Homoeopathy is regarded, at least by the homoeopathic profession, as a science and an art. In its practice we are more concerned with the latter in our efforts to relieve and, if possible, cure the sick. In the earliest days of homoeopathic practice, in the days of Hahnemann and his followers, with the increasing number of remedies subjected to proving and, consequently, the growth of the homoeopathic materia medica, finding the remedy became increasingly difficult. As a result, indices, designated as repertories, were created by such men as von Boenninghausen and Jahr. A repertory is literally a storehouse, a treasury or a repository.
The repertories which have been constructed by homoeopathic physicians ever since Hahnemanns time are numerous as well as varied. Some of them have been mere compilations of the symptoms taken from other repertories and many, which are of much practical value, relate to special conditions of illness. Among the latter we have such valuable works as The Homoeopathic Therapeutics of Diarrhoea, written by Dr. James B. Bell in 1869 and published by Boericke and Tafel in 1870. A second edition followed after a lapse of twelve years, edited by Dr. Bells successor, Dr. W. T. Laird of Augusta, Maine. William P. Wesselhoeft, Adolph Lippe and E.A. Farrington aided in the work. A third edition was published by Dr. Bell in 1888, with additions of other remedies and observations by such well-known physicians as Samuel A. Kimball, J.G. Allen and William Jefferson Guernsey. The third is the last edition published.
In addition to the above named repertories there have been many others of a special nature and of the general repertories the most valuable of all is undoubtedly that of James Tyler Kent, to which the more able and outstanding Hahnemannians of his day contributed. Both von Boenninghausen and Kent are designed for repertorial analysis and, as a pre-requisite to their use, case- taking is of the highest importance; unless this is done, these repertories have little practical value. It has been said, and with much justification, that a case well taken is a case half cured. Case-taking is in itself an art and one which requires patience, understanding and good judgment on the part of the physician. Its methods are quite different from those of the diagnostician and frequently require the subtleties of a cross- examining lawyer.
Patients differ in their intelligence and in their understanding of homoeopathy and the presence or absence of these qualities must be kept in mind by the prescribing physician. Broadly considered, where symptoms are expressive of pathological states, they are of little value yet, nevertheless, must be considered, more especially with reference to the question of curability or its opposite. Thus, it is readily understood that any repertory must be used with intelligence and understanding.
It is likely that the majority of homoeopathic physicians do not resort to the repertory, largely for the reason that so many are engaged in the numerous specialities and also for lack of time. It takes time to complete a repertorial analysis, even if a card-index repertory such as that of Field or Boger is employed. But these, also, depend upon accurate taking of the case. To some, Boenninghausens repertory gives the best results in the search for the elusive similimum, but comparatively few physicians know how to use it.
No matter which method of arriving at the truly indicated remedy is employed, it makes little difference, just so that we are successful in curing the patient; many a case can be prescribed for without any reference to the repertory and this is especially true when we are dealing with an acute case, in which, as a rule, the symptoms stand out boldly, speaking, as it were, the language of the sick man.
Our provings have done this too, but perhaps unfortunately, have been cut up into anatomical sections which are likely to be confusing. How the individual becomes and grows sick corresponds quite naturally to the sickened prover and both pictures are likely to be similar. If we always knew these pictures, we would be better off. With the acute remedies we are very likely well acquainted, knowing their symptom pictures so well. But with the chronic case the matter is not so simple.
Other methods of finding the remedy have been evolved and are of a mechanical nature, such as the Emanometer of Dr. William E. Boyd of Glasgow, Scotland, whose successful results with the Emanometer have been acknowledged by Lord Horder and other members of the British Medical Association. In our own country are a number of homoeopathic physicians who have used and are using specimens of dried blood with their electronic devices to find the needful remedy in any given case.
The late Dr. Guy Beckley Stearns of New York had his own methods of discovering the similimum and, it is stated, with success. Dr. George R. Henshaw of Montclair, New Jersey, has for a number of years engaged in personal research with his “flocculation test”; his successful results have been very remarkable; however, the test takes considerable time to perform and this is its disadvantage.
What is needed in the homoeopathic school is a mechanical electronic device, a machine which is able to arrive at and definitely point out the most similar remedy required in any given case. No doubt this assertion sounds fantastic, but in the light of the experimentation now engaged in by a number of earnest, scientific physicians of the homoeopathic school it should and must be seriously regarded. In a report by the late Dr. Fred B. Morgan of Clinton. Iowa, Co-Chairman of the Research Committee of The American Institute of Homoeopathy, he makes the following statements:.
The choosing of the homoeopathic remedy by mechanical means still holds a strong hope for the future. As an interpolation may I say that I am not at all sure that “electronic” is the proper word to use in regard to this method, but it is as certain as anything can be that this energy exists. This energy is as positive as gravity and like gravity some laws are known in regard to it, but like gravity we do not know exactly what it is. Possibly if we called it “X-energy” we would be on safer ground than to label it “electronic”. Of this we are certain, it is the same energy as Hahnemanns “dynamis”. And this is enough for our purpose. We have already found the fixed resonance ratings of 680 homoeopathic remedies by means of this “X-energy” and have been able to prescribe successfully by this means.
