Little's Arguments Against Dual Remedy Prescribing
Few homeopaths are aware of the use by Hahnemann of dual remedies, that is,
two remedies at a time. It has been either ignored or presented in a
distorted fashion by those who write about homeopathic history and
philosophy. The following is our reply to the latest attempt to dismiss this
seminal event and its radical implications for homeopathic philosophy and
prescribing. The use by Hahnemann over an extended period of dual remedy
prescribing is completely consistent with his principles right from the
start of his writings around 1790 to his death in 1843. Extensive research
on the whole matter, including the full text of documents often quoted only
in part, is now finally available in the book, The Dynamic Legacy:
Hahnemann, from Homeopathy to Heilkunst. For information on accessing this
electronic book please contact .
The following quotes sections from the extensive comments by David Little on the issue
of dual remedy use by Hahnemann. It represents the most extensive effort of the classical
viewpoint to try to explain this fact within the accepted tenets.
THE EXPERIMENTS OF THE 1830'S
Overcoming Obstacles to the Cure
by David Little (posted on firstname.lastname@example.org in December 1999)
[our commentary is in square brackets]
The epoch around the publication of the 5th Organon was one of great experimentation. In the Chronic Diseases Hahnemann introduced the theory of infectious
miasms and became the founder of modern epidemiology. By 1830 he had recorded the
symptoms of the prodrome, primary, latent, and secondary stages of several acute, half-acute,
and chronic miasms. Now that the Founder know he was facing auto immune
disorders and immuno-deficiency syndromes, he felt restricted by his limited materia
medica. How could one always find a simillimum that fit the complete case with less then
100 remedies in 30c potency? The first area where Samuel looked for an answer was in the
medicinal solution and the repetition of the remedy to speed the cure, if and when
necessary. At the same time, Hahnemann ran trials using double remedies, alter[n]ations,
intercurrents, and a series of remedies in an effort to remove the seed, roots, and branches
of the chronic miasms.
[Comment: Little makes it sound as if the main problem was one of a lack of remedies. If
this is true, why would the medicinal solution and remedy repetition be an answer to this?
Little also implies that Hahnemann's use of double remedies is in the same league as his
use of alternating and intercurrent, as well as sequential remedies. This argument is dealt
with in the full analysis above.
Indeed, the problem is a much more profound one than simply that of the number of
remedies. Hahnemann himself dealt with this argument of numbers (quantitative aspect) in
his treatise on the discovery of the chronic miasms. He stated that the problem he faced was
one of quality (understanding of the nature of disease and its manifold dimensions), not
one of quantity (the number of remedies available). Hahnemann made this statement at a
time when the number of remedies he had to work with was less than one hundred,
compared to the at least ten-fold number of substances available to practitioners today. The
solution to the problem of disease, Hahnemann understood here and elsewhere, required a
deeper insight into the dynamic polarity of the nature of disease.
That it is useful to have an enlarged Materia Medica is not at issue. However, the
problem of disease, namely how to cure the many difficult and seemingly unresponsive
cases of disease that remain, cannot be reduced, as it is in "classical" homeopathy, to a
problem of quantity (the need for more proved substances). In the uniformitarian world of
disease = patient = one remedy, the problems of disease are reduced to the search for more
medicinal substances, rather than to a search for a better understanding of disease in its
hierarchical and dynamic nature. Where Hahnemann searched for a
multidimensional,qualitative solution, his presumed heirs only search for a
unidimensional, quantitative one.
43.1 Whence then this less favorable, this unfavorable, result of the continued treatment
of the non-venereal chronic diseases even by Homeopathy?
43.2 To what were the thousands of failed endeavors due to so cure the other kind of protracted diseases that lasting recovery might proceed therefrom?
44.1 Perhaps by the still too small number of homeopathic remedial implements so far proven as to their pure actions!
45.1 Students of Homeopathy have hitherto thus consoled themselves; but this excuse, or so-called consolation, never satisfied the founder of Homeopathy particularly because even the ever increasing store of proved powerful medicines has not advanced the cure of chronic (non-venereal) diseases by a single step, while acute diseases (unless these, at their
commencement, threaten unavoidable death) are not only passably removed, by means of
a correct application of homeopathic remedies, but, with the assistance of the never-resting,
living, Sustentive Power in our organism, find a speedy and complete cure.
46.1 Why, then, cannot this Living Power, efficiently affected by homeopathic medicines,
bring to pass any true and lasting recovery in these chronic maladies even with the aid of
the homeopathic medicines which best cover their present symptoms, especially since this
same power, created for the restoration of the integrity of our organism, is nevertheless so
indefatigably and successfully active in completing the recovery even in severe acute
diseases? What prevents this?
