by Samuel Hahnemann
The medicines which have been found most suitable and excellent in chronic diseases so far, I shall present in the following part according to their pure action on the human body, as well those used in the treatment of the diseases of psoric origin, as those used in syphilis and in the figwart-disease.
That we need far fewer remedies to combat the latter than the psora can not with any thinking man form an argument against the chronic miasmatic nature of the latter and still less against the fact that it is the common source of the other chronic diseases.
The psora, a most ancient miasmatic disease, in propagating itself for many thousands of years through several millions of human organisms, of which each one had its own peculiar constitution and was exposed to very varied influences, was able to modify itself to such a degree as to cause that incredible variety of ailments which we see in the innumerable chronic patients, with whom the external symptom (which acts vicariously for the internal malady), i.e. the more or less extensive eruption of itch, has been driven away from the skin by a fatal art, or in whom it has disappeared of itself from the skin through some other violent incident.
Hence it seems to have come to pass that this half-spiritual miasma, which like a parasite seeks to inroot its hostile life in the human organism and to continue its life there, could develop itself in so many ways in the many thousands of years, so that it has even caused to spring forth and has born modified offshoots with characteristic properties, which do not indeed deny their descent from their stock (the common psora) but, nevertheless, differ from one another considerably by some peculiarities. These changes are due in some part to the varying physical peculiarities and climatic differences of the dwelling-places of men afflicted with the psora,* and in part are moulded by their varying modes of life, e.g. children in the corrupt city air develop rachitis, spina ventosa, softening of the bones, curvatures, cancer of late bones, tinea capitis, scrofula, ringworm; adults exhibit nervous debility, nervous irritability, gout of the joints, etc. And so also the other great varieties in the mode of living and in the occupations of men with their inherited bodily constitutions give to the psoric diseases so many modifications, that it may easily be understood, that more numerous and more varied remedies are needed for the extirpation of all these modifications of the psora (antipsoric remedies).
(* E.g. the Sibbens or Rade-Syge commonly found in Norway and in the northwest of Scotland; the Pellagra in Lombardy; the plica polonica (Koltun, Trichiasis) in Poland and Carinthia, the tumorous leprosy in Surinam; the raspberry-like excrescences (Frambosia) in Guinea called yaws and in America pian; the exhaustive fever in Hungary called Tsomor, the exhausting malady of Virginia (asthenia Virginensium), the human degeneration in the deep Alpine villages called cretin, the goitre in the deep valleys and at their entrances, etc.)
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I have often been asked by what signs a substance may beforehand be recognized as antipsoric? But there can be no such external visible marks in them; nevertheless while proving several powerful substances as to their pure effects on the healthy body, several of them by the complaints they caused showed me their extraordinary and manifest suitableness for homoeopathic aid in the symptoms of clearly defined psoric diseases. Some traces of their qualities leading in this direction gave me in advance some hint as to their probable usefulness; e.g. the efficacy of the herb Lycopodium, much praised in Poland for the plica polonia pointed me to the use of the pollen of lycopodium in similar psoric ailments. The circumstance that some haemorrhages have been arrested by large doses of salt was another hint. So was the usefulness of Guaiacum, Sarsaparilla and Mezereum, even in ancient times where venereal diseases could not be healed by any amount of mercury unless one or the other of these herbs had first removed the psora complicated with it.
As a rule it was developed from their pure symptoms, that most of the earths, alkalies and acids, as well as the neutral salts composed of them, together with several of the metals cannot be dispensed with in curing the almost innumerable symptoms of psora. The similarity in nature of the leading antipsoric, sulphur, to phosphorus and other combustible substances from the vegetable and the mineral kingdoms led to the use of the latter, and some animal substances naturally followed them by analogy, in agreement with experience.
Still only those remedies have been acknowledged as antipsoric whose pure effects on the human health gave a clear indication of their homoeopathic use in diseases manifestly psoric, confessedly due to infection; so that, with an enlargement of our knowledge of their proper, pure medicinal effects, in time it may be found necessary to include some of our other medicines among the antipsoric remedies; although even now we can with certainty cure, with the antipsorics now recognized, nearly all non-venereal (psoric) chronic diseases, if the patients have not been loaded down and spoiled through allopathic mismanagement with severe medicine-diseases, and when their vital force has not been depressed too low, or very unfavorable external circumstances make the cure impossible. Nevertheless, it need not be specially stated that the other proved, homoeopathic medicines, not excepting mercury, cannot be dispensed with in certain states of the psoric diseases.
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Homoeopathy, by a certain treatment of the crude medicinal substances, which had not been invented before its foundation and development, advances them into the state of progressive and high development of their indwelling forces, in order that it may then use them in curing in the most perfect manner. Some of these medicines in their crude state seem to have a very imperfect, insignificant medicinal action (e.g. common salt and the pollen of lycopodium). Others (e.g. gold, quartz, alumina) seem to have none at all, but all of them become highly curative by the preparation peculiar to Homoeopathy. Other substances, on the other hand, in their crude state are, even in the smallest quantities, so violent in their effects that if they touch the animal fibre, they act upon it in a corroding and destructive manner (e.g. arsenic and corrosive sublimate) and these medicines are rendered by the same preparation peculiar to Homoeopathy not only mild in their effects, but also incredibly developed in their medicinal powers.
The changes which take place in material substances, especially in medicinal ones, through long-continued trituration with a non-medicinal powder, or when dissolved, through a long-continued shaking with a non-medicinal fluid, are so incredible, that they approach the miraculous, and it is a cause of joy that the discovery of these wonderful changes belongs to Homoeopathy.
