……A most amusing article on the Cure of Consumption appeared in the New York Daily Tribune of the 15th ult. It seems that a layman in the State of Ohio claims to have preceded Dr. Churchill in the use of the hypo-phosphites in Phthisis; and he writes a letter to the Tribune to that effect. A copy of the Western Lancet of August 1854 is (for all we know) lying upon the table of the Tribune, in which this magnificent “discovery” was first given to the world.
Now we are of those who hope for a Medical Millenium. It is not at all improbable that at some period in the distant future, the number of professional physicians will be infinitesimally small, while that of non-professional Doctors will be multitudinously great. In short 'it is quite possible, that by-and-by every man will be possessed of sufficient physiological and therapeutical knowledge to prescribe for his own minor ailments. The more grave and chronic diseases may perhaps always require the more extended experience of those who have made medicine their special study. They of course will reside in the large cities, charge enormous fees, and cure every case that comes to hand. This delightful state of things, however, is not yet present with us; and until the “novus ordo seculorum” is fully inaugurated, we must fain content ourselves with the good which medicine in its present state, can furnish to suffering humanity. Eager, however, to hurry the approach of the happy period referred to, and implicitly believing in the truth of the Horatian maxim, (the expression of which we slightly modify,) “DOCTOR nascitur, non fit,” we read with avidity the theory and claims of this Mr. Guilford, of Ohio.
Conceive our chagrin, when we discovered that Mr. Layman Guilford, of Ohio, had fallen upon a more magnificent mare's-nest, than that which Doctor Churchill, of Paris, has more lately disclosed to an admiring world.
Voila! Mr. Layman Guilford, of Ohio, has discovered that Consumption is “caused by a deficiency of the hemato-globulin of the blood,” and he proposes to remedy this unfortunate condition of things by the administration of Sulphur, Iron and Phosphorus, these being the constituent elements of the hematoglobulin aforesaid.
Now, granting the fact claimed by Layman Guilford, of Ohio, and Doctor Churchill, of Paris, that there is really a deficiency of Phosphorus, Iron and Sulphur in the blood of consumptives, the question naturally occurs, how does it happen that two men, eating at the same table, and partaking of the same food, should, the one, assimilate a sufficiency of the above ingredients, and the other, not? How does it happen, we ask, that while for a majority of mankind there is sufficient Phosphorus, Iron and Sulphur, in their daily food, for the minority there is not enough? Do some men require a larger amount of these elements than others? Are, for instance, such active brains as those of laymen Guilford so consumptive of Phosphorus, as to require the huge doses of supply found in ten solid grains, three times a day? and are their respective lungs so weak, as to become incontinently tuberculous, unless the ten grains are spread, three times a day, upon their bread and butter? Verily we cannot believe it.
The simple facts of the case are these:-In cases of Consumption, a morbid element in the system, (which, like all morbid taints, is attached to the vitality of the individual,) so tortures the vital functions from their proper and usual processes, as to prevent the absorption and assimilation of the Phosphorus, Iron and Sulphur, as presented in the daily food, and tuberculosis may perhaps be the result. The proper remedy, under these circumstances, is manifestly any thing which will so change, or influence, the vitality of the patient, that it shall appropriate to itself all those elements in the daily food, which are required for the proper nutriment and support of the system.
Homoeopathists fully understand that Phosphorus, Iron and Sulphur are often indicated by the totality of the symptoms in cases of Consumption. They also know very well that these remedies act best in attenuations, in which form their chemical action is quite out of the question. Their curative action is simply a consequence of their specific effect on the vitality. Perhaps no drug has been more frequently used in Consumption, since the time of Hahnemann, than Phosphorus, unless it be Sulphur; and if Phosphorus, in the hands of Messrs. Churchill and Guilford, has ever been of any lasting service in well marked, and accurately defined cases of Consumption, it is because that drug was homoeopathically indicated by the totality of the symptoms, and the constitutions of the patients were sufficiently vigorous to resist the violent effects of their tremendous doses.
There have four cases come under our personal observation, after taking the Guilford-Churchill doses of the Phosphites. One of these patients was under the personal care and supervision of Dr. Churchill himself, in Paris. He went abroad for the special purpose of placing himself under Dr. C.'s care, with the intention of following his directions implicitly. The first intelligence received from him was of a remarkable change for the better; the next news was that he had been compelled to discontinue the treatment on account of profuse pulmonary hemorrhages, induced by the medicine. He returned to the United States as ill as ever, and is now spending the winter at the South.
The second case was that of a policeman, who came to our office almost suffocated with the blood which filled his lungs, and which had been oozing into them from Friday morning till the Sunday evening when we saw him. This patient died the following Wednesday. He had taken Phosphorus but three weeks.
