Partial Similarity Explained

Tanya Jacob is a young and dynamic lady who is a bit inclined to feminism. She makes contacts very easily and is a ‘chatter box’ to her acquaintances. Even a trifle at home is a matter of talk at office and vice versa. Her laughter’s make the conversation enjoyable and lively. She weeps as often as she laughs. Her reactions are so instantaneous that one cannot predict. Sometimes she explodes into anger and may cry afterwards

Tanya has a very bad childhood. Her father was alcoholic and highly irresponsible about the needs of children. She has got a younger brother to whom she is very attached. About her relations she is possessive. ” We were a gang of five at college. I don’t like anybody else to be included in my group”. She will be hurt very easily i.e. even from chance remarks by her friends. Sometimes she retaliates with acid remarks making the relationship to a halt. Deep inside, she harbors thoughts of inferiority. Her finances are poor, father is an alcoholic, her complexion is not fair etc.And she got married at the age of 23. Even after 5 years of marriage, she asks him. “Do you love me?I know you married me out of sympathy”. She fears that he was not given enough dowry. His reassurances are of little consolation. Ammu, her 2 years old kid had 3 attacks of fever convulsions so far. She is much worried and anxious about it. Whenever Ammu gets a cold she will spend the night sleepless.

Tanya’s major health problem is asthmatic attacks occurring almost every month. She catches cold very easily, and will invariably go down to chest resulting in asthma. She had similar attacks since the age of 15, which has become more frequent since last 2 years. With the acute episode she finds it difficult to lie down. She perspires a lot and takes frequent sips of warm water, which gives slight relief for dyspnoea. She wants mother or else husband beside her through the whole attack. She cannot even think of sitting alone.

She feels highly insecure regarding money matters, about the future, her job etc. She spends money very cautiously and for essentials only. Her belongings and room is always well kept. She is very particular that the dressings must be neat and tidy. She is a born performer. She used to get prizes in dance- competitions in Inter-Collegiate youth festivals. But before each performance, she will be hesitant and feel anxious about her ability. She needs support and comforting words from her friends to achieve confidence. The same situation arises on her exam day and before the publication of results. She used to get good marks, but has got a big fear that she might fail. In the morning of exam day, she had nausea and vomiting, a number of times. She likes company very much and gets emotional nourishment from the good words of others. Consequently she is deeply hurt from even the slights. In response, she may either feel irritated or become sad depending on the degree of insult. After being hurt, she sometimes goes to a dark room, sits curled up in a corner and weeps. Negative thoughts find easy way into her mind that she is useless, nobody loves or cares for her, and there is no good in living on. Moment of such impulsive thoughts had led her to attempt suicide thrice before. She has got strong fear of accidents. While traveling in a bus she imagines the situation of accidents and gets frightened. She fears electricity. Dares not put plug into the socket for the purpose of ironing.

Physically, she is easily affected by cold. During sleep she covers the whole body except feet. She contracts cold after getting wet, when exposed to cold drafts etc. She bloats up quite easily and suffers from eructations. Always get her abdomen distended after eating. She has got a strong carving for both sweets and salts. Anxiety causes flatulence and increased palpitations. She complains of dandruff, hair falling and mild graying of hair. She is subject to frequent headaches from sun exposure, emotional excitement etc.

After the reading the case a few times, it seemed that the image of Ars. Alb is fairly clear. Ars.alb 10M, one dose was given. The next day she reported almost complete relief of acute symptoms. About one month later, she had another attack, which was promptly controlled with another dose of Ars. alb 10M.Asthma relapsed again 3 weeks after and Ars. alb 10M and 50M were of no use. Patient had to take allopathic medicines.

Why this happened? Why, the law of cure is failing? Is it because of the low quality of my 50M, Is there any maintaining cause? Shall I give an intercurrent nosode to get rid of the blocking miasm. After giving too much good response it is not working at all. On the next visit I decided to review the case. I questioned about each and every symptom in detail. To my disappointment, there was no improvement in her emotional sphere.

Every one of us has witnessed such frustrating experiences in our practice. In the beginning years of our career, this type of remedy response cause disappointments. The initial euphoria of upcoming homeopath becomes shattered and he becomes skeptical of the efficacy of the system. The lesser minds will be dejected easily and may criticize the system accusing that they have done everything possible and still failed. He may go for easy ways and short cuts in prescribing, resulting in further deterioration of his quality of work. What is the cause of such short lasting action of homeopathic medicine? The answer is, your medicine is only superficially similar to the case at hand and is incapable of holding the case for sufficient length of time. Kent has described it in his chapter on ” Twelve Observations”. Students are taught about homeopathic philosophy, only to be recited before the examiner-observation No.1,3,9 etc or Aphorism -8, 26-like that. I strongly doubt whether the implications of these observations in actual practice are effectively conveyed to the students. The magnitude and problem of partial similarity is so overwhelming in reality that one cannot overlook it. Recalling my experience, I can say with certainty that about 30-40% of positive results, which a beginner gains from initial prescriptions, are from partially similar medicines. This is obvious from the reports of a considerably large number of patients complaining that the initial improvement is not holding after a period of 2-3 months. This response is unfortunate and may really discourage the enthusiasm of aspiring homeopaths. But, we must bear it in mind that Homeopathy and human sickness is so vast that one cannot get a complete understanding of both within a few years of academic studies. How many of us take pains to read the literature for at least one hour every day? How many of us have decided on and tried the tedious and painful route of arriving at the simillimum rather than using short cuts? Those who use the easy way get dejected easily and may start condemning the science. Let me quote from J.T. Kent. ” The remedy is not homeopathic simply because it is carried in the case of a homeopathic physician. But so often do we hear the expression,” I have tried Homeopathy and it failed.” When, as a matter of fact, the author of this common sentiment has simply demonstrated his own failure to apply this all embracing art. The man who says this loudest is most ignorant of what he professes. We are inclined to be patient with him who admits that the failure is on the part selection not related to the law. Man is a very feasible being and must make many errors”.

