By Chas. H. Duncan, 05, New York Homoeopathic Medical College
The fundamental law of medicine, as laid down by Hahnemann, was discovered by closely observing results. The causes that lead to these results are obscure. It is these causes with which we ate now to deal. We need not so much new results in Homoeopathy as an arrangement in sequence of results already recorded and tested, and logical deductions and applications made from them. In the past many valuable results of the homoeopathic law have been revealed, isolated in themselves, but in the aggregate form but a single part of one contiguous whole. It is only within recent years that our attention has been directed to the importance of the action of the ultimate division of matter, i.e., the laws that govern the ions. Their composition, their acting forces are far beyond the standards of our crude method of measurements. It is only by carefully recording results of these actions and reasoning backward that we can hope to solve the problem of their obscure workings. “Everything in the universe is composed of matter. Associated with it is energy or force. Matter, on the one hand cannot exist without force, and force, on the other hand, cannot exist without being identified with matter. Force and matter are co-existent and inseparable. By matter we mean all substance that occupies space; by force we mean that power which produces or increases those changes which occur in material substance.” All matter is composed of about eighty elements, either single or combined in some complex way. The various tissues of out body are composed of some of these elements in different combinations and proportions.
Our body is composed of a great number of groups of cells whose form and function are radically dissimilar. The difference in the chemical properties of the various groups of cells is only known in an indefinite way. We say in a most general way our body is composed of cells, and cells are made up of protoplasm, and protoplasm is made up of C.H.O.N., with some sulphur and inorganic salts.Vague and indefinite. What are the inoganic salts of thee single cell? How much of these ingredients is there? How are these substances combined and in what proportion? Yet all homoeopathic physicians know we do get action from the medium potencies when there is no known way of telling that there is any drug principle or chemical combination present, either by the microscope or chemistry. So, at best, in dealing with microscopic anatomy, chemistry helps us but little in telling the difference in the composition of two single cells. We say the various cells of our body are nourished by selective affinity. Selective affinity? Is this not a cloak that veils the limitation of our knowledge of the subject? Selective affinity? What a wide sea of uncertainty lies behind the words selective affinity. And yet we know by anabolism these cells have the power of selecting the particular principle that goes to make up their composition from our food, and of appropriating it in renewing and forming their individual structures, and that this power of appropriating their chemical principle is directly under control of the tropic centers.
Let us then divide the cells of our body into two great classes Somatic or body cells, and as distinguished from these, the controlling cells, whether they be found in the brain, cord or neurons. The function of the controlling cells is twofold: First, that of appropriating its particular principle of chemical combination from our food for its own nutrition, and second of sending out impulses that control the proper function of the body cells. The equilibrium of normal activity of our body cells would be directly affected by a disturbance of the controlling cells, or else they would not be controlling cells, and we would get symptoms in that group of body cells or organ depending on the intensity or magnitude of the disturbing force to the brain cells. In the various scleroses of the anterior pillar of the cord the tropic cells ate affected and the parts they control atrophy. Any extra duty the body cells are called on to perform or shock they may sustain calls for renewed impulses to be sent out from the controlling cells to overcome the new disturbance, to maintain the normal equilibrium. This is at the expense of substance in the controlling cell. “Force and matter are co-existent and inseparable.” And it becomes depleted of its principle or chemical combination, and before it can normally functionate or send out proper impulses it must be built up again by the process of anabolism, but it must have the necessary ingredients for so doing. This necessary ingredient or principle of the cell, if supplied in proper form to be readily assimilated by the brain cell, by the process of anabolism is taken up by the brain cell, which, being restored to its normal condition, sends out the proper impulses to the body cell and normal equilibrium is maintained i.e., normal impulses sent out, and health is restored.
There are a great number of cells or groups of cells that control an organ whose functions are radically different. We will take for example the liver. The liver is composed of arteries, veins, lymphatics, portal system of vessels, the bile system of vessels, hepatic cells, connective tissue, venous and arterial capillaries. There are a vast number of afferent and efferent nerve fibers running from all the cells of the various structures to and from controlling cells. Some controlling cells send out impulses as dilators to the vessels, some inhibitors; some send out impulses governing anabolic and catabolic action, as the tropic centers. Some controlling cells send out impulses to cause the bile to be manufactured, some inhibit it. Some, the tropic centers, given the metabolic action of the hepatic cells.Then there are those brain cells that send out impulses that control the action of the capillaries and connective tissues.
