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The principles of homoeopathy part 2

The most overlooked fact regarding homoeopathy is that it is a medical practice.

For those that have an allopathic medical degree, there (logically) should be an advantage, yet the truth is that the advantage lies in first aid, and disease diagnosis and understanding disease progression via knowledge of the prognosis. If a medically qualified person does not understand homoeopathy, then the other knowledge does not help.

Hahnemann’s writings on homoeopathy, and the principles he invokes, are MEDICAL principles and not suggestions. Each principle is based on years of experimentation, and not open to interpretation or change like the sensation method, remedy families, periodic table polarities, personality constitutional prescribing, polypharmacy etc. All these are breaches of the Hahnemannian design of homoeopathy, the practice. Homoeopathy is a practice built on this law with specific directives for the usage of the medicines and application of the same.  Hahnemann does encourage experimentation and development, but not outside of the medical principles he established. Its a waste of time and energy as he has tested every permutation of differences.

We will examine each principle in detail in coming posts.

 

 

 

 

The principles of homoeopathy part 1. What we need to understand.

Before we can discuss Principles, it is vital that the practitioner understands the rationale behind the approach of a homoeopath towards a sick patient.

Homoeopathy is a science and is focused on patient management of Disease. The process of analytics in managing a disease is based on a holistic overview of patient reaction to a disease influence. What is evident today in the poor training a homoeopath receives, is the harmful influence of the Swedenborg School of thinking (KENT) which is contradictory to the scientific mode of application as defined by Hahnemann and expanded on by Boenninghausen and others.

Hering and Kent and the influence of the American school of Homoeopathy did not influence the medical practice in the positive way the therapy displays it to be.

Kent And Hahneman

  1. S. Hehr, M.B.B.S., D.P.M.

(Originally Published in British Hom. Journal as “Was Kent a Hahnemannian?”, Vol. 73, No. 2, Re- edited by Dr R.S.Mann after consultations with Dr. G. S. Hehr)

Kent has been hailed as a true disciple of Hahnemann.There should be a reassessment in light of the following contrast between the view of Kent and Hahnemann:

On “authority” and “experience”

KENT:

“We must begin by having respect for law … Let us acknowledge the authority.”2

“… and medicine today, outside of homoeopathy, is a medicine of experience…It is necessary that the exact and proper position of experience should be realized  … Experience has … only a confirmatory place. It can only confirmed that which has been discovered by principle…Experience leads to no discoveries … One who has no doctrines…imagines he discoveries by his experience”.3

HAHNEMANN: “Medicine is the science of experience…”4

“The true healing art is in its nature a pure science of experience …”5

“…the complete true healing art can never be the work of self-satisfied ratiocination…, but that the requisite for this … are only to be discovered  but due attention to nature by means of our senses, by careful honest observations and by experiments conducted with all possible purity and in no other way6

“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 fact and nothing else. Experience alone declares it, and I believe more in experience than in my own intelligence.”7

“But what and how much …can be determined by no speculative reason or unreason, but experience alone must determine…and in the domain of facts there is no appeal from experience…”8

On the relation of skin symptoms to internal malady

KENT: “But this very scientific ignorant doctor has made a failure: he has driven what was upon the surface and harmless into the innermost precincts of the economy and the patient is going to die as a result of scientific ignorance.”9

HAHNEMANN: “The diseases … springing from such one-sided destruction of the chief skin symptom (eruption and itching) which acts vicariously and assuages the internal psora (which destruction is erroneously called ‘Driving the itch into the body’)…”10

“All miasmatic maladies … are always present as internal maladies … before they show their local (skin) symptoms.”11

“… when the development of the (internal) venereal disease has been completed, only then diseased nature endeavours to mitigate the internal evil and to soothe it,  by producing a local symptom…”12

“…some wretched casuists have considered as resulting from driving back of the poison out of the chancre into the interior body…”13

On Psora

KENT“Psora is the beginning of all physical sickness. Had psora never been established as a miasm on the human race, the other two chronic diseases would have been impossible. All the diseases of man are built upon … it (psora) goes to the very primitive wrong of the human race … that is the spiritual sickness from which … the race progressed into … the true susceptibility to psora…”14

HAHNEMANN: “…the ailments and infirmities of body and soul … (if they do not belong to the two venereal diseases, syphilis and sycosis) are … manifestations of (psora).”15

“In Europe and also in other continents … only three chronic miasms are known…”16

“….and indeed so many that at least seven-eights of all chronic maladies spring from it (psora) … while the remaining eighth spring from syphilis and sycosis, or from a complication of two of these three … chronic diseases, or (which is very rare) from a complication of all the three of them….”17

On Vitalism

KENT: “Hahnemann could perceive this immaterial vital principle. It was something he arrived at himself, from his own process of thinking (but all historians mention that it was Joseph Barthez, b.1734, d.1806, who introduced the term “vital principle”18).

There was a paucity of individual ideas at that time… but Hahnemann thought much, and by thinking he arrived at the ideas contained in this (i.e. the 9th paragraph of the 5th edition of the Organon), which only appeared in the last (i.e. 5th.edition of 1833).”19

(Allusion to “vital force” appeared in the Chronic Diseases20 published in 1828, and in the fourth edition of the Organon that we shall refer shortly, Kent substitutes “simple substance for “immaterial vital principle” in the paragraphs subsequent to the one sited above – vide reference 19. This new expression appears to be Kent’s own coinage. Imputation of “much thought” to Hahnemann appears to be Kent’s projection of his own thinking, the result of which was the new expression. Hahnemann’s views on reasoning and speculation are clear in reference 8).

KENT: “…simple substance is endowed with formative intelligence…”21

HAHNEMANN: “… the instinctive, irrational, unreasoning vital force (instinktarige, verstandlose. keiner Uberlegung Fahige .. Lebnskraft — this could also be translated: instinctive, unable to reason/understand, without the capacity for reflection) 22 (the contrast between Kent and Hahnemann over the attributes of vital force is obvious from these words)…

“…unreasoning, merely animal vital force (die verstandlose, bloss aminal ische Lebenskraft).”23

On Bacteriology

KENT: “Hahnemann did not adopt any such theory as bacteriology”.

HAHNEMANN: “… the cholera miasm … grows into an enormously increased brood of those excessively minute, invisible creatures …”24 (How else could one have described bacteria at that time!)

Why was Kent so often wobbling off the pivot? Perhaps it was not for nothing that Jouanny wrote:

“The second trap is to do what certain absent-minded homoeopathic doctors do, namely to consider only the symptoms of the patient in his reaction to his disease, and in particular his psychic signs. This was the attitude of Kent and his spiritualistic school which went so far as to say that the pathognomonic signs of the disease have no importance in the selection of the homoeopathic drug.”

“This is a philosophical attitude which makes homoeopathy into theology, and considers man to be made only of the soul. There is a great danger here…”

“This attitude has practically destroyed homoeopathy in America where it was at one time a flourishing discipline. It is now practised by a few esoteric doctors.”

“One can say that this attitude is not in conformity with the methods set out and defined by Hahnemann, because generally the ‘psychic symptoms’ taken into consideration by the followers of Kent, are not experimental changes in the mental behaviour of a patient, but the psychological characteristics of susceptible types of individuals. This is the result of the subjective interpretation of the experimenter and the patient. These doctors select the homoeopathic drugs on the basis of psychic symptoms … such a practice can be justifiably criticized …”25

Kent’s homoeopathy is not necessarily always Hahnemannian. As Campbell recently put it : “Nevertheless, it does not take a very detailed study of the history of homoeopathy to show that modern practice actually differs in quite significant ways from Hahnemann’s own practice. In both England as well as America, for example, the influence of J.T.Kent, who imported certain ideas derived from Swedenborg, has been paramount since shortly after the turn of the century”.26

Hahnemann’s distinction between the responses of the animate and the inanimate; his view about adaptive responses of the organisms”, 28 his stress on the value of signals in biology;29 his almost foreshadowing of “the law of initial value” of Joseph Wilder,30 his near modern views on nutrition31 and his suggestions for psychological exercise32 are all missing from Kent’s writings. One feels constrained to ponder how far the words of Inglis (on the relation of Galen to Hippocrates) would apply also to the relation of Kent to Hahnemann.

“Ostensibly by the Hippocratic School, he was to subvert its teachings. Hippocrates, Galen admitted, had led the way … ‘He opened the road, I have made it possible’ … Galen was able to impose his views on how the road should be followed; and as a prolific writer, he saw to it that they were published.33 

Conclusion-  

  1. Kent was a Swedenborgian, and he can be accused of including the fundamental concept of a mystical correspondence between the spirit world and humans to Homoeopathy. Which distract the Homoeopathic philosophy from Hahnemann’s “Rationality” to Kent’s “Metaphysical”.
  2. This shift from the basic nature of reality of the human system compelled Kent to start unrealistic and unbalanced emphasis on “Mind” or “Mental Symptoms” or “Mental Origin” of every disease. Hahnemann is realistic and balanced in his approach in an individual case of sickness, he searched for the totality where is actually lies but Kent arranged the “Mind” always on the beginning of a case. Kent pushed the basic methodology of Homoeopathy towards “Irrationalism”.
  3. On Miasm, Hahnemann is certain about three different basic causes of diseases, Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis but for Kent, Psora is the only basic cause of all the diseases, including two other miasms too.
  4. Hahnemann always talks about the “gentle restoration” of the sick with only mild aggravations, but Kent admitted his was to cure with severe and long homoeopathic aggravations.
  5. Kent underlined the return of all the past symptoms, eliminations and exteriorization (developing skin lesions etc.)  in a case is a good indication and path towards a cure, whereas Hahnemann marked them as organism’s defence or reaction against wrong prescriptions and excess of doses.
  6.    Dr Kent may have a good, efficient and ardent homoeopath but his concepts and theories vary from Dr Hahnemann on most of the basic understandings of Homoeopathy which make differences in approach, the methodology for the treatment of a patient.
    7.  So accepting Kent as a true disciple of Hahnemann, as Kent himself claims, undermines the value of Hahnemannian theory and concepts of Homoeopathy. We must read and practice Homoeopathy as Hahnemannian methods and Kentian Methods, with their respective theories, concepts and differences from each other.

One method generally leads to a low success rate, If not outright failure.

In taking a case. A correct diagnosis would have been of equal importance
to the therapeutist and to the surgeon if each disease had a distinct cause, as characteristic of itself, as the disease is distinct from all others, however, this is not the case.

The same disease may arise from different causes in different cases, hence to the
therapeutist the diagnosis is of subordinate importance as a basis of treatment. It can be shown that constitutional peculiarities of a patient manifest themselves through certain concomitant symptoms which make a difference in the aggregate
of symptoms in each case. In each case of diseases bearing the same name, we find that the patient exhibits not only the symptoms of the named disease but also concomitant symptoms peculiar to the diseased patient and different from other diseased patients with the same disease name. Hahnemann realised that this combination of expressions of sympathetic disorders in other parts of the body now had become ‘Constitutional’ in its affection, and thus stopped being a local symptom, and the expression of the diseased patient has become an all-encompassing state.

These concomitant symptoms, along with other knowledge, force the homoeopath to relinquish the belief that the malady along with its local expressions is the sole object of treatment. The homoeopath is now forced to view the patient from a ‘causality’ view and look at the pattern of progression of development from all symptoms present, not just the local disease and in effect come to see that the sum of the symptoms is greater than just this new affection.

A clinical history, the basis for disease development in every individual, will necessitate the remedy having or corresponding to the sequence of physiological effects matching the patient’s disease in development. This disease ‘constitution’ in the medicine will be required to enable the patient to receive help from the similar. However, the homoeopath will take the FULL history and other episodes of dis-ease into account as well as the current issue.

Rational reasoning indicates that the development of diseases (with the same name) owes the difference in symptom exhibition simply because of the constitutional differences of each patient. To a therapeutist, the symptoms appearing in its evolutionary sequence represent the cause or a combination of causes of a particular disease condition.

So long as the disease is viewed as a local or anatomical problem, the question of determining the basis or indications of treatment, cannot be answered. A study of the clinical history of each case supplies the key to the solution of this problem.

This is one of the major differences in approach to treatment from allopathic therapeutics.

References:

Kanjilal et al – An Appeal to the Homoeopaths of India to Save Homoeopathy. Hahnemannian Gleanings 1979,XLVI,471

Kent J.T. – Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy. P.19,Chicago : Ehrhart & Karl,  1954.

