Homoeopathy, the science of therapeutics: its natural law and the essential conditions of that law. By Thomas Moore, M.D. / Title Contents

Title Contents


Page  [unnumbered] - Front Matter

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HOM CEOPATHY, THE SCIENCE OF THERAPEUTICS: ITS NATURAL LAW AND THE ESSENTIAL CONDITIONS OF THAT LAW, Among all the developments of science and practical applications of natural principles and laws to the many purposes which add to the comfort, convenience and prosperity of man, there is no subject of greater importance or that can more deeply interest us, than that which has for its object the relief of suffering, the restoration of dhealth and the preservation of life; but it is one which ha

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4 These heathen priest-doctors of olden-times, well understood the influence of mystery over the minds and bodies of those who sought their advice. We are told that those afflicted with disease frequently made long pilgrimages to consult the oracle dwelling within the temple of the god of Medicine; and after having reached the sacred edifice, they were required to undergo certain purifications by "abstinence, fasting, prayers and sacrifices," sometimes lying for days and nights on the floor o

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natural law, or who had no more idea of scientific certainty than was possessed by the Astrologist in his prognostications of future events, or in his predictions in regard to the movements of the stars and other celestial bodies. Astrology and Alchemy, with their deep dark mysteries, their cabalistic signs, their incantations and other fraudulent devices, have vanished, or are now believed in, only by the superstitious and the ignorant. During the time, however, when Astrology and Alchemy flou

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6 keeps the stars in their places, and carries the heavenly bodies in their orbits, is identical with that which caused the apple to fall to the ground. Based upon this grand law and supported by Mathematics, Astronomy now stands unrivalled as a science and bids Medicine emulate her in certc'aity. As an example of the accuracy and precision of scientific investigations in Astronomy, at the present day, we briefly refer to the discovery of the planet Neptune, in the year 1846. For a long time

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7 ground for this censure. Medicine being a complex science is composed of a number of branches. Fortunately, the discoveries and consequent advancement of these, have constantly and effectively lent their aid to give Medicine a scientific character and standing. Had it not been thus supported, it would long since have shared the fiate of Astrology and Alchemy. These several branches of scientific knowledge, such as Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Chemistry, Hygiene and other kindred scienc

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I schools, creeds and sects arise and for a time flourish and then decline, to give place to others equally defective. Learned men announced their hypotheses, medical philosophers advanced their doctrines, which for a period claimed the attention of their followers. Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and Chemistry each furnished their learned and plausible contributions to build up and sustain systems of practice based upon some theoretical views of the teachers of these sciences. Need we wonder,

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He at once searched the records of Medicine to learn whether other drugs had produced in the healthy symptoms similar to those they were known to have cured. But unfortunately these records were very defective, because drugs had never before been systematically proved upon the healthy. He then instituted careful experiments upon himself and others, with the view of ascertaining the diseaseproducing power of other drugs; and afterwards, from observing the successful curative action of these upon

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10 under this formula has therefore given rise to much objection, discussion and misunderstanding as to its acceptation and definite meaning. The Latin word similis, meaning like or resembling, may not seem to come up to that standard ofpositiveness which is demanded by modern science. By the word similar we ordinarily understand a degree of likeness that is not perfect; but in an exact science like Geometry it denotes a resemblance that is perfect and positive. It was in this sense, undoubte

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11 result be predicted. No more definite expression could, therefore, be used, to show a the true intent and meaning of the law." The study of this similarity and the comparison of the drug symptoms with those excited by disease, become the work of the scientific physician: and each special and successful application of the law is not only a confirmation of its truth, but is as positively a discovery in science (only differing in degree) as is the Astronomer's, who points you to that positi

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Ig are all subject to certain conditions and limitations. These are absolute and admit of no variation. Animal life does not exist unless exact conditions for its development and continuance ever surround it. The plant cannot grow without its proper degree and proportion of sunlight, heat and moisture. And the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis, the laws of which are still unknown, and as yet baffle the endeavors of the most thorough scientific investigators to discover, is never seen unless t

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expected from this as from all other laws of nature, but can be attained, only, if the essential conditions upon which its action depends are strictly regarded. But, if we entertain the mistaken idea that this particular condition calls for a comparison of the morbid structural changes in the system occurring as the effect of drug action, with the altered state of the material tissues existing as the result of disease, or, in other words, with the pathological anatomy, it will be impossible to

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14 He also writes: "As the cure which is effected by the annihilation of all the symptoms of a disease removes at the same time the internal change upon which the disease is founded-that is to say destroys it in its totality--it is accordingly clear, that the physician has nothing more to do than to destroy the totality of the symptoms in order to effect a simultaneous removal of the internal change-that is to annihilate the disease itself." And he then says: From this incontrovertible

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15 We must remember that the proving of drugs upon the healthy has not been carried to such an extent that easily recognized structural changes in the tissues and organs are established. Nor can such changes always be detected with any degree of certainty during life, and only afterwards by an autopsy, where death is the result of the toxicological action of medicine. And we must also recollect, that throughout the whole course of the purely functional disorders which so frequently claim t

