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.
The gastro-enteritis and paralysis of Arsenic; epileptiform convulsions of Hydrocyanic acid; broncho-pneumonia of Tartar emetic; anaemia of Ar-gentum; catalepsy of Cannabis indica; tinnitus auri-um of Quinine; Meniere's disease of Salycilic soda; colic of Plumbum; asthma of Ipecac; tabes of Ergot; fatty degeneration of Phosphorus; glycosuria of Uranium; meningitis of Belladonna, etc, etc.
Often in the course of acute diseases, and in children, where no characteristic symptoms can be obtained, pathological correspondence may be the only recourse; but it is otherwise in the treatment of most chronic diseases. Here the method of the Hahnemannian similarity yields best results.
It is a mistake to prescribe remedies for every slight ailment. It is best to follow Hahnemann's directions, Organon, § 150: "Whenever a patient complains of only a few insignificant symptoms of recent origin, the physician is not to regard them as a disease requiring serious medical aid. A slight change of diet and habits of living generally suffices to remove so slight an indisposition.
There are cases where it is almost impossible to obtain any very characteristic symptoms; these are difficult to handle. § 165. Or there may be only one or two prominent symptoms, which may obscure the remaining features of the case, so-called Partial Or One-Sided Diseases.
The best rule is to be most painstaking in eliciting symptoms, and then make the best uses of the few symptoms to serve as guides in the selection of the remedy. Although the remedy may be but imperfectly adapted, it will serve the purpose of bringing to light the symptoms belonging to the disease, thus facilitating a choice of the next remedy. Organon, §§ 173-184. Diagnostic symptoms of a disease, although of least importance for selecting the remedy, may be all we have in a given case for guidance. If so, the remedy corresponding to them can be chosen by paying special attention to their modali-ities, i. e., conditions of aggravation, concomitants, etc. For instance, in dysentery, the tenesmus is an important, diagnostic symptom, but no guiding one to any remedy, since many medicines have this general symptom; but if attended with any modalities or concomitants, it may become a leading indication; for instance, Nux vom., the tenesmus and pain in the back cease with the stool; in Mercurius, they continue after it. In this way a general symptom may become a characteristic one, leading to the choice of the curative drug.
For further study consult: "Organon,"' §§ 153-173.
"The Relative Value of Symptoms," by S. A. Kimball, M.D., in Homoeopathic Physician, June, 1895. A very valuable essay.
"The Examination of the Patient for a Homoeopathic Prescription," by P. P. Wells, M.D. Transactions Int. Homoeopathic Association, 1888, page 18.
"The Genus Epidermicus," by A. McNeil, M.D. Transactions of Hahnemann Association, 1889.
"The Selection of the Homoeopathic Remedy," by T. F. Allen, M.D. Read before World's Medical Congress in Chicago, 1893; published in North American Journal of Homoeopathy, August, 1893.
"The First Prescription," by O. M. Drake, M.D., in Homoeopathic Physician, January, 1895.
"Dudgeon's Lectures on Homoeopathy". Lecture XI: On the Selection of the Remedy. This gives an account of the different views held by the representative older disciples of Hahnemann, and is very interesting from an historical point of view.
"The Totality of Symptoms". A paper read before the American Institute of Homoeopathy, by Wm. Boericke, M.D. Published in the Hahnemannian Advocate, August, 1896.