Ibid – P.43.

Dudgeon R.E. – Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann. P.439, New Delhi: Swaran (reprint of New York; Willian Radde, 1852 edition)

Hahnemann  S. – Organon der Heilkunst, P.7, Dresden: Arnold, 1819.

Ibid – P.15 -16.

Dudley P ed. – The Chronic Diseases by Samuel Hahnemann, P.124, f.n. New Delhi, Jain Reprint

Ibid –P.325

Kent J.T. – Lectures.P.27

10 Dudley P. – The Chronic Diseases, P.17.

11 Ibid – P.32.

12 Ibid – P.36.

13 Ibid – P.36 f.n.

14 Kent J.T. – Lectures.P146.

15 Dudley P. – The Chronic Diseases, P.8.

16 Ibid – P.9.

17 Ibid – P.14.

18  Castiglioni A. – A History of Medicine, P.586, New York: Alfred Knoff, 1958.

19 Kent J.T. – Lectures.P.76-77.

20 Haehl R. – Samuel Hahnemann: His Life and Work. P.136, New Delhi, B.Jain Reprint.

21 Kent J.T. – Lectures.P.79.

22 Hahnemann  S. – Organon der Heilkunst, P.IV, Dresden and Leipzig, Arnold, 1829.

23 Ibid – P.146.

24 Hehr G.S. – Bacteriology and Homoeopathy.Br.Hom.J. 1982, 71,62,64-5.

25 Jouanny J. – Essentials of Homoeopathic Therapeutics, P.39, Laboratories Boiron, 1980.

26  Campbell A.C.H. – Editorial, Br. Hom. J., 1980, 69, 3.

27 Hahnemann  S. – Organon der rationallen Heilkunde, P.5-8, Anm.  Dresden, Arnold, 1810.

28 Dudgeon  R.E. – Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann. P.62, Para 289-290.

29 Hahnemann S. – Fingerzeige auf den homoopathischen Gabrauch der Arzneien in der bisherigen praxis. Neues Journal der practischen Arzneikunde von Hufeland 1807, 43.

30  Dudgeon R.E. – Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann. P.34.

31 Hehr G.S. – Hahnemann and Nutrition. Br. Hom. J. 1981,70,208-12.

32 Hehr G.S. – Self awareness and Homoeopathy, Br. Hom. J. 1983, 72, 90-5.

33 Inglis B. – Natural Medicine, 0.18. London, Collins, 1979.

 

A little background. Sir John Weir.

Before we start examining the principles of homoeopathy in-depth, this historical overview is worth noting.

The institute is a research organisation and as such, many thousands of documents are in our possession with many more having passed before our sight. To this end, we are in a position to post Hahnemann’s own words and his colleagues of the time from cited writings.

After reading, what do you understand about Disease, Hahnemann’s abilities and the principle of treating the disease with medicines?

 

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Samuel Hahnemann and his Influence on Medical Thought. By Sir J0HN WEIR, K.C.V.O., M.B., Ch.B.668

The other statement will be found in Tract. iii, cap. 4, page 63 in the 1540 edition and page 67 in the 1556 edition, and runs as follows :—

quae maculæ et alia visa fuerunt ab antiquissimo ac doctissimo Hyppocrate, in diversis tum temporibus, tum etium epidemicis constitutionibus.”

I have always believed that it was to Sydenham we owed the combination of words ” epidemic constitution.” The idea conveyed by the words is, without doubt, to be found in Epidemics I and 111 of the Hippocratic Collection. Guillaume de Baillou, who closely followed the method and phraseology of Hippocrates in his Epidemiorum et Ephemeridum Libri Duo, published some years after 1616, the year of his death, and probably written at least twenty years before, does not use the term ‘ epidemic constitution.” Perhaps a search amongst the works of other writers of the sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth century would reveal the use of the word elsewhere.

Addendum.—Since writing the foregoing note I have found that unless he was relying on second-hand information, Sydenham had read Massa’s book. In Sect. 11, Cap. 11 of the Observationes Medica circa Morborum, etc. (page 106 of Greenhill’s Latin edition, published by the Sydenham Society), he refers to Massa and twelve other writers as being in favour of venesection in the plague. References to the subject in Massa’s book will be found on pages 35b, 49b and 66b in the first edition, and pages 37b, 52a and 70b in the second edition.

A STUDY of the historical background of Hahnemann’s time explains much of his reform work in medicine. And it is interesting that present-day changes in medical ideas were foreshadowed, a century ago, by Samuel Hahnemann.

He was born in Saxony in 1755. Many talents and strong urgings went to his make-up, including the ” glorious gospel of discontent ” with all that was senseless, useless, harmful, inept—which practically sums up the medicine of his day. He was a great linguist— master of many languages (including Arabic) at a very early age. At twelve years old he was already teaching the rudiments of Greek. His knowledge was voluminous, as was his memory. More than once in his early years he was in charge of, or closely associated with, large and important libraries (Hermanstadt and Dresden) ; and his erudition was commensurate with his opportunities.

At Leipsic ” the Saxon Athens ” in 1812, in order to obtain permission to lecture, he had to deliver a speech of qualification ” from the Upper Chair. This he delivered in Latin; it was entitled ” Dissertatio historico-medica de Heleborismo veterum.” In this speech, we are told, he was able to quote verbatim and give the location of the passages from manifold German, French, English, Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic medical writers, and he could examine their views—either in disagreement or in extension. He quoted from fifty more or less known doctors, philosophers, and naturalists.

In chemistry, his methods of chemical analysis and some of his discoveries are still in daily use among us—among them his mercurius solubilis “—the black oxide, and in Crell’s Annals (1793) Hahnemann was already mentioned as the famous analytical chemist.”

In the treatment of the insane Hahnemann was amongst the great pioneers. Already in 1792 (in Pinel’s time) he advised humane treatment of the insane. He never allowed any insane person to be given painful bodily chastisement. There could be no punishment for involuntary actions; these patients deserved nothing but the pity and were always made worse and not better by such treatment. He even went further than Pinel, in advising psychotherapeutic measures.

One of his peculiarities was that he could do with very little sleep ; indeed it is recorded of him that for 40 years his custom was to sit up one night in four, studying. He was a prodigious worker ; was only one year short of 90 when he died, and in the course of his long life (according to Ameke) he published 116 large works and about 120 pamphlets. He was always ” filling gaps in his education ” as he expresses it, as when he studied botany, or ” took small journeys to learn mining science and metallurgy.” He was not only a chemist but a good musician and an astronomer, and he was versed in every branch of knowledge connected with medicine. Ameke says, ” When Hahnemann came out with his new system of medicine he was universally spoken of with respect and even reverence, but with regret for his folly. But, after a year or so, he was denounced as an ignoramus and a scoundrel.”

But his great work was in the field of therapeutics . He was, above all, a born physician and reformer. His great idea of similia was first communicated in 1796 in an essay on ” The new principle for ascertaining the curative powers of drugs,” and some examinations of the previous principles.

His three classical works are (1) his Organon of Medicine: In this, he justifies his position, and teaches how, and what to prescribe, and why; (2) his Materia Medica Pura, which embodies exhaustively the answers of the healthy human body to the assaults of morbid agencies or drugs: that is to say, the exact symptoms produced when drugs are tested on the healthy, in order to apply them, with assurance, for the healing of the sick of like symptoms ; (3) his Chronic Diseases—almost too much in the past, for even his keenest disciples and followers— is assuming new importance in the light of the discoveries of today. Those who study these works discover, with amazement, that Hahnemann—-in his views of disease, in his conception of the all-importance of vital resistance to disease, in his teaching that disease can only be cured by stimulating the resistance of the patient— is a modern of the moderns, abreast, always—when he is not ahead—of science, and that what he has to give us is exactly what medicine, all the world over, is now waking up to demand. One feels that Hahnemann is, at long last, coming into his kingdom.

The medicine of Hahnemann’s day was based on the assumption that sickness was caused by humours that had to be expelled from the body by every method that could be devised: expelled, not only by the natural organs of excretion, which were taxed to the limit but also by artificial and unnatural methods of excretion.

Exutories, cauteries, setong, moxas, fontanels, are meaningless names to our generation : of interest only to the historian of medicine. We can have no conception what a torture chamber was the medicine of Hahnemann’s day when all these barbarities were designed to provide ” new organs of excretion.”

The cautery.—Here iron at white heat, or some chemical agent, was employed to dig deeply these ‘ new organs,” into which dried peas were introduced, and compressed by means of a bandage. These wounds were given their daily supply of peas.

The seton.—Here the flesh was• pinched up, and an incision made by means of which a skein of cotton or silk was inserted. When the wound was dressed the skein was drawn out, and the part saturated with discharge cut off. The seton was applied to the back of the neck to drain foul humours from head, eyes, etc. ; to the region of the heart to ” clean and polish it up,” or to other parts of the body, to draw some organic derangement from liver, lung, joint, or for a dropsy.

The moca was a cone of some combustible material applied to the skin when its apex was set on fire. ” Here,” we are told, ” as the flame advances, the heat becomes more intense; the skin crackles and shrivels—turns brown—and is scorched till nearly black.”

APRIL—HIST. OF MED. 2 *

670

Prolonged blisterings with cantharides at times led to the loss of a limb: wounds were powdered with arsenic, often with fatal results. One would think, in reading of these things, that the devil was responsible for medicine in the days of Hahnemann.

Purgation, emesis, sweatings and salivation were also resorted to to an unmerciful extent, while ” issues ” were not only established but maintained for years. Above all, bloodletting, to an incredible degree, was in favour. Leopold of Austria, Count Cavour, the ” saviour of Italy,” and our own Princess Charlotte, were among the illustrious victims; while Raphael, Lord Byron, Mirabeau and a host of celebrities were, we are told, seriously injured by bleedings; and Goethe in his 82nd year, having had a serious hæmorrhage, was bled to the extent of two more pounds.

Hahnemann protested against these brutal and unnatural methods, which weakened the patients to the verge of incurability.

Granier, a French doctor, who wrote in 1858, contrasting homæopathy with the medicine that obtained even in his day, says: If it be not true that diseases can escape by cauteries, it is at least certain that they can enter the system by this means. It is really a new organ of absorption.”

Hahnemann denounces, in particular, the common idea that venesection draws off only the bad blood; that continual purging evacuates only the depraved humours ; and that a vesicating agent can select, collect and remove only injurious humours.

Against such practices, and against Broussais, who carried the custom of the times to a ridiculous length, earning for himself the nickname of ” the medical Robespierre,” and of whom it was said ” he had shed more French blood than Napoleon ” Hahnemann fulminated his thunder. It must •have required not a little courage to break away from what was deemed on all hands to be essential, and to treat acute inflammatory conditions with his small doses of aconite (which obtained the name of ” the homoeopathic lancet “), and to confess, as he did in 1833, that for forty years he had not ” drawn a single drop of blood, opened one seton, used pain-producing processes, etc. had never weakened patients by sudorifics, or scoured them out with emetics and laxatives, thus destroying their organs of digestion.” And this, while surrounded by anxiously watching adversaries, ready to pounce at the slightest mistake and his followers, seeing his results, and joyfully following in his steps, were unmoved even when haled into the Courts and prosecuted for not practising phlebotomy; and when even the great Hufeland, so just to Hahnemann, amid all the injustice and persecution• that he experienced, nevertheless was saying in 1830 that ” anyone who neglected to draw blood when man was in danger of suffocating in his own blood ” (that was the idea in regard to inflammatory fevers) ” was a murderer by omission.”

In regard to the necessity for bleeding in acute fevers, Hahnemann wrote, Anyone who has felt the tranquil pulse of a man an hour before the rigour that precedes an attack of acute pleurisy, will not be able to restrain his amazement if told two hours later after the hot stage has commenced, that the enormous plethora. present urgently requires repeated venesections. He will naturally enquire by what magic power could the pounds of blood that must be drawn off have been conjured into the blood-vessels of this man, which but two hours previously he hid felt beating in such a tranquil manner. Not a single drachm more of blood can now be circulating in those vessels than when he was in good health, not yet two hours ago.” He contends that “the sole true causa morbi is a morbid dynamical, inflammatory irritation of the circulatory system, as is proved by the rapid and permanent cure of general inflammatory fever by one or two inconceivably minute doses of aconite juice, which removed such irritation homoeopathically.”

