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Organon by Hahnemann, aphorisms 120 - 132
"Provings"

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Organon aphorism §120

Therefore medicines, on which depend man's life and death, disease and health, must be thoroughly and most carefully distinguished from one another, and for this purpose tested by careful, pure experiments on the healthy body for the purpose of ascertaining their powers and real effects, in order to obtain an accurate knowledge of them, and to enable us to avoid any mistake in their employment in diseases, for it is only by correct selection of them that the greatest of all earthly blessings, the health of the body and of the mind, can be rapidly and permanently restored.

Organon aphorism §121

In proving medicines to ascertain their effects on the healthy body, it must be borne in mind that the strong, heroic substances, as they are termed, are liable even in small doses to produce changes in the health even of robust persons. Those of milder power must be given for these experiments in more considerable quantities; in order to observe the action of the very weakest, however, the subjects of experiment should be persons free from disease, and who are delicate, irritable and sensitive.

Organon aphorism §122

In these experiments—on which depends the exactitude of the whole medical art, and the weal of all future generations of mankind—no other medicines should be employed except such as are perfectly well known, and of whose purity, genuineness and energy we are thoroughly assured.

Organon aphorism §123

Each of these medicines must be taken in a perfectly simple, unadulterated form; the indigenous plants in the form of freshly expressed juice, mixed with a little alcohol to prevent it spoiling; exotic vegetable substances, however, in the form of powder, or tincture prepared with alcohol when they were in the fresh state, and afterwards mingled with a certain proportion of water; salts and gums, however, should be dissolved in water just before being taken. If the plant can only be procured in its dry state, and if its powers are naturally weak, in that case there may be used for the experiment an infusion of it, made by cutting the herb into small pieces and pouring boiling water on it, so as to extract its medicinal parts; immediately after its preparation it must be swallowed whilst still warm, as all expressed vegetable juices and all aqueous infusions of herbs, without the addition of spirit, pass rapidly into fermentation and decomposition, whereby all their medicinal properties are lost.

Organon aphorism §124

For these experiments every medicinal substance must be employed quite alone and perfectly pure, without the admixture of any foreign substance, and without taking anything else of a medicinal nature the same day, nor yet on the subsequent days, nor during all the time we wish to observe the effects of the medicine.

Organon aphorism §125

During all the time the experiment lasts the diet must be strictly regulated; it should be as much as possible destitute of spices, of a purely nutritious and simple character, green vegetables,(100) roots and all salads and herb soups (which, even when most carefully prepared, possess some disturbing medicinal qualities) should be avoided. The drinks are to be those usually partaken of, as little stimulating as possible.(101)

Organon aphorism §126

The person who is proving the medicine must be preeminently trustworthy and conscientious and during the whole time of the experiment avoid all over-exertion of mind and body, all sorts of dissipation and disturbing passions; he should have no urgent business to distract his attention; he must devote himself to careful self-observation and not be disturbed whilst so engaged; his body must be in what is for him a good state of health, and he must possess a sufficient amount of intelligence to be able to express and describe his sensations in accurate terms.

Organon aphorism §127

The medicines must be tested on both males and females, in order also to reveal the alterations of the health they produce in the sexual sphere.

Organon aphorism §128

The most recent observations have shown that medicinal substances, when taken in their crude state by the experimenter for the purpose of testing their peculiar effects, do not exhibit nearly the full amount of the powers that lie hidden in them which they do when they are taken for the same object in -high dilutions potentized by proper trituration and succussion, by which simple operations the powers which in their crude state lay hidden, and as it were dormant, are developed and roused into activity to an incredible extent. In this manner we now find it best to investigate the medicinal powers even of such substances as are deemed weak, and the plan we adopt is to give to the experimenter, on an empty stomach, daily from four to six very small globules of the thirtieth potency of such a substance, moistened with a little water or dissolved in more or less water and thoroughly mixed, and let him continue this for several days.

Organon aphorism §129

If the effects that result from such a dose are but slight, a few more globules may be taken daily, until they become more distinct and stronger and the alterations of the health more conspicuous; for all persons are not effected by a medicine in an equally great degree; on the contrary, there is a vast variety in this respect, so that sometimes an apparently weak individual may be scarcely at all affected by moderate doses of a medicine known to be of a powerful character, whilst he is strongly enough acted on by others of a much weaker kind. And, on the other hand, there are very robust persons who experience very considerable morbid symptoms from an apparently mild medicine and only slighter symptoms from stronger drugs. Now, as this cannot be known beforehand, it is advisable to commence in every instance with a small dose of the drug and, where suitable and requisite, to increase the dose more and more from day to day.

Organon aphorism §130

If, at the very commencement, the first dose administered shall have been sufficiently strong, this advantage is gained, that the experimenter learns the order of succession of the symptoms and can note down accurately the period at which each occurs, which is very useful in leading to a knowledge of the genius of the medicine, for then the order of the primary actions, as also that of the alternating actions, is observed in the most unambiguous manner. A very moderate dose even, often suffices for the experiment, provided only the experimenter is endowed with sufficiently delicate sensitiveness, and is very attentive to his sensations. The duration of the action of a drug can only be ascertained by a comparison of several experiments.

Organon aphorism §131

If, however, in order to ascertain anything at all, the same medicine must be given to the same person to test for several successive days in ever-increasing doses, we thereby learn, no doubt, the various morbid states this medicine is capable of producing in a general manner, but we do not ascertain their order of succession; and the subsequent dose often removes, curatively, some one or other of the symptoms caused by the previous dose, or develops in its stead an opposite state; such symptoms should be inclosed in brackets, to mark their ambiguity, until subsequent purer experiments show whether they are the reaction of the organism and secondary action or an alternating action of this medicine.

Organon aphorism §132

But when the object is, without reference to the sequential order of the phenomena and the duration of the action of the drug, only to ascertain the symptoms themselves, especially those of a weak medicinal substance, in that case the preferable course to pursue is to give it for several successive days, increasing the dose every day. In this manner the action of an unknown medicine, even of the mildest nature, will be revealed, especially if tested on sensitive persons.

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Organon notes and explanatory remarks

--- 125 Organon aphorism ---

[100] Young green peas, green French beans, boiled potatoes and in all cases carrots are allowable, as the least medicinal vegetables.

[101] The subject of experiment must either be not in the habit of taking pure wine, brandy, coffee or tea, or he must have totally abstained for a considerable time previously from the use of these injurious beverages, some of which are stimulating, others medicinal.


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