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.
Hahnemann's latest teachings were to give but one dose, and await its full action. There is much to be said in favor of this advice in the treatment of chronic diseases. No doubt young physicians repeat their remedy too often and change too frequently. Too frequent repetition of doses frets the system and hinders the cure. The safest general rules, based upon firm adherence to the law and practiced by the closest prescribers are the fol-, lowing:
1. Give one remedy at a time - the one most clearly indicated by the totality of symptoms.
2. Give it preferably at first in a medium potency with a tendency to go higher.
3. So long as improvement shows itself, do not change the remedy, and better also, do not repeat the dose. Learn to wait, for so long as the disease does not progress any further, after giving the medicine, there is no danger in waiting, not until new indications appear.
4. In acute diseases, the doses may have to be repeated frequently, according to the intensity and severity of the case; as a rule every hour or two is often enough, and in most acute, as often as every five to ten minutes may be necessary, but all medication should cease with commencing improvement.
The following golden rule is given by Hahnemann in his Chronic Diseases, page 156:
"The whole cure fails if the anti-psoric remedies, which have been prescribed for the patient, are not permitted to act uninterruptedly to the end. Even if the second anti-psoric should have been selected with the greatest care, it cannot replace the loss which the rash haste of the physician has inflicted on the patient. The benign action of the former remedy which was about manifesting its most beautiful and most surprising results, is probably lost to the patient forever".
In Organon, §§ 247-8, Hahnemann says: "These periods are always to be determined by the more or less acute course of the disease and by the nature of the remedy employed. The dose of the same medicine is to be repeated several times, if necessary, but only until recovery ensues, or until the remedy ceases to produce improvement". Consult, also, §§ 249-252.
Also, in note to § 246, Hahnemann emphatically teaches that the homoeopathic physician is to administer but one most minute dose at a time, and to allow this dose to act and to terminate its action. And he holds that the best dose is the smallest in one of the high potencies (the thirtieth) for chronic as well as acute diseases. But, in many forms of disease, a single dose is insufficient; and "hence, it may undoubtedly be found necessary to administer several doses of the same medicine, for the purpose of altering, pathogenet-ically, the vital force to such an extent, and to raise its curative reaction to such a degree, as to enable it to extinguish completely an entire portion of the original disease".
In § 245, Hahnemann gives this general rule: "Perceptible and continued progress of improvement, in an acute or chronic disease, is a condition which, as long as it lasts, invariably counter-indicates the repetition of any medicine whatever, because the beneficial effect which the medicine continues to exert is rapidly approaching its perfection. Under these circumstances, every new dose of any medicine would disturb the process of recovery". *
The period between the early dosage of Hahnemann and this final designation of the thirtieth potency, as the standard covered about twenty-five years. He now entered upon an entirely new conception of drugs, as embodied medicinal forces, which could be practically separated from their material particles and imparted by means of his peculiar pharmaceutical procedures to inert substances - hence, the development of The Theory Of Dynamization.
The process of suc-cussion and trituration is now said to result, not only in a thorough mechanical admixture, but in "a real spiritualization of the dynamic property - a true, astonishing unveiling and vivifying of the medicinal spirit". And Hahnemann looked upon this process as "among the greatest discoveries of the age".
Hahnemann distinguishes carefully between dilutions, or attenuations, and homoeopathic dynamizations. While the former are solutions, retaining less and less of the distinctive physical properties, in the proportion that they are mixed with the diluting vehicle, the latter he deems real potentiation of the medicinal force inherent in drugs. This he clearly teaches in the preface to the fifth volume of his "Chronic Diseases," as follows: "Homoeopathic dynamizations are processes by which the medicinal properties, which are latent in natural substances while in their crude state, become aroused, and then become enabled to act in an almost spiritual manner on our life - i. e., on our sensible and irritable fibre. This development of the properties of crude, natural substances (dynamization) takes place, as I have before taught, in the case of dry substances, by means of trituration in a mortar; but, in the case of fluid substances, by means of shaking or succession, which is also a trituration. These preparations cannot be simply designated as solutions, although every preparation of this kind, in order that it may be raised to a higher potency - i. e., in order that the medicinal properties still latent within it may be yet farther awakened and developed, must first undergo a further attenuation, in order that the trituration or succussion may enter still further into the very essence of the medicinal substance, and may thus also liberate and expose the more subtle part of the medicinal powers that lie hidden more deeply, which could not be effected by any amount of trituration and succussion of the substances in their concentrated form".
