Nature of Chronic Diseases-5
by Samuel Hahnemann
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Yet even at this acme of the disease the patient still appears healthy in every other respect; all the symptoms of the internal Psora, now so much increased, still remain covered and assuaged through the skin-symptom augmented in the same proportion. But so great a torture, as is caused by so unbearable an itching spread over the whole body, even the most robust man cannot continue to bear. He endeavors to free himself from these torments at any price, and, as there is no thorough help for him with the physicians of the old school, he endeavors to secure deliverance at least from this eruption, which itches so unbearably, even if it should cost his life; and the means are soon furnished him, either by other ignorant persons, or by Allopathic physicians and surgeons. He seeks deliverance from his external tortures, without suspecting the greater misfortune which unavoidably follows, and is bound to follow, on the expulsion of the external skin-symptom (which hitherto has acted vicariously for the internal enlarged psora-disease), as has been sufficiently proved by the observations mentioned before. But when he thus drives away such an eruption of itch by external applications, he exposes himself to a similar misfortune, and acts just as unreasonably, as a person who in order to be quickly delivered from poverty, and thus as he supposes to make himself happy, steals a great sum of money, and is, therefore, sent to the dungeon and the gallows.
The longer the itch-disease has already lasted, whether the eruption, as is usually the case, has spread over the greater part of the skin, or whether, owing to a peculiar lack of activity in the skin, (as in some cases) the eruption has been confined to a few vesicles of itch* – in both cases, supposing only that the Psora together with its skin-symptom has grown old, the expulsion of the eruption of itch, whether greater or smaller or even as small as you please, is attended with the most destructive consequences on account of the internal itch-disease (psora) with its unspeakable sufferings, which, through its long continuance, has increased to a high degree and then unavoidably breaks forth.
(* See the observation to No. 86. P.29)
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But the ignorance of the uninstructed layman may be pardoned if he drives out the itch-eruption and the troublesome itching by a cold shower-bath, by rolling in the snow, by cupping, or by rubbing the whole skin, or only the skin around the joints, with sulphur mixed with lard; for he does not know to what dangerous accidents and outbreaks of the Psora-disease, that lurks within, he thereby opens the door and ingress. But who will pardon the men whose office and duty it is to know the extent of the inevitably following, illimitable misfortune, resulting from the external expulsion of the itch-eruption, owing to the Psora which is then aroused from the whole organism, and who ought to have guarded against it in every way by a thorough internal cure of the whole of this disease,* when we see them treat the itch patients all in the same erroneous manner; yea, with even more violent internal and external remedies, sharp purgatives, with the Jasser ointment, with lotions of acetate of lead, with the sublimate of mercury or sulphate of zinc, but especially with an ointment prepared of fat with flowers of sulphur or with a preparation of mercury; with which they lightly and carelessly destroy the eruption, declaring this is merely an impurity located in the skin, and must be driven out; then everything will be well and the man will be healthy and free from every ailment. Who can pardon them if they are not willing to learn from the many warning examples recorded by the older, more conscientious observers, nor by the many thousands of other examples, which frequently, yea, almost daily, come before their eyes? Yet they cannot see nor be convinced as to the certain, quickly fatal or lifelong insidious misfortune they bring upon the itch-patient through the destruction of his eruption, as they thus merely unfetter the internal malady (psora), which is laden with innumerable ailments. This disease is neither destroyed nor cured; and so this thousand-headed monster, instead of being conquered, is inexorably let loose against the deceived patient to his destruction, by tearing down the barriers that shut it in.
