Sycosis and Syphilis
by Samuel Hahnemann
Cure of the Chronic Diseases.
We now proceed to the medical Homoeopathic treatment of the illimitably large number of chronic diseases, which, after the above gained knowledge of their threefold nature, has not, indeed, become easy, but – what without this knowledge was before impossible – has at last become Possible, since the homoeopathically specific remedies for each one of these three different miasmata have in great part been discovered.
The first two miasmata, which cause by far the smaller part of the chronic diseases, the venereal chancre-disease (syphilis) and the figwart-disease (sycosis), with their sequelae, we will treat first, in order that we may have a free path to the therapeutics of the immeasurably greater number of the various chronic diseases which spring from Psora.
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First, then, concerning sycosis, as being that miasma which has produced by far the fewest chronic diseases, and has only been dominant from time to time. This figwart-disease, which in later times, especially during the French war, in the years 1809-1814, was so widely spread, but which has since showed itself more and more rarely, was treated almost always, in an inefficient and injurious manner, internally with mercury, because it was considered homogeneous with the venereal chancre-disease; but the excrescences on the genitals were treated by Allopathic physicians always in the most violent external way by cauterizing, burning and cutting, or by ligatures. These excrescences usually first manifest themselves on the genitals, and appear usually, but not always, attended with a sort of gonorrhoea* from the urethra, several days or several weeks, even many weeks after infection through coition; more rarely they appear dry and like warts, more frequently soft, spongy, emitting a specifically fetid fluid (sweetish and almost like herring-brine), bleeding easily, and in the form of a coxcomb or a cauliflower (brassica botrytes). These, with males, sprout forth on the glans and on, or below, the prepuce, but with women, on the parts surrounding the pudenda; and the pudenda themselves, which are then swollen, are covered often by a great number of them. When these are violently removed, the natural, proximate effect is, that they will usually come forth again, usually to be subjected again, in vain, to a similar, painful, cruel treatment. But even if they could be rooted out in this way, it would merely have the consequence, that the figwart-disease, after having been deprived of the, local symptom which acts vicariously for the internal ailment, would appear in other and much worse ways, in secondary ailments; for the figwart-miasm, which in the whole organism, has been in no way diminished, either by the external destruction of the above-mentioned excrescences, or by the mercury which has been used internally, and which is in no way appropriate to sycosis. Besides the undermining of the general health by mercury, which in this disease can only do injury, and which is given mostly in very large doses and in the most active preparations, similar excrescent then break out in other parts of the body, either whitish, spongy, sensitive, flat elevations, in the cavity of the mouth on the tongue, the palate and the lips, or as large, raised, brown and dry tubercles in the axillae, on the neck, on the scalp, etc., or there arise other ailments of the body, of which I shall only mention the contraction of the tendons of the flexor muscles, especially of the fingers.
(* Usually in gonorrhoea of this kind, the discharge is from the beginning thickish, like pus; micturition is less difficult, but the body of the penis swollen somewhat hard; the penis is also in some cases covered on the back with glandular tubercles, and very painful to the touch.)
(The miasm of the other common gonorrhoeas seems not to penetrate the whole organism, but only to locally stimulate the urinary organs. They yield either to a dose of one drop of fresh parsley-juice, when this is indicated by a frequent urgency to urinate, or a small dose of cannabis, of cantharides, or of the copaiva balm, according to their different constitution and the other ailments attending it. These should, however, be always used in the higher and dynamizations (potencies), unless a psora, slumbering in the body of the patient, has been developed by means of a strongly affecting, irritating or weakening treatment by Allopathic physicians. In such a case frequently secondary gonorrhoeas remain, which can only be cured by an anti-psoric treatment.)
