Characteristics by James Tyler Kent

“The third point in the duty of the physician is to employ those medicines whose pure effects have been proved upon a healthy person in the manner best suited to the cure of natural diseases homoeopathically.” We will take this up in our next talk.

This third point in the duty of the physician referred to in Par. 146 really takes up the balance of the Organon.

Par. 147: “Of all these medicines that one whose symptoms bear the greatest resemblance to the totality of those who characterize any particular natural disease ought to be the most appropriate and certain homoeopathic remedy that can be employed; it is the specific remedy in this case of disease.” It is not an uncommon thing in this advanced day of science to read of specific remedies. The old school distinctly affirms that there are only three or four species, but almost every off-shoot who starts at something for himself has to a great extent the idea of specifics in him.

One of the first things the quack physician seems inclined to do is to commence advertising specifics for headache, for diarrhoea, for this or that. This is altogether opposed to Homoeopathy. There are no specifics in Homoeopathy except at the bedside of a patient when the remedy has been wrought out with great endeavor and care. Then it may be said that that medicine which is found to be similar to the symptoms which characterize this disease is specific.

Now, please note that there is an emphatic sense in that word “characterizes.” It is not ordinary expression. We have read in the earlier portions or the Organon that the disease makes itself known to the physician by signs and symptoms, and that the totality of the symptoms is the sole representation of the disease, to the physician; but that totality has to be studied to ascertain what there is, among all the symptoms, that characterize the disease, or marks the symptoms as peculiar.

Now Hahnemann commences to analyze the totality of the symptoms for the purpose of giving it character. It has been said in these lectures that it is necessary to do that, that the information that leads up to characterizing it really the information that makes the homoeopathic physician wise, by which he has the ability to intelligently understand that which he has to treat.

That medicine which is best adapted is the most similar, but you cannot demonstrate beforehand that it is the specific homoeopathic remedy; for you may be deceived in you idea of the nature of the case. But when that remedy has acted, then it maybe seen that that remedy was homoeopathic, or specific, or that it was not homoeopathic. You have no idea as to what remedy will be homoeopathic to the case until you have examined all the symptoms, and then proceed to find out that which characterizes.

Put that word characterizes in large type, in red letters. You cannot dwell sufficiently long upon that, because it grows greater and grander with every study of the case, that idea of the characteristic. What is there in this case which makes it an individual, what is there in it that makes it unlike any that ever existed? In the case of the remedy ascertain that which characterizes it.

When these two occur before the perception, before man’s mind, so that he can think upon them, and he realizes that the remedy is the most similar of all in the Materia Medica, then he is assure that that remedy will cure, and it only requires to be administered to prove that it is the specific. The homoeopathicity is thus sustained, the similitude has been borne out by the medicine having cured.

We cannot have the demonstration that the remedy is homoeopathic until it cures the sick man; we may only presume that it is homoeopathic, or say it appears to us that it is homoeopathic, because that which is characteristic of the disease is most similar of all other things to that which is characteristic of that remedy, or vice versa. We may reasonably assume that that remedy is the specific, but the homoeopathicity can only be demonstrated by cure. So it does not make a remedy homoeopathic simply to be carried in my case. Homoeopathic remedies are not homoeopathic simply because they have been used by a homoeopath. Remedies are not homoeopathic because potentized and attenuated or prepared after the fashion of our school.

What constitutes a remedy homoeopathic? The answer is: It has demonstrated its curative relation to the patient, after having been prescribed in accordance with his symptoms, the recovery taking place in the proper direction, from above downward, from within out, and in the reverse order of the symptoms. That constitutes a remedy homoeopathic and that constitutes the prescription homoeopathic. It is then a specific remedy, and in no other sense can a remedy be called a specific. Hahnemann gives his theory of cure in paragraph 148, but you are not compelled to adopt it. Hahnemann himself says it is only a theory, and he offers it as simply the best in view, but not as binding upon you to accept.

