Creating Waves of Awareness
HOMEOPATHY WORKS ANYWAY
CURE VS PALLIATION
IDEAL VS PRACTICE
We, the homeopathic practitioners, meet so many people daily, and are apprised of the multiple and strange ways that other practitioners dispense homeopathic medicines with. What is most disquieting (also reassuring) is that homeopathy works in all instances. People come to us carrying 2 to 3 vials of homeopathic medicines in 30 to 200 (sometimes higher) potencies, and we are told that they had been advised to use five or four drops of each, either one after the other, three times a day, or mixing five drops of each in one dose, and such doses are taken three times a day.
The most strange part of the story is that they feel ameliorated by this practice, in various grades, sometimes they aver that the disease for which they took these medicines was cured, never to return again. We generally find our colleagues routinely using 2 to 3 medicines for one patient at a time, either singly alternating or in combination. But they find that homeopathy helps them; even they feel that in this way the treatment is shortened or accelerated.
The problem, technically speaking, is this:
The doctors and the patients do not have any discriminatory sense between palliation and cure. The patients especially do not bother about this technicality. They require immediate relief for their present trouble. Another factor is that about 80% patients at any outdoor clinic are acute cases. Immediate relief is their primary concern. You relieve them with one remedy or five remedies, they do not bother. Thence lies the popularity of such clinics or such a way of practice.
The noble therapeutic of homeopathy works in all forms and in all ways. Palliation without side-effects is a grand mark of homeopathy. No other therapeutics can boast of such a miracle. Since the demand of the laity is subsidence or alleviation of their suffering, palliation is the only demand from a physician. For them cure and palliation are synonym.
The prescribing anomalies abound in homeopathic literature also. Great masters are great freaks. Most of them have their own predilections. We find that:
KENT prescribes higher and highest potencies, and single dose;
Dr. SKINNER was also a high potencier, same is Dr. NASH and CARL DUNHAM.
Dr. JAHR mostly applies medium potencies, and repeats in watery solution;
BOENNINGHAUSEN gives mostly two remedies in three days, first day the indicated remedy, second day a dose of anti-miasmatic, or constitutional remedy, and the third day repetition of indicated remedy.
Dr. HERING employs all potencies, usually the medium.
Drs. HUGHES, FARRINGTON, CLARK, and BOERICKE are low potenciers.
BURNETT uses low potencies, mother tinctures, with an antimiasmatic or constitutional dose, repeated arbitrarily.
In all these modes of application of medicine homeopathy works.
Then there are other ways of application of homeopathic medicines:
Some give, in chronic cases, one to three (even four) doses of the indicated remedy in rapid succession, then wait for the result for few days.
Some employ a, so called, ladder of potencies, in the same rapid succession, viz. 30, 200, 1M, etc. in ascending or descending order.
Some pharmacies have produced, what they call, fortified potencies. They mix 3 or 4 potencies of one medicine in one vial. E.g. HEEL REMEDIES, Germany.
In all such manners homeopathy again works!
The sign of the genius of Hahnemann was downright pragmatism. He was first an experimentalist then a theorist. He was not static. Clinical verities kept him changing and modifying his theories. So verily he was not a dogmatist. Around the immutable law of Similia, he built the four walls of the citadel of homeopathic therapeutics viz. totality of symptoms; single remedy; minimum dose; and least repetition. The most significant fact is that whenever he modified his theory, he met opposition from his disciples, with nagging language. But he never tried to please anybody by sacrificing the truth that came his way. When he demolished the fourth wall of the above citadel, i.e. the least repetition, with his practical dictum that in chronic diseases the progress could be accelerated by daily repetition of the indicated remedy, he had to invent with it the 50 Millacimal potency. Was it needed? Perhaps not! His disciples were already using liquid doses, by dissolving two to thee globules in an ounce or two of water, and dispensing a teaspoonful as a dose. It is on record that Dr. Jahr prepared a solution of Nux Vom. 30, two globules in a tumbler of water and then taking one spoon from this solution and pouring it in a second tumbler and then in a third tumbler and then dispensed it to an arthritic patient, one spoon per dose.
