Saturday, January 31, 2009
Source: Homœopathic Recorder, Feb. 1929.
By Dr Roger Schmidt
For a series of facts and phenomena to be the object of a science, they must be united by real connections, submissive rules, principles and fixed laws. The scientific mind invents neither facts, nor their relations of causality any more than their laws and principles. Its mission consists in investigating, discovering 'them' and establishing them on a basis as solid as possible.
Repeated observations and experimentation, which is only observation applied to artificially produced relations of causality, establish the reality of these facts on the firm basis of experience. When the relations of causality are permanent and invariable the existence of positive laws may be concluded from them.
As empirically found out facts, relations of causality have too, their raison d'être. They derive from more general laws and have their principles. Leading up to these principles, in so far as they can be positively established, is the highest mission of science. On the limit of these positive principles, experimental sciences stop. If we exceed that limit, we enter the domestic domain of philosophy, the domain of primary and metaphysical causes. No scientific man should remain a stranger to this domain. Willingly or not, those limits are constantly exceeded; as the search for principles is imposed upon the human mind by its very nature.
The reality of the relations of causality, of the principles of laws and the possibility of proving them by observation, are the first condition of every true science. Another and quite as necessary condition is the fixity of those laws. What makes the strength and superiority of homœopathic therapeutics is that it rests on precise and fixed (LAWS and PRINCIPLES. Beside our great law SIMILIA SIMILIBUS CURANTUR) which forms the solid basis of the Hahnemannian doctrine, there exists a secondary one little known : THE LAW OF CURE.
Constantine Hering had the merit of formulating for the first time the law of the direction of symptoms:
From above downwards.
From within outwards.
From a more important organ to a less important one.
In the reverse order of their coming.
Similia Similibus Curanter
This is the law of similars. It states that 'that which can cause can cure'. The onion, which produces tears in the eye and irritation (similar to a cold), can be used as a homeopathic medicine to cure colds which have irritating tears. The early Indians recognised this principle and states that Vishasya Vishamevam Aushadam and Samaha Samena Shantihi, but it was Dr. Hahnemann, who through his studies and experiments on the various medicines available in nature, practically proved the law.
Principle of Individualization
Treat the patient, not the disease. This is the most important doctrine of homeopathy. Not two human beings are alike and so the medicines used for their treatment need not be alike. Homeopathic medicines are prescribed based on the totality of symptoms of that individual. So, the name of the disease is not important to the doctor who tries to get a complete picture of the patient - his symptoms, the modalities of symptoms, his likes and disliked his environment, etc to arrive at the individualised remedy - which is the similimum.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Hahnemann was interested in developing a less-threatening approach to medicine. The first major step reportedly was when he was translating an herbal text and read about a treatment (cinchona bark) used to cure malaria. He took some cinchona bark and observed that, as a healthy person, he developed symptoms that were very similar to malaria symptoms. This led Hahnemann to consider that a substance may create symptoms that it can also relieve. This concept is called the "similia principle" or "like cures like." The similia principle had a prior history in medicine, from Hippocrates in Ancient Greece—who noted, for example, that recurrent vomiting could be treated with an emetic (such as ipecacuanha) that would be expected to make it worse—to folk medicine. Another way to view "like cures like" is that symptoms are part of the body's attempt to heal itself—for example, a fever can develop as a result of an immune response to an infection, and a cough may help to eliminate mucus—and medication may be given to support this self-healing response. Hahnemann tested single, pure substances on himself and, in more dilute forms, on healthy volunteers. He kept meticulous records of his experiments and participants' responses, and he combined these observations with information from clinical practice, the known uses of herbs and other medicinal substances, and toxicology, eventually treating the sick and developing homeopathic clinical practice.