I agree fully with Dr. Wm. Arnold when he says in his article on the “Solution of the Question of Doses” in the Homoeopathische Vierteljahrschrift, January, 1864: “When we investigate the question of the doses we must hold fast to acknowledged chemical, physical and physiological facts, etc.”
I. Nobody can pretend to deny this fact. The first attempt to apply the homoeopathic law to the curing of the sick was made by administering crude medicines, and had this attempt failed, had it not proved the correctness of this law (“Similia Similibus Curantur ”), all further progress in the development of the new art would have been checked at the very outset. These first experiments not only proved the correctness of the fundamental law, but gave rise to the development of the most important homoeopathic law - “the dynamization theory.”
The Materia Medica which is the fundamental structure upon which our system of cure rests, was improved in the same proportion as we learned to observe the fact, that potentization develops new, before unknown, curative powers of the crude drug; and this we learn from the provings of potentized medicines on the well and the administration of the same preparations to the sick.
From the relation of cures by crude drugs and lower potencies, we are only aware that all cures that have ever been made, are now making, or eventually will be made, are according to our fundamental law, but further we learn nothing; these cases proving nothing against the theory of dynamization.
This case contains nothing instructive; we do not learn why Calc. carb. was given instead of the other medicines known to have cured the same disease under certain conditions. Such a report we might reasonably expect from a physician who calls himself a Homoeopathist. The logical conclusion the physiological school would arrive at is this: Lime water has cured a polypus of the nose; ergo, polypus of the nose must always be cured by Lime water - if strong enough.
The cure we do not doubt; but while it was not based on the acknowledged homoeopathic principles, but was made according to a pathological notion, it is valueless; such is our fate if we treat the disease and not the sick.
The case may prove that the curative virtue of Calcarea carb. (and many other medicines) is not developed in the 3d potency; that if a higher, 15th, or 30th, or as high as the 200th, had been given it would not have been necessary to use Lime water for ten weeks.
II. We will continue to consider the Polypus, and the alleged proof by Dr. Arnold, that low potencies and even crude substances, are preferable according to his comparisons and experiences, and we will see what we can find in the homoeopathic literature on the cures of polypus of the nose by Calc. carb.
Allgemeine Homoeopathische Zeitung, Vol. 10, page 55. Jahr relates: “A man suffered for five years with polypus of the nose; he had the polypus repeatedly extirpated, but it always returned; he sneezed frequently, and it was always accompanied by a profuse flow of mucus. Calcarea carbonica cured both polypi completely in ten days, and thirteen months later they had not reappeared.”
Allgemeine Homoeopathische Zeitung, Vol. 8, page 371. - Dr. Syrbius relates: “A child one year old had a polypus in the left nostril as a large as a strawberry. Calc. carb. 18 three doses, one every day, caused the polypus to disappear. After a year a similar polypus returned in the right nostril, and was soon cured by three more doses of Calcarea carb.18, daily one dose.”
Dr. Speer relates the case of a woman, fifty years old, who for six years had a polypus in the left side of the nose larger during the full moon; three doses of Calcarea carb.30, repeated after 21 days, cured her entirely.
These four cases were all treated with higher potencies, and the result does not prove Dr. Arnold's assertion. The cures were performed in a shorter time by higher potencies than was Dr. Arnold's case with Lime water.
Cases of polypus of the nose have also been reported to have been cured by Kali. bichr., Phosphor, Sulphur, Marum verum, Sanguinaria and Staphysagria. It would be more to the advantage of progressive Homoeopathy if the learned Dr. Arnold had stated clearly and distinctly what characteristic symptoms induced him to select Calcarea carb. as the only truly curative homoeopathic remedy; and he might have stated at the same time the characteristic symptoms that have and will again, very likely, indicate other remedies in the cure of the polypus of the nose. A cure can only be called a homoeopathic one, if the characteristic symptoms of the remedy are similar to the characteristic symptoms of the disease (the sick).
Many such instructive cases have been published in the homoeopathic journals, and in the same ratio, as the cure performed by the least medicines (the smallest dose of one remedy) have the cases been clearly reported and has the science gained by a confirmation of the provings and the practical rules laid down by Hahnemann. Every well informed member of the profession sees at one glance why that and no other remedy would cure the disease, and he thus adds to his stock of knowledge. On the other hand the cures reported to have been made by massive doses are wanting in accuracy, and are generally based on pathological notions; they carry no information with them, they are not even instructive, and lead to the belief that names of diseases can be cured instead of “the sick.”
III. The same experiment has been made by many competent practitioners in private practice, and with precisely the same results; but the testimony of such men will not have the same weight as Dr. Eidherr's report, coming from a large body of physicians, and after the lapse of so many years.