The third patient, who had been very much benefited by the use of Sulphur. Phosphorus, and afterwards Lycopodium and Pulsatilla, and in which there had been a severe complication of colliquative diarrhea, (relieved and comparatively removed by the Pulsatilla,) took the hypophosphite for a week, with very little effect upon anything but hid appetite; if we except a certain temporary exaltation of the nervous energy, and a burning sensation in the stomach immediately after taking the drug. The condition of the mucous membrane of the stomach and alimentary canal, as indicated by the previous diarrhea, was doubtless such as to prevent the absorption of the large masses of Phosphorus thus set free in the bowels; and inasmuch as the drug was not dynamized, it had little effect through any affinities with the vital currents. We have very little doubt that had the phosphite been really digested and assimilated, instead of passing through the intestinal canal without change, the patient would have had a different account to give of his experiment.
Consumption-tuberculosis-is curable, and has been frequently cured by the proper administration of homoeopathic remedies. Phthisis, in the first stages, is cured every day by practitioners of our School, and we need no assistance from the crude drug system. We need nothing but favorable surroundings and a strict adherence to the plan of treatment indicated by the symptoms.
MEDICAL ACT.-A leading article in the last No. of the “British Journal of Homoeopathy,” defines the true nature of the “Medical Act” recently passed by the English parliament. The Act is published in full and from a thorough reading of it we rise with a feeling of profound satisfaction.
This, which was intended as a final coup de main for the Homoeopathists, has not only fallen lightly upon them, but must serve as a sure protection to them and all other well educated medical men. The act provides for the registration of all those who possess a diploma or degree from one of the existing, or from one of the future Examining bodies or faculties; this registration being considered proof of proper qualifications and enabling a practitioner to collect his fees and to hold certain medical appointments within the gift of the general or local government.
When the bill was first presented, and before any amendments were made to it, there was in it a clause, whereby any otherwise qualified person proven guilty of “irregular practice” was to have his name struck off the register; and if after that he persisted in practising, certain penalties were to be enforced against him.
Of course by “irregular practice” was meant homoeopathy, and had this clause been allowed to stand, the English branch of our School would have had much trouble. The friends of homoeopathy very quietly procured the expurgation of this offensive clause, and inserted-“provided always, that the name of no person shall be erased from the register on the ground of his having adopted any theory of medicine or surgery.” “Thus it happened, thanks to our parliamentary friends, and their powerful influence, that all the fangs of this serpent that threatened death and destruction to homoeopathy in England have been effectually drawn.”
We had previously received from Dr. George Wyld, of London, a notice of the passage of this “Act.” From the triumphant tone of his note our readers had doubtless formed some idea of the magnificent success which has thus crowned the efforts of the Reformed School.
DR. DUNHAM.-We regret to inform our readers of the very serious illness of our distinguished contributor CARROLL DUNHAM, M.D., of Newburgh N. Y. He is suffering from a slow nervous fever which has assumed a typhoid type. The last intelligence was rather more favorable, and he seemed to be gradually gaining. It is to be hoped the pulmonary weakness which compelled him to leave a large and lucrative practice in Brooklyn, may not complicate the course of the fever. Dr. Dunham is beyond all question one of the most learned and successful physicians in our ranks. Even this temporary suspension of his usefulness is severely felt by all who know him.
J. P. S., Cincinnati.-There will be no new edition of Smiths' Homoeopathic Directory published this year. The last edition was published in January, 1857, and was the first compilation of Homoeopathic Physicians in this country.
H. D., Chicago.-The extracted juice of the plant is combined immediately with granulated sugar of milk in various proportions, from the 1-10 to 1-4. These preparations are preferred by many as being more convenient than tinctures, not evaporating. Many of our extracted juices arc now combined in this way, as the triturations thus prepared are thought, by many to be preferable to those made from the dried plant.
We consider the manifest change which occurs in these drugs by dynamization, as proved by their undoubted effects on the system, as perhaps the grandest proof of the correctness of the theory of potencies.
An Examination of the Question of Anesthesia; arising on the memorial of Chas. Thomas Wells-Presented to the United States Senate. Prepared by Hon. TRUMAN SMITH, pp. 136. New York, JOHN F. GRAY, 1858.
The Homoeopathist's Visiting List, Book of Engagements, and Pocket Repertory for 1859. Compiled by HENRY MINTON, M. D. Brooklyn, J. T. P. Smith. Majority and Minority Reports of the Select Committee to the Board of Ten Governors in reference to introducing Homoeopathy into Bellevue Hospital; 3d. edition pp. 28. Brooklyn, Republished by J. T. P. Smith, 1858.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 03, 1858, pages 141-144
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