Reproving of some of the remedies is important, and the work should be undertaken with many of the remedies; this is especially so with those remedies which have never been proven in potency, because it is in the proving of the potentized remedy that we obtain the finer shades of the action of the remedy. Of course the provings should always be made upon human individuals, of both sexes and differing ages.


For the very reason that homoeopathy, unlike modern medicine, is based upon a natural law, and we all know, if we know anything at all, that it is impossible to either change or improve a natural law. The more we try to improve homoeopathy the more we cripple its usefulness. As Boenninghausen truthfully said, “Homoeopathy is independent in its nature and any admixture, false attire or gaudy ornaments are but to her detriment.” Homoeopathy can neither be improved nor modernized. All that we can possibly do for homoeopathy is to go on conscientiously proving more remedies, practising it in all its purity, thereby extending its usefulness and influence.

Allopathy, so-called modern medicine, is a jumbled assemblage of fads, fancies and experiments, often dangerous, as the Texas, Sydney (Australia), and Luebeck (Germany), catastrophies attest. As these fads and theories, the products of experience, from which the modern doctor learns little, wear out, new methods and experiments must be constantly thought up or the modern medical show would soon cease to exist. What is thought true, conventional and official in allopathy today will be discarded as obsolete, passe and dangerous 50 years from now, as that of 50 years ago has been, in keeping with past tradition and experience.

But what is true, conventional and official in homoeopathy today is identically the same as that used over 125 years ago, and will be just as true, conventional and official until the end of time, or at least until Nature undergoes a complete change. Its discarding at the present time by the medical profession in general and by the homoeopaths in particular will be looked back upon in years to come as an error brought about through the most pitiful ignorance of us so-called modern medical men.-A. PULFORD. DRUG, POTENCY, ANTIDOTE.

No man, living or dead, from the very beginning of medicine down to the present time, not even Hahnemann himself, had, or has, any real conception of the true significance, composition and action of our so-called drugs. We, and they, have all lived to handle and use them in the densest of darkness and ignorance. The conceited brightest and most intelligent minds of all ages studied them scientifically and intelligently, weighed them out and apportioned them with the greatest skill and care in the drugs materialistic form, believing implicitly that what they held visibly in their hands was the very power itself, never realizing that all they saw or could see was but the physical container of the real power. They have been and are working with, and applied and do now apply, a supposed substance of which they had, and have, no conception whatever.

No logical reason could be given why so-called drugs acted. Doses were scientifically and intelligently (?) graded and gauged according to age, but no attention whatever was paid to existing conditions, and it was that a strong constitutional child was in better condition to cope with, react against and throw out a large dose of drug than a weak, worn-out adult whose resistive powers were away below par. There was no conception, and there is not now, of why an animal should be immune to a drug that might prove fatal to a human, or vice versa. Drugs are doled out today without rhyme or reason and just as ignorantly as in the very beginning of the medical era. Homoeopathy alone has shed the only ray of light, that has ever been produced, to enter the medical brain.

No doctor living today, outside the homoeopathic ranks, can give the positive indications that should indicate his time aged calomel or corrosive sublimate in any given disease. The modern doctors patients are “scientifically” dosed with drugs of which he absolutely knows nothing; drugs that are not indicated and, if indicated, are not accurate. All that seems necessary from the allopaths point of view is that they shall be below the lethal mark. From the average homoeopaths point of view, drugs shall merely fall short of an aggravation. They forget that it takes more power to produce symptoms than to remove them.

If we accurately knew just how much of the drug power it took to accurately fall short, in all cases, of an aggravation, or a lethal dose, then we should know, and there should be no excuse for not knowing the exact potency in each and every case. The time is fast approaching when those who heretofore have hidden their ignorance behind a self constructed adamantine wall of obstinate prejudice will be smoked out and no longer be able to cover up that ignorance. Those who sneered, and those who do not sneer, at Hahnemanns small doses have only deceived themselves and their ignorant dupes and followers.

To the intelligent, these men merely display their own ignorance and it is pitiful to have to note that such doctors are too ignorant to realize it. Hahnemann, whether consciously or unconsciously, has confirmed, through potentization, a statement of ours made over 40 years ago, that there is no such thing as inorganic chemistry. Life is force, through force we get attraction and repulsion. All things change, die and disintegrate. All visible things or objects contain life-force or power which can be liberated at will. The stronger the power to be confined, the more dense its container, as witness flint, inert in its crude state but deeply active and destructive when its power is liberated.