47.1 The answer to this so very natural question led me to the nature of these chronic diseases.
48.1 To find out then the reason why all the medicines known to Homeopathy failed to
bring a real cure in the above-mentioned diseases, and to gain an insight more nearly
correct and, if possible, quite correct, into the true nature of the thousands of chronic
diseases which still remain uncured, despite the irrefutable truth of the Homeopathic Law
of Cure, this very serious task has occupied me since the years 1816 and 1817, night and
day; and behold! the Giver of all good things permitted me within this space of time to
gradually solve this sublime problem for the welfare of humanity through unremitting
cogitation, indefatigable research, faithful observation and the most accurate experiments.*
Such a view only leads to the statement told on occasion to patients that "your remedy has not yet been proved." The patient is then placed in a similar situation to the patient
waiting for an organ transplant or for the latest allopathic research on synthetic drugs. That
the problem is reduced to one of quantity is consistent with unresolved allopathic thinking
extant in classical homeopathic philosophy.]
Throughout Samuel Hahnemann['s] long career he performed countless experiments
with the use of homoeopathic remedies. With the publication of the miasmic theory in the
Chronic Diseases in 1828 a new era of homoeopathy began. In line with the new doctrine of
the chronic diseases the Founder began a radical set of experiments to try and overcome
the limitations imposed by his materia medica of around 100 remedies.
[See comments above regarding this argument of numbers.]
The most controversial of these experiments was the double remedy experiments carried out in the early 1830's.
[The changes in method by Hahnemann were not experiments in the sense of trials with sick patients just to see what might happen, but were grounded in a deeper understanding
of disease or informed by insight, imagination and intuition valid aspects of knowledge
Hahnemann called kennen.]
THE DOUBLE REMEDY EXPERIMENTS
The double remedy method originated with Dr. Aegidi, one of Hahnemann's
disciples, who forwarded the Founder 233 case[s] of his new method.
[The method originated with Dr. Stoll and possibly was the result of work and comments Hahnemann himself undertook in using two remedies in short intervals. Drs. Aegidi and
Boenninghausen, based on the evidence of correspondence between them, likely used such
methods in difficult cases for at least a year prior to 1833 with Hahnemann's knowledge and
In cases where he could not find a single remedy, which match[ed] the complete symptoms, he combined two homoeopathic remedies that fit the symptoms.
[There is no evidence that the issue was one of lack of a single remedy that covered the complete symptom picture, as is alleged here. Aegidi, quoted in Hahnemann's reply of 15
June 1833, stated that he gave the "two medicinal substances ... only in a case where both seem Homoeopathically suitable, but each from a different side." Hahnemann calls the practice a "discovery." If both remedies are homeopathically indicated, they must both correspond to a disease (the different sides here are not a partial symptom picture of one disease). This cannot be the same situation covered by Hahnemann's section in the Organon, which had
been there since the beginning, dealing with cases where there is no one remedy
homeopathic to the disease (Aphorisms 162-170). If it were, Hahnemann would not have
greeted it as a new "discovery."]
Hahnemann wrote [a] passage on the double remedy experiments that was removed from [sic] before publishing the 5th Organon. This is confirmed by a letter he wrote to Aegidi in 1833.
"Do not think that I am capable of rejecting any good thing from mere prejudice, or because it might cause alternations in my doctrine. I only desire the truth, as I believe you do too. Hence I am delighted that such a happy idea has occurred to you, and that you
have kept it within necessary limits; "that two medicines substances (in smallest doses or
by olfaction) should be given together only in a case where both seem homoeopathically suitable to the case, but each from a different side." Under such circumstances the procedure is so constant with the requirement of our art that nothing can be urge against it; on the contrary, homeopathy must be congratulated on your
discover. I myself will take the first opportunity of putting it into practice, and I have no
doubt concerning the good results. I think too, that both remedies should be given
together; just as we take Sulphur and Calcarea together when we cause our patients to take
or smell Hepar sulph, or Sulphur and Mercury when they take or smell Cinnabar. I am
glad that von Boenninghausen is entirely of our opinion and acts accordingly. Permit me
then, to give your discovery to the world in the fifth edition of the 'Organon' which will
soon be published."
[Note:There is a missing section, which we reproduce here: "Until then, however, I beg you to keep it to yourself, and try to get Mr. Jahr, whom I greatly esteem, to do the same. At the same time I there protest and earnestly warn against all abuse of the practice by a frivolous choice of two medicines to be used in combination."]
[Aside from the numerous errors of transcription, we note that parts of the letter are
missing. The missing section emphasizes Hahnemann's concern that others will not
understand the difference between dual remedies and polypharmacy. The missing section is
placed between square brackets in the letter. Hahnemann's concern is the same terminology
used by Little above, but he completely misunderstands the context, taking it as a means of
suppressing, through confusion, a valid, dynamic approach to the cure of disease.]
