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Of all the drugs of the Materia Medica no one has been at same time so highly prized, and so thoroughly neglected and despised, as Lachesis. The explanation of this is not difficult.

It is not necessary to challenge the truth or honesty of either party in order to a satisfactory disclosure of the true cause of this wide difference of opinion, on a question so purely practical, that at first glance it would seem that all that could be required for its perfect solution would be an appeal to practical experience. But each party makes this appeal with equal confidence, and the result is, on the one side, the drug stands in the list of those most valued and trusted, and to it are attributed the most brilliant successes; while on the other, men of undisputed honesty declare, that after repeated trials, they have never seen any good result from its use, in any case. Are those whose experience with the remedy is different, justified in denying the truth of this testimony? By no means. Neither are these witnesses to challenge the veracity or experience of those who claim to have achieved great successes with the remedy. They have but one duty in the premises, and that is to find the true answer to this question. From whence is it that these differences of results arise in the practice of men who are equally interested in obtaining practical successes, and discovering: and witnessing to practical truth? On the one side there is practical success, on the other there is none, with the same means. Why?

It is well that at just this time there should be a gathering up of the evidence, that the facts on both sides should be collected and compared, and after an intelligent examination of the facts it may appear that the processes of practice of the two classes of witnesses have not been the same. And it is barely possible that this difference of process may be equal to the explanation of the difference of results. If this be so, all are equally interested in knowing the fact. By all means let the facts on both sides come forward. We say facts, because it is evidently of very little importance to any body, except the doctor and his patient, that the one gave and the other took Lachesis, with the results of failure or cure. This is of no consequence to any other man. Let us by all means have all the facts in the case to which the drug was given, as well as the result. All are competent then to compare the facts of the case with the recorded pathogenesis of the drug, and to judge whether the success or failure in the two classes of cases have any relation to the success or failure of the different witnesses in apprehending the characteristics of the drug and the disease, and administering the drug in accordance with that law of cure which demands that these shall be similar, where the one is to perform the office of a curative of the other. It is confidently believed that failures to cure will not be limited to those cases treated with Lachesis, if the discovery of this resemblance be neglected, or if drugs are carelessly prescribed, regardless of the requirements of that law of cure, which we all profess to have faith in. It is a good time now to settle the matter for all reasonable men, since the process of gathering the facts has commenced, whether this drug be a valuable member of the Materia Medica, or only a vagary by which well meaning, but simple, men have been amused and deceived.

As a contribution to the sum of accumulating evidence of the value of Lachesis, as a curative, the following case, recently treated by the writer, may serve:

H., a boy, nine years old, of fair skin, dark eyes, stature rather short, though the body is well developed, health generally has been good, till attacked early in October, 1863, by Scarlet Fever. He was treated through its course allopathically, and survived. The first assault was followed by a swelling on the left side of the neck, extending from the angle of the jaw downward to near the clavicle. This swelling suppurated and the abscess was discharged with the lancet. After this the boy rather declined than gained in flesh, strength and appetite, till the writer was requested to see him on the 5th of November, instant. He was now much exhausted in strength; the face pale, of a dirty dingy hue; with a puffy aspect; appetite nil; restlessness day and night; constant hot, dry skin; temper extremely peevish and whining; the abscess was discharging a foul and copious pus; it was extremely sensitive to all motions of the head; there was now a large cavity from which there can be no doubt there had been a sloughing of the cellular tissue; in this there was no appearance of healthy granulations; the pulse was 140 in the minute and small; the soreness of the neck was such that the motions of the jaw in any attempt to masticate solid food could not be borne. He first got Ars.200 which was followed by a diminution of the fever and restlessness, and also of the foul smell of the discharge. But there was not the rallying of the general forces which was hoped for, nor was there any process of granulation set up in the filthy hole, which burrowed far under the angle of the jaw. He got Hepar 200 with little or no improvement, unless perhaps the sore became something less sensitive. But the second day after this prescription he had hemorrhage from the sore; his friends thought the loss of blood was at least half a pint. He was now quite blanched out, very much prostrated, refused food, and the abscess became more foul, and the pulse very rapid and feeble. He got Millefolium30 with no other apparent effect than perhaps to arrest future copious hemorrhages. He had however repeated small ones, and the sore was disposed to constant leakage of dark colored blood which came away with the foul discharge. He now got Lachesis200 with the following results: there was no more loss of blood after the first dose, the discharge lost its offensiveness; he became quiet and slept naturally; his appetite returned; his strength improved; the pulse fell to 108 per minute and was fuller and stronger; the extreme sensitiveness of the sore disappeared; in short he convalesced from that time. It is submitted that these changes were of a character not likely, in the circumstances, to have occurred just then, spontaneously. Nor is it likely there could have been any mistake as to their having actually occurred. Nor is there any need of error as to whether these symptoms of the child were like to some of the recorded effects of Lachesis. If it be asked why this remedy was not given at first, instead of the Ars. there can, it is believed, be no doubt that the failure to do this was an error. It may well be doubted whether, if this mistake had not been made, the hemorrhage would have occurred.


Source: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 08, 1863, page 360-363
Description: Lachesis.
Remedies: Lachesis
Author: Wells, P.P.
Year: 1864
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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