Monthly Archives: March 2014

Eczema case after 3 weeks

This is the result of the Eczema case after 3 weeks on the remedy in 0/1 potency of the L.M. Scale. Keep your remedy choice and reason for prescribing coming…

CASE HERE

Before:

After

Before

after

Before

after

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Another Find the remedy case.

I was contacted by a colleague of mine who is a very competent homoeopathic Physician, and yet was having difficulties with treating a patient for a skin complaint. The patient was his son. I was given the symptoms via email as follows:

“…My son is aged 6. His mother gave him vaccinations about 2 years ago.

……..he has eczema on his neck, anterior plane of elbows, and behind his knees. The skin on the eczema sites eventually become  like leather and quite hard. The eruptions itch and irritate him quite badly. There are pimples on his skin in other places not obviously connected with the eczema. He seems to be worse after playing and sweats a lot and itches quite badly. He takes a shower and drys off and feels better for a while. The itching starts again after going to bed.

His general temperament is of a kind nature, and only gets upset and irritable and angry if his stomach is empty and he needs to eat. He is sensitive to people talking loud and noise in general.

I have given Rhus tox 30c  on the advice of another practitioner whom I consulted, and nothing seems to be happening. I am considering Pulsatilla.…”

I found the actual email that I responded to the case with………

****************************************************************************

Dear XXXXXXXXXX

§ 153 Fifth Edition
In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.

I look for the characteristic symptoms of the disease state, it might be in the presenting complaint and it might be an associated symptoms, it really doesnt matter as long as it is CHARACTERISTIC of the remedy that produces the same symptoms from the provings.

§ 6 Fifth Edition
The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.

I look only at what a picture of health should be, what his ACTUAL picture of health was prior to this, and what it is now… noting the difference. This is ALL I look at. I see he had vaccinations prior to the onset of this problem. It may or not be a cause, In any case I took ONLY the expression of the disorder and how it affected him and how he expressed himself.

I then went on to explain WHY it could not be Rhus Tox and suggested a medicine to take daily. I know the Physician in him was surprised at the choice of medicine, but he gave it anyway.

Please have a go at repertorising the case. It is not a difficult one once the symptoms are clear in your mind.

Acute case from archives

Acute inflammation of larynx

Practitioner: Vladimir Polony. California.

To show the application of the techniques of case taking applied by another practitioner to achieve the same result.

May 7, 2011

Description

A 37 year old woman complaining of the following symptoms:

  • a sudden, acute, right-sided pain in the right side of larynx aggravated by swallowing
  • sensation of swelling of larynx and tonsils, objectively the larynx was inflamed and swollen on the right side only
  • the whole complex of symptoms appeared suddenly after experiencing an emotional distress

Case analysis

The striking points of the case are of course the particulars of the symptoms as described by the patient. The most unusual and characteristic key point of the case was the sudden appearance of the symptom after experiencing emotional distress.

Locality: Larynx, right side

Sensation: the pain could not be described by the patient

Condition: inflammatory swelling

Modality: aggravation on swallowing

Causation: emotional disturbance

Repertorization

The repertory used for the repertorization was the P&W 2011 Edition of the Therapeutic Pocketbook. The symptoms were broken down into its components (as described earlier) and repertorized.

The remedies Pulsatilla, Phosphorus and Aconite were rejected immediately, as they did not correspond with the case picture with the striking one-sidedness of the complaint. The grade of all three remedies in the right-sidedness of the complaint is only 1. The remedies with the highest consistency of grades (and therefore belonging most likely to an already observed symptom complex) were Belladonna and Rhus Toxicodendron.

After studying Belladonna, I have found the following references:

Inflammation of the throat and fauces. Sore throat, with stitches, and pain as of an internal swelling during deglutition.

Henry Buck, The Outlines of Materia Medica

Inflammation of the throat, with sensation of a lump, which induces hawking, with dark redness and swelling of the velum palati and tonsils.

John Henry Clarke, A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica

Inflammation of throat and fauces.;Sore throat, stitches in the pharynx and pain as from internal swelling…;The throat is swollen internally.

Samuel Hahnemann, Materia Medica Pura

Although Rhus Toxicodendron has similar symptoms (including the aggravation on swallowing), the causation of emotional distress is not a prominent symptom of this remedy.

Prescription

Belladonna 200C in 2dl of water was given and the patient felt the disappearance of the pain immediately.