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16 law, the object of which is to secute certainty and success in the cure of the sick." Pathological alterations are the results of disease, and consequently the products of a disturbed or modified life-action, requiring time for their development. It is before these alterations have taken place that medical treatment is most needed to arrest the further progress of disease. It is in this incipient stageas remarked by Dr. Wells-when disease is most easily cured, that the "law of similars" ca

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17 by such investigations he cannot ascertain the true indications for selecting the homoeopathic remedy by which this pathological state can be restored to its normal condition, or by which the morbid action producing it can be arrested. While believing in the existence of a natural therapeutical law, he cannot apply it, and, therefore, cannot expect any greater certainty or success in the cure of.his patients than they who have no such law to guide them. Even if the internal pathological co

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18 and continuing throughout its course, only ceasing with recovery or death, are, after all, the only constant, reliable and true signs which nature gives of the disturbed life-action going on within. This morbid life-action is the actual disease. It is this which calls for immediate cure and not the pathological formations which, as we have before remarked, are but the products of disease. A perfect cure consists in so modifying this morbid life-action that all the symptoms are obliterate

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19 opinion of those who do not accept this law, or of those who, while accepting it, fail to comprehend and fully appreciate its true conditions, we believe that the acknowledged facts of pathological anatomy, although absolutely indispensable for the purposes just mentioned, have no direct or special relation to the Science of Therapeutics; and if these accepted facts are unavailable for therapeutical use, how much less reliable must be those assumed indications, formed from the hypothetic

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20 that THE SYMPTOMS ARE ALONE SUFFICIENT to indicate the remedy, if the case be curable and a proper one for the application of the homoeopathic law. The next essential condition of the law similia similibus curantur to be noticed is INDIVIDUALIZATION, by which we mean that, for each individual case of disease, there must be a special application of the law. The practice of Homoeopathy admits of no broad generalization; for it would be impossible to apply the law to the treatment of disease,

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21 suggested by these auxiliary principles, in the management of those cases which do not come under the " law of similars." But for the treatment of any diseased condition not depending upon or continued by those causes referred to, he acknowledges no principle nor system of cure based upon any law other than that of similia simililbus curantur. Nor is the practice of Homoeopathy reconcilable with the idea or doctrine of specifics for diseases which are known by certain names. While the h

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entertained and sanctioned the idea of specifics when he pointed out the remedies for cholera. It is wellknown that when the cholera was approaching Germany from the east, in the year 1831, Hahnemann predicted the remedies to be used. This he did, not from a knowledge of the general symptoms by which the disease was known as Cholera Asiatica, but by an individualization of the cases. He received letters asking his advice, from the physicians who had seen the disease and were alarmed at

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23 and the law applied'to it. If this consisted in merely matching the symptoms of the drug mechanically with the " totality of the symptoms " of the patient, the practice of Homoeopathy would be a simple matter. But it demands on the part of the physician the exercise of his greatest powers of observation, the nicest discrimination and the clearest judgment. With a thorough knowledge of the several branches of science related to medicine, it requires, also, a special study of the compar

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24 a recurrence of the same kind of paroxysm. All cases of variola or small-pox are characterized by a primary fever, with pustules appearing from the fourth to the fifth day, and a secondary fever with suppuration of these pustules, from the eighth to the eleventh day. While scarlatina is recognized by a fever, on the second day of which a fine rash begins in the fauces, on the face and neck, gradually extending downward over the surface of the body and extremities; followed after several da

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25 the curative remedy according to the homoeopathic law. But in each individual case of sickness, these general symptoms almost always present peculiarities, by which, with symptoms of another kind presently to be noticed, the case must be individualized. These peculiarities may be remarked by a difference in the severity of special symptoms, by a variation in the time of their appearance or disappearance, by the period of their aggravation or amelioration, and by other singularities or circ

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26 the disease may be either mental or physical, objective or subjective, and their appearance may or may not be due to some pre-existing indiocyncrasyorhereditary tendency of the individual. But, from whatever known or unknown cause they may arise, they present themselves as facts in every case; and taken in connection with the peculiarities often found in the general symptoms, just mentioned, they become distinguishing facts, by which must be established the similarity with the facts obt

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27 In examining the drug-proving, as recorded in the works on Materia Medica, very many symptoms will be observed, which in their character greatly resemble these individual, or as they might be termed, therapeutical symptoms. It is probable that in drug-provings upon the healthy by large doses of crude drugs, the more violent and prominent symptoms are produced as a primary result, through the immediate reaction of the system against the irritating and poisonous qualities of the drug materia

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28 system; hence, any description of pathological alteration of the tissues is rarely to be found among them. They are the exact language of nature, by which the action of drugs on the healthy is recognized and appreciated, by those alone who can comprehend their purport. To the physician who sees no beneficent design of the Almighty in giving drugs the power to produce disease as well as to cure it, and who ignores the necessity of studying the natural effect of drugs upon the healthy, we do

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29 of Hippocrates, whom medical history informs us was the first authority to notice it. But it remained undeveloped-because these conditions were unknown. -Had not Hahnemann determined by observation and experiment this necessity for the infinitesimally attenuated dose, as a part of his great discovery, the law similia similibus cirantur might have remained undiscovered until the present time. Before Hahnemann positively ascertained this essential condition of the law, he prescribed drug

