Homoeopathy is based only upon experience: it wants to be judged by results. If you wish to obtain the same success imitate me frankly and loyally.–HAHNEMANN.
Before developing the subjects of Hahnemannian proving, one of the most solid bases upon which homoeopathic therapeutics rests, I will begin by pointing out what we shall understand as a remedy.
Since time immemorial many opinions have been emitted on this matter, but until today not all of the authors have thought in the same way. At the present time Manquat says:.
A remedy is any substance used to cure, to help the cure, to relieve or contribute to the repair of the sick organism. (Therapeutics Treated, Vol. 1, page 7, 1918.).
Remedies are substances which on being introduced into the organism develop certain energies according to their composition and state. (Cahis and Balmanya, Scientific Concept of Homoeopathy.).
Every remedys quality is that of producing within the protoplasm only transitory and not destructive changes with the therapeutic dose. But if these modifications are profound within the cellular elements and disturb their vitality by physical or chemical action, it is not then a remedy, it is a poison.
(Arnozan, Handbook of Therapeutics, Testut Collection, Vol. I, page 10. 1925.).
Mayoral Pardo in his Therapeutics and Pharmacodynamics says:.
A remedy is any substance which may produce neither destructive nor irreparable transitory changes in the protoplasm. (Only volume, page 10. 1940.).
And in this fashion we could continue quoting from various authors which would not bring us to any conclusion, on the other hand we are of the opinion of the founder of homoeopathy who wisely says:.
A remedy is any substance which has the property of sickening a healthy man and of curing a sick man: a remedy is distinguished from the morbid causes in that these sicken but do not cure. (Dr. Higinio G. Perez, General Pathology, page 240. 1914.).
And Dr. Leon Simon in his Lectures on Materia Medica sustained in Paris, 1894, completes this criterion as follows:.
Every remedy must fulfil three conditions:.
1. That of sickening the healthy man.
2. That of having the power of restoring the sick man to health and.
3. That of having the property of producing these double effects even when given in small doses.
The provings in the healthy man preconized by the founder of homoeopathy has been outlined by Heraclitus of Tares, from the most ancient of times, five hundred years before the Christian era, who carried it out with the intention of opposing the action of poisons.
In 1549 one of the most remarkable doctors of the Renaissance, Peter Andrew Mattoli, physician to Ferdinand I, on proving Aconitum napellus on himself, left us a brief but unfinished description of the case. Conrad Gesner, a Swiss naturalist (1516-1555) proved Eupatorium aquaticum. Daniel Sennert (1572-1637), a German philosopher and a conspicuous physician of his epoch, along with his contemporaries Baglivio, Sydenham and Hoffmann mentioned the necessity of knowing the action of remedies upon a healthy man without having carried out any real proving.
Stoerck (1731-1803) from Swabia, called the “emetics champion,” was the first in this epoch to carry out studies on toxicology and experimental pharmacology with Indian hemp, stramonium, henbane, colchicum, aconitum, conium maculatum and pulsatilla. Kratochwill makes observations about colchicum and Krapf makes known the action of ranunculus with which only obtained vesicular eruption on the skin.
The founder of homoeopathy tells us that Albert von Haller (1708-1777). an eminent Swiss physician from Bern, was the only one who pointed out the necessity of knowing the action of simple remedies upon a healthy man, in fact, in his book entitled Helvetic Pharmacopoeia, von Haller affirms:.
A remedy must be proven first upon a healthy man introducing into his organism a little dose of it without any extraneous mixture: one takes note of all affections produced by it, pulse, warmth, breathing, excretions and afterwards using as a guide the phenomena observed in a healthy man, the remedy will be proven upon a sick man.
Notwithstanding that he never did realize a proving in the real sense of the word.
Vicat (1776), in his History of Switzerlands Poisonous Plants, carried out important studies with hyoscyamus and ranunculus sceleratus. The experimental studies upon opium of John Leigh from Edinburgh (1785) with which he obtained the Harvey Prize, are indeed worthy of mention.