Potency means power; potentization, merely a regulation of the amount of that power. Every drug contains a fixed amount of power that can never be changed and no matter what the so-called potency of that fixed power the ultimate result, both pathogenetic and curative, will be exactly the same. If it were humanly possible to either accurately and finally combine two powers, or to change the one, each would produce an entirely different final result. Take Hepar sulph. as an example, a substance as thoroughly fused as it is possible for us to be able to fuse any two objects. If that fusion was complete and the powers changed, just why should Hepar show at various points symptoms unmistakable of either or both of its component parts? The reason, we feel, that there is such a diversion of opinion among homoeopaths regarding potency, potentization and antidote is because of a misconception of what is truly meant by the term drug.

The prevailing idea is that when the drugs physical container disappears from view the encased real drug power escapes with it. Drug power is energy. Who has ever seen energy? Who is capable of weighing and ocularly demonstrating energy, to the physical eye, who is able to show just when that energy disappears or is about to cease to act? As Dr. Dayton Pulford aptly put it, “We see its results and the physical basis to which it is attached or bound. Electrical energy may be bound to any number of conductors, yet it is never seen. Both are only known by their effects. In the so-called potentization of the drug the energy is transferred by the process to the graduating menstrum, as the result of a single dose of a high potency of the similar remedy will amply demonstrate to any unprejudiced observer”.

That, alone, on which the remedy is to act can furnish us with the answer as to whether or not the power in the potency is still present. The application of the remedy may be likened to the shutting off of the rays of a powerful searchlight by the aid of a shade, the closer you go to the origin of the rays the smaller will be the size of the shade required. Each disease, like each drug, represents a fixed, unchangeable power, and must be met with an equal and unchangeable power, otherwise the ultimate result will be disappointing, or at least only partially satisfactory and complete. As true artists, we must match these two forces accurately, as the artist-painter must unerringly match his colors.

Ignoring our art, or pursuing it in a loose manner, leads us into all kinds of pitfalls, causes all our failures and untimely deaths. As Kent truly said, which I have stoutly maintained ever since I got my first insight into true Hahnemannianism, “The symptoms may lead us to the remedy or drug, but the exact potency leads us to the similimum” (not the Latin Similimum, or most similar remedy). The potency must fit the case if a radical cure, which should be the only goal of all true physicians, is expected Medicine has never been practised either as an art or a science but rather as a medico-physical endurance test on the patient with no thought of cure in mind. Medicine needs, and that badly and urgently, intelligent study and investigation and intelligent application.


The commonly accepted idea of an antidote is that it is something to change the character of the agent to be antidoted. This common concept of the operation is, we think, entirely wrong. Again, each drug represents a fixed power that can under no circumstance be changed. But two operations can take place in this antidoting. First, if the two opposing forces are equal in power, they bring each other to a standstill; second, the opposing or antidotal drug may so change the bodily secretions as to render them incapable of acting on the drugs physical container thus rendering its power inescapable and thus the drug passes out of the body an inert mass.

As witness: It has been reported that “rabbits fan thrive infields of Belladonna; pigeons take 12 grains, of Morphia, dogs 37 grains, and hedgehogs as much as a Chinaman can smoke in a fortnight, and wash it down with as much Prussic acid as would kill a regiment of soldiers. Elephants eat Aconite with immunity”. Then, the toxic and fatal power of the drug lies not in the quantity or potentiality of the contained power of the drug, but in the power of the bodily secretions to act on the drugs physical container thus freeing that power. Thus, then, the proper way of even crude drug antidoting is to so change, protect or render the normal

secretions incapable of acting upon the physical container of the confined drug power that the substance may pass out of the body as inert matter.

The so-called homoeopathic antidoting is an entirely different proposition. It does not neutralize anything, for there is nothing there tangible to be neutralized or opposed. The so- called antidote merely sets up and effect of its won to neutralize, not the preceding remedy, but the result of that remedys action. Should homoeopathy ever be lost to the world future generations will look back on that catastrophe as the result of the most pitiable and dense ignorance of the physicians of these modern times.


At almost every convention and gathering of homoeopathic physicians held in the last few years there have been those in the gathering who have voiced the opinion that our remedies should be reproven in the light of modern methods of precision.

