In our last lecture we discussed why diseases affect us more conditionally than homeopathic medicines. We learnt that there are two reasons for this relative superior action of remedies: Control of dose and similarity. Now Hahnemann shares with us how the artificial disease and natural disease react in our body. Let us first summarize the next few aphorisms for greater clarity.
Aphorism 36 – What happens when two dissimilar natural diseases meet in our body, especially when the former is stronger or of equal strength to the later?
Aphorism 37 – What happens when allopathic medicines produce a dissimilar artificial disease in a person with some chronic disease?
Aphorism 38-39 – What happens when two dissimilar natural diseases meet in our body, and when the former is weaker than the later?
Aphorism 40 – Formation of complex disease by simultaneous existence of two dissimilar diseases of similar strength but different organ affinity.
Aphorism 41 – Formation of complex disease due to allopathic treatment.
Aphorism 42 – Formation of natural complex disease.
Aphorism 43-46 – What happens when two similar diseases meet in the body, especially when the later is stronger than the former?
Aphorism 47-51 – Discuss the relative superiority of the homeopathic method.
We ended our last lecture on aphorism 33. So what’s written in aphorism 34 and 35? In aphorism 34 Hahnemann says that a homeopathic medicine is able to cure a sick person not just because of its greater strength, but because its effect is also similar to the existing disease state. And in aphorism 35, he says that he will now illustrate this importance of similarity in the next few aphorisms, with the help of examples and discussion of what happens when the artificial morbific disease is similar or dissimilar. This he does from aphorisms 36 to 51. I have already summarized these aphorisms for you. Now let us begin our exploration with aphorism 34, where Hahnemann says:
The greater strength of the artificial diseases producible by medicines is, however, not the sole cause of their power to cure natural disease. In order that they may effect a cure, it is before all things requisite that they should be capable of producing in the human body an artificial disease as similar as possible to the disease to be cured, which, with somewhat increased power, transforms to a very similar morbid state the instinctive life principle, which in itself is incapable of any reflection or act of memory. It not only obscures, but extinguishes and thereby annihilates the derangement caused by the natural disease. This is so true, that no previously existing disease can be cured, even by Nature herself, by the accession of a new dissimilar disease, be it ever so strong, and just as little can it be cured by medical treatment with drugs which are incapable of producing a similar morbid condition in the healthy body.
So Hahnemann says that the ‘similarity’ is the first prerequisite for a cure to take place. The strength of dose is also important but even that is secondary to the similarity. And what should be the extent of similarity? He says, ‘as similar as possible’. That means the more symptoms and the underlying susceptibility covered by the remedy, the better is the chance for cure. The lesser the similarity, the lesser is the likelihood of a cure. And what should be the strength of the dose? He says, ‘with somewhat increased power’. That means the remedy should be able to produce a slightly stronger and similar artificial disease. In India there is a common myth that diseases first increase under homeopathic treatment. Homeopaths often tell their patients that when you start a homeopathic remedy, your disease will first come out and then subside. This is a cover for the very strong homeopathic aggravations they produce with unsuitable potencies and repetitions. They do not realize that the ‘homeopathic aggravation’ is defined as ‘slight intensification of existing symptoms after administration of a homeopathic remedy.’ The ‘slight’ is vital! If your patient aggravates seriously then your prescription is NOT homeopathic, either in remedy or in dose. Homeopaths should stop fooling their patients by fueling this myth that the disease has to first aggravate. An aggravation is homeopathic, only if it is mild! Remember Hahnemann said in aphorism 2 that the cure has to be gentle? If the disease aggravates so much that the patient is troubled by it, then how can you call your cure gentle?
So what does this similar dose do in the body? Hahnemann says it produces a similar morbid state in the instinctive vital principle. How that leads to cure, I have already explained in my lecture on aphorism 26. The need for similarity is so strong that a dissimilar morbific state produced either by nature or through allopathic drugs, can never result in a cure.
In aphorism 35 he says that to prove his point about the need for similarity, he will illustrate three different cases when two dissimilar diseases meet in the body. He will consider the effect of both natural diseases as well as morbific states produced by allopathic treatment.
In order to illustrate this, we shall consider in three different cases, as well what happens in nature when two dissimilar natural diseases meet in one person, as also the result of the ordinary medical treatment of diseases with unsuitable allopathic drugs, which are incapable of producing an artificial morbid condition similar to the disease to be cured, whereby it will appear that even Nature herself is unable to remove a dissimilar disease already present by one that is unhomoeopathic, even though it be stronger, and just as little is the unhomoeopathic employment of even the strongest medicines ever capable of curing any disease whatsoever.
These three cases that he has mentioned in this aphorism and which we will study in aphorism 36 to 42 are:
When the second dissimilar disease is weaker or of same strength, it is repelled.
When the second dissimilar disease is stronger, it suspends the former temporarily, completes its course and then the former comes back again.
When the second dissimilar disease is of similar strength, chronic in nature and with different organ affinity, they might join to form a complex disease.
We will study these conditions in detail next month.