Discussion at the Faculty of Homoeopathy, July 27th, 1944.
Dr. W.W. Rorke, in opening this discussion, said:.
I have nothing original to offer you, but I have a great many quotations, some of them very pregnant. Most of my quotations are not from medical works. Let me begin with a quotation from Benjamin Disraeli: “Never apologize, never explain.” That may be a good maxim for politicians, but I have always had the deepest contempt for that advice.
Therefore I am going to begin by committing two cardinal sins. First I want to apologize to Dr. Moncrieff because I was very rude to her when she rang me up and asked me to fill a gap to-day. She said that something on the lines of my “Drug Portrait Gallery” would be very welcome, and I turned that down flat.
Now for the second cardinal sin! Let me explain. When I collected that Portrait Gallery of sulphur patients I put a good deal of work into it, but the point I wanted that paper to make was contained in one much too sententious phrase. I said, “The spirit cannot live by science alone.” Let me be sententious again to-day and say, “Mankind cannot subsist by art alone.”
A further explanation: in all the time I have been connected with this Faculty and the British Homoeopathic Society I have been vexed by two things chiefly. Discussions crop up, not fruitfully but very frequently, on the questions: “Is Homoeopathy an art or a science?” and that perpetual silly wrangle about low potencies versus high.
To-day I am going to be scientific, but to make amends for my rudeness I want you all to help me and present this discussion in another art form, in the art form of the theatre. Following on one item in the business part of to-days agenda, let us give it the character of an examination.
Dramatis personae: You yourselves, ladies and gentlemen, acting as candidates in this examination.
Costumes: Your own choice. We have no coupons, but candidates are not required to appear in white robes, nor to display their wounds.
Scenery: As you see it.
Candidates will mount this rostrum when summoned by our President (this makes him a call boy, but we shall ask him also to be a censor). At the rostrum candidates will be asked to answer three question all, any, or none giving the reasons for their answer, and if necessary drawing a diagram. The blackboard is the only stage property we are providing. We have no orchestra. Sound effects, if any, will be supplied by Hitler, Goring, and company, and, let us hope, will be limited to a minimum. The questions are:.
(1) In speaking about the action of internal medicines what distinction do you draw between power and potency?.
(2) What do you mean by the terms “low potency” and “high potency”?.
(3) On what indications do you select (a) a low potency and (b) a high potency?.
Now I retire to the wings and ring up the curtain.
The President said that Dr. Rorke had his own way of doing things, but he was rather expecting that he was going to help him out.
Dr. Rorke said that he was quite willing to proffer himself as the first “candidate.” He went on:.
As candidate, most of what I am going to say is again, to quote other peoples words. I shall begin by quoting a patient. He had had no training in medicine at all, but he was a science graduate of London University, a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a member of the Institution of Mining Engineers, and all his life he had been engaged in scientific mining, prospecting, etc.
He had been so employed in Britain, in Russia, in Turkey, in Africa, north, south, east, and west, in Australia, and in South America. While he was working in West Africa he contracted a tropical ulcer. That was many years ago. It was treated at home here by many different kinds of treatment, and in the end the ulcer was healed. But it left, as is common, a big patch of dry chronic non-irritant eczema.
Every spring and autumn that eczema “blew up” into what looked like, and to him felt like, an erysipelas. He had much treatment for that too, but in the end he consulted a homoeopathic physician, and it cleared up very rapidly, not only the erysipelas but the eczema.
That is a man of scientific mind, and he wanted to know something about homoeopathic medicine, so he was lent a Life Hahnemann, and he read it carefully and with great interest. His chief comment after reading it was this: “It is very surprising to find that as long ago as the end of the eighteenth century Hahnemann realized how power could be developed by the extension of surface.” I said that was known a long time before Hahnemanns day.
Physicians all knew that a nugget of solid sulphur weighing a dram did not do much, but a dram of flowers of sulphur had a great deal of power. Hahnemann went a long way further than that. I told him how Hahnemann right from the beginning of his researches had insisted that these very extreme dilutions did contain something, and that that something held the characteristics of the original drug. He very rightly said, “You have only got to try it and see.” But a good many physicians, homoeopathic and other, could not be satisfied with that and wanted an explanation.