Many of Hahnemann critics constantly say that the Founder was close minded,
dogmatic, and against any innovations in his new medical system, Homoeopathy. The
above letter puts such myths to rest. He was so open to Aegidi['s] idea that he offered to
publish this method without even trying it first in the clinic.
[This last statement seeks to fix as fact that Hahnemann had little or no experience with
dual remedies before making his decision to write a new paragraph on this clear departure
from past teachings. However, this opens Hahnemann to the charge that he was acting
precipitously and unwisely (possibly even being senile at this time as some have alleged,
which the full history belies). Hahnemann makes clear in a subsequent letter of 17 June
1833 that he had started to use the method of dual remedies, the same letter in which he
notes that he had written a special paragraph. In a letter of 19 August 1833, after the peace
conference in Köthen, Hahnemann confirmed that he sent the completed 5th edition, with
the new paragraph on dual remedies, to the printer with orders to "print it soon."
Hahnemann has now had several months of trials before making his formal decision to
include the new practice in the Organon. Of course, we see later, when he decides to remove
the new paragraph on dual remedies, that Hahnemann does not feel that this clinical
evidence of his is yet sufficient to base a new rule on in the face of political concerns and
the concern that others will misuse the new insight. Thus, he is convinced of the truth of
dual remedy prescribing, including in mixtures, but is not yet in a position to defend it
against opposition because his clinical work has not yet allowed him to fully grasp the
principle behind the practice so as to explain it in a manner to protect against misuse.]
He was hopeful it would help him to overcome the obstacles to the cure that he faced
curing the miasms. Lutze published an aphorism on the double remedies called * 274b* in
his spurious publication of the "6th edition of the Organon." Lutze claimed that the reason Hahnemann removed the passage was that his colleagues dis[ap]proved but Boenninghausen wrote that it was "condemned by a unanimous vote." The following is
Lutze's aphorism 274b. We do not know at this time if this paragraph is authentic or
fraudulent at this time. It seems to be quite in line with the [sic] Hahnemann's letters and
comments on the methodology of the double remedies. It is not wildly incorrect as to the
[This is a rather convoluted approach to a paragraph that has not been proven invalid.Perhaps the attempt here is to sow doubt where none is justified based on the evidence at
hand. As for the first sentence, why would Hahnemann be hopeful unless the approach
provided a qualitative therapeutic discovery to match the qualitative discovery of the
chronic miasms? He had rejected the problem in his treatise, Chronic Diseases, as being one
of quantity number of medicinal substances for this was a technical matter, not one of "discovery." The only obstacle, given a full understanding of the history of Hahnemann's life work, was that of coming to grips with the dual nature of disease. This was the basis for Hahnemann welcoming Aegidi's announcement on dual remedies in early 1833 as "a happy
idea." Lutze, who had an association with Aegidi dating from 1853, must have been made
aware of the new paragraph, as Aegidi would have had a copy of its contents. Indeed, we
can rightfully ask where else would he have gotten it from?].
"There are several cases of disease in which the administration of a double remedy is perfectly Homoeopathic and truly rational; where, for instance, each of the medicines appears suited for the case of disease, but each from a different side; or where the case of disease depends on more than one of the three radical causes of the chronic disease
discovered by me, as when in addition to psora we have syphilis or sycosis also. Just as in
very rapid acute diseases, I give two or three of the most appropriate remedies in
alternation; i.e. in cholera, Cuprum and Veratrum; or in croup, Aconite, Hepar sulph and
Spongia; so in chronic diseases I may give together two well indicated Homoeopathic
remedies acting from different sides in the smallest dose. I must here deprecate most
distinctly all thoughtless mixtures or frivolous choice of two medicines, which would be
analogous to allopathic polypharmacy. I must also, once again, particularly insist that such
rightly chosen Homoeopathic double remedies must only be given in the most highly
potentized and attenuated doses."
This paragraph, of course, is pointed to by some as proof that Hahnemann used polypharmacy. They claim that Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, and Aegidi's dual remedy experiments were a "great success", but they kept them secret solely for political reasons. Of course, there was serious political considerations concerning the misuse this
information, but is that the whole truth?
[The claim that the dual remedy use was a great success is made by Boenninghausen and Aegidi themselves! Hahnemann had less time to work on cases let alone to fathom the
principle before political circumstances led him to retract the disputed paragraph on dual
remedies in mid-September 1833.]
HAHNEMANN'S PERSONAL LETTERS
In 1833 Hahnemann and Boenninghausen performed a set of clinical experiments to
test Aegidi's hypothesis in the clinic.
[Boenninghausen had started to use dual remedies prior to 1833, as had Aegidi.]
The following is a personal letter from Samuel Hahnemann to Baron von
Boenninghausen on the subject of the double remedies, i.e., the administration of two
remedies at the same time. The letter finds the Founder offering the Baron his opinion of
how well the dual remedies really worked in the clinic now that he had personally tried
them, and the nature of the comments he wrote for the 5th Organon. Let's let Samuel
Hahnemann speak for himself.