The figures very clearly show that the duration of the disease was, under the 6th dilution, 19 days; 15th dilution, 14 days; 30th dilution, 11 days. Is it not reasonable to expect then that the same disease under a still higher potency would have lasted a much shorter time?
Should not Dr. Arnold make the experiment? He should if he would hold fast to acknowledged chemical, physical and pathological facts. But does he do so? In the article above referred to he says : “The medicinal power of the drug may be developed in the same degree if the first trituration is continued for six hours, instead of making six triturations, one in an hour. The first triturations, continued for six hours, must act stronger, because a larger number of fine particles of medicine act on the organism than in the sixth trituration, as there only the sixth part of equally fine particles comes to act on the organism.”
Certainly Dr. Arnold cannot be in earnest! If so, where are his arithmetical calculations? Did he ever try to find how small the particles of the sixth centesimal trituration (made according to Hahnemann's advice) of Mercury, or any other metal, are; and how small, or rather how comparatively large, the small particles of the same substance in his first trituration, continued for six hours, are? The microscopic examination will give him light on that subject. Should he make the proposed examination, he will come to the conclusion that his proposition is false, and he will (may he!) doubt his own ability to make any further “observations and notes.” It remains questionable what general conclusions can be drawn from statements made by such observers.
IV. Under Article 3 we have already seen, by Dr. Eidherr's reports, that the higher potencies cure in a shorter time than the lower potencies. We find in the homoeopathic literature cases published which go to establish this principle; and no observer was more apt to report correctly on this subject than the late Dr. Boenninghausen. - (Vide his Three Precautions.) Hahnemann cured with the smallest doses decidedly quicker, better and surer than he did with the lower potencies. The evidence in this direction laid before the medical world is fast accumulating and remaining uncontroverted, and finally must become an established truth. The only admissible evidence contra would be to relate fully a case in which the truly curative homoeopathic remedy has been selected, and when administered in a higher or high potency had not produced in a reasonable time any beneficial effect, and that the case, remaining unaltered was then promptly cured by a low potency, or the crude drug.
V. Doctor Dunham refers, in page 535, Volume IV. of this Review, to a previously reported case - to one case in which a lower potency gave prompt and complete relief when the higher failed. Neither can this case, or an accumulation of similar evidence to the purpose, prove anything when we wish to settle the question, What doses are preferable in the (homoeopathic) cure of the sick. Here is the question of cure (sanatio), not relief (allevatio); and when we discuss the one (sanatio), we only allude to, but do not discuss fully the other (allevatio). While the same laws hold good in the one as in the other, it is very likely that if the truly curative remedy can be found, a high potency will give prompt relief, and will be less apt to inflict lasting harm to the incurable case for which relief is asked; but this is at present an outside question and may be discussed later.
On page 202 of Vol. IV. of this Review, Dr. Dunham in his articles on Doses, censures the “Radicals” severely, but undeservedly and finally he says: “They seem to glory not so much in the truth for the sake of which they separated, as in the mere fact of separation.”
To my best knowledge, the “Radicals” have not separated from Homoeopathy, but they are extremely anxious to hold fast to it, as Hahnemann left it to us, a legacy, and if possible unfold it through the same means by which the master developed the healing art. Those who deny all of Hahnemann's teachings and his practical rules, who slander and misrepresent his true disciples, and who prefer to coquet with the physiological school, have separated themselves from Homoeopathy, and should not have the audacity to call themselves Homoeopathists. What we could gain for our cause by clinging to them, or by compromising with them, history has taught us; and what we should do, what we are now doing with them, has been clearly shown by the sages of our school (vide Boenninghausen's Three Precautions).
Those who have separated themselves may think better of it in course of time, and they may return or rather embrace Homoeopathy which they have never before accepted, save in name and without a good cause; they will then learn that a relief is not a cure, and that the statements that a disease has been relieved, while a high potency failed to cure, is no link to the evidence against the doctrine that high potencies are preferable in the treatment of the sick.
How near are we to the solution of this question? This solely depends on the testimony to be offered by the man of low doses. As far as the present indisputable testimony goes, the higher potencies have the evidence in their favor, and should we draw no other conclusion from the testimony now accumulated in support of the correctness of the much feared potentization theory, our gains would indeed be very great. If that question is once settled beyond dispute and I consider it so settled by the evidences before us - the denial of its truth will become equivalent to a denial of Homoeopathy. And if further experiments for the solution of the question of doses are only made by Homoeopathists, the testimony which will follow hereafter will all be of one kind.
|Source:||The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 05 No. 01, 1864, pages 10-16|
|Description:||The Question of The Dose.|
|Editing:||errors only; interlinks; formatting|