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.
Let him not think, while a well-chosen antipsoric medicine is acting and the patient some day feels a moderate headache, or else a moderate ailment, that he must give the patient at once some other medicine, whether an antipsoric or another remedy; or if perchance a sore throat should arise, that he must give another remedy, or on account of diarrhoea, or another on account of some moderate pain in one part or another, etc.
No! the homoeopathic antipsoric medicine having been chosen as well as possible to suit the morbid symptoms, and given in the appropriate potency and in the proper dose, the physician should as a rule allow it to finish its action without disturbing it by an intervening remedy.
For if the symptoms occurring during the action of the remedy have also occurred, if not in the last few weeks, at least now and then some weeks before, or some months before in a similar manner, then such occurrences are merely a homoeopathic excitation, through the medicine, of some symptom not quite unusual to this disease, of something which had perhaps been more frequently troublesome before, and they are a sign that this medicine acts deeply into the very essence of this disease, and that consequently it will be more effective in the future. The medicine, therefore, should be allowed to continue and exhaust its action undisturbed, without giving the least medicinal substance between its doses.
But if the symptoms are different and had never before occurred, or never in this way, therefore, are peculiar to this medicine and not to be expected in the process of the disease, but trifling, the action of the medicine ought not for the present to be interrupted. Such symptoms frequently pass off without interrupting the helpful activity of the remedy; but if they are of a burdensome intensity, they are not to be endured; in such a case they are a sign that the antipsoric medicine was not selected in the correct homoeopathic manner. Its action must then be checked by an antidote, or when the antidote to it is known, another antipsoric medicine more accurately answering its symptoms must be given in its place; in this case these false symptoms may continue a few more days, or they may return, but they will soon come to a final end and be replaced by a better help.
Least of all, need we to be concerned when the usual customary symptoms are aggravated and show most prominently on the first days, and again on some of the following days, but gradually less and less. This so-called homoeopathic aggravation is a sign of an incipient cure (of the symptoms thus aggravated at present), which may be expected with certainty.
But if these aggravated original symptoms appear on subsequent days still of the same strength as at the beginning, or even with an increased severity, it is a sign that the dose of this antipsoric remedy, although properly selected according to homoeopathic principles, was too large, and it is to be apprehended that no cure will be affected by it; because the medicine in so large a dose is able to establish a disease, which in some respects, indeed, is similar to it; with respect to the fact, however, that the medicine in its present intensity unfolds also its other symptoms which annul the similarity, it produces a dissimilar chronic disease instead of the former, and, indeed, a more severe and troublesome one, without thereby extinguishing the old original one.
This will be decided in the first sixteen, eighteen or twenty days of the action of the medicine which has been given in too large a dose, and it must then be checked, either by prescribing its antidote, or, if this is not as yet known, by giving another antipsoric medicine fitting as well as possible, and indeed in a very moderate dose, and if this does not suffice to extinguish this injurious medicinal disease, another still should be given as homeopathically suitable as possible.*
Now when the stormy assault caused by too large a dose of medicine, although homeopathically selected, has been assuaged through an antidote or the later use of some other antipsoric remedies, then, later on, the same antipsoric remedy - which had been hurtful only because of its over-large dose - can be used again, and, indeed, as soon as it is homoeopathically indicated, with the greatest success, only in a far smaller dose and in a much more highly potentized attenuation, i. e., in a milder quality.
The physician can, indeed, make no worse mistake than first, to consider as too small the doses which I (forced by experience) have reduced after manifold trials and which are indicated with every antipsoric remedy and secondly, the wrong choice of a remedy, and thirdly, the hastiness which does not allow each dose to act its full time.
The first error I have already spoken of, and would only add that nothing is lost if the dose is given even smaller than I have prescribed. It can hardly be given too small, if only everything in the diet and the remaining mode of life of the patient which would obstruct or counteract the action of the medicine is avoided. The medicine will still produce all the good effects which can at all be expected from a medicine, if only the anti-psoric was homoeopathic ally, correctly selected according to the carefully investigated symptoms of the disease, and if the patient does not disturb its effects by his violation of the rules. If ever it should happen that the choice has not been correctly made, the great advantage remains that the incorrectly selected medicine in this smallest dose may, in the manner indicated above, be counteracted more easily, whereupon the cure may be continued without delay with a more suitable antipsoric.
*I have myself experienced this accident, which is very obstructive to a cure and cannot He avoided too carefully. Still ignorant of the strength of its medicinal power, I gave Sepia in too large a dose. This trouble was still more manifest when I gave Lycopodium and Silicea, potentized to the one-billionth degree, giving four to six pellets, though only as large as poppy seeds. Discite moniti!