THE RATIONALITY OF HOMŒOPATHY
Rational: Pertaining to reason; agreeable to reason; sane; intelligent; judicious reason.
Homœopathy has now been in the field of medical therapeutics despite attempts to annihilate it, for over 200 years. Undoubtedly it has been found to be a successful Therapeutic, in almost all cases medicinally curable. In many countries of the world it is becoming more and more accepted. Excepting in the USA, perhaps, the number of Homœopathy practitioners is increasing. Number of pharmacies manufacturing homœopathic medicines are steadily increasing. All these mean - what? That more and more people the world-over are demanding homœopathic treatment. It is therefore strange that questions are being raised from time to time: Is Homœopathy ‘scientific’? Is Homœopathy a rational science? All these questions arise out of eagerness to make the other school of Therapeutics accept Homœopathy. There seems to be much confusion that ‘scientificity’ is only when expensive laboratories are installed with expensive instruments and torture of different animals in such laboratories or put out information in language which will be difficult to be comprehended easily. Such ‘sciences’ deal only with purely material part of the biology ignoring the mental, moral, emotional, rational part of ‘man’. It is therefore ‘irrational’ that findings on the basis of tests on lower forms of life (animal experiments) are applied upon the hitherto highest form of life, namely humans, and such systems call themselves ‘scientific’ and claim rationality! Homœopathy, on the contrary, draws its therapeutic knowledge from controlled experiments on healthy humans,thus ascertaining the psychological and physiological aspects of each sick person and aims at cure of such ailments: that is psychosomatic treatment. It has been realized by all that every disease has its psychic involvement.
The homœopathic Materia Medica is a compilation of FACTS ascertained from proving on humans and also clinical observations and expressed in easily understandable language. It does not include anything which would become redundant in course of time. Take for example the leading characteristic of Bryonia – ‘wants to go home’. This symptom has been verified in cures 150 years ago; 50 years ago and recently an year ago again. A century-and-half has not rendered the symptom redundant and or unreliable. We are certain that this symptom will hold good for many more centuries and whatever be the diseases Bryonia will help. This is rational.
A homœopathic physician should know what is to be cured in a disease; what caused the disease and remove those causes and circumstances which maintain the disease; know the medicinal qualities – knowledge of the Materia Medica; apply the most similar medicine in the least quantity. When a disease is treated on the basis of the above a definite prognosis can be forecast and cure established. This is rational—the application of a law. All that we should know for successful therapeutics is the observation of the above rules but still voices are being raised from time to time for establishing Homœopathy ‘scientifically’. Does it mean that HAHNEMANN, HERING, LIPPE, DUNHAM, KENT and many others were all not scientific men? On one side there is demand for ‘reasoning’ not only the physiological action of the homœopathic remedies according to current knowledge of physical and chemical and clinical sciences. On the other side the ‘official’ medicine has recognized that constitutional factors, rather than the micro-bacterial factors play greater role in causing diseases. Instead of attempting to make ‘reasonings’ and ‘explanations’, experiments and observations would be more useful for applied therapeutics. It does not mean that researches should or need not be made into the theoretical aspects. But whereas experiments and observation would be directly helpful in treatment of the sick even though the phenomenon of the action of the homœopathic remedy cannot be explained. HAHNEMANN called his therapeutics as ‘Practical Therapeutics’ (Heilkunde der Erfahrung). However, if reasoning is required to show that the data obtained from the proving are FACTS and not imaginary fiction, look at what Dr. R.H. GROSS has said in his introduction to the ‘Comparative Materia Medica’. He has given irrefragable proof, for example:
i. The remedies in which hunger is predominant, produced an increased salivary secretion and often a delicate taste (Camph., Chin., Coff.) while with diminished saliva the appetite is wanting. In Acon., Cham., Chin., Coff. we find predominantly a delicate sense of smell and correspondingly never dryness of the nose which would make a delicate smell impossible.
ii. Those drugs which cause appetite for beer, as well as those which generally cause scentless flatus, are at the same time remedies for the liver.
iii. The position of those sleeping with the arms crossed over the head usually indicate liver complaint and our remedies the symptoms of which have been observed as containing such a position have in fact a decided relation to the liver.
iv. Those remedies the complaints of which are ameliorated by eructations have mostly also amelioration when the stomach is empty.
v. In anger and sexual passion the secretion of saliva is increased; in a paroxysm of fear, diminished.
Dr. GROSS has given a series of such physiological relationships with the homœopathic remedy proving symptoms and the above are only a small number. If we study the Materia Medica carefully analytically and synthetically, we will be able to understand each remedy in this way and realize how ‘rational’ the science is.