About 1890 the Swedish chemist Arrhenius tackled the question and evolved the theory of dissociation. He said that when a very small quantity, say, of common salt, was put into a very large bulk of distilled water, undoubtedly the whole bulk contained something of that common salt, and he evolved the theory that in solution the atoms of the molecule were dissociated and dispersed. But that did not account for it, he had to go further and say that these atoms were dissociated into ions. That was the beginning of the electronic theory of which so much is said still.
However, a homoeopathic physician I think a German , but he might have been an American consulted Arrhenius and asked him if his theory would explain that a high potency dose of, say, common salt carried in it all the characteristics of sodium chloride. Arrhenius thought it over and said quite definitely “No”. What then, is in a dose of say, 10m of sodium chloride? There is something, as we all know, and we all know that it is the same thing.
Now for another quotation, this time from the report of the very first experiments conducted in homoeopathic medicine. Hahnemann wrote this: “When cinchona bark is accurately indicated as a remedy, and when the patient is seriously and intensely affected by a disease that China is capable of removing, I find that one drop of a diluted tincture of cinchona bark, which contains a quadrillionth (1-1000000,000000,000000, 000000th) of a grain of china powder, is a strong (often a too strong) dose, which can accomplish and cure all that China is capable of doing in the case before us, generally without its being necessary to repeat the dose in order to effect a cure; a second dose being rarely, very rarely, required.” That is one quadrillionth. If you care to work that out you will find that, regarded as dilution, it is the 12th c. That was the very first remedy with which he experimented.
What did he mean by saying that it was sometimes too strong a dose? The use modern medical cant, where a sick person presents the symptoms calling for China very fully, that patient is “hypersensitive” to China, he has an “idiosyncrasy” to China, he is “allergic” to China. I have hunted through Hahnemanns work, which is the most thorough record of experimental work in Homoeopathy to this day.
It has been enriched by many others, but Hahnemanns Materia Medica Pura is the finest register, the fullest record of experimental medicine that was ever published. I have hunted through it all, and I cannot find a single instance where he used a lower potency than that. When he published that he did not talk about potency, but Aconite and Belladonna were probably experimented with quite soon in the series we have no record of the dates and in both cases he says that the most effective and the least disturbing dose of Aconite and Belladonna was what he calls the decillionth which is equivalent to the 30th c.
The most hardworking and conscientious experimenter in Homoeopathy never used the decimal attenuations, never wanted them, and although he found that this 30th c. was good enough for him, he very frequently said that further potentizing might be helpful. Dr. Tyler always maintained that there was record of his having used 200th c. She was never able to find the passage to satisfy me, but here is another quotation: “With a thousandth part of a drop of the decillionth so far as I remember this is from the introduction to Belladonna “it is seldom that a second dose is required.” and he gives directions for making this thousandth part of a drop preparation. The directions are to use small globules of such a size that 300 go to one dram.
It was when he was dealing with Belladonna that he first used the word “potency”. He describes the making of the decillionth dilution by thirty successive dilutions with succussion. He called that decillionth development of power a “potency” and he gave it the make x.
Somewhere else he talks about the decillionth development of drug power: “10x”. My next quotation is this. At one of the meetings of the British Homoeopathic Society a very eloquent and very enthusiastic speaker, after declaring that he was convinced that the future of Homoeopathy lay with the higher and even the highest potencies, went on to tell us that he was having potencies made by succussion by one of those road drills you all know too well, and he said, “I hope that these potencies will prove to have devastating effects.”
A comment made at that time was this: “Any man who can talk like that knows no more about Homoeopathy than a praying parrot knows about theology.” That was uttered in heat, but quite calm I quote it now as a very just comment.