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The gonorrhoea dependent on the figwart-miasma, as well as the above-mentioned excrescences (i.e., the whole sycosis), are cured most surely and most thoroughly through the internal use of Thuja,* which, in this case, is Homoeopathic, in a dose of a few pillets as large as poppy seeds, moistened with the dilution potentized to the decillionth degree, and when these have exhausted their action after fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty days, alternating with just as small a dose of nitric acid, diluted to the decillionth degree, which must be allowed to act as long a time, in order to remove the gonorrhoea and the excrescences; i.e., the whole sycosis. It is not necessary to use any external application, except in the most inveterate and difficult cases, when the larger figwarts may be moistened. every day with the mild, pure juice pressed from the green leaves of Thuja, mixed with an equal quantity of alcohol.
But if the patient was at the same time affected with another chronic ailment, as is usual after the violent treatment of figwarts by Allopathic physicians, then we often find developed psora** complicated with sycosis, when the psora, as is often the case, was latent before in the patient. At times, when a badly treated case of venereal chancre disease had preceded, both these miasmata are conjoined in a threefold complication with syphilis. Then it is necessary first to come to the assistance of the most afflicted part, the psora, with the specific anti-psoric remedies given below, and then to make use of the remedies for sycosis, before the proper dose of the best preparation of mercury, as will be described below, is given against the syphilis; the same alternating treatment may be continued, until a complete cure is effected. Only, each one of these three kinds of medicine must be given the proper time to complete its action.
(* Materia Medica Pura, Part V.)
(If further doses of Thuja are required, they are used most efficiently from other potencies (viii., vi., iv., ii.), a change of the modification of the remedy, which facilitates and strengthens its ability of affecting the vital force.)
(** This psora is hardly ever found in its developed state (and thus capable of entering into complication with other miasmata) with young people who have just been infected and seized by the figwart-disease, and who have not had to pass through the usual mercurial treatment, which never runs its course without the most violent assaults on the constitution; by this pernicious derangement of the whole organism, the psora, even if slumbering ever so soundly, will be awakened, if, as is often the case, it was present within.)
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In this reliable cure of sycosis from within, no external remedy (except the juice of Thuja in inveterate bad cases) must be applied or laid on the figwarts, only clean, dry lint, if they are of the moist variety.
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The second chronic miasma, which is more widely spread than the figwart-disease, and which for three and a half [now four] centuries has been the source of many other chronic ailments, is the miasm of the venereal disease proper, the chancre-disease (syphilis). This disease only causes difficulties in its cure, if it is entangled (complicated) with a psora that has been already far developed – with sycosis it is complicated but rarely, but then usually at the same time with psora.
In the cure of the venereal disease, three states are to be distinguished:
1. When syphilis is still alone and attended with its associated local symptom, the chancre, or at least if this has been removed by external applications, it is still associated with the other local symptom, which in a similar manner acts vicariously for the internal disorder, the bubo.*
2. When it is alone, indeed, i.e., without any complication with a second or third miasma, but has already been deprived of the vicarious local symptom, the chancre (and the bubo).
3. When it is already complicated with another chronic disease, i.e., with a psora already developed, while the local symptom may either be yet present, or may have been removed by local applications.
The chancre appears, after an impure coition, usually between the seventh and fourteenth days, rarely sooner or later, mostly on the member infected with the miasma, first as a little pustule, which changes into an impure ulcer with raised borders and stinging pains, which if not cured remains standing on the same place during man’s lifetime, only increasing with the years, while the secondary symptoms of the venereal disease, syphilis, cannot break out as long as it exists.
In order to help in such a case, the Allopathic physician destroys this chancre, by means of corroding, cauterizing and desiccating substances, wrongly conceiving it to be a sore arising merely from without through a local infection, thus holding it to be a merely local ulcer, such also it is declared to be in their writings. They falsely suppose, that when it appears, no internal venereal disease is as yet to be thought of, so that when locally exterminating the chancre, they suppose that they remove all the venereal disease from the patient at once, if only he will not permit this ulcer to remain too long in its place, so that the absorbent vessels do not get time to transfer the poison into the internal organism, and so cause by delay a general infection of the system with syphilis. They evidently do not know, that the venereal infection of the whole body commenced with the very moment of the impure coition, and was already completed before the appearance of the chancre. The Allopathic doctor destroys in his blindness, through local applications, the vicarious external symptom (the chancre ulcer), which kind nature intended for the alleviation of the internal extensive venereal general disease; and so he inexorably compels the organism to replace the destroyed first substitute of the internal venereal malady (the chancre) by a far more painful substitute, the bubo, which hastens onward to suppuration; and when the Allopath, as is usually the case, also drives out this bubo through his injurious treatment, then nature finds itself compelled to develop the internal malady through far more troublesome secondary ailments, through the outbreak of the whole chronic syphilis, and nature accomplishes this, though slowly, (frequently not before several months have elapsed), but with unfailing certainty. Instead of assisting, therefore, the Allopath does injury.