The sensing of the efficacy of daily repetition of dose in a chronic case dawned on many practitioners before the world came to know the sixth edition of the Organon. But this repetition did not remain limited to medium potencies. High and the highest potencies were also given in frequent doses. Dr. Borland recommended highest potencies, viz., CM potency to be given every 2 hours. He thought that to abort the onslaught of an infection, a high potency in frequent doses is essential. Dr. John Hunter exhorts: ‘don’t think, try high potencies in frequent doses’. It was only Dr. M.B. Desai who used high potencies continuously for his patients with brilliant results. I myself have used high potencies in chronic cases with frequent repetition in non-responding cases. For example I used Rhus-tox 10M, thrice a day, for many weeks in an arthritic patient. It brought out generalized eczema, with relief in arthritis. I remember that Farrington has warned, perhaps in the lecture on Sulphur, against the repetition of high potencies, as, he feared, it might possibly supplant its own pathogenic replica on the already complicated constitution. At that times perhaps the 6th. Edition of the Organon was not available, or not known.
The problem which I want to bring home is that the ideal of cure is fast becoming a far-fetched notion_very ambiguous and irrelevant to the situation on the ground. First let me explain this in a concrete way by postulating a hypothetical case. (This hypothetical case would in fact be a prototype of 90% of chronic cases that become the lot of the practicing homeopaths these days). Let our hypothetical patient be a Mrs. X , age 60 years, diabetic for the last 15 years, and on Hypoglycemic Drugs since then; last year, for a few months she was on Insulin. She is also hypertensive for the last 10 years or so; a series of Beta blockers, Anti cholesterol and anti-coagulant has been her mixed pie. Also she is a patient of arthritis of the knees, for the last 6 years. She is constantly taking Anti-Gout and Anti-Rheumatic preparations along with various sorts of Calcium and Vitamin supplements. Now this drug surfeited patient with the allopathic nostrums comes to you for high fever owing to severe quinsy. She has come to you because her neighbor has recommended her to see you.
Now everybody knows that this is a sample prototype of the cases we daily meet.
Our concern in this case evidently is her quinsy. We daily treat such cases on acute basis without ever peeping into the huge drug built-up that lies under this tip of the iceberg. We need not bother about all this built-up. People respond to our medicines notwithstanding. After checking her throat and knowing few relevant symptoms of the case, you decide on Merc. Sol., which you prescribe; and ask her to report after four days. But you find her tottering towards your clinic two days too soon. Bemoaningly she tells you that last evening she got drenched in rain, which ragingly brought back her arthritis, with a new surge in fever. Now, my readers, if you don’t prescribe for this new ‘romance’ of her, you know she will madly resort to her wonted painkillers. So, you prescribe Rhus Tox., few doses in rapid succession and a supply of few more doses (bd), and the solution of Merc. Sol. to be continued thrice daily in between_ as her quinsy was hardly half cured. But as bad luck would have it, you find her again treading towards your clinic the very next morning, but this time reclining on the shoulder of some relative of her. You are told that she partook of a piece of meat, brought from a bakery; and that she suffered a severe attack of food-poisoning, with incessant vomiting and purging. Now there are two options for you: either you give her some medicine, or dismiss her with strict advice as to foods and regimen. But in the latter case it is quite possible that her relatives would take her to a hospital, where she will at once be given a lot of medicines along with dextrose-saline infusion. So you decide to help her. You find Arsenicum indicated, and you give it, suspending all other treatment, for the time being. That is how, my dear reader, you have to give so many medicines, to a single patient, in the course of two to three days. This is practice, not a theory!
Since we have taken a prototype case which represents from 80 to 90% of the total cases that come our way, we are justified if we enlarge on this to mention some more situations that we can encounter in our daily practice.
Now suppose Mrs. X now comes to you for an aggravation in one of the many aspects of her chronic anamnesis. She complains of arthritic pain in the joints of lower extremities. In spite of the fact that this ailment in itself is a chronic disease and requires a full-fledged chronic treatment; in her case it is an aspect of the whole disease that she is suffering from. Now in whatever way you treat her complaint ¬_ on acute, sub-acute, or chronic basis_ you cannot root out her total disease. Whatever you do you will be only palliating her trouble, for which she will be thankful to you.
Now suppose she again, after sometimes, comes to you for an acute attack of rectal hemorrhoids, with profuse bleeding. If she gives you, patiently, a few months, you can make her so comfortable that she will consider herself completely cured. Then too, you know that you have relieved only one aspect of her many faceted disease, which can never be cured.
