And mark this vital point, the homoeopathic school asserts that any treatment to be successful must be intensely personal. You all know, of course, that by ordinary methods treatment cannot even begin without first establishing the label, i.e. the disease. It treats labels, while the homoeopathic physician has a sick man on his hands who presents a definite picture of signs and symptoms and he need not wait before starting treatment as he treats that sick individual.
You see the homoeopathic school maintains that there is no need to wait for gross changes of a pathological nature, because the very earliest signs and symptoms are recorded in its materia medica. And this early sick picture therefore can be matched by some drug picture. As therapy is simply a matter of this matching of pictures it means that even at the very earliest stages of illness a remedy can be found. In other words an antidote is available that may abort the illness.
It is not denied that in the majority of cases it is some particular lesion or local upset that makes a patient seek medical attention in the first place. But that lesion should only act as a pointer to draw the attention to the individual himself. Any remedy naturally must cover this local lesion-but it is not on the lesion that a remedy is selected. A remedy first a patient when the symptoms and signs of his general condition are found in that remedy. And no remedy can cure unless all the signs and symptoms agree.
And let me stress that a cure is reasonably sure, no matter what the morbid condition, provided pictures can be matched. The physicians task then boils down to searching for the drug picture that can match the disease picture his patient presents. You can understand that the fuller these pictures are the easier it should be. The drug that the materia medical reflects as giving the nearest similar picture would be the indicated remedy.
Now, this idea of similars in medicine is not peculiar to the homoeopathic school. It is the principle on which immunization is based as you are all well aware. Very small amounts of similar things are used-e.g. cowpox vaccine for smallpox. Notice that they are not the same but similar things.
Exactly the same principle applies in tackling the various allergic troubles, and notice further that only extremely small amounts of allergins are necessary. So it is nothing new to you that similar pictures cancel out and that minute doses are used- the notion that similars cancel out is so fundamental to the principles of the homoeopathic school that I ask you to allow me to go over some well-known ground again for the sake of emphasis. By similars one means, of course, two similar biological processes, however caused.
For instance, it is common knowledge that many different pollens, though of the same group of flowers, can cause exactly the same process in the victim. These pollens then would be similar in one sense. Note that any one from the group could be used, as long as they are from the same group each will have the same antidoting powers.
I would ask you to mark another point in these familiar cases of allergy, It is the question of dosage while on the one hand it is the gross allergins that cause the upset it is the minute amount of any similar allergic that has the power of antidoting it. One might put it that the physiological action of a sensitizing agent finds its antidote in the homoeopathic action of any similar agent. And you see here that there are two actions that cancel out because they are similar and, of course, acting in opposite directions.
Allow me to refresh your memories about a law relating to all this. You will recall that the Arndt Schultz Law lays it down that the minute will antidote the gross-if they are similar. Let me remind you that Weber showed how ether increased the viscosity of protoplasm while very weak solutions decreased it. This discovery followed Ewarts observation that ordinary solutions of anaesthetic arrested protoplasmic streaming, while very weak solutions accelerated it. Anaesthetists among you will be interested to see in this a probable explanation to account for the excitable stage of anaesthesia induction.
Many of us use emetine-and so it is of interest to point out how small doses constrict arteries, while large doses dilate them. Numerous examples could be quoted-but of course please remember that for the Law to apply it is only necessary to have similar things-and it is not confined simply to allergy.
The homoeopathic school extends the law far beyond the ordinary conception of allergy. I will attempt to explain this because it is practically a key principle in Homoeopathy.
No one will dispute the statement that it has always been medicines great concern to seek the causation of disease so as to apply some means of preventing it. And, when some disease has set in, the aim is to try and check its development. Various rationales have been adopted and the most successful have been along the lines of antidoting principles, so as to allow the body to bring its own mechanism into full force.
Now it has become increasingly evident that many causes can produce the same effect and that many effects can result from the same cause. How many causes are there for say, a bruise, and how many effects can that bruise cause. There are many causes necessary to produce a certain disease. Why is it that one person can be immune to a disease while another falls a victim when both are exposed to the same cause?
If for instance bacteria are solely the cause of say, tetanus- gonorrhoea-tuberculosis-diph.- cold and so on-then it would be only a matter of exposure always to produce disease. And this you know is not the case-by any matter or means.
Now let us try and correlate all this. The reason for disease is obviously not as simple as one is led to believe. It seems in fact quite a complicated affair. So many things have got to be taken into account that it is foolish to think one could place a finger on this or that and say here is the cause of the disease. Now, it is difficult to reduce so complex a business to something simple enough to allow you to follow the thesis.
It would seem that there are at least two main things that go to cause disease. The first is conditioning the victim. He must first be made sensitive enough to be able to react. He must become allergic. Once the victim is sensitized then, and then only, can he react. It is this state that forces a victim to react-he cannot help himself. If the reaction stops short at the stage of sensitization only-then this reaction is what we call allergy. It means that the stage has exceeded a mere conditioning, it has exceeded a sort of passive affair.
Now each individual will have his own particular threshold. The vast majority never cross it, and some probably remain in their sensitive condition for many years, and it is fairly certain that the degree of sensitivity itself will probably very continually in the same individual. It is matter of coincidence for an individual to get caught in a high degree of sensitivity at the very moment some outside factor comes to bear on him.
When this happens the victim reacts to show signs and symptoms that will make up a definite picture peculiar to that outside factor. And it is the totality of these signs and symptoms in the physical-mental-and psychological fields that produce the manifestations we interpret as some disease or other.
Now it is a matter of another coincidence just what outside factor happens to be present at the crucial moment. The actual variety of disease will be a direct reflection of this particular outside factor. If it is one kind of bacteria it will be one thing, but if it be another kind, then, it will be another. If it be fatigue or worry it will be one thing, and if it be sunlight or some item of food it will be another. The point is that the sensitized individual must be in a particular phase of sensitivity before any disease can manifest, and the kind of disease will directly depend on what the actual outside factor happens to be.
We see then that in principle two things are necessary before disease can happen. The first is some subjective process, some inside factor and the other is an objective process caused by some outside factor.
Perhaps the commonest sensitizing factor is a hereditary one but it could be one of a series of factors ABCDEFG, say each having the power to sensitize a certain type of individual. Because any of these can do so-means that they all must act through a common factor, lets all it K. Once that individual is on his threshold to K or is just past it-the stage is set for any of a series “outside” factors to act.
Let us call these PQRST. Now these have no power to cause any reaction on anyone until threshold K is passed. But, once this happens, then, it is also possible that some, say F and G for the first series can, if the victim be continually subjected to its activity-be as effective in producing disease as any of the second series. And of course, any combination or either or both series is possible. So disease production becomes really a very complex and complicated business.