Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Key-note system for remedy selection - Dr. Henry Guernsey MD

Dr. Henry Guernsey MD was a contemporary of Lippe's and a very fine homeopath. During his great career, he developed an idea called the key-note system for remedy selection. He discusses it here. Very good.

"From the "provings" of Aconite; from its numerous toxicological effects; and from the revelations of its scope furnished us by its use in disease, a vast tissue of symptoms might be accumulated, that it is not exaggeration to say would fill a large volume; and to these we might add the results of new provings, on different individuals, ad infinitum. How very many of these symptoms are very similar to, or apparently identical with, those produced through the provings of other drugs?

Truly the flowers appear all alike.

Yet there is something within that pathogenesis indicative of Aconite alone; embodying in expression its one characteristic, unfailing, predominant effect, which makes it to differ from all other drugs, and which pervades all its other effects with more or less predominance.

This system or condition, these symptoms or conditions form the key-note or key-notes of Aconite as a medicine, and furnishes the key to its indication in disease. Thus, in instituting comparisons between medicines, by taking all the symptoms and comparing them carefully, we will find that each one presents, besides the fundamental similarity to all the others, peculiar differences from all the others; and these invariable points of peculiar difference are the "key-notes" in a comparison of such remedies.

Here, then, we have the characteristic peculiarity in the disease that individualizes that case, and we are enabled to call up from the storehouse of the Materia Medica, and place in apposition with it, that medicine which possesses in its pathogenesis a corresponding similar characteristic, peculiarity or "key-note," and which will prove to be the curative agent for that case of disease.

It is charged against the key-note system that it is in conflict with the doctrine that teaches the necessity of meeting the totality of the symptoms, or, in other words, the doctrine of true homoeopathy. This is by no means true.

It is claimed,-not that the key-note in the case is to be alone met by the key-note of the remedy; nor that the whole case is to be met by the key-note alone,-but simply that the predominant symptom or condition of the case that individualizes it and constitutes its key-note, suggests to the mind a medicine having a corresponding predominant symptom, condition or key-note, and that if there has been no error committed either in viewing the key-note of the disease, or of subsequently selecting, just that remedy having the corresponding feature, there will then be found in the pages of a symptomen codex, under the heading of that particular remedy, the remaining features, symptoms and conditions of the patient, or, in other words, the "totality."

Thus the "key-note," as before explained, is simply suggestive; suggesting, by the shortest, surest and most practical method, a remedy; separating and isolating it from all other medicines as having, first, the characteristic symptom or condition or "key-note" in a marked degree; secondly, and consequently, the remaining symptoms or conditions; these constituting together the totality of the case. As a medical friend expresses it in a recent letter, "the key-note gives us the pitch of the tune, but it is not the tune."'

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