(* For even when the itch-disease has reached this high degree, the eruption, together with the internal malady, in one word, the whole psora, may still be healed by the internal, specific Homoeopathic remedies, with greater difficulty, indeed, than in the beginning, immediately after its origin, but still far more easily and certainly than after a complete expulsion of the eruption by mere external applications, when we must cure the internal psora as it brings forth its secondary symptoms and develops into nameless chronic diseases. The itch-disease, though it may have advanced so far, may nevertheless in its entire state be most easily, certainly and thoroughly cured, together with its external eruption, through the suitable internal remedies, without the least local application, just as the venereal chancre disease may most surely and easily be thoroughly cured often by the least, single dose of the best preparation of mercury internally administered – when the chancre, without calling in the aid of the remedy, quickly becomes a mild ulcer, and in a few days heals of itself, so that no trace of secondary symptoms (venereal disease) then ever appears or can appear, since the internal symptom has been cured together with the local symptoms, as I have taught for many years orally and in my writings, and have proved by my cures of this kind.
How can we excuse the whole host of physicians, who, hitherto, after treating this generally spread venereal disease for more than three hundred years, nevertheless remain so ignorant in recognizing its nature, that in looking at a chancre they even to this day acknowledge nothing diseased in the infected patient, but this same chancre, and do not see the syphilis, which was already present within and had been developed in the whole organism, even before the breaking out of the chancre; and so they blindly suppose, that the chancre is the only venereal evil which is to be extirpated, and that this needs but to be destroyed by external applications, in order to be able to declare the man cured; and this without being instructed, by the many thousand cases in their experience, that by the local extermination of the chancre they have never done anything but injury, as they have only deprived the syphilis pre-existing within of its diverting local symptoms and have thereby compelled the internal malady to break out only the more certainly and dreadfully (and in a manner more difficult of cure), as venereal disease. How can such a universal, pernicious obliquity of vision be excused?
Or why did these physicians never reflect on the origin of the figwarts? Why did they always overlook the internal universal malady, which is the cause of these excrescences? It is only when this is recognized, that it can be thoroughly cured by its Homoeopathic remedies, which then cause the figwarts to be healed, without the application of any external means of destruction.
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But even if a shadow of an excuse might be offered for this sad negligence and ignorance, and if anyone would claim that these physicians have only had three and one-half centuries, in which to discern clearly the true nature of syphilis, and that they might have learned this truth after a still more extended practice (still I have endeavored, though in vain, to convince them of their error a number of years ago and since then from time to time), nevertheless, that general negligence of previous physicians and, I may well say, their obstinate blindness, are quite without excuse, in that they did not recognize the internal pre-existing malady, the psora, which lies at the bottom of the itch-disease, which has infected men for several thousands of years, and that they ignored in their proud levity all the facts which point to it, so that they might continue the delusion and leave the world in its destructive infatuation that: the unbearably itching pustules are only a mere superficial ailment of the skin, and by their local destruction man is delivered from the whole disease, and has fully recovered.
Not perchance mere medical scribblers, no, the greatest and most celebrated physicians of modern and most modern days have made themselves guilty of this grievous error (or shall I say of this intentional crime), from VON HELMONT even to the latest advocates of the Allopathic medical practice.
By the use of the above mentioned remedies, they indeed usually reached their aim; i.e., the driving away of the eruption and of the itching from the skin, and they supposed in the intoxication of their spirit (or at least they pretended), they had destroyed the disease itself and, indeed, totally, and they sent away the patients, thus abused, assuring them that they were again healthy.
All the sufferings, which follow the one-sided destruction of the cutaneous eruption, which belongs to the natural form of the psora, they passed off as a newly arisen disease, owing to quite another origin. In their narrowness of mind, they never regarded the innumerable, plain testimonies of honest observers of earlier days, which record the sad consequences of the local expulsion of the itch-eruption, which often followed so closely, that a man would have to deny his reason, or else acknowledge them as the immediate result of the indwelling severe malady (the psora), which had been deprived of the local symptom (the cutaneous eruption), destined by nature to alleviate the internal malady, whence the uncured internal disease has been compelled to a manifest outbreak of its secondary symptoms.)
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It may easily be imagined, as experience, also teaches, that the more months a neglected itch-eruption, has flourished on the skin, the more surely has internal psora, which underlies it, been able to reach, in even a moderate space of time, a great – and finally its greatest – degree, which dreadful increase it also then proves through the more dangerous consequences, which the expulsion of so inveterate an eruption unavoidably draws after it in every case.