One must admire his enormous courage—the courage of strong conviction— which, if it did not procure sudden, universal recognition for his system of medicine, at least civilized, and that speedily, medicine in general; not only by putting to

the

shame its degrading barbarities, but by proving that they were wholly unnecessary.

That this was so, we have curious evidence. In 1852 we find Professor Allison of Edinburgh broaching the famous theory that inflammatory diseases, which it had hitherto been necessary to treat by bloodletting and debilitating treatment, now no longer required that—but an utterly opposite—mode of treatment, because they had changed their type,” and were no longer what they used to be. He confessed that he was led to adopt the new treatment—or rather to abandon the old—chiefly from the report of physicians who had ” witnessed the practice of homæopathic hospitals on the Continent.”

Mark Twain—himself once a Mississippi pilot—in nautical phraseology pays his tribute to homoeopathy, for the purifying work it has accomplished in medicine.

He says:—

” So recent is this change from a three or four thousand year twilight to the flash and glare of open day that I have walked in both, and yet am not old. Nothing today is as it was when I was an urchin; but when I was an urchin, nothing wag much different •from what it had always been in this world. Take a single detail for example—medicine. Galen could have come into my sickroom at any time during my first seven years—I mean any day when it wasn’t fishing weather, and there wasn’t any choice but school or sickness—and he could have sat down there and stood my doctor’s watch without asking a question. He would have smelt around among the wilderness of cups and bottles and phials on the table and the shelves, and missed not a stench that used to gladden him two thousand years before, nor discovered one that was of later date. He would have examined me, and run across only one disappointment—I was already salivated; I would have him there; for I was always salivated, calomel was 80 cheap. He would get out bis lancet then; but I would have him again; our family doctor did not allow blood to accumulate in the system. However, he would take a dipper and ladle, and freight me up with the old familiar doses that had come down from Adam to his time and mine; and he would go out with B wheel-barrow and gather weeds and offal, and build some more, while those others were getting in their work. And if our reverend doctor came and found him there, he would be dumb with awe and would get down and worship him. Whereas if Galen should appear among us today, he could not stand anybody’s watch; he would inspire no awe; he would be told he was a back-number, and it would surprise him to gee that that fact counted against him, instead of in his favour. He wouldn’t know our medicines; he wouldn’t know our practice; and the first time he tried to introduce his own, we would hang him.”

(And after giving many examples of the ancient practice, with its crude ideas, its horrible mixtures, etc., he concludes by declaring) :—

” When you reflect that your own father had to take such medicines as the above and that you would be taking them to-day yourself but for the introduction of homoeopathy, which forced the old-school doctor to stir around and learn something of a rational nature about his business, you may honestly feel grateful that homoeopathy survived the attempts of the allopaths to destroy it, even though you may never employ any physician but an allopath while you live.”

Hahnemann found himself in conflict too with the system, or rather want of system, in the prescription of medicines in his day. Here all was imagination, tradition, hoary authority. Of science, there was none. ” The life and health of’ human beings were made dependent on the opinions of a few, and whatever entered their precious brains went to swell the materia medica.” The god-like science, practical medicine,” had become a ” degrading commerce in prescriptions—a trade that mixes the disciples of Hippocrates with the riff-raff of medical rogues, in such a way that the one is indistinguishable from the other.”

Polypharmacy flourished to an unbelievable extent. We are told that the largest number of ingredients recorded in one prescription was four hundred. The famous Venice Treacle ” contained sixty-five ingredients: and I have before me a world-famed prescription of the ” mithridate,” of fifty ingredients, which was actually in the Pharmacopæia of 1785, at the time when Hahnemann was beginning his fight for purity and simplicity in medicine. ” Nature,” says Hahnemann, ” likes simplicity and can perform much with one remedy while you perform little with many. Imitate nature! ” And as early as 1797 he wrote, ” May I be allowed to confess that for several years I have never prescribed more than one medicine at a time, and I have never repeated the dose until the effect of the previous one had been exhausted.” He says that thus he has successfully cured patients, and has ” seen things he would not otherwise have seen.”

It was the chemists who, perceiving that the hope of their gains must vanish with the advent of homoeopathy, fought the iconoclast; got laws enacted to restrain him from preparing and dispensing his medicines, and drove him from city to city. No wonder that Hahnemann thundered, ” Away with this excessive mixing of medicines, this prescription tomfoolery! Down with the apothecaries’ privileges! Let the doctor have the freedom to make his own medicines and administer them to his patients. We cannot be shown the correct way by a deluding tradition.”

Hahnemann says that in his day, in order to decide on something positive in regard to the instruments of cure, the powers of the different medicines were inferred from their physical, chemical and other irrelevant qualities; also from their odour, taste and external aspect, but chiefly from impure experiences at the sickbed, where, in the tumult of morbid symptoms, only mixtures of medicines were prescribed for imperfectly described cases of disease.” (Dudgeon.)

Can one wonder that in his earlier days Hahnemann revolted not only against the senseless cruelty but the utter uncertainty of lawless medicine? He says:—  My sense of duty would not allow me to treat the unknown pathological state of my suffering brethren with these unknown medicines. If they are not exactly suitable (and how could the physician know that, since their specific effects had not yet been demonstrated) they might with their strong potency easily change life into death, or induce new and chronic maladies, often more difficult to eradicate than the original disease.

The thought of becoming in this way a murderer or a malefactor towards the life of my fellow human beings was most terrible to me; so terrible and disturbing that I wholly gave up my practice in the first years of my married life, and occupied myself solely with chemistry and writing.”

Then, in the anguish of impotence when one of his own children was ill and suffering terribly from the treatment she underwent, he set his soul to discover, as he expressed it, ” if God had not indeed given some law, whereby the diseases of mankind could be cured.”

Where,” he cried, in that hour of agony, can I obtain certain and sure help with our present knowledge ?—based as it is on vague observations, hypothetical opinions, and the arbitrary views of disease in our pathologies.”

In this labyrinth, he avers, a man can only remain complacent who is ready to accept assertions in regard to the healing powers of medicines because they are printed in a hundred books.

He knew from experience what help was to be got from the methods of Sydenham and others—Boerhaave, Stoll, Quarin, Cullen.

Can it be,” he asks, ” that the nature of this science (as great men have said) is incapable of certainty? Shameful, blasphemous thought !—that Infinite Wisdom should be unable to create the means of assuaging the sufferings of His creatures. Surely there must be a reliable way of regarding disease from the right angle, and for determining the specific, safe, and reliable use of medicines.”

It was useless, as he had discovered, to ” seek the means of healing in arbitrary opinions—false conclusions “—or on the authority of ” highly celebrated men of delusions. ” Let me seek it,” he cried, ” where it may be near at hand, and where all have passed it by, because it did not seem artificial or learned enough, and was uncrowned with laurel for its system, its pedantry, or its high-falutin’ abstractions.”

It is curious that Lord Horder has recently re-echoed this cry of Hahnemann, after voicing the uncertainties of medicine. Speaking of ” the present painful pause in therapeutic advance,” Lord Horder said, ” From what part of the scientific horizon the light will come, it is not possible to say. The sky must be scanned in every quarter. Perhaps some promising direction has been overlooked. Has the physicist, or the chemist, or the biologist, perchance, something that would help them? Or will the lamp again be lighted by that strange and inexplicable flash of genius—the genius which scouts all science, because it is itself the mother of science? ”

To the patient seeker after Truth and Law come, sooner or later, revelation. And so with Hahnemann. The Law that he sought came to him as a flash of inspiration, as we shall see, and, once it was grasped, the rest followed, surely and faultlessly, so that no one, in all these hundred years, has been able to add to, or to take from, our legacy from Hahnemann. Once his eyes were opened, it was merely a question of devoting a long life to the elucidation of the Law, and establishing it as a practical basis of therapeutics.

Homoeopathy, the ” pathy of likes,” is said to date from Hippocrates: and, indeed, Hahnemann quotes the celebrated similia similibus curentur from ” the reputed writings of Hippocrates,” and he also shows, by his usual careful quotations, how the idea had been foreshadowed in the writings of half a dozen doctors in various countries, who ” had presentiments that medicines, by their power of producing analogous morbid symptoms, would cure analogous morbid conditions.” Thus ” Boulduc,” he says, recognized that the purging quality of rhubarb is the cause of its power to allay diarrhoea; Detharding conjectures that colic in adults is mitigated by infusion of senna, by virtue of its analogous effect of producing colic in the healthy; Bertholon confesses that electricity deadens and annuls, in disease, pain very similar in kind to that produced by electricity; Thiury testifies that positive electricity, though it accelerates the pulse, nevertheless retards it when it is accelerated by disease; Von Stoerck suggests, ‘ If the thorn-apple (stramonium) deranges the mind and produces insanity in the healthy, might it not, by changing the current of ideas, restore soundness of mind to the insane? ‘ Stahl, a Danish military physician, has expressed his conviction on this subject most distinctly. He says, ‘ The rule accepted in medicine to cure by contraries contraria contrariis ” is entirely wrong ‘: he is convinced on the contrary, that diseases vanish and are cured by means of medicines capable of producing a similar affection (similia similibus). Thus burns are cured by approaching the fire, frozen limbs, by the application of snow or very cold water, inflammation and contusions, by distilled spirits. In this manner, he is in the habit of curing habitual acidity of the stomach by means of a very small doge of sulphuric acid, in cases where quantities of absorbing powders have been used in vain.”

So near had this great truth sometimes ” been approached,” says Hahnemann, yet hitherto none had taught this homoeopathic method of cure; no one had put it in practice.” Still, he argues, if the truth is only here to be found, one would expect to find its traces in all ages, even though it remained unperceived for thousands of years.

Adams, in his Genuine Works of Hippocrates, says, ” There is nothing new in the Doctrine of Similars.” He goes on, ” The treatment of suicidal mania appears singular—give the patient a draught made from the root of mandrake, in a smaller dose than will induce mania. He ” (Hippocrates) ” then insists in strong terms that, under certain circumstances, purgatives will bind the bowels, and astringents loosen them: and he further makes the important remark that, although the general rule of treatment be contraria contrariis curantur, the opposite rule also holds good in some cases, viz., similia similibus curantur. The principles both of allopathy, and of homoeopathy, it thus appears, are recognized by the author of this treatise. In confirmation of the latter principle, he remarks ‘ that the same substance which occasions strangury will, sometimes, put a stop to it by removing its cause, and so also with cough.’ He estimates successful and unsuccessful practice according to the rule whether the treatment was rightly planned or not. For, he argues, what is done in ignorance cannot be said to be correctly done, even if the results are favöurable. ”

It was in 1790 when translating Cullen’s Materia Medica., and disagreeing with the author’s dictum that Peruvian bark owed its antipyretic power to its tonic effect on the stomach, that Hahnemann, as he says, made his first pure experiment with cinchona bark upon himself, and thereby discovered its power of exciting the familiar symptoms of intermittent fever.

He seems to have realized instantly the enormous importance of the discovery, which subsequent observations and experience with other drugs never failed to confirm. ” With this first trial,” he says, broke upon me the dawn that has since brightened into the most brilliant day of the medical art, that it was only by their power to make the healthy human being ill, that medicines can cure morbid states : and, even so, only such morbid states whose symptoms the selected drug can itself produce in the healthy.”

An episode with belladonna in a scarlet fever epidemic was also illuminating, in this connection, to one who knew the extraordinary similarity between the symptoms of scarlet fever and those of belladonna poisoning: the burning skin, the dry sore throat, the red rash, the dilated pupils, and the delirium.

In a family of which several members were attacked by scarlet fever, one, a child, whom he was treating with belladonna for some other ailment, remained immune. He thereupon gave this ” providential remedy ” to other children, who remained well, even when subjected to the greatest risk of infection. Here Hahnemann made his first successful experiments in homoeo-prophylaxis.

From his day onwards belladonna has been used by homoeopaths all the world over to protect from or to modify and to cure scarlet fever. And besides our minimal mortality, it has been the unfailing observation that cases so treated do not exhibit the sequelæ which are often the serious feature of attacks of scarlet fever.

Expressions of agreement from contemporaries as to the value of belladonna in scarlet fever are to be found in Hufeland’s Journal for May, 1812, etc. : and that Hufeland (the one big figure in medicine in his day) himself published in 1825 a work entitled The Prophylactic Effect of Belladonna, ascribing this efficacious remedy for scarlet fever to Hahnemann. And in the year 1838, the Prussian Government ordered the doctors of the country to use belladonna in small doses against the epidemics of scarlet fever which were prevalent at that time.

