The neglect of Homoeopathy by the trained physician, the dissemination of homoeopathic knowledge amongst lay people to gain support for its cause, its regard as “quackery” by the dominant school, and the comparative ease with which even untrained practitioners can get brilliant results in difficult cases are some of the reasons for so many lay practitioners of Homoeopathy.
Many of these people are “natural healers” and with such excellent and powerful allies as the homoeopathic remedies they make great names for themselves amongst some people. If, now, a trained man should take up homoeopathic practice, he is immediately classed as “one of those.” Even when it is known that he is qualified, he is still considered a “qualified quack”.
Unfortunately, Homoeopathy, being the gentle art of healing without some of the lethal dangers of orthodox medicine, lends itself to easy abuse by home study and lay prescribing. Medically irresponsible treatment of the sick is indeed very rampant; and often the cases of these untrained people end up in a hospital for surgical or other treatment.
Here the previous treatment gets to be known and, instead of the ignorant offender getting the blame, the system of treatment is condemned forthwith.
Another class of enemy of Homoeopathy is the orthodox convert who became only partially acquainted with it, and, therefore, lacks the therapeutic confidence with which a physician should employ his therapies. This is most unfortunate, because because it is usually with the direly acute cases where he reverts to his orthodox drugs, his antibiotics hypnotics, anodynes, vitamins, etc. We are quite casual when we state that Homoeopathy won its most glorious laurels with these cases “near deaths door.”
It behooves the guilty ones amongst us, for the sake of our patients and Homoeopathy, to study the “acute” remedies profoundly. This way there will be more cures, less regrets, and very little waste of time when there surely may be none to waste on lengthy repertorizations. Repertories can never substitute for a knowledge of the Materia Medica!.
From time to time this writer has made the acquaintance of practitioners who use homoeopathic remedies privately almost exclusively, but secretly, being afraid that their standing in orthodox circles will be jeopardized. These people are thieves and cowards, or, at least, ungrateful recipients of bounty without due acknowledgement of its source. They are undoubtedly enemies, the “thieves in the night.” I have heard them say that such action on their part is but diplomacy. Unfortunately much that is called diplomacy is nothing more nor less than a particular brand of refined dishonesty.
The alternator of remedies is a fool, either self-deluded or ignorant. The course of action of one remedy at a time only can be followed in the vital system, and should not be changed or disturbed until it definitely shows itself to be incapable of overcoming in the malady, or until i has spent its utility and another remedy is indicated by the changed symptom picture. This is not alternation, but ancillary action of remedies as required by the curative course within the body. You may believe it or not, but such practice is evidence of ignorance or bad case- taking, or delusion on the part of the practitioner.
This statement also leads us to the repetition of remedies. Hahnemann, with his rich experience and observation, warned us against frequent repetition of remedies. This writer is even inclined to think that the Great Master himself was often too quick to repeat a potency, but then he did not deal with such high potencies.
Very seldom, even in acute diseases, is it necessary to repeat a well-indicated potency, if given sufficiently high. When the next dose is required, it is this writers experience that the case is either over the crisis and requires no further medicine, or else a following remedy is indicated.
In chronic work the author seldom uses more than one, two or three different medicines, given in a solitary dose with placebo to take once daily. The therapeutic action of some remedies is often observed weeks or even months after the initial dose, especially if given sufficiently high. An initial reaction should never be interfered with, so even though temporarily appearing adverse, unless the patients condition absolutely requires it.
Repetition of potencies seems to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks even to advanced practitioners. The writer has for a number of years followed the practice of waiting a week or two longer before repeating or changing the remedy, and he is of the firm opinion that his prescribing was improved thereby.
If you want to convince yourself as to the power of deep-acting remedies on the pathologically-sensitized patient, then take a few of them in proving. Most of my personal provings were done with solitary doses of the high potency, and I would not be keen to subject my patients to sustained reactions of nature that I experienced in provings with a single dose. At worst, it is known that repetition may end in a stalemate, therapeutic progress stopped and there is obstinate stagnation. Let the wise experiment and learn the lesson of experience thoroughly.
There is, of course, always amongst us the routinist. This is really a criminally careless practitioner. Tonsillitis! Oh, Baryta carb., or Ferrum phos. etc. This practitioner often gives his patient a little vial of pillules with instructions to suck a few of them whenever the first signs of a tonsillitis show. Look up in Kent how many different remedies are given under sore throat, tonsillar swelling, etc. Least of all can the homoeopathist be a routinist. He has to have the whole picture for the selection of his remedy, otherwise we shall advise him to use other terminology for his practice, but not that which bellies the very name of Homoeopathy.
Let me impress right here on the mind of any and every would-be homoeopathic or “chronic” routinist that a single dose of the well-selected remedy often leads to a cure; but ever so frequently and especially after much unhomoeopathic previous treatment, the symptom picture changes and requires different prescriptions until the symptoms stabilize and then the deep- acting potency will lead on to complete cure.