(* Very rarely the impure coition is at once followed by the bubo alone without any preceding chancre; usually the bubo only comes after the destruction of the chancre by local applications, and is a very troublesome substitute for the same.)
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John Hunter says: Not one patient out of fifteen will escape syphilis, if the chancre is destroyed by mere external applications, and in another passage in his book he says: The result of destroying the chancre ever so early, and even on the first day of its appearance, if this is effected by local applications, was always the consequent outbreak of syphilis.
Just as emphatically Fabre declares:** Syphilis always follows on the destruction of the chancre by local applications. He relates that Petit cut off a part of the labia of a woman, who had thereon for a few days a venereal chancre; the wound healed, but syphilis, nevertheless, broke out.
How, then, could physicians, despite of all these facts and testimonies, close their eyes, and ears to the truth: that the whole venereal disease (syphilis) was already developed within, before the chancre could appear, and that it was a most unpardonable mistake to forward the certain outbreak of the syphilis, already present within, into the venereal disease, by driving away and destroying the chancre by external means, and thereby destroying the fair opportunity afforded of curing this disease in the easiest and most convincing manner, through the internal specific remedy, while the chancre was yet fully present! The disease is not cured except when through the effect of the internal remedy alone, the chancre is cured; but it is fully extinguished, as soon as through the action of the internally operating medicine alone (without the addition of any external remedy) the chancre is completely cured, without leaving any trace of its former presence.
(*Abhandl. uber die vener. Krankheit (Treatise on the Venereal Disease), Leipsic, 1787, P.531.)
(Abhandl. uber die vener. Krankheit, Leipsic, 1787, PP.551-553.)
(** Fabre, Lettres, SupplÃ©ment, Ã son traitÃ© des maladies vÃ©nÃ©riennes. Paris, 1786.)
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I have never, in my practice of more than fifty years, seen any trace of the venereal disease break out, so long as the chancre remained untouched in its place, even if this were a space of several years (for it never passes away of itself), and even when it had largely increased in its place, as is natural in time with the internal augmentation of the venereal disorder, which increase takes place in time in every chronic miasma.
But whenever anyone is so imprudent, as to destroy this vicarious local symptom, the organism is ready to cause the internal syphilis to break out into the venereal disease, since the general venereal disease dwells in the body from the first moment of infection.
For in the spot, into which at the impure coition the syphilitic miasma had been first rubbed in and had been caught, it is, in the same moment, no more local: the whole living body has already received (perceived) its presence, the miasma has already become the property of the whole organism. All wiping off and washing off, however speedy, and with whatever fluid this be done (and as we have seen, even the exsection of the part affected), is too late – is in vain. There is not to be perceived, indeed, any morbid transmutation in that spot during the first days, but the specific venereal transformation takes place in the internal of the body irresistibly, from the first moment of infection until syphilis has developed itself throughout the whole body, and only then (not before), nature, loaded down by the internal malady, brings forth the local symptom peculiar to this malady, the chancre, usually in the place first infected; and this symptom is intended by nature to soothe the internal completed malady.
Therefore also, the cure of the venereal disease is effected most easily and in the most convincing manner, so long as the chancre (the bubo) has not yet been driven, out by local applications, so long as the chancre (the bubo) still remains unchanged, as a vicarious symptom of the internal syphilis. In this state, and especially when it is not yet complicated with psora, it may be asserted from manifold experience and with good reason, that there is on earth no chronic miasma, no chronic disease springing from a miasma, which is more curable and more easily curable than this.
