The version of the Organon published here contains the 5th Edition translated by Dudgeon and 6th Edition translated by Boericke – combined. These two versions are quite compatible, so it was possible to only include one version of a specific paragraph, when no changes were made from the 5th to the 6th Edition and also to highlight the exact differences, where the changes were made.
While doing this work, we have also consulted the original German text where the English translation did not make much sense and made some clarifying corrections, which were marked as such.
The physician's high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed.1)
The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles.
If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in diseases, that is to say, in every individual case of disease (knowledge of disease, indication), if he clearly perceives what is curative in medicines, that is to say, in each individual medicine (knowledge of medicinal powers), and if he knows how to adapt, according to clearly defined principles, what is curative in medicines to what he has discovered to be undoubtedly morbid in the patient, so that the recovery must ensue – to adapt it, as well in respect to the suitability of the medicine most appropriate according to its mode of action to the case before him (choice of the remedy, the medicine indicated), as also in respect to the exact mode of preparation and quantity of it required (proper dose), and the proper period for repeating the dose; – if, finally, he knows the obstacles to recovery in each case and is aware how to remove them, so that the restoration may be permanent, then he understands how to treat judiciously and rationally, and he is a true practitioner of the healing art.
Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its fundamental cause, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration.
The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.2) 3)
Now, as in a disease, from which no manifest exciting or maintaining cause (causa occasionalis) has to be removed4), we can perceive nothing but the morbid symptoms, it must (regard being had to the possibility of a miasm, and attention paid to the accessory circumstances, § 5) be the symptoms alone by which the disease demands and points to the remedy suited to relieve it – and, moreover, the totality of these its symptoms, of this outwardly reflected picture of the internal essence of the disease, that is, of the affection of the vital force, must be the principal, or the sole means, whereby the disease can make known what remedy it requires – the only thing that can determine the choice of the most appropriate remedy – and thus, in a word, the totality5) of the symptoms must be the principal, indeed the only thing the physician has to take note of in every case of disease and to remove by means of his art, in order that it shall be cured and transformed into health.
It is not conceivable, not can it be proved by any experience in the world, that, after removal of all the symptoms of the disease and of the entire collection of the perceptible phenomena, there should or could remain anything else besides health, or that the morbid alteration in the interior could remain uneradicated.6)
In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the material body (organism), rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.
The material organism, without the vital force, is capable of no sensation, no function, no self-preservation7), it derives all sensation and performs all the functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being (the vital force) which animates the material organism in health and in disease.
The material organism, without the vital force, is capable of no sensation, no function, no self-preservation7), it derives all sensation and performs all the functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being (the vital principle) which animates the material organism in health and in disease.
When a person falls ill, it is only this spiritual, self acting (automatic) vital force, everywhere present in his organism, that is primarily deranged by the dynamic8) influence upon it of a morbific agent inimical to life; it is only the vital force, deranged to such an abnormal state, that can furnish the organism with its disagreeable sensations, and incline it to the irregular processes which we call disease; for, as a power invisible in itself, and only cognizable by its effects on the organism, its morbid derangement only makes itself known by the manifestation of disease in the sensations and functions of those parts of the organism exposed to the senses of the observer and physician, that is, by morbid symptoms, and in no other way can it make itself known.
It is the morbidly affected vital force alone that produces disease9), so that the morbid phenomena perceptible to our senses express at the same time all the internal change, that is to say, the whole morbid derangement of the internal dynamis; in a word, they reveal the whole disease; consequently, also, the disappearance under treatment of all the morbid phenomena and of all the morbid alterations that differ from the healthy vital operations, certainly affects and necessarily implies the restoration of the integrity of the vital force and, therefore, the recovered health of the whole organism.
It is the morbidly affected vital energy alone that produces disease9), so that the morbid phenomena perceptible to our senses express at the same time all the internal change, that is to say, the whole morbid derangement of the internal dynamis; in a word, they reveal the whole disease; consequently, also, the disappearance under treatment of all the morbid phenomena and of all the morbid alterations that differ from the healthy vital operations, certainly affects and necessarily implies the restoration of the integrity of the vital force and, therefore, the recovered health of the whole organism.
Therefore disease (that does not come within the province of manual surgery) considered, as it is by the allopathists, as a thing separate from the living whole, from the organism and its animating vital force, and hidden in the interior, be it ever so subtle a character10), is an absurdity, that could only be imagined by minds of a materialistic stamp, and has for thousands of years given to the prevailing system of medicine all those pernicious impulses that have made it a truly mischievous (non-healing) art.
There is, in the interior of man, nothing morbid that is curable and no invisible morbid alteration that is curable which does not make itself known to the accurately observing physicians by means of morbid signs and symptoms – an arrangement in perfect conformity with the infinite goodness of the all-wise Preserver of human life.
The affection of the morbidly deranged, spirit-like dynamis (vital force) that animates our body in the invisible interior, and the totality of the outwardly cognizable symptoms produced by it in the organism and representing the existing malady, constitute a whole; they are one and the same. The organism is indeed the material instrument of the life, but it is not conceivable without the animation imparted to it by the instinctively perceiving and regulating vital force (just as the vital force is not conceivable without the organism), consequently the two together constitute a unity, although in thought our mind separates this unity into two distinct conceptions for the sake of facilitating the comprehension of it.
The affection of the morbidly deranged, spirit-like dynamis (vital force) that animates our body in the invisible interior, and the totality of the outwardly cognizable symptoms produced by it in the organism and representing the existing malady, constitute a whole; they are one and the same. The organism is indeed the material instrument of the life, but it is not conceivable without the animation imparted to it by the instinctively perceiving and regulating dynamis, just as the vital force is not conceivable without the organism, consequently the two together constitute a unity, although in thought our mind separates this unity into two distinct conceptions for the sake of easy comprehension.
Our vital force, as a spirit-like dynamis, cannot be attacked and affected by injurious influences on the healthy organism caused by the external inimical forces that disturb the harmonious play of life, otherwise than in a spirit-like (dynamic) way, and in like manner, all such morbid derangements (diseases) cannot be removed from it by the physician in any other way than by the spirit-like (dynamic11), virtual) alternative powers of the serviceable medicines acting upon our spirit-like vital force, which perceives them through the medium of the sentient faculty of the nerves everywhere present in the organism, so that it is only by their dynamic action on the vital force that remedies are able to re-establish and do actually reestablish health and vital harmony, after the changes in the health of the patient cognizable by our senses (the totality of the symptoms) have revealed the disease to the carefully observing and investigating physician as fully as was requisite in order to enable him to cure it.
Now, as in the cure effected by the removal of the whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms of the disease the internal alteration of the vital force to which the disease is due – consequently the whole of the disease – is at the same time removed12), it follows that the physician has only to remove the whole of the symptoms in order, at the same time, to abrogate and annihilate the internal change, that is to say, the morbid derangement of the vital force – consequently the totality of the disease, the disease itself.13) But when the disease is annihilated the health is restored, and this is the highest, the sole aim of the physician who knows the true object of his mission, which consists not in learned-sounding prating, but in giving aid to the sick.
Now, as in the cure effected by the removal of the whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms of the disease the internal alteration of the vital principle to which the disease is due – consequently the whole of the disease – is at the same time removed,12) it follows that the physician has only to remove the whole of the symptoms in order, at the same time, to abrogate and annihilate the internal change, that is to say, the morbid derangement of the vital force – consequently the totality of the disease, the disease itself13). But when the disease is annihilated the health is restored, and this is the highest, the sole aim of the physician who knows the true object of his mission, which consists not in learned -sounding prating, but in giving aid to the sick.
From this indubitable truth, that besides the totality of the symptoms nothing can by any means be discovered in disease wherewith they could express their need of aid, it follows undeniably that the sum of all the symptoms in each individual case of disease must be the sole indication, the sole guide to direct us in the choice of a remedy.
From this indubitable truth, that besides the totality of the symptoms with consideration of the accompanying modalities (§ 5) nothing can by any means be discovered in disease wherewith they could express their need of aid, it follows undeniably that the sum of all the symptoms and conditions in each individual case of disease must be the sole indication, the sole guide to direct us in the choice of a remedy.
Now, as diseases are nothing more than alterations in the state of health of the healthy individual which express themselves by morbid signs, and the cure is also only possible by a change to the healthy condition of the state of health of the diseased individual, it is very evident that medicines could never cure disease if they did not possess the power of altering man's state of health which depends on sensations and functions; indeed, that their curative power must be owing solely to this power they possess of altering man's state of health.
This spirit-like power to alter man's state of health (and hence to cure diseases) which lies hidden in the inner nature of medicines can never be discovered by us by a mere effort of reason; it is only by experience of the phenomena it displays when acting on the state of health of man that we can become clearly cognizant of it.
This spirit-like power to alter man's state of health (and hence to cure diseases) which lies hidden in the inner nature of medicines can in itself never be discovered by us by a mere effort of reason; it is only by experience of the phenomena it displays when acting on the state of health of man that we can become clearly cognizant of it.
Now, as it is undeniable that the curative principle in medicines is not in itself perceptible, and as in pure experiments with medicines conducted by the most accurate observers, nothing can be observed that can constitute them medicines or remedies except that power of causing distinct alterations in the state of health of the human body, and particularly in that of the healthy individual, and of exciting in him various definite morbid symptoms; so it follows that when medicines act as remedies, they can only bring their curative property into play by means of this their power of altering man's state of health by the production of peculiar symptoms; and that, therefore, we have only to rely on the morbid phenomena which the medicines produce in the healthy body as the sole possible revelation of their in-dwelling curative power, in order to learn what disease-producing power, and at the same time what disease-curing power, each individual medicine possesses.
But as nothing is to be observed in diseases that must be removed in order to change them into health besides the totality of their signs and symptoms, and likewise medicines can show nothing curative besides their tendency to produce morbid symptoms in healthy persons and to remove them in diseased persons; it follows, on the one hand, that medicines only become remedies and capable of annihilating disease, because the medicinal substance, by exciting certain effects and symptoms, that is to say, by producing a certain artificial morbid state, removes and abrogates the symptoms already present, to wit, the natural morbid state we wish to cure. On the other hand, it follows that, for the totality of the symptoms of the disease to be cured, a medicine must be sought which (according as experience shall prove whether the morbid symptoms are most readily, certainly, and permanently removed and changed into health by similar or opposite medicinal symptoms14) has a tendency to produce similar or opposite symptoms.
But as nothing is to be observed in diseases that must be removed in order to change them into health besides the totality of their signs and symptoms, and likewise medicines can show nothing curative besides their tendency to produce morbid symptoms in healthy persons and to remove them in diseased persons; it follows, on the one hand, that medicines only become remedies and capable of annihilating disease, because the medicinal substance, by exciting certain effects and symptoms, that is to say, by producing a certain artificial morbid state, removes and abrogates the symptoms already present, to wit, the natural morbid state we wish to cure. On the other hand, it follows that, for the totality of the symptoms of the disease to be cured, a medicine must be sought which (according as experience shall prove whether the morbid symptoms are most readily, certainly, and permanently removed and changed into health by similar or opposite medicinal symptoms15)) have the greatest tendency to produce similar or opposite symptoms.
All pure experience, however, and all accurate research convince us that persistent symptoms of disease are far from being removed and annihilated by opposite symptoms of medicines (as in the antipathic, enantiopathic or palliative method), that, on the contrary, after transient, apparent alleviation, they break forth again, only with increased intensity, and become manifestly aggravated (see § 58 - § 62 and § 69).
There remains, therefore, no other mode of employing medicines in diseases that promises to be of service besides the homoeopathic, by means of which we seek, for the totality of the symptoms of the case of disease, a medicine which among all medicines (whose pathogenetic effects are known from having been tested in healthy individuals) has the power and the tendency to produce an artificial morbid state most similar to that of the case of disease in question.
Now, however, in all careful trials, pure experience16), the sole and infallible oracle of the healing art, teaches us that actually that medicine which, in its action on the healthy human body, has demonstrated its power of producing the greatest number of symptoms similar to those observable in the case of disease under treatment, does also, in doses of suitable potency and attenuation, rapidly, radically and permanently remove the totality of the symptoms of this morbid state, that is to say (§ 6 - 16), the whole disease present, and change it into health; and that all medicines cure, without exception, those diseases whose symptoms most nearly resemble their own, and leave none of them uncured.
This depends on the following homoeopathic law of nature which was sometimes, indeed, vaguely surmised but not hitherto fully recognized, and to which is due every real cure that has ever taken place:
A weaker dynamic affection is permanently extinguished in the living organism by a stronger one, if the latter (whilst differing in kind) is very similar to the former in its manifestations.17)
The curative power of medicines, therefore, depends on their symptoms, similar to the disease but superior to it in strength (§ 12 - 26), so that each individual case of disease is most surely, radically, rapidly and permanently annihilated and removed only by a medicine capable of producing (in the human system) in the most similar and complete manner the totality of its symptoms, which at the same time are stronger than the disease.
As this natural law of cure manifests itself in every pure experiment and every true observation in the world, the fact is consequently established; it matters little what may be scientific explanation of how it takes place; and I do not attach much importance to the attempts made to explain it. But the following view seems to commend itself as the most probable one, as it is founded on premises derived from experience.
As every disease (not strictly belonging to the domain of surgery) depends only on a peculiar morbid derangement of our vital force in sensations and functions, when a homoeopathic cure of the vital force deranged by natural disease is accomplished by the administration of a medicinal agent selected on account of an accurate similarity of symptoms, a somewhat stronger, similar, artificial morbid affection is brought into contact with and, as it were, pushed into the place of the weaker, similar, natural morbid irritation, against which the instinctive vital force, now merely (though in a stronger degree) medicinally diseased, is then compelled to direct an increased amount of energy, but, on account of the shorter duration of the action18) of the medicinal agent that now morbidly affects it, the vital force soon overcomes this, and as it was in the first instance relieved from the natural morbid affection, so it is now at last freed from the substituted artificial (medicinal) one, and hence is enable again to carry on healthily the vital operations of the organism. This highly probable explanation of the process rests on the following axioms.
As every disease (not entirely surgical) consists only in a special, morbid, dynamic alteration of our vital energy (of the principle of life) manifested in sensation and motion, so in every homoeopathic cure this principle of life dynamically altered by natural disease is seized through the administration of medicinal potency selected exactly according to symptom-similarity by a somewhat stronger, similar artificial disease-manifestation. By this the feeling of the natural (weaker) dynamic disease-manifestation ceases and disappears. This disease-manifestation no longer exists for the principle of life which is now occupied and governed merely by the stronger, artificial disease-manifestation. This artificial disease-manifestation has soon spent its force and leaves the patient free from disease, cured.19) The dynamis, thus freed, can now continue to carry life on in health. This most highly probable process rests upon the following propositions.
The human body appears to admit of being much more powerfully affected in its health by medicines (partly because we have the regulation of the dose in our own power) than by natural morbid stimuli – for natural diseases are cured and overcome by suitable medicines.
The inimical forces, partly psychical, partly physical, to which our terrestrial existence is exposed, which are termed morbific noxious agents, do not possess the power of morbidly deranging the health of man unconditionally20); but we are made ill by them only when our organism is sufficiently disposed and susceptible to attack of the morbific cause that may be present, and to be altered in its health, deranged and made to undergo abnormal sensations and functions – hence they do not produce disease in every one nor at all times.
But it is quite otherwise with the artificial morbific agents which we term medicines. Every real medicine, namely, acts at all times, under all circumstances, on every living human being, and produces in him its peculiar symptoms (distinctly perceptible, if the dose be large enough), so that evidently every living human organism is liable to be affected, and, as it were, inoculated with the medicinal disease at all times, and absolutely (unconditionally), which, as before said, is by no means the case with the natural diseases.
In accordance with this fact, it is undeniably shown by all experience21) that the living organism is much more disposed and has a greater liability to be acted on, and to have its health deranged by medicinal powers, than by morbific noxious agents and infectious miasms, or, in order words, that the morbific noxious agents possess a power of morbidly deranging man's health that is subordinate and conditional, often very conditional; whilst medicinal agents have an absolute unconditional power, greatly superior to the former.
The greater strength of the artificial diseases producible by medicines is, however, not the sole cause of their power to cure natural disease. In order that they may effect a cure, it is before all things requisite that they should be capable of producing in the human body an artificial disease as similar as possible to the disease to be cured, in order, by means of this similarity, conjoined with its somewhat greater strength, to substitute themselves for the natural morbid affection, and thereby deprive the latter of all influence upon the vital force. This is so true, that no previously existing disease can be cured, even by Nature herself, by the accession of a new dissimilar disease, be it ever so strong, and just as little can it be cured by medical treatment with drugs which are incapable of producing a similar morbid condition in the healthy body.
The greater strength of the artificial diseases producible by medicines is, however, not the sole cause of their power to cure natural disease. In order that they may effect a cure, it is before all things requisite that they should be capable of producing in the human body an artificial disease as similar as possible to the disease to be cured, which, with somewhat increased power, transforms to a very similar morbid state the instinctive life principle, which in itself is incapable of any reflection or act of memory. It not only obscures, but extinguishes and thereby annihilates the derangement caused by the natural disease. This is so true, that no previously existing disease can be cured, even by Nature herself, by the accession of a new dissimilar disease, be it ever so strong, and just as little can it be cured by medical treatment with drugs which are incapable of producing a similar morbid condition in the healthy body.
In order to illustrate this, we shall consider in three different cases, as well what happens in nature when two dissimilar natural diseases meet to in one person, as also the result of the ordinary medical treatment of diseases with unsuitable allopathic drugs, which are incapable of producing an artificial morbid condition similar to the disease to be cured, whereby it will appear that even Nature herself is unable to remove a dissimilar disease already present by one that is unhomoeopathic, even though it be stronger, and just as little is the unhomoeopathic employment of even the strongest medicines ever capable of curing any disease whatsoever.
I. If the two dissimilar diseases meeting together in the human being be of equal strength, or still more if the older one be the stronger, the new disease will be repelled by the old one from the body and not allowed to affect it. A patient suffering from a severe chronic disease will not be infected by a moderate autumnal dysentery or other epidemic disease. The plague of the Levant, according to Larry,22) does not break out where scurvy is prevalent, and persons suffering from eczema are not infected by it. Rachitis, Jenner alleges, prevents vaccination from taking effect. Those suffering from pulmonary consumption are not liable to be attacked by epidemic fevers of a not very violent character, according to Von Hildenbrand.
So, also under ordinary medical treatment, an old chronic disease remains uncured and unaltered if it is treated according to the common allopathic method, that is to say, with medicines that are incapable of producing in healthy individuals a state of health similar to the disease, even though the treatment should last for years and is not of too violent character.23) This is daily witnessed in practice, it is therefore unnecessary to give any illustrative examples.
II. Or the new dissimilar disease is the stronger. In this case the disease under which the patient originally laboured, being the weaker, will be kept back and suspended by the accession of the stronger one, until the latter shall have run its course or been cured, and then the old one reappears uncured.
Two children affected with a kind of epilepsy remained free from epileptic attacks after infection with ringworm (tinea) but as soon as the eruption on the head was gone the epilepsy returned just as before, as Tulpius24) observed.
The itch, as Schopf25) saw, disappeared on the occurrence of the scurvy, but after the cure of the latter it again broke out. So, also the pulmonary phthisis remained stationary when the patient was attacked by a violent typhus, but went on again after the latter had run its course.26)
If mania occur in a consumptive patient, the phthisis with all its symptoms is removed by the former; but if that go off, the phthisis returns immediately and proves fatal.27)
When measles and smallpox are prevalent at the same time, and both attack the same child, the measles that had already broken out is generally checked by the smallpox that came somewhat later; nor does the measles resume its course until after the cure of the smallpox; but it not infrequently happens that the inoculated smallpox is suspended for four days by the supervention of the measles, as observed by Manget28), after the desquamation of which the smallpox completes its course. Even when the inoculation of the smallpox had taken effect for six days, and the measles then broke out, the inflammation of the inoculation remained stationary and the smallpox did not ensue until the measles had completed its regular course of seven days.29) In an epidemic of measles, that disease attacked many individuals on the fourth or fifth day after the inoculation of smallpox and prevented the development of the smallpox until it had completed its own course, whereupon the smallpox appeared and proceeded regularly to its termination.30)
The true, smooth, erysipelatous-looking scarlatina of Sydenham, with sore throat, was checked on the fourth day by the eruption of cow-pox, which ran its regular course, and not till it was ended did the scarlatina again establish itself; but on another occasion, as both diseases seem to be of equal strength, the cow-pox was suspended on the eighth day by the supervention of the true, smooth scarlatina of Sydenham,31) and the red areola of the former disappeared until the scarlatina was gone, wherein the cow-pox immediately resumed its course, and went on its regular termination.32)
The measles suspended the cow-pox; on the eighth day, when the cow-pox had nearly attained its climax, the measles broke out; the cow-pox now remained stationary, and did not resume and complete its course until the desquamation of the measles, had taken place, so that on the sixteenth day it presented the appearance it otherwise would have shown on the tenth day, as Kortum33) observed. Even after the measles had broken out the cow-pox inoculation took effect, but did not run its course until these measles had disappeared, as Kortum likewise witnessed.33)
I myself saw the mumps (angina parotidea) immediately disappear when the cow-pox inoculation had taken effect and had nearly attained its height; it was not until the complete termination of the cow-pox and the disappearance of its red areola that this febrile tumefaction of the parotid and submaxillary glands, that is caused by a peculiar miasm, reappeared and ran its regular course of seven days.
And thus it is with all dissimilar disease; the stronger suspends the weaker (when they do not complicate one another, which is seldom the case with acute disease), but they never cure one another.
Now the adherents of the ordinary school of medicine saw all this for so many centuries; they saw that Nature herself cannot cure any disease by the accession of another, be it ever so strong, if the new disease be dissimilar to that already present in the body. What shall we think of them, that they nevertheless went on treating chronic disease with allopathic remedies, namely, with medicines and prescriptions capable of producing God knows what morbid state – almost invariably, however, one dissimilar to the disease to be cured? And even though physicians did not hitherto observe nature attentively, the miserable results of their treatment should have taught them that they were pursuing an inappropriate, a false path. Did they not perceive when they employed, as was their custom, and aggressive allopathic treatment in a chronic disease, that thereby they only created an artificial disease dissimilar to the original one, which, as long as it was kept up, merely held in abeyance, merely suppressed, merely suspended the original disease, which latter, however, always returned, and must return, as soon as the diminished strength of the patient no longer admitted of a continuance of the allopathic attacks on the life? Thus the itch exanthema certainly disappears very soon from the skin under the employment of violent purgatives, frequently repeated; but when the patient can no longer stand the factitious (dissimilar) disease of the bowels, and can take no more purgatives, then either the cutaneous eruption breaks out as before, or the internal psora displays itself in some bad symptom, and the patient, in addition to his undiminished original disease, has to endure the misery of a painful ruined digestion and impaired strength to boot. So, also, when the ordinary physicians keep up artificial ulcerations of the skin and issues on the exterior of the body, with the view of thereby eradicating a chronic disease, they can never attain their object by so doing, they can never cure them by that means, as such artificial cutaneous ulcers are quite alien and allopathic to the internal affection; but inasmuch as the irritation produced by several tissues is at least sometimes a stronger (dissimilar) disease than the indwelling malady, the latter is thereby sometimes silenced and suspended for a week or two. But it is only suspended, and that for a very short time, while the patient's powers are gradually worn out. Epilepsy, suppressed for many years by means of issues, invariably recurred, and in an aggravated form, when they were allowed to heal up, as Pechlin34) and others testify. But purgatives for itch, and issues for epilepsy, cannot be more heterogeneous, more dissimilar deranging agents – cannot be more allopathic, more exhausting modes of treatment – than are the customary prescriptions, composed of unknown ingredients, used in ordinary practice for the other nameless, innumerable forms of disease. These likewise do nothing but debilitate, and only suppress or suspend the malady for a short time without being able to cure it, and when used for a long time always add a new morbid state to the old disease.
III. Or the new disease, after having long acted on the organism, at length joins the old one that is dissimilar to it, and forms with it a complex disease, so that each of them occupies a particular locality in the organism, namely, the organs peculiarly adapted for it, and, as it were, only the place specially belonging to it, while it leaves the rest to the other disease that is dissimilar to it. Thus a syphilitic patient may become psoric, and vice versa. As two disease dissimilar to each other, they cannot remove, cannot cure one another. At first the venereal symptoms are kept in abeyance and suspended when the psoric eruption begins to appear; in course of time, however (as the syphilis is at least as strong as the psora), the two join together35), that is, each involves those parts of the organism only which are most adapted for it, and the patient is thereby rendered more diseased and more difficult to cure. When two dissimilar acute infectious diseases meet, as, for example, smallpox and measles, the one usually suspends the other, as has been before observed; yet there have also been severe epidemics of this kind, where, in rare cases, two dissimilar acute diseases occurred simultaneously in one and the same body, and for a short time combined, as it were, with each other. During an epidemic, in which smallpox and measles were prevalent at the same time, among three hundred cases (in which these diseases avoided or suspended one another, and measles attacked patients twenty days after the smallpox broke out, the smallpox, however, from seventeen to eighteen days after the appearance of the measles, so that the first disease had previously completed its regular course) there was yet one single case in which P. Russell36) met with both these dissimilar diseases in one person at the same time. Rainey37) witnessed the simultaneous occurrence of smallpox and measles in two girls. J. Maurice38), in his whole practice, only observed two such cases. Similar cases are to be found in Ettmüller's39) works, and in the writings of a few others. Zencker40) saw cow-pox run its regular course along with measles and along with purpura. The cow-pox went on its course undisturbed during a mercurial treatment for syphilis, as Jenner saw.