Let us recall whether over the centuries any one particular physician has laid down a therapeutic law applicable for all ailments, except HAHNEMANN. When you recall the names of the many luminaries you will find that each one of them enriched some part of medicine (and surgery) but not a sound and universal law. This is not to belittle their individual greatness. The oldest name we can recall is that Dhanvanthri and the celestial Ashwini brothers; there are many references in the Atharva veda to medicine; later we know came the famous: Susruta (6 B.C.) and Charaka; Jeevaka (6 B.C.) who was the physician to Lord Buddha; Atreya (6 B.C.) .
In the Arab world Avicenna (980—1037).
Western medicine began with Hippocrates (460—361 B.C.)
Galen (130—200 A.D.) whose teachings held for nearly 15 centuries until Paracelsus and later HAHNEMANN came upon the scene.
Paracelsus (1493—1543 A.D.) who decried Galen and in fact spoke of ‘likes curing likes’ but did not think of ‘provings’.
Andreas Vesalius (1530—1543) of Padua carried out dissections and broke many misconceptions.
William Harvey (1518-1657) circulation of blood.
Sydenham (1624—1689—A.D.) for classification of diseases.
LEEUWEN HOECK (1632-1723) microscope and description of protozoa Bacteria, sperms.
Albrecht von Haller (1708—1777 A.D.) advocated experiments of drugs on humans but only secondary or incidental to the study of physiology.
Lavoisier (1743—1794 A.D.) on respiration and oxygen.
John Hunter (1723—1793 A.D.) founder of scientific surgery.
James Lind (1716—1794 A.D.) conqueror of scurvy.
Pinel (1745—1826 A.D.) unchaining of the insane.
Edward Jenner (1749—1823 A.D.) small-pox vaccination.
Auenbrugger (1722-1809 A.D.) percussion.
Laennec (1781—1826 A.D.) discovered stethoscope
Semmelwies (1880—1865) asepsis
Virchow (1821—1902) cellular pathology
John Lister (1886—1912) antisepsis
Roentgen (1845—1923) X-ray
Curies – discovered radium in 1898
Von Behring (1854—1917) father of vaccine therapy.
Louis Pasteur (1822—1895) anti-rabies vaccine.
Robert Koch (1843—1910) works on microbes and bacteria
The above list does not include many more scientists. These however, are some of those who were responsible for the progress of medical science. You will notice that this list does not contain the name of Samuel HAHNEMANN; for two reasons:
1. This list has been compiled from the books and literature generally available and almost all the so-called ‘science information’ books, papers, which have totally avoided the name of HAHNEMANN! Each one of the above great men has contributed to a part of the medical science, in his/her own way but none of them have given a complete therapeutics which can be applied at the sick-bed in all cases.
2. The second reason is, sheer prejudice. Up to HAHNEMANN people were purged and their blood was drawn out. HAHNEMANN called blood ‘the fluid of life’ and spoke against blood-letting. Today the dominant school advocates oral rehydration against purging and establishment of blood-banks as against blood-letting. Was not HAHNEMANN rational? Is not therefore his therapy rational?
Now the dominant school talks of ‘constitutional factors’ as cause of diseases rather than ‘micro-bacterial’. Homœopathy considers the ‘in-dividual’ in his entirety, mental and physical. When Homœopathy spoke of psycho-somatic disease, it was ignored. Today there is talk of psychosomatic everywhere as if it is a new discovery by the modern science!
The single remedy law in Homœopathy which also is prescribed under generic name is another ‘rational’ point of Homœopathy. Here again, today there is a big movement in the dominant school for prescription of remedies under ‘generic’ names rather than under the commercial brand names meant to beguile the naive and sick people.
To summarize – Homœopathy is the rational medical science for the following reasons:
1. It has as the object of the therapy the cure of the in-dividual.
2. It has a universal therapeutic law namely the Law of similar.
3. It has recognized that constitutional pre-disposition is the major factor in diseases and not the micro-bacteriae.
4. It diagnoses on the basis of the sickness manifested objectively and subjectively and that hence cure should also be of the disease in its whole extant and not merely symptom relief.
5. The concept of totality of the patient which includes the biological totality of the organism; it can be applied to all kinds of epidemic diseases and infectious diseases in any part of the world irrespective of the infecting organism.
6. It has a clear concept of chronic diseases and also the therapy for them.
7. The medicinal properties of the drugs are ascertained by conscientious experimentation upon healthy humans in their individual and general totality; it does not apply veterinary experiments upon humans. Until dawn of Homœopathy doctors were practicing veterinary medicines applied to man, because they have treated only the animal in man but not man’s moral, ethical, spiritual and emotional parts.
8. It prescribes singly and under generic names.
9. It has a law of direction of cure.
10. The experiment is reproducible. No other medical therapy is so open for any one who may wish to experiment and not merely theories.