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aphorisms 196 - 203 PDF Print E-mail

Organon by Hahnemann, aphorisms 196 - 203
"External applications"

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Organon aphorism §196

It might, indeed, seem as though the cure of such diseases would be hastened by employing the medicinal substance which is known to be truly homeopathic to the totality of the symptoms, not only internally, but also externally, because the action of a medicine applied to the seat of the local affection might effect a more rapid change in it.

Organon aphorism §197

This treatment, however, is quite inadmissible, not only for the local symptoms arising from the miasm of psora, but also and especially for those originating in the miasm of syphilis or sycosis, for THE SIMULTANEOUS LOCAL APPLICATION, ALONG WITH THE INTERNAL EMPLOYMENT, OF THE REMEDY IN DISEASES WHOSE CHIEF SYMPTOM IS A CONSTANT LOCAL AFFECTION, has this great disadvantage, that, by such a topical application, this chief symptom (local affection)(114) will usually be annihilated sooner than the internal disease, and we shall now be deceived by the semblance of a perfect cure; or at least it will be difficult, and in some cases impossible, to determine, from the premature disappearance of the local symptom, if the general disease is destroyed by the simultaneous employment of the internal medicine.

Organon aphorism §198

The MERE TOPICAL EMPLOYMENT of medicines, that are powerful for cure when given internally, to the local symptoms of chronic miasmatic diseases is for the same reason quite inadmissible; for if the local affection of the chronic disease be only removed locally and in a one-sided manner, the internal treatment indispensable for the complete restoration of the health remains in dubious obscurity; the chief symptom (the local affection) is gone, and there remain only the other, less distinguishable symptoms, which are less constant and less persistent than the local affection, and frequently not sufficiently peculiar and too slightly characteristic to display after that, a picture of the disease in clear and peculiar outlines.

Organon aphorism §199

If the remedy perfectly homeopathic to the disease had not yet been discovered(115) at the time when the local symptoms were destroyed by a corrosive or desiccative external remedy or by the knife, then the case becomes much more difficult on account of the too indefinite (uncharacteristic) and inconstant appearance of the remaining symptoms; for what might have contributed most to determine the selection of the most suitable remedy, and its internal employment until the disease should have been completely annihilated, namely, the external principal symptom, has been removed from our observation.

Organon aphorism §200

Had it still been present to guide the internal treatment, the homeopathic remedy for the whole disease might have been discovered, and had that been found, the persistence of the local affection during its internal employment would have shown that the cure was not yet completed; but were it cured on its seat, this would be a convincing proof that the disease was completely eradicated, and the desired recovery from the entire disease was fully accomplished—an inestimable, indispensable advantage to reach a perfect cure.

Organon aphorism §201

It is evident that man's vital force, when encumbered with a chronic disease which it is unable to overcome by its own powers instinctively, adopts the plan of developing a local malady on some external part, solely for this object, that by making and keeping in a diseased state this part which is not indispensable to human life, it may thereby silence the internal disease, which otherwise threatens to destroy the vital organs (and to deprive the patient of life), and that it may thereby, so to speak, transfer the internal disease to the vicarious local affection and, as it were, draw it thither. The presence of the local affection thus silences, for a time, the internal disease, though without being able either to cure it or to diminish it materially.(116) The local affection, however, is never anything else than a part of the general disease, but a part of it increased all in one direction by the organic vital force, and transferred to a less dangerous (external) part of the body, in order to allay the internal ailment. But (as has been said) by this local symptom that silences the internal disease, so far from anything being gained by the vital force towards diminishing or curing the whole malady, the internal disease, on the contrary, continues, in spite of it, gradually to increase and Nature is constrained to enlarge and aggravate the local symptom always more and more, in order that it may still suffice as a substitute for the increased internal disease and may still keep it under. Old ulcers on the legs get worse as long as the internal psora is uncured, the chancre enlarges as long as the internal syphilis remains uncured, the fig warts increase and grow while the sycosis is not cured whereby the latter is rendered more and more difficult to cure, just as the general internal disease continues to increase as time goes on.

Organon aphorism §202

If the old-school physician should now destroy the local symptom by the topical application of external remedies, under the belief that he thereby cures the whole disease, Nature makes up for its loss by rousing the internal malady and the other symptoms that previously existed in a latent state side by side with the local affection; that is to say, she increases the internal disease. When this occurs it is usual to say, though INCORRECTLY, that the local affection has been DRIVEN BACK into the system or upon the nerves by the external remedies.

Organon aphorism §203

Every external treatment of such local symptoms, the object of which is to remove them from the surface of the body, whilst the internal miasmatic disease is left uncured, as, for instance, driving off the skin the psoric eruption by all sorts of ointments, burning away the chancre by caustics and destroying the condylomata on their seat by the knife, the ligature or the actual cautery; this pernicious external mode of treatment, hitherto so universally practised, has been the most prolific source of all the innumerable named or unnamed chronic maladies under which mankind groans; it is one of the most criminal procedures the medical world can be guilty of, and yet it has hitherto been the one generally adopted, and taught from the professional chairs as the only one.(117)

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Organon notes and explanatory remarks

--- 197 Organon aphorism ---

[114] Recent itch eruption, chancre, condyloma, as I have indicated in my book on Chronic Diseases.

--- 199 Organon aphorism ---

[115] As was the case before my time with the remedies for the condylomatous disease (and the antipsoric medicines).

--- 201 Organon aphorism ---

[116] The issues of the old-school practitioners do something similar; as artificial ulcers on external parts, they silence some in-ternal chronic diseases, but only for a very short time, as long as they cause a painful irritation to which the sick organism is not used, without being able to cure them; but, on the other hand, they weaken and destroy the general health much more than is done by most of the metastases effected by the instinctive vital force.

--- 203 Organon aphorism ---

[117] For any medicines that might at the same time be given internally served but to aggravate the malady, as these remedies possessed no specific power of curing the whole disease, but assailed the organism, weakened it and inflicted on it, in addition, other chronic medicinal diseases.

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