Before the theoretic tendency of the 18th century was quite exhausted, it displayed itself in a system which, though in some respects isolated in the history of medicine, stands nearest to that of Brown - that, namely, of Hahnemann (see Homoeopathy).
Hahnemann (1753-1844) was in conception as revolutionary a reformer of medicine as Paracelsus.
(It is fair to say that these views were published in one of his later works.) In treatment of disease Hahnemann rejected entirely the notion of a vis medicatrix naturae, and was guided by his well-known principle 1 The itch (scabies) is really an affection produced by the presence in the skin of a species of mite (Acarus scabiei), and when this is destroyed or removed the disease is at an end.
In order to select remedies which should fulfil the indication of producing symptoms like those of the disease, Hahnemann made many observations of the action of drugs on healthy persons.
On this principle Hahnemann ordered his original tinctures to be reduced in strength to onefiftieth; these first dilutions again to one-fiftieth; and so on, even till the thirtieth dilution, which he himself used by preference, and to which he ascribed the highest "potentiality."
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