When we recommend the use of homeopathic remedies, the medical nihilist says: "Don't talk homeopathy to me! I didn't come to you for drugs; I have had enough of them."
When we explain that these remedies are so highly refined that they cannot possibly do any harm, he becomes still more indignant. "I don't need any of your mental therapeutics in homeopathic form," he exclaims. "I, too, believe in the power of mind over matter, but I have no faith in your sugar of milk pellets; they are poor substitutes for the real article. That kind of sugar-coated suggestion might work on some people, but it doesn't on me."
When I first entered upon the study of medicine, I, too, did not believe in the curative power of homeopathic doses; but experience caused me to change my mind. The well-selected remedy administered at the right time often works wonders.
True homeopathic medicines in high-potency doses are so highly refined and rarefied that they cannot possibly produce harmful results or suppress Nature's cleansing and healing efforts; on the contrary, if employed according to the Law of Homeopathy: "like cures like," they assist in producing acute reactions or healing crises, thus aiding Nature in the work of purification and repair.
Homeopathy Works with the Laws of Cure, Not Against Them. Similia similibus curantur (like cures like) translated into practice means that a drug capable of producing a certain set of disease symptoms in a healthy body, when given in large, physiological doses, will relieve or cure a similar set of symptoms in the diseased organism if the drug be given in small, homeopathic doses.
For instance, belladonna, given in large, poisonous doses to a healthy person, will cause a peculiar headache with sharp, stabbing pains in forehead and temples, high fever, violent delirium, dilation of the pupils, dryness and rawness of the throat, scarlet redness of the skin and extreme sensitiveness to light, jars and noises.
It will be observed that this is a fair picture of a typical case of scarlet fever. A homeopathic prescriber, when called to a scarlet fever patient exhibiting in a marked degree three or more of the above-described symptoms, would give a trituration of belladonna, say 6x. In numberless cases the fever has subsided and its symptoms have rapidly disappeared under such treatment.
The reader may say: "I do not see any difference between this and the allopathic suppression of disease by drugs."
There is a great difference. The allopathic physician may use the same remedy, belladonna, in the same case, but he will give from ten to twenty drops of tincture of belladonna, repeated every three or four hours. These doses are from twenty to forty thousand times stronger than the homeopathic 3x or 6x.
Herein lies the difference. The allopathic dose allays the fever symptoms by paralyzing the organism as a whole and the different vital organs and their functions in particular. This is frankly admitted in every allopathic materia medica. But by such dosing Nature is forcibly interrupted in her efforts of cleansing and healing; the acute reaction is suppressed, but not cured.
If fever is a healing effort of Nature, it may be controlled and modified, but must not be suppressed. A minute dose of homeopathic belladonna, acting on the innermost cells of the organism which the coarser allopathic doses would paralyze, stimulates these cells to effort in the right direction. It brings about conditions similar to those produced by Nature, and thus assists her; it is cooperation instead of counteroperation.
After this brief discussion of the practical application of homeopathy, let us now ascertain in how far its laws and theories agree with and corroborate the laws and principles of the Nature Cure school.
Hahnemann discovered the Law of similia similibus curantur accidentally, while investigating the effects of quinine on the human organism. Ever since then it has been applied successfully by him and his followers in treating human ailments.
However, this law has been used empirically. Neither in the Organon nor in any other writings or teachings of Hahnemann and the homeopathic school can be found a clear and concise explanation of why like cures like. The proof offered has been negative rather than positive.
Therefore the allopath says: "You tell me that 'like cures like,' and that you can prove it at the sickbed; but unless you can give me good and valid reasons why it should be so, I cannot and will not believe that it is your 'similar' which cures the patient. How do I know it is your 'potency'? The patient might recover just as well without it."
With the aid of the three laws of cure, I shall endeavor to give the reasons and furnish the proofs for our contentions. The laws alluded to are: The Law of Cure, the Law of Dual Effect and the Law of Crises.
Similia similibus curantur is only another way of stating the fundamental Law of Nature Cure: "Every acute disease is the result of a cleansing and healing effort of Nature."
If a certain set of disease symptoms are the result of a healing effort of Nature, and if I give a remedy which produces the same or similar symptoms in the system, am I not aiding Nature in her attempt to overcome the abnormal conditions?
In such a case, the indicated homeopathic remedy will not suppress the acute reaction, but it will help it along, thus accelerating and hastening the curative process.
In the last analysis, disease resides in the cell. The well-being of the organism as a whole is dependent upon the health of the individual cells of which it is composed. This has been explained more fully in connection with the action of stimulants.
In order to cure the man, we must free the cell of its encumbrances. Elimination must begin in the cell, not in the organs of depuration. Laxatives and cathartics, by irritating the digestive tract, may cause a forced evacuation of the contents of the intestinal canal, but they do not eliminate the poisons which clog cells and tissues.