Finally, Adolphus Murray, a Swedish physician, published in Upsala (1793) his dissertations upon the advantages of knowing the drugs action on a healthy man and on animals, but without making any real experimental study.
Samuel Christian Frederic Hahnemann, graduated as a doctor in medicine, in August 10, 1779, in Erlanger University, baili- wick of Middle Franconia, Germany, was a very clever man, a polyglot with an encyclopedical cultivation of his mind and a deep knowledge of chemistry, physics, botany, mineralogy, anatomy, physiology, etc., compiled wisely the experience obtained by the physicians of the tradition, coming to the conclusion that the diverse medical doctrines stated up to his epoch and the routinary practices in the clinics were only a jumble which did not aid the physician in the least to recognize the true action of the medical agents which were prescribed only empirically and ab usu in morbis, bringing about an absolute ignorance of their pharmacodynamics and therefore their erroneous application in therapeutics.
In 1796, in Hufelands Journal, there was published a work by Samuel Christian Frederic Hahnemann, entitled An Essay upon a New Principle for Discovering the Curative Power of Drugs, in which he pointed out the principles for carrying out the provings of the remedies, inspired in his own works from 1790, when he translated into German the article Cinchona Officinalis (Bark of Peru, Quina officinalis) from the Materia Medica of Cullen, a physician of the Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities and one of the medical glories of the XVIIIth. century.
Hahnemann, before the work of reference was made public, as I said, in Hufelands Journal, published in 1789 many other studies upon chemistry and pharmacy, among which are found: Instruction for Surgeons and a New Mercurial Preparation, Signs of Purity and Alteration of Drugs, a very important work On Arsenical Poisoning, its Treatment and Judicial Detection, Concerning Bile and Gall-Stones, Discovery of a New Constituent in Plumbago, Insolubility of some Metals and Their Oxides, in Caustic Ammonia, etc., etc.
All these investigations and his actuation as a physician in the Municipal Hospital at Dresden, gave the founder of homoeopathy an opportunity to cement his scientific relations with the prominent French chemist Lavoisier, meriting at the same time a brilliant opinion from the great Swedish chemist Berzelius (1779-1848) one of the founders of biological chemistry to whom is owed the nomenclature and classification of chemical compounds, the symbols of the elements, the first chemical formulas, etc., and who said: “Hahnemann, is a very distinguished chemist and a thoroughly painstaking investigator with a deep knowledge of the subject”.
In 1803, Hahnemann published his investigations On The Effects of Coffee and in 1805, he published his Fragmenta de Viribus Medicamentorum Positivis, a work in which he states the results of some remedy provings upon himself and upon his followers as well as several toxicological facts.
In 1806 he published his essay on The Medicine of Experience and in 1810, after twenty years of painstaking investigations culminated his immortal work with the publication of the Organon of Rational Healing, a work which will live everlastingly through the ages like a lighthouse which lights and guides the physician along the infinite paths of the true science of the Art of Healing.
Hahnemann, among the many works that he published in that epoch (1796-1805) and in Hufelands Journal itself, after making a strict criticism upon the knowledge of Materia Medica given out then, says emphatically.
THERE IS NO OTHER RECOURSE LEFT US THAN THAT OF PROVING THE REMEDIES UPON A HEALTHY MAN, IF IT IS NECESSARY IN OWN BODIES. The necessity of this method has been felt at all times but in spite of that has been nearly always followed in the wrong way, because the remedies have only been employed empirically and whimsically.
Later on, in his Organon of Medicine, paragraph 105, page 112 (Dudgeon, 6th. edition from the 5th German. Boericke and Tafel, 1916), textually states:.
THE SECOND POINT OF THE BUSINESS OF A TRUE PHYSICIAN RELATES TO ACQUIRING A KNOWLEDGE OF THE INSTRUMENTS INTENDED FOR THE CURE OF THE NATURAL DISEASES. INVESTIGATION THE PATHOGENETIC POWER OF THE MEDICINES, in order, when called on to cure, to be able to select from among them one, from the list of whose symptoms an artificial disease may be constructed, as similar as possible to the totality of the principal symptoms of the natural disease sought to be cured.