The next day the lain in the larynx has reappeared again (with lower intensity than before), so another does of Belladonna 200C in 2dl water was given and the symptom has disappeared completely.

Boenninghausens own case.

 

  Boenninghausen fell ill in April 1833 with a serious intestinal blockage, and was, he felt, on the verge of death when he found almost instant relief in Thuja. He then wrote to Hahnemann about this incident and received a reply dated 28th April 1833. Hahnemann relates that he too had fallen ill on or about 3 April 1833 for 2 weeks from an illness that had threatened his life. He had been saved only by the use of several remedies in a short period of time. What is interesting is that Boenninghausen had also had to use two other remedies, approximately eight days apart, to complete the cure begun by Thuja, and that these were precisely the two remedies Hahnemann had suggested he take not knowing that Boenninghausen had already taken both, each one well-indicated for the case.

     In spite of the great care I took, some vexation… may have contributed to my getting a suffocative catarrh, which for seven days before the 10th of April, and for fourteen days afterwards, threatened to choke me …Only since the last four days I feel myself saved. First by smelling twice of Coffea cr. X-o, then of Calcarea; also Ambra contributed its share…     I was sorry to hear from all my heart, that you have been so sick … Now if you would have an additional advice for the restoration of the activity of your bowels, I would call your attention to Conium and to Lycopodium, and to take daily walks in the open air. (Boenninghausen, Lesser Writings, p. 205-206)

     Boenninghausen at this point in the article comments on Hahnemann’s suggestion of two remedies:

     I would add here that a few days after sending off my letter [likely the 15th of April] in which I had neither asked for his advice nor spoken of any additional treatment I had taken the homoeopathically indicated Lycopodium, and so also about eight days before receiving the letter [“first days of May”] from our Hahnemann Conium, each in a minimal and single dose, and nothing else at all… What a mass of observations and of experience was required, together with what a rare divining power, in order to give in advance (in a disease which had only been communicated as to its leading characteristics and as to the mere naming of the first remedy used), two remedies which only subsequently, through their symptoms, were so distinctly and determinedly indicated, as homoeopathically suitable, that of all the other remedies none could come into competition and the result had already proved the correctness of the advice before it had become known to me! (Boenninghausen, Lesser Writings, p. 206)

Absolutely amazing that Hahnemann knew the medicines so well, along with progression of disease that he could tell Boenninghausen what medicines would follow!


How to deal with information taken in a case.

A physician will have a mind full of facts, data and experience. ALL of it useful knowledge.

In taking a case of a patient, the homoeopathic physician is aware that before him is a singular case of disease, peculiar to the patient and individual in character. This does not negate ANY of the knowledge held regarding pathology and named disease progression. If anything it is useful in establishing common symptoms pertaining to certain disease states to determine what is to be taken into account or not.

For an accurate case taking and analysis, it is always best to remove overlays of philosophical or religious ideas, and deal directly with the exhibited symptoms that can be observed or detailed by the patient or those familiar with the situation. This approach will negate the emphasis on mental/emotional/spiritual theories regarding WHY the patient is having issues, and will instead focus on the ACTUAL and REAL symptoms experienced.

I have been asked to detail the reasons for the prescription made for the Hard Stool case.

Firstly, in looking at the case, I took the background into consideration that physical tendencies and weakness were inherent in the D.S. condition. However, it usually is a loose bowel motion rather than constipation that we come across. That is not to say it is unusual, more that I have not seen it myself as much.

That said, I took the literal existence of ‘hard stools’ which was the problem. If we examine JUST THE ONE SYMPTOM, in all its components, we begin to follow a pattern.

They boy had a large appetite. He had a continued problem with worms (diagnosed as roundworms). Rich food would aggravate him.

However, regardless of the aggravation, he had a problem with HARD stools that were light in colour, odourous and would not be expelled easily. Now we could state that his skin appearance could be due to not having his system cleared regularly, which may be true, or we could observe it as an existing symptom present all the time. I also noted the nature of his eruptions were yellow. The liquid earwax was also present most of the time. So we now have:

If we just take the STOOL symptoms alone, there are lots of medicines that in combination will cause similar problems. However, in looking at his other presenting symptoms, only 9 medicines cause aggravation from rich foods. Only 6 medicines cause an obvious “DIRTY” skin complexion , only 8 medicines cause a liquid or fluid ear wax discharge and only 19 medicines cause yellow spots.

Remember I am using the P&W Therapeutic Pocket Book based on 125 medicines collated by Boenninghausen.