In stubborn chronic diseases, when the cells are too weak to throw off the latent encumbrances of their own accord, a well-chosen homeopathic remedy is often of great service in arousing them to acute reaction.
For instance, if the system is heavily encumbered with scrofulous taints and if its vitality is lowered to such an extent that the individual cell cannot of itself throw off the morbid encumbrances by means of a vigorous, acute effort, sulphur, if administered in doses sufficiently triturated and refined to affect the minute cells composing the organism, will start disease vibrations similar to those of acute scrofulosis, and thus give the needed impetus to acute eliminative activity on the part of the individual cell.
The acute reaction, once started, may develop into vigorous forms of scrofulous elimination, such as skin eruptions, glandular swellings, abscesses, catarrhal discharges, etc.
The question now arises: How large or how small must the dose be in order to affect the minute cells?
In the administration of medicines, the size of the dose is adjusted to the size of the patient. If half a grain of a certain drug is the normal dose for an adult, the proper dose of the same drug for a small infant, say, less than a year old, may be about one twenty-fifth of the adult dose. How small, in proportion, should then be the dose given to a cell a billion times as small as the infant?
The dose given to an adult would paralyze or perhaps kill an infant. In like manner the minute cell would be benumbed and paralyzed by the drug suited to the infant's organism.
But this is how allopathy effects its fictitious cures. It suppresses inflammatory processes by paralyzing the cells and organs and their vital activities.
Homeopathy adapts the smallness of the dose to the smallness of the cell which is to be treated. Herein lies the reasonableness of the high-potency dose.
The cell resembles Man not only in physical and physiological aspects, but also in regard to the moral law.
Elimination must commence in the cell and by virtue of the cell's personal effort. Its work cannot be done vicariously by drugs or the knife. Large, allopathic doses of medicine may be given with the idea of doing the work for the cell by violently stimulating or else paralyzing the organism as a whole or certain ones of the vital organs; but this is demoralizing and destructive to the cell. The powerful doses calculated to affect the body and its organs as a whole make superfluous or paralyze the individual efforts of the cells and thus intensify the chronic disease conditions in cells and tissues.
Alms-giving, prison sentences and capital punishment have a similar allopathic effect upon Man, the individual cell of the social body. Instead of providing for him the proper environment and the opportunity for natural development and for working out his own salvation, they take this opportunity away from him and weaken his personal effort or make it impossible.
The late revelations of chemistry, Roentgen rays, x-rays, radio-activity of metals, etc., throw an interesting light upon the seemingly infinite divisibility of matter. A small particle of a given substance may for many years throw off a continuous shower of corpuscles without perceptibly diminishing its volume.
For an illustration we may take the odoriferous musk. A few grains of this substance will fill a room with its penetrating aroma for years. When we smell musk or any other perfume, minute particles of it bombard the end filaments of the nerves of smell in the nose. Therefore the musk must be casting off such minute particles continually without apparent loss of substance.
With the aid of this recent knowledge of the true nature of matter, of the minuteness and complexity of the atom, we can now understand how the highly triturated and refined (attenuated) homeopathic remedy may still retain the dynamic force of the element, as Hahnemann has expressed it, and how a remedy so attenuated may still be capable of exerting an influence upon the minute cell. Since chemistry and physiology have acquainted us with the finer forces of Nature, demonstrating that they are mightier than the things we can apprehend by weight and measure, the claims of homeopathy do not appear so absurd as they did a generation ago.
Undoubtedly, the good effect produced by a well-chosen remedy is heightened and strengthened by the mental and magnetic influence of the prescriber. The positive faith of the physician in the efficacy of the remedy, his sympathy and his indomitable will to assist the sufferer affect both the physical substance of the remedy and the mind of the patient.
The varying mental and magnetic qualities of prescribers have undoubtedly much to do with the varying degrees of efficaciousness of the same remedy when administered by different physicians.
The true Hahnemannian homeopath, who believes in his remedies as in his God, will concentrate his intellectual and spiritual forces on a certain remedy in order to accomplish certain well-defined results. The bottle is not allowed to become empty. Whenever the graft runs low, it is replenished with distilled water, alcohol, milk sugar, or another "vehicle." Every time he takes the medicine bottle into his hands, these potent thought forms are projected into it: "You are the element sulphur. You produce in the human body a certain set of symptoms. You will produce these symptoms in the body of this patient."
If there is any virtue at all in magnetic, mental and spiritual healing, the homeopathic remedy must be an effective agency for transmitting magnetic, mental and psychic healing forces from prescriber to patient.
Transmission of these higher and finer forces, whether directly, telepathically or by means of some physical agent, such as magnetized water, a charm or simile, etc., is the modus operandi in all the different forms of ancient and modern magic, white or black. It is the active principle in mental healing, Christian Science, sympathy healing, voodooism, witchcraft, etc.