Claud Bernard, the founder of modern experimental medicine, said that it must develop along lines of clinical observation and experiment. But Hahnemann was before Bernard. Clinical observation had shown him the importance of the principle of similars, and he at once started his great work of experimentation and elucidation. Those who have called Hahnemann a mystic forget his great experimental work in the proving of medicines on healthy individuals, which is the scientific basis of homoeopathy.

Hahnemann realized that if the Law of Similars was ever to be practical it was imperative to test, or ” prove ” medicines as to their powers of vitiation human health, in order to have them at hand for curative purposes.

And here began a life-time of proving medicines, on himself first, then presently on a large circle of disciples and friends. ” At first,” he says, ” I was the only one who made the proving of medicinal powers the most important of all his duties ;

since then I have been assisted in this by a number of young men who have made experiments on themselves, and whose observations I have carefully reviewed.”

With what extreme care these experiments were conducted, checked, and registered, we are told. The drugs were put up in milk-sugar powders. The prover never knew what drug he was taking, and had no idea when the proving began. This, to eliminate unobserved symptoms, peculiar to the prover.

Provers had to bring their day-books to Hahnemann, who questioned them regarding observed symptoms, to get the verbal expression of their sensations and sufferings as accurately as possible, as well as the exact conditions under which the symptoms occurred. Their mode of life and diet were strictly regulated during a proving, so that alterations in health should be absolutely due to drug action.

Hahnemann says, ” Medicines should be distinguished from each other with scrupulous exactness with regard to their powers—and true effects upon the healthy body. For upon the accuracy of this proving depend life and death, sickness and health of human beings.”

And in regard to materia medica, he lays it down that ” a true materia medica will consist of a collection of genuine, pure, and undeceptive effects of simple drugs ‘ and that such a materia medica ” should exclude every supposition—every mere assertion and fiction: its entire contents should be the pure language of Nature, uttered in response to careful and faithful enquiry.”

By his provings, Hahnemann introduced an entirely novel and scientific method of studying drug-action. He demonstrated the effect of drugs on the living human being— surely a method far superior to the study of their toxic effect on animals! Even if drugs did affect animals in precisely the same way that they affected all other animals and humans—which is not the case !—what animal could initiate us into the suicidal impulses of aurum—the terror of death of aconite and Arsenicum—the terrors of anticipation (even to diarrhoea) of Argentum nitric, and gelsemium—the indignation and the effect on health of the bottled-up sense of injury of staphisagria —the fear of knives for the impulses they suggest of nux and Arsenicum—the shamelessness in mania and delirium of hyoscyamus—the indifference to loved ones of sepia and phosphorus ? These, and such symptoms, have led to the most brilliant curative work, and they can only be found by provings on sensitive men and women.

Hahnemann insisted that what a drug can cause, that, and that only, it can cure, whether in the mental or the physical sphere ; that its curative powers depend entirely on vital reaction to drug-stimulus; that the stimulus must be only suffcient to evoke reaction in organs rendered hypersensitive to disease; that reaction must be respected, and allowed to run its course before a repetition of the stimulus (should it be called for).

It is only when modern ideas are wandering into the realms of homoeopathy, with vaccines, that they begin to trade on the reactions of vitality—the essential teaching of Hahnemann, on which all our work has been based for 100 years. But even here dominant medicine seems to think that the dose should be the largest tolerated and that its repetition is a mere matter of opinion, or of individual practice, or of experience drawn from many experiments (at the expense of many patients), or of authority, when someone whose name is prominent lays down the law.

It has yet to grasp the idea, which we owe to Hahnemann, that there is law in all these things. Illustrations and corroborations come from all sides. The Arndt Law shows that the same poison, to the same cells, may be lethal, inhibitive, or stimulating, according to the largeness or the smallness of the dose : while Professor Bier endorses Hahnemann, as to the infinite Rensitiveness of diseased parts to the vital stimulus.

Hahnemann showed that: ” Homoeopathy is absolutely inconceivable without the most precise individualization.” The names of diseases should never influence the physician, who has to judge and cure diseases, not by names, but by the signs and symptoms of each individual patient. That, since diseases can only express their need for relief by symptoms, the totality of the symptoms observed in each individual case of disease can be the only indication to guide in the choice of the remedy.

Hahnemann ” knew no diseases, only sick persons.”

He taught that all parts of the body are intimately connected to form an invisible whole in feelings and functions ; that all curative measures should be planned with reference to the whole system, in order to cure the general disease by means of internal remedies. (Even an eruption on the lip, he says, cannot be accounted for, without assuming a previous and simultaneous diseased state of the body.”)

Dr. Haehl, of Stuttgart, in the preface to his Life of Hahnemann (1922), says :— At no other period has medical science, in reality, come so near to the fundamental ideas of homoeopathy as it does at the moment. A complete change of front in opinions is coming to the fore. An uninterruptedly progressive turn in science moves from an obsolete mechanical mode of observing the life-processes, to a biological and vitalistic one ; the development of sera, organotherapy, and prophylactic therapy, are irrefutable proofs of it. The names of Arndt, Behring, August Bier, Lewin, Hans Much, Krehl, Karl Ludwig Schleich, Hugo Schulz, H. Driesch and others, represent a number of directing points in this evolution which is taking place. Tuberculin, diphtheria serum, the various organ preparations and their mode of employment, the attention given to mental symptoms, to special bodily constitutions, and tendency to disease, show, in detail, how far this change has already been accomplished. And so to-day modern medicine is almost imbued with homoeopathic ideas and habits. Hahnemann’s teachings, which have destroyed the fundamentals, have acted for a whole century as a ferment in medical science, disintegrating, dissolving, remoulding and reconstructing. Traditional ideas, customs and methods have been overthrown and rendered unstable by this despised teaching of the much-ridiculed and persecuted innovator.”

Why homoeopathy is failing, and its our own fault.

This year, I have come to see that the problem in our therapy is a very simple one. People professing to be homoeopaths have not studied the principles and ethics as outlined by Samuel Hahnemann, Most have no idea of what homoeopathy is in reality. We are in the midst of false assumptions and wrong teachings on a scale never seen before.

To this end, The IHM will be presenting a series of posts outlining the most important requirements and unnegotiable standards to adhere to in order to be a successful practitioner. These are culled from Hahnemann’s own writings and therefore are not supposition or the IHMs thoughts and interpretation.

Coming soon to this blog.

 

 

USA to remove homeopathic medicines… please add your name to the protest.

 

Dear Homeopaths,

This urgent message today is requesting that you do two very important things:

  1. Submit a comment to the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) docket about homeopathy – telling the agency that we need a 180-day extension in order to respond adequately to the FDA’s latest proposed Rules. When you’re ready to do that, click on https://homeopathychoice.org/fda-comments-landing/
  2. Forward this email to your contacts and get every family member in each household—regardless of age—to submit a comment to the docket.

You may have heard about proposed new rules for homeopathy put out by the FDA. We were glad that the previous conceptually flawed and poorly worded rules (called “Guidance” by the FDA) were withdrawn recently.

In their place the FDA proposed a revised Guidance. This revised Guidance has some helpful changes and some detrimental ones.

Unfortunately, the detrimental ones are very detrimental, and we must now pressure the FDA to revise this guidance considerably.

We can do that by getting a very large number of people to ask for an extension while commenting on this new draft.

If you are familiar with the changes the FDA made, you can go directly to the FDA Comments page on the Americans for Homeopathy Choice site (https://homeopathychoice.org) There you’ll find out how to make a comment that will help us get an extension.

If you are outside the USA, click here:

https://homeopathychoice.org/fda-comments-international/

If you are inside the USA, click here:

(this uses the voter voice software which allows people to submit a comment in just a few clicks)

https://homeopathychoice.org/fdacomment/

If you want to know more about the changes, here’s a summary of the most important points:

  1. The new Draft Guidance, if adopted, will allow the FDA to withdraw even properly manufactured and labeled homeopathic medicines from the marketplace. This is puzzling because these have never posed any sort of safety concern according to an initial review of public FDA records by Americans for Homeopathy Choice.
  2. It is clear that the FDA intends to use this authority and has even mentioned specific homeopathic medicines such as Belladonna, Rhus toxicodendron, Nux vomica and Lachesis muta in its public statements regarding enforcement.
  3. The authority for this kind of assault on homeopathy will result from the declaration by the FDA that all homeopathic medicines are “new drugs.” We all know that legally speaking, this is nonsense. Homeopathic medicines have been around for 200 years.

But this nonsense declaration means that under federal law all homeopathic drugs will become technically “illegal” and subject to withdrawal from the marketplace. If the FDA just thinks there is a problem with a homeopathic medicine, it can withdraw it forever without conducting any sort of investigation.

  1. Since the agency has already told us that it thinks that Belladonna, Rhus tox, Nux vomica, Lachesis muta and several other remedies are dangerous, we can anticipate that it will try to remove them from the marketplace as soon as the guidance is finalized.
  2. Once this happens, the only conceivable way these remedies could be reinstated is to go through what the FDA calls a New Drug Application (NDA). But that’s not going to happen for two reasons:

First, no one can patent homeopathic remedies because they are made from common substances. So, no company would be able to make back the huge cost of going through the NDA.

Second, the NDA is designed for pharmaceuticals and is unable to test the effectiveness of a medicine that is tailored to each individual rather than given to a large mass of people who supposedly have the same condition. Hence, it is unlikely that any homeopathic medicine would be ruled both safe and effective by the FDA.

That means that when the FDA removes a homeopathic remedy from the market, it will be the equivalent of banning it forever. And, don’t think that you’ll be able to order your remedies from abroad. The FDA will just stop them at the border.

I could tell you more, but what I’ve told you so far should convince you that we must get the FDA to change its unreasonable and misinformed guidance to reflect the realities of homeopathic medicines: They are nontoxic, mild, effective and have few, if any, side-effects.

And, homeopaths use them in ways that individualize treatment. That this is the best way to treat patients was discovered by Samuel Hahnemann 200 years ago. (Pharmaceutical companies are only now discovering that Hahnemann was right. But this hasn’t sunk in at the FDA.)

Help us get an extension so that there will be enough time to prepare a response properly. We need the time in order to show the FDA step-by-step how to change the Draft Guidance in ways that will protect rather than imperil homeopathy.

Please click on the button below to go to a form that will allow you to make a comment to the FDA in just a minute or two.

https://homeopathychoice.org/fda-comments-landing/

 

 

With urgency and gratitude,

Americans for Homeopathy Choice

P.S. Please send this message on to anyone you can think of who cares about homeopathy. Time is running out!

Can the use of antibiotics be reduced by homeopathic remedies?

Homeopathy:Bayerischer Landtag agrees for controversial homeopathy study

Can the use of antibiotics be reduced by homeopathic remedies? That should be tested in Bavaria with a study. The opposition is outraged.
Homeopathy: The effect of homeopathic medicines is controversial.
The effect of homeopathic medicines is controversial. © Fred Tanneau / AFP / Getty Images

The Bavarian state government wants to be scientifically examined whether the use of antibiotics can be reduced by homeopathic remedies . To this end, the state legislature approved, with the votes of the CSU and Free Voters’ governing parties, a request that a medical study should examine how the use of antibiotics can be reduced. At the same time, the role of homeopathic preparations in this context should be examined. 120 MPs voted in favor of the motion, eight more than the coalition itself.

The petition, which was part of a debate on so-called multidrug – resistant bacteria , has been the topic of controversy. Opponents and opponents of the project described the study as superfluous. “The project of the Bavarian state government is negligent, because it suggests already with the question, that homeopathic remedies such as globules could fight multi-resistant germs,” ​​criticized Dominik Spitzer (FDP). So far no scientific study could prove that homeopathic remedies alone worked against complaints.

The SPD MEP Ruth criticized the project of the state government. If homeopathy “really has a proven effect, then it is the share of talking medicine, the holistic view of the patient”. However, she does not understand that “in severe sepsis, it is only possible to think of administering these globules instead of antibiotics”.

CSU MPs, on the other hand, referred to studies that showed that the use of classical homeopathy prevented the use of antibiotics and improved individual infection control. Even in severely septic patients, a study had provided evidence that a homeopathic treatment “could be a useful treatment”.

