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Organon by Hahnemann, aphorisms 133 - 145
"Provings and Modalities"

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Organon aphorism §133

On experiencing any particular sensation from the medicine, it is useful, indeed necessary, in order to determine the exact character of the symptom, to assume various positions while it lasts, and to observe whether, by moving the part affected, by walking in the room or the open air, by standing, sitting or lying the symptom is increased, diminished or removed, and whether it returns on again assuming the position in which it was first observed,—whether it is altered by eating or drinking, or by any other condition, or by speaking, coughing, sneezing or any other action of the body, and at the same time to note at what time of the day or night it usually occurs in the most marked manner, whereby what is peculiar to and characteristic of each symptom will become apparent.

Organon aphorism §134

All external influences, and more especially medicines, possess the property of producing in the health of the living organism a particular kind of alteration peculiar to themselves; but all the symptoms peculiar to a medicine do not appear in one person, nor all at once, nor in the same experiment, but some occur in one person chiefly at one time, others again during a second or third trial; in another person some other symptoms appear, but in such a manner that probably some of the phenomena are observed in the fourth, eighth or tenth person which had already appeared in the second, sixth or ninth person, and so forth; moreover, they may not recur at the same hour.

Organon aphorism §135

The whole of the elements of disease a medicine is capable of producing can only be brought to anything like completeness by numerous observations on suitable persons of both sexes and of various constitutions. We can only be assured that a medicine has been thoroughly proved in regard to the morbid states it can produce— that is to say, in regard to its pure powers of altering the health of man—when subsequent experimenters can notice little of a novel character from its action, and almost always only the same symptoms as had been already observed by others.

Organon aphorism §136

Although, as has been said, a medicine, on being proved on healthy subjects cannot develop in one person all the alterations of health it is capable of causing, but can only do this when given to many different individuals, varying in their corporeal and mental constitution, yet the tendency to excite all these symptoms in every human being exists in it (§117), according to an eternal and immutable law of nature, by virtue of which all its effects, even those that are but rarely developed in the healthy person, are brought into operation in the case of every individual if administered to him when he is in a morbid state presenting similar symptoms; it then, even in the smallest dose, being homeopathically selected, silently produces in the patient an artificial state closely resembling the natural disease, which rapidly and permanently (homeopathically) frees and cures him of his original malady.

Organon aphorism §137

The more moderate, within certain limits, the doses of the medicine used for such experiments are — provided we endeavor to facilitate the observation by the selection of a person who is a lover of truth, temperate in all respects, of delicate feelings and who can direct the most minute attention to his sensations—so much the more distinctly are the primary effects developed, and only these, which are most worth knowing, occur without any admixture of secondary effects or reactions of the vital force. When, however, excessively large doses are used there occur at the same time not only a number of secondary effects among the symptoms, but the primary effects also come on in such hurried confusion and with such impetuosity that nothing can be accurately observed; let alone the danger attending them, which no one who has any regard for his fellow-creatures, and who looks on the meanest of mankind as his brother, will deem an indifferent manner.

Organon aphorism §138

All the sufferings, accidents and changes of the health of the experimenter during the action of a medicine (provided the above conditions (§ 124-127) essential to a good and pure experiment are complied with) are solely derived from this medicine, and must be regarded and registered as belonging peculiarly to this medicine, as symptoms of this medicine, even though the experimenter had observed, A CONSIDERABLE TIME PREVIOUSLY, the spontaneous occurrence of similar phenomena in himself. The reappearance of these during the trial of the medicine only shows that this individual is by virtue of his peculiar constitution, particularly disposed to have such symptoms excited in him. In this case they are the effect of the medicine; the symptoms do not arise spontaneously while the medicine that has been taken is exercising an influence over the health of the whole system, but are produced by the medicine.

Organon aphorism §139

When the physician does not make the trial of the medicine on himself, but gives it to another person, the latter must note down distinctly the sensations, sufferings, accidents and changes of health he experiences at the time of their occurrence, mentioning the time after the ingestion of the drug when each symptom arose and, if it lasts long, the period of its duration. The physician looks over the report in the presence of the experimenter immediately after the experiment is concluded, or if the trial lasts several days he does this every day, in order, whilst everything is still fresh in his memory, to question him about the exact nature of every one of these circumstances, and to write down the more precise details so elicited, or to make such alterations as the experimenter may suggest.(102)

Organon aphorism §140

If the person cannot write, the physician must be informed by him every day of what has occurred to him, and how it took place. What is noted down as authentic information on this point, however, must be chiefly the voluntary narration of the person who makes the experiment, nothing conjectural and as little as possible derived from answers to leading questions should be admitted; everything must be ascertained with the same caution as I have counselled above (§ 84-99) for the investigation of the phenomena and for tracing the picture of natural diseases.

Organon aphorism §141

But the best provings of the pure effects of simple medicines in altering the human health, and of the artificial diseases and symptoms they are capable of developing in the healthy individual, are those which the healthy, unprejudiced and sensitive PHYSICIAN INSTITUTES ON HIMSELF with all the caution and care here enjoined. He knows with the greatest certainty the things he has experienced in his own person.(103)

Organon aphorism §142

But how some symptoms(104) of the simple medicine employed for a curative purpose can be distinguished amongst the symptoms of the original malady, even in diseases, especially in those of a chronic character that usually remain unaltered, is a subject appertaining to the higher art of judgment, and must be left exclusively to masters in observation.