Hahnemann and his immediate followers established the process of proving remedies, and the work was carried on very enthusiastically until about the beginning of this country, when, due to the influence of some of the ultra-materialists in medicine, provings were more or less discontinued. The late Timothy Field Allen was probably the greatest individual prover of remedies in the latter part of the last century. He kept a coterie of people for the sole purpose of proving remedies. Within the last few years there have been some noteworthy provings made, Radium, Kali phos., and several minor remedies. There is a very great need for carrying on this work today.

The American Foundation for Homoeopathy and the International Hahnemannian Association are both at work proving remedies. It is to be hoped that sufficiently large endowments to carry on this work more extensively can be obtained, so that we may add to our materia medica positive knowledge of the action of drugs in potentized form. This work needs endowment, for it is expensive work to go into the details that may be registered by the modern instruments of precision.

However, it will always remain true that the best provings will be those which bring out symptoms that are impossible of measurement by instrument of precision, being associated with and an integral part of the subjective symptoms.

The reproving of Belladonna by the O. O. & L. Society a few years ago produced no new symptoms that Hahnemann had not recorded, in spite of the fact that the later proving was registered by the modern instruments of precision that the modern laboratory affords; and many of the finer subjective symptoms were entirely lost sight of. This was partly due to the fact that the recorders of these provings were so intensely interested in the mechanism of the laboratory that they somewhat overlooked the subjective symptoms.

The blood pressure, the registration of the clinical thermometer, the blood count, the chemical urinary analysis, blood chemistry; and sometimes the fecal examination, have their place in these provings; but the subjective symptoms must be carefully noted and their interpretations made very clear, because it is upon these subjective symptoms that we make our clinical applications. Moreover, it is important in recording these symptoms that it be in the language of the common people, for it has a meaning all its own, and it is universally understood; while if the technical nomenclature is used to record symptoms, there is very apt to be a loss of the finer differentiations.

Reproving of some of the remedies is important, and the work should be undertaken with many of the remedies; this is especially so with those remedies which have never been proven in potency, because it is in the proving of the potentized remedy that we obtain the finer shades of the action of the remedy. Of course the provings should always be made upon human individuals, of both sexes and differing ages.

The materia medica we have is a very workable instrument for those who have been trained to use and understand it. It has been noted that most of those who cry for reprovings of the old remedies are the surgeons and the specialists, particularly the surgeons, because of their realization that the technique of surgery has been completely revolutionized, and the changes are still going on and it always must be so; but the materia medica is made up of remedies that when once thoroughly proven by a goodly number of provers, is a work for all time.

Another cry we often hear is for the proving of synthetic preparations. When we consider that we have a pure materia medica, complied records of the action of Natures combinations developed in Natures laboratory, it seems a mistake and utterly unnecessary that we waste our time in proving alkaloids and synthetic products. The fresh plant preparations, which contain Natures own combinations, grown and designed for the healing of the nations, are much more apt to meet the needs of sick man than the chemical products, the by-products of man-made industries.

So then let us prove more remedies. Many of the new remedies, especially those the Orient, will, when proven, develop into major remedies; and if by reproving some of the old remedies in potency we can bring to light unlooked-for values, so much the better. Let us be slow to discard the old and tired, and alert to detect the value of provings of the new remedies. We will thus add to the volume of the sum total of knowledge of our materia medica, and with the addition of the present methods of the use of the repertories, and a through study of the knowledge we have accumulated, we will have attained greater efficiency in the practice of the art of healing.-H.A. ROBERTS.

Allan D. Sutherland
Dr. Sutherland graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia and was editor of the Homeopathic Recorder and the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy.
Allan D. Sutherland was born in Northfield, Vermont in 1897, delivered by the local homeopathic physician. The son of a Canadian Episcopalian minister, his father had arrived there to lead the local parish five years earlier and met his mother, who was the daughter of the president of the University of Norwich. Four years after Allan’s birth, ministerial work lead the family first to North Carolina and then to Connecticut a few years afterward.
Starting in 1920, Sutherland began his premedical studies and a year later, he began his medical education at Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia.
Sutherland graduated in 1925 and went on to intern at both Children’s Homeopathic Hospital and St. Luke’s Homeopathic Hospital. He then was appointed the chief resident at Children’s. With the conclusion of his residency and 2 years of clinical experience under his belt, Sutherland opened his own practice in Philadelphia while retaining a position at Children’s in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.
In 1928, Sutherland decided to set up practice in Brattleboro.