Psora – 3
by Samuel Hahnemann
—– Page – 110 —–
The like may be said concerning the expensive and so-called fine sorts, as well as concerning the cheap sorts of Chinese tea which so flatteringly allures the nerves and so secretly and inevitably infests and weakens them. Even when made very weak and when only a little is drank only once a day it is never harmless, neither with younger persons nor with older ones who have used it since their childhood; and they must instead of it use some harmless warm drink. Patients, according to my extensive experience, are also willing to follow the advice of their faithful adviser, the physician in whom they have confidence, when this advice is fortified with reasons.
With respect to the limitation in wine the practitioner can be far more lenient, since with chronic patients it will be hardly ever necessary to altogether forbid it. Patients who from their youth up have been accustomed to a plentiful use of pure* wine cannot give it up at once or entirely, and this the less the older they are. To do so would produce a sudden sinking of their strength and an obstruction to their cure, and might even endanger their life. But they will be satisfied to drink it during the first weeks mixed with equal parts of water, and later, gradually wine mixed with two, three and four and finally with five and six parts of water and a little sugar. The latter mixtures may be allowed all chronic patients as, their usual beverage.
More absolutely necessary in the cure of the chronic diseases is the giving up of whisky or brandy. This will require, however, as much consideration in diminishing the quantity used, as firmness in executing it. Where the strength appreciably diminishes at giving it up totally, a small portion of good, pure wine must be used instead of it for a little while, but later, wine mixed with several parts of water, according to circumstances.
Since, according to an inviolable law of nature, our vital force always produces in the human organism the opposite of the impressions caused by physical and medicinal potencies in all the cases in which there are such opposites, it may easily be understood, as accurate observation also testifies, that spirituous liquors, after having simulated refreshment and heightened vital warmth immediately after partaking them, must have just the opposite after-effects, owing to this opposite reaction of the vital force of the organism. Weakness and a diminution of the vital warmth are the inevitable consequences of their use – states which ought to be removed as far as possible from the chronic patient by every true physician. Only an allopath who has never accustomed himself to observation and to reflection, and who is unwilling to acknowledge the injurious effects of his palliatives, can advise his chronic patients to daily drink strong, pure wine to strengthen themselves; a genuine Homoeopath will never do this (sed ex ungue leonem!).
(* Even for men in quite good health it is improper and in many ways injurious to drink pure wine as a customary beverage, and morality only permits its use in small quantities at festive occasions. A youth cannot keep his sexual desires under control up to his marriage unless he altogether avoids banquets. Gonorrhoea and chancre are due to such excesses.)
—– Page – 111 —–
The permission of beer is quite questionable! Since the artifices of brewers in modern times seem to intend, by their addition of vegetable substances to the extract of malt, not only to prevent it from souring, but also and especially to tickle the palate and to cause intoxication, without any regard to the injurious qualities of these malignant additions which often deeply undermine the health when daily used, and which cannot be discovered by any inspection, the honest physician cannot allow his patient to drink whatsoever is called beer; for even in the white beer (thin beer) and the porter, which on account of their lack of bitterness seem so harmless, not infrequently have narcotic ingredients added to give them the much-liked intoxicating quality in spite of their diminished quantity of malt.
Among the articles of diet which are generally injurious to chronic patients are also all dishes containing vinegar or citric acid. These are especially apt to cause disagreeable sensations and troubles in those afflicted with nervous and abdominal ailments. They also either antagonize or excessively increase the effects of several medicines. For such patients also very acid fruit (as sour cherries, unripe gooseberries and currants) are to be allowed only in very small quantities, and sweet fruits only in moderate quantity; so also baked prunes as a palliative are not to be advised to those inclined to constipation. To the latter, as also to those suffering from weak digestion, veal which is too young is not serviceable. Those whose sexual powers are low should limit themselves in eating young chickens and eggs, and should avoid the irritating spice of vanilla, also truffles and caviare, which as palliatives hinder a cure. Ladies with scanty menses must avoid the use of saffron and cinnamon for the same reason; persons with weak stomachs should avoid cinnamon, cloves, amomum, pepper, ginger and bitter substances, which, being palliatives, are also injurious while under homoeopathic treatment. Vegetables causing flatulency should be forbidden in all abdominal troubles and where there is an inclination to constipation and costiveness. Beef and good wheat-bread or rye-bread, together with cow’s milk and a moderate use of fresh butter, seem to be the most natural and harmless food for men, and also for chronic patients; only little salt should be used. Next to beef in wholesomeness are mutton, venison, grown chickens and young pigeons. The flesh and fat of geese and ducks are even less to be permitted to chronic patients than pork. Pickled and smoked meats should be rarely used and only in small quantities.
