Author: Marcus Zulian Teixeira
Homeopathy is based on the following four scientific pillars1: principle of cure by similars, proving of medicinal substances on healthy individuals, use of dynamized doses, and prescription of individualized medicines. Although great importance was attributed to dynamized doses (ultra-high dilutions), the first two pillars are the fundamental premises of the homeopathic epistemological model, remaining to individualized medicine the essential condition to awakening the therapeutic response.
In the systematization of the homeopathic method of treatment, Samuel Hahnemann based the “principle of cure by similars” (principle of therapeutic similitude) on the careful observation of the effects of medicines on human health. In the essay2 that inaugurated homeopathy in 1796 and in paragraphs 59 and 65 of the Organon of Medicine3, he describes the pharmacological effects of dozens of palliative drugs of his time, discriminating the “direct primary action of drug” and the consequent and opposite “indirect secondary action of the body,” evidencing the new principle of cure proposed:
[…] Excessive vivacity follows the use of strong coffee (primary action), but sluggishness and drowsiness remain for a long time afterwards (reaction, secondary action), if this be not always again removed for a short time by imbibing fresh supplies of coffee (palliative). After the profound stupefied sleep caused by opium (primary action), the following night will be all the more sleepless (reaction, secondary action). After the constipation produced by opium (primary action), diarrhea ensues (secondary action); and after purgation with medicines that irritate the bowels, constipation of several days’ duration ensues (secondary action). And in like manner it always happens, after the primary action of a medicine that produces in large doses a great change in the health of a healthy…