So, as the symptoms exist and are present, the stool symptoms by itself is pretty common. However, if we look at a combination of just 3 symptoms external to the stool we have:

and if we look at constant symptoms: his appetite, the presence of worms and aggravation from rich food we have:

So whichever way the symptoms are analysed, in combination  a variety of ways, Iodium is capable of producing these symptoms individually BUT also together in one form or another.

In assessing the remedy Iodium for prescription, We see that Hahnemann notes a “good appetite” also the opposite of a loss of appetite. Boenninghausen lists it as a major medicine for causing ravenous eating. Other physicians note it too.

Buck, Henry, The Outlines of Materia Medica
Appetite Abnormal.

Farrington, Ernest, Lectures on Clinical Materia Medica
There is excessive appetite, he is anxious and faint if he does not get his food.
The patient has a very good appetite, and is relieved by eating.
….a ravenous appetite.
This, in conjunction with the other Iodine symptoms, sallow, tawny skin, ravenous appetite, etc., makes Iodine the remedy which will relieve many cases and cure some.

So as we read Iodium. we begin to see the symptoms that Hahnemann and Boenninghausen noted of importance. I could list them all but better that the reader does it so as to impress on the memory.

You will not always find exact matches to the symptoms. The T.P.B. is a synthetic approach to case analysis and will extrapolate symptoms from other areas of the provings, BUT: will always always always lead to a medicine or group of medicines that can cause similar problems. I was happy to prescribe Iodium.

Find the Remedy Analysis

When considering health restoration, a Physician requires an overview of the conditions that prevail in each individual case. This is the Evans model depicting a general perspective of circumstances that affect each and every individual on the planet.

This model is one of the best I have seem for explaining the existing conditions that are representative of well being and disease. Each area if adjusted out of balance with another, will lead to a stress on the individual and create a dis-ease.

Downs Syndrome Case of Hard Stools.

We can see the disturbance is from the genetic endowment, the Biology and the Health and function, which affects the Well being.

The individual response from the person is reflected in the diseased state.

We have a predefined circumstance of known proportion in Downs Syndrome. To a lesser or greater extent, certain conditions will be present, celiac disease, Thyroid involvement. mental constraints affecting cognitive ability, certain physical characteristics etc.

The patient presented with chronic constipation and hard stools. Given that it is a part of the ‘picture of Downs Syndrome’, it is an exacerbation of either celiac or the Thyroid problems.

In taking the case, I noted characteristics of the patient that stood out.

  • Skin colour/tone looked unwashed.
  • Eruptions were yellow.
  • liquid earwax present all the time.
  • Aggravated by rich foods.
  • Hard stools.

These are the symptoms that formed the basis of my prescription. I KNOW that we can attribute each and every one to the common ailments within the condition, but that is irrelevant in as much as these symptoms in combination are the INDIVIDUALISED picture of his expression of affection.

I must admit, my thoughts during the case taking were leaning towards Sulphur or Mercurius, but a careful examination of the Chronic Diseases via the T.P.B. pointed me in the correct direction. Given that Thyroid issues are a common part of the condition, I was more than happy to prescribe Iodium based on the ability of it to produce similar symptoms. It was a surprise to me to see it be indicated strongly, when I would have suspected celiac Disease as the culprit.

However, the prescription is only as good as its effect, and after the first 4 weeks with little happening, I began to doubt my choice. However on re reading the proving, I could not prescribe anything else. So I upped the potency and continued. The rest is documented in the case notes.

Here is the complete repertory symptoms for further reading.

Considerations in case taking.

thoughtful-senior-physician-thinking-with-hand-on-his-chinIm writing this brief article for the practitioners that have not been taught the Hahnemannian medical approach in tracing the full picture of the ‘disease’ and then how to extract the prescribing symptoms from that picture.

EVERYTHING a homoeopath needs to know is contained in the Organon of Medicine. When read as written, without philosophical or interpretive overlay, a very precise, mode of scientific examination and symptom synthesis and choice is shown how to be applied in every case. Each and every rubric, whilst complete in itself, it integrally allied to others to show amplification of the methodology contained within.

This article is linked specifically to the case presented Find the Remedy but is exactly the same method used for any case of disease.

§ 6 Fifth Edition
The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.

When a patient presents for treatment, they come for specific deviations in their health picture which are now troubling them. One of the less understood things regarding treatment, is that the term “former healthy state” is qualified by “of the now diseased individual”

Why is this important? Well, it requires the physician to take into account the entire background of the patient in an analytical manner starting from knowledge of Health.

