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Basis - Herings Law of Cure - Level 2 to
History & Basis - Level 1
Hering's Law of Cure. By Dr
Roger Schmidt Presented by Sylvain
series of facts and phenomena to be the object of a science, they
must be united by real connections, submissive rules, principles and
fixed laws. The scientific mind invents neither facts, nor their
relations of causality any more than their laws and principles. Its
mission consists in investigating, discovering 'them' and
establishing them on a basis as solid as possible.
Repeated observations and
experimentation, which is only observation applied to artificially
produced relations of causality, establish the reality of these
facts on the firm basis of experience. When the relations of
causality are permanent and invariable the existence of positive
laws may be concluded from them.
As empirically found out
facts, relations of causality have too, their raison d'tre. They
derive from more general laws and have their principles. Leading up
to these principles, in so far as they can be positively
established, is the highest mission of science. On the limit of
these positive principles, experimental sciences stop. If we exceed
that limit, we enter the domestic domain of philosophy, the domain
of primary and metaphysical causes. No scientific man should remain
a stranger to this domain. Willingly or not, those limits are
constantly exceeded ; as the search for principles is imposed upon
the human mind by its very nature.
The reality of the
relations of causality, of the principles of laws and the
possibility of proving them by observation, are the first condition
of every true science. Another and quite as necessary condition is
the fixity of those laws. What makes the strength and superiority of
homopathic therapeutics is that it rests on precise and fixed (LAWS
and PRINCIPLES. Beside our great law SIMILIA SIMILIBUS CURANTUR)
which forms the solid basis of the Hahnemannian doctrine, there
exists a secondary one little known : THE LAW OF CURE.
Constantine Hering had the merit of formulating for
the first time the law of the direction of symptoms, i.e:
From above downwards. From within
outwards. From a more important organ to a less important one.
In the reverse order of their
I have been
unable to find the original work, J. T. Kent in his Lectures on
Homopathic Philosophy and Lesser Writings speaks of Hering and of
the modus operandi of cure. Stuart Close likewise mentions the law
of cure in his Genius of Homopathy. As far as I know no trace of it
can be found in the homopathic literature or elsewhere.
After defining what the Law
is, it is useful to study the expression "cure"
Our illustrious master,
Samuel Hahnemann, took as starting point that the aim of any
medicine is the cure of diseases. This is the true art of
"The perfection of a cure
consists in restoring health in a prompt, mild and permanent manner
: in removing and annihilating disease by the shortest, safest and
most certain means, upon principles that are at once plain and
Hahnemann says restore
health and annihilate the whole, the entire disease, not SUPPRESS
certain symptoms. This discrimination is of capital importance upon
which it behooves us to insist very specially, for people usually
call "cure" the disappearance of certain symptoms or syndromes,
external manifestations of disease, such as constipation, eruptions,
leucorrha, piles, etc.
A patient calls for the
intervention of the physician for symptom that he finds especially
unpleasant, which make him suffer in his comfort or his vanity. He
does not know what distinguishes PALLIATION from a GENUINE CURE, and
he has no idea that such external manifestation is only one of the
episodes of a deeper affection, one of the parts, often the least
important one, of the general trouble. And the physician, always in
a hurry and anxious to keep the patient as a client, is but too
often tempted, alas I to take the easy but dangerous way of
palliation, of the suppression of external symptoms or pain. For
example, this rheumatic patient so quickly freed from his articular
symptoms through the energetic intervention of his physician,
returns to his clever doctor shortly after and says to him, "You
cured my rheumatism so well, why can you not cure my asthma ?" The
physician, and of course the patient, do not recognize the
connection between cause and effect of the peripheral disturbances
to the related and consequent internal manifestations, which become
more and more serious. The clear-sighted homopathic physician can
observe every day in his practice that connection.
The undeniable proof of
what should be called the "repercussion" in the interior of the body
of external manifestations suppressed, is the return of the previous
symptoms, the reappearance of external manifestations, thanks to
well-chosen homopathic remedies.
The pains, changes,
sufferings, which occur on the surface of the body, not originating
from any external violence, or merely from the consequences of some
slight external injury, owe their source to an internal affection.
