Obstacle to Cure – The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy by HA Robert

Obstacle to Cure – The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy by HA Robert 

Dr Bhagyasree B  MD(Hom)
Medical Officer, Department of Homoeopathy, Govt. of Kerala 

H A ROBERTS(1868-1950) 

  • Dr. Roberts was born on 7th May 1868 in Riverton of USA. 
  • Studied in New York Homoeopathic Medical College 
  • He practised homoeopathy for nearly fifty years 
  • In 1907, he became a member of American Institute of Homoeopathy 
  • Homoeopathic Recorder was acquired by the International Hahnemannian Association in the year 1927. 
  • Dr. Roberts was selected to be its Editor-in-Chief until 1934. 

In this chapter Dr.H.A Roberts explains some common obstacles that interfere the smooth curative process of homoepathic indicated remedies. 

We are told that light waves travel in a certain direction until they meet some obstacle, when they are deflected at an angle proportionate to the angle of interference. 

The science of optics we can measure angles of deflection of light and the measurements necessary to correct vision or to utilize the light waves in some practical manner. 

In other words, there is a definite measurable approach through known laws in optics. 

In the case of homoeopathy we have NO such instrument to measure the obstacles to the curative waves of our remedies. 

Here Dr.H A Roberts is asking 2 important questions to all physician 

1.why are our results not uniformly satisfactory?
2.Why doesn’t the seemingly indicated remedy always work? Under this questions he explained common obstacles
For easy understanding we can classify obstacles to cure as 

1.Errors from part of patient 2.Errors from part of physician 

a)errors of prescription  b)errors in pharmacy 

1.Common errors in patient part 

1.Advanced pathological conditions
2.Treatment by X-ray or Radium
3.Non-pathological mechanical obstruction by foreign body
4.Psychic trauma,emotional stresses and unhappy domestic conditions 5.over anxiety,worry,constant financial stress and industrial demand 6.increasing use of sedatives,bromides,narcotics and analgesics
7.Use of cosmetics
8.Problems of diet
9.Lack of exercise 

1.Advanced pathology
One obvious reason is the pathological condition of the patient.
The röentgenologist and the surgeon are most apt to known about such pathological obstacles than is the homoeopathic physician 

2.Treatment by X-Ray or Radium
Treatment of pathological conditions by X-ray or radium Dissipates the pathological tissue. NO CURE HERE results of over-exposure of x raydestruction of normal tissueprove as dangerous to the patient’s health as lack of treatment; 

3.Non-pathological mechanical obstruction by foreign body
Mechanical obstruction by foreign body gives rise to reflex symptoms of  exceedingly troublesome nature. Of course the remedy does not and cannot cure such symptoms so long as the causative factor remains. 

Eg: Persistent earaches or coryzas in children who have inserted small objects into the ear or nose. 

4.Psychic trauma,emotional stresses and unhappy domestic conditions 

Psychic trauma, emotional stresses of varying degrees are factors homoeopathic prescribers, should understand during the case taking of patient. frequently the patient does not DISCLOSE his private affairs to physician and keeps this himself,he may be so used to bearing his own burdens that he does not recognize them as having any weight in the case,he may (consciously or unconsciously) distort the picture of his own mental stress,if he reveals the mental stress to physician , the whole picture may help the physician in analyzing the case. 

It was Hahnemann himself who emphasized the fact that unhappy domestic conditions was very deleterious to health of patient, that these conditions, prove insuperable obstacles to cure
as long as these strains persist under the surface, one cannot expect cure. 

5.over anxiety,worry,constant financial stress and industrial demand 

Over-anxiety, worry, constant financial stress, the tension of maintaining speed in one’s work, peculiar industrial demandsall these and many like stresses have  developed unusual influences upon our patients during the past few years and have correspondingly lowered the percentage of possible cures. 

They have served to deflect the current of cure 

6.increasing use of sedatives,bromides,narcotics and analgesics
Physician has to fight the increasing use of sedatives, bromides, narcotics, analgesics-all forms of drugging which offer the patient some retreat from the pressure of the modern age or some relief from pain, either mental or physical. 

Often the physician does not know of the home prescribing of the patient with such products from modern advertisings 

7.Use of Cosmetics
Cosmetics may prove the obstacle to cure just as surely as narcotics or coal-tar  derivatives. 