Another quotation: we had in the London Homoeopathic Hospital a doctor trained in Germany, knowing nothing about Homoeopathy. He came here as resident, and while he was here he was called on by a homoeopathic physician who also was trained in Germany, and the visitor said to the resident, “You know, it is a pity that London teaches the high potencies,” and following on that he invited him to attend a series of lectures elsewhere. Well, the gentlest thing to say about that is this, that the poor devil was educated in Germany!.
What do we mean by low potency and high potency? By low potency do we mean the decimals, and by high potency the centesimals? If you make that distinction then there are going to be discussions about high high potencies and low low potencies, and no end of it. On what indications do you select a low potency or a high potency? And there, ladies and gentlemen, I think the right answer is in a quotation from memory from our Presidents Inaugural Address:.
“If the patient does not present very full indications for the remedy that is used, the remedy will be more effective in low potency than in high”.
My own stud of this question has brought this conclusion: if a remedy is given in high potency to patient who has no indications for that remedy, the dose does nothing at all; but if your patient presents rich indications for the remedy and that remedy is given in material dose or in low potency, the patient will suffer aggravation of his symptoms such as to make him ungrateful and distrustful.
Dr. C. E. WHEELER said that the questions could be fairly succinctly answered. Potency was the result of a process through which any substance could be put. It could be carried through various stages. Power he took to be the quality which was, they imagined, enhanced, if not altogether developed by the process of potentization. As regards high and low, he could well remember when 30 and downwards was regarded as a low potency. Now 12 and downwards would be rather thought of as low, and 30 as the beginning of what might be called high. Hahnemann satisfied himself of the truth of Homoeopathy on material, if small doses.
For the first ten years of his practice he was giving such doses, and he did not discover the meaning of potentization until he had practised Homoeopathy roughly for that time and had made his first communication on the subject. He thought that Dr. Tyler did show him a quotation indicating that Hahnemann was aware that followers of his had carried potentization beyond 30, though he himself thought 30 was the best potency. There was no indication that he himself used potencies beyond that. He was in the habit of using 30 as his habitual one.
With regard to the other potencies, he had read somewhere in one of the Lives of Hahnemann that his medicine case after his death did contain some drugs in potencies other than 30. That not in the least improbable. After all, he introduced that idea of the plus potency at the very end of his life, and was always experimenting.
On the selection of potencies, he himself had given up thinking in terms of high and low. For him there was for every case an optimum potency, if he could find it, just as there was an optimum drug. He did not believe that it was always high or always low. If one stared with the idea that there was an optimum potency if one could find it, one would have a freer mind.
As for the first choice, according to his own instinct, the more of an end result the case was and the more one had something approximating or more than approximating to tissue change. the more inclined he was to think that low potencies would do better than high. But there were endless exceptions to that rule, and a good deal depended on the sensitiveness of the patient. Certainly with a very thick skinned person, a person rather unresponsive, one could go as high as one pleased. A vast amount of experiment was required before a principle could be laid down in any dogmatic way governing high or low. If patients seemed to respond particularly well to a certain range the doctor was inclined to begin with that the next time.
He himself believed, as a second rule, that what he called dilution in time was more important than dilution in space, and the old low potencies would have done better even in chronic diseases if they had been given the same chance in time as the potency dose. One of the most remarkable cures of a chronic disease that he had seen of recent years not one of his own cases was effected in nine months by four doses of Sulphur in the third potencies.
It was ended with a 30. It so happened that that particular potency had tuned in rightly to that patients needs and was for her the optimum or pretty near to it. If one could once bring oneself to trust the effectiveness of ones drug, he was quite sure that there was a variation of dose which might usefully be employed.
Dr. Fergie-Woods said that, as to what was a high potency and what a low, one way of looking at it war to take the point at which nothing further could be found by known scientific methods. That was about the sixth potency. From that point of view, he would say that up to the sixth were low potencies, and beyond that high. It was still matter, of course, but matter in a form which could only be detected by special instruments such as the emanometer and by the ordinary physical tests.
How was one to decide whether to give a high potency or a low potency? Dr. Wheeler had given most of the points on that. Three cardinal factors were: (1) The remedy, (2) The stage of the disease, (3) The patient. With a very sensitive patient of artistic type, one should start low, because such a patient was subject to aggravations started if one with a high potency. As for the nature of the disease, when there was more organic change a lower potency should be given to avoid excessive reaction.
