Hahnemann, above all others, worked against almost over-whelming odds, obstacles, ignorance, and prejudice. He worked alone on a subject that required not a single person but a hundred. His task was not only gargantuan, but on top of that he was hounded, threatened, persecuted, and driven from place to place. So that any omissions, shortcomings, or things overlooked on his part are most highly excusable.

Before I begin this article, I wish it to be distinctly understood that the article is to be in no way construed as trying to belittle, or detract from the skill and glory of that most illustrious physician the world has ever produced or known, and without whose efforts this article might perhaps never have seen the light of day – Samuel Hahnemann – or any of his illustrious followers. God forbid that I should ever attempt it!.

But, facts are facts, and, if Homoeopathy is to survive and be propagated, must be faced, letting the chips falls where they may. On a truth or fact every man who wishes to see can agree. On a theory or a speculation every man has, and has a right to, how own opinion; his opinion being apt to be as correct as our own. However, it must bee thoroughly understood that homoeopathy is neither a theory nor a speculation. It is a scientific fact, verified and verifiable. When science steps out of the tangible material it can but speculate and conjecture with the invisible and the immaterial, the unknown. Therefore science must make excuses for what it cannot prove, or ask you to accept and believe its deductions on blind faith.

Hahnemann, above all others, worked against almost over-whelming odds, obstacles, ignorance, and prejudice. He worked alone on a subject that required not a single person but a hundred. His task was not only gargantuan, but on top of that he was hounded, threatened, persecuted, and driven from place to place. So that any omissions, shortcomings, or things overlooked on his part are most highly excusable. No other being, living or dead, ever accomplished, single handed, what Hahnemann did. His unequaled greatness and his gigantic prevision have so blinded the rest of us that they have thrown us all into a state of mental panic and paralysis. This is why we have been unable to move forward. Hahnemann was too wise to ever dream that he had left us a perfectly finished homoeopathy.

He fully realized that he had only started the machinery in motion. He fully realized that there would be new that there would be new discoveries to be made, as to what really constituted the symptom totality and why; what really constituted the drug proper and the reason for its action; the reason for its potentization; why the exact potency in a given case is of the utmost importance; to what the relative value of symptoms should be made, etc., and all these things he scientifically explained. The time was when we had the men, the opportunity and the money, but – we lacked the knowledge. Today, we see our error. The men especially, and the money, are lost to us, but are not irretrievably. but what about the knowledge?.

There are some phases of our art that I wish to touch upon, and bring out more thoroughly, that we all may get a better understanding about. They are: The drug, and the value of the symptoms as they relate to the drug and the patient.

Hahnemann and Boenninghausen were two of the greatest medical lights that ever graced the earth, or perhaps ever will. Hahnemanns gigantic prevision and almost inexhaustible energy have never been equaled, and perhaps never will be. Boenninghausens intelligence, keen intellect, acute powers of observation, which were almost superhuman, made him a wonderful teammate to the immortal Hahnemann.

Next in importance to Hahnemanns rediscovery of the “law of similars”, is the discovery of what really constitutes the “symptom totality”, for it is only on this discovery that the law can possibly be applied and explained intelligently. No medical method is either logical or beneficial that ignores this law. Hippocrates and Paracelsus had an inkling of that law, but it remained for Hahnemann to rediscover it and place it on a workable and understandable plane or base.

In turn, Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, Hering, Kent, Lippe, and numerous others had an equally vague idea of what constituted the exact “symptom totality,” but like Hippocrates and Paracelsus, went to their graves without having divulged their secret, a secret of untold value and of supreme importance, if they knew. I do not believe for one moment any one of the men mentioned would have failed to have stated the fact both emphatically and in the most minute detail, had they known of what is consisted, for, again, it is one of the most valuable legs of the homoeopathic tripod that had and has to be positively known to enable us to go ahead and complete the unfolding of homoeopathy.

