What is Homœopathy ?
Homœopathy is the science of therapeutics-based upon Nature's law of cure-Similia Similibus Curantur.*
Homœopathy is derived from two Greek words
ο'μοιος = like, similar
πα'θος = suffering
-meaning similar affections
Dr. Dudgeon, who was authority on the works of Hahnemann asserted that Hahnemann always wrote Curentur.
Nevertheless, Curantur has been almost universally adopted by the homœopathic school in the belief and conviction that it is a law of nature,-likes are cured by likes,
rather thanCurentur, let likes be treated by likes.
The medallion found on Hahnemann's remains, at the time of their removal to the Père-Lachaise Cemetery, has it Curantur.
The American Institute of Homœopathy has officially recommended the use of Curentur.
It means that drug producing disturbances in a comparatively healthy body is
capable of relieving or entirely obliterating similar disturbances, when found
in the sick person.
Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, at the beginning of the last century discovered the law, and immediately set to work ascertaining drug action upon the healthy, thus creating a Materia Medica for its practical application.
Hahnemann himself in his Organon, mentions seven medical authors who had presentiments of the law of similars.
It had been intimated or conjectured by Hippocrates, Paracelsus, Stoerck and others ; abandoned by them, however, it remained for Hahnemann to demonstrate its truth ; hence, in a general sense, it may be said he discovered the law.
Chief works of Hahnemann appertaining to Homœopathy are "The Organon ;" "The Materia Medica Pura ;" "The Chronic Diseases," and "The Lesser Writings."
Fundamental principles of Homœopathy.
1. Disease is manifested by symptoms.
2. Knowledge of drug action must be obtained by experimentation on the healthy human body.
3. The curative relation between these two sets of phenomena is by virtue of the law of similars, or Similia Similibus Curantur.
4. The selected remedy should be administered singly, uncombined with any other, hence the doctrine of the single remedy.
5. It should be 'given in the smallest doses that will cure, hence the minimum dose.
Three essentials of a homœopathic Prescription
1. Prescribing according to the law of similars.
2. Administering the smallest dose that will cure.
3. Repetition of the dose should cease when marked improvements sets in, especially in chronic affections.
The totality of the symptoms found in a given case is the only indication for the selection of a remedy.
Totality of the symptoms
All the symptoms observed in a patient-both subjective and objective. It is the outwardly reflected image of the diseased state, and is the only condition to be recognized for removal and consequent restoration to health.
In the totality of symptoms all are not of like importance. The most prominent, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) symptoms of the case should bear the closest similitude to the symptoms of the drug. The more general symptoms require less notice, as generalities are common to every disease and most drugs.
Symptoms taking precedence in the selection of a remedy and in determining improvement.
The mental symptoms and those that have appeared last. Incipient improvement is indicated by increased comfort, greater tranquility. and ease of mind, and also disappearance, first, of the more recently developed symptoms.
We discover the action of remedies by provings on the healthy human body and observation of cases of poisoning.
Proving of drugs
A proving is an experiment on the healthy body with a drug in varying doses sufficient to produce symptoms. It is the testing of drugs for their true and unequivocal effects.
Relative value of the records of poisoning and proving of a drug
For purposes of prescribing, the proving is indispensable and far more important. It gives the finer distinction of the action of a drug, whereas the poisoning gives the coarser action. Usually the fatal effects of poison prevent the development of the finer symptomatology which alone guides the Homœopathist to the choice of a remedy.
Pathogenesis of a drug
The record of all the symptoms, subjective and objective, produced by testing drugs on the human body in varying doses, on different individuals and both-sexes. It includes toxicology.
Homœopathic aggravation and its significance
A temporary increase in the severity of the symptoms of a case after administering the similimum. Its significance is favorable since in stopping further medication a cure will follow as a rule.
Materia Medica is the study of drugs-medical material for the cure of the sick.
A substance which alters the function or nutrition of a part or parts of the body is called drug.
Sources of the remedies used in Homœopathy
They are obtained from the three kingdoms of nature , the Animal, Mineral and Vegetable.
The homœopathic designation for the morbid product of disease, when employed as remedies.
Some of the principal nosodes are Psorinum, Syphilinum and Tuberculinum. Ambra grisea, though not classed by pharmacists as a nosode, is a diseased animal product.
Therapeutics is the application of drugs to diseases for their relief or cure ; besides this, it includes all that relates to the science and art of healing by other remedial measures, it further embraces dietetics, climate, clothing, bathing, nursing, application of heat, cold, light, electricity, chemotherapy, etc.
Methods of combating disease are divided into the preventive, palliative, and curative methods.
It includes everything that physiology, sanitary science, hygiene, bacteriology and antiseptic medication teaches to lessen the development of disease' ; the use of homœopathic remedies in preventing development of epidemic and hereditary diseases is also included.
