By this I mean that these pictures not only reflect the activity of the drug on mans physical make up, but also the result of its action on his mental and psychological plane. Let me remind you how very important are these two latter legs to mans tripod. One is apt to discount this in tackling so called physical ailments. The mental and psychological upset might easily completely overshadow the physical. And, of course, all these experiments were carried out on quite healthy subjects. No reliable, let alone accurate information, can possibly be based on the reactions of a diseased man.

All this was possible only because to totally new kind of preparation of drugs was discovered Obviously, ordinary drugs in their crude form could not be pushed to the extent necessary to give the extensive drug picture required. That would without a doubt have been far too dangerous to the life of the human guinea pigs. Of course many toxic pictures with a tolerable amount of detail have been recorded from cases of crude drug poisoning. Such cases have not been disregarded by any means.

And so you see how a series of drug pictures were obtained by actual tests on healthy humans. It is this series of drug pictures that goes to make up the homoeopathic materia medica. Though fairly extensive it is by no means complete, much research remains. In fact, only a fraction of possible remedies has up till now been explored. But you would be surprised just how extensive and valuable a materia medica has resulted, on what has already been recorded. Valuable because it offers a series of remedies that can be used with perfect confidence.

Need I say these remedies include a great variety of things. Although one has spoken of drugs up to now, it was solely for the sake of simplicity. But you will understand that many come from outside the chemical world. Much has been derived from the vegetable and mineral kingdoms. And then many extremely useful preparations have come from the venoms of various snakes and spiders, as well as insects and marine life. Again let me emphasize the fact that it is always the homoeopathic preparation that is used. For instance, gold, belladonna, digitalis, lachesis, or tuberculinum and so on, whatever it is, has been subjected to a process entirely peculiar to Homoeopathy in its preparation.

Now it may sound extraordinary, but one of my great difficulties is to try and make you appreciate just how different this homoeopathic special preparation is from the ordinary chemical preparation used in the medical would. It is quite outside ones ordinary scientific knowledge-as yet. And you will understand that this makes it a hard business to try and explain. It also makes it rather easy for you to condemn unheard almost, for nothing is easier to reject than anything outside out ken, and you all know the difficulty of breaking through ignorance.

Just pause and think for a moment how hard it would be to try and explain all about the subdivision of molecules and atoms that led to the famous atomic bomb. Ones conception of any explosive is a natural reflection of the ordinary science of chemicals-and that means a limitation to crude drugs and their actions. But as soon as one enters the field of minute subdivision, or what is called “splitting the atom” one finds oneself in a completely new and strange domain. All our ideas have to be re-adjusted and re- orientated; I admit that is rather difficult.

Now the homoeopathic school would never claim the atomic bomb-but it is something that very closely resembles the result of using the principle used by this school in its method of drug preparation. Both are the outcome of minute subdivision of crude chemical substances. In the case of the atomic bomb, it happens to be that the aim was destruction, but it will not be long before other and more useful aims are found. If the idea were extended it could mean that it could be applied to any drug-with about just as much potency.

If the idea, for instance, were directed to therapeutics just imagine how tremendously preparation to applied to human being-and just how tremendous its reactive power would be. Now do not misunderstand me, I do not for a moment say that the homoeopathic preparation is the result of splitting the atom. But I stress that the common basic idea is there behind both.

You will no doubt talk of radio-activity and you will probably be right. But I dare say it is not too much to say that everything has this radio-activity in varying degrees. Certainly every drug the homoeopathic school has proved possessed some such activity. It is not the drug per se but its activity that makes any drug useful-and in passing let me remind you this activity is quite specific. Now, this notion is not new but its extension probably opens up a new world to many of you when applied to the art of medical healing.

All that can be expected from the activity of any drug used therapeutically is the reaction it causes in a sick individual. Ones whole aim in the selection of a drug is to get an action that will produce some desired reaction in the patient. This is the utmost one can do. And this leads us directly to the question of dosage. The homoeopathic school maintains that the very minimum that can bring about this desired reaction is the optimum dose-and even if this dose be extremely minute-it is enough.

Now I realize that what worries you is the fact that this dose is carried to such lengths of minuteness that it looks absurd to the eyes of the ordinary chemically trained mind. This training is responsible for the idea of using drugs quite differently. One is taught to push the drug in its crude form to the patients tolerance-or at least to maintain it at a very high level-the so- called “concentration” and mark this, it is done with little or no regard as to whether any reaction has begin or not. And it is common practice to push it if it is apparently doing something- often with disaster.

Let me remind you that a modern definition of material is “condensed activity”. So the notion cannot be strange that if one could de-condense by subdivision to great lengths-then all that can remain is “activity”. Their activity the homoeopathic school maintains can be transferred to any medium-and in practice such things are commonly used as alcohol, water, and sugar. This is the very essence of the homoeopathic preparation. It is not a theory, it is reality. The experiment of putting any of these preparations to the acid test is open to anyone with sufficient ability and knowledge to prove out at the bedside.

There are a surprisingly great number who have associated the homoeopathic preparation with merely a simple dilution. These talk airily about a drop in a bath full of water and are remarkable for the firmness of this idea. And many are so rashly foolish as to base their criticism and whole and whole argument on this totally erroneous conception.

The homoeopathic preparation is of course nothing of the sort. It is the process of potentization that makes the preparation peculiar to Homoeopathy, just as the atomic bomb is not a dilution of an ordinary one, must is the result of its special mode of preparation. Of course, it is in both cases a smaller thing-but how foolish to think it is weaker on that score. So weak in fact, some are stupid enough to maintain that there cannot possibly be any activity or force left. They think it has been diluted out of existence-and overlook the fact that they are barking up the wrong tree-completely.

Let me once more stress this point. If a drug is going to be used in trying to bring about a cure-then the most accurate knowledge of that drugs action must be known. Nothing can be more importance. The choice of a remedy is a most serious affair indeed. A matter of life and death cannot be left to chance.

Now you will all probably have agreed and have more or less followed up to this point. Now you are quite naturally saying “yes, thats all very well, but how is it to be used-this homoeopathic materia medica, how does one go about applying it in practice?”

Well, there are some fundamental differences to the ordinary methods of treating the sick. You all have been brought up very scientifically. This very training leads you automatically to start fragmenting-analysing-classifying-and finally labelling. It is all essentially a purely impersonal affair. You get in the end an impersonal label and it is only natural then to attempt some sort of impersonal treatment on the owner of that label. The owner does not matter. It is the label of his disease that is so all-important, the varsity textbooks are full of treatments for such labels. One is taught, of course, of the diseases, and not of sick people.

Now things, are just the opposite in the homoeopathic school, here the aim is to co-relate everything. It tries to build up by fitting in all the signs and symptoms and so arrive at a picture that is comprehensive. It stresses that it is the signs and symptoms collectively-the sum of them-that represents the patient and one then prescribes for him as an individual. Treatment is directed not to the label of the disease but to a whole man that is sick, that is to say a biological unit.

A. Taylor Smith