Health is the absence of dis-ease. However, genetically, familially, racially, environmentally, each person comes with a set of modifications and adaptions and resultant state of existence, that allow them to live in, at best, a balanced compromise to get the best out of a functioning organism given the circumstances. Sometimes, an individual is born or acquires a deficit of health that leaves them with disorders such as auto-immune disease, Downs Syndrome, Autism, Poor eyesight, etc etc.

When a person with, for example, Downs Syndrome, presents for treatment for a troubling new disturbance, or an exacerbation of an existing set of symptoms, the physician has to balance carefully the normal ‘former healthy state of the now diseased individual within the boundaries of the patients individual mode of existence and with the known limitations set by his or her condition. There are weaknesses and predispositions and affected organs and disease states associated with certain types of illness that cannot be ignored.

So a healthy state has to be considered entirely individually, and within the constraints of what is possible to treat, but always with the knowledge of what a REAL healthy state is, and try and balance everything.

This is important. In taking a correct approach to treatment, it allows us to be more accurate in our assessment, and in giving the appropriate treatment, it allows the organism to fix itself to the extent the organism CAN be fixed and in some cases will move the health forward in leaps and bounds. HOWEVER.. good homoeopathic treatment, will NOT cure Downs Syndrome and will not remove the associated problems or weaknesses, BUT it will allow for vastly improved health within the boundaries. (another example is the RESULTS of disease. Heart issues after Rheumatic Fever etc)

This patient presented with constipation which is a known issue in the disorder. However, the extent of the problem was quite severe, and therefore help was sought to remove or alleviate the problem. In the event, the issue was 95% removed. Did I expect this issue to be removed?

The answer to that question is the same for all cases that present to my clinic. I have complete faith in the efficacy of a well prescribed medicine or series of medicines for helping an organism to overcome disorders that persist. If the body is capable of regulating itself, then YES, I expect the issue to be removed or alleviated. How quickly, or how effectively is something else. As we do not always know the development or reasons for the disorder, we must persist and be patient and apply due diligence in chasing the symptoms as they appear for prescribing and observe carefully the results of each medicinal action. We also need to be aware that in some cases, PHYSICAL limitations and balance of disorders is the best we can do. I have patients for whom I reach a level of functionality on all levels, for which I cease prescribing at that point simply because, to the extent of my abilities and their functionality which is FAR better than before, I dont want to chase one disorder and risk the best they can be all things considered.

We ALWAYS prescribe for the totality of symptoms which we have elicited from the patients own set of circumstances and what has changed for the worse for them.

In collecting the picture of the disease, we then need to determine the essential prescribing symptoms which represent the ENTIRE case, either in a single symptom, or a collection of two or three symptoms that characterize the disorder.

The above notes are something that we take in to account as we assess the scope of the issues presented. It is not defeatist or pessimistic. It is the realistic evaluation as a physician, and as such, when we prescribe, we will be presented with that individuals reaction and curative resources which may be stronger than we hoped for within the limits of the disability. For many of the clinics patients who read this, they will testify to the help received from medicines which turned their lives around in impossible circumstances. Some have to live with their disorders, Diabetes etc but in a more controlled and less affected way.

I have added a background to Downs Syndrome on the case…. Relook at the case and try again.

Find the remedy.

  • Date: April 2011
  • Repertory used: Therapeutic Pocket Book P&W Edition.
  • Consultation time 50 minutes.
  • Materia Medica consulted: Chronic Diseases by Samuel Hahnemann.

(I have numerous responses to this presentation, some directly to the website (here), and several in Email. Perhaps in your responses, you might be so kind as to outline your reasons for the prescription that you made.

Model

14 year old Male. Downs Syndrome.

Parents presented child for help with constipation.

I undertook a full health history and symptom collection.

Notes:

Since childhood, the boy had suffered chronic constipation which occasionally required mechanical removal. Stools were very odorous, light in colour and always hard. The boy had a history of repeated infection with stool worms. His appetite was always large and would eat at every opportunity. The parents kept him on a moderate bland diet as he suffered stomach upset with spiced or rich gravies or meat.

Physical examination.

Skin had a pallor of off colour about it. from a couple of feet away he looked like he needed a good wash. (His parents were fastidious about keeping him clean and this was not the reality).They said he regularly got a few spots around his body and they were yellow in colour. I also noticed he had a lot of liquidy earwax in both ears. I was informed that this was very common for him.

