Constantine Hering

Section 5

2. How Is A Single Medicine To Be Studied?

The Third Reading

At the third reading, the conditions under which the symptoms take place should be noted. This must always be done pen in hand, even though Ruckert's comparative work be employed.

Doing it one's self has great advantages, especially at the commencement of the study. One is exercised thereby; and all that has been previously learned is at the same time revised.

It should be observed whether the symptoms take place on the right side or the left. If this has not been done previously, note at what part of the day they occur, when our pathological knowledge will be of great assistance to us. Observe in what attitudes, positions, during what motions, etc., the symptoms occur.

Care should be taken not to indulge in generalities, such as "worse on motion"

Care should be taken not to indulge in vague generalities, such as "aggravation in the evening," "worse on motion," and the like. This is of small use in acquiring knowledge of the medicine, and it is an obstacle in the choice of it as a remedy.

What we wish to know is, what symptom is aggravated on motion

What we wish to know is, what symptom is aggravated in the evening or on motion. When possible, this symptom should be noted along with some connecting idea.

Since Hahnemann taught us to distinguish between Bryon. and Rhus. by pointing out their opposite qualities – motion producing aggravation in the one case and rest in the other – it has frequently happened that too much value has been assigned to this circumstance in the choice of bryon.

Many other similar remedies are distinguished by possessing a similar pair of opposite properties – Bell. and Hyosc.; Nux. and Puls.; Chin. and seneg.; Phos. and Nitr.; Sulph. and Con.; Carb. and Dros.. These along with many other substances bear the same relation to each other as Bryon. and Rhus.

Bell. has a far larger number of symptoms that are worse on motion than Bryon. – yet the symptoms that are worse on motion are perfectly distinct. As regards Bell., they occur mostly in the vascular system. With Bryon. they are chiefly to be found in the joints. The symptoms of the respiratory organs with Bryon. are not aggravated by motion. However, those produced by Bell. are decidedly so.

One should be careful of coming to a converse conclusion. I mean to say, in the case of a remedy having a number of symptoms that are aggravated by rest, it does not follow that they will be ameliorated by motion, and vice versa. Thus Dulc. has many symptoms that are better on motion, but very few that are worse when at rest.

The Fourth Reading

The remedy may be perused yet a fourth time, with particular attention being paid to the combinations of the symptoms. The student may carefully observe what symptoms follow each other or occur simultaneously.

However, the attention must have been previously directed to this point. When this was not the case, the student should seek to bring these combinations into connection with his former observations.

A remedy is capable of curing groups of symptoms whose components were observed in different provers, and in a different order

Care should be taken not to adopt the notion that a remedy can cure groups of symptoms in a patient only if they occur in the order it produces them. A remedy is capable of curing groups of symptoms which it does not produce in the same combination at all – groups whose component parts were observed in a number of different provers, and frequently in quite a different order.

From a pathological point of view, a special study of a medicine which compares it at the same time to different forms of disease may be useful after a thorough knowledge of the symptoms of the medicine has been acquired. Experience teaches us that a number of apparently perfectly different diseases, which are far asunder in pathological works, may still be cured with the same remedy.

It would consequently be necessary to go over almost all diseases in connection with the remedy. This would be a great waste of time, and would not lead to a perfect knowledge of the remedy after all – our pathological systems are very far from being complete enough for this.

It would be well, however, to compare the description of individual forms of disease, with many classes of remedies. Thus, for instance, those catarrhs which indicate Mercury and allied medicines are very dissimilar to those in which Arsenic, and medicines of its class, are efficacious.

Next - Section 6

Modernized translation by WholeHealthNow © 2004