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Organon by Hahnemann, aphorisms 57 - 62
"Palliative methods of cure"

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Organon aphorism §57

In order to carry into practice this antipathic method, the ordinary physician gives, for a single troublesome symptom from among the many other symptoms of the disease which he passes by unheeded, a medicine concerning which it is known that it produces the exact opposite of the morbid symptom sought to be subdued, from which he can expect the speediest (palliative) relief. He gives large doses of opium, for pains of all sorts, because this drug soon benumbs the sensibility, and administers the same remedy for diarrhoeas, because it speedily puts a stop to the peristaltic motion of the intestinal canal and makes it insensible; and also for sleeplessness, because opium rapidly produces a stupefied, comatose sleep; he gives purgatives when the patient has suffered long from constipation and costiveness; he causes the burnt hand to be plunged into cold water, which, from its low degree of temperature, seems instantaneously to remove the burning pain, as if by magic; he puts the patient who complains of chilliness and deficiency of vital heat into warm baths, which warm him immediately; he makes him who is suffering from prolonged debility drink wine, whereby he is instantly enlivened and refreshed; and in like manner he employs other opposite (antipathic) remedial means, but he has very few besides those just mentioned, as it is only of very few substances that some peculiar (primary) action is known to the ordinary medical school.

Organon aphorism §58

If, in estimating the value of this mode of employing medicines, we should even pass over the circumstance that it is AN EXTREMELY FAULTY SYMPTOMATIC TREATMENT (v. note to (§7)), wherein the practitioner devotes his attention in a merely ONE-SIDED MANNER TO A SINGLE SYMPTOM, consequently to only a small part of the whole, whereby relief for the totality of the disease, which is what the patient desires, cannot evidently be expected,—we must, on the other hand, demand of experience if, in one single case where such antipathic employment of medicine was made use of in a chronic or persisting affection, after the transient amelioration there did not ensue an increased aggravation of the symptom which was subdued at first in a palliative manner, an aggravation, indeed, of the whole disease? And every attentive observer will agree that, after such short antipathic amelioration, aggravation follows IN EVERY CASE WITHOUT EXCEPTION, although the ordinary physician is in the habit of giving his patient another explanation of this subsequent aggravation, and ascribes it to malignancy of the original disease, now for the first time showing itself, or to the occurrence of quite a new' disease.(64)

Organon aphorism §59

Important symptoms of persistent diseases HAVE NEVER yet been treated with such palliative, antagonistic remedies, without the opposite state, a relapse—indeed, a palpable aggravation of the malady—occurring a few hours afterwards. For a persistent tendency to sleepiness during the day the physician prescribed coffee, whose primary action is to enliven; and when it had exhausted its action the day-somnolence increased—for frequent waking at night he gave in the evening, without heeding the other symptoms of the disease, opium, which by virtue of its primary action produced the same night (stupefied, dull) sleep, but the subsequent nights were still more sleepless than before—to chronic diarrhceas he opposed, without regarding the other morbid signs, the same opium, whose primary action is to constipate the bowels, and after a transient stoppage of the diarrhoea it subsequently became all the worse—violent and frequently recurring pains of all kinds he could suppress with opium for but a short time; they then always returned in greater, often intolerable severity, or some much worse affection came in their stead. For nocturnal cough of long standing the ordinary physician knew no better than to administer opium, whose primary action is to suppress every irritation; the cough would then perhaps cease the first night, but during the subsequent nights it would be still more severe, and if it were again and again suppressed by this palliative in increased doses, fever and nocturnal perspiration were added to the disease—weakness of the bladder, with consequent retention of urine, was sought to be conquered by the antipathic work of cantharides to stimulate the urinary passages, whereby evacuation of the urine was certainly at first effected, but thereafter the bladder becomes less capable of stimulation and less able to contract, and paralysis of the bladder is imminent—with large doses of purgative drugs and laxative salts, which excite the bowels to frequent evacuation, it was sought to remove a chronic tendency to constipation, but in the secondary action the bowels became still more confined;— the ordinary physician seeks to remove chronic debility by the administration of wine, which, however, stimulates only in its primary action, and hence the forces sink all the lower in the secondary action;—by bitter substances and heating condiments he tries to strengthen and warm the chronically weak and cold stomach, but in the secondary action of these palliatives, which are stimulating in their primary action only, the stomach becomes yet more inactive;—long-standing deficiency of vital heat and chilly disposition ought surely to yield to prescriptions of warm baths, but still more weak, cold, and chilly do the patients subsequently become;—severely burnt parts feel instantaneous alleviation from the application of cold water, but the burning pain afterwards increases to an incredible degree, and the inflammation spreads and rises to a still greater height (Vide Introduction);—by means of the sternutatory remedies that provoke a secretion of mucus, coryza with stoppage of the nose of long standing is sought to be removed, but it escapes observation that the disease is aggravated all the more by these antagonistic remedies (in their secondary action), and the nose becomes still more stopped;—by electricity and galvanism, which in their primary action greatly stimulate muscular action, chronically weak and almost paralytic limbs were soon excited to more active movements, but the consequence (the secondary action) was complete deadening of all muscular irritability and complete paralysis;—by venesections it was attempted to remove chronic determination of blood to the head, but they were always followed by greater congestion;—ordinary medical practitioners know nothing better with which to treat the paralytic torpor of the corporeal and mental organs, conjoined with unconsciousness, which prevails in many kinds of typhus, than with large doses of valerian, because this is one of the most powerful medicinal agents for causing; animation and increasing the motor faculty; in their ignorance, however, they knew not that this action is only a primary action, and that the organism, after that is passed, most certainly falls back, in the secondary (antagonistic) action, into still greater stupor and immobility, that is to say, into paralysis of the mental and corporeal organs (and death) ; they did not see, that the very diseases they supplied most plentifully with valerian, which is in such cases an oppositely acting, antipathic remedy, most infallibly terminated fatally. The old school physician rejoices (65) that he is able to reduce for several hours the velocity of the small rapid pulse in cachectic patients with the very first dose of uncombined purple foxglove (which in its PRIMARY action makes the pulse slower) ; its rapidity, however, soon returns; repeated, and now increased doses effect an ever smaller diminution of its rapidity, and at length none at all— indeed—in the SECONDARY action the pulse becomes uncountable; sleep, appetite and strength depart, and a speedy death is INVARIABLY the result, or else insanity ensues. How often, in one word, the disease is aggravated, or something even worse is effected by the secondary action of such antagonistic (antipathic) remedies, the old school with its false theories does not perceive, but experience teaches it in a terrible manner.

