Like all principles, those of homoeopathy have been discovered and evolved through the crucibles of time, experimentation, and increasing enlightenment. Like all principles, too, they stand whether or not they have the ascription of those who profess to be their
adherents. They are principles that stand pre-eminent, unchangeable, in spite of all changes in therapeutic fashions.
Medicine, while always dealing with the ills of mankind, has passed through a continuous barrage of "modern" discoveries. Greater possibilities of investigation of the functions of the body have increased our knowledge of life processes and the circumstances of living; and this increase in knowledge has been of inestimable value in dealing with human suffering.
But therapeutics, as demonstrated by modern medicine, is still in a state similar to that of the past, in that the discovery or development of the day is the seeming answer to almost all therapeutic problems. This is another way of saying that in spite of the increased knowledge of the mechanism of the body, no guiding principles have been discovered by the dominant school of medicine that are sure and certain indications in the field of therapeutics.
That means there is no test but that of experience for any therapeutic agent, and modern medicine, despite the period of its discovery, still finds itself on a basis of empiricism rather than of true science. Consider the discovery of the synthetic group of drugs. There has been a continuous procession of these substances over a period of years. Aspirin, luminol, the phenols, the sulphan-ilamides, the vitamins and numerous others. Each discovery has been hailed as a modern development of science for the conquering or alleviation of the ills of mankind.
Sober investigation of the claims of these therapeutic measures astounds us with the conviction that in almost every instance the target at which these measures are aimed is a single symptom or, at most, a small group of symptoms, and not at the patient himself.
First advanced for its harmless sedative properties in the control of pain, aspirin was widely used and in considerable amounts, by physicians and laymen alike, until its depressant properties came to be respected by careful therapeutists.
The American Medical Association found it advisable to publish warnings against the use of this substance which was commonly sold under the trade name of aspirin; but the use of the substance was not curtailed to any marked degree except by the most careful prescribers. It had become a cure-all for domestic use and all too often in hospitals and by physicians who sought first the suppression of the distressing symptoms rather than the cure of the patient.
Homoeopathic physicians have long known the dangers of suppressive measures, and have always had due respect for the innate powers of any medicament. It was Hahnemann who observed that any drug was poisonous if dangerous dosage were given.
Therefore it is to be expected that homoeopathic physicians early recognized the dangers of the synthetic drugs, among them the coal-tar derivatives. The ability of the trained homoeopath to observe and correlate symptoms made it a foregone conclusion that he would easily trace the depressed vitality, the heart attacks, and many collapsed conditions, to the frequent use of aspirin and like pain-killers.
We must remember that our homoeopathic laws, if they are natural laws, as we have every reason to believe, are still worthy of our consideration and that no sure guidance has yet been found that is not in accordance with those laws; and that the test of time must be applied in every instance of a new discovery that has not been tried according to known law.
It is foolish to reject the new just because it is new, but it is even more foolish to accept every new finding blindly without fully testing its validity when we have at hand all the means for sound procedure, means which the dominant school so far has failed to accept.
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