Remedies are presumably given for reasons that seem sufficient to the prescriber; yet if we examine all the kinds and sorts of prescriptions, even those made by men guided solely by a more or less charted natural law, we are soon convinced of the preponderant influence of the personal equation.
While the use of a good repertory tends to limit this bias, yet the power of penetrating behind the scenes and viewing the mighty movement of the corporeal vital forces, is not equal in us any more than is the faculty of correctly discerning symptom values.
Vast difficulties confront the best of prescribers. For them the getting of an accurate and complete record of everything, big and little, pertaining to the patient is perhaps the major task. Certainly a shrewd cross questioner has a great advantage. The man who is able to draw out the reticent, guide the loquacious, and finally get the fads minus the opinions of his patients and perhaps hold in check his ownâ€”is certainly to be envied. I venture to think that no novice can do this well. Its final accomplishment means years of patient toil, if done alone, and a most thorough drill if learned at school.
The true symptom image once obtained, calls for the accurate fitting to it of the nearest similar remedy. Obviously there are various degrees of similarity and were the similimum the prerequisite to any degree of success at all, many subscribers would soon be in a sorry plight. A crude similarity may be all the aid nature needs to help throw off some present encumbrance. The use of remedies that only palliate, remove or suppress single symptoms or parts of disease is seldom for the best. The drug whose effects most perfectly resemble the salient features of the case in hand is the only one capable of touching the hidden springs of action which release the power so necessary for fully harmonising the conversion and expenditure of vital energy.
The reaction brought about may be of any degree from mild to very intense, depending upon a number of factors. In acute diseases it is often gentle while in chronic cases it is just as often rather marked, coming on very commonly from the fourth to the seventh day. The gentle, but right touch does for the patient all that is humanly possible, so we should inform ourselves most fully in order to make no misstep in applying the nearest to the similimum possible under the circumstances.
We all know that the application of a somewhat similar remedy, if given in a single dose, tends to bring into bolder relief the true characteristics of the case. If however it be repeated too often certain symptoms only will be shorn off, leaving but a distorted and misleading picture for the prescriber, who will then be apt to fail unless he possesses the penetration to include the former as well as the latter characteristics in the symptom complex.
This all inclusiveness is the key to many a difficult case, only the examiner must have the acumen to be able to see the red strand of individualistic indication which runs through the life history of most patients from the cradle to the grave; he will not expect to get anything but a fragment of it from any one sickness or any one particular period of life.
This view of the matter places our homoeopathic prescribing on quite a different basis from that heretofore generally held as well as marks off a sharp line of distinction between Homoeopathy as she is practised and the truly eradicative treatment of our Hahnemannians.
Dr. Boger: A few minutes ago while listening to the discussion here I noticed that no one had said anything about the fact that Dr. Hering noticed very soon after the provings made with potencies up to the M that the symptoms which appeared at the longest intervals after the dose were the symptoms which had the greatest value for prescribing the indicated remedy. We ought to remember that. That does away with a whole lot of pathological prescribing.
Dr. Starcke: The skeptics are the very ones to discredit it because of the long time between the administration of the dose.