Organon aphorism §60

If these ill-effects are produced, as may very naturally be expected from the antipathic employment of medicines, the ordinary physician imagines he can get over the difficulty by giving, at each renewed aggravation, a stronger dose of the remedy, whereby an equally transient suppression (66) is effected; and as there then is a still, greater necessity for giving ever-increasing quantities of the palliative there ensues either another more serious disease or frequently incurability, even danger of life and death itself, BUT NEVER A CURE of a disease of considerable or of long standing.

Organon aphorism §61

HAD PHYSICIANS BEEN CAPABLE OF REFLECTING ON THE SAD RESULTS OF THE ANTAGONISTIC EMPLOYMENT OF MEDICINES, THEY HAD LONG SINCE DISCOVERED THE GRAND TRUTH, THAT THE TRUE RADICAL HEALING ART MUST BE FOUND IN THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF SUCH AN ANTIPATHIC TREATMENT OF THE SYMPTOMS OF DISEASE ; they would have become convinced, that as a medicinal action antagonistic to the symptoms of the disease (an antipathically employed medicine) is followed by only transient relief, and after that is passed, by invariable aggravation, the converse of that procedure, THE HOMEOPATHIC EMPLOYMENT OF MEDICINES according to similarity of symptoms, must effect a permanent and perfect cure, if at the same time the opposite of their large doses, the most minute doses, are exhibited. But neither the obvious aggravation that ensued from their antipathic treatment, nor the fact that no physician ever effected a permanent cure of diseases of considerable or of long standing unless some homeopathic medicinal agent was accidentally a chief ingredient in his prescription, nor yet the circumstance that all the rapid and perfect cures that nature ever performed (§ 46), were always effected by the supervention upon the old disease of one of a SIMILAR character, ever taught them, during such a long series of centuries, this truth, the knowledge of which can alone conduce to the benefit of the sick.

Organon aphorism §62

But on what this pernicious result of the palliative, antipathic treatment and the efficacy of the reverse, the homeopathic treatment, depend, is explained by the foblowing facts, deduced from manifold observations, which no one before me perceived, though they are so very palpable and so very evident, and are of such infinite importance to the healing art.

