Homoeopathy, the science of therapeutics: its natural law and the essential conditions of that law. By Thomas Moore, M.D. / Title Contents
Homoeopathy, the science of therapeutics: its natural law and the essential conditions of that law. By Thomas Moore, M.D.
Annual address before the Homoeopathic Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania, at Harrisburg, February 5th, 1873.
Germantown: Walter H. Bonsall, 1873.
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THE SCIENCE OP T HE-'dRAPPUT ICS:
ITS N-ATUR'AL LAW~
EISSENFT~I CON (iIONS Of' THAT LAW,
16l CL i X T ~iZE iLATL CLiETY
A' --E OFP-'NSYLVAKWA,
AtIA-Rt1- nPZI SE-3TTIJ3G-,Ii -u iT A 1? 5 1h, 137l'3".
13 T-omAS I 001S9, LiD..
OF GEHO,ANTOVVN, PHILADEPI AA.
G ERMAlAN-KT OWN:
WALTER H. BONS ALL, PB INTEB, l50290 MAIN STREET.
THE SCIENCE OF THEIRAPEUTICS:
ITS NATURAL LAW
ESSENTIAL CONDITIONS OF THAT LAW,
6I6PA HI -[EDI6AL'SO6IE
STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA,
AtA I-IýARRISI3URGý, FITT'I3UAIW-Y 5th, 1,973.
By TriOMAS MOORE, M.ID.,
OF GERIMANTOWAN, PHILADELPHIA.
GER A N TOW N:
WALTER H1. IONSAIL, PRINTER, 5029 MAI~N STRZEET.
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
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
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
During the time, however, when Astrology and
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
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
These several branches of scientific knowledge, such
as Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Chemistry, Hygiene and other kindred scienc
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
In studying the phenomena of life, we are theref
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
Now, if we could b
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
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
If we e
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
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
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
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
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
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