[What is important here is that the letter was written after Hahnemann's decision to withdraw the new paragraph on dual remedies for political reasons, which decision he
communicated on 15 September 1833 to Boenninghausen. At this point,the issue being
raised by Boenninghausen cannot be whether or not there should be a new paragraph in the
new edition of the Organon. What was it about then? Boenninghausen, in a letter to
Dunham of 1865 (disputed letter as the date is after Boenninghausen's death) claims that he
urged Hahnemann to express disapproval of the method. This, again, is done for political
reasons. The issue must then be the addition of critical language to the existing text of the
5th edition. However, Hahnemann had already told Boenninghausen in his 15 September
1833 letter that he had done so, though not the language he had written. The reference to
Boenninghausen's eloquence must then be related to trying to convince Hahnemann to
include a strong condemnation. Hahnemann, in effect, replies that he doesn't need
Boenninghausen's eloquence as he is not as convinced as Boenninghausen of the "great
utility" of dual remedies in mixture. Thus, he is saying that Boenninghausen's eloquence is
not necessary to induce him to do what Boenninghausen is urging. He only needs a small
"momentum" to alter the existing language of the 4th edition on the single remedy for the
5th. However, Hahnemann also still admits the utility of the dual remedy approach, despite
all this, in order to do "justice to truth."]
Hahnemann to Boenninghausen:
C[ö]then, October 16, 1833
Your eloquence would have easily persuaded me, if I had been in your position, that
is, if I had been as much convinced as you are from a large experience of the possibility or
even great utility of giving double remedies BUT FROM MANY ATTEMPTS OF THIS
KIND ONLY ONE OR TWO HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL, WHICH IS INSUFFICIENT FOR
THE INCONTROVERTIBLE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW RULE."
Hahnemann experiments with the dual remedies proved a failure because they did
not work as well as his single remedies. If the Founder thought there was a need for a two
remedy he preferred alternations to mixing the two remedies together. He was even more
critical of the double remedy experiments then Boenninghausen, who is often blamed by
the polypharmacist for talking Hahnemann into removing the passage. The following
quote offers more clues.
"I was therefore, too inexperienced in this practice to support it with full conviction. Consequently it required only a slight momentum to induce me to alter that passage in the
new "Organon" which results in this, that I concede the possibility that two well chosen remedies may be given together with advantage in some cases BUT THAT THIS SEEMS
TO BE A VERY DIFFICULT AND DOUBTFUL METHOD. And is, this way, I believe I have done justice to truth on the one side and to any inner conviction on the other."
[the all caps are added by Little]
In the beginning, Hahnemann was open to the idea of the double remedy, in the middle he could not support it we [with?] full conviction, and in the end he found it a "very difficult and doubtful method."
[Hahnemann all along had warned against abuse of the practice of dual remedies. (See: the letter of 15 June 1833 to Aegidi.) It is disingenuous to argue that this practical
problem is a condemnation of the approach itself. First, the reason for retraction is political
(namely loss of face with the allopaths and likely abuse of the method, as the principle
underlying it has not yet been discerned). Second, Hahnemann also made clear that the
finding of even one remedy homeopathic to a disease was not an easy matter. (See his letter to Aegidi of 9 January 1834): "For my part I find the discovery of the right remedy
difficult and laborious in every case." Such a statement is not here to be taken as a
condemnation of the use of the single remedy, just because of practical problems! Also, we
should note that he said that he was "too inexperienced" to support dual remedies in
mixture "with full conviction." His response was to remove the paragraph announcing the
practice of dual remedies to the world as the principle was yet unknown to him (too
inexperienced), but not to cease work on dual remedies altogether. He had already begun
his exploration of dual remedies in terms of overlapping action and had a profound
appreciation of the dual nature of disease.]
On August 10th at Coethen, 1833 Samuel Hahnemann held a meeting to discuss the
double remedy experiments, and the offer the Founder had made to include reference to
Aegidi's double remedies in the 5th Organon.
[The meeting of 11 August 1833 was not held to discuss the dual remedies, but to
conclude a peace treaty with the Leipzic homeopaths after a long and acrimonious public
debate over what was true homeopathy. Notably, the peace agreement defining the pillars
of true homeopathy did not cover the issue of dual remedies at all. Indeed, Hahnemann had
raised the matter at the meeting out of his enthusiasm for the approach after Aegidi's letter
with the 233 cured cases earlier that year. If the dual remedy approach had been counter to
Hahnemann's conception of homeopathy, why would he then have proposed the idea to a
group he was just patching up a quarrel with over being "half homeopaths?"]
