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.
As a further aid in arriving at a utilizable totality of symptoms, the immediate cause of the present illness, if determinable, or its exciting factor, will be a great aid in the selection of the remedy. Such causes may be remote in time, and not of any apparent connection with the present state. This Hahnemann also teaches in § 5, Organon, as follows: "The physician, in curing, derives assistance from the knowledge of facts concerning the most probable cause of acute disease, as well as from the most significant points in the entire history of a case of chronic disease; aided by such knowledge he is enabled to discover the primary cause of the latter, dependent mostly on a chronic miasm". This gives, on the one hand, an important place to the first, or oldest, symptoms and to causes however remote; and, on the other, it elevates to commanding importance, signs of constitutional defects, the underlying psoric conditions. Unquestionably, such frequently modify and relegate to comparative insignificance symptoms of acute disorder, and favor the selection of a deep-acting, anti-psoric remedy even in acute diseases. Such a selection would be justified by its relationship to a truer similarity than would be expressed by an uninterpreted totality of symptoms.