In total, the CSU parliamentary group has submitted five motions aimed at preventing deaths from multidrug-resistant bacteria . In addition to the scientific study on the effectiveness of homeopathy, it is also about the controversial use of antibiotics in everyday life and in agriculture.

Experts cite the increased and in part non-targeted use of antibiotics in humans and animals as a cause for the spread of resistant pathogens . Resistant germs are usually harmless to people with intact immune systems. However, the pathogens can be dangerous for weakened patients, for example in intensive care units. They can cause urinary tract infections or pneumonia and are difficult to treat because of their resistance.

 

Hering’s Law: Law, Rule or Dogma?

I repost this article from time to time.

Hering’s Law: Law, Rule or Dogma?
by Dr. André Saine, D.C., N.D., F.C.A.H.

Presented at the Second Annual Session of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians in Seattle, Washington, April 16-17, 1988.

Introduction
In homeopathy today, Hering’s law is widely recognized as the second law of cure, the first law of cure being similia similibus curantur, or like cures like. Hering’s law pertains to the direction in which the symptoms of the patient will disappear during a cure under homeopathic treatment.

In his second lecture on homeopathic philosophy given in 1900 to the Post-Graduate School of Homœopathics, Kent said:

  • “The cure must proceed from centre to circumference. From centre to circumference is from above downward, from within outwards, from more important to less important organs, from the head to the hands and feet.”
  • “Every homœopathic practitioner who understands the art of healing, knows that the symptoms which go off in these directions remain away permanently. Moreover, he knows that symptoms which disappear in the reverse order of their coming are removed permanently. It is thus he knows that the patient did not merely get well in spite of the treatment, but that he was cured by the action of the remedy. If a homœopathic physician goes to the bedside of a patient and, upon observing the onset of the symptoms and the course of the disease, sees that the symptoms do not follow this order after his remedy, he knows that he has had but little to do with the course of things.” (1)

Here Kent does not differentiate between acute and chronic disease in the application of the law. It is reasonable to assume, because of the lack of precision, that he meant all diseases, acute and chronic of venereal and non-venereal origin, would disappear in the direction described above.

When first studying homeopathy, I listened to the teachers and read the “classic” modern works, and assumed, like my fellow colleagues, that Hering’s law had been an irrefutable fact recognized by Hering and the many succeeding generations of homeopaths, and that all patients, (All italics used throughout this paper indicate my own emphasis of pertinent points.) acute and chronic, without an exception, would, at all times, be cured in the afore-mentioned direction under careful homeopathic treatment.

Later as a practitioner, I carefully applied myself to put the general homeopathic training I had received to the test. Since then, I have been able to substantiate most but not all of the rules, principles and laws contained in the homeopathic doctrine promulgated by several generations of homeopaths.

So far, however, I have been unable to substantiate Hering’s law. Indeed, very rarely do I see, for instance, in a patient with chronic polyarthritis, the symptoms disappearing from the head first and then to the hands and feet. More often, the pain and other joint symptoms disappear in the reverse order of their appearance, even if it is from below upwards. In other words, if the arthritis manifested itself, as it happens at times, first in the knees and then in the ankles, the ankles would get better before the knees.

Or in a patient affected by a complex of essentially functional complaints such as fatigue, anxiety, irritability, difficult digestion, joint pain and acne, rarely would I see the disappearance of the emotional disturbance first, then the poor digestion followed by the joint pain and lastly the acne. With the simillimum most symptoms begin to improve simultaneously and disappear in the reverse order of their appearance, and not necessarily from above downwards and from inside outwards. In fact it is not uncommon that in such cases the acne, the last to have appeared, would disappear readily and the emotional state (the oldest symptom) would be the last to completely disappear.

While treating a patient with an acute febrile disease that had progressed in the first stage from chills to fever, then to perspiration and lastly to weakness, I would observe a rapid and gentle recovery but without the patient re-experiencing the perspiration, then the fever and lastly the chills. While recovering from acute diseases under homeopathic treatment, the patient does not re-experience the original symptoms one by one in the reverse order of their appearance. Many more troublesome exceptions similar to the above could be cited.

What was wrong with Hering’s law as quoted above from Kent’s Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy? Had I misunderstood the law?
According to Webster’s dictionary, a law is defined as a sequence of events that occurs with unvarying uniformity whereas a rule permits exceptions, and a dogma rests on opinion. Was this lack of confirmation of the said law due to “suppressive” homeopathic treatment as suggested by a number of theoretical and perhaps dogmatic homeopaths? If so, why have these so called “purists” not stood up and proven that all their cured cases followed the said law? To my knowledge this proof has not been forthcoming.

Was I the only practitioner in this position?
I questioned teachers and colleagues, some with many years of experience. Few could answer my questions and none has been able to substantiate from their own experience without the shadow of a doubt that Hering’s law was a true law of nature. It seems that most were in the same situation as me, even the supposed authorities would discuss the matter but in private with the author. It seems that we all had classic cases of cure from above downwards, from within outwards, from more to less important organs and in the reverse order of appearance of symptoms. But these absolutely “perfect” cases were only occasional. The majority of cured cases did not fulfill all the four citedcriteria.

So I decided to go back to the sources.
On one hand, neither Kent, in his Lectures on Homœopathic Philosophy of 1900, nor Stuart Close, in The Genius of Homœopathy of 1924, nor Herbert Roberts, in The Principles and Art of Cure by Homœopathy of 1936 while discussing the above law, refer to it as Hering’s law. (1-3) None of these three authors makes any reference to Hering in their lectures on the law of direction of cure. On the other hand, Garth Boericke, in A Compendium of the Principles of Homœopathy of 1929, refers to it as Hering’s rule but not as a law. (4) Confusing, isn’t it? Did Hering ever formulate a law on the direction of cure? If he did, why was his name not clearly associated with the law and was it as a law or a rule? Why was the literature so ambiguous?

At this point, I realized that the sources had to be explored further. The answers would all have to be within the literature of the nineteenth century. After a thorough examination of this literature I have so far been unable to find any of Hering’s famous contemporaries and close colleagues discussing or making any reference to a law of direction of cure. Writings of Boenninghausen, Jahr, Joslin, P.P. Wells, Lippe, H.N.Guernsey, Dunham, E.A. Farrington, H.C. Allen, Nash, etc, were all silent.

When Hering died in 1880, colleagues all over the world assembled to pay tribute to the great homeopath. His many accomplishments were recalled. Strangely, none made any mention of a law of direction of cure promulgated by Hering. (5) Arthur Eastman, a student who was close to Hering during the last three years of the venerable homeopath, published in 1917 Life and Reminiscences of Dr. Constantine Hering also without mentioning a law pertaining to direction of cure. (6) Calvin Knerr, Hering’s son-in-law, published in 1940, 60 years after Hering’s death, the Life of Hering, a compilation of biographical notes. (7) Again no mention is made of the famous law. Not only confusing, but also puzzling.

Obviously, the sources had to be further explored. Here are the fruits of this exploration.

THE HISTORY RELATED TO THE FORMULATION OF HERING’S LAW

  1. Hahnemann – 1811
    With the first publication of his Materia Medica Pura in 1811, Hahnemann inaugurated a new arrangement of the symptoms: from above downwards, from inside outwards, but also from the parts to the generals.
  2. Hahnemann – 1828
    In 1828, Hahnemann published his first observations and theories on chronic diseases. (8) I summarize here the points most pertinent to the present discussion:

    • “All diseases, acute and chronic of non-venereal origin, come from the original malady, called psora. (page 7)
    • “A skin eruption is the first manifestation of psora. (page 38)
    • “The skin eruption acts as a substitute for the internal psora (page 11) and prevents the breaking out of the internal disease. (page 13)
    • “The more the skin eruption spreads the more it keeps the internal manifestations of psora latent. (page 40)
    • “But when the skin eruption is suppressed with an external application or other influences the latent psora goes unnoticed and its internal manifestation increases. Then “it originates a legion of chronic diseases.” (page 12) Incidently, for Hahnemann, a suppressed skin eruption is not driven into the body as it was popularly thought in his time, and even today by most homeopaths, but rather the vital force is compelled “to effect a transference of a worse form of morbid action to other and more important parts.” (Introduction of the Organon of Medicine page 62) (9)
    • “Latent psora, an abnormal susceptibility to disease, will manifest itself as severe diseases after exposure to stress (or as he calls it, unfavorable conditions of life) acute infections, trauma and injuries, exhaustion from overworking, lack of fresh air or exercise, frustration, grief, poor nutrition, etc, and by “incorrect and weakening allopathic treatment”. (page 48)
    • “During the treatment of chronic diseases of non-venereal origin with antipsoric remedies, the last symptoms are always the first to disappear, “but the oldest ailments and those which have been most constant and unchanged, among which are the local ailments, are the last to give way.” (page 135)
    • If old symptoms return during an antipsoric treatment, it means that the remedy is affecting psora at its roots and will do much for its thorough cure (page 135). If a skin eruption appears during the treatment while all other symptoms have so far improved the end of the treatment is close.”
  3. Hahnemann – 1833-43
    In paragraphs 161 and 248 of the fifth and sixth edition of the Organon of Medicine of 1833 and 1843 respectively, Hahnemann says that in the treatment of old and very old chronic disease, aggravation of the original disease does not appear if the remedy is accurately chosen and given in the appropriate small doses, which are only gradually increased. “When this is done, these exacerbations of the original symptoms of the chronic disease can appear only at the end of the treatment, when the cure is complete or nearly complete.” The original symptoms of a chronic disease should be the last to aggravate or become more prominent before disappearing. (10)
    In paragraph 253 of the same work, the author states that in all diseases, especially in quickly arising (acute) ones, of all the signs that indicate a small beginning of improvement (or aggravation) that is not visible to everybody, the psychic condition of the patient and his general demeanor are the most certain and revealing.

    In paragraph 225, Hahnemann states that some psychic diseases are not the extension of physical disease but, “instead, with only slight physical illness, they arise and proceed from the psyche, from persistent grief, resentment, anger, humiliation and repeated exposure to fear and fright. In time such psychic diseases often greatly harm the physical health.” In other words, Hahnemann had recognized the existence of psychosomatic diseases, those diseases which progress from within outwards and from above downwards.

    This is the background that now leads us to Hering, who, among all Hahnemann’s students, was most similar to him. Like Hahnemann, Hering was a true scientist who totally adopted the inductive method in his scientific pursuits.

  4. Hering – 1845
    In 1845, Hering published in the preface of the first American edition of Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases an extract of an essay which was never published elsewhere, called “Guide to the Progressive Development of Homœopathy”.
    In this essay, Hering writes:

    • “Every homœopathic physician must have observed that the improvement in pain takes place from above downward; and in diseases, from within outward. This is the reason why chronic diseases, if they are thoroughly cured, always terminate in some cutaneous eruption, which differs according to the different constitutions of the patients.
    • “The thorough cure of a widely ramified chronic disease in the organism is indicated by the most important organs being first relieved; the affection passes off in the order in which the organs had been affected, the more important being relieved first, the less important next, and the skin last. (page 7)
    • “Even the superficial observer will not fail in recognising this law of order.
    • “This law of order which we have pointed out above, accounts for numerous cutaneous eruptions consequent upon homœopathic treatment, even where they never had been seen before; it accounts for the obstinacy with which many kinds of herpes and ulcers remain upon the skin, whereas others are dissipated like snow. Those which remain, do remain because the internal disease is yet existing… It lastly accounts for one cutaneous affection being substituted for another.” (11) (page 8)

    Here Hering assumes that all chronic diseases (it is likely that he is referring here to diseases of psoric origin, i.e., non-venereal) progress from less to more important organs and disappear in the reverse order. This is compatible with Hahnemann’s theory that all chronic diseases of non-venereal origin manifest themselves first on the skin then internally. (Concerning the theories of Hahnemann, Hering wrote in 1836 in the first American edition of the Organon of Medicine: Whether the theories of Hahnemann are destined to endure a longer or a shorter space, whether they be the best or not, time only can determine; be it as it may however, it is a matter of minor importance. For myself, I am generally considered as a disciple and adherent of Hahnemann, and I do indeed declare, that I am one among the most enthusiastic in doing homage to his greatness; but nevertheless I declare also, that since my first acquaintance with homeopathy, (in the year 1821), down to the present day, I hve never yet accepted a single theory in the Organon as it is promulgated. I feel no aversion to acknowledge this even to the venerable sage himself. It is the genuine Hahnemannean spirit totally to disregard all theories, even those of one’s own fabrication, when they are in opposition to the results of pure experience. All thoeries and hypotheses have no positive weight whatever, only so far as they lead to new experiments, and afford a better survey of the results of those already made. (page 17) (12)

