Keynotes Of The Homoeopathic Materia Medica
by Dr. Adolph VON LIPPE
by Dr Donald MACFARLAN
The I.H.M. will offer a comment on some of the statements presented here at a later date and compare them with Hahnemanns medical thinking for defined clarity.
One of the distinguishing features of homoeopathy is that the cure is accomplished by administering a medicine, the characteristic symptoms of which correspond with the characteristic symptoms of the patient. Within its distinctive sphere it is quite unfailing and immutable. Homeopathic medicines, following the analogy of nature, are all specific – definite agent with a definite purpose with power only for the fulfillment of its attainable object. Quite apart, however, from this viewpoint treatment is traditional theory and traditional practice which may be truly termed anti-pathic in application. The modus operandi may best be exemplified by example – a patient has pain, its opposite, opium is given. The malady is not cured, but stifled by stupor, only to awake with renewed violence with the wearing away of the effect of the drug and demanding augmented dosage for fugacious assuagement at each successive return. Homoeopathy, on the other hand, chooses a remedy capable of producing the same pain. It is directed solely to the part affected in minimal dose. From this action a cure results, for two similar diseases cannot exist in the same body at the same time.
The effects of medicine can only be ascertained by provings on the healthy human and the symptoms which these medicines have produced constitute the bulk of the Homoepathic Materia Medica. In order to effectively cure, it is first necessary to ascertain the characteristic symptoms of the patient, as Hahnemann teaches in the “Organon,” and next, to find the medicine which corresponds in the characteristics with those of the patient, which is done by means of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Characteristics symptoms show the peculiarities and differences of medicines, and have been ascertained by repeated verifications of symptoms obtained by provings on the healthy and cures on the sick. In one case the locality may be characteristic, as, for instance, under the apis mellifica, the right ovary, and under lachesis, the left ovary; in any case the sort of pain may be characterized as the burning-stinging pain of apis mellifica, or the burning-like-coal-of-fire pain under arsenicum album, or a gnawing pain under ruta. In another instance the conditions may be characteristic, as the ameliorations by heat under arsenicum, and the amelioration by cold under iodine and vice-versa; or conditionally the time of day, as under nux vomica, in the morning, lycopodium 4 P. M., arsenicum from 11 P. M. till 2 A. M., or in another instance the concomitant symptoms as cough with stitches in the small of the back (or rectum) under nitric acid, or cough with paleness of the face under cina. In some instances the mental symptoms may be characteristic, as convulsive and maniacal deliriousness with biting rage under belladonna, extreme mental excitability in association with pronounced sleeplessness under coffea cruda, or aggravated mental apathy with comatose states under arnica. Again the cause may be quite characteristic, as the effects from getting wet while in a perspiration, which comes under the pathogenesy of the rhus toxicodendron.
From a casual observance of these views it will be at once seen that the fundamental doctrine in homoeopathic theraputics is the doctrine of individualization. Man becomes affected primarily in his internals, and by this is solely meant his affectional and intellectual spheres of consciousness, which in point of face, make up the man himself, for it is the will and understanding which form the real individual. Sickness it its essence is a derangement proceeding from the innermost which spreads towards the outermost and it is a realization of this fact which has made homeopathy a distinct science of theraputic law. Consequently the homoeopathic physician views pathological tissues as results or ultimates and tries to perceive how the entire man has been changed from first to last, from mind to external tissue. Each person qualifies illness, as it were, by his or her distinctive personality and that coined aberration, as it were, has its simillimum in the pathogenesy of some homoeopathic medicine. From this it will be seen how a sickened individual is congnate to a sick-making substance – a thoroughly proven drug of our Materia Medica. The sickened one stamps his or her individuality upon a case of sickness, making it quite different from every other case, whilst the latter also behaves in a similar manner, for while it affects man in health through and through – from the mind to the hair and nails – it has a strange and peculiar way of doing it, quite different from any other drug in the entire materia medica. What is it but the inner nature of the drug, almost resembling the will and understanding of man, that has made it quite a distinct entity?
As regards potency, it may be stated that the suitable dynamization is best arrived at by practical experience. There is really no law of potency in one sense. Nevertheless all causes are in the simple substance which exists only in degrees of fineness, for a quantity can barely be predicated of it and as the innermost of the patient has similarly the series in degrees, the remedy to correspond to this must also be administered in potencies of various grades or degrees.
The requisites for homeopathic prescribing are: (1) The law of cure, (2) The single remedy, (3) The minimum dose. All of these items must enter into every correct prescription. It is interesting also to recall that the order in which the above requirements are enumerated are exactly that followed in their development. Hahnemann developed, to its most marked extent, the law of similars. His experiments to obtain the pathogeneses or sick-making powers of drugs naturally led him to apply them singly in diseases, that he might approach as closely as possible the correct correspondence. Finally the adoption and recommendation of the minimum dose was the result of the oft-verified observation, that in order to avoid exacerbation and, at the same time, to expedite cure in a direct, rapid and permanent manner the drug must be adminstered in the smallest possible amount, duly commensurate with its power of exciting similar symptoms in the healthy. In this connection, the drug, if properly chosen, exhibits the power of exerting a correspondingly strong reaction of the vital forces in the direction of health. Such a system of theraputics, embracing, as it does, the most careful individualization of the case at hand, as to its origin in hygenic, psychic or medicinal (abuse of drugs) causes, cannot be any other than the broadest, most truly scientific, and all-inclusive system of healing known to the health seeker of the future.
For valuable considerations given me in the compilation of this little work I wish to thank Dr. Wm. H Yaeger and Dr. Wm B. Griggs for proof-reading and suggestions germane to the form of presentation of the notes themselves and to Dr. E. P. Anshutz and John A. Borneman, Ph. D., for valuable suggestions. To my friend, Dr. G. Harlan Wells, I wish to extend many thanks for his kindness in publishing many of these characteristics in our state organ The Hahnemannian Monthly.
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