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.
Having taken a full stock of the case and thereby obtained the totality of symptoms, before prescribing the homceopathically indicated remedy, correct all hygienic, dietetic and sanitary errors. Often a change in the mode of life or abstinence from some hurtful article of diet will be all that is necessary. But after these things have been attended to, whatever symptoms remain will call for medical treatment.
Having obtained a record of the totality of symptoms, a winnowing process must be instituted, by eliminating the general symptoms and interpreting the totality according to the relative value of the symptoms, and thus individualize the case under treatment.
In § 83, Hahnemann says: "Individualization in the investigation of a case of disease, demands, on the part of the physician, principally unbiased judgment and sound sense, attentive observation and fidelity in noting down the image of the disease". Hahnemann's first rule here is that the characteristics of the case must be similar to the characteristics of the drug. § 153. The more prominent, uncommon and peculiar features of the case are specially and almost exclusively considered and noted, for these, in particular, should bear the closest similitude to the symptoms of the desired medicine, if that is to accomplish the cure. By this individualization, then, we eliminate the general symptoms common to similar pathological conditions, and present to view the individual patient as the pathological process affects him. The morbid forces of the disease unite themselves more or less with the inherent weaknesses and disease tendencies, hereditary or acquired, of the individual and give us his peculiar and therefore characteristic symptoms.