Dr. Drysdale defines alternation to be “the giving a second medicine while the sphere of action of the first is still unexhausted.”
But Dr. Drysdale, while advocating alternation, in this sense, in certain specified cases, does not propose to give his second medicine except after a careful re-examination of the symptoms of the patient and a comparison of them with the Materia Medica. It is clear, then, that alternation as he defines and defends it, is not the same thing as the alternation a priori which Dr. Quin reprobates and to which we would restrict the term. Dr.
Drysdale’s definition seems to us very vague and impracticable. How are we to know when the sphere of action of the medicine is exhausted? By inferences from the proving? But we have reason to believe that the speed at which vital processes go on in sickness may be very different from that during a physiological proving. Reduced to a practical rule, Dr. Drysdale’s reasoning would amount to this: If, on our second visit, symptoms shall be found to have arisen which seem to call for the second medicine, we should suspend the first and give the second, and then, if, at the third visit, the symptoms be found to have changed again, .so as to call again for the first medicine, we should give it. But this, he says, is “alternation.”With certain qualifications we agree to his rule of practice, but we object to the name he gives it. And here names are important. It is of great consequence to avoid giving to two radically different procedures, one and the same name.
Reference: The American Homeopathic Review. By Carroll Dunham, M.D., New York.