This section is from the book "The Chronic Diseases, Their Specific Nature And Their Homeopathic Treatment", by Samuel Hahnemann. Also available from Amazon: The chronic diseases, their specific nature and their homeopathic treatment.
Some joyous occurrence, or an external condition of circumstances improved by fortune, a pleasant journey, a favorable season or a dry, uniform temperature, might occasionally produce a remarkable pause of shorter or longer duration in the disease of the patient, during which the Homoeopath might consider him as fairly recovered; and the patient himself, if he good-naturedly overlooked some passable moderate ailments, might consider himself as healthy. Still such a favorable pause would never be of long duration, and the return and repeated returns of the complaints in the end left even the best selected Homoeopathic remedies then known, and given in the most appropriate doses, the less effective the oftener they were repeated. They served at last hardly even as weak palliatives. But usually, after repeated attempts to conquer the disease which appeared in a form always somewhat changed, residual complaints appeared which the Homoeopathic medicines hitherto proved, though not few, had to leave uneradicated, yea, often undiminished. Thus there ever followed varying complaints ever more troublesome, and as time proceeded, more threatening, and this even while the mode of living was correct and with a punctual observance of directions. The chronic disease could, despite all efforts, be but little delayed in its progress by the Homoeopathic physician and grew worse from year to year.
This was, and remained, the quicker or slower process in such treatments in all non-venereal, severe chronic diseases, even when these were treated in exact accordance with the Homoeopathic art as hitherto known. Their beginning was promising, the continuation less favorable, the outcome hopeless.
Nevertheless this teaching was founded upon the steadfast pillar of truth and zvill evermore be so. The attestation of its excellence, yea, of its infallibility (so far as this can be predicted of human affairs), it has laid before the eyes of the world through facts.
Homoeopathy alone taught first of all how to heal the well-defined idiopathic diseases, the old, smooth scarlet fever of Sydenham, the more recent purples, whooping cough, croup, sycosis, and autumnal dysenteries, by means of the specifically aiding Homoeopathic remedies. Even acute pleurisy, and typhous contagious epidemics must now allow themselves to be speedily turned into health by a few small doses of rightly-selected Homoeopathic medicine.
Whence then this less favorable, this unfavorable, result of the continued treatment of the non-venereal chronic diseases even by Homoeopathy? What was the reason of the thousands of unsuccessful endeavors to heal the other diseases of a chronic nature so that lasting health might result? Might this be caused, perhaps, by the still too small number of Homoeopathic remedial means that have so far been proved as to their pure action? The followers of Homoeopathy have hitherto thus consoled themselves; but this excuse, or so-called consolation, never satisfied the founder of Homoeopathy-particularly because even the new additions of proved valuable medicines, increasing from year to year, have not advanced the healing of chronic (non-venereal) diseases by a single step, while acute diseases (unless these, at their commencement, threaten unavoidable death) are not only passably removed, by means of a correct application-of Homoeopathic remedies, but with the assistance of the never-resting, preservative vital force in our organism, find a speedy and complete cure.
Why, then, cannot this vital force, efficiently affected through Homoeopathic medicine, produce any true and lasting recovery in these chronic maladies even with the aid of the Homoeopathic remedies which best cover their present symptoms; while this same force which is created for the restoration of our organism is nevertheless so indefatigably and successfully active in completing the recovery even in severe acute diseases? What is there to prevent this?
The answer to this question, which is so natural, inevitably led me to the discovery of the nature of these chronic diseases.
To find out then the reason why all the medicines known to Homoeopathy failed to bring a real cure in the above-mentioned diseases, and to gain an insight more nearly correct and, if possible, quite correct, into the true nature of the thousands of chronic diseases which still remain uncured, despite the incontestable truth of the Homoeopathic Law of Cure, this very serious task has occupied me since the years 1816 and 1817, night and day; and behold! the Giver of all good things permitted me within this space of time to gradually solve this sublime problem through unremitting thought, indefatigable inquiry, faithful observation and the most accurate experiments made for the welfare of humanity.*
It was a continually repeated fact that the non-venereal chronic diseases, after being time and again removed Homoeopathically by the remedies fully proved up to the present time, always returned in a more or less varied form and with new symptoms, or reappeared annually with an increase of complaints. This fact gave me the first clew that the Homoeopathic physician with such a chronic (non-venereal) case, yea, in all cases of (non-venereal) chronic disease, has not only to combat the disease presented before his eyes, and must not view and treat it as if it were a well-defined disease, to be speedily and permanently destroyed and healed by ordinary Homoeopathic remedies, but that he has always to encounter only some separate fragment of a more deep-seated original disease.
* Yet I did not allow any of these uniutermitted endeavors to become known either to the world or to rny followers, not, indeed, because the ingratitude so frequently shown to me prevented me, for I heed neither ingratitude nor persecutions on my troublous path of life, which yet has not proved altogether joyless, because of the great goal toward which I have striven. No, I left it un-mentioned because it is improper, yea, hurtful to speak or write of things still imm iture. Not until the year 1827 did I communicate the essentials of the discovery to two of my pupils, who had been of the greatest service to the art of Homoeopathy, for their own benefit and that of their patients, so that the whole discovery might not be lost to the world if perchance a higher call to eternity had called me away before the completion of the book - an event not so very improbable in my seventy-third year.