—– Page – 112 —–
Sprinkling chopped raw herbs on soups, putting pot-herbs into vegetables, and eating old, rancid cheese must be avoided.
In using the better quality of fish their preparation should be especially looked to; they had best be prepared by boiling and used sparingly with sauces not much spiced; but no fish dried in the air or smoked; salt fish (herrings and sardines) only rarely and sparingly.
Moderation in all things, even in harmless ones, is the chief duty of chronic patients.
In considering diet, the use of tobacco should also be carefully considered. Smoking in some cases of chronic diseases may be permitted, when the patient had been accustomed to an uninterrupted use of it, and if he does not expectorate; but smoking should always be limited, and more so if the mental activity, sleep, digestion or the evacuations are defective. If evacuations regularly only take place after smoking, the use of this palliative must be all the more circumscribed, and the same result must be obtained in a lasting manner through the appropriate antipsoric remedies. More objectionable yet, however, is the using of snuff, which is wont to be abused as a palliative against rheum and obstruction of the nose and insidious inflammation of the eyes, and which being a palliative, is a great hindrance in the cure of chronic diseases; it can, therefore, not be allowed with such patients, but must be diminished every day and at last stopped. An especial reason for this is also that in snuff the medicinal liquors (sauces) with which almost all snuff is medicated touches with its substance the nerves of the inner nose and injures just as if a foreign medicine were taken, which is less the case with the burning smoking tobacco in which the strength is disintegrated by the heat.
I now pass to the other hindrances to the cure of chronic diseases which must be avoided as far as possible.
All those events in human life which can bring the psora latent and slumbering within, which has hitherto manifested itself only by some of the signs mentioned above, wherein the patient varies from a state of health, so as to break out into open chronic diseases, these same events if they occur to a person already a chronic patient may not only augment his disease and increase the difficulty of curing it, but, if they break in on him violently, may make his disease incurable, if the untoward circumstances are not suddenly changed for the better.
—– Page – 113 —–
Such events are, however, of very various nature, and therefore of different degrees of injurious influence.
Excessive hardships, laboring in swamps, great bodily injuries and wounds, excess of cold or heat, and even the unsatisfied hunger of poverty and its unwholesome foods, etc., are not by any means very powerful in causing the fearful malady of psora which lies in ambush, lurking in secret to break forth into serious chronic diseases, nor of great consequence in aggravating a chronic disease already present; yea, an innocent man can, with less injury to his life, pass ten years in bodily torments in the bastile or on the galleys rather than pass some months in all bodily comfort in an unhappy marriage or with a remorseful conscience. A psora slumbering within, which still allows the favorite of a prince to live with the appearance of almost blooming health unfolds quickly into a chronic ailment of the body, or distracts his mental organs into insanity, when by a change of fortune he is hurled from his brilliant pinnacle and is exposed to contempt and poverty. The sudden death of a son causes the tender mother, already in ill health an incurable suppuration of the lungs or a cancer of the breast. A young, affectionate maiden, already hysterical, is thrown into melancholy by a disappointment in love.
How difficult it is, and how seldom will the best antipsoric treatment do anything to relieve such unfortunates!
By far the most frequent excitement of the slumbering psora into chronic disease, and the most frequent aggravation of chronic ailments already existing, are caused by grief and vexation.
Uninterrupted grief and vexation very soon increase even the smallest traces of a slumbering psora into more severe symptoms, and they then develop these into an outbreak of all imaginable chronic sufferings more certainly and more frequently than all other injurious influences operating on the human organism in an average human life; while these two agencies just as surely and frequently, augment ailments already existing.
As the good physician will be pleased when he can enliven and keep from ennui the mind of a patient, in order to advance a cure which is not encumbered with such obstructions, he will in such a case feel more than ever the duty incumbent upon him to do all within the power of his influence on the patient and on his relatives and surroundings, in order to relieve him of grief and vexation. This will and must be a chief end of his care and neighborly love.
