Speaking of the value of symptoms Hering said “Characteristics are everything,” a statement not quite as plain as it looks. If we take it to refer to remedy keynotes its field of usefulness is sharply circumscribed, but if it means that every one has a personal way of showing forth distress and that we must see this very clearly before attempting to find its counterpart within some susceptible of such offhand hospital. In the understanding of any symptom picture the mental attitude counts for most, so much so, that an identical array of symptoms with opposite mental states calls for a quite different remedy. A recently superimposed array of symptoms may almost completely hide the underlying constitutional ones and unless removed first make a final cure very unlikely. Here the mistake of prescribing in the reverse order is very hare to correct. However if the proper order is followed the second prescription will be of epochal importance to the patient.
The reactions which follow giving the indicated remedy must be clearly understood if we wish to finally cure. A mild aggravation followed by gradual improvement is most encouraging. Varying from this we have very grade of aggravation up to the most violent with the corresponding danger and uncertainty of result. The manner in which repeated wave like reactions come on and subside again governs the repetition of the dose, which may very from a few minutes to many months, according to requirements. The greatest and commonest mistake in practice is the too frequent giving of the remedy, for the vital force once thrown into disorder requires the most acute discernment, careful handling and endless patience to bring into harmony again. Those who practice in such a manner are not practicing homoeopathy but rather practicing at homoeopathy, which always ends in confusion.
It strongly reminds one of a blacksmith trying to repair watches.
With all this, the fault is not entirely with those who often vainly, endeavors to do correct homoeopathic work. Many are entirely mistaken in their calling, being inherently incapable of inductive and deductive reasoning. Again, in spite of herculean efforts, our indices and repertories cannot be worked with any great degree of facility, which is after all the first mark of efficiency. The most useful things in the world are those easiest op operation: simplicity is the key of usefulness,and until our difficulties in this direction are fully solved, we cannot advance as we should.
In a great variety of conditions it is not feasible to review deeper constitutional states. It may not be the most ideal, yet is certainly the only practical thing to do. I am here tempted to point out a few prescriptions of this nature, that have been evolved by modern homoeopathy. When stools of too large a diameter appear, in the constipation of infants, a dose of Sanicula 50m. cures; such stools are also exceedingly heavy, as if containing lead, at times., Medorrhinum 50m. will stop pernicious vomiting of pregnancy oftener than all of our remedies combined. Impetigo contagiosa is a pretty tedious thing to cure unless you give Arum triphyllum 200 daily for about three doses then less frequently. Ten days suffice to complete the cure.
Before the means of controlling pregnancy became well known the treatment of miscarriage was a rather every day affair. Strong drug treatment had made a failure and while homoeopathy did some better the difference was not great enough to be startling, and the use of the curette became general, but unless done by an expert results were not ideal. For years I have not found it necessary to make over one or at the most two brief calls on these cases. A few doses of Viburnum opulus 12 stops the hemorrhage, eases the pains and causes expulsion of the secundines, leaving no after effects worth mentioning.