As for the remedy, there were certain ones with which he always started low, no matter what the nature of the case, partly because those remedies, he had learned, were specially suited to the very sensitive type. Two of them were Phosphorus and Lachesis. When he got either of those remedies indicated he started no higher than the twelfth.
Dr. Le Hunte Cooper said Dr. Rorkes “points” necessarily involved “the relative value” of Homoeopathy, and the older methods which was of very great importance at the present time.
Dr. Rorke had chosen his points very well. because they were the very ones on which homoeopaths branched out from the Old School.
The danger of Homoeopathic being ignored by the dictatorial proposals of the Beveridge plan, and its very existence being imperiled, made it incumbent upon them to emphasize the greater efficacy of their methods in dealing with disease. At the present time, the medical world is obsessed with the various “Sulphanilamide” preparations, which deal with disease conditions purely from the antiseptic, and anti-bacterial point of view, and it is danger of overlooking the fact that the most scientific way of combating disease is to strengthen the bodily resistance to it, which Homoeopathy alone can achieve effectively.
The word “potency” must call up in the uninitiated medical mind something very different from the Homoeopathic conception, for homoeopaths do not regard the “power” of a remedy as dependent on the amount of physiological disturbance it can evoke, but on its effectiveness in stimulating the body resistance to disease factors.
The usual professional concept of giving “the maximum quantity of a remedy short of poisoning the patient is translated by us into giving “the quantity of the remedy which best brings out its curative effect.”.
In a plea for “simplifying prescribing” made, when President of the British Homoeopathic Society (as it then was) he. Dr. Cooper, had dealt with the “potency question” as it appealed to him. This was based on some years work with unit doses of mother tinctures, and various potencies, and he had no reason for changing the conclusions he then arrived at.
First, it must be recognized that their aim was to “cure,” that is “to rid the system of all evidence of ill-health, so that this did not return when treatment was stopped.” To achieve this it was necessary to allow sufficient time for reactive forces set free by the remedy to act, before repeating the remedial stimulus, otherwise the results obtained were mainly palliative. Recoveries under antiseptics, or bactericides, could not be regarded as “cure”. It was well known that crude substances, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, too frequently repeated, could not cure; but they could do so, in appropriate circumstances, if the doses were repeated at sufficiently long intervals. His own fathers work proved this conclusively, at any rate in the case of the vegetable kingdom.
Strangely enough, he himself did not find that this applied equally well to the “lower potencies”, say up to 6c. but the curative value of potencies above these was well known. if they were given sufficient time to act. He had not found that the 3rd centesimal, or any of these lower potencies, had the curative effect which Dr. Wheeler had apparently obtained in the particular case he mentioned, or, at all events, he did not find results sufficiently definite to expect much likelihood of a cure from a single, or many, doses of these lower potencies.
The question of “the time of repetition” of remedies was one of the chief factors making for incredulity on the part of those investigating their science. He had therefore tried to reduce the time of repetition necessary for various potencies, to achieve beneficial results; for the more frequently a remedy can be repeated without destroying its curative value, the less difficulty the tyro has in comprehending it.
His experience justified him in saying that remedies in the 30th potency can be repeated every third day, while 100c and even 200c will act satisfactorily at intervals of week, though much longer than this may, in special cases, be required for either. He personally had not found any adverse effects from such frequent repetition. Above these potencies the length of the intervals was capable of almost limitless increase, in accordance with the reactions of the individual patient.
However, such a wide latitude was possible that he only offered the above as a working hypothesis to commence with, and to tread as delicately as possible on the beginners preconceptions. The necessity for this was evidenced by many enquirers being choked off by incredulity, before they had time to make any practical, individual, and convincing, experiments in homoeopathic prescribing, for themselves.