Much more frequent than the natural diseases associating with and complicating one another in the same body are the morbid complication resulting from the art of the ordinary practitioner, which the inappropriate medical treatment (the allopathic method) is apt to produce by the long-continued employment of unsuitable drugs. To the natural disease, which it is proposed to cure, there are then added, by the constant repetition of the unsuitable medical agent, the new, often very tedious, morbid conditions which might be anticipated from the peculiar powers of the drug; these gradually coalesce with and complicate the chronic malady which is dissimilar to them (which they were unable to cure by similarity of action, that is, homoeopathically), adding to the old disease a new, dissimilar, artificial malady of a chronic nature, and thus give the patient a double in place of a single disease, that is to say, render him much worse and more difficult to cure, often quite incurable. Many of the cases for which advice is asked in medical journals, as also the records of other cases in medical writings, attest the truth of this. Of a similar character are the frequent cases in which the venereal chancrous disease, complicated especially with psora or with the venereal chancrous disease, complicated especially with psora or with dyscrasia of condylomatous gonorrhoea, is not cured by long-continued or frequently repeated treatment with large doses of unsuitable mercurial preparations, but assumes its place in the organism beside the chronic mercurial affection41) that has been in the meantime gradually developed, and thus along with it often forms a hideous monster of complicated disease (under the general name of masked venereal disease), which then, when not quite incurable, can only be transformed into health with the greatest difficulty.
Nature herself permits, as has been stated, in some cases, the simultaneous occurrence of two (indeed, of three) natural disease in one and the same body. This complication, however, it must be remarked, happens only in the case of two dissimilar disease, which according to the eternal laws of nature do not remove, do not annihilate and cannot cure one another, but, as it seems, both (or all three) remain, as it were, separate in the organism, and each takes possession of the parts and systems peculiarly appropriate to it, which, on account of the want of resemblance of these maladies to each other, can very well happen without disparagement to the unity of life.
Totally different, however, is the result when two similar disease meet together in the organism, that is to say, when to the disease already present a stronger similar one is added. In such cases we see how a cure can be effected by the operations of nature, and we get a lesson as to how man ought to cure.
Two diseases similar to each other can neither (as is asserted of dissimilar disease in I) repel one another, nor (as has been shown of dissimilar disease in II) suspend on another, so that the old one shall return after the new one has run its course; and just as little can two similar disease (as has been demonstrated in III respecting dissimilar affections) exist beside each other in the same organism, or together form a double complex disease.
Similar diseases can neither (as is asserted of dissimilar disease in I) repel one another, nor (as has been shown of dissimilar disease in II) suspend on another, so that the old one shall return after the new one has run its course; and just as little can two similar disease (as has been demonstrated in III respecting dissimilar affections) exist beside each other in the same organism, or together form a double complex disease.
No! Two diseases, differing, it is true, in kind42) but very similar in their phenomena and effects and in the sufferings and symptoms they severally produce, invariably annihilate one another whenever they meet together in the organism; the stronger disease namely, annihilates the weaker, and that for this simple reason, because the stronger morbific power when it invades the system, by reason of its similarity of action involves precisely the same parts of the organism that were previously affected by the weaker morbid irritation, which, consequently, can no longer act on these parts, but is extinguished43), or (in other words) because, whenever the vital force, deranged by the primary disease, is more strongly attacked by the new, very similar, but stronger dynamic morbific power, it therefore now remains affected by the latter alone, whereby the original, similar but weaker disease must, as a mere dynamic power without material substratum, cease to exercise any further morbid influence on the vital force, consequently it must cease to exist.
No! Two diseases, differing, it is true, in kind42) but very similar in their phenomena and effects and in the sufferings and symptoms they severally produce, invariably annihilate one another whenever they meet together in the organism; the stronger disease namely, annihilates the weaker, and that for this simple reason, because the stronger morbific power when it invades the system, by reason of its similarity of action involves precisely the same parts of the organism that were previously affected by the weaker morbid irritation, which, consequently, can no longer act on these parts, but is extinguished43), or (in other words), the new similar but stronger morbific potency controls the feelings of the patient and hence the life principle on account of its peculiarity, can no longer feel the weaker similar which becomes extinguished – exists no longer – for it was never anything material, but a dynamic – spirit-like – (conceptual) affection. The life principle henceforth is affected only and this but temporarily by the new, similar but stronger morbific potency.
Many examples might be adduced of disease which, in the course of nature, have been homoeopathically cured by other diseases presenting similar symptoms, were it not necessary, as our object is to speak about something determinate and indubitable, to confine our attention solely to those (few) disease which are invariably the same, arise from a fixed miasm, and hence merit a distinct name.
An amaurosis of two years' duration, consequent on suppressed scald head, was perfectly cured by it, according to Klein.46)
How often does smallpox cause deafness and dyspnoea! And both these chronic diseases it removed on reaching its acme, as J. Fr. Closs47) observed.
Swelling of the testicle, even of a very severe character, is a frequent symptom of smallpox, and on this account it was enabled, as Klein46) observed, to cure, by virtue of similarity, a large hard swelling of the left testicle, consequently on a bruise. And another observer48) saw a similar swelling of the testicle cured by it.
Among the troublesome symptoms of smallpox is a dysenteric state of the bowels; and it subdued, as Fr. Wendt49) observed, a case of dysentery, as a similar morbific agent.
Smallpox coming on after vaccination, as well on account of its greater strength as its great similarity, at once removes entirely the cow-pox homoeopathically, and does not permit it to come to maturity; but, on the other hand, the cow-pox when near maturity does, on account of its great similarity, homoeopathically diminish very much the supervening smallpox and make it much milder50), as Muhry51) and many others testify.
The inoculated cow-pox, whose lymph, besides the protective matter, contains the contagion of a general cutaneous eruption of another nature, consisting of usually small, dry (rarely large, pustular) pimples, resting on a small red areola, frequently conjoined with round red cutaneous spots and often accompanied by the most violent itching, which rash appears in not a few children several days before, more frequently, however, after the red areola of the cow-pock, and goes off in a few days, leaving behind small, red, hard spots on the skin; – the inoculated cow-pox, I say, after it has taken, cures perfectly and permanently, in a homoeopathic manner, by the similarity of this accessory miasm, analogous cutaneous eruptions of children, often of very long standing and of a very troublesome character, as a number of observers assert 52)
The fever accompanying cow-pox, which occurs at the time of the production of the red areola, cured homoeopathically intermittent fever in two individuals, as the younger Hardege55) reports, confirming what J. Hunter56) had already observed, that two fevers (similar diseases) cannot co-exist in the same body.
The measles bear a strong resemblance in the character of its fever and cough to the whooping-cough, and hence it was that Bosquillon57) noticed, in an epidemic where both these affections prevailed, that many children who then took measles remained free from whooping-cough during that epidemic. They would all have been protected from, and rendered incapable of being infected by, the whooping-cough in that and all subsequent epidemics, by the measles, if the whooping-cough were not a disease that has only a partial similarity to the measles, that is to say, if it had also a cutaneous eruption similar to what the latter possesses. As it is, however, the measles can but preserve a large number from whooping-cough homoeopathically, and that only in the epidemic prevailing at the time.
If, however, the measles come in contact with a disease resembling it in its chief symptom, the eruption, it can indisputably remove, and effect a homoeopathic cure of the latter. Thus a chronic herpetic eruption was entirely and permanently (homoeopathically) cured58) by the breaking out of the measles, as Kortum59) observed. An excessively burning miliary rash on the face, neck, and arms, that had lasted six years, and was aggravated by every change of weather, on the invasion of measles assumed the form of a swelling of the surface of the skin; after the measles had run its course the exanthema was cured, and returned no more.60)
Nothing could teach the physician in a plainer and more convincing manner than the above what kind of artificial morbific agent (medicine) he ought to choose in order to cure in a sure, rapid and permanent manner, conformably with the process that takes place in nature.
Neither in the course of nature, as we see from all the above examples, nor by the physician's art, can an existing affection or malady in any one instance be removed by a dissimilar morbific agent, be it ever so strong, but solely by one that is similar in symptoms and is somewhat stronger, according to eternal, irrevocable laws of nature, which have not hitherto been recognized.
We should have been able to meet with many more real, natural homoeopathic cures of this kind if, on the one hand, the attention of observers had been more directed to them, and, on the other hand, if nature had not been so deficient in helpful homoeopathic diseases.
Mighty Nature herself has, as we see, at her command, as instruments for effecting homoeopathic cures, little besides the miasmatic diseases of constant character, (the itch) measles and smallpox61), morbific agents which62), as remedies, are either more dangerous to life and more to be dreaded than the disease they are to cure, they themselves require curing, in order to be eradicated in their turn – both circumstances that make their employment, as homoeopathic remedies, difficult, uncertain and dangerous. And how few diseases are there to which man is subject that find their similar remedy in smallpox, measles or itch! Hence, in the course of nature, very few maladies can be cured by these uncertain and hazardous homoeopathic remedies, and the cure by their instrumentality is also attended with danger and much difficulty, for this reason that the doses of these morbific powers cannot be diminished according to circumstances, as doses of medicine can; but the patient afflicted with an analogous malady of long standing must be subjected to the entire dangerous and tedious disease, to the entire disease of smallpox, measles (or itch), which in its turn has to be cured. And yet, as is seen, we can point to some striking homoeopathic cures effected by this lucky concurrence, all so many incontrovertible proofs of the great, the sole therapeutic law of nature that obtains in them: Cure by symptoms similarity!
This therapeutic law is rendered obvious to all intelligent minds by these instances, and they are amply sufficient for this end. But, on the other hand, see what advantages man has over crude Nature in her happy-go-lucky operations. How many thousands more of homoeopathic morbific agents has not man at his disposal for the relief of his suffering fellow-creatures in the medicinal substances universally distributed throughout creation! In them he has producers of disease of all possible varieties of action, for all the innumerable, for all conceivable and inconceivable natural diseases, to which they can render homoeopathic aid – morbific agents (medicinal substances), whose power, when their remedial employment is completed, being overcome by the vital force, disappears spontaneously without requiring a second course of treatment for its extirpation, like the itch – artificial morbific agents, which the physician can attenuate, subdivide and potentise almost to an infinite extent, and the dose of which he can diminish to such a degree that they shall remain only slightly stronger than the similar natural disease they are employed to cure; so that in this incomparable method of cure, there is no necessity for any violent attack upon the organism for the eradication of even an inveterate disease of old standing; the cure by this method takes place by only a gentle, imperceptible and yet often rapid transition from the tormenting natural disease to the desired state of permanent health.
Surely no intelligent physician, after these examples as clear as daylight, can still go on in the old ordinary system of medicine, attacking the body, as has hitherto been done, in its least diseased parts with (allopathic) medicines that have no direct pathological (homoeopathic) relation to the disease to be cured, with purgatives, counter-irritants, derivatives, etc.63)], and thus at a sacrifice of the patient's strength, inducing a morbid state quite heterogeneous and dissimilar to the original one, to the ruin of his constitution, by large doses of mixtures of medicines generally of unknown qualities, the employment of which can have no other result, as is demonstrated by the eternal laws of nature in the above and all other cases in the world in which a dissimilar disease is added to the other in the human organism, for a cure is never thereby effected in disease, but an aggravation is the invariable consequence, – therefore it can have no other result than that either (because, according to the process of nature described in I, the older disease in the body repels the dissimilar one wherewith the patient is assailed) the natural disease remains as it was, under mild allopathic treatment, be it ever so long continued, the patient being thereby weakened; or (because, according to the process of nature described in II, the new and stronger disease merely obscures and suspends for a short time the original weaker dissimilar one), by the violent attack on the body with strong allopathic drugs, the original disease seems to yield for a time, to return in at least all its former strength; or (because, according to the process of nature described in III, two dissimilar diseases, when both are of a chronic character and of equal strength, take up a position when beside one another in the organism and complicate each other) in those cases in which the physician employs for a long time morbific agents opposite and dissimilar to the natural chronic disease and allopathic medicines in large doses, such allopathic treatment, without ever being able to remove and to cure the original (dissimilar) chronic disease, only develops new artificial diseases beside it; and, as daily experience shows, only renders the patient much worse and more incurable than before.
There are but two principle methods of cure: the one based only on accurate observation of nature, on careful experimentation and pure experience, the homoeopathic (before me never designedly used) and a second which does not do this, the heteropathic or allopathic. Each opposes the other, and only he who does not know either can hold the delusion that they can ever approach each other or even become united, or to make himself so ridiculous as to practice at one time homoeopathically at another allopathically, according to the pleasure of the patient; a practice which may be called criminal treason against divine homoeopathy.
True, mild cures take place, as we see, only in a homoeopathic way – a way which, as we have also shown above (§ 7-25) in a different manner, by experience and deductions, is also the true and only one whereby diseases may be most surely, rapidly and permanently extinguished by art; for this mode of cure is founded on an eternal, infallible law of nature.
The true mild cures take place only according to the homoeopathic method, which, as we have found (§ 7-25) by experience and deduction, is unquestionably the proper one by which through art the quickest, most certain and most permanent cures are obtained since this healing art rests upon an eternal infallible law of nature. The pure homoeopathic healing art is the only correct method, the one possible to human art, the straightest way to cure, as certain as that there is but one straight line between two given points.
This, the homoeopathic way, must, moreover, as observed above (§ 43-49) be the only proper one, because, of the three possible modes of employing medicines in diseases, it is the only direct way to a mild, sure, permanent cure without doing injury in another direction, and without weakening the patient. The pure homoeopathic mode of cure is the only proper way, the only direct way, the only way possible to human skill, as certainly as only one straight line can be drawn betwixt two given points.
The allopathic method of treatment utilized many things against disease, but usually only improper ones (alloea) and ruled for ages in different forms called systems. Every one of these, following each other from time to time and differing greatly each from the other, honoured itself with the name of Rational Medicine64). Every builder of such a system cherished the haughty estimation of himself that he was able to penetrate into the inner nature of life of the healthy as well as of the sick and clearly to recognize it and accordingly gave the prescription which noxious matter65) should be banished from the sick man, and how to banish it in order to restore him to health, all this according to empty assumptions and arbitrary suppositions without honestly questioning nature and listening without prejudice to the voice of experience.
Diseases were held to be conditions that reappeared pretty much in the same manner. Most systems gave, therefore, names to their imagined disease pictures and classified them, every system differently. To medicines were ascribed actions which were supposed to cure these abnormal conditions. (Hence the numerous text books on Materia Medica.66))
The second mode of employing medicines in diseases, the allopathic or heteropathic, which, without any pathological relation to what is actually diseased in the body, attacks the parts most exempt from the disease, in order to draw away the disease through them and thus to expel it, as is imagined, has hitherto been the most general method. I have treated of it above in the Introduction67), and shall not dwell longer on it.
Soon, however, the public became convinced that the sufferings of the sick increased and heightened with the introduction of every one of these systems and methods of cure if followed exactly. Long ago these allopathic physicians would have been left had it not been for the palliative relief obtained at times from empirically discovered remedies whose almost instantaneous flattering action is apparent to the patient and this to some extent served to keep up their credit.
The third and only remaining method68) of employing medicines in diseases, which, besides the other two just alluded to, is the only other possible one, is the antipathic (enantiopathic) or palliative method, wherewith the physician could hitherto appear to be most useful, and hoped most certainly to gain his patient's confidence by deluding him with momentary amelioration. But I shall now proceed to show how inefficacious and how injurious this third and sole remaining way was, in diseases of a not very rapid course. It is certainly the only one of the modes of treatment adopted by the allopaths that had any manifest relation to a portion of the sufferings caused by the natural disease; but what kind of relation? Of a truth the very one (the exact contrary of the right one) that ought most to be avoided if we would not delude and make a mockery of the patient affected with a chronic disease.
By means of this palliative (antipathic, enantiopathic) method, introduced according to Galen's teaching “Contraria contrariis” for seventeen centuries, the physicians hitherto could hope to win confidence while they deluded with almost instantaneous amelioration. But how fundamentally unhelpful and hurtful this method of treatment is (in diseases not running a rapid course) we shall see in what follows. It is certainly the only one of the modes of treatment adopted by the allopaths that had any manifest relation to a portion of the sufferings caused by the natural disease; but what kind of relation? Of a truth the very one (the exact contrary of the right one) that ought carefully to be avoided if we would not delude and make a mockery of the patient affected with a chronic disease.69)
In order to carry into practice this antipathic method, the ordinary physician gives, for a single troublesome symptom from among the many other symptoms of the disease which he passes by unheeded, a medicine concerning which it is known that it produces the exact opposite of the morbid symptom sought to be subdued, from which, agreeably to the fifteen-centuries-old traditional rule of the antiquated medical school (contraria contrariis) he can expect the speediest (palliative) relief. He gives large doses of opium for pains of all sorts, because this drug soon benumbs the sensibility, and administers the same remedy for diarrhoeas, because it speedily puts a stop to the peristaltic motion of the intestinal canal and makes it insensible; and also for sleeplessness, because opium rapidly produces a stupefied, comatose sleep; he gives purgatives when the patient has suffered long from constipation and costiveness; he causes the burnt hand to be plunged into cold water, which, from its low degree of temperature, seems instantaneously to remove the burning pain, as if by magic; he puts the patient who complains of chilliness and deficiency of vital heat into warm baths, which warm him immediately; he makes him who is suffering from prolonged debility drink wine, whereby he is instantly enlivened and refreshed; and in like manner he employs other opposite (antipathic) remedial means, but he has very few besides those just mentioned, as it is only of very few substances that some peculiar (primary) action is known to the ordinary medical school.
If, in estimating the value of this mode of employing medicines, we should even pass over the circumstance that it is an extremely faulty symptomatic treatment (v. note to § 7), wherein the practitioner devotes his attention in a merely one-sided manner to a single symptom, consequently to only a small part of the whole, whereby relief for the totality of the disease, which is what the patient desires, cannot evidently be expected, – we must, on the other hand, demand of experience if, in one single case where such antipathic employment of medicine was made use of in a chronic or persisting affection, after the transient amelioration there did not ensue an increased aggravation of the symptom which was subdued at first in a palliative manner, an aggravation, indeed, of the whole disease? And every attentive observer will agree that, after such short antipathic amelioration, aggravation follows in every case without exception, although the ordinary physician is in the habit of giving his patient another explanation of this subsequent aggravation, and ascribes it to malignancy of the original disease, now for the first time showing itself, or to the occurrence of quite a new disease70).
Important symptoms of persistent diseases have never yet been treated with such palliative, antagonistic remedies, without the opposite state, a relapse – indeed, a palpable aggravation of the malady – occurring a few hours afterwards. For a persistent tendency to sleepiness during the day the physician prescribed coffee, whose primary action is to enliven; and when it had exhausted its action the day – somnolence increased; – for frequent waking at night he gave in the evening, without heeding the other symptoms of the disease, opium, which by virtue of its primary action produced the same night (stupefied, dull) sleep, but the subsequent nights were still more sleepless than before; – to chronic diarrhoeas he opposed, without regarding the other morbid signs, the same opium, whose primary action is to constipate the bowels, and after a transient stoppage of the diarrhoea it subsequently became all the worse; – violent and frequently recurring pains of all kinds he could suppress with opium for but a short time; they then always returned in greater, often intolerable severity, or some much worse affection came in their stead. For nocturnal cough of long standing the ordinary physician knew no better than to administer opium, whose primary action is to suppress every irritation; the cough would then perhaps cease the first night, but during the subsequent nights it would be still more severe, and if it were again and again suppressed by this palliative in increased doses, fever and nocturnal perspiration were added to the disease; – weakness of the bladder, with consequent retention of urine, was sought to be conquered by the antipathic work of cantharides to stimulate the urinary passages whereby evacuation of the urine was certainly at first effected but thereafter the bladder becomes less capable of stimulation and less able to contract, and paralysis of the bladder is imminent; – with large doses of purgative drugs and laxative salts, which excite the bowels to frequent evacuation, it was sought to remove a chronic tendency to constipation, but in the secondary action the bowels became still more confined; – the ordinary physician seeks to remove chronic debility by the administration of wine, which, however, stimulates only in its primary action, and hence the forces sink all the lower in the secondary its primary action, and hence the forces sink all the lower in the secondary action; – by bitter substances and heating condiments he tries to strengthen and warm the chronically weak and cold stomach, but in the secondary action of these palliatives, which are stimulating in their primary action only, the stomach becomes yet more inactive; – long standing deficiency of vital heat and chilly disposition ought surely to yield to prescriptions of warm baths, but still more weak, cold, and chilly do the patients subsequently become; – severely burnt parts feel instantaneous alleviation from the application of cold water, but the burning pain afterwards increases to an incredible degree, and the inflammation spreads and rises to a still greater height71); – by means of the sternutatory remedies that provoke a secretion of mucus, coryza with stoppage of the nose of long standing is sought to be removed, but it escapes observation that the disease is aggravated all the more by these antagonistic remedies (in their secondary action), and the nose becomes still more stopped; – by electricity and galvanism, with in their primary action greatly stimulate muscular action, chronically weak and almost paralytic limbs were soon excited to more active movements, but the consequence (the secondary action) was complete deadening of all muscular irritability and complete paralysis; – by venesections it was attempted to remove chronic determination of blood to the head, but they were always followed by greater congestion; – ordinary medical practitioners know nothing better with which to treat the paralytic torpor of the corporeal and mental organs, conjoined with unconsciousness, which prevails in many kinds of typhus, than with large doses of valerian, because this is one of the most powerful medicinal agents for causing animation and increasing the motor faculty; in their ignorance, however, they knew not that this action is only a primary action, and that the organism, after that is passed, most certainly falls back, in the secondary (antagonistic) action, into still greater stupor and immobility, that is to say, into paralysis of the mental and corporeal organs (and death); they did not see, that the very diseases they supplied most plentifully with valerian, which is in such cases an oppositely acting, antipathic remedy, most infallibly terminated fatally. The old school physician rejoices72) that he is able to reduce for several hours the velocity of the small rapid pulse in cachectic patients with the very first dose of uncombined purple foxglove (which in its primary action makes the pulse slower); its rapidity, however, soon returns; repeated, and now increased doses effect an ever smaller diminution of its rapidity, and at length none at all – indeed – in the secondary action the pulse becomes uncountable; sleep, appetite and strength depart, and a speedy death is invariably the result, or else insanity ensues. How often, in one word, the disease is aggravated, or something even worse is effected by the secondary action of such antagonistic (antipathic) remedies, the old school with its false theories does not perceive, but experience teaches it in a terrible manner.
If these ill-effects are produced, as may very naturally be expected from the antipathic employment of medicines, the ordinary physician imagines he can get over the difficulty by giving, at each renewed aggravation, a stronger dose of the remedy, whereby an equally transient suppression73) is effected; and as there then is a still greater necessity for giving ever-increasing quantities of the palliative there ensues either another more serious disease or frequently even danger to life and death itself, but never a cure of a disease of considerable or of long standing.
Had physicians been capable of reflecting on the sad results of the antagonistic employment of medicines, they had long since discovered the grand truth, THAT THE TRUE RADICAL HEALING ART MUST BE FOUND IN THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF SUCH AN ANTIPATHIC TREATMENT OF THE SYMPTOMS OF DISEASE; they would have become convinced, that as a medicinal action antagonistic to the symptoms of the disease (an antipathically employed medicine) is followed by only transient relief, and after that is passed, by invariable aggravation, the converse of that procedure, the homoeopathic employment of medicines according to similarity of symptoms, must effect a permanent and perfect cure, if at the same time the opposite of their large doses, the most minute doses, are exhibited. But neither the obvious aggravation that ensued from their antipathic treatment, nor the fact that no physician ever effected a permanent cure of disease of considerable or of long standing unless some homoeopathic medicinal agent was accidentally a chief ingredient in his prescription, nor yet the circumstances that all the rapid and perfect cures that nature ever performed (§ 46), were always effected by the supervention upon the old disease of one of a similar character, ever taught them, during such a long series of centuries, this truth, the knowledge of which can alone conduce to the benefit of the sick.
But on what this pernicious result of the palliative, antipathic treatment and the efficacy of the reverse, the homoeopathic treatment, depend, is explained by the following facts, deduced from manifold observations, which no one before me perceived, though they are so very palpable and so very evident, and are of such infinite importance to the healing art.