The following was written by Richard Haehl in 1921:
When, however, his followers congregated around him on 10th August in Coethen,
they voiced their objections. Hahnemann could be convinced by their arguments that it
was necessary to remove the paragraph in question from the 5th edition then in print; all
the more easily, since he himself had made but few experiments with double remedies and
only in very special cases had given them any validity. The allopathic doctors, foremost
Hufeland, who very likely by a leak through one of the type setters, had got to know about
the recommendation of double remedies thus planned, had triumphed already: "Hahnemann and his crew are about to return to allopathy."
Haehl writes that Hahnemann was easily convinced because he only made a few experiments, and considered them of only a limited use in the clinic. Hahnemann clearly
writes that out of the MANY ATTEMPTS ONLY ONE OR TWO WERE SUCCESSFUL and
he was going to write in the Organon THAT THIS SEEMS TO BE A VERY DIFFICULT
AND DOUBTFUL METHOD.
[Of course one would wonder how ANY successes could be had, let alone hundreds,
except on some principle. At the same time, Haehl's views are themselves suspect as he does
not provide all the evidence available from all sources (and gives no connected account of
the whole story), and we have to question what other evidence available in Hahnemann's
correspondence to which Haehl had access he effectively left out. It is true that Hahnemann
had not made as many successful experiments as Boenninghausen and Aegidi, but they had
started earlier and he never questioned the cures from these two followers closest to him.
He must have wished to continue his own experience with dual remedies, witness his delay
in acceding to the political concerns of the Leipzic homeopaths. Haehl makes it sound as if
Hahnemann had agreed right away. The time frame is more nuanced here. The issue of
"difficulty" is dealt with in the comment immediately above. It is reasonable that under
attack and with yet no clear understanding of the principle for dual remedy prescribing,
Hahnemann would agree to forego a public declaration. However, this did not mean that he
ceased dual remedy prescribing, shifting only to simultaneity of (overlapping) action from
simultaneity of ingestion (mixture).]
From this letter it "seems"that the Baron had more hope in the method then the Founder! Yes, if Hahnemann 'had been as much convinced", as him, "of the possibility or
even great utility of giving double remedies." The Founder goes on to say clear that from
the vMANY ATTEMPTS" only "ONE OR TWO" have been successful, and that this is
INSUFFICIENT for the ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW RULE. This is the Founder's real
reason for removing his reference! The double remedies did no[t] work very well when
compared with the single remedy, two remedies in alternation, and remedies in a series
over time. It was the [sic] fact that Hahnemann's clinical trials failed to produce good
[And is this why he decided to continue and then resumed the successful aspect of this method in his Parisian period? Boenninghausen must also have had many cured cases,
perhaps as many at least as Aegidi, having used the method with great success, by his own
admission, likely as long. He had more than "hope!" But the issue here is not the number of
cured cases, which Hahnemann hardly disputed, but Hahnemann's own experience, which
had not yet provided the needed insight into the principle behind dual remedy mixtures,
thus, not providing sufficient basis for the establishment of a rule. This is far from a
condemnation of dual remedy prescribing!]
During the meeting at Coethen in 1833 all at the meeting agreed on removing the
passage as the clinic trials had failed, and the method had become a liability to
homoeopathy rather than an asset.
[There is no evidence that the clinical trials had failed at this point or at any point. Aegidi
had 233 cured cases, Boenninghausen had "been convinced ...from large experience...of the
possibility and even great utility of giving double remedies," (written in October of 1833,
thus several months after the August meeting!) and Hahnemann was highly enthusiastic
about the method by his own admission (otherwise he would undoubtedly not have raised
it, given that the meeting was called to deal with divisions within homeopathy - why would
he raise a method that went seemingly counter to the single remedy orthodoxy of that
period in such a meeting if "the clinic trials had failed" as Little contends?). It is true that the others at the meeting, having just come through an acrimonious debate over the
allopathic tendencies in homeopathy, feared that this new approach could be abused,
leading to the condemned polypharmacy. They had a uniformitarian view of disease, and
thus, feared that dual remediation was the beginning of a slippery slope from unipharmacy
to polypharmacy. Hahnemann, for his part, had allowed his enthusiasm (based on kennen)
to run ahead of his conscious understanding of the method and could not assuage their
concerns. Thus, the reason that the disputed paragraph was withdrawn had nothing to do
with the supposed clinical failure or medical dangers. Indeed, Hahnemann himself
continued dual remedy prescribing but in a different format, moving from mixture
(simultaneity of ingestion) to overlapping action (simultaneity of action), with which he felt
more comfortable given his insights into the dual nature of the disease and remedial process
involving the initial and counter actions. The reason for the withdrawal of the disputed
paragraph was political and no other reasons are included in the record.]
They were very concerned that the pseudo-homoeopaths would try to imitate the failed
double remedy experiments, and introduce polypharmacy to homoeopathy. This, of
course, has happened and we have combination practitioners who claim they are practice
[sic] the way Hahnemann really intended.