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Organon notes and explanatory remarks

--- 58 Organon aphorism ---

[64] Little as physicians have hitherto been in the habit of observing accurately, the aggravation that so certainly follows such palliative treatment could not altogether escape their notice. A striking example of this is to be found in J. H. Schulze's DISS, QUA CORPORIS HUMANI MOMENTANEARUM ALTERATIONUM SPECIMINA QUADAM EXPENDUNLV.R, Halae, 1741, §28. Willis bears testimony to something similar (PHARM. RAT., §7', cap. i, p. 298) : "Opiata dolores atrocissimos plerumque sedant atque indolentiam—procurant, eamque—aliquamdiu et pro stato quodam tempore continuant, quo spatio elapso dolores mox recrudescunt et brevi ad solitam fero-ciam augentur." And also at page 295: "Exactis opii viribus illico redeunt tormina, nee atrocitatem suam remittunt, nisi dum ab eodem pharmaco rursus incantuntur." In like manner J. Hunter {ON THE VENEREAL DISEASE, p. 13) says that wine and cordials given to the weak increase the action without giving real strength, and the powers of the body are afterwards sunk proportionally as they have been raised, by which nothing can be gained, but a great deal may be lost.

--- 59 Organon aphorism ---

[65] Vide Hufeland, in his pamphlet, DIE HOMBOPATIE, p. 20.

--- 60 Organon aphorism ---

[66] All usual palliatives given for the suffering of the sick have (as is seen here) as after effects an increase of the same suffer-ing and the older physicians had to repeat them in ever stronger doses in order to achieve a similar modification, which, however, was never permanent and never sufficient to prevent an increased recurrence of the ailment. But Broussau, who twenty-five years before contented against the senseless mixing of different drugs in prescriptions and thereby ended its reign in France, (for which mankind is grateful to him) introduced his so-called physiological system (without taking note of the homeopathic method then already established), a method of treatment, while effectively lessening and permanently preventing the return of all the sufferings, was applicable to all diseases of mankind; a thing that the palliatives then in use were not capable of affecting.

Being unable to heal disease with mild innocent remedies and thus establish health, Brousseau found THE EASIER WAY to quiet the sufferings of patients more and more at the cost of their life and at last to extinguish life wholly—a method of treatment that, alas, seemed sufficient to his contemporaries. In the degree that the patient retains his strength will his ailments be apparent and the more intensely will he feel his pains. He moans and groans and cries out and calls for help more and more vociferously so that the physician cannot come any too soon to give relief. Brousseau needed only to depress the vital force, to lessen it more and more and behold, the more frequently the patient was bled, the more leeches and cupping glasses sucked out the vital fluid (for the innocent irreplaceable blood was according to him responsible for almost all ailments). In the same proportion the patient lost strength to feel pain or to express his aggravated condition by violent complaint and gestures. The patient appears more quiet in proportion as he grows weaker, the bystanders rejoice in his apparent improvement, ready to return to the same measures on the renewal of his sufferings—be they spasms, suffocation, fears or pain, for they had so beautifully quieted him before and gave promise of further ease. In diseases of long duration and when the patient retained some strength, he was deprived of food, put on a "hunger diet," in order to depress life so much more successfully and inhibit the restless states. The debilitated patient feels unable to protest against further similar measures of blood-letting leeches, vesication, warm baths and so forth to refuse their employment. That death must follow such FREQUENTLY REPEATED reduction and exhaustion of the vital energy is not noticed by the patient, already robbed of all consciousness, and the relatives, blinded by the improvement even of the last sufferings of the patient by means of blood letting and warm baths, cannot understand and are surprised when the patient quietly slips away.

"But God knows the patient on his bed of sickness was not treated with violence, for the prick of a small lancet is not really painful and the gum Arabic solution (Eau de Gourme, almost the only medicine that Brousseau used) was mild in taste and without apparent action—the bite of the leeches insignificant and the blood letting by the physician done quietly while the lukewarm baths could only soothe, hence the disease from the very start must have been fatal, so that the patient, notwithstanding all efforts of the physician, had to leave the earth." In this way the relatives, and especially the heirs of the dear departed, consoled themselves.

The physicians in Europe and elsewhere accepted THIS CONVENIENT TREATMENT OF ALL DISEASES according to a single rule, since it saved them from all further thinking (the most laborious of all work under the sun). They only had to take care "to assuage the pangs of conscience and console themselves that they were not the originators of this system and this method of treatment, that all the other thousands of Brousseauists did the same and that possibly everything would cease with death anyway as was taught by their master." In this way many thousand physicians were miserably misled to shed (with cold heart) the warm blood of their patients that were capable of cure and thereby rob millions of men gradually of their life according to Brousseau's method, more than fell on Napoleon's battlefields. Was it perhaps necessary by the disposition of God for that system of Brousseau which destroyed medically the life of curable patients to precede homeopathy in order to open the eyes of the world to the only true science and art of medicine, homeopathy, in which all curable patients find health and new life when this most difficult of all arts is practised by an indefatigable discriminating physician in a pure and conscientious manner?


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