Thus we see there are a great number of brain cells or groups of brain cells that control an organ that by being disturbed would give rise to peculiar symptoms in the tissues of the organ they control. Each tissue of the liver would give its own peculiar symptom to that organ when the particular brain cell governing it was disturbed, varying in intensity and character with the disturbance of the brain cell. (I merely say brain cell to make it clear; obviously there are many cells in the same group doing practically the same work.) Thus we see we could have various symptoms in the tissue of an organ, depending on which group of brain cells governing that tissue was disturbed.
The particles of the essentials peculiar to our food necessary for metabolism or proper balancing are from vegetable, animal and mineral kingdoms.
The particles of the essentials peculiar to our medicines necessary for metabolism and proper balancing are from the vegetable, animal and mineral kingdoms. Physiology tells us “It is necessary for perfect health (or proper balancing ) that our food should be varied,” or that the several chemical principles must be taken in various forms as they exist in the different plants or foods in order that metabolism or proper balancing be maintained. The principles of our medicines are the principles of our food. In the physiological proving of the medicine on a healthy individual we get symptoms in an organ. How could we get symptoms in that organ if the brain cells governing that organ were not disturbed? Keep in mind the fact that the body cells can do nothing in themselves towards restoring harmonyain the system, it is only through the action or influence of the controlling cells that they can normally functionate. Mark this well.
Let us suppose we have eaten much more Christmas turkey for dinner than we should, and in the light of the above see what action takes place in the tissues. Normal impulses for digestion are first sent out; but they are not enough, for the dinner was abnormal. More impulses are sent out from the controlling cells of the digestive cells to the digestive cells to keep them at work to overcome the extra tax they are called on to perform in digesting the extra food. These additional impulses or energy are sent out at the expense of brain cell substance. Finally the brain cells become depleted or exhausted of their normal principle, they can no longer send out proper impulses to maintain normal equilibrium or perform their normal function, i.e., to govern the digestion of food. Digestion of food stops. We feel distress or symptoms in the stomach. If the indicated principle of the potentized drug, say Puls.1000 C., be administered, and absolutely nothing else introduced in the system, the cure is certain, easy and quick, Normal impulses are sent out henceforth; the digestion is completed; the brain cells have found the very principles they need for anabolism. The symptoms we get by eating too much fat correspond exactly to the symptoms we get by the proving of Pulsatilla, but the symptoms we get by eating too much fat were caused by a disturbing or depletion of the fat digesting governing cells. The symptoms we get in the proving of Pulsatilla come from disturbing the fat digesting governing cells. Pulsatilla is < by fats, for we get symptoms corresponding, and the symptoms of both are identical. Now, when the fat digesting governing cells were depleted of its principle, something must have been taken up by the governing cells to renew its principle. Let us suppose the Pulsatilla principle was taken up by anabolism. Then the Pulsatilla principle is the principle of the fat digesting governing cells. These cells have a special affinity for the Pulsatilla principle, and if too much Pulsatilla be given, it causes an irritation in the fat digesting cells themselves, for their governing cells are irritated by too much of their normal principle. This is a physiological proving. A homoeopathic indication is when there is a deficiency of the Pulsatilla principle, and by giving it in the Minimum dose sufficiently subdivided to be readily incorporated by the almost infinitesimal brain cell, it performs a cure. Only enough to renew the depletion is necessary. But one dose is sufficient.In the proving. Stop the dose and the symptoms cease.
The impulses to the fat digesting cells become normal again, for the irritation to their governing cells ceases.
Nor are these fat digesting governing cells the only governing cells that require the Pulsatilla principle.
Pulsatilla is a wide acting remedy.