[See note above. It should also be noted again here that dual remedy prescribing is not limited to simultaneity of ingestion.]
The Baron wrote a letter to Dunham in the USA about this meeting in which he stated:
But this novelty [the double remedies] appeared to [sic] dangerous for the new
method of cure, and it was I who induced Hahnemann to express his disapproval of it in
the fifth edition of the Organon in a note of [to] paragraph 272."
[The reference by Boenninghausen is to "combined doses" not to all dual remedy prescribing in the full letter here only partially quoted.]
Note that the Baron is not speaking about the 'removal of the paragraph' but the
addition of critical comments about the double remedy experiments to aphorism 272. He
say[s] he induced Hahnemann to express HIS disapproval in this footnote. Vide the 5th
edition of the Organon.
"In no case is it requisite to administer more than ONE SIMPLE medicinal substance at one time." 2 (a)
[all caps are by Little]
2 (a) Some homoepathists have made the experiment, in cases where they deemed
one remedy homoeopathically suitable for one portion of the symptoms of a case of
disease, and a second for another portion, of administering both remedies at the same
time; but I earnestly deprecate such a hazardous experiment, which can never be
necessary, though it sometimes may be of use.
[The reference here is to two remedies at the same time, that is, in mixture, what
Boenninghausen referred to as "combined doses." Again, Hahnemann cautions against the
procedure because of its practical difficulties, not because it is condemned in principle. The
use of combined doses is not necessary as one can resort to simultaneity of action. The use
of combined doses is hazardous precisely because, as Hahnemann states earlier, it is
difficult enough to find just one remedy that is homeopathically indicated in a case, much
less two. Better to give the one and wait to see a clearer image of disease emerge on which to
prescribe a second.]
This footnote express the thoughts Hahnemann wrote in his letter to the Baron in Oct
1833. He still did not wish to say that all of Aegidi's work never got 'any results', but he
knew that a fully trained homoeopath could do much better with just one single remedy at
[The implication here is that Hahnemann continued with the single remedy, and yet we have already seen Little admit that Hahnemann continued to give two remedies within the
same period of action (simultaneity of action). This is quite a departure from Hahnemann's
previous position of waiting until the full action of the first remedy had exhausted itself or
had somehow come to an end, as in intercurrent diseases, before giving a second. The
position here also begs the issue of what "at a time" means. If it means no overlapping
action, then this is contrary to what Little says elsewhere. If it allows for overlapping action,
then we face the problem of how much time must elapse and what is the principle for
deciding. Without this, a nano-second would suffice just as much as a day, for example.]
He also realized that there were inherent hazards in given [sic] a double remedy, and
wanted everyone to be very careful with their patients so he advised against the method.
[And where exactly does Hahnemann state these "inherent hazards" that are referred to here?]
A concern was that those who used the double remedies would 'never' learn how to use a single remedy correctly. It would become a self-defeating process in homoeopathic education.
[Yes, without the requisite principle of application. This paragraph by Little reinforces
the practical basis for the opposition to dual remedies,or at least for not promoting it
publicly in a formal statement, which was Hahnemann's position in the Fall of 1833.
Presumably, if the practical concerns were removed, this argument would fall by the
wayside. The concerns will remain so long as the secondary teachings of the classical school
fail to grasp the dual nature of disease and the promulgators fail to give up their
uniformitarian view of prescription which cannot conceive of dual remedies without seeing
it as a slide into polypharmacy. That the use of dual remedies is "self-defeating" is because
the homeopathic teachings to date have hobbled themselves with faulty tenets rather than
the truth based on Hahnemann's own writings and insights.]
For these reasons the aphorisms on the single remedy was then strengthen [sic] further in aphorism 273 of the 6th Organon.
"In no case of cure is it necessary to employ more than a SINGLE SIMPLE medicinal substance at one time with a patient. FOR THIS REASON ALONE, it is INADMISSIBLE
TO DO SO. It is inconceivable that there could be the slightest doubt about whether it is
more in accordance with nature and more reasonable to prescribe only a SINGLE SIMPLE,
well know medicinal substance at one time in a disease or a mixture of several different
ones. In homoeopathy-the only true and simple, the only natural medical art-it is
absolutely prohibited to administer to the patient, AT ONE TIME, two different medicinal
[We have provided a full analysis of the meaning of Aphorism 273 in the light of dual
remedy prescribing by Hahnemann elsewhere in this work. The only other place that
Hahnemann uses this term is in the context of the initial action. Thus, "at a time" means not within the initial action of another remedy, which is consistent with Hahnemann's practice
between 1836 and the final years of his practice in Paris.].
Hahnemann now was so confident in the methods he developed between 1833-1843
that he removed all reference to the double remedy experiments, and strengthen [sic] the
aphorisms on the single remedy further.