* "In dealing with so complex an organism as the human body, it is not to be wondered at that such definite rules have not been found invariably to hold good. When we consider the manifold varieties of constitution, the different degrees of excitability, and the peculiar idiosyncrasies that are met with, it would appear highly improbable that any absolute law of universal application would be found to meet all contingencies. This is borne out by the evidence furnished by the fact that the greatest diversity of opinion nowadays prevails as to the question of the dose and its repetition. . . . The question remains, to a great extent, unsettled, and the ideas of many, with regard to it, differ considerably from those of the earlier homceopathists. Observation and experience, however, will, without doubt, lead ultimately to more definite lines of guidance". - Edmund Capper, M. D., Journal of British Homoeopathic Society, January, 1895.
Nevertheless, Hahnemann recognized the improbability of any separation of matter and force; hence, in a note to § 280, he calls attention to the truth "that a substance divided into ever so many parts must still contain in its smallest conceivable parts always some of this substance, and that the smallest conceivable part does not cease to be some of this substance and cannot possibly become nothing".
Possibly the radiant state of matter, as described by Faraday and Crookes, may give point to an explanation of the process of dynamization, and of the value of succussion, even without dilution, as mentioned by Hahnemann in the following extract note to § 270: "I dissolved a grain of soda in half an ounce of water, mixed with alcohol in a vial, which was thereby filled two-thirds full, and shook this solution continuously for half an hour, and this fluid was in potency and energy equal to the thirtieth development of power".
If this be really so, the development of power must be due to succussion, some of the particles having been put into their radiant state of energy.
Hahnemann went further in some directions than any of his followers. His practice of olfaction is probably without any followers at present. In § 288 of the Organon, he mentions it as follows:
"It is especially in the form of vapor, by olfaction and inhalation of the medicinal aura that is always emanating from a globule impregnated with a medicinal fluid in a high development of power, and placed dry in a small vial, that the homoeopathic remedies act most surely and most powerfully".
While this may be true theoretically, the practice of the school has not availed itself of it to any extent and it is but fair to know that the suggestion for this practice sprung from a desire to evade the unjust laws prohibiting physicians to dispense their own medicines, for Hahnemann suggests in a letter to one of his disciples in regard to this subject: "The physician would give neither powders himself or prescribe them from the drug shops". *
Hahnemann's Reasons why the Sceptic Ridicules these Homoeopathic Attenuations. First, because he is ignorant that by means of such triturations, the internal medicinal power is wonderfully developed and is as it were liberated from its material bonds, so as to enable it to operate more penetratingly and more freely upon the human organism. Secondly, because his purely arithmetical mind believes that it sees here only an instance of enormous subdivision, a mere material division and diminution, wherein every part must be less than the whole, as every child knows; but he does not observe, that in these spiritualizations of the internal medicinal power, the material receptacle of these natural forces, the palpable ponderable matter, is not to be taken into consideration at all; thirdly, because the sceptic has no experience relative to the action of preparations of such exalted medical power. (Hahnemann in Lesser Writings, p. 734).
* Life of Hahnemann, page 458.
For further study consult -
"A Complete Historical Review of Hahnemann's Posology," by T. L. Bradford, M.D., in his "Life of Hahnemann," Chapters LXXXII-V.
Dudgeon's Lectures, Chapters XII-XVI, on Dynamization and Homoeopathic Posology, in which the opinions of the older representative Homceopathists are given.
J. M. Selfridge, M.D.: "Infinitesimals from a Scientific Standpoint," in Homceopathic Physician, February, 1896.
Also, the chapter on Hahnemann's Philosophy, page 109.