The method is understandable. The resonance vibrations of the remedy have been found and recorded. When we have a blood specimen that has the same resonance vibrations we know we have the correct remedy because it complies with the law, “similia, similibus curentur”. This promises a great advance in homoeopathy, and opens an extensive field for further investigations. The great problem now is to get an instrument for general use. Those who are working on this phase of the problem seem confident that this will be done. At present, instruments can be produced that are accurate for those operators who have a properly conditioned sense of touch. There are no instruments now that visualize the results of resonance findings. Skilled radionic engineers assure me that some such instrument will be produced.
Work is being done at the present time to accomplish this end. Certainly there are those who say it cannot be done. Of course, they are the ones who are doing nothing. Until the reactions are made objective, the method is not suitable for general use. We already know that the correct homoeopathic remedy can be chosen by means of the recorded resonance ratings and the sense of touch. It is not advisable that any doctor go into the building of one of these instruments. That is the job of a highly trained radionic engineer. A doctor had better stick to the treatment of patients and leave the construction of these instruments to those who know the essentials of the apparatus.
We do not have the money to develop the visualization of these reactions, but we do have hopes of interesting some engineering company in the project. The necessary preliminary work would be expensive. One of these instruments will not only point to the remedy but will indicate the proper potency, and tell when a change of potency or remedy is indicated. I hope homoeopathy will turn the corner that leads the way to the scientific establishment of homoeopathy. All instruments made will have to give exactly similar ratings, and then a real homoeopathic mechanical materia medica can be built that will wonderfully supplement the materia medica now existing.
I have quoted at length from Dr. Morgans remarkable report, deeply impressed, as I am, with its great importance and having known its author so well. Those who knew him were absolutely assured of his sincerity and scientific spirit devoted, as this was, to the development and furtherance of homoeopathic principles and practice. As we all know, putting aside all wishful thinking and realistically facing hard facts, homoeopathy has very definitely been losing ground in the United States. As a School of Medicine, looked upon as a cult or sect. we are not advancing as we ought to and should. We possess a scientific truth, a method of therapy based upon the law of symptom similarity, a law which has proved its success when correctly applied.
That it so widely is not correctly applied is and has been painfully evident; that there are distortions of the law of similars is also true, but these departures from principle should not restrain us from seeking more practical methods of applying our remedies in the endeavor to benefit the thousands who are now bereft of a method of cure which has stood for 150 years as a successful and safe means of healing the sick. As with every law, the law of similars has its limitations of application, but these in no way militate against its truth. What is sorely needed is the wide spreading of this truth to all who have open minds and who can be convinced. May the day be not too far distant when this goal can be reached.
It has been stated that provings, as it were, speak the language of the sick man; this of course, is true and the completed proving is to be looked upon as an artificial disease, a counterpart to all intents and purposes of the sick individual; whenever this resemblance between the symptoms of the drug, as elicited by the prover, and those of the individual who is ill, is an exact one, we may rightfully speak of a similimum and then confidently expect a speedy cure by the remedy which has thus been indicated.
It is true that such an exact resemblance does not always occur; the reasons are several and usually are to be found in the faulty taking of the case. Here, the physician may be to blame and his failure is likely to be due to his insufficient knowledge of the principles of homoeopathy. These are definite and must be thoroughly understood, for any misconception is bound to lead to disappointment on the part of both physician and patient, more particularly the latter. However, he himself may be the cause of failure for not stating his symptoms clearly and in their entirety. Furthermore, there are patients who, from a sense of false modesty or from fear to reveal facts of which they may be unwarrantedly ashamed, do not tell the physician all that lies in the back of the mind.
After all, physicians must be and are, consciously or not, men and women who possess a deep under- standing of human nature, its frailties, its weaknesses and faults. These, especially in chronic diseases and where the emotions are easily disturbed, should be revealed to the homoeopathic physician in all necessary detail, not only for his guidance of the patient, but also because these very frailties as emotionally expressed often lead to the choice of the correct remedy. Hahnemann and his followers placed great importance upon mental symptoms and these have been carefully compiled and tabulated in our repertories for the use of the physician. It is of much interest to study these mental symptoms, for frequently they lead to cure.
Thus the case of a man may be cited, who was in the tertiary stage of syphilis and who had a very highly inflamed tongue, a condition technically known as glossitis and one which was extremely painful, leading him to despair so that he constantly spoke of committing suicide. Aurum metallicum cured him, for this noble metal, so highly prized and so eagerly sought after, when potentized in the homoeopathic pharmacopoeial manner, actually produces intense melancholy with profound suicidal thoughts and impulses. It remained for Hahnemann to give us this information which enables the student of materia medica to achieve happy results when the symptoms of Aurum metallicum are present.
From which it may be seen in how many devious ways gold can and does affect us all. To be without it, may be disastrous, to possess it, may be a curse. But from the standpoint of homoeopathic practice it is often a great blessing.