—– Page – 114 —–
But if the relations of the patient cannot be improved in this respect, and if he has not sufficient philosophy, religion and power over himself to bear patiently and with equanimity all the sufferings and afflictions for which he is not to blame, and which it is not in his power to change; if grief and vexation continually beat in upon him, and it is out of the power of the physician to effect a lasting removal of these most active destroyers of life, he had better give up the treament* and leave the patient to his fate, for even the most masterly management of the case with the remedies that are the most exquisite and the best adapted to the bodily ailment will avail nothing, nothing at all, with a chronic patient thus exposed to continual sorrow and vexation, and in whom the vital economy is being destroyed by continuous assaults on the mind. The continuation of the fairest edifice is foolish, when the foundation is being daily undermined, even if but gradually, by the play of the waves.
Almost as near, and often nearer yet, to insurability are the chronic diseases, especially with great and rich men, who for some years, besides the use of mineral baths, have passed through the hands of various, often of many, allopathic physicians, who have tried on them one after another all the fashionable modes of cure, the remedies which are so boastingly lauded in England, France and Italy, – all strongly acting mixtures. By so many unsuitable medicines, which are injurious by their violence and their frequent repetition in large doses, the psora which always lies within, even if not combined with syphilis, becomes every year more incurable, as do also the chronic ailments springing from it; and after the continuation of such irrational medical assaults on the organism for several years it becomes almost quite incurable. It cannot well be decided, since these things take place in the dark, whether these heroic unhomoeopathic doses have added, as may be suspected, new ailments to the original disease, which ailments through the largeness of the doses and their frequent repetition have now become lasting and as it were chronic, or whether through abuse there has resulted a crippling of the different faculties of the organism, i.e., those of irritability, of sensation and of reproduction, and so (probably from both causes) there has arisen the monster of various ailments, fused into one another, which can no longer be rationally viewed as a simple natural ailment. In short, this many-sided disharmony and perversion of parts and of forces most indispensable to life present a chaos of ailments which the homoeopathic physician should not lightly declare curable.
(* Unless the patient should have little or no cause for his grief and sorrow, or hardly any incitement from without to vexation, and in consequence would need more particularly to be treated with respect to his mental disorder, by means of the antipsoric remedies, which are at the same time suited to the rest of his chronic disease. Such cases are not only curable, but often even easily curable.)
(Every time the baths are used, even when the water is not in itself unsuitable to the ailment, they are to be considered as the use of large doses often repeated of one and the same violently acting medicine, the violent operation of which can seldom be salutary, and must often result in the aggravation of the morbid state, yea, even to the patient’s utter destruction.)
—– Page – 115 —–
By such treatments, which are incapable of curing the original disease, but are exhausting and debilitating, the aggravation of the psora is not only hastened from within, but new artificial and threatening ailments are generated by such delusive allopathic cures, so that the vital force, thus attacked from two sides, often is unable to escape.
If in such cases the sad consequences of these indirect assaults of the old methods of cure were dynamic disturbances only, they would surely either disappear of themselves when the treatment is discontinued, or they ought at least to be extinguished again effectively through homoeopathic medicines. But this is not at all the case; they do not yield. Very likely by these indirect, continuous and repeated assaults on the sensitive, irritable fiber by such injudicious medicinal disease-potencies, which are given in large doses frequently repeated, the vital force is obliged to meet this attack and to endeavor either to dynamically change these tender internal organs which are assaulted so mercilessly, or to reconstruct them materially so as to make them unassailable to such violent attacks, and thus to protect and shield the organism from general destruction. Thus, e.g., this force, which instinctively preserves life, beneficially shields the fine sensitive skin of the hand with a callous covering of hard, horny skin in persons with whom the skin is exposed to frequent injuries during hard labor whereby the skin is injured by hard, scratching materials or by corroding substances. So also in a long continued allopathic treatment, which has no true healing power with respect to the disease, no direct pathic (homoeopathic) relation to the parts and processes concerned in the chronic disease, but internally assaults other delicate parts and organs of the body, in such cases the vital force, in order to protect the whole from destruction, dynamically and organically transmutes these fine organs; i.e., either makes them inactive or paralyzes them, or dulls their sensitiveness, or makes them altogether callous. On the one side the most tender fiber is abnormally thickened or hardened, and the more vigorous fibers consumed or annihilated – thus there arise artificially, adventitious organisms, malformations and degenerations, which at postmortem examinations are cunningly ascribed to the malignancy of the original disease. Such an internal state is not infrequent, and is in many cases incurable. Only where there are still sufficient vital powers in a body not too much bowed down by age (but where under an allopathic regime do we not find the powers wasted?) under favorable external circumstances, the vital force dynamically freed from its original disease by the careful homoeopathic (antipsoric) treatment of a practiced physician, may succeed in gradually reasserting itself, and in gradually absorbing and transforming those (often numerous) adventitious secondary formations which it was compelled to form. Such a transformation is, however, only possible to a still energetic vital force, which has been in great part set free from its psora. Only however, under favorable external circumstances, and after the lapse of a considerable time and usually in only an imperfect manner, does the vital force succeed in this almost creative endeavor. Experience proves daily that the more zealously the allopath puts into practice in chronic disease his perverse destructive art (often with great care, industry and persistence), the more he ruins his patients in health and life.