Dr. BLACKIE said that the question which she wanted to answer was the third question which Dr. Rorke had posed. She found that in cases of real organic change that is, in chronic disease often set up by some old-standing infective trouble a high potency would clear them up completely. She had had cases of rheumatoid arthritis and old sinusitis and conditions such as that which a 30c or 100c or a single dose of 10m had cleared up completely.
She thought also that in a very virulent acute illness a high potency was the only things to use. Personally she found there was not time to use a low potency. One other point: in treating out-patients whom one saw in large numbers and might not see again for perhaps a month one had to use low potencies unless one was absolutely certain of ones drug.
Dr. W.L. TEMPLETON said that to his mind power and potency were synonymous terms, power being developed through potentization. By dilution, they had been led to understand, potency or power was evolved. On the question of high or low potencies it is generally accepted that above 12c there is no molecular structure. There- fore above the 12c he would describe as high potencies, and below the 12c as low. But there were different opinions on that point.
Perhaps he might be allowed to ask the “examiner” a question: if no indications for a drug were present in the patient, on what grounds was the drug chosen? He had experimented a good deal on the subject of low potencies, and had felt that it could not be discussed purely as high and low, but that repetition must be brought in. For his own part, as a matter of general experience, he had found that when one gave the low repeated and obtained a certain result, that result did not last for as long as the other. The higher potencies so-called did, he believed, have a longer effect and a more persistent effect, though not necessarily a better one.
There were certain indications to the borne in mind. If one had structural change and gave a high potency, and it was a well matched case, one did run the risk of aggravation, and from the mercenary point of view of losing the patient. The other indication for low potency was when one had a case in which there were local indications. He thought that one was justified then in experimenting with low potency and in seeing what one could get out of it. If a speedy result was wanted in acute conditions one must go high. There were, however, cases in which that did not work out very well, the patient happening to be sensitive. But how one was to tell that a patient was sensitive was a difficult question.
These were, of course, exceptions to the rule. One exception was in cases of collapse, when it was a question of life and death, then he believed only the high would do the work. When there was no absolute rule the homoeopathist must judge by conditions, and when it was a question of speed it was necessary to take a certain risk.
Dr. P.G. QUINTON said that Dr. le Hunte Cooper had stated that he did not usually get much in the way of results with 3c. He himself did not usually use 3c. but he used 6c very often. If he were in a foreign country and could have with him only one potency he would select 30c. which was the best all round potency. He thought personally that the outstanding indications for very high potencies 200 and upwards were the mental symptoms so called. He was of opinion that results would be more readily obtainable with the high and the highest in preference to the low.
Dr. LE HUNTE COOPER explained that he got magnificent results with the third potency, but mostly palliative. What he had been speaking about were real cures.
Dr. GHAI said that, to begin with, he had to admit that his experience was rather limited, but what he had learned was this that in acute cases high potencies were necessary in order to get quick results. He remembered some cases of pneumonia and influenza where Phosphorus was the remedy, and it was given every three or four hours six doses, a quite clearly indicated remedy. On the following day the temperature had not gone down, the cough was still present, and the patient remained ill. Then the potency was raised to 100 or 200, and usually after three doses at three or four hours intervals the temperature came down and the patient was better.
Dr. Fergie Woods had mentioned Lachesis and Phosphorus being given in low and medium potencies. Lachesis might be given either in low potencies up to 12 or in very high potencies, over 200, but Dr. Tyler had always prescribed in the low to begin with, thereby causing aggravation to be much less or absent. In the chronic case with tissue changes aggravation was marked if the remedy was given in high potency, but was not marked if given in low. Again, as mentioned by Dr. Quinton, if the remedy was indicated by marked mental symptoms one expected better and quicker results with very high potency.
Dr. LEDERMAN asked what was actually a high potency. Everybody said one had to get used to the idea that it did act, but one could not say why. There was the physical theory of matter to be considered. The modern thinker said that matter was a picture only. It was a thing unknown, a concept only to give us something upon which to make certain conclusions. What was an atom? What were the protons and electrons? The modern physicist had given up the idea of defining of what reality consisted, or of what the world consisted. In view of all this he felt very much happier in using a high potency which he did not understand. What happened in the preparation of such a high potency? One could not picture it, and it did not matter.