After considering the symptoms, I prescribed XXXXX in the 0/1 potency of LM preparation. Once daily.

Follow up 4 weeks later: The only change was that his appetite had diminished a little and he was sleeping more. I upped the prescription to the 0/2 of the same medicine, once daily.

Follow up 4 weeks later. Had another bout of roundworms. But as instructed by us, did nothing and monitored only. The worms disappeared in 2 days. Stools were not as hard. Continue medicine.

Follow up 4 weeks later. Stools were changeable hard to soft to hard to loose. Skin was clearing up and not looking as off. no yellow eruptions. Changed to 0/3 of the same medicine.

Follow up 6 weeks later. Stools much softer.Not as odorous. Colour changed to brown. Skin looked much healthier. Earwax had stopped being liquid and was not an issue. Seemed very happy. Kept on same potency but changed to once a week. (To continue until stool became normal and then stop.. took another 7 doses over 7 weeks then stopped)

Follow up at end of the year. Occasional constipation but stools were normal. Everything was fine. Gave Parents LM 0/4 to hold if needed and just phone in if symptoms came back. Have treated Parents on and off since but child remains in stable condition.

What was the remedy?

additional notes:

Common disorders related to Down syndrome, such as:

  • Inrellectual. Most children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate cognitive disability.
  • Heart defects. About half of the children who have Down syndrome are born with a heart defect.
  • Hyper/ Hypo thyroidism.
  • Celiacs Disease
  • Eye Conditions.
  • Respiratory infections,
  • Hearing problems,
  • Dental problems.
  • Depression or behavior problems associated with ADHD or Autism.

I have indicated the areas where the patient exhibited common symptoms of the condition. In writing the case up, I assumed most people would be aware of the associated problems of the condition which give a background to the whole extraction of symptoms for prescribing.

Check the patient!

Not everything is a case for homoeopathic treatment. ALWAYS make a full physical check first. Hahnemann advised removing maintaining causes first prior to treatment. Logical and obvious.

Hahnemann, Samuel, Organon of Medicine
“It is not necessary to say that every intelligent physician would first remove this where it exists; the indisposition thereupon generally ceases spontaneously. He will remove from the room strong-smelling flowers, which have a tendency to cause syncope and hysterical sufferings; extract from the cornea the foreign body that excites inflammation of the eye; loosen the over-tight bandage on a wounded limb that threatens to cause mortification, and apply a more suitable one; lay bare and put ligature on the wounded artery that produces fainting; endeavour to promote the expulsion by vomiting of belladonna berries etc., that may have been swallowed; extract foreign substances that may have got into the orifices of the body (the nose, gullet, ears, urethra, rectum, vagina); crush the vesical calculus; open the imperforate anus of the newborn infant, etc.”

What we know and what we don’t know.

v11

By Vera Resnick http://pandwisrael.wordpress.com/

I’m writing this post in response to comments made on Gary’s post here:

There are homoeopaths who describe the process with a certainty as if they know everything.  Then there are homoeopaths, as in the comments, who state that they don’t know – that those who say they know are merely speaking from a deluded zeal of quasi-religious conviction.

Well, lets take a look at what Hahnemann knew and didn’t know, and where he knew it from.

And just because I like definitions – here’s the Merriam-Webster definition of EMPIRICAL: “originating in or based on observation or experience”

Known:
There is a natural law of similars – meaning, just as what goes up usually must come down, what produces a disease-like symptom picture in healthy people usually must cure a similar disease symptom-picture in sick people.
Sources:  Hippocrates, Paracelsus, Hahnemann’s writings
Hahnemann’s experiments on himself and others
Nature of the knowledge: empirical

Known:
Substances can be active even when highly diluted
Source:  Hahnemann’s experiments on himself and others, provings and treatments over 200 years
Nature of the knowledge: empirical

Known:
Succussion acts to increase the potency of remedies
Source:  Theory – Hahnemann’s Lesser Writings (see my article on the subject of potentisation)
Practice:  Hahnemann’s experiments on himself and others, further experimentation, provings and treatments over 200 years
Nature of the knowledge: empirical

Known:
Different substances produce different disease-like symptom pictures in healthy people
Source:  Hahnemann’s provings and those of others over 200 years, reports of poisonings
Nature of the knowledge: empirical

There are many other definitely, conclusively known factors involved in homoeopathic treatment, and the homoeopath must base treatment on the known – otherwise homoeopathy falls into the “hit-or-miss”, “trial-and-error” format that has more in common with allopathy than homoeopathy as originally formulated.