It is, therefore, equally absurd and dangerous to regard these
diseases as symptoms that are purely local, and to treat them
exclusively, or nearly so by topical applications, as if they were
surgical cases, in which manner they have been treated till the
These maladies have been
considered as purely local, and, consequently, received the
appellation of such because they were looked upon as affections that
were in a manner attached to the extreme parts in which the organism
took little or no share, as it was ignorant of their
Reflection, however, will
suffice to explain why an external malady (which has not been
occasioned by an important external violence) cannot arise,
continue, or much less grow worse, without some internal cause, the
co-operation of the whole system, the latter consequently being
diseases. (Organon. . 187, 188,
Behind all local
affections, says Dr. P. Carton, even the most insignificant ones,
seemingly the most localized, such as anthrax, eczema, coryza, sick
headache, etc., is hidden a humoral alteration, an attack against
the general condition, a fall of vital resistance's, which really
form the essence of the malady. But it is principally in the
so-called specialties (malady of the eye, ear or nose, etc.) that it
is absolutely necessary to know that the eye, nose, ear must not be
treated as if they were, so to say, placed on a tray, independently
of the value of the general reactions of the patient. Insofar, any
localized alteration (ulcer, fistula, abscess ganglion, etc.) can he
looked upon as a barometer of the general state.
Disease, therefore, is
always general, it affects the individual as a whole, physical and
psychical, and it is not possible to speak of cure unless the
disturbed order has been completely restored in the whole individual
and unless the symptoms have altogether disappeared.
The human body can be
considered as a sort of confederation of organs, animated by a
vital, immaterial principle. The control of all the functions is
effected from the centre to the circumference, so as to secure
harmony and fulfil the purpose assigned to the organism. The
morbific agent always affects the centre of government first, and it
produces at first functional disorders before producing organic
diseases. This is especially evident in acute maladies : every acute
malady begins by general disturbances, modifications of the temper
and character, then troubles of sleep, appetite, etc., appear. And
only later after a more or less long period (called incubation
period) are the manifestations localized in such or such part of the
organism (static period). In chronic disease that process remains
the same, though it is far more difficult to detect.
The medica mental provings
show a movement quite analogous in the intoxicating action on the
economy from centre to circumference. As the centre of government is
affected first, the whole economy feels that modifying influence,
that is why we can observe signs and symptoms in the whole body,
with predominance in such or such system or organ, giving thus to
the picture of intoxication its proper physiognomy.
Then, if the malady affects
first the interior of the individual, not his outside tissues and
organs, it is obvious that it is the inside which must first be put
in order, and the outside afterwards. The cure must then proceed
from centre to circumference, i. e.
From above downwards. From within
outwards. From the more important organs to the lesser. From
the head to the hands and feet.
The law of cure is
infinitely precious to the physician ; it is his compass and rudder
in the struggle against disease. It explains to him clearly in what
manner the morbific principle evolves. The practitioner knows with
certainty, which makes his strength and his success, that if the
symptoms are developed in the direction indicated by the law, the
patient will be cured and the symptoms will permanently disappear.
He knows also when the symptoms take a country direction that the
remedy was not well-chosen, that it acts as a palliative and that
the patient will grow worse.
I will quote now two cases
that wilt illustrate better than any theoretical considerations,
what the law of cure is in the daily practice.
CASE 1 :
Mr. G. B---., 72 years old,
told me he suffered, when he, was about 40, from an obdurate eczema
which had extended from the feet to the sexual parts, then onto the
trunk, and at last to the eyelids and scalp. But for the eczema, he
thought at that time, that he was very strong and in perfect health.
It required years of various treatment and the use of numerous
ointments to suppress little by little this eruption, traces of
which are still to be seen on the scalp and eyelids. During more
than twenty years since the time he had at last succeeded in ridding
himself of his eczema, he suffered from frequent influenza, then
from bronchitis, which tittle by little turned into asthma. He
attributes all these phenomena, from which he never suffered before,
to chills and these grew worse in spite of every care. Little by
little rheumatism set in (a question of time perhaps) which made him
suffer cruelly, in the shoulders, hands and lower limbs. Every
winter he had one or two attacks of lumbago and sciatica, without
mentioning attacks of bronchitis and asthma.
Now he has a pityriasis
erythema on the scalp, dry eczema of the eyelids and conjunctivitis.
The skin all over the body is extremely dry and covered with little
white scales, especially abundant on the limbs. When auscultating
the globulous thorax, one hears big rhonci and, numerous sibilances
spread about. The cough is noisy, paroxysmal, turns loose and dry.
Solar plexus painful when pressed, when the patient is standing
(signal pain according to Leven), which denotes a gastric ptosis.
The liver, very sensitive to touch, continues beyond the ribs a
little. The patient complains of lack of appetite and constipation.
Dry arthritis of the shoulders and knees. Heart normal. Pulse 75.