Every agent that acts upon the vitality, every medicine, deranges more or less the vital force, and causes a certain alteration in the health of the individual for a longer or a shorter period. This is termed primary action. Although a product of the medicinal and vital powers conjointly, it is principally due to the former power. To its action our vital force endeavours to oppose its own energy. This resistant action is a property, is indeed an automatic action of our life-preserving power, which goes by the name of secondary action or counteraction.
During the primary action of the artificial morbific agents (medicines) on our healthy body, as seen in the following examples, our vital force seems to conduct itself merely in a passive (receptive) manners, and appears, so to say, compelled to permit the impressions of the artificial power acting from without to take place in it and thereby alter its state of health; it then, however, appears to rouse itself again, as it were, and to develop (A) the exact opposite condition of health (counteraction, secondary action) to this effect (primary action) produced upon it, if there be such an opposite, and that in as great a degree as was the effect (primary action) of the artificial morbific agent on it, and proportionate to its own energy; – or (B) if there be not in nature a state exactly the opposite of the primary action, it appears to endeavour to indifferentiate itself, that is, to make its superior power available in the extinction of the change wrought in it from without (by the medicine), in the place of which it substitutes its normal state (secondary action, curative action).
Examples of (A) are familiar to all. A hand bathed in hot water is at first much warmer than the other hand that has not been so treated (primary action); but when it is withdrawn from the hot water and again thoroughly dried, it becomes in a short time cold, and at length much colder than the other (secondary action). A person heated by violent exercise (primary action) is afterwards affected with chilliness and shivering (secondary action). To one who was yesterday heated by drinking much wine (primary action), today every breath of air feels too cold (counteraction of the organism, secondary action). An arm that has been kept long in very cold water is at first much paler and colder (primary action) than the other; but removed from the cold water and dried, it subsequently becomes not only warmer than the other, but even hot, red and inflamed (secondary action, reaction of the vital force). Excessive vivacity follows the use of strong coffee (primary action), but sluggishness and drowsiness remain for a long time afterwards (reaction, secondary action), if this be not always again removed for a short time by imbibing fresh supplies of coffee (palliative). After the profound stupefied sleep caused by opium (primary action), the following night will be all the more sleepless (reaction, secondary action). After the constipation produced by opium (primary action), diarrhoea ensues (secondary action); and after purgation with medicines that irritate the bowels, constipation of several days' duration ensues (secondary action). And in like manner it always happens, after the primary action of a medicine that produces in large doses a great change in the health of a healthy person, that its exact opposite, when, as has been observed, there is actually such a thing, is produced in the secondary action by our vital force.
An obvious antagonistic secondary action, however, is, as may readily be conceived, not to be noticed from the action of quite minute homoeopathic doses of the deranging agents on the healthy body. A small dose of every one of them certainly produces a primary action that is perceptible to a sufficiently attentive observer; but the living organism employs against it only so much reaction (secondary action) as is necessary for the restoration of the normal condition.
These incontrovertible truths, which spontaneously offer themselves to our notice and experience, explain to us the beneficial action that takes place under homoeopathic treatment; while, on the other hand, they demonstrate the perversity of the antipathic and palliative treatment of diseases with antagonistically acting medicines.74) 75) 76)
In homoeopathic cures they show us that from the uncommonly small doses of medicine (§ 275 - § 287) required in this method of treatment, which are just sufficient, by the similarity of their symptoms, to overpower and remove the similar nature disease, there certainly remains, after the destruction of the latter, at first a certain amount of medicinal disease alone in the organism, but, on account of the extraordinary minuteness of the dose, it is so transient, so slight, and disappears so rapidly of its own accord, that the vital force has no need to employ, against this small artificial derangement of its health, any more considerable reaction than will suffice to elevate its present state of health up to the healthy point – that is, than will suffice to effect complete recovery, for which after the extinction of the previous morbid derangement but little effort is required (§ 64, B).
In homoeopathic cures they show us that from the uncommonly small doses of medicine (§ 275 - § 287) required in this method of treatment, which are just sufficient, by the similarity of their symptoms, to overpower and remove from the sensation of the life principle the similar natural disease there certainly remains, after the destruction of the latter, at first a certain amount of medicinal disease alone in the organism, but, on account of the extraordinary minuteness of the dose, it is so transient, so slight, and disappears so rapidly of its own accord, that the vital force has no need to employ, against this small artificial derangement of its health, any more considerable reaction than will suffice to elevate its present state of health up to the healthy point – that is, than will suffice to effect complete recovery, for which after the extinction of the previous morbid derangement but little effort is required (§ 64, B).
In the antipathic (palliative) mode of treatment, however precisely the reverse of this takes place. The medicinal symptom which the physician opposes to the disease symptom (for example, the insensibility and stupefaction caused by opium in its primary action to acute pain) is certainly not alien, not allopathic of the latter; there is a manifest relation of the medicinal symptom to the disease symptom, but it is the reverse of what should be; it is here intended that the annihilation of the disease symptom shall be effected by an opposite medicinal symptom, which is impossible. No doubt the antipathically chosen medicine touches precisely the same diseased point in the organism as the homoeopathic medicine chosen on account of the similar affection it produces; but the former covers the opposite symptom of the disease only as an opposite, and makes it unobservable for a short time only, so that in the first period of the action of the antagonistic palliative the vital force perceives nothing disagreeable from either if the two (neither from the disease symptom nor from the medicinal symptom), as they seem both to have mutually removed and dynamically neutralized one another as it were (for example, the stupefying power of opium does this to the pain). In the first minutes the vital force feels quite well, and perceives neither the stupefaction of the opium nor the pain of the disease. But as the antagonistic medicinal symptom cannot (as in the homoeopathic treatment) occupy the place of the morbid derangement present in the organism as a similar, stronger (artificial) disease, and cannot, therefore, like a homoeopathic medicine, affect the vital force with a similar artificial disease, so as to be able to step into the place of the original natural morbid derangement, the palliative medicine must, as a thing totally differing from, and the opposite of the disease derangement, leave the latter uneradicated; it renders it, as before said, by a semblance of dynamic neutralization77), at first unfelt by the vital force, but, like every medicinal disease, it is soon spontaneously extinguished, and not only leaves the disease behind, just as it was, but compels the vital force (as it must, like all palliatives, be given in large doses in order to effect the apparent removal) to produce an opposite condition (§ 63 - 65) to this palliative medicine, the reverse of the medicinal action, consequently the analogue of the still present, undestroyed, natural morbid derangement, which is necessarily strengthened and increased78) by this addition (reaction against the palliative) produced by the vital force. The disease symptom (this single part of the disease) consequently becomes worse after the term of the action of the palliative has expired; worse in proportion to the magnitude of the dose of the palliative. Accordingly (to keep to the same example) the larger the dose of opium given to allay the pain, so much the more does the pain increase beyond its original intensity as soon as the opium has exhausted its action.79)
In the antipathic (palliative) mode of treatment, however precisely the reverse of this takes place. The medicinal symptom which the physician opposes to the disease symptom (for example, the insensibility and stupefaction caused by opium in its primary action to acute pain) is certainly not alien, not allopathic of the latter; there is a manifest relation of the medicinal symptom to the disease symptom, but it is the reverse of what should be; it is here intended that the annihilation of the disease symptom shall be effected by an opposite medicinal symptom, which is nevertheless impossible. No doubt the antipathically chosen medicine touches precisely the same diseased point in the organism as the homoeopathic medicine chosen on account of the similar affection it produces; but the former covers the opposite symptom of the disease only as an opposite, and makes it unobservable to our life principle for a short time only, so that in the first period of the action of the antagonistic palliative the vital force perceives nothing disagreeable from either if the two (neither from the disease symptom nor from the medicinal symptom), as they seem both to have mutually removed and dynamically neutralized one another as it were (for example, the stupefying power of opium does this to the pain). In the first minutes the vital force feels quite well, and perceives neither the stupefaction of the opium nor the pain of the disease. But as the antagonistic medicinal symptom cannot (as in the homoeopathic treatment) occupy the place of the morbid derangement present in the organism in the sensation of the life principle as a similar, stronger (artificial) disease, and cannot, therefore, like a homoeopathic medicine, affect the vital force with a similar artificial disease, so as to be able to step into the place of the original natural morbid derangement, the palliative medicine must, as a thing totally differing from, and the opposite of the disease derangement, leave the latter uneradicated; it renders it, as before said, by a semblance of dynamic neutralization77), at first unfelt by the vital force, but, like every medicinal disease, it is soon spontaneously extinguished, and not only leaves the disease behind, just as it was, but compels the vital force (as it must, like all palliatives, be given in large doses in order to effect the apparent removal) to produce an opposite condition (§ 63 - 65) to this palliative medicine, the reverse of the medicinal action, consequently the analogue of the still present, undestroyed, natural morbid derangement, which is necessarily strengthened and increased78) by this addition (reaction against the palliative) produced by the vital force. The disease symptom (this single part of the disease) consequently becomes worse after the term of the action of the palliative has expired; worse in proportion to the magnitude of the dose of the palliative. Accordingly (to keep to the same example) the larger the dose of opium given to allay the pain, so much the more does the pain increase beyond its original intensity as soon as the opium has exhausted its action.79)
That everything of a really morbid character and which ought to be cured that the physician can discover in diseases consists solely of the sufferings of the patient, and the sensible alterations in his health, in a word, solely of the totality of the symptoms, by means of which the disease demands the medicine requisite for its relief; while, on the other hand, every internal cause attributed to it, every occult quality or imaginary material morbific principle, is nothing but an idle dream;
That this derangement of the state of health, which we term disease, can only be converted into health by another revolution effected in the state of health by means of medicines, whose sole curative power, consequently, can only consist in altering man's state of health – that is to say, in a peculiar excitation of morbid symptoms, and is learned with most distinctness and purity by testing them on the healthy body;
That, according to all experience, a natural disease can never be cured by medicines that possess the power of producing in the healthy individual an alien morbid state (dissimilar morbid symptoms) differing from that of the disease to be cured (never, therefore, by an allopathic mode of treatment), and that even in nature no cure ever takes place in which an inherent disease is removed, annihilated and cured by the addition of another disease dissimilar to it, be the new one ever so strong;
That, moreover, all experience proves that, by means of medicines which have a tendency to produce in the healthy individual an artificial morbid symptom, antagonistic to the single symptom of disease sought to be cured, the cure of a long-standing affection will never be effected, but merely a very transient alleviation, always follows by its aggravation; and that, in a word, this antipathic and merely palliative treatment in long-standing diseases of a serious character is absolutely inefficacious;
That, however, the third and only other possible mode of treatment (the homoeopathic), in which there is employed for the totality of the symptoms of a natural disease a medicine capable of producing the most similar symptoms possible in the healthy individual, given in suitable dose, is the only efficacious remedial method whereby diseases, which are purely dynamic deranging irritations of the vital force, are overpowered, and being thus easily, perfectly and permanently extinguished, must necessarily cease to exist – and for this mode of procedure we have the example of unfettered Nature herself, when to an old disease there is added a new one similar to the first, whereby the new one is rapidly and forever annihilated and cured.
That everything of a really morbid character and which ought to be cured that the physician can discover in diseases consists solely of the sufferings of the patient, and the sensible alterations in his health, in a word, solely of the totality of the symptoms, by means of which the disease demands the medicine requisite for its relief; while, on the other hand, every internal cause attributed to it, every occult quality or imaginary material morbific principle, is nothing but an idle dream;
That this derangement of the state of health, which we term disease, can only be converted into health by another revolution effected in the state of health by means of medicines, whose sole curative power, consequently, can only consist in altering man's state of health – that is to say, in a peculiar excitation of morbid symptoms, and is learned with most distinctness and purity by testing them on the healthy body;
That, according to all experience, a natural disease can never be cured by medicines that possess the power of producing in the healthy individual an alien morbid state (dissimilar morbid symptoms) differing from that of the disease to be cured (never, therefore, by an allopathic mode of treatment), and that even in nature no cure ever takes place in which an inherent disease is removed, annihilated and cured by the addition of another disease dissimilar to it, be the new one ever so strong;
That, moreover, all experience proves that, by means of medicines which have a tendency to produce in the healthy individual an artificial morbid symptom, antagonistic to the single symptom of disease sought to be cured, the cure of a long-standing affection will never be effected, but merely a very transient alleviation, always follows by its aggravation; and that, in a word, this antipathic and merely palliative treatment in long-standing diseases of a serious character is absolutely inefficacious;
That, however, the third and only other possible mode of treatment (the homoeopathic), in which there is employed for the totality of the symptoms of a natural disease a medicine capable of producing the most similar symptoms possible in the healthy individual, given in suitable dose, is the only efficacious remedial method whereby diseases, which are purely dynamic deranging irritations of the vital force, are overpowered, and being thus easily, perfectly and permanently extinguished, must necessarily cease to exist. This is brought about by means of the stronger similar deranging irritation of the homoeopathic medicine in the sensation of the life principle. – and for this mode of procedure we have the example of unfettered Nature herself, when to an old disease there is added a new one similar to the first, whereby the new one is rapidly and forever annihilated and cured.
As it is now no longer a matter of doubt that the diseases of mankind consist merely of groups of certain symptoms, and may be annihilated and transformed into health by medicinal substances, but only by such as are capable of artificially producing similar morbid symptoms (and such is the process in all genuine cures), hence the operation of curing is comprised in the three following points:
With respect to the first point, the following will serve as a general preliminary view. The disease to which man is liable are either rapid morbid processes of the abnormally deranged vital force, which have a tendency to finish their course more or less quickly, but always in a moderate time - - these are termed acute diseases; – or they are diseases of such a character that, with small, often imperceptible beginnings, dynamically derange the living organism, each in its own peculiar manner, and cause it gradually to deviate from the healthy condition, in such a way that the automatic life energy, called vital force, whose office is to preserve the health, only opposes to them at the commencement and during their progress imperfect, unsuitable, useless resistance, but is unable of itself to extinguish them, but must helplessly suffer (them to spread and) itself to be ever more and more abnormally deranged, until at length the organism is destroyed; these are termed chronic diseases. They are caused by infection with a chronic miasm.
As regards acute diseases, they are either of such a kind as attack human beings individually, the exciting cause being injurious influences to which they were particularly exposed. Excesses in food, or an insufficient supply of it, severe physical impression, chills, over heatings, dissipation, strains, etc., or physical irritations, mental emotions, and the like, are exciting causes of such acute febrile affections; in reality, however, they are generally only a transient explosion of latent psora, which spontaneously returns to its dormant state if the acute diseases were not of too violent a character and were soon quelled. Or they are of such a kind as attack several persons at the same time, here and there (sporadically), by means of meteoric or telluric influences and injurious agents, the susceptibility for being morbidly affected by which is possessed by only a few persons at one time. Allied to these are those diseases in which many persons are attacked with very similar sufferings from the same cause (epidemically); these diseases generally become infectious (contagious) when they prevail among thickly congregated masses of human beings. Thence arise fevers80), in each instance of a peculiar nature, and, because the cases of disease have an identical origin, they set up in all those they affect an identical morbid process, which when left to itself terminates in a moderate period of time in death or recovery. The calamities of war, inundations and famine are not infrequently their exciting causes and producers – sometimes they are peculiar acute miasms which recur in the same manner (hence known by some traditional name), which either attack persons but once in a lifetime, as the smallpox, measles, whooping-cough, the ancient, smooth, bright red scarlet fever81) of Sydenham, the mumps, etc., or such as recur frequently in pretty much the same manner, the plague of the Levant, the yellow fever of the sea-coast, the Asiatic cholera, etc.
Among chronic diseases we must still, alas!, reckon those so commonly met with, artificially produced in allopathic treatment by the prolonged use of violent heroic medicines in large and increasing doses, by the abuse of calomel, corrosive sublimate, mercurial ointment, nitrate of silver, iodine and its ointments, opium, valerian, cinchona bark and quinine, foxglove, prussic acid, sulphur and sulphuric acid, perennial purgatives, venesections, leeches, issues, setons, etc., whereby the vital force is sometimes weakened to an unmerciful extent, sometimes, if it do not succumb, gradually abnormally deranged (by each substance in a peculiar manner) in such a way that, in order to maintain life against these inimical and destructive attacks, it must produce a revolution in the organism, and either deprive some part of its irritability and sensibility, or exalt these to an excessive degree, cause dilatation or contraction, relaxation or induration or even total destruction of certain parts, and develop faulty organic alterations here and there in the interior or the exterior82) (cripple the body internally or externally), in order to preserve the organism from complete destruction of the life by the ever-renewed, hostile assaults of such destructive forces.
Among chronic diseases we must still, alas!, reckon those so commonly met with, artificially produced in allopathic treatment by the prolonged use of violent heroic medicines in large and increasing doses, by the abuse of calomel, corrosive sublimate, mercurial ointment, nitrate of silver, iodine and its ointments, opium, valerian, cinchona bark and quinine, foxglove, prussic acid, sulphur and sulphuric acid, perennial purgatives, venesections, shedding streams of blood, leeches, issues, setons, etc., whereby the vital energy is sometimes weakened to an unmerciful extent, sometimes, if it do not succumb, gradually abnormally deranged (by each substance in a peculiar manner) in such a way that, in order to maintain life against these inimical and destructive attacks, it must produce a revolution in the organism, and either deprive some part of its irritability and sensibility, or exalt these to an excessive degree, cause dilatation or contraction, relaxation or induration or even total destruction of certain parts, and develop faulty organic alterations here and there in the interior or the exterior82) (cripple the body internally or externally), in order to preserve the organism from complete destruction of the life by the ever-renewed, hostile assaults of such destructive forces.83)
These inroads on human health effected by the allopathic non-healing art (more particularly in recent times) are of all chronic diseases the most deplorable, the most incurable; and I regret to add that it is apparently impossible to discover or to hit upon any remedies for their cure when they have reached any considerable height.
Only for natural diseases has the beneficent Deity granted us, in Homoeopathy, the means of affording relief; but those devastations and maimings of the human organism exteriorly and interiorly, effected by years, frequently, of the unsparing exercise of a false art, with its hurtful drugs and treatment, must be remedied by the vital force itself (appropriate aid being given for the eradication of any chronic miasm that may happen to be lurking in the background), if it has not already been too much weakened by such mischievous acts, and can devote several years to this huge operation undisturbed. A human healing art, for the restoration to the normal state of those innumerable abnormal conditions so often produced by the allopathic non-healing art, there is not and cannot be.
Those diseases are inappropriately named chronic, which persons incur who expose themselves continually to avoidable noxious influences, who are in the habit of indulging in injurious liquors or aliments, are addicted to dissipation of many kinds which undermine the health, who undergo prolonged abstinence from things that are necessary for the support of life, who reside in unhealthy localities, especially marshy districts, who are housed in cellars or other confined dwellings, who are deprived of exercise or of open air, who ruin their health by overexertion of body or mind, who live in a constant state of worry, etc. These states of ill-health, which persons bring upon themselves, disappear spontaneously, provided no chronic miasm lurks in the body, under an improved mode of living, and they cannot be called chronic diseases.
The true natural chronic diseases are those that arise from a chronic miasm, which when left to themselves, and unchecked by the employment of those remedies that are specific for them, always go on increasing and growing worse, notwithstanding the best mental and corporeal regimen, and torment the patient to the end of his life with ever aggravated sufferings. These are the most numerous and greatest scourges of the human race; for the most robust constitution, the best regulated mode of living and the most vigorous energy of the vital force are insufficient for their eradication.
The true natural chronic diseases are those that arise from a chronic miasm, which when left to themselves, and unchecked by the employment of those remedies that are specific for them, always go on increasing and growing worse, notwithstanding the best mental and corporeal regimen, and torment the patient to the end of his life with ever aggravated sufferings. These, excepting those produced by medical malpractice (§ 74), are the most numerous and greatest scourges of the human race; for the most robust constitution, the best regulated mode of living and the most vigorous energy of the vital force are insufficient for their eradication.84)
Hitherto syphilis alone has been to some extent known as such a chronic miasmatic disease, which when uncured ceases only with the termination of life. Sycosis (the condylomatous disease), equally ineradicable by the vital force without proper medicinal treatment, was not recognized as a chronic miasmatic disease of a peculiar character, which it nevertheless undoubtedly is, and physicians imagined they had cured it when they had destroyed the growths upon the skin, but the persisting dyscrasia occasioned by it escaped their observation.
Incalculably greater and more important than the two chronic miasms just named, however, is the chronic miasm of psora, which, while those two reveal their specific internal dyscrasia, the one by the venereal chancre, the other by the cauliflower-like growths, does also, after the completion of the internal infection of the whole organism, announce by a peculiar cutaneous eruption, sometimes consisting only of a few vesicles accompanied by intolerable voluptuous tickling itching (and a peculiar odour), the monstrous internal chronic miasm – the psora, the only real fundamental cause and producer of all the other numerous, I may say innumerable, forms of disease85), which, under the names of nervous debility, hysteria, hypochondriasis, mania, melancholia, imbecility, madness, epilepsy and convulsions of all sorts, softening of the bones (rachitis), scoliosis and cyphosis, caries, cancer, fungus nematodes, neoplasms, gout, haemorrhoids, jaundice, cyanosis, dropsy, amenorrhoea, haemorrhage from the stomach, nose, lungs, bladder and womb, of asthma and ulceration of the lungs, of impotence and barrenness, of megrim, deafness, cataract, amaurosis, urinary calculus, paralysis, defects of the senses and pains of thousands of kinds, etc., figure in systematic works on pathology as peculiar, independent diseases.
The fact that this extremely ancient infecting agent has gradually passed, in some hundreds of generations, through many millions of human organisms and has thus attained an incredible development, renders it in some measure conceivable how it can now display such innumerable morbid forms in the great family of mankind, particularly when we consider what a number of circumstances86) contribute to the production of these great varieties of chronic diseases (secondary symptoms of psora), besides the indescribable diversity of men in respect of their congenital corporeal constitutions, so that it is no wonder if such a variety of injurious agencies, acting from within and from without and sometimes continually, on such a variety of organisms permeated with the psoric miasm, should produce an innumerable variety of defects, injuries, derangements and sufferings, which have hitherto been treated of in the old pathological works87), under a number of special names, as diseases of an independent character.
Although, by the discovery of that great source of chronic diseases, as also by the discovery of the specific homoeopathic remedies for the psora, medicine has advanced some steps nearer to a knowledge of the nature of the majority of diseases it has to cure, yet, for settling the indication in each case of chronic (psoric) disease he is called on to cure, the duty of a careful apprehension of its ascertainable symptoms and characteristics is as indispensable for the homoeopathic physician as it was before that discovery, as no real cure of this or of other diseases can take place without a strict particular treatment (individualization) of each case of disease – only that in this investigation some difference is to be made when the affection is an acute and rapidly developed disease, and when it is a chronic one; seeing that, in acute disease, the chief symptoms strike us and become evident to the senses more quickly, and hence much less time is requisite for tracing the picture of the disease and much fewer questions are required to be asked88), as almost everything is self-evident, than in a chronic disease which has been gradually progressing for several years, in which the symptoms are much more difficult to be ascertained.
This individualizing examination of a case of disease, for which I shall only give in this place general directions, of which the practitioner will bear in mind only what is applicable for each individual case, demands of the physician nothing but freedom from prejudice and sound senses, attention in observing and fidelity in tracing the picture of the disease.
The patient details the history of his sufferings; those about him tell what they heard him complain of, how he has behaved and what they have noticed in him; the physician sees, hears, and remarks by his other senses what there is of an altered or unusual character about him. He writes down accurately all that the patient and his friends have told him in the very expressions used by them. Keeping silence himself he allows them to say all they have to say, and refrains from interrupting them89) unless they wander off to other matters. The physician advises them at the beginning of the examination to speak slowly, in order that he may take down in writing the important parts of what the speakers say.
He begins a fresh line with every new circumstance mentioned by the patient or his friends, so that the symptoms shall be all ranged separately one below the other. He can thus add to any one, that may at first have been related in too vague a manner, but subsequently more explicitly explained.
When the narrators have finished what they would say of their own accord, the physician then reverts to each particular symptom and elicits more precise information respecting it in the following manner; he reads over the symptoms as they were related to him one by one, and about each of them he inquires for further particulars, e.g., at what period did this symptom occur? Was it previous to taking the medicine he had hitherto been using? While taking the medicine? Or only some days after leaving off the medicine? What kind of pain, what sensation exactly, was it that occurred on this spot? Where was the precise spot? Did the pain occur in fits and by itself, at various times? Or was it continued, without intermission? How long did it last? At what time of the day or night, and in what position of the body was it worst, or ceased entirely? What was the exact nature of this or that event or circumstance mentioned – described in plain words?
And thus the physician obtains more precise information respecting each particular detail, but without ever framing his questions so as to suggest the answer to the patient90), so that he shall only have to answer yes or no; else he will be misled to answer in the affirmative or negative something untrue, half true, or not strictly correct, either from indolence or in order to please his interrogator, from which a false picture of the disease and an unsuitable mode of treatment must result.
