Symptomatology in Homeopathy By Dr.Renu Rajput Barigal
Symptomatology in Homeopathy
In the homeopathic system of cure the principle of Similimum, the principle of potentiation, and the principle of posology constitute the trinity. In homeopathy, unlike in allopathy, the patient is the main focus but not the disease. His suffering from the disease is primarily the dynamical disturbance of the vital force that animates the whole physical organism.
The suffering of the dynamics is made known to us through certain morbid signs or symptoms. Physicians should elicit, study, analyze, and interpret these symptoms. This is called the symptomatology. Hahnemann broadly defines it as “any manifestation of a deviation from the former state of health, perceptible of the patient, the individuals around him, or the physician”.
Here is a twofold classification of symptoms – objective and subjective in homeopathy. Objective symptoms are the facts and phenomena noticed by the physician and those around the patient. They-are the sensations and the functions of the organism revealed outwardly.
The subjective symptoms are the expressions of the internal state of the organism-the patient’s mental or psychic state, his inner sensations, and feelings. Of the two, the subjective symptoms are more important.
The physician studies, both the subjective and objective symptoms and correlates them in such a way that they represent the disease. The totality of symptoms does not mean a numerical totality. It is a meaningful combination of the single symptoms discoverable by the patient as well as by the physician. The symptom-picture which thus emerges is also a disease-picture.
In fact, even a single symptom has a totality of its own. The three essential elements of a symptom are Location, Sensation, and Modality. Modality is the circumstances and/conditions that aggravate or ameliorates the disease.
In acute ailments, elaborate cross-examination of the patient is often unnecessary since they run a well-known course and have clear symptom-pictures and the choice of remedy is usually restricted to a few drugs. A simple examination of the patient: his pulse, the look of his eyes, the face, the throat, the tongue, and the nature of discharges are more than sufficient.
But in dealing with “Chronic” ailments the physician has to gather all the information he can; the present complaints, the past history, the patient’s occupation, and habits, the treatment he has already undergone, modalities.
The idea is to trace the present suffering to its origin. As the patient gives a detailed account of his sufferings, the physician has to note them down under different symptom headings such as generals, and particulars. In short, the case sheet should contain a patient’s personal as well as miasmatic history. The totality of symptoms So obtained leads to the right selection of the remedy.
Hahnemann says that “the more striking singular uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms of the case are mainly and almost solely to be kept in view”, The physician should know (1) all the symptoms of the patient and (2) all the symptoms common to the disease. Deduct (2) from (1) We have the characteristic symptoms of the patient. It is called “Key Note Prescribing”. Select at least three characteristic symptoms.
SELECTION OF THE DRUG
The next stage is the selection of the drug. The governing principle here is “Likes Cure Likes”. Likes should be Treated with Likes”. The symptoms of the drug selected should be similar to the symptoms of the drug selected should be similar to the symptoms of the disease.
The drug, symptomatology should present the clearest and closest resemblance to the symptom-complex of the sick person in question. The drug picture is to be found in the Materia Medica and it should tally with the symptom picture which the physician has already had with him. The drug should be a simillimum and if the physician succeeds in selecting the simillimum, he can bring about a gentle, rapid, and permanent cure.
The choice of potency is a much-debated problem. It all depends on the reactivity, sensitivity, and susceptibility of the patient. Hahnemann preferred to treat all cases with 30th potency. High potencies work rapidly and effectively. But then they can cause acute pain and aggravation and should be used with great care.
The higher the number the greater the strength, and the more accurate one must be. For beginners and children, the 6, or in some instances the 12 are recommended. More severe cases may require occasionally the 200. Generally, the lower and medium potencies if correctly prescribed and well managed will give satisfactory results. One could stop with 200 potencies and bring about a cure.
Drugs are made out of substances available in vegetable “animal and mineral kingdoms. In their natural state, these substances are crude, inert, and even poisonous. They have medicinal properties that are however hidden. This hidden energy is brought out by a special and skillful operation known as potentiation.
The mass of the substance is broken up and dissolved in the sugar of milk or of pure water or alcohol in certain quantities according to decimal (1/IO) or centesimal (1/100) scale. The liquid form to which all substances are reduced is known as the mother-tincture (Q). One drop of Mother tincture is mixed with 99 drops of alcohol and shaken vigorously. It is called IC mixture Again* *One drop is taken from this IC mixture and 99 drops of alcohol are added to it and it is vigorously shaken. The resultant mixture is called 2c. This is the centesimal scale (1: 99).
These are also a decimal scale (1: 9). According to this one drop of the mother tincture is mixed with nine drops of alcohol or sugar of milk and triturated. It is called X. In both instances, each step of dilution adds one degree of potency. The resulting products of these operations are known as “Potencies” or “dilutions”.
The higher the potency, the more potent is the remedy. The commonly used potencies are 6X, 6c, 12c, 30c, and 200c, 1M is for 1000c), 10M, CM. The centesimal scale is more commonly used in professional practice and very often ‘C’ is dropped (Arsenic Alb 30 means Arsenic Alb 30c) whereas the *X(Trituration)’ notation is always used where the decimal scale is intended.
By experimentation and his own experience, Hahnemann concluded that the proper dose is always the least possible dose which will effect a cure. The quantity of the drug is in the inverse ratio to the similarity. If the drug is a simillimum the minimum dose should be quite effective.
The closer the relationship between the symptom-picture and the drug-picture, the greater the susceptibility of the patient, i.e., the quicker the patient is likely to react or respond to it, the higher the potency the patient required, the less the quantity, and the less frequent the dose. That about sums up the whole thing.