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Thursday, 23 August 2012

CLASSICAL HOMEOPATHY AND THE MYTH OF THE SINGLE DOSE.

It may be necessary, even a pre-requisite for a system to survive and be acceptable, if only it can be improved upon. However to re-invent a system is fundamentally different from attempts to rejuvenate it. Today there are many practitioners of Homeopathy who feel it incumbent on themselves to take a moral high-ground if they cannot re-invent Homeopathy. To claim its re-invention may attract a spectrum of criticism ranging from skepticism and cynicism to the risk of drawing the ire of the academics. Hence Classical Homeopathy was born.
The evolution of the optimum dose as I prefer to call it, had its origin in the concept of the minimal dose. The evolution of a single dose; later Hahnemann’s acceptance of his follower’s suggestions to use higher potencies, the invention of the LM potency and finally, repetition of the aqueous dose was a natural culmination of the master’s own experience in the treatment of obstinate chronic diseases. Hahnemann was dissatisfied with having to wait for the relapse of symptoms before repeating the dose as it involved an interminable wait for the cure and the uncertainty of curative finality in very chronic diseases.
Hahnemann published the 5th edn. of the Organon in 1833 and the 3rd, 4th and 5th edns. of `The Chronic Diseases’ in 1835, 1837 and 1839 respectively. During this time, provings were already being conducted with the help of aqueous dilutions. The theory of repetition appeared in the 5th edition; based on the premise that medicines given in aqueous form and succussed before administration are safe. Hahnemann abandoned his theory of the single dose and advocated repetition at suitable intervals (not waiting for the action of the remedy to expire), to shorten the duration of cure by half or even less. Hence it would be retrograde thinking to advocate a single dry dose and resort to the wait and watch method discarded and discredited by Hahnemann himself.
GARTH BOERICKE: Homeopathy is based on the exact observation of natural phenomenon of disease and drug action, and the law governing their mutual relationship. On this solid ground of careful observation, all homeopaths base their practice. But not all Hahnemann’s theories as published in the Organon are proven. Hering says, to discard all theories, including those of one’s own fabrication, when they are in opposition to the results of pure experience.

SUMIT GOEL: The term posology originates from the Greek posos meaning how much and logos meaning study or discourse. The terminology of dose originates from the word dosis, which means the quantity of a drug or other therapeutic agent to be taken or applied.  A homoeopathic dose necessarily means the particular preparation of medicine, the quantity and form of that preparation as well as its repetition. In short, homoeopathic dosage includes selection of potency, dispensing (quantity and form) and repetition of the dose of the medicine.  Homoeopathic posology is based on the trinity of the principles of the single simple remedy, minimum dose and minimum intervention.

My own experience after 31 years of practice, dealing with many types of emergencies, even dire emergencies suggests that, repetition in acute diseases is to be condoned, even necessary. In chronic diseases too, repetition before the re-appearance of old symptoms can be indulged in judiciously as has been illustrated in the 6th edn. of the organon and demonstrated in their respective Lesser Writings by Dr.Kent, Boenninghaussen; and the recorded cases of all the earlier masters who followed the 5th Edn. of the Organon. The issue being not which edition of the Organon they followed but what they achieved. Scientific experiments to understand this issue are imperative and may even lead to acceptance of a different viewpoint. Philosophy is a stop-gap, and a poor substitute for Science.

A couple of days ago I came across a research paper in the form of a small booklet  written by the late Dr.P.Sankaran of Bombay. He has compiled the views of scores of Homeopaths of yesteryears. It is amazing to note that a majority of them favored repetition  even in chronic cases.

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