Most persons come to Homoeopathy by way of allopathic experience, usually as a patient and are therefore prejudiced in favour of frequent doses, generally three times a day. I believe it is true to say that most homoeopathic medicines in low potencies are taken in this frequency. The exact function of the homoeopathic medicine is something of a mystery, but if it acts as a spur to the vital powers of the patient to rouse themselves and get rid of the disease, would it be wise to continue applying the spur, once reaction had set in?
If you are riding a highly mettled horse, you would be chary about applying the spur too often if you wish to retain your seat. Whether this analogy is apt, there is no doubt that in the greater part of his writings, the founder of Homoeopathy recommended that the dose should not be repeated, so long as improvement continues. If this is sound advice, is frequent repetition inadvisable?
Hahnemann himself, does not speak throughout his works with the same voice, as witness the following passage from “chronic Diseases.” “In chronic diseases, I have found it best to give a dose (e.g. a spoonful) of the solution of the suitable medicine at least every two days, more usually every day.” (P. 154 Chronic Diseases, Ringer and Cos Edn., Calcutta).
There would appear, therefore, justification both for infrequent and frequent doses in the writings of the master himself. This is a paradox. It is however only a seeming inconsistency. Circumstances alter cases, and, as every Homoeopath knows, every patient is a unique case. Different circumstances may justify different treatment. Hahnemann said the incredible variety among patients necessitates a great variety in their treatment.” (p.153 op. cit.).
Every patient is an individual, and probably has an individual mode of reaction to homoeopathic medicine. In my experience, some can tolerate, and, indeed, seem to require, and progress on frequent or daily or 12 hourly doses, while others, usually sensitive nervous highly strung persons, are aggravated by too frequent doses. Hahnemann recognised that the above recommended daily doses might be too frequent in the following passage :- “On any day when the remedy has produced too strong an action, the dose should be omitted for a day.” (P. 155 op cit.).
If I may revert to the above mentioned analogy of the rider and his steed, not all mounts are highly mettled, and in some, the frequent application of the spur may result in the best pace.
High potencies are in some homoeopathic circles spoken of almost with bated breath. I do not know whether this is due to the famous warning by Dr. Kent. “It is well to realise that you are dealing with razors when dealing with high potencies. I would rather be in a room with a dozen negroes slashing with razors than in the hands of an ignorant prescriber of high potencies. They are the means of tremendous harm as well as tremendous good.” (Kents Lectures, p.543).
This warning is calculated to make the beginner steer clear of high potencies for the rest of his life. It is however hardly couched in the cool language of science, and may have been due to an unfortunate experience of the doctor giving a homoeopathic remedy to a moribund patient. When the lamp of life is burning low, the exhibition of homoeopathic remedy, high or low, is probably like a gust of wind.
There is a last flicker, then extinction. At all events, in most quarters, high potencies are usually given at rare intervals. You can however find instances in Homoeopathic books of cases where the c.m. potency has been repeated daily. I have done so myself, on suitable patients, and nothing but good has resulted. Daily repetition in sensitive patients should be avoided as it produces an excited restless state.
Although high potencies are used sparingly, most homoeopaths are more lavish with lower potencies, even in chronic diseases. Common sense would seem to suggest that if the frequent repetition of high potencies is dangerous, then the frequent use of lower potencies is more dangerous since the lower potencies contain many million times the quantity compared with the higher potencies.
As lower potencies can apparently be repeated t.i.d. with impunity, why cant high potencies? I have made such experiments on myself with the c.m. potency over the past few years with so far no untoward results, in fact with benefit. For example, two hard tumours on the right side of my nasal septum, which practically blocked the right nostril, have gradually reduced in size. They had been in existence some 20 years before the homoeopathic treatment.
The rule I have now tentatively adopted in giving high potencies, which I find more curative than low, is to dissolve the pilules in about 80z. of water, and give a tablespoonful as a dose, instructing the patient to wait 10 days or so for reaction; if no reaction to repeat daily until reaction (aggravation or improvement) appears when the doses should be stopped, the dose not to be repeated until improvement comes to an end.
I think it is of some guide to prognosis to learn how long the first reaction lasts. A long lasting improvement is probably much more favourable than a short one. After finding out the length of the first reaction one can repeat more frequently by way of experiment to see if the rate of progress is thereby expedited. One should always try to preserve an open mind, and not be too hide bound by rules, even of ones own making. ” A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”.