, nor is it known what symptoms the remedy produces in the healthy. We do know, however, that some of these drugs produce a powerful “hangover.”.
Among other remedies that have cured eczema are Arsenicum and Sulphur. These remedies are not the same in their actions, but they cure varieties of the same disease. By proving on the healthy, certain symptoms are brought out that serve to differentiate the one drug from the other. No one disease is always the same. There are variations in the symptoms; hence the remedy must be moulded to the symptoms. When we prescribe a disease or diseases without regard to its suitability as established by provings on the healthy, we are simply making guinea pigs of our patients. Hahnemann was not foolish enough to do that.
Hahnemann later in his life classified diseases into acute and chronic. In his earlier years he made no such distinction. He classed them all alike, but he found out later that some of his cures did not stay cured. From the years 1816 to 1827, he devoted eleven years to intensive study of diseases in order to find out why some diseases did not stay cured and that others were not cured by the ordinary short acting remedies.
He was a careful and accurate observer. He said he devoted these years to “increasing meditation, indefatigable research, careful observations and the most accurate experiments to discover all ailments and symptoms inherent in the unknown primitive malady.” This primitive disease evidently owes its existence to some “miasm.” He taught that there are three chronic miasms.
The first one is syphilis, which everyone acknowledges is a chronic disease. The second one is gonorrhea. This was at a time when this disease was thought to be of no more consequence than a cold in the nose. Nowadays we know its disabling effects. Laboratory tests of this disease are positive in these chronic gonorrhoeal patients. That surely was an accurate observation on Hahnemanns part. These diseases are chronic from the first day of the infection.
Hahnemann also observed that there was another chronic disease, differing from either syphilis or gonorrhoea. He recorded dozens of symptoms that he said were an indication of this third chronic disease. Hahnemann named this third chronic miasm “Psora” or the “Itch.” Much confusion and severe criticism has resulted from the choice of these words. Again, unfortunately, we do not have a name to describe what this chronic disease really is. He taught that almost all of this chronic disease, in his day, came from suppressed itch. In fact he quoted from old school authority ninety-seven examples of chronic diseases that resulted from suppression of the itch. This, however, does not prove that all of this third chronic disease comes from this cause.
Constantine Hering wrote : “The shallow opponents of Homoeopathy and we never had any other–pounced upon the theory of the psoric miasm with the view of attacking it with their hollow and unmeaning sarcasms. Making Psora to be identical with the itch, they seemingly pretended that according to Hahnemanns doctrine that the itch was the primitive evil and that the doctrine was akin to the doctrine of the original sin recognized by the Christian faith.”.
It is high time that we get the idea out of our heads that all of the third chronic disease is due to suppressed itch. It may come from suppression of the symptoms of any acute infection. We recognize that in acute infections the disease runs a definite course. If the symptoms are suppressed or the course of the disease is interfered with, the patient is not doing well. The third chronic disease comes from suppressed symptoms of acute disease, and if the course of the disease is interfered with the patient is not doing well.
We are constantly suppressing the natural course of disease by various remedies in order to impress our patients with our superior knowledge that we can make symptoms disappear, regardless of the cause that produced the suffering. The disease is often “driven in.” This chronic disease is simply a struggle of the system trying to “throw out” the suppressed symptoms of the “miasm.” Some of the old school are unwittingly coming around to Hahnemanns teachings. They say that pain is the fire alarm of danger, but stopping the alarm does not put out the fire.
What we call chronic disease Hahnemann called the result of chronic disease. Apoplexy, angina pectoris an abscess at a tooth root, etc., are the results of a long process of chronic symptoms that he said lead up to the terminal result. Extracting an abscessed tooth will relieve the symptoms caused by the presence of the pus at the root, but does not cure the cause of the pus.
This is true of all our chronic diseases, as apoplexy, coronary disease, interstitial nephritis, etc. Our minds are so centered on the end results that we stop there. Anything farther back is unknown territory. The truth does not register. Instead of Hahnemanns theory of chronic disease being a horrid monster, it is simply going back to the original cause. We sense what it is, but we cannot explain it.
Hahnemann recognizes that there may be a combination of any two or more of these chronic diseases; also that acute diseases may be added to one or more of these chronic diseases. When an acute disease is not cured but runs into a chronic stage, we may be sure that there are one or more of these three chronic diseases back of it as a host. Hahnemann, Hering and others warned us that a skin eruption appearing when we are treating a chronic patient does not necessarily mean that the disease is being “driven out.” It may mean that an acute skin disease is grafted on the chronic patient.