Its principle is in the inhibitory governing cells of the veins, for Pulsatilla has venous stasis. It is also in many governing cells of the uterus, etc. When symptoms indicate the fat digesting governing cells are being called on for extra impulses, or energy, and are becoming depleted of the Pulsatilla principle, a compensation is carried on in the tissues, other controlling cells that contain the Pulsatilla principle, as venous inhibitory governing cells and many cells that given the uterus, etc., will give up part of their pulsatilla principle to the depleted fat digesting cells to cause a cure in the tissues. When they give up much, we get symptoms in the organ they control, or a – P e-r-f-e-c-t P-u-l-s-a-t-i-l-l-a p-i-c-t-u-r-e. “Never prescribe on a single symptom. But on the totality of symptoms.” When the total stock of the Pulsatilla principle in the anatomy is sufficient, the patients recover their normal equilibrium without the use of drugs. This they do many times. “Nature tends to restore the tissues.” If XYZ represents the chemical formula of the Pulsatilla principle, we do not know whether we get the whole of the XYZ or only the taken up, for healthy proper impulses are sent out after Pulsatilla is taken and we know the brain cell was depleted. A high Potency or one that is sufficiently subdivided is readily taken up by the almost infinitesimal controlling cells without having to be first diluted or divided by the secretions of the body, for in their depleted irritated state caused by the absence of their normal constituents, the Pulsatilla principle, we find the controlling cells are, for want of a better expression, thirsting, or are famished for the Pulsatilla principle, and they will take too much if the dose is repeated and we will get an aggravation or disturbance of the brain cells, and hence an aggravation of the symptoms. The same thing often occurs if we repeat the higher lower potencies too often. Again it is frequently impossible for the body secretions to sufficiently subdivide the lower potiencies to have them taken up at all by the controlling cells as is the case with Nat. Mur. A high potency is sufficiently subdivided to be more easily incorporated, hence it is easier to take up more drug, and by repeating the dose we get an aggravation. “After the aggravation the symptoms are all ameliorated.” Is it not clear now how this is brought about? An aggravation, then, is a proving of the drug on the irritated, inflamed, if you please, or depleted brain cell. Now, if too much proteid had been eaten instead of fat, the brain cells that govern the proteid digesting stomach cells would be the ones depleted in trying to overcome the difficulty, and we would get a vastly different chain of symptoms in the organs they control, for thee work that they Perform is different and their ingredient or principle of their governing cells are different, they need another drug principle for normal balancing. The same may be said of Carbohydrate or any other food.
If the stomach has been abused repeatedly, and greatly, the impulses will become feebler and feebler, the symptoms then would become proportionally more and more pronounced and we have diseases in the stomach. If the stomach is still more abused the impulses for overcoming the abuses become weaker or further apart, and we say we have chronic disease of the stomach. Even in incurable cases when the indicated potentized drug is given the symptoms are relieved, for the right impulses are sent out, but the relief is short. Sympathetically other brain cells in close proximity are affected, and they will set up symptoms in the organs they control and we now require another drug to relieve their symptoms. In a short time the original depleted cells will require the original drug, for their impulses are of no avail and they are depleted again. This is in accordance with our observations of the action of homoeopathic remedies.
Disease, then, is a disturbance of controlling cells caused by an alteration or depletion of their normal principal in their efforts necessary for their normal function in trying to overcome disturbances in the tissues. Now the cure consists in restoring that particular principle or requisite material to the brain cell that controls the diseases tissue or organ in the indicated potentized remedy. For if we give the indicated potentized remedy we perform a cure.
How are we to know when any brain cell is deficient in the necessary element of principle for their normal balanced condition? By manifestation of symptoms in the organs they control. For no disease can exist where the brain cells have a proper supply of their essential elements. By fixing these Principles firmly in mind we have the explanation of Hahnemann’s law of cure, and an explanation of all the Fundamental Principles of Homoeopathy. We will take up the Fundamental Principles of Homoeopathy as given by Hahnemann singly and apply these fact to them.
(1) “Disease is manifested by symptoms” – Hahnemann. When any undue strain or tax is put upon an organ or tissue the brain cells controlling it send out proper impulses to correct it. They will correct it unless the strain is too great for the proper impulses to overcome. These impulses become feebler and feebler; because this is so the symptoms in the organs or tissue become more and more pronounced. Finally no impulses are sent out; the brain cells are exhausted and we say we have disease in the tissues. The brain cell needs to be built up; it has become deficient in the complex material necessary for its normal healthy impulses and we get symptoms in the organs they control, therefore disease is manifested by symptoms.
(2) “Knowledge of drug action must be obtained by experimenting on the healthily human body.” – Hahnemann.
We give a large dose of a remedy to a healthy individual to discover its physiological action or the symptoms it produces in the body. In doing this we put into the system a large amount of the element necessary for certain brain cells. It is the element for which these brain cells have a special affinity and they take up much more, indeed, than is needed. We keep adding to this amount until they become disturbed. Hence we find symptoms occurring in organs they control, for when we stop administering thee drug, and the system has had time to eliminate the excess of material or drug, the symptoms disappear. Now when the organ becomes diseased it is on account of the lack of this necessary element in the brain cell. The brain cell is disturbed or depleted and symptoms occur in thee organs they control and by supplying this element or drug to the brain cell we perform a cure in the tissues.
