Part 3: Primary and Secondary Effects of Remedies

There are many powers in nature, but the potentized remedy is a unique creation of the intellect of Samuel Hahnemann. In aphorism 64 of the 6th Organon the Founder recorded that there were two types of secondary actions.

The first is the opposing counter action where the organism automatically presents an opposite state proportionate to its energy. The second is the curative counter action to a homoeopathic remedy where the vital force directs its whole energy to remove the mistuning from without while reestablishing homeostasis.

Vide part two of aphorism 64 of the 6th Organon.

"If there is no state in nature exactly opposite to the initial action, THE LIFE FORCE APPEARS TO STRIVE TO ASSERT ITS SUPERIORITY by extinguishing the alteration produced in itself from without (by the medicine), in place of which it reinstates its norm (after-action, curative-action)." [Capitals by DL.]

This action by the life force to assert its superiority is the power of the curative secondary action. To accomplish this goal the vital force heals the pathology in stages from within to without in response to the remedy as seeks control over homeostasis thus completely removing the dynamic mistuning.

This establishes another aspect of Hahnemann's Direction of Cure, as compiled in Hering's Laws.

If the balance between the primary action and the secondary action is maintained there will be no aggravations or excessive counter actions during the process of cure. The instinctive vital force does not react in an opposing manner to a potentized remedy, but rather, seeks to manifest its superior vitality over the remedial disease from without while reestablishing homeostatic balance within.

The life force may produce opposing reaction against the wrong remedy and too large a dose. If the remedy has been given in the medicinal solution in a proper small amount the vital force will have little problem removing the remedial influence and no antidotes will be needed. If the dose is too large or in too high a potency it may mistune the vital force with a long term medicinal disease (aphorism 276).

For this reason, the dose, potency and repetition must be carefully controlled.

Opposing Secondary Actions

In aphorism 65 Hahnemann gives several examples of the primary and opposing secondary actions that take place under the influence of various medicinal powers (counter-action - after action, aph. 64, point 1).

"Where there is such a one, the life force brings forth the exact opposite condition-state (counter-action, after-action) to the impinging action (initial action) that has been absorbed into itself. The counter-action is produced in as great a degree as was the impinging action (initial action) of the artificial morbific or medicinal potence on it, proportionate to the life force's own energy."

Here the vital force is compelled to produce an antagonistic secondary action in which it presents the opposite state in proportionate energy. The following 3 examples represent the principles very well. Vide Organon aphorism 65:

"A hand bathed in hot water is at first much warmer than the other unbathed hand (initial action), but once it is removed and thoroughly dried, it becomes cold after some time, and then much colder than the other hand (after-action)."

"An arm immersed in the coldest water for a long time is at first far paler and colder than the other one (initial action), but once it is removed from the cold water and dried off it becomes not only warmer than the other but hot, red and inflamed (after- action of the life force). "

"The heavy, stuporous sleep caused by opium (initial action) is followed the next night by greater insomnia (counter action)."

"And thus, after each initial action of a potence that in large dosage strongly modifies the condition of the healthy body, our life force always and everywhere brings to pass, in the after action, the exact opposite state (when, as stated, there really is such)."

Strong medicines in large doses tend to cause opposing counter actions from the life force. Sooner or later the vital force will oppose any medicine in a large dose (including homoeopathic) with antagonistic counter actions.

In Homoeopathy the vital force is exposed to a very small dose of a highly potentized substance that elicits a pure curative effects from the Lebenskraft without any over reactions.

Next: Curative Action