If in these voluntary details nothing has been mentioned respecting several parts or functions of the body or his metal state, the physician asks what more can be told in regard to these parts and these functions, or the state of his disposition or mind91), but in doing this he only makes use of general expressions, in order that his informants may be obliged to enter into special details concerning them.
When the patient (for it is on him we have chiefly to rely for a description of his sensations, except in the case of feigned diseases) has by these details, given of his own accord and in answer to inquiries, furnished the requisite information and traced a tolerably perfect picture of the disease, the physician is at liberty and obliged (if he feels he has not yet gained all the information he needs) to ask more precise, more special questions.92)
When the physician has finished writing down these particulars, he then makes a note of what he himself observes in the patient93), and ascertains how much of that was peculiar to the patient in his healthy state.
The symptoms and feelings of the patient during a previous course of medicine do not furnish the pure picture of the disease; but on the other hand, those symptoms and ailments which he suffered from before the use of the medicines, or after they had been discontinued for several days, give the true fundamental idea of the original form of the disease, and these especially the physician must take note of. When the disease is of a chronic character, and the patient has been taking medicine up to the time he is seen, the physician may with advantage leave him some days quite without medicine, or in the meantime administer something of an unmedicinal nature and defer to a subsequent period the more precise scrutiny of the morbid symptoms, in order to be able to grasp in their purity the permanent uncontaminated symptoms of the old affection and to form a faithful picture of the disease.
But if it be a disease of a rapid course, and if its serious character admit of no delay, the physician must content himself with observing the morbid condition, altered though it may be by medicines, if he cannot ascertain what symptoms were present before the employment of the medicines, – in order that he may at least form a just apprehension of the complete picture of the disease in its actual condition, that is to say, of the conjoint malady formed by the medicinal and original diseases, which from the use of inappropriate drugs is generally more serious and dangerous than was the original disease, and hence demands prompt and efficient aid; and by thus tracing out the complete picture of the disease he will be enabled to combat it with a suitable homoeopathic remedy, so that the patient shall not fall a sacrifice to the injurious drugs he has swallowed.
If the disease has been brought on a short time or, in the case of a chronic affection, a considerable time previously, by some obvious cause, then the patient – or his friends when questioned privately – will mention it either spontaneously or when carefully interrogated.94)
While inquiring into the state of chronic disease, the particular circumstances of the patient with regard to his ordinary occupations, his usual mode of living and diet, his domestic situation, and so forth, must be well considered and scrutinized, to ascertain what there is in them that may tend to produce or to maintain disease, in order that by their removal the recovery may by prompted.95)
In chronic disease the investigation of the signs of disease above mentioned, and of all others, must be pursued as carefully and circumstantially as possible, and the most minute peculiarities must be attended to, partly because in these diseases they are the most characteristic and least resemble those of acute diseases, and if a cure is to be affected they cannot be too accurately noted; partly because the patients become so used to their long sufferings that they pay little or no heed to the lesser accessory symptoms, which are often very pregnant with meaning (characteristic) – often very useful in determining the choice of the remedy – and regard them almost as a necessary part of their condition, almost as health, the real feeling of which they have well-nigh forgotten in the sometimes fifteen or twenty years of suffering, and they can scarcely bring themselves to believe that these accessory symptoms, these greater or less deviations from the healthy state, can have any connection with their principal malady.
Besides this, patients themselves differ so much in their dispositions, that some, especially the so-called hypochondriacs and other persons of great sensitiveness and impatient of suffering, portray their symptoms in too vivid colours and, in order to induce the physician to give them relief, describe their ailments in exaggerated expression.96)
Other individuals of an opposite character, however, partly from indolence, partly from false modesty, partly from a kind of mildness of disposition or weakness of mind, refrain from mentioning a number of their symptoms, describe them in vague terms, or allege some of them to be of no consequence.
Now, as certainly as we should listen particularly to the patient's description of his sufferings and sensations, and attach credence especially to his own expressions wherewith he endeavours to make us understand his ailments – because in the mouths of his friends and attendants they are usually altered and erroneously stated, – so certainly, on the other hand, in all diseases, but especially in the chronic ones, the investigation of the true, complete picture and its peculiarities demands especial circumspection, tact, knowledge of human nature, caution in conducting the inquiry and patience in an eminent degree.
On the whole, the investigation of acute diseases, or of such as have existed but a short time, is much the easiest for the physician, because all the phenomena and deviations from the health that has been but recently lost are still fresh in the memory of the patient and his friends, still continue to be novel and striking. The physician certainly requires to know everything in such cases also; but he has much less to inquire into; they are for the most part spontaneously detailed to him.
In investigating the totality of the symptoms of epidemic and sporadic diseases it is quite immaterial whether or not something similar has ever appeared in the world before under the same or any other name. The novelty or peculiarity of a disease of that kind makes no difference either in the mode of examining or of treating it, as the physician must any way regard to pure picture of every prevailing disease as if it were something new and unknown, and investigate it thoroughly for itself, if he desires to practice medicine in a real and radical manner, never substituting conjecture for actual observation, never taking for granted that the case of disease before him is already wholly or partially known, but always carefully examining it in all its phases; and this mode of procedure is all the more requisite in such cases, as a careful examination will show that every prevailing disease is in many respects a phenomenon of a unique character, differing vastly from all previous epidemics, to which certain names have been falsely applied – with the exception of those epidemics resulting from a contagious principle that always remains the same, such as smallpox, measles, etc.
It may easily happen that in the first case of an epidemic disease that presents itself to the physician's notice he does not at once obtain a knowledge of its complete picture, as it is only by a close observation of several cases of every such collective disease that he can become conversant with the totality of its signs and symptoms. The carefully observing physician can, however, from the examination of even the first and second patients, often arrive so nearly at a knowledge of the true state as to have in his mind a characteristic portrait of it, and even to succeed in finding a suitable, homoeopathically adapted remedy for it.
In the course of writing down the symptoms of several cases of this kind the sketch of the disease picture becomes ever more and more complete, not more spun out and verbose, but more significant (more characteristic), and including more of the peculiarities of this collective disease; on the one hand, the general symptoms (e.g., loss of appetite, sleeplessness, etc.) become precisely defined as to their peculiarities; and on the other, the more marked and special symptoms which are peculiar to but few diseases and of rarer occurrence, at least in the same combination, become prominent and constitute what is characteristic of this malady97). All those affected with the disease prevailing at a given time have certainly contracted it from one and the same source and hence are suffering from the same disease; but the whole extent of such an epidemic disease and the totality of its symptoms (the knowledge whereof, which is essential for enabling us to choose the most suitable homoeopathic remedy for this array of symptoms, is obtained by a complete survey of the morbid picture) cannot be learned from one single patient, but is only to be perfectly deduced (abstracted) and ascertained from the sufferings of several patients of different constitutions.
In the same manner as has here been taught relative to the epidemic disease, which are generally of an acute character, the miasmatic chronic maladies, which, as I have shown, always remain the same in their essential nature, especially the psora, must be investigated, as to the whole sphere of their symptoms, in a much more minute manner than has ever been done before, for in them also one patient only exhibits a portion of their symptoms, a second, a third, and so on, present some other symptoms, which also are but a (dissevered, as it were), portion of the totality of the symptoms which constitute the entire extent of this malady, so that the whole array of the symptoms belonging to such a miasmatic, chronic disease, and especially to the psora, can only be ascertained from the observation of very many single patients affected with such a chronic disease, and without a complete survey and collective picture of these symptoms the medicines capable of curing the whole malady homoeopathically (to wit, the antipsorics) cannot be discovered; and these medicines are, at the same time, the true remedies of the several patients suffering from such chronic affections.
When the totality of the symptoms that specially mark and distinguish the case of disease or, in other words, when the picture of the disease, whatever be its kind, is once accurately sketched98), the most difficult part of the task is accomplished. The physician has then the picture of the disease, especially if it be a chronic one, always before him to guide him in his treatment; he can investigate it in all its parts and can pick out the characteristic symptoms, in order to oppose to these, that is to say, to the whole malady itself, a very similar artificial morbific force, in the shape of a homoeopathically chosen medicinal substance, selected from the lists of symptoms of all the medicines whose pure effects have been ascertained. And when, during the treatment, he wishes to ascertain what has been the effect of the medicine, and what change has taken place in the patient's state, at this fresh examination of the patient he only needs to strike out of the list of the symptoms noted down at the first visit those that have become ameliorated, to mark what still remain, and add any new symptoms that may have supervened.
The second point of the business of a true physician related to acquiring a knowledge of the instruments intended for the cure of the natural diseases, investigating the pathogenetic power of the medicines, in order, when called on to cure, to be able to select from among them one, from the list of whose symptoms an artificial disease may be constructed, as similar as possible to the totality of the principal symptoms of the natural disease sought to be cured.
The whole pathogenetic effect of the individual99) medicines must be known; that is to say, all the morbid symptoms and alterations in the health that each of them is specially capable of developing in the healthy individual must first have been observed as far as possible, before we can hope to be able to find among them, and to select, suitable homoeopathic remedies for most of the natural disease.
If, in order to ascertain this, medicines be given to sick persons only, even though they be administered singly and alone, then little or nothing precise is seen of their true effects, as those peculiar alterations of the health to be expected from the medicine are mixed up with the symptoms of the disease and can seldom be distinctly observed.
There is, therefore, no other possible way in which the peculiar effects of medicines on the health of individuals can be accurately ascertained – there is no sure, no more natural way of accomplishing this object, than to administer the individual99) medicines experimentally, in moderate doses, to healthy persons, in order to ascertain what changes, symptoms and signs of their influence each individually produces on the health of the body and of the mind; that is to say, what disease elements they are able and tend to produce100), since, as has been demonstrated (§ 24 - 27), all the curative power of medicines lies in this power they possess of changing the state of man's health, and is revealed by observation of the latter.
I was the first that opened up this path, which I have pursued with a perseverance that could only arise and be kept up by a perfect conviction of the great truth, fraught with such blessings to humanity, that it is only by the homoeopathic employment of medicines101) that the certain cure of human maladies is possible.102)
I saw, moreover, that the morbid lesions which previous authors had observed to result from medicinal substances when taken into the stomach of healthy persons, either in large doses given by mistake or in order to produce death in themselves or others, or under other circumstances, accorded very much with my own observations when experimenting with the same substances on myself and other healthy individuals. These authors give details of what occurred as histories of poisoning and as proofs of the pernicious effects of these powerful substances, chiefly in order to warn others from their use; partly also for the sake of exalting their own skill, when, under the use of the remedies they employed to combat these dangerous accidents, health gradually returned; but partly also, when the persons so affected died under their treatment, in order to seek their own justification in the dangerous character of these substances, which they then termed poisons. None of these observers ever dreamed that the symptoms they recorded merely as proofs of the noxious and poisonous character of these substances were sure revelations of the power of these drugs to extinguish curatively similar symptoms occurring in natural disease, that these their pathogenetic phenomena were intimations of their homoeopathic curative action, and that the only possible way to ascertain their medicinal powers is to observe those changes of health medicines are capable of producing in the healthy organism; for the pure, peculiar powers of medicines available for the cure of disease are to be learned neither by any ingenious a priori speculations, nor by the smell, taste or appearance of the drugs, nor by their chemical analysis, nor yet by the employment of several of them at one time in a mixture (prescription) in diseases; it was never suspected that these histories of medicinal diseases would one day furnish the first rudiments of the true, pure materia medica, which from the earliest times until now has consisted solely of false conjectures and fictions of the imagination – that is to say, did not exist at all.103)
The agreement of my observations on the pure effects of medicines with these older ones – although they were recorded without reference to any therapeutic object, – and the very concordance of these accounts with others of the same kind by different authors must easily convince us that medicinal substances act in the morbid changes they produce in the healthy human body according to fixed, eternal laws of nature, and by virtue of these are enabled to produce certain, reliable disease symptoms each according to its own peculiar character.
In those older prescriptions of the often dangerous effects of medicines ingested in excessively large doses we notice certain states that were produced, not at the commencement, but towards the termination of these sad events, and which were of an exactly opposite nature to those that first appeared. These symptoms, the very reverse of the primary action (§ 63) or proper action of the medicines on the vital force are the reaction of the vital force of the organism, its secondary action (§ 62 - § 67), of which, however, there is seldom or hardly ever the least trace from experiments with moderate doses on healthy bodies, and from small doses none whatever. In the homoeopathic curative operation the living organism reacts from these only so much as is requisite to raise the health again to the normal healthy state.
The only exceptions to this are the narcotic medicines. As they, in their primary action, take away sometimes the sensibility and sensation, sometimes the irritability, it frequently happens that in their secondary action, even from moderate experimental doses on healthy bodies, an increased sensibility (and a greater irritability) is observable.
With the exception of these narcotic substances, in experiments with moderate doses of medicine on healthy bodies, we observe only their primary action, i.e., those symptoms wherewith the medicine deranges the health of the human being and develops in him a morbid state of longer or shorter duration.
Among these symptoms, there occur in the case of some medicines not a few which are partially, or under certain conditions, directly opposite to other symptoms that have previously or subsequently appeared, but which are not therefore to be regarded as actual secondary action or the mere reaction of the vital force, but which only represent the alternating state of the various paroxysms of the primary action; they are termed alternating actions.
To the latter category belong the so-called idiosyncrasies, by which are meant peculiar corporeal constitutions which, although otherwise healthy, possess a disposition to be brought into a more or less morbid state by certain things which seem to produce no impression and no change in many other individuals104). But this inability to make an impression on every one is only seeming105). For as two things are required for the production of these as well as all other morbid alterations in the health of man – to wit, the inherent power of the influencing substance, and the capability of the vital force that animates the organism to be influenced by it – the obvious derangements of health in the so-called idiosyncrasies cannot be laid to the account of these peculiar constitutions alone, but they must also be ascribed to these things that produce them, in which must lie the power of making the same impressions on all human bodies, yet in such a manner that but a small number of healthy constitutions have a tendency to allow themselves to be brought into such an obvious morbid condition by them. That these agents do actually make this impression on every healthy body is shown by this, that when employed as remedies they render effectual homoeopathic service106) to all sick persons for morbid symptoms similar to those they seem to be only capable of producing in so-called idiosyncratic individuals.
Every medicine exhibits peculiar actions on the human frame, which are not produced in exactly the same manner by any other medicinal substance of a different kind.107)
As certainly as every species of plant differs in its external form, mode of life and growth, in its taste and smell from every other species and genus of plant, as certainly as every mineral and salt differs from all others, in its external as well as its internal physical and chemical properties (which alone should have sufficed to prevent any confounding of one with another), so certainly do they all differ and diverge among themselves in their pathogenetic – consequently also in their therapeutic – effects108). Each of these substances produces alterations in the health of human beings in a peculiar, different, yet determinate manner, so as to preclude the possibility of confounding one with another.109)
Therefore medicines, on which depend man's life and death, disease and health, must be thoroughly and most carefully distinguished from one another, and for this purpose tested by careful, pure experiments on the healthy body for the purpose of ascertaining their powers and real effects, in order to obtain an accurate knowledge of them, and to enable us to avoid any mistake in their employment in diseases, for it is only by correct selection of them that the greatest of all earthly blessings, the health of the body and of the mind, can be rapidly and permanently restored.
In proving medicines to ascertain their effects on the healthy body, it must be borne in mind that the strong, heroic substances, as they are termed, are liable even in small doses to produce changes in the health even of robust persons. Those of milder power must be given for these experiments in more considerable quantities; in order to observe the action of the very weakest, however, the subjects of experiment should be persons free from disease, and who are delicate, irritable and sensitive.
In these experiments – on which depends the exactitude of the whole medical art, and the weal of all future generations of mankind – no other medicines should be employed except such as are perfectly well known, and of whose purity, genuineness and energy we are thoroughly assured.
Each of these medicines must be taken in a perfectly simple, unadulterated form; the indigenous plants in the form of freshly expressed juice, mixed with a little alcohol to prevent it spoiling; exotic vegetable substances, however, in the form of powder, or tincture prepared with alcohol when they were in the fresh state and afterwards mingled with a certain proportion of water; salts and gums, however, should be dissolved in water just before being taken. If the plant can only be procured in its dry state, and if its powers are naturally weak, in that case there may be used for the experiment an infusion of it, made by cutting the herb into small pieces and pouring boiling water on it, so as to extract its medicinal parts; immediately after its preparation it must be swallowed while still warm, as all expressed vegetable juices and all aqueous infusions of herbs, without the addition of spirit, pass rapidly into fermentation and decomposition, whereby all their medicinal properties are lost.
For these experiments every medicinal substance must be employed quite alone and perfectly pure, without the admixture of any foreign substance, and without taking anything else of a medicinal nature the same day, nor yet on the subsequent days, nor during all the time we wish to observe the effects of the medicine.
During all the time the experiment lasts the diet must be strictly regulated; it should be as much as possible destitute of spices, of a purely nutritious and simple character, green vegetables110), roots and all salads and herb soups (which, even when most carefully prepared, possess some disturbing medicinal qualities) should be avoided. The drinks are to be those usually partaken of, as little stimulating as possible111).
The person who is proving the medicine must during the whole time of the experiment avoid all overexertion of mind and body, all sorts of dissipation and disturbing passions; he should have no urgent business to distract his attention; he must devote himself to careful self-observation and not be disturbed while so engaged; his body must be in what is for him a good state of health, and he must possess a sufficient amount of intelligence to be able to express and describe his sensations in accurate terms.
The person who is proving the medicine must be pre-eminently trustworthy and conscientious and during the whole time of the experiment avoid all over-exertion of mind and body, all sorts of dissipation and disturbing passions; he should have no urgent business to distract his attention; he must devote himself to careful self-observation and not be disturbed while so engaged; his body must be in what is for him a good state of health, and he must possess a sufficient amount of intelligence to be able to express and describe his sensations in accurate terms.
The most recent observations have shown that medicinal substances, when taken in their crude state by the experimenter for the purpose of testing their peculiar effects, do not exhibit nearly the full amount of the powers that lie hidden in them which they do when they are taken for the same object in high dilutions potentised by proper trituration and succussion, by which simple operations the powers which in their crude state lay hidden, and, as it were, dormant, are developed and roused into activity to an incredible extent. In this manner we now find it best to investigate the medicinal powers even of such substances as are deemed weak, and the plan we adopt is to give to the experimenter, on an empty stomach, daily from four to six very small globules of the thirtieth potentised dilution of such a substance, moistened with a little water, and let him continue this for several days.
The most recent observations have shown that medicinal substances, when taken in their crude state by the experimenter for the purpose of testing their peculiar effects, do not exhibit nearly the full amount of the powers that lie hidden in them which they do when they are taken for the same object in high dilutions potentised by proper trituration and succussion, by which simple operations the powers which in their crude state lay hidden, and, as it were, dormant, are developed and roused into activity to an incredible extent. In this manner we now find it best to investigate the medicinal powers even of such substances as are deemed weak, and the plan we adopt is to give to the experimenter, on an empty stomach, daily from four to six very small globules of the thirtieth potency of such a substance, moistened with a little water or dissolved in more or less water and thoroughly mixed, and let him continue this for several days.
If the effects that result from such a dose are but slight, a few more globules may be taken daily, until they become more distinct and stronger and the alterations of the health more conspicuous; for all persons are not effected by a medicine in an equally great degree; on the contrary, there is a vast variety in this respect, so that sometimes an apparently weak individual may by scarcely at all affected by moderate doses of a medicine known to be of a powerful character, while he is strongly enough acted on by others of a much weaker kind. And, on the other hand, there are very robust persons who experience very considerable morbid symptoms from an apparently mild medicine, and only slighter symptoms from stronger drugs. Now, as this cannot be known beforehand, it is advisable to commence in every instance with a small dose of the drug and, where suitable and requisite, to increase the dose more and more from day to day.
If, at the very commencement, the first dose administered shall have been sufficiently strong, this advantage is gained, that the experimenter learns the order of succession of the symptoms and can note down accurately the period at which each occurs, which is very useful in leading to a knowledge of the genius of the medicine, for then the order of the primary actions, as also that of the alternating actions, is observed in the most unambiguous manner. A very moderate dose, even, often suffices for the experiment, provided only the experimenter is endowed with sufficiently delicate sensitiveness, and is very attentive to his sensations. The duration of the action of a drug can only be ascertained by a comparison of several experiments.
If, however, in order to ascertain anything at all, the same medicine must be given to the same person to test for several successive days in ever increasing doses, we thereby learn, no doubt, the various morbid states this medicine is capable of producing in a general manner, but we do not ascertain their order of succession; and the subsequent dose often removes, curatively, some one or other of the symptoms caused by the previous dose, or develops in its stead an opposite state; such symptoms should be enclosed in brackets, to mark their ambiguity, until subsequent purer experiments show whether they are the reaction of the organism and secondary action or an alternating action of this medicine.
But when the object is, without reference to the sequential order of the phenomena and the duration of the action of the drug, only to ascertain the symptoms themselves, especially those of a weak medicinal substance, in that case the preferable course to pursue is to give it for several successive days, increasing the dose every day. In this manner the action of an unknown medicine, even of the mildest nature, will be revealed, especially if tested on sensitive persons.
On experiencing any particular sensation from the medicine, it is useful, indeed necessary, in order to determine the exact character of the symptom, to assume various positions while it lasts, and to observe whether, by moving the part affected, by walking in the room or the open air, by standing, sitting or lying the symptom is increased, diminished or removed, and whether it returns on again assuming the position in which it was first observed, – whether it is altered by eating or drinking, or by any other condition, or by speaking, coughing, sneezing or any other action of the body, and at the same time to note at what time of the day or night it usually occurs in the most marked manner, whereby what is peculiar to and characteristic of each symptom will become apparent.
All external influences, and more especially medicines, possess the property of producing in the health of the living organism a particular kind of alteration peculiar to themselves; but all the symptoms peculiar to a medicine do not appear in one person, nor all at once, nor in the same experiment, but some occur in one person chiefly at one time, others again during a second or third trail; in another person some other symptoms appear, but in such a manner that probably some of the phenomena are observed in the fourth, eighth or tenth person which had already appeared in the second, sixth or ninth person, and so forth; moreover, they may not recur at the same hour.
The whole of the elements of disease a medicine is capable of producing can only be brought to anything like completeness by numerous observations on suitable persons of both sexes and of various constitutions. We can only be assured that a medicine has been thoroughly proved in regard to the morbid states it can produce – that is to say, in regard to its pure powers of altering the health of man – when subsequent experimenters can notice little of a novel character from its action, and almost always only the same symptoms as had been already observed by others.
Although, as has been said, a medicine, on being proved on healthy subjects, cannot develop in one person all the alterations of health it is capable of causing, but can only do this when given to many different individuals, varying in their corporeal and mental constitution, yet the tendency to excite all these symptoms in every human being exists in it (§ 117), according to an eternal and immutable law of nature, by virtue of which all its effects, even those that are but rarely developed in the healthy person, are brought into operation in the case of every individual if administered to him when he is in a morbid state presenting similar symptoms; it then, even in the smallest dose, being homoeopathically selected, silently produces in the patient an artificial state closely resembling the natural disease, which rapidly and permanently (homoeopathically) frees and cures him of his original malady.
The more moderate, within certain limits, the doses of the medicine used for such experiments are – provided we endeavour to facilitate the observation by the selection of a person who is a lover of truth, temperate in all respects, of delicate feelings, and who can direct the most minute attention to his sensation – so much the more distinctly are the primary effects developed, and only these, which are most worth knowing, occur without any admixture of secondary effects or reactions of the vital force. When, however, excessively large doses are used there occur at the same time not only a number of secondary effects among the symptoms, but the primary effects developed, and only these, which are most worth knowing, occur without any admixture of secondary effects or reactions of the vital force. When, however, excessively large doses are used there occur at the same time not only a number of secondary effects among the symptoms, but the primary effects also come on in such hurried confusion and with such impetuosity that nothing can be accurately observed; let alone the danger attending them, which no one who has any regard for his fellow-creatures, and who looks on the meanest of mankind as his brother, will deem an indifferent manner.
All the sufferings, accidents and changes of the health of the experimenter during the action of a medicine (provided the above condition (§ 124 - 127) essential to a good and pure experiment are complied with) are solely derived from this medicine, and must be regarded and registered as belonging peculiarly to this medicine, as symptoms of this medicine, even though the experimenter had observed, a considerable time previously, the spontaneous occurrence of similar phenomena in himself. The reappearance of these during the trial of the medicine only shows that this individual is, by virtue of his peculiar constitution, particularly disposed to have such symptoms excited in him. In this case they are the effect of the medicine; the symptoms do not arise spontaneously while the medicine that has been taken is exercising an influence over the health of the whole system, but are produced by the medicine.
