Suppression of Symptoms

Posted on 20th April, 2024

Suppression of Symptoms
by Cornelis van Dalen


‘The first mistake is to take drugs and not the remedy’.

One of the most important contributions to medical advancement in the treatment of disease was the principle introduced by Samuel Hahnemann in the system of Homoeopathy. This was based on the law of ‘like cures like’. Hahnemann, by necessity, then also demonstrated the dangers of suppression of symptoms in the practice of medicine in his day, which results when the cure is opposite to the disease.


Abounding in the homoeopathic literature is the word allopathy and the practitioner of allopathy is referred to as the allopath. This word was coined by Samuel Hahnemann, and was and is used today in a derisory way. Allopathic medicine is also called heteropathy, antipathic, enantiopathic, palliative, and is defined as the treatment of disease using medicines whose effects are different from those of the disease being treated and which have no relationship to the disease symptoms. Allopathy is based on the principle of contraria contrariis, or the Law of Opposites, as opposed to homoeopathy, which is based on similia similibus curentur, or ‘like cures like’.


The Law of ‘Like cures Like’
Hahnemann’s rediscovery of the Law of Similars in cure [see The Special Purpose of Samuel Hahnemann by C. van Dalen] from the earlier work of Paracelsus and Hippocrates, worked in a fundamentally opposite way to that held by the followers of Claudius Galenius, the second century Roman physician whose humoral pathology [1] was the basis of medicine extant in the Western world even to this day. Were it not for Hahnemann, that is, we would still be crying as did the earlier Pliny the Elder, of Rome in the 1st Century AD ‘a physician being the only person that can kill with sovereign impunity’. However, this is a mixed metaphor, but still very much applicable.


It first needs to be stated that it is the system of medicine which is here being criticized, not the practitioner of allopathic medicine, the doctor. Doctors are wonderfully caring individuals, seeking to do their utmost for the sick. This does not spare them from criticism for the use of the allopathic techniques, but this is due to a lack of education in the ways of law of similiars and healing.


Hahnemann found that if a drug is ingested, be it a plant or chemical substance, or an application of a hot or cold poultice, if this is opposite to the disease the symptoms will be suppressed. This means that a hot swelling is healed with a hot application and not a cold one. The treatment with the opposite Hahnemann called ‘a forcible concealment or masking of perceptible manifestations of a disease condition without the cure of the disease’.[2] In simple terms, what is pointed out is that the disappearance of the symptoms does not constitute the healing of the disease. This single fact needs to be carefully understood, and indeed, Hahnemann delved deeply into the subject to prove this fact and advance the homoeopathic art.

In Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases, the following quotation will illustrate the effect of allopathic medicine and the suppression of symptoms. The most basic of diseases to afflict mankind was the itch, which Hahnemann called psora (from the Greek) and this most external disease, when treated allopathically, drives the symptoms away, yes but where to? The interior!


’The diseases, partly cured but chiefly chronic, springing from such one-sided destruction of the chief skin-symptom (eruption and itching) which acts vicariously and assuages the internal Psora (which destruction is erroneously called ‘driving the itch into the body’) are innumerable; as manifold as the peculiarities of bodily constitutions and of the outer world which modifies them.’ [3] Hahnemann then quotes the experience of Juncker of 1750. ‘He observed that young people of a sanguine temperament the suppression of itch is followed by phthisis (lung TB), and with persons in general who are of a sanguine temperament it is followed by piles, haemorrhoidal colic and renal gravel. [...] Phlegmatic persons in consequence of such suppressions suffered chiefly from dropsy (swelling/water retention); the menses delayed, and when the itch was driven away during their flow, they were changed into monthly hemoptysis. Persons inclined to melancholy were sometimes made insane by such repressions; if they were pregnant the foetus was instantly killed. Sometimes the suppression of the itch caused sterility, in nursing women the milk is generally lacking, the menses disappear prematurely; in older women the uterus becomes ulcerated, attending with deep, burning pains, with wasting away (cancer of the womb).’ Hahnemann lists other physicians who confirmed Juncker’s experiences. [4]


The Law of Opposites
There need be no apology for the graphic nature of the diseases, which arise from the suppression of the itch, that seemingly most external and simple of skin disorder. The homoeopath, in the case taking procedure, seeks to answer the question of the nature of suppressed disease symptoms in a patient. On many occasions it is obvious. For example a young woman attended clinic on a particular matter, to reveal that she was given the diagnosis of Grave’s disease. But the external objective sign was suggestive of suppressed menses. This was verified as she had taken hormone injections for contraceptive purposes. Suppressed menses (which is the effect of the hormone pill/patch or intravenously) was affecting thyroid function, and consequently displayed an exophthalmic goitre, which led me to probe the matter of menstruation.


The reality and the truth of the current state of medicine is that the methods of suppression are so superior to those employed in the times of Hahnemann and earlier. Today the use of a vast array of so-called wonder drugs, the steroids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, other hormone drugs, vaccinations and not least the vast and indeed seemingly wondrous techniques of surgery, all these surpasses all previously known suppression methods.


