I am re-reading the Organon of Medicine. A series of thoughts on the art and practice of homeopathic medicine, which is using diluted doses of substances found in nature to restore health.
There are a couple of aphorisms that are absolutely brilliant when it comes to practicing homeopathy. There are plenty more, but I thought I would touch on those that bring to light the difference between allopathic (or conventional, western) medications (drugs) and homeopathic medicines. The difference lies in the natural action of the body, or, if we look to nature as well, the Law of Nature.
The action of a medicinal substance on the body has a primary and secondary response. The primary response is the initial reaction of the body, and the secondary response is the reaction to the first. As in chemistry, this means achieving equilibrium or homeostasis.
With allopathic medications, the primary action is the therapeutic effect of a crude or high-dose of a substance on the body. This is primarily achieved by counteracting the effect of the disease or symptom. Hahnemann gives the example of opium for pain. He argues that if you give opium, the primary action of the drug is to stop pain in the body. However, once the primary action is over, the secondary action of the body is a return of the pain, but it is much worse than before, requiring more medicine or an increase in the dose.
This also happens with exercise. The primary action of exercise is heat and sweat. The secondary action, to maintain homeostasis, is a cool-down and the body then becomes cold. And so, this is the importance of a proper warm-up and cool down in order to minimize a strong secondary action. This also is the reason why it is never recommended to submerge a frost-bitten hand in warm water. The primary action of the water will warm the hand, but the second effect of the body will cause the hand to become even more cold.
With homeopathic medicines, the dose is so small that there is almost an insignificant noticeable effect, unless a careful history of the symptoms are taken and a keen observer can recognize the effect. If it is the right remedy, the opposite will happen than with allopathic medicines. The primary action of the remedy on the body will be a mild aggravation of the symptoms, however the secondary action will then be a restoration of health – only requiring a repeat of the remedy if the remedy was not a high enough dose or if the stressor of the disease is present. After the secondary action has occurred, if the symptom has returned it should be not as bad as before taking the remedy. Eventually, this becomes less and less. And so with homeopathy, the goal is to eventually take no medicine!
So in theory, the principles of these two opposing medicines are quite different! However, each has their own place in restoring health and saving lives when it comes to utilizing the best of both schools of thought.
This primary and secondary action is what restores health to a person, and the proper timing of the remedy in response to these actions on the body, will give the speediest recovery of health. Similarly like how quickly new growth will happen in the rainforest when there is an opening to light in the forest canopy…