And in the following paragraphs from 106 to 145 inclusive, the Master with all exactness points out a series of wise rules in relation to form, method and line of conduct which must be followed in each and every one of the cases in carrying out a true proving upon the organism of a healthy man. In the same way he established the method for carrying out a minute analysis of the symptoms, signs, mental and functional troubles, anatomical lesions, etc., etc., and among other things he recommends us to avail ourselves of the teachings on toxicology, dwelling upon the fact that we must gather a knowledge of the unalloyed effects of the remedies, avoiding the mixture of substances, as it is very slightly beneficial to know the action of the remedies upon sick persons, in virtue of the alterations of any one pathologic state prevents us from knowing the effect and genuine and true action that each and every one of the remedies have.
In conclusion: After numerous investigations and provings upon the healthy body of man, during a period of twenty years, carried out by the founder of homoeopathy and his adepts and pupils Drs. Franz, Hartmann, Stapf, Gross, Hornburg, Wislicenus, Teuthorn, Ruckert, Langhammer, Gutman, Hempel, Kummer, Rosazewsky, Mossdorf, Wenzel and others we can categorically affirm that: TO SAMUEL CHRISTIAN FREDERIC HAHNEMANN BELONGS THE MERIT OF HAVING BEEN THE FIRST TO RAISE PHARMACODYNAMICS AND PHARMACOLOGY TO THE CATEGORY OF SCIENCE AND OF HAVING TAKEN THEM OUT FROM THE CHAOS IN WHICH THEY WERE SUNK UNTIL HIS EPOCH, BY INTRODUCING INTO MEDICINE THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ACTION OF REMEDIES UPON THE HEALTHY MAN BY THE RIGOROUS EXPERIMENTAL METHOD OF INDUCTION.
Nowadays that the field of medicine is richer in acquisitions of human knowledge, but notwithstanding that the physicians of the traditional school dont concede to the study of the action of remedies upon the body of the healthy man all the importance that it deserves, and even at the present day most of the pharmacologic products are only prescribed from a knowledge of them through laboratory experiment and the study of their action upon animals, which as I will demonstrate farther on, constitutes according to the ideas of the founder of homoeopathy, a wrong source for their correct indication.
Claude Bernard (1813-1878), the most conspicuous physiologist of modern France, considered by physicians of the traditional school as the founder of a new pharmacologic doctrine, introduced the experimental method while availing himself of the knowledge and doctrines of Magendie, Gallini, Flandin and others, realized studies and investigations first upon animals and afterwards upon sick men with curare, strychnine, nicotine, ether, atropine, etc. One must take special notice that pharmacology from this date on finds a wide scope of investigation that is taken advantage of by an infinite number of physicians all over the world, but always basing their observations and provings upon sick men and animals.
We have not subtracted merit from these new orientations given by Claude Bernard to the field of pharmacology, because the proving upon animals permits of the verification of the pharmacodynamic and toxic effects of the remedies, that can be proven by means of the laboratory, but its importance is totally annulled by the necessity of knowing the action of the remedies upon the healthy body of man in order to be applied in therapeutics as was affirmed by the talented founder of homoeopathy, as experience and wise observation in the most severe field of logic show us the truth of the biologic axiom of John Paul Tessier (1811-1862), a conspicuous French physician, who affirms that: “EVERY ANIMAL IS MADE SICK ACCORDING TO HIS SPECIES, AND IN EACH SPECIES THE INDIVIDUAL SUFFERS ACCORDING TO HIS OWN NATURE”.
Furthermore, even the animal the nearest to man on the biological scale is different from man in its physical form, kind of life, in its organization and principally and fundamentally in its psychical manner; and if that is not enough there exist facts as irrefutable proofs of that which constitutes a food for certain animals is a toxic for man that will kill him within a few hours as can be verified with the hog, which with impunity can ingest the roots of henbane (hyoscyamus niger) and the nux vomica. The dog does not feel at all uncomfortable on eating the flowers, leaves or fresh seeds of aconitum.