There lies the crux of the problem. Those who know better makes lesser mistakes. So we are supposed to learn from our failures and grow out of this fix through years of laborious studies. They are the ones who uphold the divine law. Kent says “A physician advanced in years looks back upon many failures. The faithful homeopathist recalls a man, a woman, a child and realizes that these, among his past failures would be simple cases. Prescribing the homeopathic remedy in such a matter of growth and progress that it may be said that the best of the wire is saved for the last of the feast”. In the beginning of one’s practice many acute diseases run their course in advanced years, they are nearly all aborted.If the remedy is only partially similar, it will act in only one or two potencies and the symptoms will change and a new remedy will be called for. Many chronic cases will require a series of carefully selected remedies to effect a cure if the remedy is only partially similar, but the ideal in prescribing is to find the remedy similar enough to hold the case through a full series to the highest. Each time the patient will say that the new potency acted like the first one received. The patient can feel the medicine when it is acting properly. Some have intimated that suggestion is a help to the action of the remedy, but it is well to know that suggestion fails when wrong remedy has been given”.


Take the case of a patient suffering from multiple complaints like chronic headaches, severe constipation and joint pains. He is taking allopathic medicines for headaches and plans to undergo Ayurvedic treatment for what is perceived as rheumatism. Before that he wanted homeopathic advice. Opium was selected for it is one of the best medicines for constipation. His complaint was promptly relieved and feels happy about the treatment. Is this good Homeopathy? Another patient got Passiflora Incarnata for sleeplessness and got the desired results. Why is it that Opium and Passiflora acted inspite of the fact that both were not similimum according to the strictest sense of terms? They were similar to the complaint for which it was given and produced a result affecting on that particular level only. The patient as a whole was over looked and prescription were based on individualization of the parts. The results obtained out of such treatments is not in any way better than allopathy for the overall health level of the patient might not have improved a little bit and possibly it might have deteriorated. Passiflora Incarnata can produce a seemingly favourable result in 20% of sleeplessness cases. Out of this only 1% may actually require Passiflora as their homeopathic remedy and have actually benefited out of it. The rest of the cases will either relapse after a period of palliation or will be ‘cured’ of sleeplessness and develop anxieties or other deeper physical ailments. In the latter situation, our harmless drugs have affected a suppression due to its partial similarity.

George Vithoulkas writes in “Science of Homeopathy”: “If only a partial image of the total symptom picture is acquired, the effect of the therapeutic substance of the organism will be limited only to that vibrational level. If a patient comes to the homeopath complaining of arthritis, for instance and the only symptom noted are those relating to the joints while ignoring the rest of the physical plane, emotional plane and mental plane, the prescription can be expected only to act on the joints. Such a procedure is unlikely to produce a cure, and more over may well result in the degeneration on deeper levels”.

“Men who give Bryonia for pneumonia, Nux vom for the stomach, Kali iod for syphilis and Belladonna for cerebral congestion, seldom learn to individualize from organs and parts hoping to get some where.Lucky hits are their sole joy and success. Their success would be failures in the minds of men who can follow Hahnemann in all he means in emphasizing the mind symptoms above all others in any given totality of symptoms of a sick man”- Kent.

On the contrary let us imagine a situation in which only similimum is working. Partially similar medicines are not even touching the case. I personally believe that it would have caused the extinction of Homeopathy from the face of the earth long before. Because we fallible mortals cannot hope to arrive at the similimum in all the cases presented before us. In the beginning years of one’s career partially similar results definitely help to keep one’s reputation intact in almost all acute cases and a good number of chronic cases. Those who learn from their failures can hope to achieve the highest degree of perfection in the art of healing after years of good Homeopathy. The state of those who goes for easy ways and short cuts will be even more pitiable after years of practice. Let everyone of us be sensible in choosing our path and destiny.

Coming back to Tanya, she produced a wonderful cure with Argentum Nitricum- effecting principally on chief complaint and emotional level resulting in a very good relationship with husband and his family. Her emotional vulnerability and easy hurting nature became things of the past.