When the physician does not make the trial of the medicine on himself, but gives it to another person, the latter must note down distinctly the sensations, sufferings, accidents and changes of health he experiences at the time of their occurrence, mentioning the time after the ingestion of the drug when each symptom arose and, if it lasts long, the period of its duration. The physician looks over the report in the presence of the experimenter immediately after the experiment is concluded, or if the trial lasts several days he does this every day, in order, while everything is still fresh in his memory, to question him about the exact nature of every one of these circumstances, and to write down the more precise details so elicited, or to make such alterations as the experimenter may suggest.112)
If the person cannot write, the physician must be informed by him every day of what has occurred to him, and how it took place. What is noted down as authentic information on this point, however, must be chiefly the voluntary narration of the person who makes the experiment, nothing conjectural and as little as possible derived from answers to leading questions should be admitted; everything must be ascertained with the same caution as I have counselled above (§ 84 - 99) for the investigation of the phenomena and for tracing the picture of natural diseases.
But the best provings of the pure effects of simple medicines in altering the human health, and of the artificial diseases and symptoms they are capable of developing in the healthy individual, are those which the healthy, unprejudiced and sensitive physician institutes on himself with all the caution and care here enjoined. He knows with the greatest certainty the things he has experienced in his own person.113)
But how some symptoms114) of the simple medicine employed for a curative purpose can be distinguished amongst the symptoms of the original malady, even in diseases, especially in those of a chronic character that usually remain unaltered, is a subject appertaining to the higher art of judgement, and must be left exclusively to masters in observation.
If we have thus tested on the healthy individual a considerable number of simple medicines and carefully and faithfully registered all the disease elements and symptoms they are capable of developing as artificial disease-producers, then only have we a true materia medica – a collection of real, pure, reliable115) modes of action of simple medicinal substances, a volume of the book of nature, wherein is recorded a considerable array of the peculiar changes of the health and symptoms ascertained to belong to each of the powerful medicines, as they were revealed to the attention of the observer, in which the likeness of the (homoeopathic) disease elements of many natural diseases to be hereafter cured by them are present, which, in a word, contain artificial morbid states, that furnish for the similar natural morbid states the only true, homoeopathic, that is to say, specific, therapeutic instruments for effecting their certain and permanent cure.
From such a materia medica everything that is conjectural, all that is mere assertion or imaginary should be strictly excluded; everything should be the pure language of nature carefully and honestly interrogated.
Of a truth, it is only by a very considerable store of medicines accurately known in respect of these their pure modes of action in altering the health of man, that we can be placed in a position to discover a homoeopathic remedy, a suitable artificial (curative) morbific analogue for each of the infinitely numerous morbid states in nature, for every malady in the world116). In the meantime, even now – thanks to the truthful character of the symptoms, and to the abundance of disease elements which every one of the powerful medicinal substances has already shown in its action on the healthy body – but few diseases remain, for which a tolerably suitable homoeopathic remedy may not be met with among those now proved as to their pure action117), which, without much disturbance, restores health in a gentle, sure and permanent manner – infinitely more surely and safely than can be effected by all the general and special therapeutics of the old allopathic medical art with its unknown composite remedies, which do but alter and aggravate but cannot cure chronic diseases, and rather retard than promote recovery from acute diseases.
Of a truth, it is only by a very considerable store of medicines accurately known in respect of these their pure modes of action in altering the health of man, that we can be placed in a position to discover a homoeopathic remedy, a suitable artificial (curative) morbific analogue for each of the infinitely numerous morbid states in nature, for every malady in the world118). In the meantime, even now – thanks to the truthful character of the symptoms, and to the abundance of disease elements which every one of the powerful medicinal substances has already shown in its action on the healthy body – but few diseases remain, for which a tolerably suitable homoeopathic remedy may not be met with among those now proved as to their pure action117), which, without much disturbance, restores health in a gentle, sure and permanent manner – infinitely more surely and safely than can be effected by all the general and special therapeutics of the old allopathic medical art with its unknown composite remedies, which do but alter and aggravate but cannot cure chronic diseases, and rather retard than promote recovery from acute diseases and frequently endanger life.
The third point of the business of a true physician relates to the judicious employment of the artificial morbific agents (medicines) that have been proved on healthy individuals to ascertain their pure action in order to effect the homoeopathic cure of natural diseases.
Whichever of these medicines that have been investigated as to their power of altering man's health we find to contain in the symptoms observed from its use the greatest similarity to the totality of the symptoms of a given natural disease, this medicine will and must be the most suitable, the most certain homoeopathic remedy for the disease; in it is found the specific remedy of this case of disease.
A medicine selected in this manner, which has the power and the tendency to produce symptoms the most similar possible to the disease to be cured, consequently a similar artificial disease, given in a suitable dose, affects, in its dynamic action on the morbidly deranged vital force of the individual, those very parts and points in the organism now suffering from the natural disease, and produces in them its own artificial disease, which, on account of its great similarity and prepondering strength, occupies precisely the seat hitherto occupied by the natural morbid derangement, so that the instinctive, automatic vital force is from that time forward no longer affected by the natural disease but solely by the stronger, similar medicinal disease; which in its turn, on account of the small dose of the remedy, being, like every moderate medicinal disease, overcome by the increased energy of the vital force, soon spontaneously disappears, leaving the body free from all disease, that is to say, healthy and permanently cured.
The natural disease is never to be considered as a noxious material situated somewhere within the interior or exterior of man (§ 11 - 13) but as one produced by an inimical spirit-like (conceptual) agency which, like a kind of infection (note to § 11) disturbs in its instinctive existence of the spirit-like (conceptual) principle of life within the organism torturing it as an evil spirit and compelling it to produce certain ailments and disorders in the regular course of its life. These are known as symptoms (disease). If, now, the influence of this inimical agency that not only caused but strives to continue this disorder, be taken away as is done when the physician administers an artificial potency, capable of altering the life principle in the most similar manner (a homoeopathic medicine) which exceeds in energy even in the smallest dose the similar natural disease (§ 33, § 279), then the influence of the original noxious morbid agent on the life principle is lost during the action of this stronger similar artificial disease. Thence the evil no longer exists for the life principle – it is destroyed. If, as has been said, the selected homoeopathic remedy is administered properly, then the acute natural disease which is to be overruled if recently developed, will disappear imperceptibly in a few hours. An older, more chronic disease will yield somewhat later together with all traces of discomfort, by the use of several doses of the same more highly potentised remedy or after careful selection119) of one or another more similar homoeopathic medicine. Health, recovery, follow in imperceptible, often rapid transitions. The life principle is freed again and capable of resuming the life of the organism in health as before and strength returns.
When the suitable homoeopathic remedy has been thus selected and rightly employed, the acute disease we wish to cure, even though it be of a grave character and attended by many sufferings subsides insensibly, in a few hours if it be of recent date, in a few days if it be of a somewhat longer standing, along with all traces of indisposition, and nothing or almost nothing more of the artificial medicinal disease is perceived; there occurs, by rapid, imperceptible transitions, noting but restored health, recovery. Disease of long standing (and especially such as are of a complicated character) require for their cure a proportionately longer time. More especially do the chronic medicinal dyscrasia so often produced by allopathic bungling, along with the natural disease left uncured by it, require a much longer time for their recovery; often, indeed, are they incurable, in consequence of the shameful robbery of the patient's strength and juices, the principal feat performed by allopathy in its so-called methods of treatment.
Diseases of long standing (and especially such as are of a complicated character) require for their cure a proportionately longer time. More especially do the chronic medicinal dyscrasia so often produced by allopathic bungling along with the natural disease left uncured by it, require a much longer time for their recovery; often, indeed, are they incurable, in consequence of the shameful robbery of the patient's strength and juices (venesections, purgatives, etc.), on account of long continued use of large doses of violently acting remedies given on the basis of empty, false theories for alleged usefulness in cases of disease appearing similar, also in prescribing unsuitable mineral baths, etc., the principal feat performed by allopathy in its so-called methods of treatment.
If a patient complain of one or more trivial symptoms, that have been only observed a short time previously, the physician should not regard this as a fully developed disease that requires serious medical aid. A slight alteration in the diet and regimen will usually suffice to dispel such an indisposition.
But if the patient complain of a few violent sufferings, the physician will usually find, on investigation, several other symptoms besides, although of a slighter character, which furnish a complete picture of the disease.
The worse the acute disease is, of so much the more numerous and striking symptoms is it generally composed, but with so much the more certainly may a suitable remedy for it be found, if there be a sufficient number of medicines known, with respect to their positive action, to choose from. Among the lists of symptoms of many medicines it will not be difficult to find one from whose separate disease elements an antitype of curative artificial disease, very like the totality of the symptoms of the natural disease, may be constructed, and such a medicine is the desired remedy.
In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms120) 121) of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.
If the antitype constructed from the list of symptoms of the most suitable medicine contain those peculiar, uncommon, singular and distinguishing (characteristic) symptoms, which are to be met with in the disease to be cured in the greatest number and in the greatest similarity, this medicine is the most appropriate homoeopathic specific remedy for this morbid state; the disease, if it be not one of very long standing, will generally be removed and extinguished by the first dose of it, without any considerable disturbance.
I say without any considerable disturbance. For in the employment of this most appropriate homoeopathic remedy it is only the symptoms of the medicine that correspond to the symptoms of the disease that are called into play, the former occupying the place of the latter (weaker) in the organism, and thereby annihilating them by overpowering them; but the other symptoms of the homoeopathic medicice, which are often very numerous, being in no way applicable to the case of disease in question, are not called into play at all. The patient, growing hourly better, feels almost nothing of them at all, because the excessively minute dose requisite for homoeopathic use is much too weak to produce the other symptoms of the medicine that are not homoeopathic to the case, in those parts of the body that are free from disease, and consequently can allow only the homoeopathic symptoms to act on the parts of the organism that are already most irritated and excited by the similar symptoms of the disease, thus changing the morbid affection of the vital force into a similar but stronger medicinal disease, whereby the original malady is extinguished.
I say without any considerable disturbance. For in the employment of this most appropriate homoeopathic remedy it is only the symptoms of the medicine that correspond to the symptoms of the disease that are called into play, the former occupying the place of the latter (weaker) in the organism, i.e., in the sensation of the life principle, and thereby annihilating them by overpowering them; but the other symptoms of the homoeopathic medicine, which are often very numerous, being in no way applicable to the case of disease in question, are not called into play at all. The patient, growing hourly better, feels almost nothing of them at all, because the excessively minute dose requisite for homoeopathic use is much too weak to produce the other symptoms of the medicine that are not homoeopathic to the case, in those parts of the body that are free from disease, and consequently can allow only the homoeopathic symptoms to act on the parts of the organism that are already most irritated and excited by the similar symptoms of the disease, in order that the sick life principle may react only to a similar but stronger medicinal disease, whereby the original malady is extinguished.
There is, however, almost no homoeopathic medicine, be it ever so suitably chosen, that, especially if it should be given in an insufficiently minute dose, will not produce, in very irritable and sensitive patients, at least one trifling, unusual disturbance, some slight new symptom while its action lasts; for it is next to impossible that medicine and disease should cover one another symptomatically as exactly as two triangles with equal sides and equal angles. But this (in ordinary circumstances) unimportant difference will be easily done away with by the potential activity (energy) of the living organism, and is not perceptible by patients not excessively delicate; the restoration goes forward, notwithstanding, to the goal of perfect recovery, if it be not prevented by the action of heterogeneous medicinal influences upon the patient, by errors of regimen or by excitement of the passions.
But though it is certain that a homoeopathically selected remedy does, by reason of its appropriateness and the minuteness of the dose, gently remove and annihilate the acute disease analogous to it, without manifesting its other unhomoeopathic symptoms, that is to say, without the production of new, serious disturbances, yet it usually, immediately after ingestion – for the first hour, or for a few hours – causes a kind of slight aggravation (where the dose has been somewhat too large, however, for a considerable number of hours), which has so much resemblance to the original disease that it seems to the patient to be an aggravation of his own disease. But it is, in reality, nothing more than an extremely similar medicinal disease, somewhat exceeding in strength the original affection.
But though it is certain that a homoeopathically selected remedy does, by reason of its appropriateness and the minuteness of the dose, gently remove and annihilate the acute disease analogous to it, without manifesting its other unhomoeopathic symptoms, that is to say, without the production of new, serious disturbances, yet it usually, immediately after ingestion – for the first hour, or for a few hours – causes a kind of slight aggravation when the dose has not been sufficiently small and (where the dose has been somewhat too large, however, for a considerable number of hours), which has so much resemblance to the original disease that it seems to the patient to be an aggravation of his own disease. But it is, in reality, nothing more than an extremely similar medicinal disease, somewhat exceeding in strength the original affection.
This slight homoeopathic aggravation during the first hours – a very good prognostic that the acute disease will most probably yield to the first dose – is quite as it ought to be, as the medicinal disease must naturally be somewhat stronger than the malady to be cured if it is to overpower and extinguish the latter, just as a natural disease can remove and annihilate another one similar to it only when it is stronger than the latter (§ 43 - 48).
But as the dose of a homoeopathic remedy can scarcely ever be made so small that it shall not be able to relieve, overpower, indeed completely cure and annihilate the uncomplicated natural disease of not long standing that is analogous to it (§ 249, note), we can understand why a dose of an appropriate homoeopathic medicine, not the very smallest possible, does always, during the first hour after its ingestion, produce a perceptible homoeopathic aggravation of this kind.122)
When I here limit the so-called homoeopathic aggravation, or rather the primary action of the homoeopathic medicine that seems to increase somewhat the symptoms of the original disease, to the first or few hours, this is certainly true with respect to diseases of a more acute character and of recent origin123), but where medicines of long action have to combat a malady of, considerable or of very long standing, where one dose, consequently, must continue to act for many days, we then occasionally see, during the first six, eight or ten days, the occurrence of some such primary actions, of the medicine, some such apparent increase of the symptoms of the original disease (lasting for one or several hours), while in the intervening hours amelioration of the whole malady is perceptible. After the lapse of these few days the amelioration resulting from such primary action of the medicine proceeds almost uninterruptedly for several days longer.
When I here limit the so-called homoeopathic aggravation, or rather the primary action of the homoeopathic medicine that seems to increase somewhat the symptoms of the original disease, to the first or few hours, this is certainly true with respect to diseases of a more acute character and of recent origin, but where medicines of long action have to combat a malady of, considerable or of very long standing, where no such apparent increase of the original disease ought to appear during treatment and it does not so appear if the accurately chosen medicine was given in proper small, gradually higher doses, each somewhat modified with renewed dynamization124) (§ 247). Such increase of the original symptoms of a chronic disease can appear only at the end of treatment when the cure is almost or quite finished.
Sometimes happens, owing to the moderate number of medicines yet known with respect to their true, pure action, that but a portion of the symptoms of the disease under treatment are to be met with in the list of symptoms of the most appropriate medicine, consequently this imperfect medicinal morbific agent must be employed for lack of a more perfect one.
In this case we cannot indeed expect from this medicine a complete, untroubled cure; for during its use some symptoms appear which were not previously observable in the disease, accessory symptoms of the not perfectly appropriate remedy. This does by no means prevent a considerable part of the disease (the symptoms of the disease that resemble those of the medicine) from being eradicated by this medicine, thereby establishing a fair commencement of the cure, but still this does not take place without those accessory symptoms, which are, however, always moderate when the dose of the medicine is sufficiently minute.
The small number of homoeopathic symptoms present in the best selected medicine is no obstacle to the cure in cases where these few medicinal symptoms are chiefly of an uncommon kind and such as are peculiarly distinctive (characteristic) of the disease; the cure takes place under such circumstances without any particular disturbance.
If, however, among the symptoms of the remedy selected, there be none that accurately resemble the distinctive (characteristic), peculiar, uncommon symptoms of the case of disease, and if the remedy corresponds to the disease only in the general, vaguely described, indefinite states (nausea, debility, headache, and so forth), and if there be among the known medicines none more homoeopathically appropriate, in that case the physician cannot promise himself any immediate favourable result from the employment of this unhomoeopathic medicine.
Such a case is, however, very rare, owing to the increased number of medicines whose pure effects are now known, and the bad effects resulting from it, when they do occur, are diminished whenever a subsequent medicine, of more accurate resemblance, can be selected.
Thus if there occur, during the use of this imperfectly homoeopathic remedy first employed, accessory symptoms of some moment, then, in the case of acute diseases, we do not allow this first dose to exhaust its action, nor leave the patient to the full duration of the action of the remedy, but we investigate afresh the morbid state in its now altered condition, and add the remainder of the original symptoms to those newly developed in tracing a new picture of the disease.
We shall then be able much more readily to discover, among the known medicines, an analogue to the morbid state before us, a single dose of which, if it does not entirely destroy the disease, will advance it considerably on the way to be cured. And thus we go on, if even this medicine be not quite sufficient to effect the restoration of health, examining again and again the morbid state that still remains, and selecting a homoeopathic medicine as suitable as possible for it, until our object, namely, putting the patient in the possession of perfect health, is accomplished.
If, on the first examination of a disease and the first selection of a medicine, we should find that the totality of the symptoms of the disease would not be effectually covered by the disease elements of a single medicine – owing to the insufficient number of known medicines, – but that two medicines contend for the preference in point of appropriateness, one of which is more homoeopathically suitable for one part, the other for another part of the symptoms of the disease, it is not advisable, after the employment of the more suitable of the two medicines, to administer the other without fresh examination125)], for the medicine that seemed to be the next best would not, under the change of circumstances that has in the meantime taken place, be suitable for the rest of the symptoms that then remain; in which case, consequently, a more appropriate homoeopathic remedy must be selected in place of the second medicine for the set of symptoms as they appear on a new inspection.
Hence in this as in every case where a change of the morbid state has occurred, the remaining set of symptoms now present must be inquired into, and (without paying any attention to the medicine which at first appeared to be the next in point of suitableness) another homoeopathic medicine, as appropriate as possible to the new state now before us, must be selected. If it should so happen, as is not often the case, that the medicine which at first appeared to be the next best seems still to be well adapted for the morbid state that remains, so much the more will it merit our confidence, and deserve to be employed in preference to another.
In non-venereal chronic disease, those, therefore, that arise from psora, we often require, in order to effect a cure, to give several antipsoric remedies in succession, every successive one being homoeopathically chosen in consonance with the group of symptoms remaining after the expiry of the action of the previous remedy (which may have been employed in a single dose or in several successive doses).
In non-venereal chronic disease, those, therefore, that arise from psora, we often require, in order to effect a cure, to give several antipsoric remedies in succession, every successive one being homoeopathically chosen in consonance with the group of symptoms remaining after completion of the action of the previous remedy.
A similar difficulty in the way of the cure occurs from the symptoms of the disease being too few – a circumstances that deserves our careful attention, for by its removal almost all the difficulties that can lie in the way of this most perfect of all possible modes of treatment (except that its apparatus of known homoeopathic medicines is still incomplete) are removed.
The only diseases that seem to have but few symptoms, and on that account to be less amenable to cure, are those which may be termed one-sided, because they display only one or two principal symptoms which obscure almost all the others. They belong chiefly to the class of chronic diseases.
Their principal symptom may be either an internal complaint (e.g. a headache of many years' duration, a diarrhoea of long standing, an ancient cardialgia, etc.), or it may be an affection more of an external kind. Diseases of the latter character are generally distinguished by the name of local maladies.
In one-sided diseases of the first kind it is often to be attributed to the medical observer's want of discernment that he does not fully discover the symptoms actually present which would enable him to complete the sketch of the portrait of the disease.
There are, however, still a few diseases, which, after the most careful initial examination (§ 84 - 98), present but one or two severe, violent symptoms, while all the others are but indistinctly perceptible.
In order to meet most successfully such a case as this, which is of very rare occurrence, we are in the first place to select, guided by these few symptoms, the medicine which in our judgement is the most homoeopathically indicated.
It will, no doubt, sometimes happen that this medicine, selected in strict observance of the homoeopathic law, furnishes the similar artificial disease suited for the annihilation of the malady present; and this is much more likely to happen when these few morbid symptoms are very striking, decided, uncommon and peculiarly distinctive (characteristic).
More frequently, however, the medicine first chosen in such a case will be only partially, that is to say, not exactly suitable, as there was no considerable number of symptoms to guide to an accurate selection.
In this case the medicine, which has been chosen as well as was possible, but which, for the reason above stated, is only imperfectly homoeopathic, will, in its action upon the disease that is only partially analogous to it – just as in the case mentioned above (§ 162, et seq.) where the limited number of homoeopathic remedies renders the selection imperfect – produce accessory symptoms, and several phenomena from its own array of symptoms are mixed up with the patient's state of health, which are, however, at the same time, symptoms of the disease itself, although they may have been hitherto never or very rarely perceived; some symptoms which the patient had never previously experienced appear, or others he had only felt indistinctly become more pronounced.
Let it not be objected that the accessory phenomena and new symptoms of this disease that now appear should be laid to the account of the medicament just employed. They owe their origin to it126) certainly, but they are always only symptoms of such a nature as this disease was itself capable of producing in this organism, and which were summoned forth and induced to make their appearance by the medicine given, owing to its power to cause similar symptoms. In a word, we have to regard the whole collection of symptoms now perceptible as belonging to the disease itself, as the actual existing condition, and to direct our further treatment accordingly.
Thus the imperfect selection of the medicament, which was in this case almost inevitable owing to the too limited number of the symptoms present, serves to complete the display of the symptoms of the disease, and in this way facilitates the discovery of a second, more accurately suitable, homoeopathic medicine.
Whenever, therefore, the dose of the first medicine ceases to have a beneficial effect (if the newly developed symptoms do not, by reason of their gravity, demand more speedy aid – which, however, from the minuteness of the dose of homoeopathic medicine, and in very chronic diseases, is excessively rare), a new examination of the disease must be instituted, the status morbi as it now is must be noted down, and a second homoeopathic remedy selected in accordance with it, which shall exactly suit the present state, and one which shall be all the more appropriate can then be found, as the group of symptoms has become larger and more complete.127)
In like manner, after each new dose of medicine has exhausted its action, the state of the disease that still remains is to be noted anew with respect to its remaining symptoms, and another homoeopathic remedy sought for, as suitable as possible for the group of symptoms now observed, and so on until the recovery is complete.
In like manner, after each new dose of medicine has exhausted its action, when it is no longer suitable and helpful, the state of the disease that still remains is to be noted anew with respect to its remaining symptoms, and another homoeopathic remedy sought for, as suitable as possible for the group of symptoms now observed, and so on until the recovery is complete.
Among the one-sided disease an important place is occupied by the so-called local maladies, by which term is signified those changes and ailments that appear on the external parts of the body. Till now the idea prevalent in the schools was that these parts were alone morbidly affected, and that the rest of the body did not participate in the disease – a theoretical, absurd doctrine, which has led to the most disastrous medical treatment.
Those so-called local maladies which have been produced a short time previously, solely by an external lesion, still appear at first sight to deserve the name of local disease. But then the lesion must be very trivial, and in that case it would be of no great moment. For in the case of injuries accruing to the body from without, if they be at all severe, the whole living organism sympathizes; there occur fever, etc. The treatment of such diseases is relegated to surgery; but this is right only in so far as the affected parts require mechanical aid, whereby the external obstacles to the cure, which can only be expected to take place by the agency of the vital force, may be removed by mechanical means, e.g., by the reduction of dislocations, by bandages to bring together the lips of wounds, by the extraction of foreign bodies that have penetrated into the living parts, by making an opening into a cavity of the body in order to remove an irritating substance or to procure the evacuation of effusions or collections of fluids, by bringing into apposition the broken extremities of a fractured bone and retaining them in exact contact by an appropriate bandage, etc. But when in such injuries the whole living organism requires, as it always does, active dynamic aid to put it in a position to accomplish the work of healing, e.g. when the violent fever resulting from extensive contusions, lacerated muscles, tendons and bloodvessels requires to be removed by medicine given internally, or when the external pain of scalded or burnt parts needs to be homoeopathically subdued, then the services of the dynamic physician and his helpful homoeopathy come into requisition.
Those so-called local maladies which have been produced a short time previously, solely by an external lesion, still appear at first sight to deserve the name of local disease. But then the lesion must be very trivial, and in that case it would be of no great moment. For in the case of injuries accruing to the body from without, if they be at all severe, the whole living organism sympathizes; there occur fever, etc. The treatment of such diseases is relegated to surgery; but this is right only in so far as the affected parts require mechanical aid, whereby the external obstacles to the cure, which can only be expected to take place by the agency of the vital force, may be removed by mechanical means, e.g., by the reduction of dislocations, by needles and bandages to bring together the lips of wounds, by mechanical pressure to still the flow of blood from open arteries, by the extraction of foreign bodies that have penetrated into the living parts, by making an opening into a cavity of the body in order to remove an irritating substance or to procure the evacuation of effusions or collections of fluids, by bringing into apposition the broken extremities of a fractured bone and retaining them in exact contact by an appropriate bandage, etc. But when in such injuries the whole living organism requires, as it always does, active dynamic aid to put it in a position to accomplish the work of healing, e.g. when the violent fever resulting from extensive contusions, lacerated muscles, tendons and bloodvessels requires to be removed by medicine given internally, or when the external pain of scalded or burnt parts needs to be homoeopathically subdued, then the services of the dynamic physician and his helpful homoeopathy come into requisition.