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In this first simple state and simple cure, when the chancre (or the bubo) is still present, and there is no complication with a developed psora, no prominent chronic ailment from a psoric origin (usually there is none such with young, lively persons), and with latent psora syphilis combines as little as sycosis – in this first state it needs only one little dose of the best mercurial remedy, in order to cure thoroughly and forever the whole syphilis with its chancre, within fourteen days. In a few days after taking such a dose of mercury, the chancre (without any external application) becomes a clean sore with a little mild pus, and heals of itself – as a convincing proof, that the venereal malady is also fully extinguished within; and it does not leave behind the least scar, or the least spot, showing any other color than the other healthy skin. But the chancre, which is not treated with external application, would never heal, if the internal syphilis had not been already annihilated and extinguished by the dose of mercury; for so long as it exists in its place, it is the natural and unmistakable proof of even the least remainder of an existing syphilis.
I have, indeed in the second edition of the first part of Materia Medica Pura (Dresden, 1822), described the preparation of the pure semi-oxide of mercury, and I still consider this to be one of the most excellent anti-syphilitic medicines; but it is difficult to prepare it in sufficient purity. In order, therefore, to reach this wished for goal in a still simpler manner, free from all detours, and yet just as perfectly (for in the preparation of medicines we cannot proceed in too simple a manner), it is best to proceed in the way given below, so that one grain of quite pure running quick-silver is triturated three times, with 100 grains of sugar of milk each time, up to the millionth attenuation, in three hours, and one grain of this third trituration is dissolved, and then potentized through twenty-seven diluting phials up to (x) the decillionth degree, as is taught at the end of this volume, with respect to the dynamization of the other dry medicines.
I formerly used the billionth dynamization (ii) of this preparation in I, 2 or 3 fine pellets moistened with this dilution, as a dose, and this was done successfully for such cures; although the preparation of the higher potencies (iv, vi, viii), and finally the decillionth potency (x), show some advantages, in their quick, penetrating and yet mild action for this purpose; but in cases where a second or third dose (however seldom needed) should be found necessary, a lower potency may then be taken.
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Just as the continued presence of the chancre (or the bubo) during the cure shows the continued presence of syphilis, so when the chancre (and the bubo) heal merely from the internally applied mercury, without any addition of a remedy used for the local symptom, and yet this disappears without leaving any trace of its former presence; it is incontrovertibly sure, that also every trace of the internal syphilis was extinguished at the moment of the completion of the cure of the chancre or the bubo.
But just as incontrovertibly does it follow that every disappearance of the chancre (or the bubo) owing to a mere local destruction, since it was no real cure founded on the extirpation of the internal venereal disease through the internally given appropriate mercury medicine, leaves to us the certainty that the syphilis remains behind; and every one who supposes himself healed by any such merely local, pretended cure, is to be, considered as much venereally diseased as he was before the destruction of the chancre.
The second state in which, as mentioned above, syphilis may have to be treated, is the rare case when an otherwise healthy person, affected with no other chronic disease (and thus without any developed psora), has experienced this injudicious driving away of the chancre through local applications, effected by an ordinary physician in a short time and without attacking the organism overmuch with internal and external remedies. Even in such a case, – as we have not as yet to combat any complication with psora – all outbreaks of the secondary venereal disease may be avoided, and the man may be freed from every trace of the venereal miasma through the before-mentioned simple internal cure effected by a like dose of the above mentioned mercurial medicine – although the certainty of his cure can no more be so manifestly proved as if the chancre had still been in existence during this internal cure, and as if it had become a mild ulcer simply through this internal remedy, and had been thus manifestly cured of itself.
