Homoeopathy as practised by the best prescribers employs the single remedy in the single dose and usually in the centesimal scale of potency range. This combination is unique. The majority of physicians who represent themselves as homoeopathists would scarcely qualify on all three counts and yet the most consistently brilliant results are achieved by those who prescribe in this way.
The use of the single drug is in itself an incentive to accurate prescribing. Those who alternate remedies and give complex mixtures tend naturally to become careless and indifferent, for it is almost impossible to see or know what one is doing. If the Similimum should happen to be included in the prescription the physician will never actually know which medicine it was that turned the trick and so he sinks into deeper apathy and more profound lethargy. Such a physician needs a real Hahnemannian to prescribe for him and buck him up.
It is important to stress the fact that there can be but one remedy wholly and completely indicated. A different remedy picture may have been present a year ago or even yesterday and the similimum of today may not be that of tomorrow.
The majority of chronic conditions hold the same remedy indications much longer than do acute cases, and patients are occasionally seen who need the same medicine they should have had in early childhood, no matter how many years may have passed. This is often true of Calcarea and other carbonates and also of remedies like Natrum mur. and Silica. There is a vast difference in the action of a partially similar remedy from that of the exactly similar one. Nothing can be more obvious and satisfying to both physician and patient than the results of accurate prescribing.
Undoubtedly many so called homoeopathic prescriptions are only relatively similar to the symptom ensemble of the patient and the further we get away from the exact remedy the more indifferent and unsatisfactory must our therapeutic results be.
There is more than one natural law to be observed and compiled with in success homoeopathic practice. The law of similars is familiar to all and for our present purpose requires no discussion. Employment of the single dose has occasioned considerable ridicule and has sometimes been regarded with unreasonable skepticism. Nevertheless the single dose is as much in harmony with the law of cycles as the single remedy is with the law of similars.
A single dose of the homoeopathic remedy in suitable potency initiates a cycle of corrective or remedial action. If the disorder is confined to a merely functional disturbance no further medication may be required to complete the case. With our present knowledge it is exceedingly difficult to forecast the length of action of any remedy. The curative cycle is generally longer and more satisfactory with potencies above the 30th centesimal, but aside from the potency more depends upon the condition of the patient than upon any inherent peculiarity of the drug.
If more than two or three doses of medicine in moderately high potency are required to complete the cure of an acute illness the probabilities are that an incorrect remedy was prescribed. The only other explanation would be very poor case management, especially as regards over feeding.
In chronic work the length of the curative cycle depends upon the nature and extent of the pathology, the vitality of the patient and upon the degree to which all obstacles to recovery have been successfully removed. Structural changes and perpetuating factors of disease causation offer resistance to remedial action and may either shorten or divert the cycle.
The word cycle implies progression, whereas a circle brings one back to the original point of departure. If nature operated in circles instead of cycles evolution would be impossible and life would be devoid of all purpose and direction, a weary treadmill in every sense of the term. A cycle is like a spiral, it has direction, it gets somewhere. Although history repeats itself it never does so exactly or completely, there is always a difference and in that difference there resides an infinitude of possibilities.
In the absence of persisting disease causation when a curative cycle has run its course it should leave the patient, if not entirely well, at least on higher ground than that on which he began treatment. His case should be at least somewhat advanced toward recovery.
To repeat the remedy during the rise or culmination of the curative cycle is apt to weaken rather than strengthen the cycle. Sometimes it appears to cut or cancel it. At least there is often more or less interference just as there is on the radio when two equally powerful stations attempt to broadcast on the same frequency or wave length.