The use of drugs in physiological doses for their direct effect. This is practically allopathy. Brilliant palliative results are obtained from the homœopathic remedy in incurable cases.
This field is exclusively occupied by Homœopathy.
That practice based upon mere experience without regard to any scientific deduction or investigation. Medical routinism.
A symptom is the expression of disturbances in a healthy body produced by a drug or some morbid agent.
Symptoms of the Materia Medica
We may we divide the symptoms of the Materia Medica: First, into pathogenetic, and clinical ; second, into generic and characteristic.
Pathognomonic symptoms are characteristic symptoms of disease and belong to the diagnostician.
One obtained from provings on the healthy or from toxicological observations.
One that is observed on the sick and has not been obtained from a proving. A patient under treatment is given a remedy for certain conditions ; if a certain marked symptom not found in the proving of that remedy disappears, it is credited to the action of that remedy and called a clinical symptom.
They are not of equal importance to pathogenetic symptoms. They must be used with great caution.
But it is often that some clinical symptoms observed by trained men have been very valuable additions to the Materia Medica. They are possible pathogenetic symptoms.
Generic symptoms are symptoms common to a number of drugs. Such symptoms are : Loss of appetite, weakness, distress, headache, etc. They are of little value to the prescriber.
It is the individualizing symptom of a drug. In its complete expression it should belong to one drug alone.
They sometimes denominated as Key-note symptoms, Guiding symptoms.
A symptom which either the prover or the patient experiences and can express in language.
Objective symptoms are those which appeal directly to the senses of the physician.
Location, sensation, and condition of aggravation or amelioration are the three essential features of every complete symptom.
The conditions of aggravation and amelioration of these features is most important.
These three essentials are not to be found in every symptom. Our provings have been made without due regard to these three essential features, but it should be the aim in prescribing to complete them as far as possible.
Difference between symptomatalogy in the "Materia Medica Pure" and that of the "Chronic Diseases
The former contains only the pathogenetic symptoms -such as are observed on the healthy-whereas the "Chronic Diseases" contains many clinical symptoms besides.
The arrangement of the symptoms in anatomical order, beginning with head, then nose, eyes, face, etc.
Relation of Homœopathy to all forms of local treatment
The ideal Homœopath does not recognize that local treatment has any important value ; indeed all such accessory treatment is held as harmful to the action of a remedy. But practically and clinically it has been found that in many cases a mild local treatment is not only harmful but beneficial. But the homœopathicity of the remedy employed should be recognized here as when given internally.
Relation of Homœopathy to surgery
There are many conditions in which the knife alone is indicated, but Homœopathy possesses remedies and measures that frequently make its use unnecessary. Tumors are sometimes permanently cured by a course of homœopathic remedies. Shock is also prevented by the timely administration of the similar remedy.
Isopathy is giving a product of a disease for the disease itself, thus administering the same thing in an attenuated form, whereas Homœopathy is the administering of similar wholly foreign agents to diseased conditions.
Examples of isopathy
Tuberculinum as a remedy for tuberculosis.
Syphilinum as a remedy for syphilis.
Hydrophobinum for rabies.
These isopathic remedies may be used legitimately as homœopathic remedies, only when they are properly proven. For instance, Psorinum has been proven and found to be a valuable homœopathic remedy.
Isopathic medication was introduced into Homœopathy by Dr. Lux, in 1823. Drs. Lux and Hering taught that the toxins formed in the body, properly attenuated, are capable of curing the very disease that give rise to them.
These teachings were revived half a century later, by Pasteur and Koch.
Medication by curative or productive serums or anti-toxins obtained from men or animals sick with a similar disease. There are also synthetic chemical anti-toxins which not being of animal origin are safer than serums. They are dynamic in action and in accord with the laws of similars.
A preventive or preservative remedy. Belladonna as : a preventive of Scarlet Fever has achieved considerable reputation.
From the Latin -to please. An inert preparation, usually sugar of milk, given the patient while watching a case for the development of symptoms, or while permitting a previously administered drug to act undisturbed. It is also sometimes necessary in impatient cases coming from allopathic hands.
A remedy that is given for a single symptom or condition ; usually an antipathic remedy given in a physiological dose.
Homœopathy in palliation
Palliation of prominent symptoms ought to be discharged, for it provides only in part for a single symptom ; it may bring partial relief, but this is usually soon followed by a perceptible aggravation of the entire disease.
Morphine, for relief of pain and to stupefy. Quinine, in febrile conditions, and the modern coal tar preparations like Phenacetine, Antipyrine, Sulphonal, and Aspirin are some of the palliatives very generally employed.
All non-medicinal palliatives, such as heat, cold, demulcents, and food-like principles are some palliatives that are in harmony with homœopathic medication.