  5. Hering – 1865
    It seems that Hering did not further elaborate on this subject, at least in the American literature, until 20 years later. In 1865, he published an article in the first volume of The Hahnemannian Monthly called “Hahnemann’s three rules concerning the rank of symptoms”. Hering states in this article that:

    • “The quintessence of Hahnemann’s doctrine is, to give in all chronic diseases, i.e., such as progress from without inwardly, from the less essential parts of our body to the more essential, from the periphery to the central organs, generally from below upwards – to give in all such cases, by preference, such drugs as are opposite in their direction, or way of action, such as act from within outward, from up downward, from the most essential organs to the less essential, from the brain and the nerves outward and down to the most outward and the lowest of all organs, to the skin… All the antipsoric drugs of Hahnemann have this peculiarity as the most characteristic; the evolution of their effects from within towards without. (page 6-7)
    • “Hahnemann states, in his treatise on Chronic Diseases, American translation p.171: Symptoms recently developed are the first to yield. Older symptoms disappear last. Here we have one of Hahnemann’s general observations, which like all of them, is of endless value, a plain, practical rule and of immense importance.
    • “The above rule might also be expressed in the following words: In diseases of long standing, where the symptoms or groups of symptoms have befallen the sick in a certain order, succeeding each other, more and more being added from time to time to those already existing, in such cases this order should be reversed during the cure; the last ought to disappear first and the first last.” (page 7-8) (13)

    It is very clear here that Hering makes no mention of a law but rather of a rule, that the symptoms ought to disappear in the reverse order of their appearance during the homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic disease of psoric origin, the ones that progress from without inwardly, from less important to more important organs and generally from below upwards.

  6. Hering – 1875
    In 1875, Hering published the first volume of Analytical Therapeutics of the Mind in which he stated that “only such patients remain well and are really cured, who have been rid of their symptoms in the reverse order of their development”. (page 24) (14) Here Hering makes no mention of the three other propositions regarding the direction of cure: from above downwards, from within outwards and from the more important to the less important organs. Why? Were they not considered as important to evaluate the direction of cure as stated in previous years?
    In the same work, Hering also explains that he adopted Hahnemann’s arrangement of the materia medica: “First inner symptoms, then outer ones. This order we have now uniformly preserved throughout the whole work.” (page 21) In explaining why he adopted this arrangement he says: “The arrangement as well as the style of printing, has the one object especially in view, viz.: to make it as easy as possible for the eye, and through the eye, for the mind to find what is looked for.” He makes no mention of this arrangement corresponding to a direction of cure, as it has been suggested by some well wishing homeopaths.

    The origin of the term “Hering’s law”
    Where does the term “Hering’s law” come from as it seems never to have been mentioned in the literature during Hering’s time? The earliest mention I have been able to find in the homeopathic literature dates from 1911, in an article published by Kent in the first volume of the Transactions of the Society of Homœopathicians called “Correspondence of Organs, and the Direction of Cure”. Kent writes:

    • “Hering first introduced the law of direction of symptoms: from within out, from above downward, in reverse order of their appearance. It does not occur in Hahnemann’s writings. It is spoken of as Hering’s law. There is scarcely anything of this law in the literature of homœopathy, except the observation of symptoms going from above to the extremities, eruptions appearing on the skin and discharges from the mucous membranes or ulcers appearing upon the legs as internal symptoms disappear.
    • “There is non-specific assertion in the literature except as given in the lectures on philosophy at the Post- Graduate School.” (15)

    It is reasonable to assume that Kent was the one that officialized the term “Hering’s law” and so inadvertently popularized the concept of the existence of a clear and precise law of direction of cure. (At least up till 1899, at Kent’s Post-Graduate School of Homeopathics, the directions of cure were still called “the Three Directions of cure [given by Hahnemann].) (16) By using the name of Hering it is reasonable to say that Kent thus created false and misleading historical assumptions. Since H.C. Allen had died two years previously (1909), the profession, at least in North America, had no other leaders capable to refute Kent and defend the classic Hahnemannian tradition. (It is to be remembered that in 1908 H.C. Allen had severely criticized the materia medica of the new synthetic remedies that Kent had been publishing since 1904 in The Critique. Kent was at the time the associate editor of this journal in which, almost monthly, he had been publishing the materia medica of a new synthetic remedy, each of very questionable value. During an open session at the annual meeting of the International Hahnemannian Association, Allen and G.P. Waring accused Kent of publishing materia medica that was “without proving or any clinical experience”, which would have been completely contrary to the strict inductive method intrinsic to homeopathy. (17)

    Kent then stopped permanently the publication of these synthetic remedies, even the ones that he had previously promised for upcoming publication in The Critique(18) Although Kent continued to publish regularly in The Critique until 1911 he restricted his articles to reporting clinical cases rather than materia medica. Never was a synthetic remedy ever published by Kent after the initial criticism of Allen even in his own journal, The Homœopathician, that he founded in 1912. Furthermore, when Kent published the second edition of his Lectures on Homœopathic Materia Medica in 1912 [the first edition was in 1904], all the synthetic remedies published between 1904 and 1908 were omitted.)

    In this same article, Kent says that in the course of treatment of a patient suffering with a psychic disease of the will (problems of affections, grief, anger, jealousy, etc), the heart or liver will be affected as the treatment progresses.

    While in a patient suffering from a mental disease (problems of the intellect), the stomach or the kidney will be affected during appropriate homeopathic treatment. Were these comments on the direction of cure and correspondence of organs based on Kent’s impeccable and meticulous observations or was he rather formulating hypotheses? He does not explain further but he does mention later in the same paper that “through familiarity with Swedenborg, I have found the correspondences wrought out from the Word of God harmonious with all I have learned in the past thirty years. Familiarity with them aids in determining the effect of prescriptions.” (15)

    Nowhere was I able to find in the writings of Kent, including in a collection of not yet republished lesser writings, any other mention of Hering’s law as to the direction of cure.

    Discussion and Conclusion
    First let us briefly review the highlights of what has been so far demonstrated:

    • Between 1828 and 1843, Hahnemann enunciated his theories of chronic diseases and described his observations and rules about the progression and resolution of these chronic diseases. One key point of his theory is that a skin eruption is the first manifestation of psora, which is the source of all chronic diseases of non-venereal origin. In chronic disease the presenting symptoms of the patient (“those ailments which have been most constant and unchanged”) may aggravate and will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance with the correct antipsoric remedies in the correct posology. Possibly, old symptoms may return during an antipsoric treatment. In all diseases, if after a homeopathic remedy the psychic symptoms are the first to improve or aggravate it is a most certain sign of curative change. For Hahnemann this inside outward improvement was not a law but rather a most certain sign of curative change. Finally not all diseases progress from outside inwards but certain diseases (psychosomatic diseases) can progress from within outwards.
    • In 1845, Hering enunciated the original observations of Hahnemann as a law of order in a work never to be published. In this law he mentions essentially four points, that “the improvement in pain takes place from above downward; and in diseases, from within outward… Chronic diseases if thoroughly cured, always terminate in some cutaneous eruption” and lastly “the thorough cure of a widely ramified chronic disease in the organism is indicated by the most important organs being first relieved; the affection passes off in the order in which the organs had been affected, the most important being relieved first, the less important next, and the skin last”. As a reader I do not clearly sense that Hering is officially proclaiming the original observations of Hahnemann as an absolute law but rather that there is a “law of order” during a curative process. Also I was unable to find Hering or any of his contemporaries referring further to this unpublished work or to a law of direction of cure.
    • In 1865, Hering described these observations not as a law but as Hahnemann’s general observations or as plain practical rules. Essentially he emphasizes the proposition that the symptoms should disappear in the reverse order of their appearance during the treatment of patients with chronic psoric diseases.
    • In 1875, Hering now discussed only one proposition, that the symptoms will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance. The three other propositions are now not mentioned at all.
    • All the illustrious contemporaries of Hering seems to remain silent on this point, at least from my review of the literature.
    • In 1911, Kent, almost arbitrarily, calls the original observations of Hahnemann “Hering’s law”.

    Now, with Kent’s powerful influence, most modern works and presentations on homeopathy began to declare Hering’s law as an established fact and seemingly assumed that it has been thoroughly verified since the beginning of homeopathy, although no author, to my knowledge, has so far been able to substantiate what each is repeating from the other. Here is one clear sign which indicates how profoundly the homeopathic profession of today has been cut off from its original and most essential sources. During the years of its decline in the U.S. the profession experienced a gradual discontinuity from its original foundation and started to rely more and more on a neo-foundation dating back to the turn of the present century. Each new generation of homeopaths has readily accepted Hering’s law as a perfect law of cure and so unintentionally perpetuated a misleading assumption. For students it is an attractive concept but we clinicians must stand up and report our observations even if they are contrary to the teaching we have received.

    From reviewing the literature, it seems unlikely that the law formulated by Kent in 1911 is a fair represention of Hering’s overall understanding of a direction of cure and that neither Kent nor anyone else has been able thus far to clinically demonstrate that the original observations of Hahnemann constituted in fact a perfect law of nature. But if we assume, for a moment, that the law formulated by Kent is true, would all symptoms then have to disappear, not only in the reverse order of their appearance, but also from above downwards, from within outwards and from more important to less important organs?

    To comply with this law it would mean that all diseases to be curable must proceed from outside inwards, from below upwards and from less important to more important organs. Many acute diseases and a whole list of chronic diseases such as psychosomatic diseases and others that develop from within outwards (for example cases of arthritis followed by psoriasis), or diseases that develop from above downwards, as in certain cases of polyarthritis, would then be theoritically incurable. Or (since we know this not to be the case) they are curable, but represent notable exceptions to Kent’s formulation of a law of direction of cure.

    In many cases of chronic disease the direction of disappearance of symptoms will contradict at least one of the four propositions. I assume that we all agree that the enunciation of a law must be based on impeccable observations. A law, if it is to be called a law, must explain all observable phenomena of direction of cure. It is unacceptable to use limited or even selected clinical phenomena to confirm a supposed law.

    This situation appears to exist when certain homeopaths in their attempts to defend “pure” homeopathy subscribe to the position that what is observed as contrary to Hering’s law, as formulated by Kent, is only due to poor prescribing, suppressive at times, palliative at best but surely not curative. For them what is wrong, is not the law but the prescription: “the simillimum was not given.”

    Personally I use and can daily confirm the original observations of Hahnemann concerning the direction of cure and have found them extremely helpful to evaluate the evolution of diseases or of cure but I have not been able to substantiate these observations as a law and have not yet found a colleague with such substantiation. I use them as plain practical rules.

    Probably by the end of my career, homeopathy will have become widely accepted. I would then resent it if a group of objective scientists clinically investigate the principles of homeopathy, and find numerous exceptions not abiding to our idealistic or dogmatic conception of Hering’s law; thus renderiing it only “a plain, practical rule“. I would similarly resent having a group of scientists saying that for the last hundred or more years the homeopathic profession has been blindly erring in assuming that Hering’s law was an irrefutable fact.

    Five of the many plagues that have hindered the growth of homeopathy are ignorance, egotism, dogmatism, idolatry and the diversion from the inductive method. In his last address to the profession in an article published in the August 1880 (Hering died on July 23, 1880.) issue of the North American Journal of Homœopathy, Hering warned us that “if our school ever gives up the strict inductive method of Hahnemann we are lost, and deserve to be mentioned only as a caricature in the history of medicine.” (19) Indeed, since its early beginning the tendency to rationalize the practice of medicine has also constantly threatened homeopathy. Hahnemann, who had a thorough understanding of the history of medicine, knew that the only sure way was based on the experimental method. Hering demonstrated the same rigor. Unfortunatively, we can not say the same of Kent. Let us now start carefully observing and reporting any facts that would help to perfect Hahnemann’s original observations. If a direction of cure can be expressed within the context of a law, then so be it. But until demonstrated otherwise, it should remain “a plain, practical rule”. The law that we suspect still needs to be rightly formulated.

