Drainage and Canalisation in Homeopathic Therapeutics

1. The Principle of Drainage, Corollary of the Law of Similars :

The principle of drainage is a necessary corollary of the complete observation of the law of similars in therapeutic. In fact, in most cases, a patient does not present only the symptoms of a single remedy. By complete observation we may find in him some symptoms that indicate other remedies. It is necessary then to choose, and the choice is difficult for the adepts of unicist school who give only one remedy very rarely repeated.

There is, therefore, a Similimum and some Simile. Consequently, Homoeopathy requires good valorisation, i.e., to say hierarchisation of symptoms and the medicines related to them. Why then should we not solve the difficulties by giving, according to a direction known in a advance, such satellite remedies or Simile which will prepare the organism for the action of Similimum. This is how one can explain drainage.

Let us refer to our scheme of successive planes of an organism and of the degradation of the morbid energy; we will understand and in practice we will be able to act in that manner. The idea of the degradation of morbid energy, as we have formulated it, seems to us necessary to explain drainage. In order to drain out the toxins, it is necessary that we should first of all degrade the morbid energies which exist and which are interiorised in the organism. We may find, in clinic, numerous examples in support of that theory.

When an intoxicated organism tries to debase that morbid energy, it should, in a chronic case, drain out the toxins always through mucous secretion. A mucous membrane presents anatomically some pathological transformations, ulceration or other, following which there will appear a flow. That flow is at first more or less excoriating, burning, painful, fetid like that of Iodium, Arsenicum album or Kreosotum.

If we apply one of these remedies, what will happen? Will the flow stop? Yes, only after changing the character : it will become non-corrosive, more thick, creamy yellow, more homogeneous and the patient will enter into the field of Pulsatilla which will cause the end of the flow, sometimes in the field of the action of Silicea, which is closely related to Pulsatilla and is its chronic counterpart, its analogue of the mineral kingdom.

This is one of the typical example of the degradation of the toxins explaining drainage.

2. The Law of Infinitesimal Dose and the Drainage :

Now we come to the law of infinitesimal dose which will help us to understand still better the value of drainage because to be an adept of drainage and canalisation, it is to reply to the questions that Homoeopaths of all schools and of all countries pose.

These are the questions : Should one, while treating a patient, give one for more medicines? Should one apply lower or higher potency? Should one, while applying more than one medicine, mix them or not? In a word should we rally with the School of Unicism or with Pluralism and finally to Homoeopathic complexism.

The principal argument put forward by those colleagues who are not partisans of Drainage is that traditionally well studied Homoeopathy claims the unique medicine. Generally, the Homoeopaths who argue thus invoke as their principal authority the master himself, Hahnemann.

Dr. Nebel has shown us that Hahnemann was a partisan of drainage. Hahnemann understood well: it is necessary to eliminate the toxins if it is not possible to neutralise them completely. What did he do when he came to see a patient? After having said not to take any medicine, specially allopathic medicine, even before prescribing a Homoeopathic medicine, he advised the patient in acute cases to drink as much water as possible. Was it not to dislodge the humors, in order to disintoxicate and to help elimination. It is impossible to believe that had Hahnemann lived up to out time, he would not have rallied to the practice of drainage, which is really rational and in no wies goes against the principles of Hahnemann.

The Unicists believe that when we give more than one medicine to a patient, we do a work of idleness, because we hesitate between several medicines and that in our hesitation between several medicines, we prefer to give to the patient the indicated remedies rather than doing a work of discrimination.

But this is erroneous. A homoeopath, an adept of the theory of drainage, should always look for the Similimum, and the proof is that we know certainly better than those who are the followers of other schools, specially of the old school, to hierarchise the medicines.

One should not think that any Homoeopathic remedy may be given in whatever dilution when it is indicated in a patient. Practice shows the contrary. There are some remedies which may be used in all the dilutions, there are others that should be applied only in high dilutions, there are still others that should be applied only in lower dilutions. It is thus that we arrive at the hierarchisation of the remedies according to the dilutions in which they should be applied as ground remedies, functional remedies and drainage. Pluralism then is the theory that can be practically in direct relation with the principle of Drainage.