(3) “The curative relation between these two sets of phenomena (the physiological action and the homoeopathic action) is by virtue of The Law of Similar.” – Hahnemann. How easily this is explained in the light of the above.
(4) “The selected remedy should be administered should be administered singly, uncombined with any other, hence the doctrine of single remedies.” – Hahnemann.
Each tissue in the body has a special function; it is controlled by certain groups of brain cells which require a certain Principle or drug to perform their normal functions. In thee proving of our drugs we know very largely which sets of controlling cells have a special affinity for the drug in question. We know so little of the composition or laws that govern these minute subdivision of matter, that by giving two drugs we might defeat the very purpose for which we strive. They might combine in such a way that an entirely new principal may result.
(5) “It should be given in the smallest dose that will cure, hence the minimum dose.” – Hahnemann.
Anything in excess of the amount necessary to restore the brain cell to its normal condition will tend to irritate it, as in the physiological effect, and we get an aggravation, for the cell now is more susceptible to the action of the drug than when its constituents are properly balanced, and any excess more than is needed will have to be eliminated from the system at the expense of energy, or to impulses that must be sent out by thee emunctory governing cells that are instrumental in freeing the system of the foreign principle. At this time it is probable that all the energy and vitality available is needed.
(6) “Repetition of the dose should cease when marked improvement sets in, especially in chronic affections.” – Hahnemann.
This is but ceasing to administer the drug when the brain cell has sufficient of the necessary element, for by prolonged irritation of these cells, as in chronic affections, there must necessarily be more or less organic disturbances in and around the affected brain cells, as secondary growths, infiltration of connective tissues, engorgement of vessels, etc., and it takes time for these to be absorbed and any over-stimulation will cause the irritation to be maintained in the surrounding parts and the cell may become depleted again by the irritation before the tissues are restored to their normal condition.
(7) “Drugs must be administered in accordance with the totality of symptoms.” – Hahnemann.
The brain cells that are affected by a drug are in exceedingly close contact with other brain cells that affect other organs. Postmortem examinations of thee brain in many instances show a microscopic engorgement of the blood vessels in the brain. The disturbance in the cells governing the diseased tissues must be communicated to adjacent brain cells, hence we have symptoms in the organs they control. But, by giving a drug for the totality of symptoms we give the drug that is indicated by the diseased brain cells, for these are thee cells that are most affected and that give the greatest number of prominent symptoms. We pay no attention to the remaining symptoms, for they come from brain cells that are affected sympathetically by this disturbance.
(8) “As a general rule the symptoms that take precedent in the selection of a remedy are the mental symptoms.” – Hahnemann.
The voluntary muscles send fibres to the hemispheres or higher centres. The involuntary muscles send fibres to control cells centred in the cerebellum, but along the afferent and efferent nerve fibres stream out in the cord to the other columns and in return receive acquisitions of fibres from other columns coming from other centres, or centres of volition. During normal equilibrium the parts are all balanced, but when the normal equilibrium is upset by the impulses in one set of fibres becoming weaker we would have systemic disturbances, as some of these fibres are contiguous and part of the columns that go to the centres of volition, or mentality. So we can readily see how the mental state will be prominently affected and we say, from the light of experience, the mentality is peculiarly affected when any group of brain cells is depleted.
(9) “The body symptoms which take precedence in the selection of a remedy are those that appear last.” – Hahnemann.
In the early stage of the development of the disease, when hyperaemia or inflammation first sets in, we find the cells adjacent are suffering by close proximity to the disturbed cells, and they, too, will throw out impulses to the tissues they control, and the symptoms from the affected brain cell is obscured until the acute stage is past the last symptom are the symptoms that appear after the disease has progressed for a time. These last symptoms will vary in importance indirect proportion to the time the disease has progressed. When the acute inflammation is subsiding to some extent the sympathetic disturbance is not so pronounced. At this time we can more clearly observe the symptoms in the tissues that are affected by the disturbed brain cell itself. If this article will set the brain cells of the reader working, properly balancing the facts herein stated, the author believes the reasoning will be made clear “Why Hahnemann’s law of cure is effective.” For as far as the author is able to discover every accepted result and fundamental principle of Homoeopathy is hereby made clear.