HOMOEOPATHY THE SCIENTIFIC SYSTEM OF MEDICAL TREATMENT


The Creator of therapeutic agents has also had particular regard to this main feature of all diseases, the altered state of the disposition and mind, for there is no powerful medicinal substance in the world which does not very notably alter the state of the disposition and mind in the healthy individual who tests it, and every medicine does so in a different manner.


Science, as defined by Webster, is:.

1. Knowledge; knowledge of principles or facts. 2. Specifically, accumulated and accepted knowledge which has been systematized and formulated with reference to the discovery of general truths or the operation of general laws; knowledge classified and made available in work, life, or the search for truth.

“Scientific”, as used in our title, is defined as “agreeing with or depending on, the rules or principles of science”.

We wish, then, to establish the fact that homoeopathy as a system of medicine agrees with rules or principles which have been discovered through the careful classification of our knowledge regarding drugs.

The aim of medical treatment is two-fold: first, to bring the sick patient back to health, and second, to preserve the health of those who are well. Hahnemann expresses it thus in Paragraphs 1 and 4 of the Organon: 1. The physicians high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed.

Paragraph 4 sets forth most clearly what a physician needs to know. I quote in part:.

If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in disease, that is to say, in every individual case of disease, if he clearly perceives what is curative in medicine, that is to say, in each individual medicine, and if he knows how to adapt, according to clearly defined principles, what is curative in medicines to what he has discovered to be undoubtedly morbid in the patient, so that recovery must ensue – then he understands how to treat judiciously and rationally.

What are the “Clearly defined principles”, in accordance with which the curative medicines are to be adapted to the patient?.

First, Hahnemann discovered that drugs or poisons, mineral, vegetable or animal, given to well people in moderate doses produced symptoms practically the same in every case. That is, starting with the normal, equal doses of the medicine produced in all cases practically the same variations from the normal.

It is absolutely necessary to start with the normal state of health, otherwise it could not be proved how much the action of the drug was affected by the abnormal condition of the system.

Paragraph 107: If medicines be given to sick persons, only, even though they be administered single and alone, then little or nothing precise is seen of their true effects, as those peculiar alterations of health to be expected from the medicine are mixed up with the symptoms of the disease and can seldom be distinctly observed.

Also it is necessary to find what symptoms each drug is capable of producing in well people in order to know the real nature of the drug. As Hahnemann says:.

Paragraph 22: medicines can show nothing curative besides their tendency to produce morbid symptoms in healthy persons and to remove them in diseased persons.

And in Paragraph 110:.

“the only possible way to ascertain their medical powers is to observe those changes of health which medicines are capable of producing in the healthy organism.

Second, the medicines must be tested in people, not on animals, since (a), drugs do not always affect animals as they do human beings and (b), animals cannot describe or record their abnormal sensations.

Third, medicines must be tested singly – not in combination. If two medicines were taken at the same time, it would be impossible to tell how the action of one was influenced by that of the other. We should obtain a clear symptom-picture of neither. The same principle applies to the administration of medicines to the sick. Only one medicine can really be indicated by the symptoms of a certain case, and to give two at a time will cause confusion and complicate the condition.

Paragraph 124: For these experiments every medicinal substance must be employed quite alone and perfectly pure, without the admixture of any foreign substance, and without taking anything else of a medicinal nature the same day, nor yet on subsequent days, nor during all the time we wish to observe the effects of the medicine.

Paragraph 125: During all the time the experiment lasts the diet must be strictly regulated; it should be as much as possible destitute of spices, of a purely nutritious and simple character, green vegetables, roots and all salads and herb soups (which, even when most carefully prepared, possess some disturbing medicinal qualities) should be avoided. The drinks are to be those usually partaken of, as little stimulating as possible.

Fourth, medicines must be tested on many different people and on both sexes.

Paragraphs 127: The medicines must be tested on both males and females, in order also to reveal the alterations of the health they produce in the sexual sphere.

Paragraph 135: The whole of the elements of disease a medicine is capable of producing can only be brought to anything like completeness by numerous observations on suitable persons of both sexes and of various constitutions. We can only be assured that a medicine has been thoroughly proved in regard to its pure powers of altering the health of man – when subsequent experimenters can notice little of a novel character from its action and almost always only the same symptoms as had been already observed by others.

