Individualization by James Tyler Kent

Comparison, individualization, and difference in the nature of things most similar, are points that must be carefully considered. The substitution of one remedy for another cannot be thought of, or entertained in Homoeopathy.

The homoeopathic physician must individualize, he must discriminate. He must individualize things widely dissimilar in one way, yet similar in other ways. Take for instance the two remedies, Secale and Arsenicum; they are both chilly, but the patient wants all the covers off and wants the cold air in Secale, and he wants all things hot in Arsenicum. The two remedies thus separate at once; they are wholly dissimilar as to the general state, whilst wholly similar as to particulars.

A mere book-worm symptom hunter would see no difference between Secale and Arsenicum. You go to the bedside of a case of peritonitis, and you will find the abdomen distended, the patient restless; you will find him often vomiting blood and passing blood from the anus; you will find horrible burning with the distended abdomen, unquenchable thirst, dry, red tongue, lightning-like pulse. Well, Arsenicum and Secale have all these things equally; they both have these things in high degree; but when Secale is indicated he wants all the covers off, wants to be cold, wants cold applications, wants the windows open; cannot tolerate the heat, and the warm room makes him worse. If Arsenicum is indicated in such a case, he wants to be wrapped up warmly, even in the month of July, wants hot food and hot drinks. The whole Materia Medica is full of these things and is based upon this kind of individualization.

Without the generals of a case no man can practice Homoeopathy, for without these no man can individualize and see distinctions. After gathering all the particulars, one strong general rules out one remedy and rules in another. Physicians by the questions they ask often show that they have not been able to grasp this idea of individualization. They pick out two symptoms, or one symptom common to two remedies, and say, “Now, both of these remedies have this same symptom, how are you going to tell them apart?”

Well, if you are acquainted with the Materia Medica, with the art of individualization, you will at once easily see how to get the generals; the generals of one are so and so, and the generals of the other are so and so, and this will enable you to distinguish one of these remedies as best adapted to the constitution, when the two remedies have the one symptom in any equal degree. Now, this rules out the idea of substitution. If one does not work, they say, try all down the list alphabetically, until you hit it.

Why a remedy that has never been known to produce that symptom may cure the case, because it is more similar to the generals of that case than any other. This is the art of applying the Materia Medica. Many times a patient brings out that which is so strange and rare that it has never been found in any remedy. You have to examine the whole case and see which remedy of all remedies is most similar to the patient himself. From beginning to end, the homoeopath must study the patient. If he become conversant with symptoms apart from the patient, he will not be successful.

Par. 118 reads: “Each medicine produces particular effects in the body of man, and no other medicinal substance can create any that are precisely similar.” That is the beginning of a doctrine showing that there can be no substitution. There are cases that are so mixed that man, no matter how much he studies, cannot see the distinctions, but, remember one thing, there is one remedy that is needed in the case, whether it is known or not; it is needed in the case, and it has no substitute, for that remedy differs from all other medicines, just as this individual differs from all other individuals. It may be that we cannot see that it is needed, it may not appear to be indicated, but it is needed all the same, though the intimation may not have come to the eye or ear of the physician. That shows the necessity of waiting and watching. In Homoeopathy medicines can never replace each other, not one be as good as another.

As we hasten along with this subject, we find in Par. 122 Hahnemann says: “In circumstances of this nature on which depend the certitude of the medical art, and the welfare of future generations, it is necessary to employ only medicines that are well-known.” Purity is important, medicines as they are proved should be kept unmodified and preserved and possessed of their full energy. Now, it is important that you shall use the same substances, as nearly as possible, as were proved.

Among the potencies that we are using here as high potencies, made by Fincke and others, we have in a large number of instances the very identical substances that were proved by the provers. It is important not to change. A plant bearing the same name as the one proved, but grown in a different climate and on a different soil, should not be used. Procure the one that was proved originally. Fincke recognized this when he procured the substances that Hering proved.

We have the same Lachesis that Hering proved. I have a sample of the original Lachesis that I am preserving in a little vial marked with Hering’s own name. The medicine should be well-known; its history should be well-known, with all the steps and details. The question of potentization should be taken into account, the different hands they have been through; all the little particulars of our high potencies should be well known. You should not be careless in this and not gather potencies from Tom, Dick and Harry. When able, go to headquarters and get your potencies.

Hahnemann writes in Par. 144: “A Materia Medica of this nature shall be free from all conjecture, fiction of gratuitous assertion–it shall contain nothing but the pure language of nature, the results of a careful and faithful research.” We have formed, built and established the Materia Medica by provings upon the healthy, and observations that are pure and honestly made. Par. 145: “We ought certainly to be acquainted with the pure action of a vast number of medicines upon the healthy body, to be able to find homoeopathic remedies against each of the innumerable forms of disease that besiege mankind; that is to say, to find out artificial morbific powers that resemble them.” At the present time it will rarely be found that a fully developed disease has not its simillimum, its remedy and cure, in our Materia Medica. It is only those mixed cases that are not developed that puzzle us.


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.