Systematic complexism or the use of complex remedies is a practice which should be on the contrary avoided and which may be dangerous. Acting as complexists, we may obtain good results in some cases, but it is not possible to ascertain what the action of the remedies used is. On the contrary, in order to obtain a drainage and rapid and logical canalisation, we may apply several remedies. It will be always preferable not to mix them in advance… In reality, the practice of drainage leads very often to medicinal pluralism, and also leads to the real and conscious hierarchisation of remedies ground remedies, functional remedies, lesional remedies, bioendocrinological remedies, poly- drainers etc..

Let us recall here briefly the law of infinitesimal dose and its corollaries :

The first is the following :

A high dilution acts slowly, deeply and in a prolonged manner. A lower dilution acts rapidly, superficially and for a short duration.

Here is the corollary :

The high dilution will be indicated in chronic cases, the medium or lower dilutions in an acute case or for drainage.

The lower dilution is satellite to a higher dilutions; the lower dilution of a medicine may act as a canaliser of the medicine used in higher dilution.

The second law is as follows:

The high dilutions act rather on higher and subtle sphere of the organism, the lower on the lower spheres, on the viscera and on the mechanical plane.

Thanks to the above laws, we understand still more clearly the value of drainage which should be effected on all the spheres of the organism.

When we wish to drain in a material plane, by the digestive tract, by the principal viscera and through the emunctories, we should use lower dilutions.

When we wish, on the contrary, to have a drain age action, a debasement of the morbid energy on the higher or subtle spheres of the mentality, of the central or sympathetic nervous systems, we should use remedies in dilutions.

3. Law of Contraries and the Principle of Drainage :

We should now ask ourselves if the Law of Contraries may help us to understand the principles of Drainage and Canalisation.

Really speaking, as we have already said, the Law of Contraries, more important than it is not believed by some Homoeopaths, should be invoked only when it is not possible to follow the Law of Similars, i.e. to say when it is necessary to make palliative treatment, or when regimen and modalities are to be observed.

But precisely here, the Law of contraries may sometime be observed in some rare case as a means of check to some Homoeopathic remedies given according to the law of Similars in different dilutions, specially in high dilutions.

It is logical to use a check when it is necessary as well as an accelator in a given sense.

In some cases one may make the same reproach to Homoeopaths which they make themselves to the followers of the Official School. We say that the allopaths often observe without knowing, the law of similars. Similarly some Homoeopath very frequently observe the Law of Contraries, though not aware of it, when they use some medicines in ponderable doses or in lower dilutions used by our School. In such cases it is necessary to watch the patients closely, if these medicines are used for a long time, for a real pathogenesis of the medicine used.

The Law of Contraries should be observed only in very definite cases when its use would seem to be quite rational.

4. The Law of Compensations and Drainage :

It is by the observation of the Law of Equilibrium in its different aspects and following its numerous corollaries that we can understand better the value of the principles of drainage and canalisation.

When we recently studied the law of equilibrium we first of all considered the laws of compensations formulated by our friend Dr.Balland. That law of compensation is necessary in order to understand the series of remedies. In fact when we have to treat a chronic case we should not only know the basic remedy indicated by the patient and what are the satellite remedies that will be necessary to apply, but we should also know what were in the past the stages representing the homoeopathic remedies of which the patient has shown the symptoms.

Mauritius Fortier-Bernoville
Mauritius (Maurice) Fortier Bernoville 1896 – 1939 MD was a French orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Chief editor of L’Homeopathie Moderne (founded in 1932; ceased publication in 1940), one of the founders of the Laboratoire Homeopathiques Modernes, and the founder of the Institut National Homeopathique Francais.

Bernoville was a major lecturer in homeopathy, and he was active in Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis, and a founder of the le Syndicat national des médecins homœopathes français in 1932, and a member of the French Society of Homeopathy, and the Society of Homeopathy in the Rhone.

Fortier-Bernoville wrote several books, including Une etude sur Phosphorus (1930), L'Homoeopathie en Medecine Infantile (1931), his best known Comment guerir par l'Homoeopathie (1929, 1937), and an interesting work on iridology, Introduction a l'etude de l'Iridologie (1932).

With Louis-Alcime Rousseau, he wrote several booklets, including Diseases of Respiratory and Digestive Systems of Children, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Rheumatism, treatment of hay fever (1929), The importance of chemistry and toxicology in the indications of Phosphorus (1931), and Homeopathic Medicine for Children (1931). He also wrote several short pamphlets, including What We Must Not Do in Homoeopathy, which discusses the logistics of drainage and how to avoid aggravations.

He was an opponent of Kentian homeopathy and a proponent of drainage and artificial phylectenular autotherapy as well.