But those affections, alterations and ailments appearing on the external parts, that do not arise from any external injury or that have only some slight external wound for their immediate exciting cause, are produced in quite another manner; their source lies in some internal malady. To consider them as mere local affections, and at the same time to treat them only, or almost only, as it were surgically, with topical applications – as the old school have done from the remotest ages – is as absurd as it is pernicious in its results.
These affections were considered to be merely topical, and were therefore called local diseases, as if they were maladies exclusively limited to those parts wherein the organism took little or no part, or affections of these particular visible parts of which the rest of the living organism, so to speak, knew nothing.128)
And yet very little reflection will suffice to convince us that no external malady (not occasioned by some important injury from without) can arise, persist or even grow worse without some internal cause, without the co-operation of the whole organism, which must consequently be in a diseased state. It could not make its appearance at all without the consent of the whole of the rest of the health, and without the participation of the rest of the living whole (of the vital force that pervades all the other sensitive and irritable parts of the organism); indeed, it is impossible to conceive its production without the instrumentality of the whole (deranged) life; so intimately are all parts of the organism connected together to form an indivisible whole in sensation and functions. No eruption on the lips, no whitlow can occur without previous and simultaneous internal ill-health.
All true medical treatment of a disease on the external parts of the body that has occurred from little or no injury from without must, therefore, be directed against the whole, must effect the annihilation and cure of the general malady by means of internal remedies, if it is wished that the treatment should be judicious, sure, efficacious and radical.
This is confirmed in the most unambiguous manner by experience, which shows in all cases that every powerful internal medicine immediately after its ingestion causes important changes in the general health of such a patient, and particularly in the affected external parts (which the ordinary medical school regards as quite isolated), even in a so-called local disease of the most external parts of the body, and the change it produces is most salutary, being the restoration to health of the entire body, along with the disappearance of the external affection (without the aid of any external remedy), provided the internal remedy directed towards the whole state was suitably chosen in a homoeopathic sense.
This is best effected when, in the investigation of the case of disease, along with the exact character of the local affection, all the changes, sufferings and symptoms observable in the patient's health, and which may have been previously noticed when no medicines had been used, are taken in conjunction to form a complete picture of the disease before searching among the medicines, whose peculiar pathogenetic effects are known, for a remedy corresponding to the totality of the symptoms, so that the selection may be truly homoeopathic.
By means of this medicine, employed only internally (and, if the disease be but of recent origin, often by the very first dose of it), the general morbid state of the body is removed along with the local affection, and the latter is cured at the same time as the former, proving that the local affection depended solely on a disease of the rest of the body, and should only be regarded as an inseparable part of the whole, as one of the most considerable and striking symptoms of the whole disease.
It is not useful, either in acute local diseases of recent origin or in local affections that have already existed a long time, to rub in or apply externally to the spot an external remedy, even though it be the specific and, when used internally, salutary by reason of its homoeopathicity, even although it should be at the same time administered internally; for the acute topical affections (e.g., inflammations of the individual parts, erysipelas, etc.), which have not been caused by external injury of proportionate violence, but by dynamic or internal causes, yield most surely to internal remedies homoeopathically adapted to the perceptible state of the health present in the exterior and interior, selected from the general store of proved medicines129), and generally without any other aid; but if these diseases do not yield to them completely, and if there still remain in the affected spot and in the whole state, notwithstanding good regimen, a relic of disease which the vital force is not competent to restore to the normal state, then the acute disease was (as not infrequently happens) a product of psora which had hitherto remained latent in the interior, but has now burst forth and is on the point of developing into a palpable chronic disease.
In order to effect a radical cure in such cases, which are by no means rare, after the acute state has pretty well subsided, an appropriate antipsoric treatment (as is taught in my work on Chronic Diseases) must then be directed against the symptoms that still remain and the morbid state of health to which the patient was previously subject. In chronic local maladies that are not obviously venereal, the antipsoric internal treatment is, moreover, alone requisite.
It might, indeed, seem as though the cure of such diseases would be hastened by employing the medicinal substance which is known to be truly homoeopathic to the totality of the symptoms, not only internally, but also externally, because the action of a medicine applied to the seat of the local affection might effect a more rapid change in it.
This treatment, however, is quite inadmissible, not only for the local symptoms arising from the miasm of psora, but also and especially for those originating in the miasm of syphilis or sycosis, for the simultaneous local application, along with the internal employment, of the remedy in diseases whose chief symptom is a constant local affection, has this great disadvantage, that, by such a topical application, this chief symptom (local affection)130) 131) will usually be annihilated sooner than the internal disease, and we shall now be deceived by the semblance of a perfect cure; or at least it will be difficult, and in some cases impossible, to determine, from the premature disappearance of the local symptom, if the general disease is destroyed by the simultaneous employment of the internal medicine.
The mere topical employment of medicines, that are powerful for cure when given internally, to the local symptoms of chronic miasmatic diseases is for the same reason quite inadmissible; for if the local affection of the chronic disease be only removed locally and in a one-sided manner, the internal treatment indispensable for the complete restoration of the health remains in dubious obscurity; the chief symptom (the local affection) is gone, and there remain only the other, less distinguishable symptoms, which are less constant and less persistent than the local affection, and frequently not sufficiently peculiar and too slightly characteristic to display after that, a picture of the disease in clear and peculiar outlines.
If the remedy perfectly homoeopathic to the disease had not yet been discovered132) at the time when the local symptoms were destroyed by a corrosive or desiccative external remedy or by the knife, then the case becomes much more difficult on account of the too indefinite (uncharacteristic) and inconstant appearance of the remaining symptoms; for what might have contributed most to determine the selection of the most suitable remedy, and its internal employment until the disease should have been completely annihilated, namely, the external principal symptom, has been removed from our observation.
Had it still been present to guide the internal treatment, the homoeopathic remedy for the whole disease might have been discovered, and had that been found, the persistence of the local affection during its internal employment would have shown that the cure was not yet completed; but were it cured on its seat, this would be a convincing proof that the disease was completely eradicated, and the desired recovery from the entire disease was fully accomplished – an inestimable, indispensable advantage.
Had it still been present to guide the internal treatment, the homoeopathic remedy for the whole disease might have been discovered, and had that been found, the persistence of the local affection during its internal employment would have shown that the cure was not yet completed; but were it cured on its seat, this would be a convincing proof that the disease was completely eradicated, and the desired recovery from the entire disease was fully accomplished – an inestimable, indispensable advantage to reach a perfect cure.
It is evident that man's vital force, when encumbered with a chronic disease which it is unable to overcome by its own powers, adopts the plan of developing a local malady on some external part, solely for this object, that by making and keeping in a diseased state this part which is not indispensable to human life, it may thereby silence the internal disease, which otherwise threatens to destroy the vital organs (and to deprive the patient of life), and that it may thereby, so to speak, transfer the internal disease to the vicarious local affection and, as it were, draw it thither. The presence of the local affection thus silences, for a time, the internal disease, though without being able either to cure it or to diminish it materially.133) The local affection, however, is never anything else than a part of the general disease, but a part of it increased all in one direction by the organic vital force, and transferred to a less dangerous (external) part of the body, in order to allay the internal ailment. But (as has been said) by this local symptom that silences the internal disease, so far from anything being gained by the vital force towards diminishing or curing the whole malady, the internal disease, on the contrary, continues, in spite of it, gradually to increase and Nature is constrained to enlarge and aggravate the local symptom always more and more, in order that it may still suffice as a substitute for the increased internal disease and may still keep it under. Old ulcers on the legs get worse as long as the internal psora is uncured, the chancre enlarges as long as the internal syphilis remains uncured, just as the general internal disease continues to increase as time goes on.
It is evident that man's vital force, when encumbered with a chronic disease which it is unable to overcome by its own powers instinctively, adopts the plan of developing a local malady on some external part, solely for this object, that by making and keeping in a diseased state this part which is not indispensable to human life, it may thereby silence the internal disease, which otherwise threatens to destroy the vital organs (and to deprive the patient of life), and that it may thereby, so to speak, transfer the internal disease to the vicarious local affection and, as it were, draw it thither. The presence of the local affection thus silences, for a time, the internal disease, though without being able either to cure it or to diminish it materially134). The local affection, however, is never anything else than a part of the general disease, but a part of it increased all in one direction by the organic vital force, and transferred to a less dangerous (external) part of the body, in order to allay the internal ailment. But (as has been said) by this local symptom that silences the internal disease, so far from anything being gained by the vital force towards diminishing or curing the whole malady, the internal disease, on the contrary, continues, in spite of it, gradually to increase and Nature is constrained to enlarge and aggravate the local symptom always more and more, in order that it may still suffice as a substitute for the increased internal disease and may still keep it under. Old ulcers on the legs get worse as long as the internal psora is uncured, the chancre enlarges as long as the internal syphilis remains uncured, the fig warts increase and grow while the sycosis is not cured whereby the latter is rendered more and more difficult to cure, just as the general internal disease continues to increase as time goes on.
If the old-school physician should now destroy the local symptom by the topical application of external remedies, under the belief that he thereby cures the whole disease, Nature makes up for its loss by rousing the internal malady and the other symptoms that previously existed in a latent state side by side with the local affection; that is to say, she increases the internal disease. When this occurs it is usual to say, though incorrectly, that the local affection has been driven back into the system or upon the nerves by the external remedies.
Every external treatment of such local symptoms, the object of which is to remove them from the surface of the body, while the internal miasmatic disease is left uncured, as, for instance, driving off the skin the psoric eruption by all sorts of ointments, burning away the chancre by caustics and destroying the condylomata on their seat by the knife, the ligature or the actual cautery; this pernicious external mode of treatment, hitherto so universally practised, has been the most prolific source of all the innumerable named or unnamed chronic maladies under which mankind groans; it is one of the most criminal procedures the medical world can be guilty of, and yet it has hitherto been the one generally adopted, and taught from the professional chairs as the only one.135)
If we deduct all chronic affections, ailments and diseases that depend on a persistent unhealthy mode of living, (§ 77) as also those innumerable medicinal maladies (v. § 74) caused by the irrational, persistent, harassing and pernicious treatment of diseases often only of trivial character by physicians of the old school, all the remainder, without exception, result from the development of these three chronic miasms, internal syphilis, internal sycosis, but chiefly and in infinitely greater proportion, internal psora, each of which was already in possession of the whole organism, and had penetrated it in all directions before the appearance of the primary, vicarious local symptom of each of them (in the case of psora the scabious eruption, in syphilis the chancre or the bubo, and in sycosis the condylomata) that prevented their outburst; and these chronic miasmatic diseases, if deprived of their local symptom, are inevitably destined by mighty Nature sooner or later to become developed and to burst forth, and thereby propagate all the nameless misery, the incredible number of chronic diseases which have plagued mankind for hundreds and thousands of years, none of which would so frequently have come into existence had physicians striven in a rational manner to cure radically and to extinguish in the organism these three miasms by the internal homoeopathic medicines suited for each of them, without employing topical remedies for their external symptoms.
If we deduct all chronic affections, ailments and diseases that depend on a persistent unhealthy mode of living, (§ 77) as also those innumerable medicinal maladies (v. § 74) caused by the irrational, persistent, harassing and pernicious treatment of diseases often only of trivial character by physicians of the old school, most of the remainder of chronic diseases result from the development of these three chronic miasms, internal syphilis, internal sycosis, but chiefly and in infinitely greater proportion, internal psora, each of which was already in possession of the whole organism, and had penetrated it in all directions before the appearance of the primary, vicarious local symptom of each of them (in the case of psora the scabious eruption, in syphilis the chancre or the bubo, and in sycosis the condylomata) that prevented their outburst; and these chronic miasmatic diseases, if deprived of their local symptom, are inevitably destined by mighty Nature sooner or later to become developed and to burst forth, and thereby propagate all the nameless misery, the incredible number of chronic diseases which have plagued mankind for hundreds and thousands of years, none of which would so frequently have come into existence had physicians striven in a rational manner to cure radically and to extinguish in the organism these three miasms by the internal homoeopathic medicines suited for each of them, without employing topical remedies for their external symptoms. (See note to § 282).
The homoeopathic physician never treats one of these primary symptoms of chronic miasms, nor yet one of their secondary affections that result from their further development, by local remedies (neither by those external agents that act dynamically,136) 137) nor yet by those that act mechanically), but he cures, in cases where the one or the other appears, only the great miasm on which they depend, whereupon its primary, as also its secondary symptoms disappear spontaneously; but as this was not the mode pursued by the old-school practitioners who preceded him in the treatment of the case, the homoeopathic physician generally, alas!, finds that the primary symptoms138) have already been destroyed by them by means of external remedies, and that he has now to do more with the secondary ones, i.e., the affections resulting from the breaking forth and development of these inherent miasms, but especially with the chronic disease evolved from internal psora, the internal treatment of which, as far as a single physician can elucidate it by many years of reflection, observation and experience, I have endeavoured to point out in my work on Chronic Diseases, to which I must refer the reader.
Before commencing the treatment of a chronic disease, it is necessary to make the most careful investigation139) as to whether the patient has had a venereal infection (or an infection with condylomatous gonorrhoea); for then the treatment must be directed towards this alone, when only the signs of syphilis (or of the rarer condylomatous disease) are present, but this disease is very seldom met with alone nowadays. If such infection have previously occurred, this must also be borne in mind in the treatment of those cases in which psora is present, because in them the latter is complicated with the former, as is always the case when the symptoms are not those of pure syphilis; for when the physician thinks he has a case of old venereal disease before him, he has always, or almost always, to treat a syphilitic affection accompanied mostly by (complicated with) psora, for the internal itch dyscrasia (the psora) is far the most frequent (most certain) fundamental cause of chronic diseases, either united (complicated) with syphilis (or with sycosis), if the latter infections have avowedly occurred; or, as is much more frequently the case, psora is the sole fundamental cause of all other chronic maladies, whatever names they may bear, which are, moreover, so often bungled, increased and disfigured to a monstrous extent by allopathic unskillfulness.
Before commencing the treatment of a chronic disease, it is necessary to make the most careful investigation139) as to whether the patient has had a venereal infection (or an infection with condylomatous gonorrhoea); for then the treatment must be directed towards this alone, when only the signs of syphilis (or of the rarer condylomatous disease) are present, but this disease is very seldom met with alone nowadays. If such infection have previously occurred, this must also be borne in mind in the treatment of those cases in which psora is present, because in them the latter is complicated with the former, as is always the case when the symptoms are not those of pure syphilis; for when the physician thinks he has a case of old venereal disease before him, he has always, or almost always, to treat a syphilitic affection accompanied mostly by (complicated with) psora, for the internal itch dyscrasia (the psora) is far the most frequent fundamental cause of chronic diseases. At times, both miasms may be complicated also with sycosis in chronically diseased organisms, or, as is much more frequently the case, psora is the sole fundamental cause of all other chronic maladies, whatever names they may bear, which are, moreover, so often bungled, increased and disfigured to a monstrous extent by allopathic unskillfulness.
When the above information has been gained, it still remains for the homoeopathic physician to ascertain what kinds of allopathic treatment had up to that date been adopted for the chronic disease, what perturbing medicines had been chiefly and most frequently employed, also what mineral baths had been used and what effects these had produced, in order to understand in some measure the degeneration of the disease from its original state, and, where possible, to correct in part these pernicious artificial operations, or to enable him to avoid the employment of medicines that have already been improperly used.
The age of the patient, his mode of living and diet, his occupation, his domestic position, his social relation and so forth, must next be taken into consideration, in order to ascertain whether these things have tended to increase his malady, or in how far they may favour or hinder the treatment. In like manner the state of his disposition and mind must be attended to, to learn whether that presents any obstacles to the treatment, or requires to be directed encouraged or modified.
After this is done, the physician should endeavour in repeated conversations with the patient to trace the picture of his disease as completely as possible, according to the directions given above, in order to be able to elucidate the most striking and peculiar (characteristic) symptoms, in accordance with which he selects the first antipsoric or other remedy having the greatest symptomatic resemblance, for the commencement of the treatment, and so forth.
Of psoric origin are almost all those diseases that I have above termed one-sided, which appear to be more difficult to cure in consequence of this one-sidedness, all their other morbid symptoms disappearing, as it were, before the single, great, prominent symptom. Of this character are what are termed mental diseases. They do not, however, constitute a class of disease sharply separated from all others, since in all other so-called corporeal diseases the condition of the disposition and mind is always altered140); and in all cases of disease we are called on to cure, the state of the patient's disposition is to be particularly noted, along with the totality of the symptoms, if we would trace an accurate picture of the disease, in order to be able therefrom to treat it homoeopathically with success.
This holds good to such an extent, that the state of the disposition of the patient often chiefly determines the selection of the homoeopathic remedy, as being a decidedly characteristic symptom which can least of all remain concealed from the accurately observing physician.
The Creator of therapeutic agents has also had particular regard to this main feature of all diseases, the altered state of the disposition and mind, for there is no powerful medicinal substance in the world which does not very notably alter the state of the disposition and mind in the healthy individual who tests it, and every medicine does so in a different manner.
We shall, therefore, never be able to cure conformably to nature – that is to say, homoeopathically – if we do not, in every case of disease, even in such as are acute, observe, along with the other symptoms, those relating to the changes in the state of the mind and disposition, and if we do not select, for the patient's relief, from among the medicines a disease-force which, in addition to the similarity of its other symptoms to those of the disease, is also capable of producing a similar state of the disposition and mind.141)
The instructions I have to give relative to the cure of mental diseases may be confined to a very few remarks, as they are to be cured in the same way as all other diseases, namely, by a remedy which shows, by the symptoms it causes in the body and mind of a healthy individual, a power of producing a morbid state as similar as possible to the case of disease before us, and in no other way can they be cured.
Almost all the so-called mental and emotional diseases are nothing more than corporeal diseases in which the symptom of derangement of the mind and disposition peculiar to each of them is increased, while the corporeal symptoms decline (more or less rapidly), till it at length attains the most striking one-sidedness, almost as though it were a local disease in the invisible subtle organ of the mind or disposition.
The cases are not rare in which a so-called corporeal disease that threatens to be fatal – a suppuration of the lungs, or the deterioration of some other important viscus, or some other disease of acute character, e.g., in childbed, etc. – becomes transformed into insanity, into a kind of melancholia or into mania by a rapid increase of the psychical symptoms that were previously present, whereupon the corporeal symptoms lose all their danger; these latter improve almost to perfect health, or rather they decrease to such a degree that their obscured presence can only be detected by the observation of a physician gifted with perseverance and penetration. In this manner they become transformed into a one-sided and, as it were, a local disease, in which the symptom of the mental disturbance, which was at first but slight, increases so as to be the chief symptom, and in a great measure occupies the place of the other (corporeal) symptoms, whose intensity it subdues in a palliative manner, so that, in short, the affections of the grosser corporeal organs become, as it were, transferred and conducted to the almost spiritual, mental and emotional organs, which the anatomist has never yet and never will reach with his scalpel.
In these diseases we must be very careful to make ourselves acquainted with the whole of the phenomena, both those belonging to the corporeal symptoms, and also, and indeed particularly, those appertaining to the accurate apprehension of the precise character of the chief symptom, of the peculiar and always predominating state of the mind and disposition, in order to discover, for the purpose of extinguishing the entire disease, among the remedies whose pure effects are known, a homoeopathic medicinal pathogenetic force – that is to say, a remedy which in its list of symptoms displays, with the greatest possible similarity, not only the corporeal morbid symptoms present in the case of disease before us, but also especially this mental and emotional state.
To this collection of symptoms belongs in the first place the accurate description of all the phenomena of the previous so-called corporeal disease, before it degenerated into a one-sided increase of the mental symptoms142), and became a disease of the mind and disposition. This may be learned from the report of the patient's friends.
A comparison of these previous symptoms of the corporeal disease with the traces of them that still remain, though they have become less perceptible (but which even now sometimes become prominent, when a lucid interval and a transient alleviation of the psychical disease occurs), will serve to prove them to be still present, though obscured.
By adding to this the state of the mind and disposition143) accurately observed by the patient's friends and by the physician himself, we have thus constructed the complete picture of the disease, for which in order to effect the homoeopathic cure of the disease, a medicine capable of producing strikingly similar symptoms, and especially an analogous disorder of the mind, must be sought for among the antipsoric remedies, if the physical disease have already lasted some time.
If, however, insanity or mania (caused by fright, vexation, the abuse of spirituous liquors, etc.) have suddenly broken out as an acute disease in the patient's ordinary calm state, although it almost always arises from internal psora, like a flame bursting forth from it, yet when it occurs in this acute manner it should not be immediately treated with antipsoric, but in the first place with remedies indicated for it out of the order class of proved medicaments (e.g., aconite, belladonna, stramonium, hyoscyamus, mercury, etc.) in highly potentised, minute, homoeopathic doses, in order to subdue it so far that the psora shall for the time revert to its former latent state, wherein the patient appears as if quite well.
But such a patient, who has recovered from an acute mental or emotional disease by the use of these non-antipsoric medicines, should never be regarded as cured; on the contrary, no time should be lost in attempting to free him completely144), by means of a prolonged antipsoric treatment, from the chronic miasm of the psora, which, it is true, has now become once more latent but is quite ready to break out anew; if this be done, there is no fear of another similar attack, if he attend faithfully to the diet and regimen prescribed for him.
But if the antipsoric treatment be omitted, then we may almost assuredly expect, from a much slighter cause than brought on the first attack of the insanity, the speedy occurrence of a new and more lasting and severe fit, during which the psora usually develops itself completely, and passes into either a periodic or continued mental derangement, which is then more difficult to be cured by antipsorics.
If the mental disease be not quite developed, and if it be still somewhat doubtful whether it really arose from a corporeal affection, or did not rather result from faults of education, bad practices, corrupt morals, neglect of the mind, superstition or ignorance; the mode of deciding this point will be, that if it proceed from one or other of the latter causes it will diminish and be improved by sensible friendly exhortations, consolatory arguments, serious representations and sensible advice, whereas a real moral or mental malady, depending on bodily disease, would be speedily aggravated by such a course, the melancholic would become still more dejected, querulous, inconsolable and reserved, the spiteful maniac would thereby become still more exasperated, and the chattering fool would become manifestly more foolish.145)
There are, however, as has just been stated, certainly a few emotional diseases which have not merely been developed into that form out of corporeal diseases, but which, in an inverse manner, the body being but slightly indisposed, originate and are kept up by emotional causes, such as continued anxiety, worry, vexation, wrongs and the frequent occurrence of great fear and fright. This kind of emotional diseases in time destroys the corporeal health, often to a great degree.
It is only such emotional diseases as these, which were first engendered and subsequently kept up by the mind itself, that, while they are yet recent and before they have made very great inroads on the corporeal state, may, by means of psychical remedies, such as a display of confidence, friendly exhortations, sensible advice, and often by a well-disguised deception, be rapidly changed into a healthy state of the mind (and with appropriate diet and regimen, seemingly into a healthy state of the body also.)
But the fundamental cause in these cases also is a psoric miasm, which was only not yet quite near its full development, and for security's sake, the seemingly cured patient should be subjected to a radical, antipsoric treatment, in order that he may not again, as might easily occur, fall into a similar state of mental disease.
In mental and emotional diseases resulting from corporeal maladies, which can only be cured by homoeopathic antipsoric medicine conjoined with carefully regulated mode of life, an appropriate psychical behaviour towards the patient on the part of those about him and of the physician must be scrupulously observed, by way of an auxiliary mental regimen. To furious mania we must oppose calm intrepidity and cool, firm resolution – to doleful, querulous lamentation, a mute display of commiseration in looks and gestures – to senseless chattering, a silence not wholly inattentive – to disgusting and abominable conduct and to conversation of a similar character, total inattention. We must merely endeavour to prevent the destruction and injury of surrounding objects, without reproaching the patient for his acts, and everything must be arranged in such a way that the necessity for any corporeal punishments and tortures146) whatever may be avoided. This is so much the more easily effected, because in the administration of the medicine – the only circumstance in which the employment of coercion could be justified – in the homoeopathic system the small doses of the appropriate medicine never offend the taste, and may consequently be given to the patient without his knowledge in his drink, so that all compulsion is unnecessary.
