Concept of Cure
Hahnemann’s distinction as a physician is marked not only by his recognition of the sole mission of the physician, but also by the ideals of cure envisaged by him. He walked ahead of time with his intuitive concepts build up with the bedrocks of inductive philosophy at a time when no streaks of logic had any shadow upon medicine.
Hahnemann opened his masterpiece work on Homœopathic Philosophy with a sharp statement of truth. “The physician’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed.” With this benchmark of duty, he measured all physicians, all medical theories, methods and systems and he desired and demanded the same measurement for himself and his own method. He asked but one question, applied but one test, Do they cure the sick? Experience and observation of the men and methods of his day showed clearly that they did not cure. In the light of a vast and comprehensive knowledge and a bitterly disappointing personal experience, be pronounced the medicine of his day a failure and set about its reformation.
Cure was not then, as it has since become in the dominant school of medicine, an obsolete term. Physicians still talked and wrote of “cures,” but vainly sought to find them. “The Art of Healing” or “The Healing Art” were familiar phrases, but the thing itself, like a will-o’-the-wisp, eluded them-then as it has ever since. In the second paragraph of the Organon, Hahnemann gives, for the first time in medical history, an adequate and satisfying definition of the ideal expressed in the word “Cure:” “The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles.”
Distinction between Cure and Recovery
The favorable outcome of medical treatment may be either a cure or a recovery. To realize the ideal of cure, it is necessary to know the exact meaning of these terms and to be able to discriminate between them. The terms are not synonymous. Natural recoveries following treatment consisting of mere palliation of symptoms should not be mistaken for cure nor falsely paraded as such. A cure is always a result of art and is never brought about by nature. Nature, however, aided or unaided, often brings about a recovery, under the operation of natural laws. Fortunate indeed is it for humanity that this is true.
Recovery is the spontaneous return of the patient to health after the removal, disappearance or cessation of the exciting causes and occasion of disease, or as a result of treatment which is not directly and specifically curative in its nature. Recovery takes place by virtue of the existence of sufficient integrity of organs and inherent power of reaction in the patient to overcome the disease-producing agency without the aid of the homœopathic or healing art. Recovery is favored by the application of sound principles of mental and physical hygiene, judicious mechanical or surgical treatment when required, and avoidance of drugs used for their “physiological” (really pathogenic) effects, and by enlightened sanitation.
Relationship of cure to disease.
A true definition of cure must be based upon a right conception of the nature of disease. Disease is an abnormal vital process, a changed condition of life, which is inimical to the true development of the individual and tends to organic dissolution. The Standard Dictionary defines disease as “any departure from, failure in, or perversion of normal physiological action in the material constitution of functional integrity of the living organism”. This definition rightly focuses attention upon the dynamical aspect of the subject, for disease is essentially and primarily a morbid dynamical disturbance of the vital powers and functions, resulting in a loss of functional and organic balance.
Cure refers to the direct restoration of normal physiological action by medical art. Cures do not consist in the mere removal of the external, secondary, tangible products of disease, but in restoration of the dynamical balance, so that the functions of the organism are again performed normally and the patient is in a state of health. Disease is manifested perceptibly by signs and symptoms. Cure, is manifested by the removal of the symptoms. Strictly speaking the removal of all the symptoms of the case is equivalent to a cure, but if symptoms disappear and the patient is not restored health and strength it means either that some of the most important symptoms of the case have been overlooked, or that the case has passed beyond the curable stage. All curable cases present perceptible symptoms, but their discernment often depends upon the acuteness of the observer.
Cure relates to the case as a whole: A patient may have his hemorrhoids removed and be relieved of his rectal symptoms; but if the symptoms of the heart or liver disease which preceded and caused his hemorrhoids are not removed the patient is not cured; and so of innumerable other morbid conditions. Cure refers to the patient, not to some symptoms of his disease, nor to what may be called “one of his diseases.” To say that a patient is cured of his hemorrhoids, but still has his heart disease is absurd. Cure means complete restoration to health.
Cure is not affected by the removal surgically nor by any local means, of the external, secondary, pathological “end-products” of disease, such as tumors, effusions, collections of pus, useless organs or dead tissues; for the morbid functioning which produced those effects often remains unchanged, after such removal. Cure is effected only by dynamical treatment according to fixed principles, directed to the primary, functional disorder as revealed by the complete symptom-picture preceding and accompanying the formation of the tangible products of the disease.