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30 ded and attenuated. The activity of this curative energy became evident when the medicine was applied in accordance with " the law of similars." Hahnemann afterward ascertained by experiment, that a minute dose, thus infinitesimally attenuated, when administered to a patient in whom existed this increased susceptibility excited by disease, and under the other conditions of the law, became decidedly more efficatious in its remedial action and would perfect a cure with much greater certai

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31 curative agents, yet, at the same time, they unhesitatingly believe and accept facts of daily occurrence which are apparently just as improbable, the causes of which they may never comprehend. But the progress of true science is irresistibly onward; and preconceived notions or prejudices founded upon them, and ideas resulting from unsound teaching became wonderfully changed by its advancement. Even old settled theories concerning the operation of the natural forces-heat, light, electrici

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32 tific world are giving their especial attention to the study of the many and various properties of the molecules or the infinitesimals of matter. They have found that all the well-known great natural forces, heat, light, electricity, magnetism, etc., are not, as has formerly been believed, imponderable fluids separable from matter, but are " simple affections of matter," or " modes of motion of the molecules of matter, precisely as mechanical motion is a motion of its mass." They have a

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33 Creator upon the organic molecule, which so essentially and greatly distinguishes it from the molecule of inorganic matter. And while the idea is now generally abandoned, that the system is under the control of a distinct principle, which resists the action of the natural forces during life, and is denominated the vital force, yet this term may still be used to represent THE COMBINED ENERGIES OF THE INDIVIDUAL MOLECULES IN A LIVING ORGANISM. In studying the phenomena of life, we are theref

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34 sults take place without the control of those physiological laws which regulate the formation of healthy organized tissue. Not acknowledging this change in molecular motion as the ultimate cause of such formations, pathological products are looked upon by many as the actual disease, and these unnatural material alterations are erroneously accepted by them as furnishing the proper indications for medical treatment, requiring, in their opinion, material doses for the cure. Now, if we could b

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35 its own " mode of motion," which it manifests through each individual drug by a " special rate of vibration." This " rate of vibration" or "length of wave motion " of drug-power is affected by the minuteness of the subdivision of the drug-material, and the limit of the infinitesimal exhibits its highest effect as "a mode of motion " untrammeled by the transmission of appreciable matter. While we are aware that this curative energy is still unrecognized by the scientific world as a force of

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86 process of regular and gradual attenuation, as discovered and taught by Hahnemann. While we know that this curative force does act in material doses, yet we believe that the less it is encumbered by the material substance, with its injurious properties, the more analogous is its action to that of other natural forces; and, from this analogy, we are convinced that it is not essential to the operation of this curative agent that there should be any transmission of appreciable matter. If we e

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miles of telegraph cable, with the whole earth as the return medium, the scientist has transmitted intelligible messages with the electricity generated by a gun cap,-a "mode of motion" certainly without the transmission of appreciable matter. Hlie has announced that heat is merely a "mode of motion "- and not the transmission of ponderable heated matter. We know that sound, also, whether transmitted through the air, water, or a bar of the densest steel, is simply a "mode of wave motion." And

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38 nerves of the ear or the tongue; hence, a diseased condition of the nerves of sight, although acutely susceptible to the undulations of light, cannot be aggravated by the loudest vibrations of sound; nor can a diseased condition of the nerves of hearing be made in the slightest degree worse by the brightest rays of light. Even if the mathematics of mechanics did not negate the transmission of matter, in these and analogous laws, there would be no harshness of assumption in asserting, that

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39 limits of the visible colors, and find heat rays on one extreme and chemical rays on the other. In fact, the visible part of the spectrum is the weakest part thereof. About seventy years ago it was discovered that these prismatic colors from the light of the sun were intersected by a number of dark lines; and notwithstanding the researches of the most able investigators, these dark lines remained a hidden mystery to the scientific world, until Kirchhoff, only a few years since, discovered

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40 by changing or interfering with their rates of vibration. By comparing the bright lines in the spectra of the light of terrestrial substances, when burning in a state of gas, with the dark lines in the solar spectrum, we are shown how to interpret their meaning. When a group of such bright lines coincides in number, breadth and position with a group of dark lines, we know that the terrestrial substance producing the bright lines is present in the sun. With this law before him, the modern

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41 ignorant of any intermediate material which is appreciable by our senses. The mere statement of the phenomena of the laws of nature, so far as we know them, is no explanation of the " why " of their existence or action. And Humboldt has not hesitated to affirm, that when we know the absolute " why " or the " reason " of' such laws we become OMNISCIENT. By the time the " reason" for the phenomena of LIGHT, as exhibited by the spectroscope, is announced, we will be able to state the " reason

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42 sistent experiments, the number, size, position land relation of the bright lines which each nmetal or substance exhibits, under natural conditions, so have wAe, under the leadership of Hahnemann, experimented and C proved " the definite action of drugs upon the normal wave-length of vital energy in healnthy subjects. As the spectroscopist has experimnented with from one to twenty prisms of various densities and nmaterials, under various conditions, as becomes an earnest searcher after