    At present it seems appropriate to refer to these observations as the rules of the direction of cure. To refer to these as Hahnemann’s or Hering’s rules may further prolong the confusion. From my personal experience, it appears that the four rules are not applicable to all cases and that there is a hierarchy among them, i.e., they do not have equal value. The first indication that a disease is being cured under homeopathic treatment is that the presenting and reversible (Many symptoms related to irreversible lesions can not be expected to totally disappear; consequently the more a symptom is related to organic changes, the less likely, or more slowly it will disappear. The greater the irreversibility of the pathology the greater the symptoms will linger. The practitioner can easily be confused by these important exceptions, which are often not well perceived. Therefore this rule [of symptoms disappearing in the reverse order of appearance] is generally less applicable to symptoms deriving from organic lesions.) symptoms of the disease will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance.

    This confirms the observations as pointed out originally and plainly by Hahnemann in The Chronic Diseases and later by Hering in 1865 and 1875. This means that during the treatment of patients suffering with chronic diseases of non-venereal origin and also at times with acute diseases, the presenting symptoms of the patient’s chronic dynamic disease (as opposed to the symptoms resulting essentially from gross error of living) will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance. So the presenting symptoms that have developed in the order of A B C D E seem to consistently disappear in the order of E D C B A. This rule seems to have supremacy over the other three rules: from more important to the less important organs, from within outwards and from above downwards.

    The word “presenting” is here emphasized in order to state perfectly clearly that the symptoms that will disappear in the reverse order of the their appearance are only the presenting symptoms, and that it is not at all expected that every ailment experienced by the patient in his past will again be re-experienced under homeopathic treatment. In fact only a few of these old symptoms and conditions will reappear during a homeopathic treatment, usually the ones that have unmistakably been suppressed by whatever influences. Beside antipathic treatment that will suppress symptoms and normal functions of the organism (perspiration or menses) there are other measures which will cause suppression of symptoms, first, dissimilar diseases, natural or artificial; second, external influences such as exposure to cold temperature, (i.e., suppressed menses from getting the feet wet); and lastly, internal influences that cause the person to suppress emotions such as anger or grief. This rule concerning cure in the reverse order of appearance of the presenting and reversible symptoms of the disease is the most important of the four as it is observable in almost all cases. The importance of this rule is well emphasized by Hering in 1865 when he mentioned:

    • “This rule enables the Hahnemannian artist not only to cure the most obstinate chronic diseases, but also to make a certain prognosis when discharging a cases, whether the patient will remain cured or whether the disease will return, like a half-paid creditor, at the first opportunity.” (12)

    The second most important (applicable) rule in the hierarchy is that cure will proceed from more important to less important organs. Third in importance is the rule that cure will proceed from within outwards. Fourth, least important and least often observable, the cure will proceed from above downwards. Hahnemann’s observation thatof all the signs that indicate a small beginning of improvement, the psychic condition of the patient and his general demeanor are the most certain and revealing is seen as the source of the last three rules. “The very beginning of improvement is indicated by a sense of greater ease, composure, mental freedom, higher spirits, and returning naturalness.” (paragraph 253) 10 This original observation of Hahnemann, which is verified daily, does not contradict the first rule in any case because the first sign of improvement can be and is often different than the symptom that would first disappear.

    Consequent to Hahnemann’s theory, (that all diseases, acute and chronic of non-venereal origin, come from the original malady called psora and its first manifestation is a skin eruption) all cases of chronic disease of dynamic origin must develop a skin eruption to be totally cured. As it seems unfeasible to demonstrate, it should at best be used as a working hypothesis and not as a law. For a law to exist it must be demonstrable without exception. Hahnemann had a clear opinion about the role of the physician as theorist when he wrote in the preface to the fourth volume of The Chronic Diseases:

    • “I furnished, indeed, a conjecture about it [on how the cure of diseases is effected], but I did not desire tocall it an explanation, i.e., a definite explanation of the modus operandi. Nor was this at all necessary, for it is only incumbent upon us to cure similar symptoms correctly and successfully, according to a law of nature [similia similibus curantur] which is being constantly confirmed; but not to boast with abstract explanations, while we leave the patients uncured; for that is all which so-called physicians have hitherto accomplished.” (8)

    To end this thesis, I would like to leave you with the spirit of some pertinent thoughts of Constantine Hering. In 1879, in the last two paragraphs to the preface of his last work, The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica, he writes:

    • “It has been my rule through life never to accept anything as true, unless it came as near mathematical proof as possible in its domain of science; and, in the other hand, never to reject anything as false, unless there was stronger proof of its falsity.
    • “Some will say, “but so many things – a majority of all observations – will thus remain between the two undecided.” So they will; and can it be helped? It can, but only by accumulating most careful observations and contributing them to the general fund of knowledge.” (20)

    And finally he wrote in 1845 in the preface of Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases:

    • “It is the duty of all of us to go farther in the theory and practice of Homœopathy than Hahnemann has done. We ought to seek the truth which is before us and forsake the errors of the past.” (page 9) (11)

    References

    1. Kent JT. Lectures on Homœopathic Philosophy. 2nd Ed. Chicago: Ehrhart & Karl, 1929.
    2. Close S. The Genius of Homœopathy. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1924.
    3. Roberts HA. The Principles and Art of Cure by Homœopathy. 2nd Revised Edition. Rustington: Health Science Press, 1942.
    4. Boericke G. A compend of the Principles of Homœopathy for Students in Medicine. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1929.
    5. Raue CG, Knerr CB, Mohr C, eds. A Memorial of Constantine Hering. Philadelphia: Press of Globe Printing House, 1884.
    6. Eastman AM. Life and Reminiscences of Dr. Constantine Hering. Philadelphia: Published by the family for private circulation, 1917.
    7. Knerr CB. Life of Hering. Philadelphia: The Magee Press, 1940.
    8. Hahnemann SC. The Chronic Diseases. Trans. by LF Tafel. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1896.
    9. Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Trans. by W Boericke. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1920
    10. Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Trans. by J Kunzli. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1982.
    11. Hering C. Preface. In Hahnemann SC. The Chronic Diseases. Trans. by CJ Hempel. New-York: William Radde, 1845.
    12. Hering C. Preface to the first American edition. In the Organon of Homœopathic Medicine. New-York: William Radde, 1836.
    13. Hering C. Hahnemann’s Three Rules Concerning the Rank of Symptoms. Hahnemannian Monthly 1865;1:5-12.
    14. Hering C. Analytical Therapeutics of the Mind. Vol 1. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1875.
    15. Kent JT. Correspondence of Organs, and Direction of Cure. Trans Soc. Homœopathicians 1911;1:31-33.
    16. Loos JC. Homœopathic Catechism. Journal of Homœopathics 1898-1899;2:480-488.
    17. Mastin JM. Editorial. Critique 1908;15:277-278.
    18. Mastin JM. Editorial. Critique 1907;14:228-229.
    19. Hering C. Apis. North American Journal of Homœopathy 1880;29:29-35.
    20. Hering C. The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica. Vol 1. Philadelphia: The American Publishing Society, 1879.

I wonder if we are losing our path in homoeopathy….

Added: Depending on how you view this article, you will need to decide whether the IHM is in favour of this approach or not.

Cancer


Elizabeth Thompson discusses how integrated care can make all the difference to cancer patients

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be a very frightening experience and many people remember the exact moment of hearing this difficult news. The experience can cause shock and anxiety and the feeling that one’s life is spiralling out of control. The person can often feel like their body has let them down by developing such a serious ill­ness and they can lose confidence in themselves and their future. There is often a desire to look more deeply into their health in general and to find mean­ing in their lives as a whole.

Many supportive approaches such as psychological procedures exist to help people during this difficult time of adjusting to a life-threatening illness. Complementary and alternative medi­cines (CAM) can also offer an important avenue of support with an underlying philosophy that the individual experi­ence is important and connections that a person may make in their life and health are important. CAM also honours the idea that the body has its own innate healing potential which can be strength­ened in various ways. A preparation of Mistletoe would be an example of a complementary medicine which has been shown to stimulate the immune system and when given alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy can reduce fatigue and improve quality of life.

We are very fortunate here in Bristol to run a complementary cancer care service that is integrated into the rest of the acute Healthcare Trust where the hospital is sited, University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust. We see about 250 patients a year with many referrals coming directly from healthcare pro­fessionals within related cancer services and research suggests patients want their treatment choices valued and approved by their oncologists. We have a close rela­tionship with the breast care nurses work­ing with the surgical team in the north of Bristol and the team at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre.

Supportive role
Sometimes it is the simple things that seem to help and one of the things that we offer at the hospital is continuity of care. If a patient comes to us they stay with us throughout their five-visit pack­age of care which involves one hour-long consultation and four 20-minute follow-ups. A common reason for referral is for women with breast cancer who are suff­ering side-effects of their treatments such as hot flushes with Tamoxifen or joint pains with Arimidex. Other problem symptoms might include anxiety, mood and sleep disturbance. This constella­tion of symptoms associated with oestro­gen withdrawal has few in the way of conventional treatments and HRT is now contra-indicated in women with breast cancer as it could increase their risk of recurrence. Sometimes women do not want to go on conventional med­ication such as antidepressants, which is another orthodox treatment for these symptoms, because they feel they have had enough drugs and they want to approach it with gentler, non-pharma­ceutical approaches. We also see men with prostate cancer, who have similar symptoms of hot flushes, sleep distur­bance, anxiety and loss of confidence associated with their hormonal cancer treatment.

We see people coming at different points in their diagnosis. Some patients are often coming after all their cancer treatments have been carried out, but they are suffering from the ongoing side-effects of their treatments. Sometimes we see people who from the moment of diagnosis want to use homeopathy to support them through their surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Often they can be people who have used homeopathy regularly for themselves and their families and it is a natural choice to continue to do so alongside conventional treatments.

Sometimes it is the point of being told one has recurrent or advancing dis­ease that might encourage someone to come and have homeopathy and engag­ing hopefully with someone can be very important at this time of crisis.

Alison’s story
In September 2005, Alison was diag­nosed with aggressive breast cancer, one year after the birth of her baby boy, Owen, and the news was totally shock­ing. Suddenly she was a disease and not a person and she became very, very frightened and incapable of managing her life. Only one year before, she had had extensive tests on a breast lump that didn’t feel normal to her, but as she was breastfeeding and had experienced a degree of mastitis, specialists at Weston Super Mare PCT first diagnosed a per­manently blocked milk-duct. The lump was re-checked by biopsy when Owen was one and out of the blue, Grade III cancer was diagnosed which had by then spread to nearby lymph nodes. She was immediately told to stop breastfeeding and urged to take a course of coun­selling. In the space of a couple of days she was told she would have a mastec­tomy followed by radiotherapy and months of chemotherapy. She was also told that the treatment would mean that is was very unlikely she would ever have any more children.

Alison comments: “I think I went to pieces. I just couldn’t cope with the news. I became very irrational about every­thing. My husband and family basically took over and managed all my appoint­ments and took care of my son. Of course, I had to give up teaching.”

Alison was concerned about aspects of the planned treatment. As a violinist, she wanted to reduce any chance of lym­phodema as permanently swollen arms would have made it difficult to play again. She transferred to Frenchay Hospital where Simon Cawthorn had an excellent track record for avoiding lymphodema, as well as an excellent rep­utation as a breast care surgeon. She had surgery within weeks.

The counselling she received had proved necessary and effective. “I was so angry and scared and I needed to find balance for my emotions in order to function properly.” She attended a three-day course at Penny Brohn Cancer Care, a wonderful holistic centre previously known as the Bristol Cancer Help Centre. “Going there saved me from a kind of madness as I had felt like an anomaly before. There were mothers of young children, like me, and even a woman who was pregnant when diag­nosed. I decided to book on to a five-day retreat at the centre during my chemotherapy.”

The chemotherapy treatment took nine months, during which she felt very sick, was crushingly tired and lost her hair. Her days on retreat had helped her calm down and look at herself more objectively. Always an open-minded per­son, she was now determined to use everything and anything to get better. So when her oncologist Dr Braybrook suggested homeopathy, she agreed to go to the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital.

Homeopathic care
Alison was referred to the Comple­mentary Cancer Care Service via her oncologist and began a course of treat­ment to help with the side-effects of chemotherapy, to help her come to terms with her condition and to try and ensure no relapse of the cancer.