One who adds to his knowledge of medicine a special knowledge of homœopathic therapeutics and observes the law of similia. All that pertains to the great field of medicinal learning is his by tradition, by inheritance, by right.
Relation of drugs to each other
Antidotal, concordant, complementary, inimical and family.
It is a substance which modifies or opposes the effects of a remedy.
Drugs whose actions are similar, but of dissimilar origin, are said to be concordant and they follow each other well.
Examples of concordant remedies: China, and Calcarea. Pulsatilla and Sepia. Nitric acid and Thuja. Belladonna and Mercurius.
Drugs which have a relation of enmity towards each other and therefore do not follow each other well.
Examples of inimical relation: Apis and Rhus. Phosphorus and Causticum. Silicea and Mercurius.
The relation existing between drugs whose origin is similar.
Examples of family relation: The Halogens : Bromine, Chlorine and Iodine. Lachesis and Crotalus. Ignatia and Nux vomica. The Ranunculaceæ family.
Nux vomica and Coffea. Belladonna and Opium. Bryonia and Rhus. Hepar and Mercurius.
A relation wherein one drug completes the cure which was commenced by another drug.
Examples of complementary relations : Belladonna and Calcarea. Sulphur and Nux vomica. Apis and Natrum muriaticum.
From the Greek words πολνς many and Χρηοτος uses.) A drug that is very frequently used ; one whose range of applicability is extensive ; an every day remedy.
Differentiation of remedies
It is the pointing out of differences in the action of related remedies.
Alternation of remedies
The administration of two or more remedies successively, first one then the other, which appear to correspond with the morbid state.
Alternation of remedies is a reprehensive practice because
1. The totality of the symptoms which should form the basis of every homœopathic prescription cannot be found under more than one remedy at a time.
2. It leads to polypharmacy, a slovenly mode of practice, and does not advance accurate and definite knowledge of drug action.
3. Prescribing a second remedy before the action of the first is exhausted will interfere with its action. By such mismanagement remedies seem to lose their power.
4. Remedies which antidote each other or hold inimical relation to each other might be alternated.
5. Statistics prove that diseases treated with the single remedy recover more rapidly.
Elective affinity of drugs
It is the affinity that certain drugs have for certain parts or organs of the body. Podophyllum is especially a liver remedy. Cantharis elects the urinary organs for action, Strychnia, the spinal cord, Tellurium, the tympanum, Ergot, the uterus, etc. A more modern term that is sometimes used is tissue proclivity and it is probably more exact.
Hahnemann's doctrine of chronic diseases
It is based upon the theory that there are three distinct miasms underlying all forms of chronic disease, namely : the psoric, the syphilitic and the sycotic. They may exist alone or combined in the system, and are characterized by distinct groups of symptoms, for which Hahnemann has distinct groups of corresponding remedies.
Hahnemann's doctrine of the three miasms is not accepted by the entire homœopathic school.
In regard to syphilis there is no difference of opinion, and the chronic miasm due to this poison, as pointed out by Hahnemann, is literally true. But there is much difference of opinion in regard to psora and sycosis.
In Hahnemann's pathology psora is the miasm that is developed from the suppression of the itch, some cutaneous or other external manifestations of disease. In modern pathology the term tubercular is analogous to the term psoric used by Hahnemann. The cancer disease is always of a psoric origin.
It is a fact that frequently a rapid disappearance of a. skin disease, whether spontaneous or brought about by injudicious external medication, is followed by grave symptoms, due probably to its changing from an external to an internal and more vital location.
A remedy especially adapted to the treatment of chronic diseases, so called because Hahnemann considered them special remedies for psora.
[The following is Hahnemann's list of antipsoric remedies :
They have the greatest value especially in the treatment of chronic disease ; and their great clinical success proves, more of the essential correctness of Hahnemann's doctrine of chronic diseases than theoretical speculation.
Pharmacology and pharmacodynamics
Pharmacology is that division of materia Medica which treats of the action of drugs upon the living body, and pharmacodynamics is the division of pharmacology which considers the effects and uses of medicines.
Homœopathy is superior to practice according to some pathological theory because ideas on pathology are constantly changing, this leads to an unstable and changing system of therapeutics.
Some of the advantages of Homœopathy over allopathy
1. It cures disease in the safest, quickest and pleasantest manner.
2. Dangerous drugging and debilitating measures are no part of it.
3. Expensive druggists' bills and the uncertain elements of prescription filling are avoided.
4. Diseases beyond the reach of allopathic medication are cured by Homœopathy.
5. The knife and other surgical measures are rendered less often necessary, and surgical cases treated homœopathically have superior chances of well doing.
6. The development of diseases and malignant growths is prevented in their incipiency.
7. Relapses are prevented, as it removes the tendency to disease.
8. Drug diseases are avoided.