But Par. 149 is something that must be accepted, that is, it must be known, and then accepted because it is true. It is a general statement of the results of the homoeopathic remedy in the cure of disease. The rejection of this paragraph must effect a separation amongst those who do not believe, and those who do believe. “When a proper application of the homoeopathic remedy has been made, the acute disease which is to be cured, however malignant and painful it may be, subsides in a few hours, if recent, and in a few days, if it is somewhat older,” etc.

From this I am placed under the plain necessity of acknowledging that if under my treatment such diseases do not subside, I have not found the right remedy. That will force the honest homoeopathic physician to seek the proper remedy. Let not the blame be placed upon the failure of the system and of law and order, but let it be placed upon the one who practises it.

Just so sure as you find the homoeopathic remedy in a case of scarlet fever, just so sure you will see that fever fall and that child improve; while the rash will remain out, nothing of the malignancy of the case will remain, in an ordinary case of scarlet fever; we find that in a few days the child is so much better he wants to go to school. But then we treat the child and not the fever.

Just so sure as the physician has in mind the rash of scarlet fever or of measles as the main element of the disease, he will make a failure, and the patient will not recover so speedily; but as a matter of fact, the homoeopathic physician prescribes for the patient on that which characterize the sickness, even though it be what is called a self-limiting disease.

$ 150. This treats of one of the difficulties we have to contend with. “If a patient complains of slightly accessory symptoms which have just appeared, the physician ought not to take this state of things for a perfect malady that seriously demands medicinal aid,” etc., etc. It is right for you, when your patients are under constitutional treatment, to prescribe for a cold, but only when it is not an ordinary one. If the cold is likely to cause serious trouble, then you must prescribe for it; slight indisposition, however, should not receive remedies.

You will have patients that will come to you at every change of the wind, at every attack of snuffles the baby has, at every little headache or every little pain. If you then proceed to change your remedy or prescribe for each one of these little spells of indisposition, you will, in the course of a little while, have such a state of disorder in the individual that you will wonder what is the matter with this patient.

You had better give her no medicine at all, and if she is wise and strong and can feel confidence you can say to her that she does not need medicine for this attack; but occasionally give her a dose of constitutional medicine when these little attacks are not on. While you are young and cannot hold these patients with an iron grasp, when they come to you, you had better give them placebo, and let the indisposition pass off of itself. Watch it, however, and it may at the close develop some constitutional manifestations and throw light upon the patient that you have been treating.

On the other hand, it is an easy matter to prescribe for severe acute diseases; they are decisive, they strongly manifest their symptoms, they are sharp cut in their expressions, the symptoms are prominent, and you will not be confused as you will be in the slight indispositions. The slight indispositions are nondescript, you do not know what to do for them. In vain you seek to find that which characterizes them, and hence it is doubtful about any remedy that is administered being of any value.

You will be astonished after prescribing a number of years, and your patients have gained confidence in you, that when they come in with these little trivial ailments they won’t have them after a few powders of sugar. They will say: “Doctor, my trouble went off splendidly.” This is what is meant by letting the little things alone. Severe diseases exhibit a strong degree of symptoms, and hence you have something to do. Par. 151. “But if the few symptoms of which the patient complains are very violent, the physician who attentively observes him will generally discover many others which are less developed and which furnish a perfect picture of the malady.“


The old school of Allopathy considered about `sickness’ and `medicine’ in a particular way.

– The sphere of sickness was limited to the physical level. Only tissue changes were seen and considered.

– The source of sickness, process of sickness, the nature of sickness and the concept of real health were not studied.

– Only the result of sickness was felt with fingers, seen with eyes and observed by sense through instruments.

– The meaning of restoration of health was confined to relief in the ailments of particular organs where they appeared. – Drugs were used in crude forms to remove the ailments.

– The system was based entirely on experience. Decisions were made on opinions of individuals at different times and concensus of opinions or hypothesis.

– Pathological findings formed the basis of the diagnosis.

– The internal of man–his mental and emotional aspects were not considered.

– Symptoms–the language of sickness, at the levels of mind, emotion and body were not studied.

– Every pathological result had its corresponding bacteria.

