This section is from the book "A Compend Of The Principles Of Homoeopathy", by William Boericke. Also available from Amazon: A Compend of the Principles of Homoeopathy as Taught by Hahnemann.
19. Acute diseases may be sporadic, endemic or epidemic.
20. Allopathy is to blame for many an incurable ailment; the organism becomes gradually and abnormally deranged, according to the individual character of the drug.
21. True chronic diseases arise mostly from Syphilis, Sycosis and Psora. The latter is often the fundamental cause and source of countless forms of diseases, figuring as peculiar and definite diseases in our text-books on pathology.
22. Individualization in the investigation of a case of disease demands unbiased judgment, sound senses, attentive observation and fidelity in noting down the image of the disease.
23. The patient tells the history of his complaints, the attendants fill out the gap, narrating every thing which he might have forgotten. The physician observes by means of sight, hearing and touch what is changed and abnormal about the patient, and writes down everything in precisely the same expressions used by the patient, and his attendants. Symptoms ought to be noted separately, one beneath the other, so that additions could be inserted. Careful inquiry by the physician will bring out the particular points, the modalities of each symptom. No leading questions are to be made, so that the patient may give unbiased his own sensations. Memoranda are then to be added of what he himself observed on the patient and anamnesis fully noted down.
24. The previous use of drugs may tarnish the picture of the disease, and it may be advisable to give a placebo for a day or two, so that afterwards a true picture may be attained. This holds specially good in chronic affections. In acute cases which brood no delay, the physician may be obliged to accept the morbid state as modified by drugs and embrace it in one record.
25. In chronic cases all the circumstances of the patient must be investigated: occupation, habits of living, diet, domestic relations, etc., so that appropriate means be taken for their removal. All this takes time and patience, as many chronic patients consider many a symptom as a part of their unavoidable condition, and forget to mention it, considering such of no value.
26. In the exploration of the totality of symptoms of epidemic or sporadic diseases, the physician should pre-suppose the true image of any prevalent disease to be new and unknown, and give it a new and thorough investigation. Nothing must be taken for granted.
In all epidemics the physician may only be able to collect the full picture of the disease after the investigation of several cases. Only thus he arrives at the characteristic peculiarities of the epidemic, which affects all patients alike, because each case arises from the same source, and then we are enabled to discover the appropriate homoeopathic remedy for that prevailing epidemic.
27. When all the prominent and characteristic symptoms of the case have been committed to writing, the most difficult part has been accomplished, and we must now seek out the corresponding drug which in its effects on healthy persons produces symptoms strikingly similar to those of the disease. Upon subsequent inquiry concerning the effects of the remedy and the changes of feelings it has produced in the patient, and after having made a new record of the case, the physician only omits from his diary the symptoms which were improved, and notes down what remains, or what has subsequently appeared in the form of new symptoms.
28. The entire range of disease-producing power of each drug must be known, that is, all morbid symptoms and changes of the state of health which each drug is capable of producing by itself in healthy persons, in order to discover what elements of disease each is able to produce and inclined to excite by itself in the condition of mind and body. Thus, the disease-producing power of drugs can be made available homoeo-pathically in the case of all diseases.
29. Experiments made with moderate doses of drugs (except narcotics, which destroy sensibility and sensation), upon healthy persons, exhibit only primary effects, i.e., those symptoms by means of which a drug affects or deranges the healthy state and produces in the organism a morbid condition of variable duration.
30. Some symptoms are produced by drugs in many healthy persons who try them; others are produced in only a few; others again are extremely rare, showing themselves only in peculiar constitutions, which, though otherwise healthy, are inclined to be more or less morbidly affected by certain things which appear to make no impression and to produce no change in many other persons.
31. Each drug manifests particular effects in the human body, and no other drug will produce effects of exactly the same kind. Medicines must therefore be differentiated from each other with scrupulous accuracy, and proved by pure and careful experiments with regard to their power and true effects upon the healthy body. In proving drugs it should be remembered that strong, so called heroic substances, even in small doses, have the property of affecting changes in the health, even of robust persons. Those of milder power should be given in considerable doses in these experiments; and those of least activity, in order to cause their effect to become perceptible, should be tried only upon healthy, but sensitive and susceptible persons. Let us be very careful in regard to the reliability of the drugs used in the provings; they must be pure, genuine, and of full strength.
32. Every medicinal substance should be employed entirely alone, in a perfectly pure state, without the admixture of any other substance, and the prover should not take any other medicinal substance on the same day, or for so many days as the observation of the effects of the drug requires.
33. During the proving, the diet should be moderate, but nutritious; avoid all green vegetables, roots, all kinds of salad and pot-herbs, as they retain medicinal properties, even if most carefully prepared; avoid mental and bodily exertions, particularly disturbances resulting from the excitement of sexual excesses. Provers ought to possess the requisite degree of intelligence to enable them to define, or to prescribe their sensations in distinct expressions.