Few things are more stimulating than to have our own pet prejudices successfully attacked. One of the fundamental principles which is drilled into every good Kentian homoeopathic student, is that one must not prescribe pathologically. For the allopathic convert to adopt this point of view is one of the most difficult obstacles to the acquiring of homoeopathy. By dint of much drilling it finally becomes ingrained. We realize that it is the patient and his individual reaction to the so-called disease who must be prescribed for. We realise that pathology is an ultimate, an exteriorization, a protective out throwing, or excrescence, or discharge on the part of the organism. Our tendency is, then, to throw pathology overboard and to disregard both symptoms and organic facts which we class under that head. If we do not take great care we find that we are not succeeding as we should, that we are giving remedies on functional symptoms only, which remedies do not have it in their power to produce, and so cure the given pathology. We may stop a haemorrhage from a fibroid uterus with a remedy which has not the ability to produce fibroids in its nature. This will be suppression. We may relieve pain and fever in a case of pleuritic exudate with a light weight remedy, but we will not cause resorption of this exudate by any such superficial treatment. So, little, our own experience, as well as that of many master prescribers, will bring it home to us that pathology is to be considered in prescribing, not as a sole basis, but as an important factor in the totality of the symptoms. we come to see that the pathology also reveals the patient. A tendency to polypi is a valuable symptom. We must know our pathology in all cases, even those which have abundant non-pathological symptoms; for diagnostic purposes, to satisfy the patient, to govern our prognosis, and especially to determine our choice of potency and remedy. where there is marked organic change a safe rule is to give the lower potencies, although often in a vital person a high potency, it the true simillimum, will cause great amelioration of the patient and drive the disease out faster into or through the pathology. This may alarm or inconvenience the patient but the true homoeopath will understand and will explain it to the patient and his family. It will influence the choice of our remedy in that it will make us give a drug big enough to cope with the situation; it will teach us when the case is incurable; and warn us away from giving too high a potency thereby causing a severe aggravation from which the economy cannot rally; it will show us in incurable and precarious cases of chronic disease, or even in such acute ones as early tuberculosis, when we mist eschew the true simillimum and give a palliative remedy or a less deep acting remedy as a preparative for the true simillimum. In cases, and there are not so many, when the alert homoeopath cannot find subjective symptoms or modalities he must resort to prescribing on pathology.
Often pathology also is a general, for Kent himself tells us that a condition appearing in three or more particulars ranks as a general. Such symptoms as excessive discharges which Dr. Boger classes in his General Analysis under moistness, may also lead us to the true inner nature of the patient.
There is another type of pathology which Dr. G.B. Stearns classes as objective symptoms-in other words pathology visible to the eye. This may not mean organic issue change which is unalterable, and includes such rewarding details as redness of the orifices, fissures, herpes, eruptions, skin discolorations, warts, moles, peculiarities of hair, nails, etc. In children especially these objective symptoms are often our best guide.
It behoves us, therefore, even the strictest Hahnemannians among us, to give the pathological symptom its due!