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.
72. Mode of Application of Curative Remedies. - Perceptible or continued improvement in acute or chronic diseases invariably counter-indicates the repetition of any medicine whatever, for every new dose would disturb the process of recovery. A very minute dose of the similimum, if uninterrupted in its action, will gradually accomplish all the curative effects it is capable of producing, in a period varying from forty to one hundred days. Yet physician and patient desire to reduce this period. We must be careful to select the most appropriate remedy, and then only we might repeat this potency in fourteen, twelve, ten, eight or seven days. In chronic diseases assuming an acute form, and demanding greater haste, these spaces of time may be abbreviated still more, but in acute diseases the remedies may be repeated at much shorter intervals, for instance, twenty-four, twelve, eight or four hours; and in the most acute cases at intervals varying from one hour to five minutes.
73. The dose of the same remedy is to be repeated, Until recovery ensues or until the remedy ceases to produce; improvement; and with the change of symptoms a fresh examination may indicate another remedy.
74. Every medicine which produces new and troublesome symptoms not peculiar to the disease to be cured, is not homoeopathic to the case. An antidote must be given, selected with great care in regard to the similitude of the case, or if the accessory symptoms are not too violent, the next remedy should be given at once, in order to replace the inappropriate one. If in urgent cases we see after a few hours that the selection of the remedy was faulty and the patient fails to improve or new symptoms are discovered, we must select with greater care another remedy which is more accurately adapted to the new state of the case.
75. There are some remedies, as Ignatia, Bryonia, Rhus, rad., in some respects Belladonna, which show alternating effects on the state of the health, composed of partly opposite primary effects. If after the exhibition of one of these remedies, no improvement follows, we must in a few hours, in acute cases, give a new potency of the same remedy.
If in a chronic psoric case the antipsoric fails to relieve, there must be some irregularity of regimen or some other vigorous influence acting upon the patient, which must be removed before a permanent cure can be accomplished.
Incipient improvement, however slight, is indicated by increased sensation of comfort, greater tranquility and ease of the mind and return of naturalness in the feelings of the patient. To find out improvement or aggravation, the physician must examine the patient closely upon every symptom contained in the record of the case. If these show that neither new nor unusual symptoms have appeared, and that none of the old ones have increased, and especially if the state of mind and disposition is found to be improved, the medicine must also have produced an essential and general improvement in the disease, or at all events, it may soon be expected. Where delay occurs beyond expectation, there must be some fault in the regimen of the patient or the protracted homoeopathic aggravation produced by the medicine must be attributed to the insufficient reduction of the dose.
76. New and important symptoms, mentioned by the patient, indicate that the medicine was not well selected; though the patient may think he is improving, his condition may even be worse, which will soon make itself apparent.
77. No physician should have favorites among drugs, nor should he disregard medicines on account of their failure. Too often the fault is the physician's or the supposition a wrong one; his only duty is to select the similimum to every case.
78. On account of the minuteness of the homoeopathic dose, great care must be taken in the diet and regimen of the patient, and especially in chronic cases we have to search carefully for such impediments to a cure, because these diseases are often aggravated by obscure, noxious influences of that kind as well as by errors in regimen, which, being frequently overlooked, exercise a noxious influence. Daily walks, light manual labor, proper nutritious food and drink, una-dulturated with medicinal substances are to be recommended. In acute cases we have only to advise the family to obey the voice of nature by gratifying the patient's ardent desires, without offering or urging him to accept hurtful things. In acute cases the temperature of the bedroom and the quantity of the covering should be regulated entirely according to the wishes of the patient, while every kind of mental exertion and emotional disturbance is to be avoided.
79. Genuine and unadulterated medicines, retaining their full virtues are the first requisites of a physician, and in the treatment of disease only one single medicinal substance should be used at one time; which will give relief in diseases whereof the totality of symptoms is accurately known. Too strong a dose, of even a well selected drug, will produce an unnecessary surplus of effect upon the over excited vital force, and will be injurious, while the same similar drug-disease, if exerted within proper limits, would have gently effected a cure.
80. Experience proves that the dose of a homoeo-pathically selected remedy cannot be reduced so far as to be inferior in strength to the natural disease, and to lose its power of extinguishing and curing at least a portion of the same, provided that this dose, immediately after having been taken, is capable of causing a slight intensification of symptoms of the similar natural disease, though this homoeopathic aggravation is very often almost imperceptible.
81. The homoeopathic similimum will operate chiefly upon the diseased parts of the body, which have become extremely susceptible of a stimulus so similar to their own disease. The smaller dose will change the vital action of those parts into an artificial drug disease, and the organism be freed from the morbid process.
82. In homoeopathic practice the diminution of the dose, and its effect is conveniently accomplished by lessening the volume of the dose. In using a solution of this kind a much greater surface supplied with sensitive nerves, susceptible of medicinal influence, is brought in contact with the medicine, and we must take care that the medicine is equally and intimately imparted to every particle of solvent fluid. The effect of medicines in liquid forms penetrates and spreads through all parts of the organism, with such inconceivable rapidity, from the point of contact with the sensitive nerves supplying the tissues, that this effect may, with propriety, be defined spirit-like or dynamic.
83. Remedies in their dynamic dose, may be given by the mouth and tongue, by olfaction, or hypodermic-ally. The most sensitive parts of the surface are, at the same time, the most susceptible.