The totality of symptoms (along with the patient’s circumstances and any contingent miasm) determines the most appropriate remedy in cases of disease where there is no obvious cause to be removed.
In cases of disease where there is no obvious occasioning or maintaining cause (causa occasionalis) to be removed, 59 we can perceive nothing but the disease signs. Therefore, it must be the symptoms alone by which the disease demands and can point to the appropriate medicine for its relief, along with regard for any contingent miasm and with attention to the attendant circumstances (§5).
The totality of these symptoms is the outwardly reflected image of the inner wesen of the disease, that is, of the suffering of the life force. The totality of symptoms must be the principal or the only thing whereby the disease can make discernible what remedy [curative means] it requires, the only thing that can determine the choice of the most suitable helping-means. Thus, in a word, the totality 60 of symptoms must be the most important, indeed the only thing in every case of disease, that the medical-art practitioner has to discern and to clear away, by means of his art, so that the disease shall be cured and transformed into health.
Comm: From time immemorial, adherents of the old school (often unaware of any other expedient) have used medicines in an attempt to combat and, wherever possible, to suppress a single one of the various symptoms of a disease. This one-sidedness, called symptomatic treatment, has rightly aroused general contempt because through it, not only is nothing won but much is also spoiled. A single symptom of disease is no more the disease itself than a single foot is the man himself. This procedure is so much the more reprehensible because the single symptom is treated with an opposed means which acts in an enantiopathic and palliative manner. After a short period of relief, the symptom is only made all the worse.
Symptomatic treatment: the suppression of single disease symptoms with antipathic medicines