[Hahnemann's changes to the 5th edition and his rewrite of the 6th edition on the issue of the "single remedy" show, on close analysis within the overall context of the dual nature of disease, that he explicitly linked prescribing to disease and that he allowed for dual remedy
prescribing in the form of consideration for the initial action of the first remedy. There is no
evidence that Hahnemann removed all reference to dual remedies as alleged by Little. On
the contrary, Aphorism 273 fully allows for the giving of dual remedies in terms of
simultaneity of action.]
He replaced the critical note about the double remedies with a comment which reminds
us that mineral compounds like, Hepar sulph, are single remedies as they are prepared and
then proved as one substance.
The four cardinal principles [tenets] of [classical] homoeopathy are the similars cure
similars, the single remedy, the minimum dose, and the potentised remedy. These
principles [tenets] are the checks and balances that make homoeopathy a safe and effective
healing art. Without them the use of similars can be quite dangerous. [Where is the
justification for this?] Hahnemann was of the opinion that it was never really necessary to
give two remedies at the exact same time once a healer mastered the Homoeopathic Gestalt.
[Little interprets "at a time" as meaning the exact same time. If this is the case, then waiting a nanosecond to give a second remedy would cover any objection. Prescribing
becomes only a matter of technical details, not principle. There is no evidence for the
supposed cardinal principles of homeopathy here alleged. Indeed, other than the first, they
do not appear in the statement of the main pillars of homeopathy produced by the Köthen
meeting of 11 August 1833, nor are they supportable in the Organon as shown elsewhere.
The final statement is an example of Little imposing on Hahnemann positions that have no
basis in fact, an all too common practice in much of the homeopathic literature.]
Hahnemann's experiments with the double remedies were a clinical failure.
[The truth is rather that the results did not lead to many successes, "only one or two" before the political considerations led to Hahnemann continuing his work with dual remedies behind closed doors. The results between May 1833 and October 1833 were simply
"insufficient to support the establishment of a new rule," a reasonable enough position in
light of the political concerns, but they hardly amount to an admission of clinical failure. As
we have seen, Hahnemann continued the dual remedy work, albeit in the form of
simultaneity of action, not ingestion.]
He and his colleagues all realized that the 'pseudo-homoeopaths' would abuse the dual
remedies, and the allopaths would call it a return to the polypharmacy. For these reasons
the passage was removed from the manuscript of the 5th Organon and the aphorism on the
single dose strengthened. The Hofrath wrote about the originator of the dual remedies:
"Dr. Aegidi (who introduced the idea), after much reflection, abandoned such anabominable hearsay [sic] which gives the death blow to true homeopathy, and throws it
back to blind allopathy"
Dr. Aegidi the creator of the double remedies, wrote in 1865 "I loudly and publicly made known the disapproval of the administration of the so-called double remedies, as an
abuse and mischievous procedure."
[Little fails to note the careful reference by Aegidi to "so-called double remedies." This
means that Aegidi is being careful to distance himself from the abuse of dual remedies, very
much consistent with the reason why the disputed paragraph for the 5th edition was
eventually withdrawn by Hahnemann and why Hahnemann continued the dual remedy
approach in terms of simultaneity of action rather than simultaneity of ingestion. Little also
fails to note that it was Aegidi who made the use of dual remedies known to Lutze in 1853,
who then went on to achieve thousands of successes of his own.]
Yes, nature cures with single simple remedies given at the right time. When one has
not mastered homoeopathy it seems like everyone needs so many remedies. After one has
mastered homoeopathy they all only need 'one'.
[The first statement is consistent with what Hahnemann stated. The last statement is not consistent with what Hahnemann taught. Hahnemann makes clear that in chronic diseases
there is a need for a sequence of remedies. Hahnemann moved from the "one remedy fixes
all" model to the need for dual remedy prescribing and for a series of remedies over time.
The abstract notions of classical homeopathy, derived from the uniformitarian notion of
disease (patient = disease) drives them to this fancied notion of the silver bullet with no
grounding in reality.]
To use combination medicines is *unnecessary* for a trained Homoeopathician. Aegidi
himself realized this as he gained more experience, and returned to the single remedy.
[Aegidi's condemnation was of "so-called double remedies", that is the wrong use of this
concept. There is no evidence that he turned to using only one remedy or to even using only
a second remedy when the full action of the first had been completed, whichever meaning
of the term "single remedy" Little intends here.]
The are those who have not mastered a return [to] polypharmacy with potentized
remedies as a short cut. Some of them become the biggest critics of classical homoeopathy
only because they did not learn it correctly. One [sic] the other hand, there are some who
are working toward mastering classical homoeopathy who use a double remedy or
combination on occasions. We would suggest that they experiment with alternations,
intercurrents, or series of remedies rather then mixing remedies together. I[n] this way they
will grow beyond this stage of practice. If this is done carefully, they will soon see better
results then mixtures.