Before boasting of a cure we should clarify our concepts as to what is cure and what is mere palliation. We see that in daily practice we very loosely use the word ‘cure’ without differentiating it from palliation. The famous case of the washer-woman whom Hahnemann treated with “a drop of strong tincture of Bryonia,” he did not cure the case, but simply treated the ailing knee of the miserable humanity. How can we differentiate and categorize weather a masterpiece of ours is a cure or a palliation, we must know what is cure. The touchstone of a complete cure is chiseled in this phrase: “returning the patient to his or her pristine health.”
Yea!! ‘Returning the patient to his or her pristine health’ is an ideal of cure, that is quite elusive in the context of the modern living and the present world. People come with an inbuilt structure of medicines in their constitutions, which you can neither demolish nor such is desired by the patient himself. They find themselves stable with the combination of medicines: viz., beta blockers, hypoglycemic, anti cholesterol, anti coagulant, and antihypertensive etc. They can even come to you for diabetic sores, a carbuncle, even a gangrene, but not for diabetes itself and other well controlled diseases. Cancer patients come to you for postoperative complications, but seldom for cancer itself, because they are so terrified and terrorized.
The conclusion that can be drawn from the above discussion is that the treatment to be considered as homeopathic should fulfill one and the only condition of being in accordance with the immutable law of therapeutic: similia similibus curentur. All other conditions are subsidiary, but whosoever keeps himself near to the other two tenets of single remedy and minimum dose, will reap unparallel benefits. All other therapeutics depend, for their efficacy, on optimum dose, because here it is the drugs that change or modify the disease. But in homeopathy it is the minimum dose because it is not the drug but the stimulated vital force that restores the order and dislodges the disease.
Having explained the difference between homeopathy and other therapeutics, it is still imperative for homeopathy to shed all the mystical and mystifying outfits and become downright science. Don’t make homeopathic practice esoteric, a la a Swedenborg, a Kent, or a Vithoulkas; let it be clean scientific treatment a la Dr. Jahr, a Clark, a Hughes, a Guernsey, a Boenninghausen, a Hering, and some mortals like me and you, the readers. Don’t deride low potencies and mother tinctures, and alternation of doses; they all work in acute cases, which are some 80- 90% of all medical practice. It was Dr. Burnett, and also Dr. Farrington who voiced the need of pathology to be given a rightful place in homeopathic prescription and practice.
Accepting all the classical norms of the homeotherapeutics, viz. taking a proper case, trying to find the similimum, and prescribing it in the most suitable potency and in single dose (or multiple doses in rapid succession), and waiting for the results. We must admit that whosoever will follow these rules will reap the richest harvest for himself and his patients’ fortune. Insight, vision and confidence are the fruits of fidelity to principles and rules. But as the difficulties and insurmountable hardships enumerated and discussed above, in so much detail, we are more than justified in drawing the following logical and valid conclusions:
• Modern trend for treatment does not differentiate between cure and palliation. People practically want palliation, as they demand immediate results, as they are wont to have it from our sibling, the allopath.
• Modern patients are rarely amenable to radical cure, as their disease and the internal organs and systems have been rendered incurable by the decades of massive allopathic drugging. They are no more capable of ‘the reverse order cure theory’ of homeopathy.
• The hallmark of allopathic treatment is to produce total confusion and a jumbled up state of the disease, where you cannot differentiate what is owing to the natural disease and what is owing to the cumulative side-effects of decades long use of specific drugs. Even the natural disease is mutilated beyond recognition, nor does it behave as a specific natural ailment.
• If a clear ailment with very strong and precise modalities does not respond to the indicated remedy, you can be sure that it is the side-effect of certain drugs that the patient is taking, or has been taking, for so many years.
• When you distinctly know what is cure and what is palliation (or acute management of the disease), and you have palliated a case, don’t boast of your having cured that case.
• If you are alleviating the sufferings of such allopathically jumbled up cases of people, you must feel satisfied that you are serving them, don’t bother for the ideal cure, nor should you brag that you have cured that case. If, e.g., you have alleviated the arthritic complaints of a patient, on massive allopathic medication for diabetes and heart complaints and many other ailments, don’t boast that you have cured that patient. That is simply impossible.
• So, for most of your practice you should discard the idea of the ideal or complete or radical cure. That rare bird is beyond your shoot now!!!
Dr. M. A. USMANI DEC. 16, 2009
Copyright 2011/All rights reserved © Dr Usmani
Contact author for permission to use