But here also there may be found a sign of the non-completed as well as of the completed cure of the internal syphilis which has not yet broken out into the venereal disease; but this sign will only manifest itself to an exact observer. In case the chancre has been driven out through local application, even if the remedies used had not been very acrid, there will always remain in the place where it stood, as a sign of the unextinguished internal syphilis, a discolored, reddish, red or blue scar; while on the contrary, when the cure of the whole venereal disease has been effected by the internal remedy, and if thus the chancre heals of itself without the action of an external application, and when it disappears because it is no more needed as a substitute and alleviator of an internal venereal disorder which now has ceased, then the spot of the former chancre can no more be recognized, for the skin covering that place will be just as smooth and of the same color as the rest, so that no trace can be discerned of the spot where the chancre had stood.
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Now if the Homoeopathic physician has carefully taken cognizance of the presence of the discolored scar remaining after the quick, merely local expulsion of the venereal local symptom, as a sign of the unextinguished internal syphilis, and if the person to be healed is otherwise in good health, and consequently his venereal disorder is not yet complicated with psora, he will also, even now, be able to free him from every remainder of the venereal. miasma by one dose of the best preparation of mercury as above described, and he will be convinced that the cure is completed, from the fact that during the time of the activity of the specific remedy the scar will again assume the healthy color of the other skin and all discoloration of that spot will disappear.
Even when, after the expulsion of the chancre by local applications, the bubo has already broken out but the patient is not yet seized with any other chronic disease, and consequently the internal syphilis is not yet complicated with a developed psora (which is nevertheless a rare case), the same treatment will also here, while the bubo is only developing, produce a cure; and its completion will be recognized by the same signs.
In both cases, if they have been rightly treated, the cure is a complete one, and no outbreak of the venereal disease need any more be apprehended.
The most difficult of all these cases, the third, is still to be treated: when the man at the time of the syphilitic infection was already laboring under a chronic disease, so that his syphilis was complicated with psora, even while the chancre yet existed, or when, even while there was no chronic disease in the body at the outbreak of the chancre, and the indwelling psora could only be recognized by its tokens, an allopathic physician has, nevertheless, destroyed the local symptom, not only slowly and with very painful external applications, but has also subjected him for a long time to an internal treatment, weakening and strongly affecting him so that the general health has been undermined and the psora which had as yet been latent within him has been brought to its development and has broken out into chronic ailments, and these irrepressibly combine with the internal syphilis, the local symptom, of which had been at the same time destroyed in such an irrational manner. Psora can only be complicated with the venereal disease when it has been developed and when it has ultimated itself in a manifest chronic disease; but not when it is as yet latent and slumbering. By the latter the cure of syphilis is not obstructed, but when complicated with developed psora, it is impossible to cure the venereal disease alone.
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Only too often, I should say, do we find the syphilis which has remained uncured after the merely local destruction of the chancre, complicated with awakened psora, not always because the psora was already developed before the venereal infection – for this is rarely the case with young people – but because it is violently awakened and brought to its outbreak by the usual treatment of the venereal disease. By means of friction with mercury, large doses of calomel, corrosive sublimate and similar acrid mercurial remedies, (which originate fever, dysenteric abdominal ailments, chronic exhausting salivation, pains in the limbs, sleeplessness, etc., without possessing sufficient anti-syphilitic power to cure the chancre-miasma mildly, quickly and perfectly,) they assault the venereal patient often for many months, with the intermediate use of many weakening warm baths and purgatives; so that the internal slumbering psora (whose nature causes it to break forth in all great convulsions and in the weakening of the general health) is awakened before the syphilis can be cured by such all injudicious treatment, and thus becomes associated and complicated therewith.
There arises in this manner and through this combination what is called a masked, spurious syphilis, and in England pseudo syphilis, a monster of a double disease,* which no physician hitherto has been able to cure, because no physician hitherto has been acquainted with the psora in its great extent and its nature, neither in its latent nor its developed state; and no one suspected this dreadful combination with syphilis, much less perceived it. No one, therefore, could heal the developed psora, the only cause of the uncurableness of this bastard syphilis, – nor could they in consequence free the syphilis from this horrible combination so as to make it curable, just as the psora remains incurable if the syphilis has not been extirpated.