Dr. AGNES MONCRIEFF said that as to the distinction between power and potency, she had always considered that this was governed by the physical low in which the sub-division of inert matter into its constituent ions was said to liberate its energy; that was potency and therefore the higher the potency the greater the power. Secondly, as to the meaning of high and low potencies, she believed there was a certain form of energy up to the 6th potency which changed at the 9th potency, and from that point of view 12c was the first high potency, everything above being high, and everything below the 9th low.
As for the indications for high or low potencies, she thought, as Dr. Fergie Woods had said, that the patient was very important. With infants and old people it was safer to use low potencies because their reaction to the drug, in the first place, was not sufficiently active. She thoughts the condition of the patient mattered a great deal whatever his age.
She recalled two cases when she was a resident at that hospital, one of whom she had “killed” with a high potency. This was a woman of about 40 with acute bronchitis and emphysema. She gave her Lachesis 10m, and she died in about six hours. She found afterward that she had had the 30 a year or two before, and had been very well for some years afterwards. She thought she gave her too high a potency.
In another case one of her chiefs had given a patient with a chest condition Silicea in high potency. It was thought to be a deep-seated pneumonia, and within 24 hours a deep abscess ruptured into the pleural cavity, and the patient died. She agreed with Dr. Blackie that organic conditions due to infective causes always improved best with a high potency, but organic conditions such as cancer, advanced cardiac disease, or tuberculosis were safer with the low potencies.
She had also found that in conditions such as menorrhagia, if the condition was due to a fibroid, it was safer, to begin with a low potency and work up, but if due to the menopause no result at all would be obtained unless high potencies were used. In one case with neuritis she tried Arsenic and Chamomilla and various other drugs, and finally thought that Plumbum might help and gave her 200. The patient relapsed after the first 24 hours and was just as bad as ever. She tried with Plumbum 6 t.d.s. for a week, and she improved and the treatment was continued twice a week and finally once a week, and she was cured. She could not explain how that happened.
As regards high potencies, she always used these for robust patients who had any kind of illness whether acute or not. She agreed with Dr. Blakie and Dr. Templeton that in acute organic conditions such as pneumonias the highest potencies were much the most useful, and in any of the mental conditions, such as anxiety neurosis, she thought the high potencies were the only ones that would clear up the condition. She remembered seeing Dr. Tyler, by means of high potencies, give a peaceful termination to patients dying of cancer, and she did not think that could be done with the low ones.
Wing-Commander NEUBERT said that this had become almost a school of confession. He would start off by saying that as he was not a general practitioner he had had practically no experience whatever of Homoeopathy except what he had read from books. The thing that had struck him was the discovery of opinion amongst the practitioners. For himself he kept about 150 drugs, nearly all of which were in the 30th potency, and he just tried various “strays” who happened to come into his life, and thought the results were very fair.
He gave them what happened to be in his cupboard, and only in occasional cases did he really try to do something else with different potencies. But looking at his cases by and large he wondered whether some of those whom he had treated would have been better if he had altered his potency more than he had done. At the same time, he could not say that he was dissatisfied with his 150 odd remedies all in the same potency.
Dr. CHARLES SUNDELL said that he was in the position of a lower fourth form boy in the presence of the science masters asked to write a paper on the Einstein theory. He wished to thank Dr. Rorke for his very thoughtful address. He had known Dr. Rorke for years, he was one of the worlds thinkers, and his thinking was infectious, he made other people think.
He had suggested that those who came to the rostrum might answer one, two, or three of his questions. He proposed to answer one only: What did they understand by power and by potency? Remembering something of his mathematical training, he recalled the word “power” as used in mathematics. A figure was raised to a certain power, and that was what power meant in Homoeopathy, in other words, dilution. What did “potency” mean? In his humble opinion it meant violence.
Dr. NEWALL suggested that potency was the mechanical means whereby we divided up the medicine, and power the effect on the patient himself.
