Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease.”
Clearly here Hahnemann is reiterating the fact that we are treating “disease”. Any other concept of treating the man and not the disease is False.
Homoeopathy treats the disease through the signs and symptoms that are exhibited by the individual sufferer of the infection or disease process. These symptoms, whilst having some affinity to the general production of disease symptoms, also have unique characteristics that are peculiar to the individual and expressed by him or her. THESE are the prescribing symptoms within the disease process that are to be found in one or a few remedies that can can produce the same state of disorder in a healthy person.
§ 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.
So why is it useful to know the particulars of the exciting cause of an acute disease?
It is good to know everything regarding the infection or mode of receiving the disorder because it may be possible to avert the disease process entirely if seen early enough.
Example: Take a patient who feels a little unwell and feels is getting a cold. The patient is anxious because cannot afford to take time off work and begins to feel a little fevered. A single dose of Aconite can relieve these symptoms REGARDLESS of what the disease might be, and in fact stop any further progress of the disease.
Example: Take a patient who is caught in the rain and gets really wet and cold. They go home and take a hot shower but still develop aching in the joints and a cold. Rhus Tox stops the further progress of the acute disease state.
It is also good to know the causation of the acute disease because a very clear wealth of information regarding the acute disease symptoms will become available to the clinician. This will enable the homoeopath to see what is common and what is peculiar in the way the patient expresses the disease.
a “peculiar” symptom is a symptom “characteristic” of the individual disease expression that came on with the disease state. It has nothing to do with personality.