—– Page – 116 —–
How can perversions, introduced into patients in this manner frequently for years, be transformed in a short time into health even by the best, i.e., the true method of cure, which has never assumed to itself the power of directly influencing organic defects?
The physician has to meet in such cases no natural, simple psoric disease. He can therefore promise an improvement only after a long period of time, but never a full restoration, even if the vital powers are not (as is so frequently the case) altogether wasted; for where this is the case, he would feel compelled to desist from treatment even at the first glance. First the many chronic medicinal diseases which pass over the fluctuating state of health must gradually be removed (perhaps during a several months’ stay in the country almost without medicine); or they must depart as of themselves through the activity of the vital force, when the antipsoric treatment has to some degree begun, with an improved manner of living and a regulated diet. For who could find remedies for all these ailments artificially produced by a confused mass of strong unsuitable medicines? The vital force must first absorb and reform what it has compulsorily deformed, before the true healer will in time see again before him a partially cleared malady similar to the original one, and which he will then be able to combat.*
(* On the other hand, the most dreadful diseases of every kind which have not been spoiled by any medical fatuity, in the families of farm laborers and other day laborers, on whom of course no ordinary physician presses his services, are quite commonly, almost as if by a miracle, cured by the antipsoric remedies in a short time, and are transformed into lasting good health.)
—– Page – 117 —–
Woe to the young homoeopathic physician who has to found his fame upon the cure of those diseases, of rich and prominent persons, which by a mass of allopathic evil arts have degenerated into such monstrosities! With all his care he will end in failure!
A similar great hindrance to a cure of far-advanced chronic diseases is often found in the debility and weakness into which youths fall who are spoiled by rich parents, being carried away by their superabundance and wantonness, and seduced by wicked companions through destructive passions and excesses, through revellings, abuse of the sexual instinct, gambling, etc. Without the least regard for life and for conscience, bodies originally robust are debilitated by such vices into mere semblances of humanity, and are besides ruined by perverse treatment of their venereal diseases, so that the psora, which frequently lurks within, grows up into the most pitiable chronic diseases, which, even if the morality of the patient should have improved, on account of the depressing remorse, and the little remnant of their wasted vital powers, accept antipsoric relief only with the greatest difficulty. Such cases should be undertaken by homoeopathic physicians as curable only with the greatest caution and reserve.
But where the above-mentioned often almost insurmountable obstacles to the cure of these innumerable chronic diseases are not present,* there is nevertheless found at times, especially with the lower classes of patients, a peculiar obstruction to the cure, which lies in the source of the malady itself, where the psora, after repeated infections and a repeated external repression of the resulting eruption, had developed gradually from its internal state into one or more severe chronic ailments. A cure will, indeed, also be certainly effected here, if the above-mentioned obstacles do not prevent, by a judicious use of the antipsoric remedies, but only with much patience and considerable time, and only with patients who observe the directions and who are not too aged nor too much debilitated.
(* One additional obstacle to the homoeopathic cure of chronic diseases, and one which is not very rare but is still usually disregarded, is: The suppressed sexual instinct with marriageable persons of either sex, either from non-marriage owing to various causes not removable by a physician, or where in married persons sexual intercourse of an infirm wife with a vigorous husband, or of the infirm husband with a vigorous wife has been absolutely and forever interdicted by an injudicious physician, as is not infrequently the case. In such cases a more intelligent physician, recognizing the circumstances and the natural impulse implanted by the Creator, will give his permission and thus not infrequently render curable a multitude of hysterical and hypochondriac states, yea, often even melancholy and insanity.)