Dr. RORKE said that he would add another quotation from the mining engineer whom he had already quoted. When he was told about these potencies that were admittedly beyond the material he quite saw the idea that in high potency itself there was a quality, and a quality constant to the remedy from which that potency was derived. “But,” he said, “you must be very trustful of your pharmacists. How do you know whether the 10m potency contains anything or nothing?”
He gave him the reply which was set out in Hahnemanns Introduction to Arsenic, and he said, “That is right enough, but supposing you give a dose of potency of a remedy that you consider is well indicated and nothing happens, do not your suspicions fall on the preparation of that potency? Then he was told about Dr. Boyds work and went into it as fully as he was able; he was very satisfied and very thrilled, and when he was told that Dr. Boyds chief difficulty at present was in getting a galvanometer sufficiently sensitive to record these emanations he said, “Well, has he tried the fog chamber?”
Dr. Rorke replied that if it was a well-known thing he was pretty sure Dr. Boyd had tried it, and he asked the mining engineer to describe the fog chamber and its work to Dr. Boyd. The form of energy that was in high potency medicine was something that worried Dr. Rorke a great deal, and it worried him very much when he knew that Dr. Boyd could detect and to some extent measure it by his emanometer, and still remain puzzled. Then he read the report of a lecture by Sir Oliver Lodge.
It was a dull lecture and did not interest him much, but there was one sentence in it which “hit him between the eyes”. Sir Oliver Lodge said, “The only constant that I have been able to recognize in physical science is the velocity C, commonly called the velocity of light.” That was an eye opener to him. Of course it is the only constant the only yardstick we have got.
The PRESIDENT (Sir John Weir) said that Dr. Rorke had staged a good discussion. They were getting down to the hard facts of everyday life and what they had heard would be a great help to most of them. He had thought that the best thing he could do was to go back to Hahnemann himself. He always went back to Hahnemann for comfort, and he quoted the following (para. 280):.
“This incontrovertible axiom founded upon experience, will serve as a rule by which the doses of all homoeopathic medicines, without exception, are to be attenuated to such a degree, that after being introduced into the body, they shall merely produce an almost insensible aggravation of the disease. It is of little importance whether the attenuation goes so far as to appear almost impossible to ordinary physicians whose minds feed on no other ideas but what are gross and material. All these arguments and vain assertions will be of little avail when opposed to the doctrines of unerring experience.”.
As regards low and high potencies, during 25 years in his experience this had been a perennial question. Low potencies could be used for physical illness external conditions, skin conditions, and so forth but when one came to the patient who was really ill one wanted to find symptoms, especially mental symptoms, and as these were only obtained by the higher potencies one had to use the remedies in higher potencies.
When he was a resident there was a patient who had a Rhus 3x and he gave him a Rhus 200 and the whole thing cleared up. He remembered being called to a mental hospital to a man who had a typical Cannabis indica symptom. He was given Cannabis indica, and was discharged in six weeks, though he had been there for two years.
It was a good thing they had a man like Boyd amongst them with his physicist ideas. He had come across Sharpes Tracts on Homoeopathy; these were nearly 100 years old, and yet almost as fresh as ever. On the question of being allergic, it took 250 times as much formic acid to produce symptoms in the healthy as it did in the person who was sensitive. In para. 228 Hahnemann said:.
“The smallest possible dose of homoeopathic medicine will operate chiefly upon the diseased parts of the body which have became extremely susceptible of a stimulus so similar to their own disease”.
Of course that was allergy. Dr. Woods had put in a nutshell the description of a sensitive person. His own great stand-by was Kali carb. He tried that remedy in potency. With regard to what Dr. Blackie had said about low and high potency, he recalled the case of a woman with cataract who had Phosphorus 30, and it was not repeated for thirteen months and the cataract cleared up.
They had had a really good meeting, and were extremely obliged to Dr. Rorke.
A note by Dr. MITCHELL and a letter by Dr. PATERSON, contributory to the discussion, were read by the Hon. Secretary.
The British Homoeopathic Journal, Vol. XXXIV., No. 4.