When I worked at a health food store, I witnessed first-hand how many people use mega-dosing of vitamins as part of the foundation for their own health. In so many ways, our tendency is usually to think that “more is better”, and that once something is identified as “good for us”, this line of thinking leads us to want to load up on it. As you may already know about the structure of Heilkunst and its principles, there really isn’t anything which is intrinsically “good” or “bad” for us, but only that which is needed at a specific time for a specific reason, and in a specific dose and potency. This is based on the multiple facets of resonance, and ultimately what moves a person from a lesser to a greater state of health by applying a rational, principled-approach to healthcare, rather than an empirical “what seems to work” approach.
A key problem with the typical empirical approach to supplementation, is that it becomes either suppressive or palliative for the deeper underlying diseases which the person has, whether in terms of residual shocks and traumas, or the deeper inherited diseases (the chronic miasms). While the superficial effect often appears to be quite positive, in terms of the person “feeling good”, and having more energy, it is hiding the fact that the overall state of health is actually being worsened in the process.
Here’s an excerpt from one of Dr. Hahnemann’s essays, which explains this further:
From The Curative Powers Of Drugs by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann:
If I mistake not, practical medicine has devised three ways of applying remedies for the relief of the disorders of the human body.
The first way, to remove or destroy the fundamental cause of the disease, was the most elevated it could follow. All the imaginings and aspirations of the best physicians in all ages were directed to this object, the most worthy of the dignity of our art. But, to use a Spagyrian expression, they did not advance beyond particulars; the great philospher’s stone, the knowledge of the fundamental cause of all diseases, they never attained to. And as regards most diseases, it will remain for ever concealed from human weakness. In the mean time, what could be ascertained respecting this point, from the experience of all ages, was united in a general system of therapeutics. Thus, in cases of chronic spasms of the stomach, the general weakness of the system was first removed; the convulsions arising from tapeworm were conquered by killing that animal; the fever arising from noxious matters in the stomach was dissipated by powerful emetics; in diseases caused by a chill the suppressed perspiration was restored; and the ball was extracted that gave rise to traumatic fever. This object is above all criticism, though the means employed were not always the fittest for attaining it. I shall now take leave of this royal road, and examine the other two ways for applying medicines.
By the second way, the symptoms present were sought to be removed by medicines which produces an opposite condition; for example, constipation by purgatives; inflamed blood by venesection, cold and nitre; acidity in the stomach by alkalis; pains by opium. In acute diseases, which, if we remove the obstacles to recovery for but a few days, nature will herself generally conquer, or, if we cannot do so, succumb; in acute diseases, I repeat, this application of remedies is proper, to the purpose, and sufficient, as long as we do not possess the above-mentioned philosopher’s stone (the knowledge of the fundamental cause of each disease, and the means of its removal,) or as long as we have no rapidly-acting specific, which would extinguish the variolous infection, for instance, at its very commencement. In this case, I would call such remedies temporary.
But if the fundamental cause of the disease, and its direct means of removal are known, and we, disregarding these, combat the symptoms only by remedies of this second kind, or employ them seriously in chronic diseases, then this method of treatment (to oppose diseases by remedies that produces an opposite state) gets the name of palliative, and is to be reprobated. In chronic diseases it only gives relief at first; subsequently, stronger doses of such remedies become necessary, which cannot remove the primary disease, and thus they do more harm the longer they are employed, for reasons to be specified hereafter.
I know very well that habitual constipation is still attempted to be cured by aloetic purgatives and laxative salts, but with what melancholy results! I know well that efforts are still made to subdue the chronic determination of blood of hysterical, cachetic, and hypochondriacal individuals, by repeated, although small venesections, nitre, and the like; but with what untoward consequences! Persons living a sedentary life, with chronic stomachic ailments, accompanied by sour eructations, are still advised to take repeatedly Glauber salts; but with what disastrous effects! Chronic pains of all kinds are still sought to be removed by the continued use of opium; but again, with what sad results! And although the great majority of my medical brethren still adhere to this method, I do not fear to call it palliative, injurious, and destructive.
I beseech my colleagues to abandon this method (contraria contrariis) in chronic diseases, and in such acute diseases as take on a chronic character; it is the deceitful by-path in the dark forest that leads to the fatal swamp. The vain empire imagines it to be the beaten highway, and plumes himself on the wretched power of giving a few hours’ ease, unconcerned if, during this specious calm, the disease plants its roots still deeper.
But I am not singular in warning against this fatal practice. The better, more discerning, and conscientious physicians, have from time to time sought for remedies (the third way) for chronic diseases, and acute diseases tending to chronic, which should not cloak the symptoms, but which should remove the disease radically, in one word, for specific remedies; the most desirable, most praiseworthy undertaking that can be imagined. Thus, for instance, they tried arnica in dysentery, and in some instances found it a useful specific.
But what guided them, what principle induced them to try such remedies? Alas! only a precedent from the empirical game of hazard from domestic practice, chance cases, in which these substances were accidentally found useful in this or that disease, often only in peculiar unmentioned combinations, which might perhaps never again occur; sometimes in pure, simple diseases.
In order to ascertain the actions of remedial agents, for the purpose of applying them to the relief of human suffering, we should trust as little as possible to chance; but go to work as rationally and as methodically as possible. We have seen, that for this object the aid of chemistry is still imperfect, and must only be resorted to with caution; that the similarity of genera of plants in the natural system, as also the similarity of species of one genus, give but obscure hints; that the sensible properties of drugs teach us mere generalities, and these invalidated by many exceptions; that the changes that take place in the blood from the admixture of medicines teach nothing; and that the injection of the latter into the blood vessels of animals, as also the effects on animals to which medicines have been administered, is much too rude a mode of proceeding, to enable us therefrom to judge of the finer actions of remedies.
Nothing then remains but to test the medicines we wish to investigate on the human body itself.
Hahnemann goes on to explain the importance of doing provings on healthy human beings, rather than gathering sporadic information empirically, as cures occurred by chance, when the remedy properties cannot be accurately determined from a sick individual, as when tested on a healthy human being. The most noble art and science of medicine demands the highest form of reason to overtake any of our healthcare practices still based on empiricism, which are rampant both through conventional as well as natural medicine.