There is the case of the homoeopathic polypharmacist. He is really a therapeutic anarchist, causing rebellion, revolution, disruption in the vital economy of the body, destroying all law and order, and making such a hopeless muddle of symptoms that it is often difficult to establish order and make immediately effective and worthwhile prescriptions. It has been the misfortune of the writer to deal with many cases who came to him from a firm of foreign iris-diagnosticians and so called homoeopathic practitioners, who are in the habit of giving at least a dozen different low potency homoeopathic pillules, herbal extracts and patent nostrums, all to be taken at least once during the day, so that their patients have hardly time for anything else but taking medicines from morning till night.
Some of these people claim excellent results, but the trained physician is not at a loss to understand such results. This brings to mind a recent scandalous Swedish report about the prescription of blank medicines by some lay practitioners and fraudulently prepared by some drug house. It was not revealed how many dangerously ill patients of the Bell., Bapt., etc. or again Tuberculin, Arsenicum, or Sulph., types they cured with their pseudo-psychological prescriptions. No skilled homoeopathist would have been fooled for long by such a hoax. Even during this writers early and inexperienced days he once bought medicines prepared from dried imported plants, but all went down the drain within a month.
There is a certain crowd of lay practitioners in England (as well as the rest of the world), one of whom was quite a prolific writer on Homoeopathy, who actually specialized in a form of polypharmacy where several remedies of a high potency are given in a day. The writer mentioned in his books that he used in some cases upwards of fifty remedies.
These people do not fool the trained man, but unfortunately their books introduced even by well-known and high-standing orthodox medical practitioners, who find nothing wrong with a laxative in the morning for the constipation, digestive tablets after each meal for the indigestion, a mineralized vitamin injection for deficiency and, of course, a somniferous shot or capsule for the sleeplessness! There is only injury done to the cause of scientific Homoeopathy by these vociferous advocates of unscientific, unproven and deleterious rubbish! Read their writings and one comes to the conclusions that they are eventually treating the symptoms of their own creation and the patient gets into a see-saw state of amelioration and aggravation, but no cure!.
Finally there is a great lack of proper training amongst so-called homoeopathists. Much of the training in Homoeopathy all over the world is of such a nature that we must of necessity let loose on the public people who should not practise Homoeopathy. Their homoeopathic clinical background is so poor that their confidence must be necessity desert them when dealing with dangerously ill patients. When they then revert to the orthodox remedies, they can only throw themselves wide open to ridicule. Is it any wonder that many orthodox practitioners believe that Homoeopathy gets results by way of suggestion only?.
I am indebted to my friend and colleague, Dr. A. Taylor Smith of Johannesburg, for the following extract from The Proper Study of Mankind: The Rede Lecture for 1953. by A. D. Gardner, Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford University:
Another strange relic of dogmatic therapeutics is Homoeopathy. This doctrine sprang from the brain of a German physician called Hahnemann at the end of the eighteenth century. Misinterpreting some of his own experiences, he laid it down that a disease should be treated with minute doses of a drug which, when administered to healthy persons, would cause symptoms like those of the disease. Similia similibus curentur is the slogan of the homoeopathists, which being interpreted, prescribes a hair of the dog that bit you. Modern medicine gives no support whatever to this doctrine.
Innumerable discoveries are completely incompatible with it. Although I feel strongly that no educated person should subscribe to such ill-founded creed, homoeopathy does comparatively little harm because it applies its special form of treatment mainly or exclusively to the less important types of disease. In dangerous illnesses homoeopathists have the good sense to make free use of the main modern advances in medicine and surgery, however much they conflict with the teaching of the master.
Notwithstanding Prof. Gardners seniority, his observations obviously are based on conclusions drawn from the actions of some calling themselves “homoeopathists” and not from investigation of the science of Homoeopathy or the work of its founder. Right here, as an homoeopathist and scientist, I say to him, no, I challenge him and his likes to investigate Homoeopathy critically and scientifically, and without the bias of the sectarian, and if they then find it wanting, we can discuss it further or I may revert to their kind of practice!.
In fairness to Homoeopathy, let no one mention it in connection with his practice, unless he has completely understood the tremendous depth and significance of the homoeopathic laws and principles based on experimental science and clinical experience; he has acquired the art of case-taking and judgment; has understood the meaning of symptoms and their precedence in importance and has mastered their correct interpretation; has fathomed the intimate interrelation between psyche and some; and has acquired the art of judging the progress of the prescribed remedy in the vital restoration and has learned not to interfere therewith, except at the optimum moment.
He who acts thus will no longer be blinded by lurid false lights, or be deafened to the voice of truth by the drums of the modern voodoo. He may even become the great and trusted physician who will gain the support of those patients intelligently seeking an alternative to the excesses of modern medicine and surgery, as well as gain the respect of his orthodox colleagues on his own merits, without trying to outdo them in extolling the spurious virtues of their so-called latest discoveries.
Selling some homoeopathic drugs to patients just does not make one an HOMOEOPATHIST!.
23 Regal House
Union of South Africa.