Repetition of Homoeopathic medicines in 5 and 6 editions of Organon

Dr Siddamma

Repetition is the application of medicine as and when indicated, proper repetition is as important as proper prescription.

The 6th edition of organon of medicine in comparison to previous editions is called as ‘the most nearly perfect of all’, by the master Hahnemann himself in his letter to the publisher Mr Schaub in Dusseldorf, dated Paris February 20 1842. Hence the changes that were made in this edition hold the at most importance, when it comes to the art of homoeopathic prescribing. So an attempt has been made to review the repetition of medicine as a contrast between the then widely used and acknowledged 5th edition and the latest and perfected 6th edition.

Repetition of medicine in Homoeopathic practice has always been a confusing entity. As master Hahnemann himself held different opinion regarding it which is well documented in 5th and 6th edition with its stark differences.

As we are already well versed with the fact that homoeopathy is both art and science. the art allows us enough space to practice according to what is best in each individual case, keeping in mind about the roots of it in science. As master Hahnemann was mostly guided by the experience obtained by experimenting and logic to which he had always anchored his mind and intellect, the homoeopathic art of prescribing kept on improving. and hence we see a shift in the way medicines were to be repeated in 5th and 6th edition.

In 3rd aphorism master while addressing to the necessary knowledges that a physician should possess, he speaks of ‘knowledge of repetition’ as well it shows how much emphasis was given to the same by him. Hahnemann recommended to his pupils to let the action of first dose be exhausted before administering another remedy or a successive potency of the priorly prescribed remedy.

Hahnemann’s concept regarding repetition in 5th edition:

  • Translated by Dudgeon
  • Φ 245 he says ‘progressive amelioration after accurately selected very minute dose of Hom. Medicine will accomplish all the good that the remedy is capable of in periods of 40,50 or 100 days’. But this rarely happens, it is desirable for both the patient and physician if the period of cure is rapid and the time taken is reduced to ½, ¼, or even less. This can happen under 3 conditions:

When the remedy selected is perfectly homoeopathic.

When minutest dose is selected for minimal aggravation.

When it is repeated at suitable interval.

  • In the footnote of same aphorism he says: in previous edition he had asked to let the 1st prescribed remedy to fully expend its action before new medicine / the old is chronic cases neither the large doses of well chosen remedy nor the several doses repeated quickly do any good.
  • Because vital force doesn’t adopt itself to transition from natural disease to similar medicine disease, but is violently excited and disturbed by repetition it will do more harm than good.
  • Until any other efficacious method is discovered this should be the method. i.e. single dose and smallest dose both in acute and chronic should be practiced.
  • In young children and delicate excitable adults in acute and chronic diseases 1 dose might seem insufficient to effect all curative action, need for repetition might be felt here but it will alter the vital force pathogenetically, hence repetition not at all advised 1 single globule moistened with highly potentised medicine is also enough.
  • Quick successive repetition accumulate in organism into a kind of excessively large dose, vital force not being able to recover between every dose, though it is small becomes oppressed and overwhelmed. Thus being incapable of reacting in salutary manner. Resembles allopathic abuse of large doses.
  • He speaks finally of a ‘true middle path’: to be guide by nature of medicine, constitution of patient and magnitude of disease. In acute diseases every 4,8,12,16 and 24 hrs, in severe cases even hourly repetition.
  • Same medicine may be repeated several times but only till recovery ensues or it ceases to do good or presents with new symptoms.

Hahnemann’s concept regarding repetition in 6th edition:

  • Translated by William Boericke.
  • In Φ246, master says: increasing amelioration, progression in case contraindicates repetition
  • Rapid cure can be obtained under following conditions:

Medicine being perfectly homoeopathic.

Highly potentised small dose.

Proper repetition.