So what don’t we know?

Not known:  how cure through similars takes place inside the organism

In Aphorism 28 of the Organon, Hahnemann states (bold text from original):

“As this natural law of cure manifests itself in every pure experiment and every true observation in the world, the fact is consequently established; it matters little what may be the scientific explanation of how it takes place; and I do not attach much importance to the attempts made to explain it.  But the following view seems to commend itself as the most probable one, as it is founded on premises derived from experience.”

The “following view” referred to is Hahnemann’s assessment of how homeopathically prescribed medicines effect cure in the organism – something he developed from his experience with the method and observations resulting from this process.  This is what is presented in the Organon from aphorism 29 onwards – Hahnemann’s self-stated theory which he saw actualized in practice.  Since the whole Organon is an invitation to try the method out, it is also an invitation to examine the validity of his theory.  But he himself defines it as “the most probable one”.  Please note – not exactly the same as a religious epiphany or commandment…

Hahnemann stated frequently that the actual internal mechanism is not known.  See also the note to Aphorism 12

“How the vital force causes the organism to display morbid phenomena, that is how it produces disease, it would be of no practical utility to the physician to know, and will forever remain concealed from him.. “

Some have assumed that Hahnemann, when referring to the unknown, intangible or immeasurable, is referring to the spiritual – but he states categorically that this is not the case.  In the footnote to aphorism 31, he states:

“when I call disease a derangement of man’s state of health, I am far from wishing thereby to give a hyperphysical explanation of the internal nature of diseases generally, or of any case of disease in particular.  It is only intended by this expression to intimate, what it can be proved diseases are not and cannot be, that they are not mechanical or chemical alterations of the material substance of the body, and not dependent on a material morbific substance, but that they are merely spirit-like (conceptual) dynamic derangements of the life.”

My personal favourite quote of Hahnemann’s acknowledgement that he does not know “how it works” appears in a footnote towards the end of the theoretical part of Chronic Diseases.  Here Hahnemann states categorically (bold is religiously mine…):

“this true theorem is not to be reckoned among those which should be comprehended, nor among those for which I ask a blind faith.  I demand no faith at all, and do not demand that anybody should comprehend it.  Neither do I comprehend it; it is enough that it is a fact and nothing else.  Experience alone declares it, and I believe more in experience than in my own intelligence.

For the full quote, click here.

Many prescriptions today are based on assumptions of “how it works”, rather than based on the known information, whether about the method, the remedies, and the patient’s case itself.  In addition, many remedies are prescribed based on assumptions of what symptoms they can cure, often based more on the Doctrine of Signatures rather than anything else.  That is not a known.  Homeopathy today is often misunderstood to be based on these and other assumptions – rather than on the empirically based method developed by Hahnemann.  Hahnemann presented the Organon as a method of how to work based on the known – with what he felt was a probable explanation of how the cure is effected.  His “most probable” explanation forms a small part of the Organon – the bulk of which deals with intensely practical instructions on how to work based on the known, rather than preoccupation with the speculative.  It is a sign of the times that in many courses offered today the Organon is referred to as the basis for homoeopathic philosophy and taught as such – whereas it really is the Users Manual for homoeopathic practice.

Personally, I find it difficult to agree that knowing the exact nature of how the organism effects the cure would not help.  The greatest difficulty homeopaths experience in treatment is often not the prescriptions themselves, but the case-management and understanding the significance of each response to remedies along the path in order to determine the next steps.  Having said that, many many times difficulties in case-management can be traced back to unreported obstacles to cure, to incomplete or ineffective case-taking, to lifestyle and allopathic interventions and medications.

This post is inevitably a short “out-take” of a much larger picture.  However some elements are clear:

  1.  The Law of Similars is empirically known, and is the basis of the homoeopathic method.
  2. Use of remedies based on the Law of Similars is empirically known.
  3. Hahnemann has presented a picture of how cure takes place in the organism based on his observations – although initially theoretical, eventually empirically demonstrated, especially when compounded with  200 years of experience.
  4. Prescription of remedies not based on the Law of Similars is not based on the homoeopathically known.  (this does not invalidate clinical experience, merely defines that it cannot be a certain starting point for the homoeopath working based on the known foundations of homoeopathy as a medical therapeutic)
  5. Assessment of how homeopathically prescribed remedies effect cure in the organism is essentially theoretical, possibly empirically demonstrated, but ultimately not known.