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In this pursuit, the physicians ought, above all things, to feel, that in dispensing homoeopathic medicaments, it is. intended to aid the healing power of nature, as evidenced in the symptoms, in order that this may subdue the evil which is oppressing life, and consequently restore the equilibrium of the functions.
It is evident, therefore, according to this reasoning, that the remedy must be prescribed in a dose sufficiently strong to lend this aid, and that we ought to avoid, as much as possible, the giving more of the remedy than may be required, for doses too strong and too frequent carry the vital reaction to too high a pitch, and produce a dangerous commotion in our functions.
Thus, by experiments repeated a thousand times, we know that minute doses are best adapted to assist vital reaction; and is, therefore, among this number, that the physician will have to select his dose.
Clinical experience teaching us every day the respective activity of each and every remedy, this datum also comes to our aid in fixing the dose.
Finally, we possess the data furnished by the patient himself, from whom we learn, that he is endowed with a lively sensibility, and great susceptibility to impression, or else that he is almost insensible to the action of medicinal, and other agents, which might principally proceed from the abuse of drugs.
According to the sum of all these various data, we have to settle the power of the dose, which can never be absolute,
but constantly variable, according to the nature of the complaint, the activity of the remedy, and the age, sex, and constitution of the patient. Dispense, therefore, homœopathic remedies, by beginning at the highest attenuations, in order to learn the susceptibility of the patient. Choose, accordingly, the 30, 24, 16, or lower dilutions. Experience will inform you whether the doses ought to be kept up at the same dilutions, or whether you will have to replace them by stronger or weaker ones.
In the repotition of the doses, the primitive action of the remedy, and the vital reaction, will serve for our guides.
As to the sequel of your procedure, I cannot do better than to quote some views of Dr. Ægidi.
After the taking of the medicament, one of these two
cases must ensue:
A. No alteration in the state of the patient.
B. An alteration in the state of the patient.
The situation of the state of the patient comprehends three cases:
1. Alteration in the group of the symptoms affecting the patient.
Sometimes it is seen that, in spite of the best selected medicaments, and the most proper doses, the state of the patient evinces no change which might induce the belief that the system is devoid of all susceptibility to homoeopathic agents. In this case, we must repeat the dose at
greater or less intervals, according to the susceptibility of the patient to the medicament, until we have produced a sensible homoeopathic aggravation, which will be followed by a marked improvement.
There are maladies in which a frequent repetition of the remedy is absolutely necessary. Such are complaints which show a paucity of symptoms, as barrenness, chillblains, wens, certain chronic exanthemata;—in all local maladies, which manifest themselves by one striking symptom.
In want of reaction by a proper application of homoeopathic remedies, many practitioners recommend electricity, after which the system becomes more fit for the impression of homoeopathic remedies.
B 1. In the first case, the change in the group of symptoms is a proof that the medicament has not been well selected. It must, therefore, be speedily replaced by a better.
2. In the second case, the medicament is seen to act in a salutary manner; and it would be very unwise not to wait for the term of this improvement without giving another dose. The slow progress of the improvement would not be a reason for giving any thing new, for we should only obtain an injurious effect from the first result. It not unfrequently happens, that the first dose of a well selected medicament produces a complete cure. This will take place when the disorder is not very serious, and especially when the patient has not been subjected already
to the baneful influence of patent medicinal mixtures. So long, then, as the first action of the remedy is visibly manifest without being too strong, do not interrupt it: so long as the vital reaction, the specific result of the remedy, is favorable, and strongly marked, let this repairing power work out its good effects, and do not disturb its salutary action.
3. In the third case, the state of the patient is apparently worse. The characteristic symptoms have be come more intense, without changing their form. This is called homoeopathic aggravation.
It must not, however, from the use of the word aggravation, be supposed that the disease has received an accession of intensity: it is the symptoms that are aggravated, not the disease.
Patients, after having taken a homoeopathic medicine, frequently observe that the organs where the disease is lodged, and even other parts which before appeared in perfect health, betray symptoms of visible alteration or functional disorder.
These symptoms are the result of the power of the medicine, and show that it has begun to act on the diseased parts, and on other parts of the constitution, in order to ensure the curative reaction. This medicinal action is, therefore, very different from an aggravation of the disease. To effect the removal of the latter would require the assistance of an appropriate remedy, whilst the former, from inducing such necessity, terminates in the relief
of the patient. The medicinal action operates in proportion to the strength of the dose, the age of the patient, and his susceptibility. Hence, the stronger the dose is made, the more this action will be seen; and if the patient be youthful, and open to impressions, the more remarkable it will appear.
The action need not be very perceptible to be salutary; consequently we should always endeavor to produce it in as mild a degree as we can: and it frequently happens that by largely diluting medicines, or by mixing them with water, this homœopathic aggravation is not felt at all.
From what I have just said, it will be foreseen, that, in case of acute disease, the medicinal action, homœopathic aggravation must be very speedy in showing itself, and equally prompt to disappear.
Often, indeed, in a few minutes after the ingestion of the remedy, the patient begins to feel its effects, but soon afterwards, especially when pain has caused suffering, a light and peaceful sleep declares the curative action of the remedy; and the patient, especially if a child, awakes in a state of improvement which promises an early recovery
In chronic maladies, the action of the medicine is much slower. It often takes several days to enable you to perceive that the remedy is acting; and, in general, it is only by the same slow degree that the salutary effects of reaction of the medicine is made apparent.
Enough has now been said to explain that which is called homœopathic aggravation. It is merely an aggrava