Organon aphorism §143

If we have thus tested on the healthy individual a considerable number of simple medicines and carefully and faithfully registered all the disease elements and symptoms they are capable of developing as artificial disease-producers, then only have we a true materia medica—a collection of real, pure, reliable (105) modes of action of simple medicinal substances, a volume of the book of nature, wherein is recorded a considerable array of the peculiar changes of the health and symptoms ascertained to belong to each of the powerful medicines, as they were revealed to the attention of the observer, in which the likeness of the (homeopathic) disease elements of many natural diseases to be hereafter cured by them are present, which, in a word, contain artificial morbid states, that furnish for the similar natural morbid states the only true, homeopathic, that is to say, specific, therapeutic instruments for effecting their certain and permanent cure.

Organon aphorism §144

From such a materia medica everything that is conjectural all that is mere assertion or imaginary should be strictly excluded; everything should be the pure language of nature carefully and honestly interrogated.

Organon aphorism §145

Of a truth it is only by a very considerable store of medicines accurately known in respect of these their pure modes of action in altering the health of man that we can be placed in a position to discover a homeopathic remedy, a suitable artificial (curative) morbific analogue for EACH of the infinitely numerous morbid states in nature, for EVERY malady in the world.(106) In the meantime, even now—thanks to the truthful character of the symptoms, and to the abundance of disease elements which every one of the powerful medicinal substances has already shown in its action on the healthy body—but few diseases remain, for which a tolerably suitable homeopathic remedy may not be met with among those now proved as to their pure action,(107) which without much disturbance, restores health in a gentle, sure and permanent manner—INFINITELY more surely and safely than can be effected by all the general and special therapeutics of the old allopathic medical art with its unknown composite remedies, which do but alter and aggravate but cannot cure chronic diseases, and rather retard than promote recovery from acute diseases and frequently endanger life.

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Organon notes and explanatory remarks

--- 139 Organon aphorism ---

[102] He who makes known to the medical world the results of such experiments becomes thereby responsible for the trust-worthiness of the person experimented on and his statements, and justly so, as the weal of suffering humanity is here at stake.

--- 141 Organon aphorism ---

[103] Those trials made by the physician on himself have for him other and inestimable advantages. In the first place, the great truth that the medicinal virtue of all drugs, whereon depends their curative power, lies in the changes of health he has him-self undergone from the medicines he has proved, and the morbid states he has himself experienced from them, becomes for him an incontrovertible fact. Again, by such noteworthy observations on himself he will be brought to understand his own sensations, his mode of thinking and his disposition (the foundation of all true wisdom ãíþèé óåáõôüí ), and he will be also trained to be, what every physician ought to be, a good observer. All our observations on others are not nearly so interesting as those made on ourselves. The observer of others must always dread lest the experimenter did not feel exactly what he said, or lest he did not describe his sensations with the most appropriate expressions. He must always remain in doubt whether he has not been deceived, at least to some extent. These obstacles to the knowledge of the truth, which can never be thoroughly surmounted in our investigations of the artificial morbid symptoms that occur in others from the ingestion of medicines, cease entirely when we make the trials on ourselves. He who makes these trials on himself knows for certain what he has felt, and each trial is a new inducement for him to investigate the powers of other medicines. He thus becomes more and more practiced in the art of observing, of such importance to the physician, by continuing to observe himself, the one on whom he can most rely and who will never deceive him; and this he will do all the more zealously as these experiments on himself promise to give him a reliable knowledge of the true value and significance of the instruments of cure that are still to a great degree unknown to our art. Let it not be imagined that such slight indispositions caused by taking medicines for the purpose of proving them can be in the main injurious to the health. Experience shows on the contrary, that the organism of the prover becomes, by these frequent attacks on his health, all the more expert in repelling all external influences inimical to his frame and all artificial and natural morbific noxious agents, and becomes more hardened to resist everything of an injurious character, by means of these moderate experiments on his own person with medicines. His health becomes more unalterable; he becomes more robust, as all experience shows.

--- 142 Organon aphorism ---

[104] Symptoms which, during the whole course of the disease, might have been observed only a long time previously, or never before, consequently new ones, belonging to the medicine.

--- 143 Organon aphorism ---

[105] Latterly it has been the habit to entrust the proving of medicines to unknown persons at a distance, who were paid for their work, and the information so obtained was printed. But by so doing, the work which is of all others the most important, which is to form the basis of the only true healing art, and which demands the greatest moral certainty and trustworthiness, seems to me, I regret to say, to become doubtful and uncertain in its results and to lose all value.

--- 145 Organon aphorism ---

[106] At first, about forty years ago, I was the only person who made the proving of the pure powers of medicines the most important of his occupations. Since then I have been assisted in this by some young men, who instituted experiments on themselves, and whose observations I have critically revised. Following these some genuine work of this kind was done by a few others. But what shall we not be able to effect in the way of curing in the whole extent of the infinitely large domain of disease, when numbers of ACCURATE and TRUSTWORTHY observers shall have rendered their services in enriching this, the only true materia medica, by careful EXPERIMENTS ON THEMSELVES! The healing art will then come near the mathematical sciences in certainty.

[107] See the second note to § 109.


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