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.
34. Crude medicinal substances, if taken by the prover for the purpose of ascertaining their peculiar effects, will not disclose the same wealth of latent powers as when, they are taken in a highly attenuated state, potentiated by means of trituration and succus-sion. Thus the medicinal powers, even of substances hitherto considered as inert, are most effectually developed by administering to the prover daily from four to six of the finest pellets of the thirtieth potency; the pellets, having been previously moistened with a little water, should be taken on an empty stomach for several days.
35. Drugs must be proved by both sexes, in order to get their full effects.
36. All persons differ in their susceptibility to drug influence. Each prover should begin with a small dose of medicine, gradually to be increased day by day where such a course appears proper and desirable.
37. By giving a sufficiently strong dose in the beginning of a proving, we get the exact, consecutive order in which the symptoms appear, and the prover can note the time at which each one appeared. Thus, we find out the genius of the drug. A moderate dose frequently suffices, when the prover is sensitive and pays proper attention to the state of his feelings. The duration of the effect of a drug is determined only after comparison of a number of provings.
38. When increased doses are taken several days in succession, we discover the various morbid conditions which this drug produces in general, but we will not learn the consecutive order of their appearance, and besides, a second dose, by its curative effect, will often remove some of the symptoms resulting from the previous dose; or a second dose may produce the opposite condition from that of the first, an alternating effect of the drug.
39. An increased dose for several successive days shows the symptoms better, but not the consecutive order, nor the duration of the drug effect. During the proving the prover should study out whether any symptom is changed by taking different position, when ameliorated or aggravated, and at what time of day or night each symptom usually appears.
40. Several provings are necessary by the same prover to get from him as many symptoms as possible, but to get at the totality of symptoms which a drug is liable to produce, the provings of many persons are necessary; the smaller the dose of the drug, the more distinctly the primary effects will appear, while excessive doses cause the result to be disturbed by the appearance of various after-effects, because the primary effects become confused by the violence and haste of the action of the dose.
41. Symptoms similar to the drug the prover has sometimes felt before the proving was commenced, but when they appear again during the proving, it shows that he is susceptible to the action of the drug.
42. Every prover must be directed to distinctly write down every sensation and change of feeling, the time of its appearance, its duration, and then the director of the proving compares the different manuscripts of records. Thus, we accumulate a collection of genuine, pure, and undeceptive effects of simple drugs. Such records contain and represent in similitude the elements of numerous natural diseases hereafter to be cured by these means. A materia medica of that kind should exclude every supposition, every mere assertion or fiction.
43. A drug fully tested with regard to its power of altering human health, and whose symptoms present the greatest degree of similitude with the totality of symptoms of a given natural disease, will be the most suitable and reliable homoeopathic remedy for that disease, its specific curative agent.
44. A medicine possessing the power to produce an artificial disease most similar to the natural disease to be cured, exerts its dynamic influence upon the morbidly disturbed vital force, and in the right dose will affect those parts of the organism where the natural disease is located, and will excite in them an artificial disease.
45. A well-selected homoeopathic drug will remove a natural acute disease of recent origin, even if severe and painful; an older affection will disappear in a few days, and recovery progress to full restoration of health. Old, complicated diseases demand longer time for their removal. Chronic drug diseases, complicating an uncured natural disease, yield only after great length of time, if they have not become quite incurable.
46. For a few insignificant symptoms of recent origin, no medicinal treatment is needed; a slight change of diet and habits of living suffices for their removal.
47. In searching for the homoeopathic specific remedy, the more prominent, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) symptoms of the case should bear the closest similitude to the symptoms of the drug. The more general symptoms deserve less notice, as generalities are common to every disease and almost to every drug.
48. Although a well-selected remedy quietly extinguishes an analogous disease without exciting additional sensations, it may produce a slight aggravation resembling the original disease so closely that the patient considers it as such. Aggravations caused by larger doses may last for several hours, but in reality these are only drug effects somewhat superior in intensity and very similar to the original disease. The smaller the dose of the drug, so much smaller and shorter is the apparent aggravation of the disease during the first hours. Even in chronic cases, after the days of aggravation have passed, the convalescence will progress almost uninterruptedly for days.
49. If in acute cases the remedy was poorly selected we must examine the case more thoroughly for the purpose of construing a new picture of the disease. Cases may occur where the first examination of the disease and the first selection of the remedy prove that the totality of symptoms of the disease is not sufficiently covered by the morbific elements (symptoms) of a single remedy; and where we are obliged to choose between two medicines which seem to be equally well suited to the case, we must prescribe one of these medicines, and it is not advisable to administer the remedy of our second choice without a renewed examination of the patient, because it may no longer correspond to the symptoms which remain after the case has undergone a change, and often a different remedy will be indicated. If the medicine of our second choice is still suited to the remnant of the morbid condition, it would now deserve much more confidence and should be employed in preference to others.