Many cosmetic preparations contain substances advertised to suppress perspiration, eruptions, or to remove hair growth. 

Eg We have seen a case of progressive paralysis in a young woman which she herself traced to the use of a depilatory(hair removing) preparation. 

Eg: An eminent contemporary prescriber reported a case of a persistent Coccus cacti cough which refused to yield-until he ordered the young woman to stop the use of her lipstick, when the cough ceased. 

Even the “old school” pharmaceutical journals are beginning to report a great variety of cases which have been traced to perfumes or perfumed cosmetics, and even to cite the physiological action of their ingredients 

Homoeopathic physician must never neglect consideration of such a deflection of the current. 

8.Problems of diet
The so-called SOFT DRINKS follow closely the record of home drugging in distorting the case. 

THE UNBALANCED DIETS as a part of modern craze for slender figures, here the patient who suffers willingly from malnutrition can be brought back to normal only if his co-operation. 

In other hand there is the malnutrition resulting from an unbalanced diet directly traceable to depressed budget.  Here we meet an economic obstacle that is often beyond the help of the physician 

9.Lack of exercise 

The question of proper exercise would seem to lie within the province of the physician. 

Eg: We recall one case, the patient, a woman past middle life, was instructed to exercise in fresh air and sunshine, asked to cultivate wild flowers. we were greeted with fresh wild flowers every call we made, but she did not seem to gain in strength nor did her color improve. 

Some time later we found that her husband faithfully went to the fields and gathered fresh flowers for the vases, while she rested in the home. 

There are some patients who cannot take strenuous exercise because of pathological obstacles. 

There are patients who are so restricted by circumstances that they get little opportunity for exercise in the open air.But such patients are usually chronics with a long history and a poor prognosis,we usually accept the situation and do the best we can toward homoeopathic palliation, sometimes we may get surprising cures 

Errors from the part of physician 

Errors in prescription 

1.Favourite symptom. 

Another obstacle to cure is the physician’s judgment may be overbalanced in favor of the patient’s favourite symptom. 

But frequent repetition of a troublesome symptom may so hide the true picture of the case and leads to an incorrect remedy selection. 

2. Keynote prescription 

The average homoeopathic physician usually memorizing a brief outline of many polychrests remedies only by keynotes. 

If these keynotes are used as a reference to materia medica study they serve well, but they are very dangerous for a basis in prescribing. 

If he prescribes solely on the keynote he may and often does, remove the conspicuous symptoms; but this may serve only as an obstacle to cure by deflecting the current of symptomatology and thus distorting the picture of the patient himself. 

2.Errors in the part of pharmacy(remedy) 

Here our first problem is the source of the remedy itself
Physicians must aware of the following
how carefully did the homoeopathic pharmacist identify the source of his supply? 

Was the original supply fresh and in good condition?

With what degree of thoroughness did the pharmacist follow Hahnemann’s 

Instructions for potentization?
With what degree of thoroughness did the provers follow instructions? 

We must be able to depend absolutely upon the sources of our remedies, and all these details are known to the homoeopathic prescriber 

if there has been carelessness in gathering the original substance, in any part of the process of making the potency, in contamination in handling the potency 

or in discrepancies in recording the provings, then we cannot but expect that the current of cure will be deflected. 

We must question 

  • Whether the provings were made under proper control. 
  • How many entered into the proving? 
  • How accurately was the substance, the origin of the potency, labeled? 
  • Inaccurate labeling might be the difference in possible cure or deflection by an insurmountable obstacle
  • But an even more important problem is the weighing of symptoms of the proving itself.

Hahnemann gave us very clear directions for making provings, and instructed us that in every case the usual habits and diet of the prover remain at ordinary level during the proving. 


The physician should distinctly understand the following conditions
what is curable in diseases in general, and in each individual case in particular… 

He should clearly comprehend what is curative in drugs in general, and in each drug in particular… 

He should be governed by distinct reasons, in order to insure recovery, by adapting what is curative in medicines to what he has recognized as undoubtedly morbid in a patient… 

Finally, when the physician knows in each case the obstacles in the way of recovery, and how to remove them, he is prepared to act thoroughly, and to the purpose, as a true master of the art of healing. 

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