Fifth, medicines must be tested in order to find not only single symptoms but associated groups of symptoms, prominent symptoms that are accompanied by others less noticeable or modified by certain conditions. For instance, ten medicines may produce nausea, but with one the nausea may be accompanied by headache; with other, by cold sweat and faintness. One may be better for cold air, another better for applied heat.

In Paragraph 133, Hahnemann gives these directions for discovering the action of the medicine which is being tested:.

On experiencing any particular sensation from the medicine, it is useful, indeed necessary, in order to determine the exact nature of the symptom, to assume various positions while it lasts, and to be observe whether, by moving the part affected, but walking in the room or the open air, by standing, sitting or lying the symptom is increased, diminished or removed, and whether it returns on again assuming the position in which it was first observed – whether it is altered by eating or drinking, or by any other condition, or by speaking, coughing, sneezing or any other action of the body, and at the same time to note at what time of the day or night it usually occurs in the most marked manner, whereby what is peculiar to and characteristic of each symptom will become apparent.

The sixth principle – which is really the first and greatest discovered by Hahnemann – is this: That medicines which produce symptoms and groups of symptoms in well people are capable of curing those same symptoms in sick people. Paragraph 109 reads thus:.

I was the first that opened up this path, which I have pursued with a perseverance that could only arise and be kept up by a perfect conviction of the great truth, fraught with such blessings to humanity, that it is only by the homoeopathic employment of medicines that the certain cure of human maladies is possible.

This principle is the foundation of the homoeopathic system of medicine and was expressed by Hahnemann in the well-known phrase, similia similibus curantur.

Lastly, in order that the medicine be truly homoeopathic, it must be adapted to the individual patient, not to the name of the disease from which he is suffering.

It is necessary that the physician diagnose the disease – it is still more necessary, if he is to cure the patient, that he diagnose the remedy correctly. Two patients may have the same disease but the sufferings of one are relieved by absolute rest, of the other by motion and frequent change of position. One patient may crave heat, the other needs a cool atmosphere.

Frequently, the mental symptoms are those which help most to decide between two or more remedies. In Paragraphs 210, 211 and 212, Hahnemann takes up this point especially.

In all so-called corporeal diseases the conditions of the disposition and mind is always altered; and in all cases of disease which we are called on to cure, the state of the patients disposition is to be particularly noted, along with the totality of the symptoms, if we would trace an accurate picture of the disease, in order to be able therefrom to treat it homoeopathically with success.

This holds good to such an extent, that the state of the disposition of the patient often chiefly determines the selection of the homoeopathic remedy, as being a decidedly characteristic symptom which can least of all remain concealed form the accurately observing physician.

The Creator of therapeutic agents has also had particular regard to this main feature of all diseases, the altered state of the disposition and mind, for there is no powerful medicinal substance in the world which does not very notably alter the state of the disposition and mind in the healthy individual who tests it, and every medicine does so in a different manner.

To sum up our testimony, we hold that homoeopathy is the scientific system of medicine because it follows the general Law – discovered more than a hundred years ago and proved true many thousands times each day – that medicines which produce certain symptoms in well people will cure those symptoms in sick people.

Furthermore, these medicines used must be tested according to scientific principles: they must produce practically the same symptoms in all provers; they must be tested singly, on well human beings, on both sexes; and when administered, they must be fitted to the individual case.

NORTHAMPTON, MASS.

DISCUSSION.

DR. A. PULFORD: Dr. Stevens has selected a real title. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that while we all seem to know that homoeopathy is truly scientific, we seem to be at loggerheads as to just what nature.

The fact of the matter is that homoeopathy is founded on natural law. The provings are brought about by that same natural law. The sequence is that each remedy has a very limited pathogenesis, direct, and it is that direct pathogenesis that gives us the benefit of realizing and knowing that Homoeopathy is scientific.

How many cases would you cure with Aconite whose onset was slow, who was quiet, didnt want to be disturbed? None. Your direct pathogenesis fixed, and that pathogenesis would indicate Aconite in any disease that is curable where Aconite is indicated.

