Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Remedy (part 2 of 3)

Hahnemann had a working model with the Peruvian bark case and he needed more substances that could be used as medicines for other illnesses. He needed other substances that would create similar symptoms to ailments experienced by his patients. His idea was that the symptoms created by a “medicine” would overwhelm those similar symptoms in an ill patient much the same as Cinchona overwhelmed malaria. His greatest contribution to mankind was the discovery in how to create this “medicine”.

He took crude substances such as poison ivy, table salt, honey bees (yes, stinging bees!), coffee, tea, spearmint, etc and made remedies with them. At first the substances were in their most crude form. Sometimes they were given in high doses and sometimes low. He enlisted many friends and family members to ingest these substances and relate their experiences while under their influence; to note the symptoms that these substances would create in a healthy individual. This process he called “proving”. His healthy helpers were “proving” (displaying) the symptoms created by the substances they ingested and accurate notes were recorded as to these symptoms. And then he discovered something quite extraordinary and counter intuitive. He discovered that the crude substances when diluted in water or alcohol created or rather "proved" these same symptoms in a more pronounced way. Let’s say for arguments sake that ingesting salt created a mild headache. Upon diluting this salt, the provers were experiencing a more definite headache and upon further dilution, an even more pronounced headache. The substances on further dilution became more potent. But there was more to this process...

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