In order to reach this so-called masked venereal disease successfully, the following rule must serve the homoeopathic physician:
After removing all hurtful influences that affect the patients from without and after settling on a light and yet nourishing and strengthening diet for the patient, let him first give the anti-psoric medicine which is homoeopathically the best fitting to the then prevailing state of disease, as will be shown below; and when this medicine has completed its action, also probably a second, most suitable to the still prominent psora symptoms, and these should be allowed to act against the psora, until they have effected all that can be at present done against it – then should be given the dose above described of the best mercurial preparation to act against the venereal disease for three, five to seven weeks; i.e., so long as it will continue to produce an improvement in the venereal symptoms.
(* Yea, after such a treatment it is even more than a double disease; the sharp mercurial medicines, in large and frequent doses, have also added their medicinal disease, which when we consider in addition the than a double disease; the sharp mercurial medicines, in large and frequent doses, have also added their medicinal disease, which when we consider in addition the debility caused by such treatment must place the patient in a most sad state. In such a case hepar sulphuris is probably to be preferred to the pure sulphur.)
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In inveterate and difficult cases, however, this first course will hardly accomplish all that is desired. There usually still remain some ailments and disorders, which cannot be definitely classed as purely psoric, and others which cannot be classed as definitely syphilitic, and these require yet some additional aid. A repetition of a similar process of cure is here required; i.e., first another application of one or more of the anti-psoric remedies that have not yet been used, and which are homoeopathically the most appropriate, until whatever seems still unsyphilitically morbid – i.e., psoric – may disappear, when the before mentioned dose of the mercurial remedy, but in another potency, should be given again and allowed to complete its action, until the manifest venereal symptoms (the pricking, painful ulcer of the tonsils, the round copper-colored spots that shimmer through the epidermis, the eruptive pimples which do not itch and are found chiefly in the face upon a bluish-red foundation, the painless cutaneous ulcers on the scalp and the penis, which are smooth, pale, clean, merely covered with mucus, and almost level with the healthy skin, etc., and the boring, nightly pains in the exostoses) have entirely passed away. But since these secondary venereal symptoms are so changeable that their temporary disappearance gives no certainty of their complete extinction, we must also wait for that more conclusive sign of the complete extirpation of the venereal miasm afforded by the return of the healthy color and the entire disappearance of the discoloration found in the scar which remains after the extirpation of the chancre by local, corrosive applications.
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I have, in my practice, found only two cases* of the threefold complication of the three chronic miasms, the figwart disease with the venereal chancre miasm and at the same time a developed psora, and these cases were cured according to the same method; i.e., the Psora was treated first, then the one of the other two chronic miasmata, the symptoms of which were at the time the most prominent, and then the last one. The remaining psoric symptoms had then still to be combated with suitable remedies, and then lastly what there yet remained of sycosis or syphilis, by means of the remedies given above. I would also remark that the complete cure of sycosis which has taken possession of the whole organism before the outbreak of its local symptoms is demonstrated, like that of the chancre miasma, by the complete disappearance of the discoloration on the spot of the skin, which discoloration remains after every merely local destruction of the figwart as a sign of the unextirpated sycosis.
(*A master tiler from the Saxon-Erz Mountains, whose dissolute wife had infected him with a venereal disease in his genitals, concerning which it was not apparent from his description whether it was a chancre or a figwart, had been so maltreated by violent mercurial remedies that he had lost his uvula, and his nose was so affected that the fleshy parts had mostly been eaten away, and the remaining part was swollen and inflamed and pierced like a honeycomb with ulcers. This was attended with great pain and an intolerably fetid smell. In addition he had a psoric ulcer on the leg. The anti-psoric remedies improved the ulcers up to a certain degree: they healed the ulcer on the leg, they took away the burning pain and most of the fetid smell of the nose; also the remedies given to cure the sycosis caused some improvement – but as to the sum total nothing further was effected until he received a small dose of protoxide of mercury, after which everything was fully healed and he was restored to full health, excepting the irreparable loss of his nose.)