DR. GRIMMER: There is nothing to criticize in this paper. We all agree with it; and the object is to encourage us to go on with the work after those general lines of procedure.

DR. GRIMMER: There is nothing to criticize in this paper. We all agree with it; and the object is to encourage us to go on with the work after those general lines of procedure.

It is satisfying for us to know that we are working along the lines of natural law, along the lines of eternal truth, because we know then we cant go wrong. There are so many confirmations from the myriads of prescribers that have gone before and that are with us that it seems almost unnecessary to make the statement any more. Nevertheless, we are all happy at every confirmation, no matter how many cures we make. According to this fixed law, we still get the same thrill and kick out of everyone that comes when we make a good bulls eye prescription.

DR. FARRINGTON: The remarks from Dr. Pulford bring to mind the question which I think is important, and especially to the beginner, or the student in college.

What is in my mind is aptly illustrated by Aconite. Dr. Pulford rightly says that Aconite is especially indicated when there is anxiety and restlessness, but Aconite is also useful in chronic cases where apparently there is no particular restlessness and perhaps little fear or anxiety. We have to take this into consideration in prescribing. The lecturer or the teacher gives his student a full, well developed picture of the drug, and he has to include all of these things. He has to say that Aconite comes on like a storm, that Belladonna starts suddenly and all its symptoms are sudden and that its action is rapid.

Nevertheless, we may find cases where there is little of this, and only a few particular symptoms which lead us to the remedy. We all know that Aconite would cure an unnameable fear, perhaps in pregnant women. Sometimes the fear takes the form of crossing the street, although there wouldnt be a vehicle within half a block. Of course, in that there is the element of Aconite, because of the fear.

I have seen Belladonna in many cases act wonderfully when there was no fear, and not the bounding pulse and the intense throbbing that we usually associate with that drug.

Not long ago I had a case of a woman of fifty-two who suffered a stroke of apoplexy and the right side was affected. Several remedies helped her, but finally they developed a group of symptoms like this: she had a headache that was throbbing and she had pains in the affected side. She had a slight temperature; it ran up to about 100. Almost all of these symptoms were along toward three oclock in the afternoon. There is nothing very distinctive in that, but I gave her Belladonna and it had a very unusual effect in clearing up her symptoms and helping her in a general way, and she has been improving ever since.

The deciding feature was that she had to keep the room dark and was sensitive to noise; light and noise aggravated the headache.

I just mention this to show that we must not overlook the fact that a typical case such as is given in our lectures and such as we see in our textbooks is not always found, and the symptoms there put down are not always found in the patient.

DR. A. PULFORD: I think Dr. Kent expressed the whole thing under Digitalis when he said, “I dont care how rapid the pulse is now, what was it in the beginning?” It is in the beginning where you have to start from, not in the middle.

DR. MILLER: We all need to know more about the scientific aspect of homoeopathy. However, I arose mainly to ask a question with reference to patients that I sometimes get, chronic cases, for instance, who are users of tobacco and coffee. In the case of the users of coffee, I get hold of the canister, as all of you probably do, and with those who are constant users of tobacco, especially those who chew or those who smoke constantly, I have some difficulty in limiting them or getting them to agree to refrain from tobacco.

I sometimes think my results are not as satisfactory as they would be if I could lead them to abstain from some of these habits that they have. In some cases I succeed in getting them to give up tobacco or coffee or some food that has been suggestive. In other cases I do not get them to agree to that. What course should I pursue to get them to follow instructions?.

DR. STEVENS: In the first place, I can claim nothing for the paper, it was simply giving our foundation as we have it in the Organon and that which we must hold.

Dr. Pulfords suggestion regarding the pathogenesis is tremendously good, but we very often find that we cant get the absolute, the most marked symptoms for any remedy; we have to make a very careful study before we can individualize the case.

As regards Dr. Millers question about coffee and tobacco, it is a very serious thing. Often I feel that both tobacco and coffee interfere with the remedy as we want to prescribe it, but sometimes we have to do just the best we can, and I think that the potentized remedy not infrequently can override and crude drug, whatever it is. Sometimes even a patient will be under somebody elses care and it having digitalis in crude form; and a potentized remedy will help tremendously, I believe, even though the patient is having tobacco or coffee.

Grace Stevens