  • In acute diseases, the remedy can be repeated frequently depending upon the intensity of the disease.
  • 246 In chronic diseases, a single dose of an appropriately selected homeopathic remedy at times completes the cure within 40, 50, 60, 100 days. But the aim of the physician is to achieve the cure in a rapid manner. Hence, the perfectly selected dynamized remedy by dissolving in water and given in proper small doses in definite intervals will bring about cure very faster. But Hahnemann reminds us “The degree of every repeated dose deviate somewhat from the preceding.” This is because the same potency of the remedy is no more helpful in stimulating the vital force in producing the desirable primary action.
  • The same unchanged dose of the remedy should not be repeated, because the prior dose has already stimulated the vital force sufficiently. So, vital force no longer accepts the same unchanged potency of the remedy, sometimes it can make the patient sick.
  • In the footnote to § 246, “What I said in the fifth edition of Organon, in a long foot note to this paragraph in order to prevent these undesirable reactions of the vital energy, was all that the experience I then had justified. But during the last four or five years, however all these difficulties are solved by my new altered but perfected method. The same carefully selected medicine may now be given daily and for months, if necessary in this way namely after the low degree of potency has been used for one or two weeks in the treatment of chronic diseases, advance is made in the same way to higher degrees.”
  • 247 Hence, the succeeding dose is changed slightly every time and its potency is somewhat higher. Now, the vital principle will be altered or stimulated again and thus the cure is brought nearer.
  • footnote to § 247 selected homeopathic remedy has to be repeated only with the improved dynamization of the potency at every repetition. Such procedure can be followed if required, several times.
  • If new symptoms appear in this repetition, it has to be thought that the selected remedy may not be truly homeopathic and a new remedy can be selected in place of the previous one. This new remedy can be repeated in the same manner in the ever-increasing potencies, with 8,10 or 12 succussions from which we can give to patients 1/ several teaspoonful doses according nature of disease. Made in 40,30,20,15 or 8 tablespoons of water with addition of some alcohol or piece of charcoal for preservation. 1 globule +7-8 tablespoons water given few succussions, 1 tablespoon of this preparation is used for the next potency and so on. Like this every time fresh potencies should be given.
  • 248: The apparent (clear) symptoms caused by the excess of the homeopathic medicine are called the schein symptom. These symptoms will disappear and leave the patient into undisturbed health if the medicine is stopped. Dr Hahnemann gives two opinion to the physician in stopping the medicine. The medicine can be withdrawn either in abrupt manner or the duration of the repetition of the medicine can be gradually increased and thus stopped totally in a span of time.
  • 248 In such cases, Hahnemann recommends olfactory method as a follow-up. A small dram of dilute alcohol into which one globule of properly succussed medicine is added. Such olfaction can be given to the patient every 2, 3 or 4 days once, but succussing 8 to 10 times at every use.
  • 250 An intelligent, accurately observing physician can identify the badly chosen remedy within 6, 8, or 12 hours of its administration, especially in acute cases. Then he replaces the proper one in the place of the wrongly chosen one.
  • 251 Certain drugs like Ignatia, Bryonia, Rhus tox and sometimes Belladonna produce alternating actions, a kind of symptoms of primary action that are opposite to each other. In our practice, after prescribing these remedies on strict homeopathic principles if no improvement follows, the same medicine can be repeated afresh and in equally small doses. Sometimes such practice can bring about improvement. In acute case, if such remedies are selected, a second dose of the same remedy may be administered within few hours after employing the first dose.

Hence, although there are difference of opinion regarding repetition according to both the editions. changes made in 6th edition holds good in present times for the homoeopathic art of prescribing. The contrast between the two shows the evolution in the understanding and application of the concept.

Organon Of Medicine 5th Edition: Translated By R.E Dudgeon.
Organon Of Medicine 6th Edition: Translated By William Boericke

Department of Organon of medicine
Government homoeopathic medical College and hospital, Bangalore-79
UGO Dr. Vijayalakshmi M Angadi
Associate professor
Dept.of Organon of medicine
Govt. Homoeopathic medical College and hospital Bangalore-79

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