I have formulated the Law of Action and Reaction in its application to the treatment of diseases as follows:
"Every agent affecting the human organism has two effects: a first, apparent, temporary one and a second, lasting one. The second effect is directly opposite to the first."
Allopathy, in giving large, physiological doses, takes into consideration only the first, apparent effect of the drug, and thereby accomplishes in the long run results directly opposite to those which it desires to bring about. It produces the very conditions it tries to cure. As an example, note the permanent effects of laxatives, stimulants and sedatives upon the system. This has been explained more fully in Chapter Six.
On the other hand, the homeopathic physician may use the same remedies as the allopath, provided they produce symptoms similar to those of the disease, but he administers the different drugs in such minute doses that their first effect is noticed only as a slight "homeopathic aggravation," while their second and lasting effect is relied upon to relieve and cure the disease.
In other words, homeopathy produces as the first effect the condition like the disease, and counts on the second and lasting effect of the drug to bring about a permanent change.
If, in accordance with the Law of Dual Effect as applied to drugs, the primary, temporary effect of the homeopathic remedy is equal to the disease, it is self-evident that the secondary, lasting effect of the remedy must be equal to the cure.
This law has been proved by homeopathy for over a hundred years. An experienced homeopathic prescriber would no more doubt it than he would doubt the Law of Gravitation.
Therefore, if the remedy be well chosen in accord with the Law of similia similibus curantur, the first homeopathic aggravation, which corresponds to the crisis of Nature Cure, will be followed by speedy and perfect readjustment. Nature has her way, the disorder runs its course, and the return to normal conditions will be quicker and more perfect than if the homeopathic remedy had not been employed or if Nature's healing processes had been forcibly interrupted and suppressed by large, poisonous allopathic doses. Homeopathy assists Nature in removing the old encumbrances, whereas allopathy changes the acute, inflammatory healing effort into chronic, destructive disease.
The Law of like cures like is of great practical importance from another point of view, namely, that of economics.
The best engineer is the one who accomplishes the maximum of results with the minimum of expenditure of force and with the least friction. The same is true of the physician and his remedies.
We have learned that drugs given in the coarse allopathic doses attack and affect the organism as a whole. If, for instance, there is a catarrhal affection of the serous and mucous membranes of the respiratory tract accompanied by fever, the allopath will give quinine in large doses to change this condition. He may accomplish his aim; but if so, he does it by paralyzing the heart, the respiratory centers, the red and white blood corpuscles and the excreting cells of the mucous membranes. The body as a whole and certain parts in particular are saturated with the drug poison and correspondingly weakened. As allopathy itself states it: "Quinine reduces fever by depressing the metabolism" (the vital functions).
Homeopathic materia medica teaches that Bryonia has a special affinity for the mucous and serous membranes of the respiratory tract and that its symptomatic effects correspond closely to those described in the preceding paragraph.
If, in accordance with the Law of similia similibus curantur, a homeopathic dose of Bryonia be given to a patient exhibiting these symptoms, the remedy, as has been demonstrated, will assist Nature in her work of cure; and in doing this, it will not attack and affect the entire organism, but only those serous and mucous tissues for which it has a special affinity and which, as in the case of this patient, are the most seriously affected.
To state it in another way: the large, allopathic dose paralyzes the whole organism in order to produce its fictitious cure. The small, homeopathic dose, on the other hand, goes right to the spot where it is needed, and by mild and harmless stimulation of the affected parts, assists and supports the cells in their acute eliminative efforts.
Homeopathic medication, therefore, is not only curative in its effects, but also conservative and in the highest degree economic.
Having proved the accuracy of Hahnemann's Law of similia similibus curantur, and having occasion daily to observe its practical results in the treatment of acute and chronic diseases, we should not be justified in omitting homeopathy from our system of treatment. The attenuated homeopathic doses of certain drugs may be of great service in bringing about the acute reactions which we so earnestly desire, especially in the treatment of chronic diseases of long standing.
I am aware of the fact that in severe and obstinate conditions homeopathy is often apparently of no avail. But when the system has been purified and strengthened by our natural methods, by a rational vegetarian diet, hydrotherapy, chiropractic or osteopathy, massage, corrective exercise, air and sun baths, normal suggestion, etc., the homeopathic remedies will work with much greater promptitude and effectiveness.
It is the combination of all the different healing factors which constitutes the perfect system of treatment.
No disease condition, whether apparently hopeless or not, can be called incurable unless all these different healing factors, properly combined and applied, have been given a thorough trial. It is no charlatanic boasting, but the simple truth, when we affirm that the different natural methods of treatment, as we of the Nature Cure school apply them, can and do cure so-called incurable diseases, such as tuberculosis, cancer, locomotor ataxy, epilepsy, eczema, neurasthenia, insanity and the worst forms of chronic dyspepsia and constipation, always providing that the patient possesses sufficient vitality to react to the treatment and that the destruction of vital parts and organs has not advanced too far.