Cure is not merely the removal of the primary causes of disease, for even if all the causes of the disease are known and removable, the effects, having been begun, may continue as secondary causes after the removal of the primary causes. Spontaneous disappearance of the disease does not always occur in such cases, and dynamical treatment is required to restore the patient to health.
The Law of Cure
The accomplishment of even one true cure by medication implies the existence of a governing principle or law of cure by medication. The occasional occurrence of accidental cures very early attracted the attention of medical men, and led them to seek for such a law. Glimpses of the law were had by individuals from time to time down the ages, but it eluded the searches or failed of demonstration until Hahnemann finally grasped it comprehendingly and made it the basis for the therapeutic method which he named homœopathy.
Many were deluded by mistaking natural recoveries for cures. Their attempts to “imitate” invariably failed. Others abandoned the idea of a general principle of cure by medication and denied its existence, refusing to accept the demonstration when it was finally made. That is the attitude of the average member of the dominant school to-day. They deny the existence of a general principle of therapeutic medication. “We do not profess a cure,” they say; “we only aid nature to bring about recoveries.” In this they are at least honest, and consistent in their use of terms.
The Requirements of Cure
1) It shall be the result of the direct application of a definite general principle of therapeutic medication. The result may be accidental or intentional on the part of the prescriber in a given case, but its relation to the means employed must be capable of rational explanation and demonstration by reference to the governing principle. A general principle is capable of systematic demonstration, not only once but repeatedly and invariably, under stated conditions. Given the principle, it is always possible to formulate a method or technique, by means of which the principle may be successfully applied to every case within its scope.
2) It must be individual. A general principle according to which any action takes place is always capable of being individualized. The ability to meet the varying requirements of individual cases proves the existence and truth of the principle involved. A true system of therapeutics must be able to adapt its basic principle and its remedy to the needs of each individual case. There are no cures for “diseases,” no remedy for all cases of the same disease. Cure relates to the individual patient, not to the disease. No two cases of the same disease are exactly alike. Differences of manifestation in symptoms and modalities always exist in individuals. It is these differences which give each case its individuality, and create the need for an individual remedy.
Manner and Direction of Cure
Cures take place in a definite, orderly manner and direction. Normal vital processes, cellular, organic and systemic, begin at the centre and proceed outwardly. Figuratively, if not literally, ‘life is a centrifugal force, radiating, externalizing, concentrating and organizing spirit into matter – “from above, downward.” In the same sense disease is a centripetal force, opposing, obstructing, penetrating toward the center and tending to disorganization. The progression of all chronic diseases is from the surface toward the center; from less important to more important organs “from below upward.” Curative medicines reinforce the life force, reverse the morbid process and annihilate the disease.
The symptoms disappear from above downward, from within outward and in the reverse order of their appearance. When a patient with an obscure rheumatic endocarditis, for example, begins to have signs and symptoms of acute arthritis soon after faking the homœopathic remedy and is relieved of his chest sufferings, we know that cure has commenced.
The Hahnemannian ideal of cure by medication, according to the principle of symptom-similarity, largely lost sight of for a time in the dazzling accomplishments of modern surgery and laboratory research, has been passing through such a period of neglect and obscurity. But already there are signs of a revival of this great truth, as science, in its wider reaches, is beginning to correlate the results of its work. The whole trend of modern medical thought is toward the confirmation and acceptance of fundamental postulates and principles first enunciated by Hahnemann. Homœopathy is gradually being rediscovered by modem science.
Disease and Drug relationship
Every Inductive Natural Science (except those of classification) consists elementarily of 2 series of independent phenomena connected by the formula of their general relation.
Science Phenomena-1 Link Phenomena-2
Therapeutics Sick phenomena Therapeutic law Drug phenomena
Physics Phenomena of sun law of attraction phenomena of earth
Chemistry Properties of Pottassa Law of chem.affinity Properties of H2SO4
Optics Properties of Law of light diffusion properties of Luminous body Light receiving body.
So it is evident that a science of therapeutics or a mode of treatment should indicate a relationship between the drug administered and the disease in question. This relationship can be similar, different, antagonistic and at times identical. Based on these relationships, Hahnemann classified the modes of treatment as homœopathic, heteropathic / allœopathic , antipathic and isopathic, respectively. Then he went on analyzing which of these relationships is ideal in the sense that it effects true cure. It was this search for the ultimate truth that landed in the discovery of Homœopathy as an effective system of healing.