Hahnemann had a wonderful knowledge of what symptoms constitute a chronic disease. It was not the work of a tyro. His knowledge has about become a lost art. What was as wonderful as his knowledge of chronic diseases was his immense knowledge of materia medica. He studied each symptoms of chronic diseases, and selected the remedies that are similar and curative for these symptoms. Too much credit cannot be given Hahnemann for this intricate and accurate study of the symptoms of chronic diseases and the selection of remedies to cure these symptoms. This list he called the “antipsoric remedies.” They are very deep acting, and are the ones to cure these cases. They have stood the test of time.
In treating these chronics, Hahnemann, Hering and others have given us the indications that the patient is progressing in a curative manner. They said that pain is relieved from above downward; the most important symptoms are relieved first; and that diseases are cured in the reverse order of their coming; cures take place from within outward. If there is a combination of two or more of chronic diseases a remedy must be given to break up this combination, and the diseases are to be cured separately. All this is terra incognita to almost all homoeopathic graduates. If we ever abandon the spirit of Hahnemanns teachings of similia, the homoeopathic school is doomed to extinction.
One more fact in Hahnemanns teaching will be mentioned. In writing of the cholera epidemic in 1831 he promulgated his method of producing immunity to cholera. He said in substance: get used to the “miasm”, which is probably minute animal organism, very gradually, first by standing at the door of a cholera patients room, then going into open air, and then gradually approaching the patient. Thus one “works up” immunity against cholera. This was not the first effort to produce immunity.
For a long time the method of overcoming epidemics of smallpox was to innoculate pus direct from a smallpox patient, but that treatment was too severe. More than thirty years before Hahnemann wrote of immunity in cholera epidemics, Jenner introduced the vaccination method. Some physicians are silly enough to say that this is not in accord with similia. It certainly is not contraria.
Hahnemann said that when one becomes immune to cholera he may also carry the miasm on or in his person to infect other people. In other words, he became a disease carrier. Judging from the criticisms at that time of his ideas, the medical profession did not accept his views. We now know that Hahnemann was correct. All immunity is established in principle by this method.
Pasteur by a very scientific method developed the treatment against rabies by this method or gradually getting used to the infection. Pasteur was only nine years old when Hahnemann wrote this about immunity. All of the immunization that is done today, and there is a great deal of it, is along the lines laid down by Hahnemann, and is done by using small doses of the “Miasm” and usually repeating the dose, and not by using massive doses as was the custom in innoculating against smallpox.
These are some of the “facts” and “fancies” of Hahnemann. No effort has been made to substantiate theories. Only such statements have been used as would help to get his ideas across to us.
Hahnemann was the first to prove the action of remedies on healthy persons. He also, by an arduous task, separated the acute remedies from the deep acting ones.
He understood immunity. He also established the fact that so-called healthy persons may be disease carriers and infect healthy persons.
He was correct in his statement of the chronicity of syphilis and gonorrhoea long before the medical profession accepted his ideas that gonorrhoea is a chronic disease.
Hahnemanns “fancy”, if it may be called that in describing the third chronic disease has much merit in it. It seems strange that, with all the thousand and one laboratory experiments that delve into the very minutest structure of the human body and into the innerds of all varieties of infection, our scientists cannot see anything but the results of disease. They cannot see the forest for the trees.
Modern treatment is largely based on the relief of the results of disease. There are not now many general physicians or specialists who have the intricate medical knowledge that Hahnemann had. In these strenuous days when almost everyone become a so-called specialist, and more often than otherwise suppresses the results of chronic diseases in a vain effort to cure the disease, it is refreshing to hear Carrel unconsciously confirming Hahnemanns teachings when he said “The more eminent the specialist, the more dangerous he is.”.
If truth shall prevail, then in the distant future, perhaps too far distant for the good of suffering humanity, the teachings of Hahnemann will be accepted by the medical profession.
HAHNEMANNS LIST OF SO-CALLED “ANTIPSORIC” REMEDIES.
Agaricus. Conium. Muriatic acid.
Alumina. Cuprum. met. Natrum carb.
Ammonium carb. Digitalis purp. Natrum mur.
Ammonium mur. Dulcamara. Nitric acid.
Anacardium. Euphorbium. Petroleum.
Antimonium crud. Graphites. Phosphorus
Arsenic. Guaiacum. Phosphoric acid.
Aurum met. Hepar sulph. Platina.
Baryta carb. Iodine. Sarsaparilla.
Borax. Kali carb. Sepia.
Calcarea carb. Kali nit. Silicea.
Carbo anim. Lycopodium. Stannum.
Carbo veg. Magnesia carb. Sulphur
Causticum. Magnesia mur. Sulphuric acid.
Clematis. Manganese. Zincum.
Samuel Hahnemann : The organon; Materia Medica; Chronic Disease; Lesser Writings.
Alexis Carrel : Man, the Unknown.