On the other hand, contradiction, eager explanations, rude corrections and invectives, as also weak, timorous yielding, are quite out of place with such patients; they are equally pernicious modes of treating mental and emotional maladies. But such patients are most of all exasperated and their complaint aggravated by contumely, fraud, and deceptions that they can detect. The physician and keeper must always pretend to believe them to be possessed of reason. All kinds of external disturbing influences on their senses and disposition should be if possible removed; there are no amusements for their clouded spirit, no salutary distractions, no means of instruction, no soothing effects from conversation, books or other things for the soul that pines or frets in the chains of the diseased body, no invigoration for it, but the care; it is only when the bodily health is changed for the better that tranquillity and comfort again beam upon their mind.147)
If the antipsoric remedies selected for each particular case of mental or emotional disease (there are incredibly numerous varieties of them) be quite homoeopathically suited for the faithfully traced picture of the morbid state, which, if there be a sufficient number of this kind of medicines known in respect of their pure effects, is ascertained by an indefatigable search for the most appropriate homoeopathic remedy all the more easily, as the emotional and mental state, constituting the principal symptom of such a patient, is so unmistakably perceptible, – then the most striking improvement in no very long time, which could not be brought about by physicking the patient to death with the largest oft-repeated doses of all other unsuitable (allopathic) medicines. Indeed, I can confidently assert, from great experience, that the vast superiority of the homoeopathic system over all other conceivable methods of the treatment is nowhere displayed in a more triumphant light than in mental and emotional diseases of long standing, which originally sprang from corporeal maladies or were developed simultaneously with them.
The intermittent diseases deserve a special consideration, as well those that recur at certain periods – like the great number of intermittent fevers, and the apparently non-febrile affections that recur at intervals like intermittent fevers – as also those in which certain morbid states alternate at uncertain intervals with morbid states of a different kind.
These latter, alternating diseases, are also very numerous148), but all belong to the class of chronic diseases; they are generally a manifestation of developed psora alone, sometimes, but seldom, complicated with a syphilitic miasm, and therefore in the former case may be cured by antipsoric medicines; in the latter, however, in alternation with antisyphilitics as taught in my work on the Chronic Diseases.
The typical intermittent diseases are those where a morbid state of unvarying character returns at a tolerably fixed period, while the patient is apparently in good health, and takes its departure at an equally fixed period; this is observed in those apparently non-febrile morbid states that come and go in a periodical manner (at certain times), as well as in those of a febrile character, to wit, the numerous varieties of intermittent fevers.
Those apparently non-febrile, typical, periodically recurring morbid states just alluded to observed in one single patient at a time (they do not usually appear sporadically or epidemically) always belong to the chronic diseases, mostly to those that are purely psoric, are but seldom complicated with syphilis, and are successfully treated by the same means; yet it is sometimes necessary to employ as an intermediate remedy a small dose of a potentised solution of cinchona bark, in order to extinguish completely their intermittent type.
With regard to the intermittent fevers149), that prevail sporadically or epidemically (not those endemically located in marshy districts), we often find every paroxysm likewise composed of two opposite alternating states (cold, heat – heat, cold), more frequently still of three (cold, heat, sweat). Therefore the remedy selected for them from the general class of proved (common, not antipsoric) medicines must either (and remedies of this sort are the surest) be able likewise to produce in the healthy body two (or all three) similar alternating states, or else must correspond by similarity of symptoms, in the most homoeopathic manner possible, to the strongest, best marked, and most peculiar alternating state (either to the cold stage, or to the hot stage, or to the sweating state, each with its accessory symptoms, according as the one or other alternating state is the strongest and most peculiar); but the symptoms of the patient's health during the intervals when he is free from fever must be the chief guide to the most appropriate homoeopathic remedy.150)
The most appropriate and efficacious time for administering the medicine in these cases is immediately or very soon after the termination of the paroxysm, as soon as the patient has in some degree recovered from its effects; it has then time to effect all the changes in the organism requisite for the restoration of health, without any great disturbance or violent commotion; whereas the action of a medicine, be it ever so specifically appropriate, if given immediately before the paroxysm, coincides with the natural recurrence of the disease and causes such a reaction in the organism, such a violent contention, that an attack of that nature produces at the very least a great loss of strength, if it do not endanger life151). But if the medicine be given immediately after the termination of the fit, that is to say, at the period when the apyretic interval has commenced and a long time before there are any preparations for the next paroxysm, then the vital force of the organism is in the best possible condition to allow itself to be quietly altered by the remedy, and thus restored to the healthy state.
But if the stage of apyrexia be very short, as happens in some very bad fevers, or if it be disturbed by some of the after sufferings of the previous paroxysm, the dose of the homoeopathic medicine should be administered when the perspiration begins to abate, or the other subsequent phenomena of the expiring paroxysm begin to diminish.
It is only when the suitable medicine has with a single dose destroyed several fits and manifest health has ensued, but after some time indications of a new paroxysm appear, only then can and must the same medicine be given again, provided always the totality of the symptoms is still the same. This recurrence of the same fever after an interval of health is, however, only possible when the noxious influence that first excited the intermittent fever still continues to act upon the convalescent, as happens in marshy districts; in which case a permanent cure is often only possible by the removal of this exciting cause (as, for instance, a residence in a mountainous country if the case was one of marsh intermittent fever).
Not infrequently, the suitable medicine has with a single dose destroyed several attacks and brought about the return of health, but in the majority of cases, another dose must be administered after such attack. Better still, however, when the character of the symptoms has not changed, doses of the same medicine given according to the newer discovery of repetition of doses (see note to § 270), may be given without difficulty in dynamizing each successive dose with 10-12 succussions of the vial containing the medicinal substance. Nevertheless, there are at times cases, though seldom, where the intermittent fever returns after several days' well being. This return of the same fever after a healthy interval is only possible when the noxious principle that first caused the fever, is still acting upon the convalescent, as is the case in marshy regions. Here a permanent restoration can often take place only by getting away from this causative factor, as is possible by seeking a mountainous retreat, if the cause was a marshy fever.
As almost every medicine causes in its pure action a special, peculiar fever and even a kind of intermittent fever with its alternating states, differing from all other fevers that are caused by other medicines, homoeopathic remedies may be found in the extensive domain of medicines for all the numerous varieties of natural intermittent fevers and, for a great many of such fevers, even in the moderate collection of medicines already proved on the healthy individual.
But if the remedy found to be the homoeopathic specific for a prevalent epidemic of intermittent fever do not effect a perfect cure in some one or other patient, if it be not the influence of a marshy district that prevents the cure, it must always be the psoric miasm in the background, in which case antipsoric medicines must be employed until complete relief is obtained.
Epidemics of intermittent fever, in situations where none are endemic, are of the nature of chronic diseases, composed of single acute paroxysms; each single epidemic is of a peculiar, uniform character common to all the individuals attacked, and when this character is found in the totality of the symptoms common to all, it guides us to the discovery of the homoeopathic (specific) remedy suitable for all the cases, which is almost universally serviceable in those patients who enjoyed tolerable health before the occurrence of the epidemic, that is to say, who were not chronic sufferers from developed psora.
If, however, in such an epidemic intermittent fever the first paroxysms have been left uncured, or if the patients have been weakened by improper allopathic treatment; then the inherent psora that exists, alas! in so many persons, although in a latent state, becomes developed, takes on the type of the intermittent fever, and to all appearance continues to play the part of the epidemic intermittent fever, so that the medicine, which would have been useful in the first paroxysms (rarely an antipsoric), is now no longer suitable and cannot be of any service. We have now to do with a psoric intermittent fever only, and this will generally be subdued by minute and rarely repeated doses of sulphur or hepar sulphuris in a high potency.
In those often very pernicious intermittent fevers which attack a single person, not residing in a marshy district, we must also at first, as in the case of acute diseases generally, which they resemble in respect to their psoric origin, employ for some days, to render what service it may, a homoeopathic remedy selected for the special case from the other class of proved (not antipsoric) medicines; but if, notwithstanding this procedure, the recovery is deferred, we know that we have psora on the point of its development, and that in this case antipsoric medicines alone can effect a radical cure.
The intermittent fevers endemic in marshy districts and tracts of country frequently exposed to inundations, give a great deal of work to physicians of the old school, and yet a healthy man may in his youth become habituated even to marshy districts and remain in good health, provided he preserves a faultless regimen and his system is not lowered by want, fatigue or pernicious passions. The intermittent fevers endemic there would at the most only attack him on his first arrival; but one or two very small doses of a highly potentised solution of cinchona bark would, conjointly with the well-regulated mode of living just alluded to, speedily free him from the disease. But persons who, while taking sufficient corporeal exercise and pursuing a healthy system of intellectual occupations and bodily regimen, cannot be cured of marsh intermittent fever by one or a few of such small doses of cinchona – in such persons psora, striving to develop itself, always lies at the root of their malady, and their intermittent fever cannot be cured in the marshy district without antipsoric treatment152) 153)]. It sometimes happens that when these patients exchange, without delay, the marshy district for one that is dry and mountainous, recovery apparently ensues (the fever leaves them) if they be not yet deeply sunk in disease, that is to say, if the psora was not completely developed in them and can consequently return to its latent state; but they will never regain perfect health without antipsoric treatment.
Having thus seen what attention should, in the homoeopathic treatment, be paid to the chief varieties of diseases and to the peculiar circumstances connected with them, we now pass on to what we have to say respecting the remedies and the mode of employing them, together with the diet and regimen to be observed during their use. Every perceptibly progressive and strikingly increasing amelioration in a transient (acute) or persistent (chronic) disease, is a condition which, as long as it lasts, completely precludes every repetition of the administration of any medicine whatsoever, because all the good the medicine taken continues to effect is new hastening towards its completion. Every new dose of any medicine whatsoever, even of the one last administered, that has hitherto shown itself to be salutary, would in this case disturb the work of amelioration.
Having thus seen what attention should, in the homoeopathic treatment, be paid to the chief varieties of diseases and to the peculiar circumstances connected with them, we now pass on to what we have to say respecting the remedies and the mode of employing them, together with the diet and regimen to be observed during their use.
On the other hand, the slowly progressive amelioration consequent on a very minute dose, whose selection has been accurately homoeopathic, when it has met with no hindrance to the duration of its action, sometimes accomplishes all the good the remedy in question is capable from its nature of performing in a given case, in periods of forty, fifty or a hundred days. This is, however, but rarely the case; and besides, it must be a matter of great importance to the physician as well as to the patient that were it possible, this period should be diminished to one-half, one-quarter, and even still less, so that a much more rapid cure might be obtained. And this may be very happily affected, as recent and oft-repeated observations have shown, under three conditions: firstly, if the medicine selected with the utmost care was perfectly homoeopathic; secondly, if it was given in the minutest dose, so as to produce the least possible excitation of the vital force, and yet sufficient to effect the necessary change in it; and thirdly, if this minutest yet powerful dose of the best selected medicine be repeated at suitable intervals154), which experience shall have pronounced to be the best adapted for accelerating the cure to the utmost extent, yet without the vital force, which it is sought to influence to the production of a similar medicinal disease, being able to feel itself excited and roused to adverse reactions.
Every perceptibly progressive and strikingly increasing amelioration during treatment is a condition which, as long as it lasts, completely precludes every repetition of the administration of any medicine whatsoever, because all the good the medicine taken continues to effect is now hastening towards its completion. This is not infrequently the case in acute diseases, but in more chronic diseases, on the other hand, a single dose of an appropriately selected homoeopathic remedy will at times complete even with but slowly progressive improvement and give the help which such a remedy in such a case can accomplish naturally within 40, 50, 60, 100 days. This is, however, but rarely the case; and besides, it must be a matter of great importance to the physician as well as to the patient that were it possible, this period should be diminished to one-half, one-quarter, and even still less, so that a much more rapid cure might be obtained. And this may be very happily affected, as recent and oft-repeated observations have taught me under the following conditions: firstly, if the medicine selected with the utmost care was perfectly homoeopathic; secondly, if it is highly potentised, dissolved in water and given in proper small dose that experience has taught as the most suitable in definite intervals for the quickest accomplishment of the cure but with the precaution, that the degree of every dose deviate somewhat from the preceding and following in order that the vital principle which is to be altered to a similar medicinal disease be not aroused to untoward reactions and revolt as is always the case155) with unmodified and especially rapidly repeated doses.
Under these conditions, the smallest doses of the best selected homoeopathic medicine may be repeated with the best, often with incredible results, at intervals of fourteen, twelve, ten, eight, seven days, and, where rapidity is requisite, in chronic diseases resembling cases of acute disease, at still shorter intervals, but in acute diseases at very much shorter periods – every twenty-four, twelve, eight, four hours, in the very acutest every hour, up to as often as every five minutes, – in ever case in proportion to the more or less rapid course of the diseases and of the action of the medicine employed, as is more distinctly explained in the last note.
It is impractical to repeat the same unchanged dose of a remedy once, not to mention its frequent repetition (and at short intervals in order not to delay the cure). The vital principle does not accept such unchanged doses without resistance, that is, without other symptoms of the medicine to manifest themselves than those similar to the disease to be cured, because the former dose has already accomplished the expected change in the vital principle and a second dynamically wholly similar, unchanged dose of the same medicine no longer finds, therefore, the same conditions of the vital force. The patient may indeed be made sick in another way by receiving other such unchanged doses, even sicker than he was, for now only those symptoms of the given remedy remain active which were not homoeopathic to the original disease, hence no step towards cure can follow, only a true aggravation of the condition of the patient. But if the succeeding dose is changed slightly every time, namely potentised somewhat higher (§ 269-270) then the vital principle may be altered without difficulty by the same medicine (the sensation of natural disease diminishing) and thus the cure brought nearer.156)
The dose of the same medicine may be repeated several times according to circumstances, but only so long as until either recovery ensues, or the same remedy ceases to do good and the rest of the disease, presenting a different group of symptoms, demands a different homoeopathic remedy.
For this purpose, we potentise anew the medicinal solution157) (with perhaps 8, 10, 12 succussions) from which we give the patient one or (increasingly) several teaspoonful doses, in long lasting diseases daily or every second day, in acute diseases every two to six hours and in very urgent cases every hour or oftener. Thus in chronic diseases, every correctly chosen homoeopathic medicine, even those whose action is of long duration, may be repeated daily for months with ever increasing success. If the solution is used up (in seven to fifteen days) it is necessary to add to the next solution of the same medicine if still indicated one or (though rarely) several pellets of a higher potency with which we continue so long as the patient experiences continued improvement without encountering one or another complaint that he never had before in his life. For if this happens, if the balance of the disease appears in a group of altered symptoms then another, one more homoeopathically related medicine must be chosen in place of the last and administered in the same repeated doses, mindful, however, of modifying the solution of every dose with thorough vigorous succussions, thus changing its degree of potency and increasing it somewhat. On the other hand, should there appear during almost daily repetition of the well indicated homoeopathic remedy, towards the end of the treatment of a chronic disease, so-called (§ 161) homoeopathic aggravations by which the balance of the morbid symptoms seem to again increase somewhat (the medicinal disease, similar to the original, now alone persistently manifests itself). The doses in that case must then be reduced still further and repeated in longer intervals and possibly stopped several days, in order to see if the convalescence need no further medicinal aid. The apparent symptoms (Schein - Symptome) caused by the excess of the homoeopathic medicine will soon disappear and leave undisturbed health in its wake. If only a small vial say a dram of dilute alcohol is used in the treatment, in which is contained and dissolved through succussion one globule of the medicine which is to be used by olfaction every two, three or four days, this also must be thoroughly succussed eight to ten times before each olfaction.
Every medicine prescribed for a case of disease which, in the course of its action, produces new and troublesome symptoms not appertaining to the disease to be cured, is not capable of effecting real improvement158), and cannot be considered as homoeopathically selected; it must, therefore, either, if the aggravation be considerable, be first partially neutralized as soon as possible by an antidote before giving the next remedy chosen more accurately according to similarity of action; or if the troublesome symptoms be not very violent, the next remedy must be given immediately, in order to take the place of the improperly selected one.159)
When, to the observant practitioner who accurately investigates the state of the disease, it is evident, in urgent cases after the lapse of only six, eight or twelve hours, that he has made a bad selection in the medicine last given, in that the patient's state is growing perceptibly, however slightly, worse from hour to hour, by the occurrence of new symptoms and sufferings, it is not only allowable for him, but it is his duty to remedy his mistake, by the selection and administration of a homoeopathic medicine not merely tolerably suitable, but the most appropriate possible for the existing state of the disease (§ 167).
There are some medicines (e.g., ignatia, also bryonia and rhus, and sometimes belladonna) whose power of altering man's health consists chiefly in alternating actions – a kind of primary-action symptoms that are in part opposed to each other. Should the practitioner find, on prescribing one of these, selected on strict homoeopathic principles, that no improvement follows, he will in most cases soon effect his object by giving (in acute diseases, even within a few hours) a fresh and equally small dose of the same medicine.160)
But should we find, during the employment of the other medicines in chronic (psoric) diseases, that the best selected homoeopathic (antipsoric) medicine in the suitable (minutest) dose does not effect an improvement, this is a sure sign that the cause that keeps up the disease still persists, and that there is some circumstances in the mode of life of the patient or in the situation in which he is placed, that must be removed in order that a permanent cure may ensue.
Among the signs that, in all diseases, especially in such as are of an acute nature, inform us of a slight commencement of amelioration or aggravation that is not perceptible to every one, the state of mind and the whole demeanour of the patient are the most certain and instructive. In the case of ever so slight an improvement we observe a greater degree of comfort, increased calmness and freedom of the mind, higher spirits – a kind of return of the natural state. In the case of ever so small a commencement of aggravation we have, on the contrary, the exact opposite of this: a constrained helpless, pitiable state of the disposition, of the mind, of the whole demeanour, and of all gestures, postures and actions, which may be easily perceived on close observation, but cannot be described in words.161)
The other new or increased symptoms or, on the contrary, the diminution of the original ones without any addition of new ones, will soon dispel all doubts from the mind of the attentively observing and investigating practitioner with regard to the aggravation or amelioration; though there are among patients persons who are either incapable of giving an account of this amelioration or aggravation, or are unwilling to confess it.
But even with such individuals we may convince ourselves on this point by going with them through all the symptoms enumerated in our notes of the disease one by one, and finding that they complain of no new unusual symptoms in addition to these, and that none of the old symptoms are worse. If this be the case, and if an improvement in the disposition and mind have already been observed, the medicine must have effected positive diminution of the disease, or, if sufficient time have not yet elapsed for this, it will soon effect it. Now, supposing the remedy is perfectly appropriate, if the improvement delay too long in making its appearance, this depends either on some error of conduct on the part of the patient, or on the homoeopathic aggravation produced by medicine lasting too long (§ 157), consequently on the dose not being small enough.
But even with such individuals we may convince ourselves on this point by going with them through all the symptoms enumerated in our notes of the disease one by one, and finding that they complain of no new unusual symptoms in addition to these, and that none of the old symptoms are worse. If this be the case, and if an improvement in the disposition and mind have already been observed, the medicine must have effected positive diminution of the disease, or, if sufficient time have not yet elapsed for this, it will soon effect it. Now, supposing the remedy is perfectly appropriate, if the improvement delay too long in making its appearance, this depends either on some error of conduct on the part of the patient, or on other interfering circumstances.
On the other hand, if the patient mention the occurrence of some fresh accidents and symptoms of importance – signs that the medicine chosen has not been strictly homoeopathic – even though he should good-naturedly assure us that he feels better162), we must not believe this assurance, but regard his state as aggravated as it will soon be perfectly apparent it is.
The true physician will take care to avoid making favourite remedies of medicines, the employment of which he has, by chance, perhaps found often useful, and which he has had opportunities of using with good effect. If he do so, some remedies of rarer use, which would have been more homoeopathically suitable, consequently more serviceable, will often be neglected.
The true practitioner, moreover, will not in his practice with mistrustful weakness neglect the employment of those remedies that he may now and then have employed with bad effects, owing to an erroneous selection (from his own fault, therefore), or avoid them for other (false) reasons, as that they were unhomoeopathic for the case of disease before him; he must bear in mind the truth, that of medicinal agents that one alone invariably deserves the preference in every case of disease which correspond most accurately by similarity to the totality of the characteristic symptoms, and that no paltry prejudices should interfere with this serious choice.
Considering the minuteness of the doses necessary and proper in homoeopathic treatment, we can easily understand that during the treatment everything must be removed from the diet and regimen which can have any medicinal action, in order that the small dose may not be overwhelmed and extinguished or disturbed by any foreign medicinal irritant.163)
Hence the careful investigation into such obstacles to cure is so much the more necessary in the case of patients affected by chronic diseases, as their diseases are usually aggravated by such noxious influences and other disease-causing errors in the diet and regimen, which often pass unnoticed.164) 165)
The most appropriate regimen during the employment of medicine in chronic diseases consists in the removal of such obstacles to recovery, and in supplying where necessary the reverse: innocent moral and intellectual recreation, active exercise in the open air in almost all kinds of weather (daily walks, slight manual labour), suitable, nutritious, unmedicinal food and drink, etc.
In acute diseases, on the other hand – except in cases of mental alienation – the subtle, unerring internal sense of the awakened life-preserving faculty determines so clearly and precisely, that the physician only requires to counsel the friends and attendants to put no obstacles in the way of this voice of nature by refusing anything the patient urgently desires in the way of food, or by trying to persuade him to partake of anything injurious.
The desire of the patient affected by an acute disease with regard to food and drink is certainly chiefly for things that give palliative relief: they are, however, not strictly speaking of a medicinal character, and merely supply a sort of want. The slight hindrances that the gratification of this desire, within moderate bounds, could oppose to the radical removal of the disease166) will be amply counteracted and overcome by the power of the homoeopathically suited medicine and the vital force set free by it, as also by the refreshment that follows from taking what has been so ardently longed for. In like manner, in acute diseases the temperature of the room and the heat or coolness of the bed-coverings must also be arranged entirely in conformity with the patients' wish. He must be kept free from all over-exertion of mind and exciting emotions.
The true physician must be provided with genuine medicines of unimpaired strength, so that he may be able to rely upon their therapeutic powers; he must be able, himself, to judge of their genuineness.
It should be a matter of conscience with him to be thoroughly convinced in every case that the patient always takes the right medicine and therefore he must give the patient, by his own hand167), the correctly chosen medicine prepared, moreover, by himself.
Substances belonging to the animal and vegetable kingdoms possess their medicinal qualities most perfectly in their raw state.168)
We gain possession of the powers of indigenous plants and of such as may be had in a fresh state in the most complete and certain manner by mixing their freshly expressed juice immediately with equal parts of spirits of wine of a strength sufficient to burn in a lamp. After this has stood a day and a night in a close stoppered bottle and deposited the fibrinous and albuminous matters, the clear superincumbent fluid is then to be decanted off for medicinal use169). All fermentation of the vegetable juice will be at once checked by the spirits of wine mixed with it and rendered impossible for the future, and the entire medicinal power of the vegetable juice is thus retained (perfect and uninjured) for ever by keeping the preparation in well-corked bottles and excluded from the sun's light.170)
The other exotic plants, barks, seeds and roots that cannot be obtained in the fresh state the sensible practitioner will never take in the pulverized form on trust, but will first convince himself of their genuineness in their crude, entire state before making any employment of them.171)
The homoeopathic system of medicine develops for its use, to a hitherto unheard-of degree, the spirit-like medicinal powers of the crude substances by means of a process peculiar to it and which has hitherto never been tried, whereby only they all become penetratingly efficacious and remedial, even those that in the crude state give no evidence of the slightest medicinal power on the human body.
The homoeopathic system of medicine develops for its special use, to a hitherto unheard-of degree, the inner medicinal powers of the crude substances by means of a process peculiar to it and which has hitherto never been tried, whereby only they all become immeasurably and penetratingly efficacious172) and remedial, even those that in the crude state give no evidence of the slightest medicinal power on the human body. This remarkable change in the qualities of natural bodies develops the latent, hitherto unperceived, as if slumbering173) hidden, dynamic (§ 11) powers which influence the life principle, change the well-being of animal life174). This is effected by mechanical action upon their smallest particles by means of rubbing and shaking and through the addition of an indifferent substance, dry or fluid, are separated from each other. This process is called dynamizing, potentising (development of medicinal power) and the products are dynamizations175) or potencies in different degrees.
Thus two drops of the fresh vegetable juice mingled with equal parts of alcohol are diluted with ninety-eight drops of alcohol and potentised by means of two succussions, whereby the first development of power is formed and this process is repeated through twenty-nine more phials, each of which is filled three-quarters full with ninety-nine drops of alcohol, and each succeeding phial is to be provided with one drop from the preceding phial (which has already been shaken twice) and is in its turn twice shaken176), and in the same manner at last the thirtieth development of power (potentised decillionth dilution X) which is the one most generally used.
