How do remedies work?

How do remedies work?

james-compton-burnett-1840-1901Im writing this for patients and practitioners to get a grasp of the use of remedies. Actually, its more to outline my observations from nearly 40 years of practice because if I am honest, I have no idea how the remedies work. I do however have observed certain actions collectively, and individually related to certain remedies and these notes and thoughts are what I present here.

Firstly, in order to cure, a drug is required. The definition of a drug is a substance that will effect a change in the living economy. Coffee and tea by definition are drugs. Also, words, music and emotions can effect a change.

Hower, for the sake of this discussion we will remain with the use of remedies that have been prepared according to the directions of Hahnemann, because these drugs have been tested and the symptoms they produce have been recorded.

We will take a patients case according to the directions in aphorism 6:

The unprejudiced observer well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.

So we build a personalised symptom picture of the DISEASED individual regardless of the common symptoms known to the named disease, because each patient expresses the infection or disease process individually. Once we have this, we are instructed in aphorism 153 to: 

In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.

We need to find the remedy that matches the characteristic nature of the disease, that means the general and particular EXPRESSION of this patients display of symptoms whilst affected. This can be found in ‘peculiar’ symptoms, that is ‘pertaining to’, which are marked in the patient and also CHARACTERISTIC of just one or two remedies. Look at the fever symptoms of Belladonna and if the patient exhibits the glassy eyes and nature of the fever, then that will be the remedy.

So what happens after administration of the remedy? It is my observation that we have now given a drug that has stronger and particular symptoms of the disease (albeit artificial from the remedy) so that the overwhelmed immune system can now focus on and deal with. 

Disease is a process. Sometimes as the disease responds via the immune system, the shift of the disease expression also occurs, and another remedy will be indicated, this usually as the whole nature of the disease moves. The remedy is not to be changed unless it has moved away from the primary drug action. 

We sometimes do not know what the cause is, or what is the centre of the process is, and when this happens it is imperative we do not chase symptoms, but rather focus closely on the primary and charateristic symptoms of the disease.

As it is the body that cures, we need to be careful about introducing too many remedies along the way. A process has been started and we need to let the process work at its own required pace and power, and only interject when it appears to falter or change direction into a worsening state…….. that is why Hahnemann insists we let the dose work out and even expire before repeating. Then we are sure.

Some remedies have alternating actions, and sometimes a 2nd dose of the same remedy will correct the first dose. Sometimes it will aggravate the situation. I tend to wait after the first dose unless I know the remedy well and know it will correct an aggravation. 

Every remedy produces PRIMARY symptoms, and these must not be mistaken for changed patient symptoms. Better to check the remedy symptom index and see if the ‘new’ symptom picture is in the remedy………usually it is, so wait!

We are not symptom removers, we are physicians chasing the cure. 

I often get cases where too many remedies have destroyed the picture. At some stage I may give a dose of Sepia 200c and let the economy settle for 2-4 weeks and take the case again.

Do not be in a hurry to keep prescribing. Wait. Ask an experienced homoeopath who can observe externally and see what is required. 

Always allow time for the body to fix itself.

2 responses to “How do remedies work?

  1. Why Sepia? And not Nux v for example? By far, the majority of the cases George Vithoulkas gets to solve in his Academy’s classroom are these types, where lots of different remedies had been prescribed and there is often no clear picture of any remedy at all while the patient’s vitality is being depleted. But he will never ‘give something,’ as he says. He will find a tiny thread running through and pull on it. That is, he will be guided by whatever symptoms *still remain on the surface*, maybe no more than one or two, and prescribe on them. Eventually, in a few years, a clearer picture will emerge as the organism regains strength. A remedy only acts on the symptoms that are actively present, that is why we are advised by Hahnemann not to theorize but seek the similimum of whatever is there, even in shreds. Given how hard this is, god only knows why anyone would want to become a homeopath. :)))

    • Gosh, I feel that I’m being chastised lol.

      I’m not sure that a patient has years to recover from overdosing or misprescribed remedies, but I do know the ‘state’ that is left in 90% of cases is what is actively present and Sepia covers it well. That ‘state’ is the presenting symptoms of the disease as caused by the drugging and as such IS and actively present, and is the total picture of the disease as is exhibited. Deal with that first and allow the masking of patients symptoms to dissipate, and then deal with the now no longer suppressed symptoms to be addressed.

      Reading Sepia, one can find the majority of Symptoms in an over-stimulated and depleted immune system. It’s virtually impossible to find a tiny thread in a case or symptoms that may or not be part of the original picture and treat them. Those symptoms may or may not be prescribing symptoms………….. but the condition of the patient is. Treat the existing and present symptoms and don’t dig too deep until the ‘disease drugging’ is removed. For that IS THE CASE right now.

      I cannot find reference to Hahnemann’s comments on this at present as I’m on the clinic boat preparing to move onto the Thames tomorrow to relocate to the other side of the country.

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