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.

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.

A. Taylor Smith