“If I had to single out one comple­mentary treatment that I really felt helped me the most,” comments Alison, “it would be homeopathy. Dr Thompson was fantastic; she spoke to me as a per­son, she really wanted to know how I ticked. She didn’t focus on my symp­toms but she focused on me as a person, how I was emotionally coping and how she could help ease the emotional pain I felt.

“I remember her asking in one sess­ion how I was and telling her that I did not think it was possible to feel more emotional pain than I felt – I said ‘I feel like my heart is breaking’. Much of this pain was associated with the devastat­ing news about my fertility and coming to terms with the fact that I would never have any more children. The remedy she prescribed changed me utterly and I turned a corner.”

Alison also has regular acupuncture, takes Chinese herbs, osteopathy and massage to keep her arms mobile and has changed her diet in line with advice from the Penny Brohn Centre, so that now she eats an almost vegan diet, avoiding meat and dairy products.

There are still difficult moments: Alison was put on a drug which brought about an early menopause, including all its symptoms. She said it “made me feel very tired and old! – older than my years, dragged down and heavy” but a repeat of her homeopathic remedy in a differ­ent potency took those symptoms away. She has had scares too – she was recalled after a mammogram, which turned out to be clear in the end. She says she is lucky to have a loving and close family, a great GP, a group of excellent com­plementary therapists and a wonderful homeopath.

Alison recognises how far she has travelled. “When I was diagnosed I was one person. I know that I left that per­son behind when I started on my jour­ney to recovery. Homeopathy played a huge part in that. I was able to find out what really mattered in life.”

Alison adds, “I am really angry about the way some of the press ridicules home­opathy. Choosing your treatment is a per­sonal thing and the right kind of treatment is different for different sorts of people, so different treatments need to be on offer so that you can make that choice. All I know is without my wonderful son, the love and support of my family and friends and the homeopathic treatment, I don’t think I could have done it.

“My homeopathic remedy is like my crutch – I seriously feel as if I can’t live without it. I don’t know what I would do without Dr Elizabeth Thompson and the Bristol NHS Homeopathic Hospital.”

Prescribing for Alison
There is always an uncertainty when prescribing homeopathic medicines par­ticularly when we are trying to individ­ualise remedies. Along with Mistletoe injections, I also prescribed X-ray 30c on the morning of radiotherapy, along with Belladonna in the afternoon, both of which have been shown in one placebo-controlled trial to reduce the inflam­mation of the skin and deeper tissues that is caused with radiotherapy.

The remedy that really seemed to create the turning point for Alison, was Stannum muriaticum. This is a remedy from the mineral kingdom and is a salt of tin. We think of tin as rather a dull metal but it is part of the silver series which we associate with people who are musicians, talented in performance and creative by nature. In order to gain accuracy with our prescribing we are learning to understand the mineral kingdom in terms of the structure of the Periodic Table: which row does someone need a medicine from and which column is most suitable? Stannum is found in the silver series or row 5 of the Periodic Table in column 14 and Stannum patients can feel a lot of anxiety around performance as if they are somehow failing.

Someone who needs Stannum has an inner experience that their performance is no longer admired and they can feel discarded and on the sidelines. Alison had said: “I am a performer and I like to perform. I am a violinist but I did lose a lot of confidence. I was so anxious, I would vomit prior to a performance.”

My initial remedy Kali arsenicosum did help with the nausea but her anxi­ety over the coming months if anything got worse and when Alison realised that she could not have any more children this was a huge grief to her. I asked her about this and she said, “I feel crushed, I have always managed to achieve, but I feel like God is a puppeteer. I feel I have lost out.” This feeling, like a puppet, is also known in the inner experience of Plumbum which again is in the same col­umn as tin but Plumbum is found in the gold series.

There was also another element to Alison’s story which would match the experience of the chloride – muriaticum – element, in row 3, column 17 of the Periodic Table and one of the halogen group. The chloride element has a rela­tionship with mothering and being mothered and there can be the experi­ence to feel that one does not get the attention and reassurance one has needed and this leads to disappointment and feelings of being let down. When the halogen state is felt strongly it can make one feel hot, restless and caged, with an anxious desire to escape or get away. Both of these substances, Stannum and muriaticum relate to physical prob­lems as well. Stannum has a relationship with cancer and with voice problems, with a loss of voice or stammering or a sense of weakness with the voice and hollowness in the chest with a hard, deep, painful cough, better for holding the chest. The stomach can feel weak and empty and there can be problems with the ovaries. Alison had a knife-like pain in the ovary at ovulation and the silver series can relate to the testes and the ovaries. The chloride, muriatic, element can often have a physical rela­tionship with the sinuses and with nasal discharge and post-nasal drip andthere can be pain in the sinuses or tenderness in the breasts which can sometimes be related to the menstrual cycle.

Great thinkers in homeopathic practice have helped us understand these medicines and be able to predict how an unknown remedy might appear. Stannum muriaticum is not a well-known remedy and yet seemed to be a good match for Alison as an individual. Nothing replaces a proving, as often the emergent properties of a substance in nature and the symptom picture that emerges through a proving, cannot be predicated, but there are many remedies we would not be able to prescribe whilst waiting for provings to be carried out.

Cancer care
I have been offering homeopathy now for 12 years in the cancer setting and it has always brought me great joy to help people at any stage of their journey through this difficult illness. The joy has been watching people get back in con­trol, manage difficult situations for themselves and sometimes transforming entirely as an individual. Many have described cancer as a wonderful oppor­tunity to do things differently, to grow and learn about oneself. There is always sadness as well as I have lost patients along the way who had become an inspi­ration to me in my busy working day.

I have learned to be flexible within this challenging area of integration and allow people to make choices that feel right for them and always to see home­opathy as just part of a wheel of healing approaches that people explore and con­nect with to support them. At the moment we are developing a business plan to try and increase the number of complementary therapies delivered into the Oncology Centre, so they might be seen as an integral part of someone’s care rather than the icing on top of the cake. I would like to see more integration in the future, a greater awareness of the wisdom of the body, the part each indi­vidual plays in their own recovery plus the role CAM has to help empower peo­ple and adjust to living with a cancer diagnosis.

Elizabeth Thompson BAOxon MBBS MRCP FFHom is Lead Clinician for a thriving outpatient service from the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital with a team of twelve doctors. There is an active research and audit programme and Elizabeth is Academic Director for a seven-year academic teaching programme.

Vaccines and Pertussis

Joyce Bowen.

Questions About Vaccine-Strain Pertussis

A premise
I am just recovering from my third bout of pertussis in as many years.  I’m 67 and I never remember having pertussis in earlier years.  It is quite a distinctive illness, so I have no doubts.
I recall recently hearing about the pertussis outbreak amongst students where only the vaccinated experienced the illness.  Their unvaccinated peers did not suffer the illness.  I think there is a reason for that.
In 2016, I asked for a tetanus booster.  I had to kick and fight to get it.  I wish I hadn’t.  A friend of mine came over to visit one day in 2017—don’t remember exactly when, but I could look it up if I had to.  He had had his tetanus booster.  He sat in a chair about four feet away from my bed.  I had been getting sicker and sicker so I lay in my bed.
He left after about a half-hour—within a week, I was hacking my brains out with something I had never experienced before.  I went to the doctor and no tests were done, but my oxygen was low—about 92%.  I made it clear I did not want to go into the hospital and I didn’t.
My friend, Bert, was as stymied as I was—I was sure he was the source of my illness.  I barely went out; my kidneys were close to failing and my body was often wracked with spasms.  He told me he was just as confused as I was because both I and his wife had gotten this mysterious illness yet he had not.
Fast-forward through my next bout of this illness  (which was last October) to now.  With a few caveats.
  1. I did not receive a tetanus booster: I received the Tdap.  I have confirmed this through records.
  2. As to my first experience with this illness, I suspected Bert received the Tdap rather than a tetanus booster and that this was probably now protocol.  I and his wife experienced pertussis because of his transmission of vaccine-strain pertussis.  He, of course, felt nothing.
This case of pertussis I am just finishing up was the result of occupying the same space as my mechanic.  After paying my bill, he informed me he had received his tetanus booster a week earlier.  I groaned and told him he more than likely had received the Tdap, and that he would now be susceptible to pertussis for the rest of his life.  What didn’t hit me until the drive home was that I was going to get sick, and I did.  I kept hoping I wouldn’t, but with the onset of glandular pain, I knew I was probably in for it.
I’ve now experienced three events.  All three events occurred as the result of contact with someone having a shot laced with an acellular pertussis component.
Questions:
  1. Are those pertussis breakouts among the vaccinated being specifically infected by vaccine-strain pertussis?
  2. Is this only experienced only by those vaccinated with a shot containing ap?
  3. Are the unvaccinated not affected because this strain is only virulent to the vaccinated?
  4. How long can these bacteria live outside the body?
  5. Are these known quantities by the vaccine/pharmaceutical industry?

The Homoeopath (Thoughts from the desk)

First, there are many cases of patient suffering, in which, despite investigations of all kinds, a clear diagnosis can not be established, although patients have symptoms and signs. These symptoms are sometimes categorized as psychosomatic, or as nonspecific disorders (eg diarrhoea before any examination, or any major event) and may be the cause of a decrease in quality of life. These can become homoeopathic cases, precisely because there is no disease diagnosis.

Secondly, a patient may experience recurrences, repeat disturbances of either viral (e.g., the common cold) or reaction-type (diarrhoea and bloating at certain foods: milk, fruit, meat, etc.) .). These recurrences may be due to immune deficiencies or are simply peculiarities of the patient’s physiology. Although they can be treated allopathically, they are homoeopathic cases when it comes to treating predispositions or preventing these conditions.

Thirdly, during ill-defined diseases as a diagnosis, patients exhibit different symptoms  (against defined disease standards), particular, even strange, difficult to explain and difficult to fit in the “typical” picture of the disease. These symptoms are generally considered peripheral and are ignored during allopathic treatment. Sometimes the remission of the diagnosed disease, these symptoms disappear, but sometimes not. Although allopathy considers the disease healed, the patient still suffers from the same problems or always faces the same symptomatic configuration. Is he healed?

The answer in allopathy is an approximate but not as consistent with what the patient feels. He suffers – contiguous or recurrent – but is considered “healed” though he is still not well, he feels ill. In children especially, this situation is very common. The child is “cured” by tonsillitis, bronchitis, etc., but continues to be sensitive, always becoming ill.

To cure, usage of multiple antibiotics, other medicines, but nobody takes into account that the baby, for example, is sensitive to wet weather, fog, rain.

A careful general practitioner will notice this particular sensitivity, but it does not have the conceptual framework to value it, or, in other words, it can not treat it. The allergist will shrug (moisture is not an allergen), the pneumologist, the ENT will treat tonsillitis, but the sensitivity to moisture. As the patient continues to “heal”, but not to be cured and again and again to produce the same tonsillitis (bronchitis, asthma, etc.) until the tonsils are extirpated or to have a suppressive cortisone treatment, often useless and immunodepressed.

The only person who can take this particular sensitivity into account, as well as other sensitivities and peculiarities, physical, mental or reactive, and for which it has a significance is the Homeopath. He (she) is the only one who can value such apparently peripheral disease symptoms that do not relate to the proper diagnosis but to the individual interpretation of suffering. There are particular, strange, uncompromising symptoms in the diagnosis of illness, which relate to the individuality of the patient, but which directly affects him, having a safe recurrence under the same conditions.

The keywords to characterize a homoeopathic case is the individualization of suffering . If we were to describe the characteristics of “homoeopathic cases” these would be:

–         Very individualized, particular symptoms, strange in association or not with certain diseases. Localizations, modalities, sensations and unusual symptoms of some symptoms.

–         Unusual association of illnesses and symptoms, interesting and unexpected configurations of symptoms, signs, illnesses.

–         Recurrence of disorders , whether or not related to certain events or conditions, whether external (eg climatic or food) or in-house (emotions, fears, anxieties, etc.).

–         Changes in the immune system either in excess (allergies, autoimmune diseases) or in deficiency (recurrence, sensitivity).

–         Resistance to allopathic treatment, even better as indicated in the diagnosis

–         residual symptoms after treatment allopathic

– Diseases or symptoms after emotional trauma, professional stress or any other kind. These are afflictions with a strong causality, after which the patient did not feel well (“never well since …”)