Tendon reflexes not very much marked. Numerous nodosities around the
articulations of both hands. The nails of the big toes are very much
thickened. The patient is frequently disturbed in his sleep by his
cough and after 5 in the morning he cannot sleep at all.
This story and the complex
of the present symptoms clearly indicate Sulphur. On January 11, I
gave Sulphur 30 every morning in the plus method. On February 3.,
the patient returns saying : "I feel better I sleep better, till
6.30. The cough disappeared two days ago, the breathing is deeper,
the stairs much less difficult to ascend. I have an appetite again,
my bowels evacuate two or three times a day." The only shadow in the
picture is the increase of rheumatism nearly everywhere. I give
On February 27, the above
mentioned improvements are maintained. The head is lighter, the mind
more active, the ideas clearer. The itching and the erythema of the
scalp have disappeared. The eyes are getting better. On the
contrary, the rheumatic pains are stronger in the hands and feet.
"An extraordinary thing, doctor, my previous perspirations and my
eczema of 20 years ago, on the genital parts, on the hands and feet
have returned. I don't want to re-commence the comedy of yore". I
warn my patient and tell him to abstain from any external medicinal
application and I speak to him of the law of cure explaining to him
that his symptoms are following exactly the desired direction
From above downward (the
head is better, the lower parts of the body worse).
From within outward (the
cough, asthma, breathing, digestive functions are very much
improved, whilst the extremities show serious
And in the reverse order of
the coming of the symptoms (reappearance of the previous eczema and
perspiration). Of course I give Placebo.
On April 2. I see my
patient again. He declares that his state has rapidly improved,
until a recent journey during which he indulged in an indiscretion
of diet, which brought a strong aggravation of all skin symptoms.
The rheumatism is better but has not completely disappeared. I order
a dose of Sulphur 200 and Placebo. (The duration of Sulphur 30 was
On July 6, the patient
returns to thank me. He is cured and wishes to make me endorse his
CASE II :
Mrs. A. G---. 35 years old,
comes to consult me for her general state of health. She is
sensitive person, and her symptoms would cover numerous pages,
therefore, I will only mention the most important. Her state of
health was entirely modified after the birth of her daughter eight
years ago, in spite of the care of several physicians, it was
growing worse and worse. Giddiness in the morning, when standing and
when going down the stairs. Sick headaches accompanied with nausea
and vomiting of bile, especially before and after the menses. Her
head is often flushed in the region of the vertex. The nape of the
neck is the seat of heavy pains. She always feels too hot and cannot
bear heat ; the warmth of the bed gives agonies in the legs, her
feet are so burning that she stretches them out of the bed or walks
barefooted on the cold stones of her kitchen to cool them. Violent
fits of sneezing in the morning after leaving bed, followed by tears
; itching of the eyelids. Her sight is weakened and her eyes easily
get tired. She has too much saliva which obliges her to swallow
constantly, thence aerophagia. She is more thirsty than hungry. The
stomach and abdomen, very much swollen, are as if bruised. Many
eructations and intestinal gases. The menses have nothing special,
except that they are followed by "whites". Her back often hurts. Her
very damp hands show an eczema of the palm for the last eight years.
Pains in the shoulders, worse at night. Heaviness in the legs, which
feel as if swollen. Very sudden pains in the sciatic nerve, when
walking. Sleep is very troubled, because of a burning feeling of the
feet, starlings and shakings of the entire body. In the morning,
when awaking, she is more fatigued than when going to bed. This
symptomological ensemble contains good indications of
On April 5, I give Sulphur
30, 200M, 10M one dose of each dilution every morning and
On April 16, the patient
tells me she felt far worse during the four days which followed her
visit to my office, and she didn't close her eyes during these four
nights. Then, she felt relieved, stronger, the headaches have not
re-appeared, nor the giddiness either. The nape of the neck is
getting better too. The thirst has disappeared ; but she has the
greatest difficulties in coming to my office, as she suffers so much
in the back arid lower limbs. The eczema of the hand is increased.
All this discourages her very much. I exhort her to have patience
and reassure her in explaining the LAW OF CURE : "All that will go
down and out, never to return".
Indeed, on April 30, the
pains in the back have gradually disappeared after the last
consultation. The hands are getting freed from the eruption. The
sleep would be excellent, if the legs and especially the feet did
not give her a foretaste of hell fire ; Placebo.
See my patient only 10
weeks later, on July 16, for the good reason that she is perfectly
well and cured. Source: Homeoapthic Recorder, Feb
1929 Copyright Sylvain Cazalet 2001