A third law is the law of Minimum, which states too high a dosage causes aggravation in the patient and so it is best to use the smallest dosage possible to effect change within a highly potentiated tincture. This issue of dilutions caused a great deal of fuss for American homeopaths who differed between those who used lower (less dilute) and higher (sometimes infinitesimal) dosages. Because regular doctors derided so-called high dosages as deception and quackery homeopathic theories abounded as to why high doses are so effective. Explanations from the unapologetically metaphysical to Mesmerism to the “new” sciences like chemistry were actively debated. This issue became a split in homeopathy between a more mechanistic, physically oriented school that worked with lower dosages and a far more metaphysical and spiritually inclined school, which accepted infinitesimal dosages (Lockie, 1995, p. 17).
A fourth law is the law of Vital Force, which offers explanation for how homeopathy works. It posits that the diseased body has suffered an attack on its vital force, which is the energy that maintains life, the integrity of the human systems, and defends against disease (a modern eye may look at the immune system as a physiological system for the vital force whereas a more holistic modality may discuss chi with similar functional language). When the vital force is depleted illness occurs whereas when strong the body can withstand attacks. So the goal of homeopathy is to restore the vital force, which it does by introducing an artificial disease state induced by the homeopathic remedy. This artificial disease state incites the natural vital force to rally and bring the whole system back into balance.
A fifth law is the law of Chronic Diseases, which introduces the concept of miasms to the homeopathic lexicon. In this most abstract of theories Hahnemann says that chronic diseases are derivative of three major miasms (psora, syphilis, and sycosis) and may have a generational (genetic) quality (Lockie, 2006 p. 20). He indicates they are the most difficult to cure and that allopathic treatments only aggravate them. This theory was controversial and often ignored by homeopaths who find it too philosophical to be practical. Oliver Wendall Holmes, an outspoken critic of homeopathy, stated the only reason miasmic theory did not cause a schism in the irregular schools was due to its relative unimportance even to homeopathic adherents (Haller, 2005, p. 2447).
A sixth law is Drug-proving, which codifies the proving method. The homeopath uses varying dosages of remedies on a healthy person to test the resultant symptoms and add data to the materia medica. Following his own experimentation with cinchona bark Hahnemann replicated the experiment on other healthy subjects and found the same results in varying degrees based on the constitution of the subject. And as he and his disciples proved more and more substances the homeopathic materia medica was born (Lockie, 1995, p.12). In this codification Hahnemann emphasized symptomatology over pathological theory preferring to understand the whole of the person, not just the differential diagnosis, through long case-taking interviews and observation. He also insisted medicines be proved on the healthy rather than as silver bullets for the ill whose systems were already compromised (Holler, 2005, p. 227).
A seventh law is that of Dynamization, which states that the esoteric qualities of the vital force of the substance itself is made medicinal via a process of succussion (shaking) and dilution. This process potentiates the poison into a powerful medicine. One can imagine the derision the regulars heaped onto this seemingly esoteric doctrine. As with the issue of dosages dynamization was hotly debated in homeopathic circles. The method of succussion, the rhythm, timing, and the exact method of how medicinal properties were extracted was very theoretical. Hahnemann himself adhered to Mesmerism, a school of thought that presumes human beings have their own magnetic quality that impresses itself upon a substance. As the acupuncturist develops chi to transmute to patients via needles the preparation of a homeopathic remedy involves a dynamic individual succussing a substance making it more and more powerful. Benjamin F. Joslin found a more mechanistic answer to this dilemma by theorizing that the succussion process pulverized and tore apart the original material spreading its essence throughout the dilute medicine making it more easily absorbed by the human body (1995, p. 1001).
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