The stramonium (datura stramonium, toloache, thorn-apple, etc.), a most toxic plant for man and which is capable of producing in him mental troubles, even death, can be eaten without any consequences by the monkey, donkey, dog, guinea pig, rabbit and snail.
The goat eats poison so much (rhus toxicodendron) without showing any symptoms of intoxication and the rabbit ingests leaves of belladonna without revealing phenomena of poisoning.
Cyanhydric acid, also called hydrocyanic acid and more commonly known as prussic acid, is a most active poison for man whom it kills instantaneously; it is also toxic for inferior animals and plants and is considered as a protoplasmatic poison; on the other hand the horse presents a certain immunity to it (Trousseau and Pidoux), the hedgehog and porcupine are affected only in a slight way.
White cazahuate (ipomoea arborescens, Humboldt and Bonplandii), a plant native to America which vegetables spontaneously in the states of Mexico, Morelos, Michoacan, Jalisco and Oaxaca, is highly poisonous to drinking water when it runs near the roots of these shrubs, it produces effects of imbecility, notwithstanding that it constitutes an inoffensive food for goats.
Peyote (peyotl, jicore, lopophora Williamsii), a plant of the cactus family which vegetables in the Mexican Republic in the states of Oueretaro, San Luis Potosi, Sonora and Coahuila, has the particularity that when man ingests the plant roasted or raw, it produces the phenomena of drunkenness, diverse psychic alterations with visual troubles and increase of sensibility in the teguments, followed by insensibility which may reach anaesthesia.
In moderate doses it exerts a tonic action that makes the individual insensible to fatigue, to sleep and to hunger, affording an extra-ordinary resistance to muscular work. Among the native tribes and especially the Tarahumaras and Huicholes it enjoys great popularity and fame, to the degree that it is considered a sacred plant. Several studies have been made of this plant and at the present time Dr. Robles, a Mexican physician, proving in 1928 its action by the alkaloid chlorhydrate of peyotina in subcutaneous injections in doves, rabbits, cats and dogs, coming to the conclusion that only doves and cats are sensitive to the action of pevote.
Regarding pathogenic agents, there equally exists a difference of immunity and receptivity between man and animals according to the cases and in regard to animals determined effects are obtained in the laboratory by subjecting them to abnormal conditions of life as happens with the hen in which the phenomena of carbon infection (carbon bacillus, bacillus anthracis) are obtained by reducing the animals temperature by means of cold baths or by injections of antipyrine or quinine sulphide (Pasteur and Wagner). An adult dog is refractory to this infection, a rabbit is very sensitive and a ram is also ultrasensitive to natural infection, to subcutaneous inoculation and to ingestion, dying in a fulminating manner.
The Koch tuberculosis bacillus, that embraces three varieties: 1st.–that of the mammalian (human and bovine type); 2nd.–that of birds and 3rd.–that of fishes, offer to our appreciations the following characteristics: its pathogenetic action is more marked in man and the ox, a goat is seldom tuberculous, the guinea pig and rabbit are not spontaneously tuberculous and are only made tuberculous by means of repeated inoculations. The dog is very sensitive to human or bovine inoculation, the donkey is absolutely refractory to tuberculosis.
The bacillus of typhoid fever, discovered by Eberth on Peyers patches, in the mesenteric ganglions and in the spleen of a patient attacked by this disease is only pathogenic to man. THE INOCULATION IN MAN DOES NOT PRODUCE ANY DISEASES RESEMBLING TYPHOID FEVER. (Courmont, Bacteriology, page 590. 1930). Instead these experiments are employed upon guinea pigs and rats. The goat is extremely perceptive to Eberths bacillus.
Upon the macaque and chimpanzee, it is possible to reproduce alterations resembling typhoid fever by ingestion of exalted cultures. Upon the dog it is only possible to produce ulcerous enteritis by injecting a virulent culture into the intestinal tract (Thirty). Atlassoff was able to produce typical typhoid phenomena in a young rabbit, introducing typhic bacillus directly into the intestine; and in this way quotations can be profusely multiplied bringing us to the conclusion that the body of the healthy man is the only source from which all provings should start for therapeutic purposes, as a man differs from all other animals because of his psychical element, his perfect organization distinct from the animals and by his special manner of reaction to all agents hostile to health.
