Similia Similibus Curentur Post 3

Further on we find that:

Gastrointestinal symptoms may include loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea or constipation. Occasionally, an unexpected hypersensitivity to the drug may occur, and this is characterized by skin rashes, fever, photosensitivity, and deleterious effects on the blood. Other side effects include fatigue, tingling in various parts of the body, and, occasionally, jaundice.

This is quite an impressive list of possible side effects. Rather than making arbitrary distinctions between those effects we like and those we dislike, it would be more rational to characterize chlorothiazide as a drug which produces greater than normal elimination of salt and water from the body, heart problems, salt and potassium imbalances, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue and other symptoms. A practitioner who uses such a drug is counting on being able to make a favorable trade-off between the effects which are wanted and those which are not wanted. It is hoped that the former will be significantly more “marked” than the latter. But since little attempt is usually made to measure all the effects of a drug on a particular patient, particularly the long-term effects in the case of chronic treatment, belief in the favorable nature of the trade-off is often little more than an act of faith.

While some data may be available from clinical trials on the incidence of “side-effects” in a conventional drug, there is rarely any attempt made to draw up an overall balance sheet, so to speak, to try and evaluate whether the overall net effect on the patient is favorable, unfavorable, or whether the positive effects and negative effects cancel each other out. The evidence available to the practitioner about the long-term net effects is usually particularly scanty. And we must always remember that evidence from clinical trials refers to a mythical patient or patients who are representative of the wider population — and such patients do not exist. Only individual patients come through the door of the consulting room whose sensitivity to a particular medicine is unknown.

All of the effects of drugs such as those listed above for chlorothiazide are really toxic effects, including the diuretic action. They are all designed to change the mechanisms of the body away from the state of equilibrium it is currently in. Where that equilibrium is disturbed from its natural state, they act to produce a different state of disturbance which has some desired features. But this approach cannot restore the natural state.

Actions of Medicines

The homeopathic approach is much more rational. One of the most important core principles introduced by Hahnemann is the distinction between the primary action and the secondary action of all medicines. The primary action is the toxic action, in which the medicine changes the body’s state of equilibrium away from its natural state of balance. The secondary action is in effect the body’s reaction. Hahnemann postulates, extending Newton’s laws of motion into a new field, that for every action on the body there is a reaction. This reaction is the body’s attempt to resist the action, and to return to its natural state of balance.

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