A great many users of homoeopathic drugs, probably 80 percent of such users, hunt for symptoms of the ailment, for the relief of which the patient applies to the physician, and make these symptoms the sole basis for a prescription. Since this is true, it seems wise to emphasize over and over the basic principles of homoeopathy at the risk of boring the other 20 percent who are to be found in the ranks of our I.H.A. members. It becomes the duty of these members to teach the 80 percent and papers contributed to I.H.A. bureaus can constitute the ground work of instruction to be distributed wherever it will accomplish a better understanding of homoeopathy. (The early volumes of Transactions of the I.H.A. contain quantities of invaluable instruction.).
Homoeopathy prescribes for people and not for ailments as such. Homoeopathy prescriptions, to be successful, must suit the individual characteristics of the patient; therefore, the location of the chief ailment and the symptoms connected with it become of secondary importance to general conditions.
Now, to consider the menopause, this is a perfectly natural period in a womans life which should produce no disturbances. Why, then, do we have the time of puberty, the whole period of menstruation, the duration of pregnancy, child-birth, lactation and especially the menopause full of trouble in the lives of a majority of women? Because nearly all the people in this world have some form of chronic disorder.
Therefore, to prescribe successfully for symptoms connected directly with the menopause, thorough investigation must be made of the condition of the patient during all her life and her inherited tendencies as well. Such work necessitates the broadest possible view of the subject.
For instance, one would not at first connect malaria in early life with anaemia at the menopause; or the tendency to frequent colds in childhood and adolescence with prolonged leucorrhoea after the menopause; or the suppression of an eruption in infancy with fibroids in the uterus at the menopause; or a sycotic taint with uterine polypus at the menopause, or severe flooding at that time.
Most physicians give liver and iron and even blood transfusions for the anaemia; medicated douches for the leucorrhoea; use surgery for the fibroids and polypi; and, if flooding continues a long time, remove the uterus in order to stop the haemorrhage. The end of such futile and suppressive treatment is invalidism, because the order of cure has been violated; and how very many women become invalided at the menopause, rendered incurable by the treatment they receive! If the principles governing homoeopathic treatment and cure were universally acknowledged and followed, an untold amount of harm could be prevented. The disorders of early life could generally be cured and then the menopause would create little disturbance.
The look at it from the materia medica viewpoint, many homoeopathic prescribers use remedies with clear-cut indications in the female genital sphere, such remedies as Bellis, Bovista, Caulophyllum, Chamomilla, China, Cimicifuga, Clematis, Cyclamen, Ferrum, Hamamelis, Hydrastis, Ipecac, Iris, Lilium tig., Melilotus, Millefolium, Pulsatilla, Sabina, Trillium, Veratrum album.
With three exceptions, these remedies are one-sided, possessing only a few symptoms, mostly genital, or they are only partially proved. To use them for clear-cut indications in the female genital organs is to suppress disorder where it is having its natural outlet and throw its expression into more internal parts, probably the central nervous system.
Because symptom of the genital sphere lie close to the woman herself, especially her nervous reactions, it is easy to do two things, a wrong one and a right one. It is easy to throw the emphasis of the disorder on the central nervous system and so make the condition immeasurably worse; also it is easy to read the symptoms of the patient herself through the nervous reactions of troubles at the menopause and so find the truly curative remedy more easily at that time than under many other circumstances.