Logic decrees that, if we are to be consistent, we must fully realize and acknowledge that no remedy can remove a condition or state, in the sick, that it cannot produce similarly in the healthy human body. To deny this is to deny the “law of similars”. To deny “the law of similars” is to deny homoeopathy, to proclaim it to the world as a delusion, false and a fraud, its representatives as imposters. Therefore the entire “symptom totality” is represented by the individual results that that drug alone can produce on the healthy human body. That group is individual to the drug, since no other drug can produce exactly that group and not to the patient.

That group is, and must be, constant in every prover and proving, as it must be present in every disease in which that drug is positively indicated. All our reference to the other symptoms, to pathological, or morphological states is superfluous, if not erroneous. These pathological and morphological states are end results, not causes. No drug ever caused them. All the drug ever does is to set the machinery in motion that causes them, or curatively, to stop that machinery. It has nothing to do directly with those end results. The true primary drug pathogenesis shows neither gross pathological nor morphological states, it merely points to them, it merely shows what the end results would be if the immediate cause was not removed.

Not a single one of our very best prescribers has ever made a single prescription that embodied all and every symptom noted and listed in and from the proving of any single remedy. That, in itself, is sufficient verification of my contention – that the under-lying basis of all prescriptions, and the only principle that can bring about a curative result, is that primary pathogenetic group produced by the direct, primary, pathogenetic action of the drug alone, which is, and must be constant in all the provings of that drug, and which must be present in that disease to which that drug is homoeopathic. Boenninghausen, in his Therapeutic Pocket Book, comes the closest to an explanation of the “symptom totality”, on page 8 of the Preface.

I am frank to admit that I am entirely ignorant as to what our present day Evaluation of Symptoms really means, or to what those evaluations refer. How often do any of us stop to ask ourselves – if any symptom is of such inestimable value in one case, and under one condition, will it be of that same inestimable value in all cases, and under all conditions? I fear not! In my own humble opinion such symptoms are only of inestimable value as they relate to the true primary pathogenetic group of each drug, therefore they must vary in value, numerically or otherwise, in different cases. In other words, they can have no standard fixed value.

As a drug will always arouse the exact set of latent predispositions in all provers, we get, aside from the true primary pathogenetic group, a set of important symptoms that always point in the direction of that drug. But, we must not forget that numerous other drugs act with equal energy on most of those latent predispositions producing symptoms of equal value and importance, and similarity, except those of the true primary pathogenetic group. Therefore, again, such symptoms can have no true fixed numerical evaluation.

That gives the true reason for the failure of repertorial analysis to reveal the true similar remedy. This again shows that the true primary pathogenetic group is constant. It must be or the “law of similars” would not hold. That the rest of t he symptoms are or are not constant matters little. These latter, while appearing important, are but confirmers, not indicators. These, then, are only important from a repertorial point of view in aiding us to find the nearest similimum until such times as we learn all the true primary pathogenetic group of each and every drug.

I have seen so many cures, and so many valuable indications and drugs listed in the repertories in the third grade that I almost doubt the values as there listed. I feel like exclaiming with prof. Dr. J. Hoppe, who said”.

Let us say it – emphatically, loudly and frankly – that the determining symptoms may appear in many respects to be insignificant and unimportant, and let us proclaim it to be a requisite condition, that in proving drugs and in examining the patient, that the insignificant symptoms are not to be neglected, but even to be noted and regarded with especial care.

Why? First, because their insignificance may be only apparent and not real; second, because they may be a part of the drugs true primary pathogenesis, while the apparently more important symptoms may be merely a part of the provers individual reaction due to the drugs rousing his latent predispositions. A sharp line of demarcation must be drawn between those symptoms produced directly by the drug and those produced by rousing the latent predispositions by that drug.

Alfred Pulford
Alfred Pulford, M.D., M.H.S., F.A.C.T.S. 1863-1948 – American Homeopath and author who carried out provings of new remedies. Author of Key to the Homeopathic Materia Medica, Repertoroy of the Symptoms of Rheumatism, Sciatica etc., Homeopathic Materia Medica of Graphic Drug Pictures.