JH Allen, in his classic work on chronic diseases, relates the secret of suppression: ‘we have deflected, if not destroyed, nature’s eliminative process, which is a life process, and have forced nature and its processes back upon itself’[5] Does this not sound like the many disease which we modernly refer to as autoimmune disorders? The healing masters knew that healing is an eliminative process. No healing takes place without eliminations. In fact most disease symptoms are the elimination of the body seeking to relieve itself. ‘For all disease processes are perverted life processes’. In other words, disease is a healing eliminative process, if allowed to proceed unimpeded and till the very end of the eliminative process. ‘We see a patient moaning with pain, or with fever, or in a delirium, and we give him a few drops of aconite or arsenicum and it ceases at once. Why? Because it has at once induced an elimination of that which was culminating within, which forced that condition upon that organism.’ [6]


The madness all around….
Earlier it was observed that the suppression of gonorrhoea led, upon certain conditions noted by the homoeopaths, to moral insanity. ‘That the most casual observer can not fail to notice it… that many cases fill our insane hospitals and places of detention. They are simply judged insane, and the cruel hand of the law takes hold of them, and many perish from that brain stasis, due to the suppression or live for years that lamentable life of one who has lost his reason’. [7] One must carefully view the current state of mental disorders, equally among the elderly (such as Alzheimer’s) and in the young labelled attention deficit or even autistic disorders.


‘I have often noticed’ says Allen, ‘when many crude drugs, now in use for the suppression of some local manifestation of disease, fail to accomplish the result, some other means has to be used to accomplish the work. Again, often when disease is suppressed, it will not remain so, but will be forever breaking forth, either in the same locality, or in similar form and in different localities. In this way the life force largely protects itself against the inroad of this unscientific and incurative method of combating disease.’[8] How many people prescribed antibiotics know that the symptoms return when the course is finished?


The operation was a success but the patient died….
Surgery is another method of suppression. Often it is noticed in the patient’s case under observation that an earlier operation, to remove some lesion or what the allopath considers some less necessary part or organ, has led to the current state of ill health for which the patient seeks help. Things can be dramatic, as Allen discovers. ‘A case comes to mind of a young man who eight months earlier to his death was strong and healthy…..He was suddenly taken ill with appendicitis. The organ was removed, and within sixty days there was a marked infiltration of the right lung accompanied with fever and cough; a little later on malignant symptoms of phthisis developed, and death occurred within eight months.’ [9] The history of this case was a history of suppression of gonorrhoea.


‘An operation is often the worst form of suppression as the life force sets up an inhibitory point in the organism, when it is diseased; this point may either be functional or structural, and if treated according to the law of Similia, is removed in a natural way by virtue of the removal of the miasmatic [10] basis, or that which compelled the life force to set up the inhibitory point in the first place. But by operative measures, this inhibitory point is mechanically removed, and the life force suffers still from the same perversion due to the same taint, is compelled, by virtue of this same law of action and reaction on which all life and all motion is dependent, to set up another inhibitory point or centre, which is only fulfilling the law of self-preservation’.[11]


The direction of cure
Curing of the patient does follow a specific pathway as outlined by Hahnemann. This was later encapsulated by Constantine Hering (1800-1888) and is now known to us as Hering’s Law of Cure. This states that symptoms improve from above downwards, from the vital to the less vital organs, from the most recent to the earliest symptoms and the symptoms disappear in reverse order to their appearance.


In the above story of the appendix removal, the symptoms re-emerged in the lungs, thus violating Hering’s law. In most cases the discharge accompanying the disease that was suppressed needs to return. The lesser organ of the skin is always the last to be healed, much to the chagrin of persons in our self-conscious age. To illustrate the law of cure here is a quote from Juncker: ‘A pregnant Jewess had an itch on her hands and drove it away in the eight month of her pregnancy so that it might not be seen during her period of delivery. Three days afterwards she was delivered and the lochial discharge did not appear and she was seized by a high fever; since that time for seven years she had been sterile and had suffered from leucorrhoea. Then she became poor and had to walk a great distance barefooted; hereupon the itch again appeared and she thus lost her leucorrhoea and her other hysteric affections; she became pregnant again and was safely delivered.’ [12]


This story additionally indicates the effects of stress and strain to stir-up the latent suppression. This can occur not only in such arduous cases but also in cases of shock, trauma or even fasting, to disturb the latent conditions to be healed.


‘....and death relieved her of her sufferings.’

Somewhat darkly J. H. Allen expresses aspects of the suppression of symptoms in the summation of the law: ‘Any transgression of a physiological or therapeutic law brings forth a death process, and its wages is more disease and deeper laid plans of destruction.’[13]


Yasgur’s Homoeopathic Dictionary quotes Dr Fergie Woods, who said: ‘the failure of allopathy was that it treated disease, or a part of an organ, or tried to do so, whereas the only means of cure was to treat the whole patient.’ ‘The man who firmly believes in homoeopathy and its principles can under no circumstances or under any shading of sophistry embrace other principles than those in harmony with the law’. [14]


This is by no means the end of the story or even the beginning, as there are countless tales to illustrate suppression of symptoms, but also when suppression may well be justified. Only in the greater scheme can this be understood. We shall strive to do so.


© Cornelis van Dalen 2005, 2024



1. The science of bodily fluids, which is based on the notion that the human body contains four humours or bodily fluids (blood, phlegm, black & yellow bile) and that good health depends on these humours being kept in balance.
2. Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine
3. Samuel Hahnemann, Chronic Diseases, Jain Publishers, New Delhi Volume 1, p.17
4. ‘It needs to be stated not all the secondary and tertiary manifestations of disease are induced by the suppressed itch. It is the suppression of the psora or any of the basic miasms. Nothing can be suppressed but the chronic miasms or that which is in combination with them’. JH Allen Chronic Diseases Vol I p145
5. John Henry Allen Chronic Diseases, Jain Publishers, New Delhi. Volume I, p.112
6. Ibid I/172
7. Ibid I/122-123
8. Ibid I/115
9. Ibid II/29
10. The chronic miasms (psora, sycosis, syphilis).
11. Op cit JH Allen II 45-46
12. Quoted in Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases, Volume One, p.18
13. Op cit Allen I/132
14. Op cit Allen I/63

Leave a Comment

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you would like to, please leave a comment below.

There are currently no comments to display. Add Comment.