[Given Little's views that the simultaneity of action is acceptable, it would be useful to
have his view as to the principle behind the concept promoted here ("experiment with
alternations, intercurrents, or series of remedies") and what time frame is also to be
respected regarding the giving of two remedies within such overlapping action.]
I will close with the words that Baron von Boenninghausen expressed toward the end
of his life about those early days, and the double remedy experiments.
"If consequently in our day, a homoeopathican takes it into his head to act according to
experiments made thirty years ago, when our science was still in its infancy, and which
were subsequently condemned by a unanimous vote, he clearly walks backwards, like a
"crab", and shows that he has neither kept up with, nor followed the progress of our
[This letter is highly suspect given that its date is after the death of Boenninghausen.
Even if the year ascribed to the letter is wrong (1865), and it is dated a year earlier to March
of 1864, this still does not explain how it came to be written two months after his death.
Further, this is the final paragraph of the letter and the tone is inconsistent with the record,
namely that Boenninghausen continued to use dual remedies even after it was
"unanimously condemned" presumably a reference to the 10 August 1833 meeting in
Köthen. Since Hahnemann had resisted withdrawing the paragraph, it is doubtful that the
vote was unanimous. The only view that perhaps could be considered to be unanimous was
one that worried about the political hay their allopathic enemies would make of it and the
abuse it might be put to by some.]
Today we have many "Crustaceans" in healing who claim they are advancing
homoeopathy by going straight backwards 170 years! Some cry "Hahnemann, Hahnemann,
Hahnemann" and claim they are doing the work that Hahnemann really intended but they
are actually polypharmacists They can not master homoeopathy, so they must change it to
suit their own self made concepts.
[The record is clear: Hahnemann used dual remedies starting around 1830 and continuing into his Paris period, close, if not right to the very end. There is no record of his having
denounced the practice in any of his writings. The only evidence we have is his concern to
denounce its possible abuse by those less knowledgeable, a reasonable concern. If the
record is being changed, it is by those who deny this fact.]
They must use combination remedies because they do not have the experience to see the
single remedy in every case. Such a short cut completely stunts their growth, and makes it
impossible for them to become real homoeopaths. Some have now decided to not only
"walk backwards", but now they wish to rewrite the history of homoeopathy in their own
image. The true homoeopathic community will not let this disinformation stand
unchallenged by documented material based on eyewitness accounts, personal letters,
Hahnemann's casebooks, and his writings.
[Yes, let the record stand based on ALL the evidence, not just parts of it!]
Summation of the double remedy experiments.
1. As Hahnemann pointed out that the dual remedies *DID NOT WORK VERY WELL*
He found the double remedy experiments a failure! [rather simply a puzzle yet to be
solved] He said out of his many attempts, "IT ONLY SEEMED TO WORK IN *1 OR 2
CASES.*" The Founders left the dual remedies behind because they did not work as well as
the single remedy in their hands. As the materia medica expanded they found that it
became easier to find a remedy that matched the complete symptoms. In those rare cases
where two remedies seemed needed, they found that alternations and intercurrents
worked better then combinations. [verbal legerdemain]
2. Secondly, the Founders knew the pseudo-homeopaths and allopaths would misuse his
comments in the text and say Hahnemann approved of polypharmacy. Today there are
teachers who are spreading this misinformation throughout the healing community. The
single remedy is one of the four cardinal principles [tenets] of [classical] Homeopathy.
Some are using the term, polypharmacy, to describe Hahnemann use of alterations and
intercurrents but this is also incorrect. In most cases one find that these 'scholars' use
combination remedies and have an agenda. Today's pseudo-homoeopaths are now trying
to resurrected the double remedy experiments as a means to support their own
combination practice. Their material is agenda driven as they wish to use Hahnemann
good name as a cover for their own new methods. Such Hubris Knows No Bounds.
The dual remedy experiment was a clinical failure and a political liability, so they were
discontinued and the paragraph m removed and replaced cautions about their hazards [??]
in manuscript of the 5th Organon (1833). Some others are confusing the method of
alternation with the double remedies and saying that Hahnemann did not publish the
method of alternation because of political reasons. This is untrue as the information was
published in Hahnemann's Chronic Diseases (1828) and the 5th Organon (1833). For a
historical review with documentation please refer to the companion document,
Hahnemann on Alternations and Intercurrents. It is for serious historians and practitioners
to set the historical record straight.
[The arguments used above have been responded to in the main body of the paper. To the extent that the call is made for the historical record, it is instructive to compare the evidence presented to date by Little and ourselves see comparative table. If the historical record is to be set straight as Little calls for, then it must be done on the basis of all the evidence available, not fanciful interpretations based on prejudice.]
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