On the other hand, it is just as certain that the eruption of a few vesicles of itch which has broken out only a few days before, in consequence of a recent infection, may be expelled with less immediate danger; as the internal psora that has sprung up in the whole organism has not yet had time to grow up to a high degree, and we must confess that the expulsion of a few vesicles of itch, that have just arisen, often shows no immediate, manifestly strong, evil consequences. Wherefore with delicate and aristocratic persons, or their children, it usually remains unknown, that a single vesicle or, a few vesicles itching violently, which showed only a few days and were at once treated by the careful physician with lead ointment or a lotion of lead, and which disappeared the following day, had itch for their foundation.
However small the internal psora, may be at the time of the quick suppression of an itch-eruption, which has only developed a few vesicles and which is then followed by only moderate ailments and complaints (which are then usually, from ignorance, ascribed by the domestic physician to other causes of little import): the internal malady of psora, although as yet of slight degree, remains in its character and in its chronic nature the same general psoric disease of the whole organism; i.e., without the aid of art it is ineradicable, and cannot be extirpated by the strength of even the best and most robust bodily constitution, and it will increase even to the end of the patient’s life. It is usually the case, indeed, that this disease, deprived as early as possible of the first traces of its cutaneous symptom by local applications, will grow but slowly in the beginning and will make but slow progress in the organism – much slower progress than where the eruption has been allowed to remain for a long time on the skin; for in the latter case the progress of the internal psora is of immense rapidity; but the disease, nevertheless, increases unceasingly, and even in the best cases and under the most favorable circumstances, quietly and often for years unperceived by the eyes; so that anyone, who does not know the signs of its latent presence, would suppose and declare such persons to be healthy and free from any internal malady. Often for years it does not manifest itself in prominent symptoms, which might be called manifest diseases.
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Many hundred observations have gradually acquainted me* with the signs, by which the internally slumbering, hitherto latent Psora (itch malady) may be recognized even in those cases where it has not yet manifested itself in any startling disease, so that I am able to root out and to thoroughly cure this malady with its roots, more easily before the internal psora has risen to a manifest (chronic) disease, and has developed to such a fearful height that the dangerous conditions make the cure difficult and in some cases impossible.
There are many signs of the psora which is gradually increasing within, but is as yet slumbering, and has not yet come to the full out-break of a manifest disease; but no one person has all these symptoms; the one has more of them, the other a smaller number; the one has at present only one of them, but in the course of time he will also have others; he may be free from some, according to the peculiar disposition of his body or according to the external circumstances of different persons.
(* It was more easy to me, than to many hundreds of others, to find out and to recognize the signs of the Psora as well when latent and as yet slumbering within, as when it has grown to considerable chronic diseases, by an accurate comparison of the state of health of all such persons with myself, who, as is seldom the case, have never been afflicted with the psora, and have, therefore, from my birth even until now in my eightieth year, been entirely free from the (smaller and greater) ailments enumerated here and further below, although I have been, on the whole, very apt to catch acute epidemic diseases, and have been exposed to many mental exertions and thousand fold vexations of spirit.)
(Allopathy has also assumed hidden (latent) conditions of disease in patients, in order to explain, or, at least, to excuse its blind inroads with violent medicines, blood-letting, anodynes, etc. These so-called qualitates occultae Fernelli are, however, wholly suppositions and imaginary, as (according to the statement of this same physician) they are supposed not to be recognizable by any manifestations and symptoms. But whatever does not make known its hidden, imaginary existence by any sign does not exist for us men, who are limited by our Creator in our cognizance of things to observations – it is consequently a phantom of a roving fancy. It is quite different with the various forces slumbering (latent) in nature; despite their ordinary occultness, they, nevertheless, show themselves when the requisite circumstances and conditions appear; e.g., latent heat, even in metals that feel cold, is manifested when they are rubbed, just as the Psora manifests itself; e.g., as a drawing pain in the sheaths of the muscles, when the person infected with Psora has been, exposed to a draught, etc.