– Doctrine of Vital Force had no place for them.

– Prime importance was given to the organs of man, and not to the man himself which constituted of body mind and emotions.

Will and understanding of man not studied and considered

Dr. Hahnemann `proved’ the drugs on healthy enlightened human bodies. He found that the drugs affected the mind, the emotions and the body and the effects are expressed through symptoms and modalities. He also found that these drugs in potency are able to remove Similar Sickness appearing in human beings. He discovered an Universal Truth; a truth based on `science’ where opinions do not matter, experiences do not form basis; source of sickness, process of sickness and the nature of sickness is explored and the correct curative agent is found.

Dr. Kent has interpreted and explained the various aspects of Hahnemann’s “Organon of the Healing Art”. His lectures are so vivid that they mirror the fundamental laws of health and healing to the mankind at all levels of understanding. This book was written about 90 years ago-but still, the concepts hold true in the present times. He was an empirical Hahnemannian. He could not compromise with the deviation from principles and philosophy and we find his criticism sometimes sharp and bitter of `Pseudo-homoeopaths’.

– Man is the will and the understating and the house which he lives in is his body.

– The organs are not the man. The man is prior to the organs.

– The order of sickness as well as the order of cure is from man to his organs. The real sick man is prior to the sick sick body.

– A man is sick prior to localization of disease. When we wait for localization, the results of disease have rendered the patient incurable.

– Symptoms are but the language of nature, talking out, as it were, and showing as clearly as the daylight, the internal nature of the sickman or woman.

– Crude drugs cannot heal the sick and that what changes they effect are not real but only apparent.

– Tissue changes are of the body and are the results of the disease, they are not the disease.

– The bacteria are results of the disease. The disease cause is more subtle.

– The remedy, which will produce on healthy man similar symptoms, is the master of the situation, is the necessary antidote, will overcome the sickness, restore the will and understanding to order and cure the patient.

– Man consists in what he thinks and what he loves and there is nothing else in man.

– The physician has to `perceive’ in the disease that which is to be cured, and that is through `totality of symptoms’. He has to perceive the nature of disease and the nature of the remedy.

– Experience has only a confirmatory place. It cannot take the place of science and truth.

– All true diseases of the economy flow from centre to circumference. All miasms are true diseases.

– The active cause is within, and the apparent cause of sickness is without. If a man has no deep miasmatic influence, outer causes will not affect him.

– Homoeopathy has two parts: the science of homoeopathy are the art of homoeopathy. One has to learn the art of homoeopathy to prepare himself for the application of the science of homoeopathy.

– Vital force is constructive and formative, and in its thing in the universe has its aura. Every star and planet has it. The remedy to be homoeopathic must be similar in quality and similar in action to the disease cause.

– As soon as the internal economy is deprived in any manner of its freedom, death is threatening; where freedom is lost, death is sure to follow.

– Potency should suit the varying susceptibility of sickman.

– Any more than just enough to supply the susceptibility is a surplus and is dangerous.

– Human race has been greatly disordered in the economy because of surplus drug taking.

– Primitive cause is not in the bacteria. Bacteria themselves have a cause to appear and survive.

– Over sensitive patients are actually poisoned by the inappropriate administration of potentized medicines.

– Their chronic miasms are complicated with chronic drugging and its effect upon the vital force.

– The physician who can only hold in his memory the symptoms of a disease or a remedy will never succeed as a homoeopath.

– The majority of such as call themselves homoeopaths at the present time, are perfectly incompetent to examine a patient, and therefore incompetent to examine homoeopathy.

– It is impossible to test homoeopathy without learning how to get the disease image so before the eyes that the homoeopathic remedy can be selected.

– At the present day, there is almost no such thing as an unprejudiced mind.

– Do not prescribe until you have found the remedy that is similar to the whole case, even although it is clear in your mind that one remedy may be more similar to one particular group of symptoms and another remedy to another group.

– It is unaccountable, therefore, that some of our homoeopathic practitioners make use of palliatives that are so detrimental to the patients.