In order to best obtain this development of power, a small part of the substance to be dynamized, say one grain, is triturated for three hours with three times one hundred grains sugar of milk according to the method described below177) up to the one-millionth part in powder form. For reasons given below (b) one grain of this powder is dissolved in 500 drops of a mixture of one part of alcohol and four parts of distilled water, of which one drop is put in a vial. To this are added 100 drops of pure alcohol178) and given one hundred strong succussions with the hand against a hard but elastic body179). This is the medicine in the first degree of dynamization with which small sugar globules180) may then be moistened181) and quickly spread on blotting paper to dry and kept in a well-corked vial with the sign of (I) degree of potency. Only one182) globule of this is taken for further dynamization, put in a second new vial (with a drop a water in order to dissolve it) and then with 100 powerful succussions. With this alcoholic medicinal fluid globules are again moistened, spread upon blotting paper and dried quickly, put into a well-stoppered vial and protected from heat and sun light and given the sign (II) of the second potency. And in this way the process is continued until the twenty-ninth is reached. Then with 100 drops of alcohol by means of 100 succussions, an alcoholic medicinal fluid is formed with which the thirtieth dynamization degree is given to properly moistened and dried sugar globules. By means of this manipulation of crude drugs are produced preparations which only in this way reach the full capacity to forcibly influence the suffering parts of the sick organism. In this way, by means of similar artificial morbid affection, the influence of the natural disease on the life principle present within is neutralized. By means of this mechanical procedure, provided it is carried out regularly according to the above teaching, a change is effected in the given drug, which in its crude state shows itself only as material, at times as unmedicinal material but by means of such higher and higher dynamization, it is changed and subtlised at last into spirit-like183) medicinal power, which, indeed, in itself does not fall within our senses but for which the medicinally prepared globule, dry, but more so when dissolved in water, becomes the carrier, and in this condition, manifests the healing power of this invisible force in the sick body.
All other substances adapted for medicinal use – except sulphur, which has of late years been only employed in the form of a highly diluted (X) tincture – as pure or oxidized and sulphuretted metals and other minerals, petroleum, phosphorus, as also parts and juices of plants that can only be obtained in the dry state, animal substances, neutral salts, etc., all these are first to be potentised by trituration for three hours, up to the millionfold pulverulent attenuation, and of this one grain is to be dissolved, and brought to the thirtieth development of power through twenty-seven attenuating phials, in the same manner as the vegetable juices184).
If the physician prepares his homoeopathic medicines himself, as he should reasonably do in order to save men from sickness185), he may use the fresh plant itself, as but little of the crude article is required, if he does not need the expressed juice perhaps for purposes of healing. He takes a few grains in a mortar and with 100 grains sugar of milk three distinct times brings them to the one-millionth trituration (§ 270) before further potentising of a small portion of this by means of shaking is undertaken, a procedure to be observed also with the rest of crude drugs of either dry or oily nature.
In no case is it requisite to administer more than one single, simple medicinal substance at one time.186)
Such a globule187), placed dry upon the tongue, is one of the smallest doses for a moderate recent case of illness. Here but few nerves are touched by the medicine. A similar globule, crushed with some sugar of milk and dissolved in a good deal of water (§ 247) and stirred well before every administration will produce a far more powerful medicine for the use of several days. Every dose, no matter how minute, touches, on the contrary, many nerves.
It is not conceivable how the slightest dubiety could exist as to whether it was more consistent with nature and more rational to prescribe a single well-known medicine at one time in a disease, or a mixture of several differently acting drugs.
In no case under treatment is it necessary and therefore not permissible to administer to a patient more than one single, simple medicinal substance at one time. It is inconceivable how the slightest doubt could exist as to whether it was more consistent with nature and more rational to prescribe a single, simple188) medicine at one time in a disease or a mixture of several differently acting drugs. It is absolutely not allowed in homoeopathy, the one true, simple and natural art of healing, to give the patient at one time two different medicinal substance.
As the true physician finds in simple medicines, administered singly and uncombined, all that he can possibly desire (artificial disease-force which are able by homoeopathic power completely to overpower, extinguish, and permanently cure natural diseases), he will, mindful of the wise maxim that “it is wrong to attempt to employ complex means when simple means suffice,” never think of giving as a remedy any but a single, simple medicinal substance; for these reasons also, because even though the simple medicines were thoroughly proved with respect to their pure peculiar effects on the unimpaired healthy state of man, it is yet impossible to foresee how two and more medicinal substances might, when compounded, hinder and alter each other's actions on the human body; and because, on the other hand, a simple medicinal substance when used in diseases, the totality of whose symptoms is accurately known, renders efficient aid by itself alone, if it be homoeopathically selected; and supposing the worst case to happen, that it was not chosen in strict conformity to similarity of symptoms, and therefore does no good, it is yet so far useful that it promoted our knowledge of therapeutic agents, because, by the new symptoms excited by it in such a case, those symptoms which this medicinal substance had already shown in experiments on the healthy human body are confirmed, an advantage that is lost by the employment of all compound remedies189).
The suitableness of a medicine for any given case of disease does not depend on its accurate homoeopathic selection alone, but likewise on the proper size, or rather smallness, of the dose. If we give too strong a dose of a medicine which may have been even quite homoeopathically chosen for the morbid state before us, it must, notwithstanding the inherent beneficial character of its nature, prove injurious by its mere magnitude, and by the unnecessary, too strong impression which, by virtue of its homoeopathic similarity of action, it makes upon the vital force which it attacks and, through the vital force, upon those parts of the organism which are the most sensitive, and are already most affected by the natural disease.
For this reason, a medicine, even though it may be homoeopathically suited to the case of disease, does harm in every dose that is too large, the more harm the larger the dose, and by the magnitude of the dose it does more harm the greater its homoeopathicity and the higher the potency190) selected, and it does much more injury than any equally large dose of a medicine that is unhomoeopathic, and in no respect adapted (allopathic) to the morbid state; for in the former case the so-called homoeopathic aggravation (§ 157-160) – that is to say, the very analogous medicinal disease produced by the vital force stirred up by the excessively large dose of medicine, in the parts of the organism that are most suffering and most irritated by the original disease – which medicinal disease, had it been of appropriate intensity, would have gently effected a cure – rises to an injurious height191); the patient, to be sure, no longer suffers from the original disease, for that has been homoeopathically eradicated, but he suffers all the more from the excessive medicinal disease and from useless exhaustion of his strength.
For this reason, a medicine, even though it may be homoeopathically suited to the case of disease, does harm in every dose that is too large, the more harm the larger the dose, and by the magnitude of the dose and in strong doses' it does more harm the greater its homoeopathicity and the higher the potency192) selected, and it does much more injury than any equally large dose of a medicine that is unhomoeopathic, and in no respect adapted to the morbid state (allopathic). Too large doses of an accurately chosen homoeopathic medicine, and especially when frequently repeated, bring about much trouble as a rule. They put the patient not seldom in danger of life or make this disease almost incurable. They do indeed extinguish the natural disease so far as the sensation of the life principle is concerned and the patient no longer suffers from the original disease from the moment the too strong dose of the homoeopathic medicine acted upon him but he is in consequence more ill with the similar but more violent medicinal disease which is most difficult to destroy193).
For the same reason, and because a medicine, provided the dose of it was sufficiently small, is all the more salutary and almost marvellously efficacious the more accurately homoeopathic its selection has been, a medicine whose selection has been accurately homoeopathic must be all the more salutary the more its dose is reduced to the degree of minuteness appropriate for a gentle remedial effect.
Here the question arises, what is this most suitable degree of minuteness for sure and gentle remedial effect; how small, in other words, must be the dose of each individual medicine, homoeopathically selected for a case of disease, to effect the best cure? To solve this problem, and to determine for every particular medicine, what dose of it will suffice for homoeopathic therapeutic purposes and yet be so minute that the gentlest and most rapid cure may be thereby obtained – to solve this problem is, as may easily be conceived, not the work off theoretical speculation; not by fine-spun reasoning, not by specious sophistry can we expect to obtain the solution of this problem. Pure experiment, careful observation, and accurate experience can alone determine this; and it were absurd to adduce the large doses of unsuitable (allopathic) medicines of the old system, which do not touch the diseased side of the organism homoeopathically, but only attack the parts unaffected by the disease, in opposition to what pure experience pronounces respecting the smallness of the doses required for homoeopathic cures.
Here the question arises, what is this most suitable degree of minuteness for sure and gentle remedial effect; how small, in other words, must be the dose of each individual medicine, homoeopathically selected for a case of disease, to effect the best cure? To solve this problem, and to determine for every particular medicine, what dose of it will suffice for homoeopathic therapeutic purposes and yet be so minute that the gentlest and most rapid cure may be thereby obtained – to solve this problem is, as may easily be conceived, not the work off theoretical speculation; not by fine-spun reasoning, not by specious sophistry can we expect to obtain the solution of this problem. It is just as impossible as to tabulate in advance all imaginable cases. Pure experiment, careful observation of the sensitiveness of each patient, and accurate experience can alone determine this; and it were absurd to adduce the large doses of unsuitable (allopathic) medicines of the old system, which do not touch the diseased side of the organism homoeopathically, but only attack the parts unaffected by the disease, in opposition to what pure experience pronounces respecting the smallness of the doses required for homoeopathic cures.
This pure experience shows universally, that if the disease do not manifestly depend on a considerable deterioration of an important viscus (even though it belong to the chronic and complicated diseases), and if during the treatment all other alien medicinal influences are kept away from the patients, the dose of the homoeopathically selected remedy can never be prepared so small that it shall not be stronger than the natural disease, and shall not be able to overpower, extinguish and cure it, at least in part as long as it is capable of causing some, though but a slight preponderance of its own symptoms over those of the disease resembling it (slight homoeopathic aggravation, § 157-160) immediately after its ingestion.
This pure experience shows universally, that if the disease do not manifestly depend on a considerable deterioration of an important viscus (even though it belong to the chronic and complicated diseases), and if during the treatment all other alien medicinal influences are kept away from the patients, the dose of the homoeopathically selected and highly potentised remedy for the beginning of treatment of an important, especially chronic disease can never be prepared so small that it shall not be stronger than the natural disease and shall not be able to overpower it, at least in part and extinguish it from the sensation of the principle of life and thus make a beginning of a cure.
This incontrovertible axiom of experience is the standard of measurement by which the doses of all homoeopathic medicines, without exception, are to be reduced to such an extent that after their ingestion, they shall excite a scarcely observable homoeopathic aggravation; let the diminution of the dose go ever so far, and appear ever so incredible to the materialistic ideas of ordinary physicians194); their idle declamations must before the verdict of unerring experience.
The dose of the medicine that continues serviceable without producing new troublesome symptoms is to be continued while gradually ascending, so long as the patient with general improvement, begins to feel in a mild degree the return of one or several old original complaints. This indicates an approaching cure through a gradual ascending of the moderate doses modified each time by succussion (§ 247). It indicates that the vital principal no longer needs to be affected by the similar medicinal disease in order to lose the sensation of the natural disease (§ 148). It indicates that the life principle now free from the natural disease begins to suffer only something of the medicinal disease hitherto known as homoeopathic aggravation.
Every patient is, especially in his diseased point, capable of being influenced in an incredible degree by medicinal agents corresponding by similarity of action; and there is no person, be he ever so robust, and even though he be affected only with a chronic or so-called local disease, who will not soon experience the desired change in the affected part, if he take the salutary, homoeopathically suited medicine in the smallest conceivable dose, who, in a word, will not thereby be much more altered in his health than a healthy infant of but a day old would be. How insignificant and ridiculous is mere theoretical scepticism in opposition to this unerring, infallible experimental proof!
In order to be convinced of this, the patient is left without any medicine for eight, ten of fifteen days, meanwhile giving him only some powders of sugar of milk. If the few last complaints are due to the medicine simulating the former original disease symptoms, then these complaints will disappear in a few days or hours. If during these days without medicine, while continuing good hygienic regulations nothing more of the original disease is seen, he is probably cured. But if in the later days traces of the former morbid symptoms should show themselves, they are remnants of the original disease not wholly extinguished, which must be treated with renewed higher potencies of the remedy as directed before. If a cure is to follow, the first small doses must likewise be again gradually raised higher, but less and more slowly in patients where considerable irritability is evident than in those of less susceptibility, where the advance to higher dosage may be more rapid. There are patients whose impressionability compared to that of the insusceptible ones is like the ratio as 1000 to 1.
The smallest possible dose of homoeopathic medicine capable of producing only the very slightest homoeopathic aggravation, will, because it has the power of exciting symptoms bearing the greatest possible resemblance to the original disease (but yet stronger even in the minute dose), attack principally and almost solely the parts in the organism that are already affected, highly irritated, and rendered excessively susceptible to such a similar stimulus, and will alter the vital force that rules in them to a state of very similar artificial disease, somewhat greater in degree than the natural one was; this artificial disease will substitute itself for the natural (the original) disease, so that the living organism now suffers from the artificial medicinal disease alone, which, from its nature and owing to the minuteness of the dose, will soon be extinguished by the vital force that is striving to return to the normal state, and (if the disease were only an acute one) the body is left perfectly free from disease – that is to say, quite well.
It would be a certain sign that the doses were altogether too large, if during treatment, especially in chronic disease, the first dose should bring forth a so-called homoeopathic aggravation, that is, a marked increase of the original morbid symptoms first discovered and in the same way every repeated dose (§ 247) however modified somewhat by shaking before its administration (i.e., more highly dynamized).195)
Now, in order to act really in conformity with nature, the true physician will prescribe his well-selected homoeopathic medicine only in exactly as small a dose as will just suffice to overpower and annihilate the disease before him – in a dose of such minuteness, that if human fallibility should betray him into administering an inappropriate medicine, the injury, accruing from its nature being unsuited to the disease will be diminished to a mere trifle; moreover the harm done by the smallest possible dose is so slight, that it may be immediately extinguished and repaired by the natural vital powers, and by the speedy administration of a remedy more suitable selected according to similarity of action, and given also in the smallest dose.
In order to work wholly according to nature, the true healing artist will prescribe the accurately chosen homoeopathic medicine most suitable in all respects in so small a dose on account of this alone. For should he be misled by human weakness to employ an unsuitable medicine, the disadvantage of its wrong relation to the disease would be so small that the patient could through his own vital powers and by means of early opposition (§ 249) of the correctly chosen remedy according to symptom similarly (and this also in the smallest dose) rapidly extinguish and repair it.
The action of a dose, moreover, dose not diminish in the direct ratio of the quantity of material medicine contained in the dilutions used in homoeopathic practice. Eight drops of the tincture of a medicine to the dose do not produce four times as much effect on the human body as two drops, but only about twice the effect that is produced by two drops to the dose. In like manner, one drop of a mixture of a drop of the tincture with ten drops of some unmedicinal fluid, when taken, will not produce ten times more effect than one drop of mixture ten times more attenuated, but only about (scarcely) twice as strong an effect, and so on, in the same ratio – so that a drop of the lowest dilution must, and really does, display still a very considerable action196).
Besides the tongue, mouth and stomach, which are most commonly affected by the administration of medicine, the nose and respiratory organs are receptive of the action of medicines in fluid form by means of olfaction and inhalation through the mouth. But the whole remaining skin of the body clothed with epidermis, is adapted to the action of medicinal solutions, especially if the inunction is connected with simultaneous internal administration197).
The diminution of the dose essential for homoeopathic use, will also be promoted by diminishing its volume, so that, if, instead of a drop of a medicinal dilution, we take but quite a small part198) of such a drop for a dose, the object of diminishing the effect still further will be very effectually attained; and that this will be the case may be readily conceived for this reason, because with the smaller volume of the dose but few nerves of the living organism can be touched, whereby the power of the medicine is certainly also communicated to the whole organism, but it is a weaker power.
In this way, the cure of very old disease may be furthered by the physician applying externally, rubbing it in the back, arms, extremities, the same medicine he gives internally and which showed itself curatively. In doing so, he must avoid parts subject to pain or spasm or skin eruption199).
For the same reason the effect of a homoeopathic dose of medicine increases, the greater the quantity of fluid in which it is dissolved when administered to the patient, although the actual amount of medicine it contains remains the same. For in this case, when the medicine is taken, it comes in contact with a much larger surface of sensitive nerves responsive to the medicinal action. Although theorists may imagine there should be a weakening of the action of dose of medicine by its dilution with a large quantity of liquid, experience asserts exactly the opposite, at all events when the medicines are employed homoeopathically200).
The dynamic force of minerals, magnets, electricity and galvanism act no less powerfully upon our life principle and they are not less homoeopathic than the properly so-called medicines which neutralize disease by taking them through the mouth, or by rubbing them on the skin or by olfaction. There may be diseases, especially diseases of sensibility and irritability, abnormal sensations, and involuntary muscular movements which may be cured by those means. But the more certain way of applying the last two as well as that of the so-called electromagnetic lies still very much in the dark to make homoeopathic use of them. So far both electricity and Galvanism have been used only for palliation to the great damage of the sick. The positive, pure action of both upon the healthy human body have until the present time been but little tested.
But in this increase of action by the mixture of the dose of medicine with a larger quantity of liquid (before its ingestion), the result is vastly different whether the mixture of the dose of medicine with a certain quantity of liquid is performed merely superficially and imperfectly, or so uniformly and intimately201) that the smallest portion of the diluting fluid received the same quantity of medicine in proportion as all the rest; for the latter becomes much more medicinally powerful by the diluting mixture than the former. From this every one will be able to judge for himself how to proceed with the regulation of the homoeopathic medicinal doses when he desires to diminish their medicinal action as much as possible, in order to make them suitable for the most sensitive patients202).
The powers of the magnet for healing purposes can be employed with more certainty according to the positive effects detailed in the Materia Medica Pura under north and south pole of a powerful magnetic bar. Though both poles are alike powerful, they nevertheless oppose each other in the manner of their respective action. The doses may be modified by the length of time of contact with one or the other pole, according as the symptoms of either north or south pole are indicated. As antidote to a too violent action, the application of a plate of polished zinc will suffice.
The action of medicines in the liquid form203) upon the living human body takes place in such a penetrating manner, spreads out from the point of the sensitive fibres provided with nerves whereto the medicine is first applied with such inconceivable rapidity and so universally through all parts of the living body, that this action of the medicine must be denominated a spirit-like (a dynamic, virtual) action.
I find it yet necessary to allude here to animal magnetism, as it is termed, or rather mesmerism (as it should be called in deference to Mesmer, its first founder) which differs so much in its nature from all other therapeutic agents. This curative force, often so stupidly denied and disdained for a century, acts in different ways. It is a marvellous, priceless gift of God to mankind by means of which the strong will of a well intentioned person upon a sick one by contact and even without this and even at some distance, can bring the vital energy of the healthy mesmerizer endowed with this power into another person dynamically (just as one of the poles of a powerful magnetic rod upon a bar of steel). It acts in part by replacing in the sick whose vital force within the organism is deficient here and there, in part also in other parts where the vital force has accumulated too much and keeps up irritating nervous disorders it turns it aside, diminishes and distributes it equally and in general extinguishes the morbid condition of the life principle of the patient and substitutes in its place the normal of the mesmerist acting powerfully upon him, for instance, old ulcers, amaurosis, paralysis of single organs and so forth. Many rapid apparent cures performed in all ages, by mesmerisers endowed with great natural power, belong to this class. The effect of communicated human power upon the whole human organism was most brilliantly shown, in the resuscitation of persons who had lain some time apparently dead, by the most powerful sympathetic will of a man in full vigour of vital energy204), and of this kind of resurrection history records many undeniable examples. If the mesmerizing person of either sex capable at the same time of a good-natured enthusiasm (even its degeneration into bigotry, fanaticism, mysticism or philanthropic dreaming) will be empowered all the more with this philanthropic self-sacrificing performance to direct exclusively the power of his commanding good will to the recipient requiring his help and at the same time to concentrate these, he may at times perform apparent miracles.
Every part of our body that possesses the sense of touch is also capable of receiving the influences, and of propagating their power to all other parts205).
All the above-mentioned methods of practising mesmerism depend upon influx of more or less vital force into the patient, and hence are termed positive mesmerism206). An opposite mode of employing mesmerism, however, as it produces just the contrary effect, deserves to be termed negative mesmerism. To this belong the passes which are used to rouse from the somnambulic sleep, as also all the manual processes known by the names of soothing and ventilating. This discharge by means of negative mesmerism of the vital force accumulated to excess in individual parts of the system of undebilitated persons is most surely and simply performed by making a very rapid motion or the flat extended hand, held parallel to, and about an inch distant from the body, from the top of the head to the tips of the toes207). The more rapidly this pass is made, so much the more effectually will the discharge be effected. Thus, for instance, in the case where a previously healthy woman208), from the sudden suppression of her catamenia by a violent mental shock, lies to all appearance dead, the vital force which is probably accumulated in the precordial region, will, by such a rapid negative pass, be discharged and its equilibrium throughout the whole organism restored. So that the resuscitation generally follows, immediately209). In like manner, a gentle, less rapid, negative pass diminishes the excessive restlessness and sleeplessness accompanied with anxiety sometimes produced in very irritable persons by a too powerful positive pass, etc.
Besides the stomach, the tongue and the mouth are the parts most susceptible to the medicinal influences; but the interior of the nose is more especially so, and the rectum, the genitals, as also all particularly sensitive parts of our body are almost equally capable of receiving the medicinal action; hence also, parts that are destitute of skin, wounded or ulcerated spots permit the powers of medicines to exercise almost as penetrating an action upon the organism as if the medicine had been taken by the mouth or still better by olfaction and inhalation.
Here belongs also the so-called massage of vigorous good-natured person given to a chronic invalid, who, though cured, still suffers from loss of flesh, weakness of digestion and lack of sleep due to slow convalescence. The muscles of the limbs, breast and back, separately grasped and moderately pressed and kneaded arouse the life principle to reach and restore the tone of the muscles and blood and lymph vessels. The mesmeric influences of this procedure is the chief feature and it must not be used to excess in patients still hypersensitive.
Even those organs which have lost their peculiar sense, e.g., a tongue and palate that have lost the faculty of tasting, or a nose that has lost the faculty of smelling, communicate the power of the medicine that acts first on them alone not less perfectly to all the other organs of the body.
Baths of pure water prove themselves partly palliative, partly as homoeopathic serviceable aids in restoring health in acute diseases as well as in convalescence of cured chronic patients with proper consideration of the conditions of the convalescent and the temperature of the bath, its duration and repetition. But even if well applied, they may bring only physically beneficial changes in the sick body, in themselves they are no true medicine. The lukewarm baths at 25 to 27° serve to arouse the slumbering sensibility of fibre in the apparent dead (frozen, drowned, suffocated) which benumbed the sensation of the nerves. Though only palliative, still they often prove themselves sufficiently active, especially when given in conjunction with coffee and rubbing with the hands. They may give homoeopathic aid in cases where the irritability is very unevenly distributed and accumulated too unevenly in some organs as is the case in certain hysteric spasms and infantile convulsions. In the same way, cold baths 10 to 6° in persons cured medically of chronic diseases and with deficiency of vital heat, act as an homoeopathic aid. By instantaneous and later with repeated immersions they act as a palliative restorative of the tone of the exhausted fibre. For this purpose, such baths are to be used for more than momentary duration, rather for minutes and of gradually lowered temperature, they are a palliative, which, since it acts only physically has no connection with the disadvantage of a reverse action to be feared afterwards, as takes place with dynamic medicinal palliatives.
Even the external surface of the body, covered as it is with skin and epidermis, is not insusceptible of the powers of medicines, especially those in a liquid form, but the most sensitive parts are also the most susceptible210).
I find it necessary to allude here to animal magnetism, as it is termed, or rather mesmerism (as it should be called, out of gratitude to Mesmer, its first founder), which differs so much in its nature from all other therapeutic agents. This curative power, often so stupidly denied, which streams upon a patient by the contact of a well-intentioned person powerfully exerting his will, either acts homoeopathically, by the production of symptoms similar to those of the diseased state to be cured; and for this purpose a single pass made, without much exertion of the will, with the palms of the hands not too slowly from the top of the head downwards over the body to the tips of the toes211), is serviceable in, for instance, uterine haemorrhages, even in the last stage when death seems approaching; or it is useful by distributing the vital force uniformly throughout the organism, when it is in abnormal excess in one part and deficient in other parts, for example, in rush of blood to the head and sleepless, anxious restlessness of weakly persons, etc., by means of a similar, single, but somewhat stronger pass; or for the immediate communication and restoration of the vital force to some one weakened part or to the whole organism, – an object that cannot be attained so certainly and with so little interference with the other medicinal treatment by any other agent besides mesmerism. If it is wished to supply a particular part with the vital force, this is effected by concentrating a very powerful and well-intentioned will for the purpose, and placing the hands or tips of the fingers on the chronically weakened parts, whither an internal chronic dyscrasia has transferred its important local symptom, as, for example, in the case of old ulcers, amaurosis, paralysis of certain limbs, etc.212) Many rapid apparent cures performed in all ages, by mesmerisers endowed with great natural power, belong to this class. The effect of communicated human power upon the whole human organism was most brilliantly shown, in the resuscitation of persons who had lain some time apparently dead, by the most powerful sympathetic will of a man in full vigour of vital force213), and of this kind of resurrection history records many undeniable examples.
This Section corresponds to § 289 of the Sixth Edition.
|Source:||The Organon of Medicine, 1833 (5th Ed. – translated by R.E. Dudgeon) and 1842 (6th Ed. – translated by W. Boericke)|
|Description:||The Organon of Medicine – the foundation text of homeopathy.|
|Editing:||errors only; interlinks; formatting|