To practice a proving according to the rules of the famous sage of Meissen, also keep in mind that every remedy administered upon a healthy man, develops two effects: one physico-chemical or primary effect and the other the secondary or the effect of reaction or defense, which is called diphasic phenomenon or that of duality action. (Organon, paragraph 112.).
These diphasic phenomena are invariably dependent upon the quantity of substance administered to a healthy or sick man, because as Gallavardin, from Lyon (France) reasonably declares:.
Every physicochemical agent provokes in the healthy or sick organism according to the greater or lesser quantity of the agent used two groups of apposite symptoms: active effects and reactional effects.
We should also take note that many remedies, besides their primary or physicochemical action and their reactional effect, are able to produce united manifestations that do not correspond to the well defined diphasic action of each pharmacological agent, these series of phenomena depending in their totality on the one hand to the substance employed in the proving (purity, solubility, quantity, etc.) and on the other hand and in a special way are subject to the characteristic conditions of each subject (age, sex, inheritance, race, kind of life, feeding, allergy, anaphylaxis, etc.) and which yield series of diverse symptomatic groups that the founder of homoeopathy designated with the name of alternating effects. (Organon, paragraph 115.).
In order to explain the pharmacodynamic action of the remedies many authors of the homoeopathic school have expressed their way of interpreting these phenomena and even the immediate pupils of Hahnemann, such as Kurtz, Trinks, Schron, Muller, Arnold, Hirshel, Jorg, Drysdale, Gerstel, Helbig, Piper, Schnei- der, Watzke and others, demonstrated with diverse theories the action of the pharmacological agents in the experimental field, making different objections but intrinsically recognizing the above mentioned diphasic phenomena.
Later on Ehrmann, Hughes, Hale, Jousset, Dunham, Tessier, Jahr, Bellows, Neidhard, Burt, etc., homoeopathic physicians of different nationalities, in their multiple works of pure provings and reprovings, recognized also the diphasic action of the remedies and so expressed it with more or less amplitude of criterion always respecting the reasons set forth by the founder of homoeopathy.
One of the most eminent physicians of America, Dr. Constantine Hering, from Philadelphia, founder of the first homoeopathic school of Philadelphia, and later on the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia and author of the famous Guiding Symptoms, was one of the principal followers in America of the immortal Hahnemanns doctrine, corroborating the theories of Hahnemann about pharmacodynamics in his works.
Dr. Allen, author of the Encyclopedia of that name, along with his pupils, realized a fecund and brilliant work with numerous pure provings, always reaching the same conclusions as those of the founder of homoeopathy.
Drs. Sharp and Jousset, using the works of Fletcher, Dudgeon, Reith and Hahnemann, established their pharmacological criterion according to their epoch and are of the opinion that the pharmacodynamic effects of the remedies are dependent on their action upon protoplasm and nutrition.
In order that this work may not become too extensive, I will confine myself to mentioning the most recent writings on this subject emphasizing the fact that all the modern advances and more or less complex theories corroborate Hahnemanns basic assertions.
The most conspicuous physicians of the traditional school undesignedly confirm the homoeopathic pharmacodynamic mechanism and Claude Bernard has said: “Every substance that in small doses excites the properties or functions of an anatomical element, in massive doses annuls them”.
In one remedy it can be said that there are various pharmacologic agents according to the different doses and it is necessary to know and admit that all remedies have two, actions, the primitive action and the secondary action, the latter opposite to the former:.
For instance: Opium in massive doses depresses the cerebrospinal system and produces comatose sleep; in small does it is a stimulant to intellectual, nervous and muscular activity and produces insomnia. “Arsenicum,” says Martinet, “given in moderate doses destroys the cells and alters nutrition.” Banuelos, from the Valladolid University (1941), referring to iodine affirms: “Iodine is employed in all regions in which endemic goiter exists. The administering of massive doses must be avoided on account of the danger of producing an iodic Basedow.”.