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.
When the medicine has been consumed and it is found necessary to continue the same remedy, if the physician should desire to prepare a new portion of medicine from the same degree of potency, it will be necessary to give to the new solution as many shakes, as the number of shakes given to the last portion amount to when summed up together, and then a few more, before the patient is given the first dose; but after that, with the subsequent doses, the solution is to be shaken up only five or six times.
In this manner the homoeopathic physician will derive all the benefit from a well selected remedy, which can be obtained in any special case of chronic disease by doses given through the mouth.
But if the diseased organism is affected by the physician through this same appropriate remedy at the same time in sensitive spots other than the nerves of the mouth and the alimentary canal, i. e.t if this same remedy that has been found useful is at the same time in its watery solution rubbed in (even in small quantities) into one or more parts of the body which are most free from the morbid ailments (e. g., on an arm, or on the thigh or leg, which have neither cutaneous eruptions, nor pains, nor cramps) - then the curative effects are much increased. The limbs which are thus rubbed with the solution may also be varied, first one, then another. Thus the physician will receive a greater action from the medicine homoepathically suitable to the chronic patient, and can cure him more quickly, than by merely internally administering the remedy.
As is well known, in cholera the suitable medicine has often to be given at far shorter intervals.
Children are always given these solutions from their usual drinking vessels; a teaspoon for drinking is to them unusual and suspicious, and they will refuse the tasteless liquid at once on that account. A little sugar may be added for their sake.
This mode of procedure has been frequently proved by myself and found extraordinarily curative; yea, attended by the most startling good effects; the medicine taken internally being at the same time rubbed on the skin externally. This procedure will also explain the wonderful cures, of rare occurrence, indeed, where chronic crippled patients with sound skin recovered quickly and permanently by a few baths in a mineral water, the medicinal constituents of which were to a great degree homoeopathic to their chronic disease.*
* On the other hand such baths have also inflicted a proportionally greater injury with patients who suffered from ulcers and cutaneous eruptions; for these were driven by them from the skin, as may be done by other external means, when after a short period of health, the vital force of the patient transferred the internal uncured disease to another part of the body, and one much more important to life and health. Thus, e. g., may be produced the obscuration of the crystalline lens, the paralysis of the optic nerve, the destruction of the sense of hearing; pains also of innumerable kinds in consequence torture the patient, his mental organs suffer, his mind becomes obscured, spasmodic asthma threatens to suffocate him, or an apoplectic stroke carries him off, or some other dangerous or unbearable disease takes the place of the former ailment. Therefore the homoeopathic remedy given internally must never be rubbed in on parts which suffer from external ailments.
The limb, therefore, on which the solution is to be rubbed in, must be free from cutaneous ailments. In order to introduce also here change and variation, when several of the limbs are free from cutaneous ailments, one limb after the other should be used, in alternation on different days, (best on days when the medicine is not taken internally). A small quantity of the solution should be rubbed in with the hand, until the limb is dry. Also for this purpose, the bot tle should be shaken five or six times.
Convenient as the mode of administering the medicine above described may be, and much as it surely advances the cure of chronic diseases, nevertheless, the greater quantity of alcohol or whiskey or the several lumps of charcoal which have to be added in warmer weather to preserve the watery solution were still objectionable to me with many patients.
I have, therefore, lately found the following mode of administration preferable with careful patients: From a mixture of about five tablespoonfuls of pure water and five tablespoonfuls of French brandy, which is kept on hand in a bottle, 200, 300 or 400 drops (according as the solution is to be weaker or stronger) are dropped into a little vial, which may be half-filled with it, and in which the medicinal powder or the pellet or pellets of the medicine have been placed. This vial is stoppered and shaken until the medicine is dissolved. From this solution one, two, three or several drops, according to the irritability and the vital force of the patient, are dropped into a cup, containing a spoonful of water; this is then well stirred and given to the patient, and where more especial care is necessary, only the half of it may be given; half a spoonful of this mixture may also well be used for the above-mentioned external rubbing.
On days, when only the latter is administered, as also when it is taken internally, the little vial containing the drops must every time be briskly shaken five or six times; so also the drop or drops, of medicine with the tablespoonful of water must be well stirred in the cup.
It would be still better if instead of the cup a vial should be used, into which a tablespoonful of water is put, which can then be shaken five or six times and then wholly or half emptied for a dose.
Frequently it is useful in treating chronic diseases to take the medicine, or to rub it in in the evening, shortly before going to sleep, because we have then less disturbance to fear from without, than when it is done earlier.
When I was still giving the medicines in undivided portions, each with some water at a time, I often found that the potentizing in the attenuating glasses effected by ten shakes was too strong (i. e., the medicinal action too strongly developed) and I, therefore, advised only two succussions. But during the last years, since I have been giving every dose of medicine in an incorruptible solution, divided over fifteen, twenty or thirty days and even more, no potentizing in an attenuating vial is found too strong, and I again use ten strokes with each. So I herewith take back what I wrote on this subject three years ago in the first volume of this book on page 254.
In cases where a great irritability of the patient is combined with extreme debility, and the medicine can only be administered by allowing the patient to smell a few small pellets contained in a vial, when the medicine is to be used for several days, I allow the patient to smell daily of a different vial, containing the same medicine, indeed, but every time of a lower potency, once or twice with each nostril according as I wish him to be affected more or less.