From the above it will again be seen how much emphasis must be placed upon careful case taking. When employing the repertories of von Boenninghausen and Kent a different technique must be used, for these compilations are by no means a mere listing of known symptoms, in as much as they proceed from “generals” to “particulars”, a statement which, for the layman especially, as well as for many physicians, needs clarification. What is meant by these terms? A general symptom is one which pertains to, or is predicated of, the patient himself; in large measure it qualifies and distinguishes him from another individual who may be afflicted in more or less the same manner as he.
It has to do with his general reactions, those, e.g., relating to heat or cold, seasonal changes, weather changes such as wet weather, the imminence of storms, the likes and dislikes with reference to foods, condiments, etc., the mental states of the patient. Kent spoke of such modalities as the loves and hates, for such they often are. These must be distinguished from mere preferences, such as a preference for sweets or for acids. A marked craving for salt, e.g., suggests Natrum muriaticum and Phosphorus, although other remedies, such as Carbo vegetabilis and Veratrum album, must be thought of. Each patient must be individualized.
Obviously, repertory analysis must be left to Hahnemannian physicians; it is for them to evaluate the particular case presented to them. In this evaluation diagnosis must, of course, be determined as accurately as possible, for physicians must know with what they are dealing. This is especially necessary for the Hahnemannian, for he, in his evaluation of the case, must determine whether the condition of the patient, his disease, is one which can be relieved or cured by homoeopathy. The condition may be one calling for surgery or for some other form of therapy which lies without the scope of the law of similars physiotherapy, for example.
Many forms of pathological tissue changes, in their earlier stages, can be overcome by a homoeopathic remedy prescribed for the patient as an individual, but when pathology has advanced too far, and when, at the same time, the symptoms peculiar to the patient himself are submerged by his pathological lesions, then the issue becomes one of great uncertainty so far as cure through medicinal measures is concerned. Such cases occur and when they do if surgery is for any reason contra-indicated, it may be possible to palliate painful or other symptoms pertaining to the lesion, whatever this may be, and thus make the patient more comfortable.
In an inoperate cancer, it may at times be possible to mitigate the burning pains with the remedy Euphorbia heterodoxa in potency. The homoeopathic materia medica is a vast one, but a large number of its medicines have not received a thorough proving or even any at all, yet from clinical experience we know what they can do. Here is where homoeopathic research is so badly needed. If sufficient funds are to be obtained, the homoeopathic profession, more particularly in the East, will have to become a far stronger and more united unit than it now is.
Research in homoeopathy may yet be the salvation of our school.
A recent case, which illustrates very strikingly what homoeopathic prescribing is capable of where definite pathology had appeared in its early stages, is the following. A young woman of 23, unmarried, was seized with pain in a molar tooth in the left lower jaw. Her dentist upon examination found an impacted tooth which he proceeded to draw under the action of novocain. With the tooth out, he discovered a soft, pulpy mass embedded beneath the roots of the tooth; fearing infection and abscess formation, he gave the patient Penicillin by mouth, but with no change on the following day. He repeated this antibiotic in much larger dosage and this time, hypodermatically. There was still no improvement on the next day, when the patient came to me for homoeopathic treatment.
A rather large, hard tumor which bulged out from the patients lower jaw presented itself, distorting the face very decidedly. With a possible abscess in mind, a dose of Silicea 1000. was given, but on the next day no change in the tumor was found. The mouth could hardly be opened, compelling the patient to resort to liquid nourishment. The true status of the condition was then borne upon the prescriber and Hecla lava 30., a single powder each night, was prescribed.
Within two days definite reduction in the size of the swelling was evident, and after four days more, the face looked perfectly normal and the young woman could open her mouth much further. A small tumor could still be felt, but was no longer as sensitive as the hard mass at first had been. One dose of the same remedy in the 1000. potency was now given and will finish the case. No other system of medicine can possibly equal such a rapid result. Unfortunately, very few physicians know of this useful remedy and these are all Hahnemannian physicians.
Here is a remedy which cannot be found in any repertory and its selection through repertorial analysis cannot, therefore, be made. Hecla lava is the ash found on Iceland coming from the lava of Mt. Hecla. This ash contains Silica, Alumina, Lime, Magnesia and some Iron oxide. An Englishman, Garth Wilkinson, first called attention to it as a result of his travels in Iceland. He found that sheep and horses, also cows, were affected by this ash, more especially the finer ash which had fallen at a distance from the volcano. The gross ash, nearer to the mountain, was inert. Thus we see that even in the crude state, this remedy was more poisonous to animals in its finer form than the coarse ash itself.
This fact suggests vividly the power of potentized drugs. Hecla lava in sheep causes immense exostoses (bony tumors) on the jaws. In cows, post-mortem examinations showed the intestines filled with ashes, hardened to a mass, as well as other, grossly pathological, lethal effects. It has remained for homoeopathy to use this knowledge for the benefit of mankind. The remedy has never received a proving and all we know of its powers has been derived from these poisonous effects in animals. Here, then, is an immense field for research in homoeopathy. But who is to engage in such work and where is the financial support for it to come from? It is painfully obvious that the members of the dominant school are not interested, but that, on the contrary, they obstruct in every way any advance in the science of homoeopathy. Small wonder that our own school is definitely decadent.
MADISON, NEW JERSEY.