The simillimum in homeopathy is the best remedy suited for the case and covering the greatest totality of symptoms. The word itself is the superlative of simile; that which is similar and compared to another. Based on the principle that “Like cures Like” finding the best remedy for the case should be as easy as finding the rubrics and giving the remedy that covers the totality. Unfortunately it is not that easy.
The idea of simillimum is very important in homeopathy but I am not sure that it exists in reality. The job of the homeopath is to find the right remedy that inspires the vital force to respond and leads to cure. One would say then that there would only be one simillimum for every person.
In an ideal application this would be so. We are always searching for a single remedy that best suits the case. The reality is that even if one remedy is given and there is a curative healing response, it may not be the only remedy necessary to cure the case. Then when the next remedy is given it too would be the simillimum if it is prescribed on the best choice for the case.
I have found that the best remedies seem to help a person for up to about five years. They will still be taking the same remedy, but in different potencies, and still be responding. The response is equal to movement forward in their life and their presenting symptoms. There comes a time when the remedy seems to stop working. Then it is necessary to re-receive the case.
Based on a new fresh look at what is happening in the persons life a new remedy is usually chosen. This new remedy is now the simillimum. Over the course of extended treatment a person may have 3 or 4 different simillimum remedies. And in acute or emergency prescribing they could have dozens in a lifetime.
So the idea of simillimum is a principle to strive for, but not an absolute. Finding the simillimum for the case is only as good as the case is understood. Often homeopaths look at individual symptoms only and miss the big picture of what is asking to be healed.
The first and primary task is to understand the client. Without this understanding the chances of finding the simillimum for the case is minimal. Once the case is understood, then rubrics that best express the case as a whole and the symptoms as precisely as possible can be chosen. This will lead to a palette of remedies that cover the case.
If finding the remedy were as easy as choosing the remedy that covers all of the rubrics then homeopathy could be done by anyone. But the art of being the homeopath demands that we think in metaphor as we understand the client and the remedy for the case.
The simillimum remedy should not just cover the totality of symptoms but should carry an energy similar to the case/person.
One question that comes up often is, “what is the rubric for this symptom?” Often there is no rubric to describe an idea about the case or the person. It may even be that the remedy materia medica makes no reference to this undeniable idea about the case that is asking to be healed.
This is when knowing the essence of remedies is very important. Essences are brief descriptions that describe the energy of the remedy by metaphor. When remedies are understood accurately in this way, prescribing them becomes much easier. It will help narrow down the possible remedies for the case from 10 or 15 that might cover all of the rubrics. If everyone of these fit the description of simillimum by covering the totality of the symptoms then there must be 10 or 15 different simillimums. But this is not so. The choice to find that single, best remedy for the case still exists.
If we cleave to the idea that every case has a simillimum, and if we do not find it we fail, then we are doomed to great disappointment. There are as many different simillimums as there are homeopaths. How each of us understands the case is unique. The beautiful thing about homeopathy is that everyone can be right. How one homeopath understands the case and prescribes the best remedy perceptible to them compares to another is a mute point.
If the remedy has some energetic match to the case then there will be some movement. Only when the case appears to have stopped and a new remedy needs to be found could we say that the first remedy may not have been the simillimum.
Finding the simillimum is something that every homeopath should always attempt to do. But the reality is there are as many simillimums as there are people, homeopaths and remedies. Finding the simillimum is the constant reminder to always do the very best we can.