—– Page – 118 —–
But in these difficult cases also the wise arrangement of nature is manifested in aid of our efforts, if we only make a good use of the favorable moment offering. For experience informs us that in a case of itch arising from a new infection, even when, after several preceding infections and repressions of the eruption, the psora has made considerable progress in the production of chronic diseases of many kinds, the itch which has last arisen, if it has only still kept its full primitive eruption unhindered on the skin, may be cured almost as easily as if it were the first and the only one, i.e., usually by merely one or a few doses of the appropriate antipsoric medicine, and that by such a cure the whole psora of all the preceding infections, together with its outbreaks into chronic ailments, is cured.*
Nevertheless it is not advisable to intentionally cause a new artificial infection with itch, even if the patient felt no repugnance to it (as is nevertheless, frequently the case) merely on account of the easier cure in that case of the old psora which had been several times renewed; because in severe chronic diseases of a non-venereal and therefore psoric origin, – as e.g. suppuration of the lungs, a complete paralyzation of one or another part of the body, etc., – the itch miasma rarely retains its hold, and, as far as experience shows, it clings less when caused by an artificial inoculation than when it originates from an accidental, unintentional infection.
I have little further to say to the physician already skilled in the homoeopathic art as to how he is to operate in the cure of chronic diseases, except to direct him to the antipsoric remedies appended to this work; for he will know how to use these remedies for this noble end successfully. I have only to add a few cautions.
First of all, the great truth is established that all chronic ailments, all great, and the greatest, long continuing diseases (excepting the few venereal ones) spring from psora alone and only find their thorough cure in the cure of the psora; they are, consequently, to be healed mostly only by antipsoric remedies, i.e., by those remedies which in their provings as to their pure action on the healthy human body manifest most of the symptoms which are most frequently perceived in latent as well as in developed psora.
The homoeopathic physician, therefore, in curing a chronic (non- venereal) disease, and in all and in every symptom, ailment and disorder arising in this disease, no matter what seductive name these may have in common life or in pathology, will usually and especially look to the use of an antipsoric medicine selected according to strictly homoeopathic rules, in order to surely attain his end.
(* The same is the case, according to the merciful arrangement of nature, with syphilis, where, after a local destruction of the chancre or the bubo and after a consequent breaking out of the venereal disease, a new infection takes place. The new infection, while the chancre remains undisturbed, may be cured, together with the venereal disease sprung from the former infection, just as easily by a single dose of the best mercurial preparation, as if the first chancre were still present, – provided that no complication with either of the other two chronic miasmata, especially the psoric, has taken place; for in such a case, as has been mentioned above, the psora must first be removed.)
—– Page – 119 —–
Let him not think, while a well-chosen antipsoric medicine is acting and the patient some day feels a moderate headache, or else a moderate ailment, that he must give the patient at once some other medicine, whether an antipsoric or another remedy; or if perchance a sore throat should arise, that he must give another remedy, or another on account of diarrhoea, or another on account of some moderate pain in one part or another, etc.
No! the homoeopathic antipsoric medicine having been chosen as well as possible to suit the morbid symptoms, and given in the appropriate potency and in the proper dose, the physician should as a rule allow it to finish its action without disturbing it by an intervening remedy.
For if the symptoms occurring during the action of the remedy have also occurred, if not in the last few weeks, at least now and then some weeks before, or some months before in a similar manner, then such occurrences are merely a homoeopathic excitation, through the medicine, of some symptom not quite unusual to this disease, of something which had perhaps been more frequently troublesome before, and they are a sign that this medicine acts deeply into the very essence of this disease, and that consequently it will be more effective in the future. The medicine, therefore, should be allowed to continue and exhaust its action undisturbed, without giving the least medicinal substance between its doses.
But if the symptoms are different and had never before occurred, or never in this way, and, therefore, are peculiar to this medicine and not to be expected in the process of the disease, but trifling, the action of the medicine ought not for the present to be interrupted. Such symptoms frequently pass off without interrupting the helpful activity of the remedy; but if they are of a burdensome intensity, they are not to be endured; in such a case they are a sign that the antipsoric medicine was not selected in the correct homoeopathic manner. Its action must then be checked by an antidote, or when no antidote to it is known, another antipsoric medicine more accurately answering its symptoms must be given in its place; in this these false symptoms may continue a few more days, or they may return, but they will soon come to a final end and be replaced by a better help.
Least of all, need we to be concerned when the usual customary symptoms are aggravated and show most prominently on the first days, and again on some of the following days, but gradually less and less. This so-called homoeopathic aggravation is a sign of an incipient cure (of the symptoms thus aggravated at present), which may be expected with certainty.