Constantine Hering

Section 6

3. How Other Medicines Are To Be Connected To This One

After a thorough acquaintance with one or more remedies has been gained in the above manner, the student must then pass on to others. The best course will be to go on next to those most nearly allied.

The study of the second remedy is already somewhat easier. This is partly owing to the practice that has been had in acquiring knowledge of the symptoms, and partly because deviations from the character of the last studied medicine become more vividly impressed upon our mind.

We must, consequently, have a very clear perception of these differences. They must assist us to attain a distinct idea of the peculiarities of the second medicine, as well as to stamp the knowledge of the first more forcibly on our memory.

We must search for resemblances and observe differences in the prominent symptoms – and in those that are rarer and more striking

Therefore we must search for resemblances and observe differences in the more prominent symptoms – and in those that are more easily remembered, rarer, and more striking.

I have called attention above, in the examples of Bryon. and Bell., Caust. and Phosph., Arsen. and Carb. veg., to the fact, that medicines which otherwise present great similarities in their symptoms, are yet widely different in certain respects.

No regard needs to be paid to slight differences, nor even to whole groups of symptoms which one of the medicines has, and the other has not. No attention need be given to the fact that, in one case many symptoms are known, while with the other, very few are.

These factors may, however, demand our attention in cases where the different characters of the remedies are thereby marked – as in the case of Bell. compared with Bryon. regarding the moral symptoms, the effects upon the organs of the senses, the symptoms of the throat, etc.

The differences sometimes lie in the combinations of symptoms, whereby they may present resemblances to perfectly different diseases.

More frequently, and much more clearly, these differences are expressed in the conditions under which the symptoms occur. These are often exactly opposite.

Thus the very similar headaches produced by Bell. and Bry. occur in the former in the evening, in the latter in the morning.

These differences are sometimes very subtle. For instance, most of the exacerbations of Acid. nitr. occur in the evening, but those of Acid. mur. are before midnight. Those of Acid. sulph. are after midnight, and those of Acid. phosph. are seen towards the morning. But all the acids present nocturnal aggravations.

Symptoms of an opposite character are rare

But differences in nature are very frequent

Symptoms of an opposite character are rare. But differences in nature are very frequent, as is the case in the gastric symptoms of Bell. and Bry., Bry. and Ant. crud., Ant. crud. and Ipec., etc.

Symptoms in opposite situations are more frequent. Thus, similar symptoms are often distinguished by occurring in one case on the right, in another on the left side – as happens with arn. and lach and others.

The catarrhal affections of bell. are distinguished from those of dulc. in that those of the former occur more in the mucous membranes of the head and neck – in the region of the carotids – where those of the latter occur more in the chest and abdomen – in the course of the descending aorta, etc.

Beginners are apt to attend too much to specialties when making these comparisons. This over attention becomes a very laborious task, and is apt to lead to a total abandonment of the study.

There is, however, no better way of avoiding this error, and of learning how to make one's self quickly the master of the generalities, than to surmount undauntedly the laboriousness of the beginning.

On a second comparison, the mind is more accustomed to the work. According to the talents and previous acquirements of the student, will it be a longer or shorter time before he comes to be able to complete the comparison of two remedies in a few days.

We must caution those who pay too much attention to specialties not to be so very minute, but above all things to seek for points of crystallization. We must point out to those who are disposed to be superficial that important discoveries for practice may be made by a careful comparison.

The comparisons may be very easily made by means of Ruckert's systematic tables. The remedies to be compared are to be sought out in each division, their symptoms carefully read, and the result committed to writing.

A separate column is assigned to each medicine. Those symptoms which both have in common should be written in the middle. When there is only similarity, the sign of similarity should be placed in the middle between them. Where opposites, or well-defined differences exist, they should be distinguished by an interposed arrow, etc.

It cannot be expected that anyone, least of all a beginner, will compare every remedy with every other

It cannot be expected that anyone, least of all a beginner, will compare every remedy with every other. The student should select remedies for this purpose that he considers to be analogous, and which are known to possess important properties.

All remedies that are closely related by the source of their derivation, must also be srelated with respect to their symptoms. All that are chemically allied must be so medicinally. Those possessing similar odors – as are Phosph., Ars., All. sat., Asaf., and Bufo. – must possess resemblances in their symptoms, etc.

The chemical preparations may be arranged in natural families, according to one or other system. Those nearly related are thus compared, e.g., Sulph. and Phosph.; Chlor. and Iod.; the carbons and Graph.; the oxygenous acids, Nitr. ac., Sulph. ac., and Phosph. ac. are compared with each other, and with the hydrogenous acids, Mur. ac., Hydrocyan. ac.

Further, Sil., Alum.; the carbonates of potash, soda, and ammonia; Bar. and Stront.; Calc. and Magn.; the muriates of soda and Am., Bar. and Magn. The acetates of Cupr., Ferr., Plumb., Mang.; the metals Aur., Plat., Stann., Arg., and Zinc.

Interesting comparisons may be made between Phos. ac. and Phos.; Sulph. ac. and Sulph.; as also Sulph. and Hep., Hep. and Calc.

Next - Section 7

Modernized translation by WholeHealthNow © 2004