What is Hering’s Law of Cure in Homoeopathy?

“Hering’s law of cure” is also known as “The law of direction of cure”. It is formulated by the famous homeopath, Dr. Hering who is also known as the “Father of American Homeopathy”.

According to this law,

“The cure takes place from above downwards, from within outwards, from the more important organ to the less important organ and in the reverse order of the appearance of symptoms”

In the writings of Master Hahnemann, we observe that when the cure takes place the symptoms disappear in the reverse order of their appearance. The symptom that appeared first will be the last one to disappear. The recurrence of old symptoms after administering a remedy is a good indication.

What is Hering's Law of Cure?

For a homoeopath is like a compass to a navigator and sailor, which made us understand the process of cure or the direction of cure.

Though the law appears in 4 steps, each step explains the process of cure.
(Note: The examples that are given below are only for a better understanding of the concept)

For a better understanding, the law can be explained below.

1. From Above Downwards

When a similimum is administered to a patient, the annihilation of symptoms will take place from the proximal anatomical parts to the distal anatomical parts of the body. The symptoms disappear from the axial part to the appendicular part of the body. If such a thing is observed, it indicates that the selected remedy is homeopathic and also acting curatively.

For example: if a patient suffering from “polyarthritis” is given a curative remedy, the joints that are close to the trunk (proximal) will get better first, and then the joints away from the body (distal). Moreover, the joints of the upper limb will be freed first, then the joints of the lower limb. The logic behind this explanation is that usually, the upper quadrant of the human body contains the important organs that are vital to life. Hence, the curative remedy frees the vital parts first and then proceeds to the other parts.

2. From Within Outwards

According to homoeopathic philosophy, the disease process first starts in the internal man i.e. vital force. Then the disease is reflected onto the outer man i.e. the anatomical organs. In short, the derangement always starts in the vital force. Symptoms of the disease are “the outwardly reflected picture of the internally deranged vital force”. The curative process in nature is from “centre to periphery”. The homoeopathic remedy always first eases the inner vital organs and then proceeds to the outer parts of the body. In selecting the homoeopathic remedy, Kent’s general symptoms (symptoms of the man) are given more importance than the particular symptoms (symptoms of his parts). Once the curative process of the remedy starts, the general symptoms improve first and then the particulars. This is the reason why after the administration of a remedy the patient “feels better” in his inner self, in spite of the existence of the disease in the physical parts.

Example: In cases of “rheumatic fever”, joints are affected first and then it progresses to the heart. In such cases, when a remedy is administered it cures the cardiac symptoms first and finally the joint problems. This is because the curative process is starting from the innermost organ i.e. heart, to the outer joints.

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3. From the More Important Organ to the Less Important Organ

The curative process is the opposite of the disease process. The disease proceeds from the less important organ to the most important organ. Whereas the curative process is always from the more important organ to the less important organ. As already discussed above, the important organs are lying deep to the body and the less important in the outer parts. In this context, the importance of the particular organ is determined by its role in retaining the life of the patient.

Example: In cases of “rheumatic fever”, when a remedy is administered it cures the cardiac symptoms first and finally the joint problems. This is because the curative process is starting from the most important organ heart to the less important organ joints.

In the above cases, the importance of the organ in maintaining life and vitality played a major role.

4. In the Reverse Order of the Appearance of Symptoms

This process is very true in the case of chronic diseases. The past history of the patient reveals the list of diseases the patient had suffered in his life. During the “case taking”, the physician arranges these diseases in the order of their appearance i.e. in chronological order. If such a case is given a curative remedy, we can observe the reverse order of the appearance of symptoms. That means the symptoms of the disease that appeared first in the patient’s life will be the last ones to disappear. Those symptoms of the disease that appeared last, i.e. recently, will be the first to disappear.

Example: A patient’s history reveals that he is suffering from oozing itchy skin eruptions for 20 years, constipation and bleeding haemorrhoids for 5 years, and bronchial asthma with dry cough and breathlessness for 2 years. If in such a case a similimum remedy is administered, it will remove the symptoms of bronchial asthma first, then the symptoms of haemorrhoids, and finally the symptoms of skin eruptions.

This process is an important indication that the administered remedy is not only homoeopathic to the case but also curing the patient in a rapid, gentle, and permanent manner. Experience suggests that after the administration of the curative remedy, some old symptoms which were suppressed in the past may also reappear. This happens in their order of appearance. This is a good indication and indicates that the remedy is curing the case.

Quick-Recap of the Whole article
These 4 steps explained here have to be interpreted in a single unit. After the remedy was administered, if the symptoms are following the “law of direction of cure”, the physician can be sure of the cure. It helps in predicting the prognosis of the case. As soon as the symptoms start following Hering’s law of cure, further repetition of the medicine has to be stopped. Any substance that disturbs the action of the remedy has to be withdrawn immediately. Thus Hering’s law of cure can be called the guide to the physician on the path to the highest ideal of cure.

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