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.
As a rule, therefore, the antipsoric medicine in chronic diseases continue their action the longer, the more tedious the diseases are. But vice versa also those medicines which in the healthy body show a long period of action act only a short time and quickly in acute diseases which speedily run their course (e. g., Belladonna, Sulphur, Arsenic, etc.), and their periods of action are shorter, the more acute the diseases. The physician must, therefore, in chronic diseases allow all antipsoric remedies to act thirty, forty or even fifty and more days by themselves, so long as they continue to improve the diseased state perceptibly to the acute observer, even though gradually; for so long the good effects continue with the indicated doses and these must not be disturbed and checked by any new remedy.*
* These attacks, however, if the antipsoric remedy was selected fittingly and homoeopathically and the dose was a moderate one, during its continued action take place, ever more and more rarely and more feebly; but if the doses were too strong, they come more frequently and more strongly, to the detriment of the patient.
*The importance of avoiding the above-described two errors will hardly be realized by physicians. These great, pure truths will be questioned yet for years, even by most of the homoeopathic physicians, and will not, therefore, be practiced, on account of the theoretical reflection and the reigning thought: "It requires quite an effort to believe that so little a thing, so prodigiously small a dose of medicine, could effect the least thing in the human body, especially in coping with such enormously great, tedious diseases; but that the physician must cease to reason, if he should believe that these prodigiously small doses can act not only two or three days, but even twenty, thirty and forty days, and longer yet, and cause, even to the last day of their operation, important, beneficent effects otherwise unattainable." Nevertheless this true theorem is not to be reckoned among those which should be comprehended, nor among those for which I ask a blind faith. I demand no faith at all, and do not demand that anybody should comprehend it. Neither do I comprehend it; it is enough that it is a fact and nothing else. Experience alone declares it, and I believe more in experience than in my own intelligence. But who will arrogate to himself the power of weighing the invisible forces that have hitherto been concealed in the inner bosom of nature when they are brought out of the crude state of apparently dead matter through a new, hitherto undiscovered agency, such as is potentizing by long continued trituration and succussion. But he who will not allow himself to be convinced of this, and who will not, therefore, imitate what I now teach after many years' trial and experience (and what does the physician risk if he imitates it exactly?), he who is not willing to imitate it exactly can leave this greatest problem of our art unsolved, he can also leave the most important chronic diseases uncured, as they have remained unhealed, indeed, up to the time of my teaching. I have no more to say about this. It seemed to me my duty to publish the great truths to the world that needs them, untroubled as to whether people can compel themselves to follow them exactly or not. If it is not done with exactness, let no one boast to have imitated me, nor expect a good result.
But if these appropriately selected antipsoric medicines are not allowed to act their full time, when they are acting well, the whole treatment will amount to nothing. Another antipsoric remedy which may be ever so useful, but is prescribed too early and before the cessation of the action of the present remedy, or a new dose of the same remedy which is still usefully acting, can in no case replace the good effect which has been lost through the interruption of the complete action of the preceding remedy, which was acting usefully, and which can hardly be again replaced.
Do we refuse to imitate any operation until the wonderful forces of nature on which the result is based are clearly brought before our eyes and made comprehensible even to a child? Would it not be silly to refuse to strike sparks from the stone and flint because we cannot comprehend how so much combined caloric can be in these bodies, or how this can be drawn out by rubbing or striking, so that the particles of steel which are rubbed off by the stroke of the hard stone are melted, and, as glowing little balls, cause the tinder to catch fire? And yet we strike fire with it, without understanding or comprehending this miracle of the inexhaustible caloric hidden in the cold steel, or the possibility of calling it out with a frictional stroke. Again, it would be just as silly as if we should refuse to learn to write because we cannot comprehend how one man can communicate his thought to another through pen, ink and paper - and yet we communicate our thoughts to a friend in a letter without either being able or desirous of comprehending this psychico-physical miracle! Why, then, should we hesitate to conquer and heal the bitterest foes of the life of our fellow-men, the chronic diseases, in the stated way, which, punctually followed, is the best possible method, because we do not see how these cures are effected?
It is a fundamental rule in the treatment of chronic diseases: To let the action of the remedy, selected in a mode homoeopathic ally appropriate to the case of disease which has been carefully investigated as to its symptoms, come to an undisturbed conclusion, so long as it visibly advances the cure and the while improvement still perceptibly progresses. This method forbids any-new prescription, any interruption by another medicine and forbids as well the immediate repetition of the same remedy. Nor can there be anything more desirable for the physician than to see the improvement of the patient proceed to its completion unhindered and perceptibly. There are not a few cases, where the practiced careful homoeopath sees a single dose of his remedy, selected so as to be perfectly homoeopathic, even in a very severe chronic disease, continue uninterruptedly to diminish the ailment for several weeks, yea, months, up to recovery; a thing which could not have been expected better in any other way, and could not have been effected by treating with several doses or with several medicines. To make the possibility of this process in some way intelligible, we may assume, what is not very unlikely, that an antipsoric remedy selected most accurately according to homoeopathic principles, even in the smallest dose of a high or the highest potency, can manifest so long-continued a curative force, and at last cure, probably, only by means of a certain infection with a very similar medicinal disease which overpowers the original disease, by the process of nature itself, according to which (Organon, § 45, Fifth Edition), two diseases which are different, indeed, in their kind but very similar in their manifestations and effects, as also in the ailments and symptoms caused by it, when they meet together in the organism, the stronger disease (which is always the one caused by the medicine, § 33, ibid.) destroys the weaker (the natural one). In this case every new medicine and also a new dose of the same medicine, would interrupt the work of improvement and cause new ailments, an interference which often cannot be repaired for a long time.