Not only, as shown elsewhere, do these medicinal substances thereby develop their powers in a prodigious degree, but they also change their physico-chemical demeanor in such a way, that if no one before could ever perceive in their crude form any solubility in alcohol or water, after this peculiar transmutation they become wholly soluble in water as well as in alcohol – a discovery invaluable to the healing art.
The brown-black juice of the marine animal Sepia, which was formerly only used for drawing and painting, is in its crude state soluble only in water, not in alcohol; but by such a trituration it becomes soluble also in alcohol.
The yellow Petroleum only allows something to be extracted from it through alcohol when it is adulterated with ethereal vegetable oil; but in its pure state while crude it is soluble neither in water nor in alcohol (nor in ether). By trituration it becomes soluble in both substances.
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So also the Pollen of lycopodium floats on alcohol and on water, without either of them showing any action upon it – the crude lycopodium is tasteless and inactive when it enters the human stomach; but when changed in a similar manner through trituration it is not only perfectly soluble in either fluid, but has also developed such extraordinary medicinal powers, that great care must be taken in its medicinal use.
Who ever found marble or oyster-shells soluble in pure water or in alcohol? But this mild lime becomes perfectly soluble in either, by means of this mode of preparation; the same is the case with baryta and magnesia and these substances then exhibit astonishing medicinal powers.
Least of all will anyone ascribe solubility in water and alcohol to quartz, to rock-crystal (many crystals of which have contained enclosed in them drops of water for thousands of years unchanged), or to sand; nor would any one ascribe to them medicinal power, and yet by the dynamization (potentizing)* peculiar to Homoeopathy, by melting silica with an alkaline salt, and then precipitating it from this glass, it not only becomes soluble without any residuum in water and in alcohol, but also then shows prodigious medicinal powers.
What can I say of the pure metals and of their sulphurets, but that all of them, without any exception become by this treatment equally soluble in water and in alcohol, and every one of them develops the medicinal virtue peculiar to it in the purest, simplest manner and in an incredibly high degree?
But the chemical medicinal substances thus prepared now also stand above the chemical laws.
A dose of phosphorus, potentized highly in a similar manner, may lie in its paper envelope in the desk, and, nevertheless, when taken after a whole year’s interval, it will still show its full medicinal power; not that of phosphoric acid, but that of the unchanged, uncombined phosphorus itself. So that no neutralization takes place in this its elevated, and as it were, glorified state.
The medicinal effects of natrum carbonicum, of ammonium carbonicum, of baryta, of lime, and of magnesia, in this highly potentized state, when a dose of one of them has been taken, is not neutralized like basic substances taken in a crude form by a drop of vinegar taken afterwards; their medicinal effect being neither changed nor destroyed.
(* In its crude condition and without this preparation quartz and pebbles do not seem to allow a development of their medicinal powers by trituration and therefore it is that the triturating of various medicine with the indifferent sugar of milk in the porcelain triturating bowl seems to impart to them no admixture of silicea as some anxious purists have vainly feared.)
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Nitric acid when thus given in its highly potentized state in which it is serviceable for homoeopathic medicinal use, is not changed by a little crude lime or crude soda given after it, as to its strong well defined medicinal action; therefore it is not neutralized.
In this preparation, peculiar to Homoeopathy, we take one grain in powder of any of the substances treated of in the six volumes of Materia Medica Pura,* and especially those of the antipsoric substances following below, i.e., of silica, carbonate of baryta, carbonate of lime, carbonate of soda and sal ammoniac, carbonate of magnesia, vegetable charcoal, animal charcoal, graphites, sulphur, crude antimony, metallic antimony, gold, platina, iron, zinc, copper, silver, tin. The lumps of the metals which have not yet been beaten out into foil, are rubbed off on a fine, hard whetstone under water, some of them, as iron, under alcohol; of mercury in the liquid form one grain is taken, of petroleum one drop instead of a grain, etc. This is first put on about one-third of 100 grains of pulverized sugar of milk, and placed in an unglazed porcelain mortar, or in one from which the glaze has been first rubbed off with wet sand; the medicine and the sugar of milk are then mixed for a moment with a porcelain spatula, and the mixture is triturated with some force for six minutes, the triturated substance is then for four minutes scraped from the mortar and from the porcelain pestle,** which is also unglazed, or has had its glazing rubbed off with wet sand, so that the trituration may be homogeneously mixed. After this has been thus scraped together, it is triturated again without any addition for another six minutes with equal force. After scraping together again from the bottom and the sides for four minutes this triturate (for which the first third of the 100 grains had been used), the second third of the sugar of milk is now added, both are mixed together with the spatula for a moment, triturated again with like force for six minutes; then having again scraped the triturate for four minutes, it is triturated a second time (without addition) for six minutes more, and after scraping it together for another four minutes it is mixed with the last third of the powdered sugar of milk by stirring it around with the spatula, and then the whole mixture is again triturated for six minutes, scraped for four minutes, and a second and last time triturated for six minutes; then it is all scraped together and the powder is preserved in a well stoppered bottle with the name of the substance and the signature 100 because it is potentized one hundred fold.
(* Vegetable substances which can only be procured dry, e.g., cinchona bark, ipecacuanha, etc., are prepared by the same kind of trituration and will completely dissolve when potentized a million fold, not less, with their peculiar powers, in water and alcohol, and may then be preserved as medicines far more easily than the easily spoiled alcoholic tinctures. Of the juiceless vegetable substances, such as oleander, thuja, the bark of mezereum, etc., we may, without making a mistake, take of each about one and a half grains of the fresh leaves, bark, root, etc., without any further preparation, and triturate the same three times with 100 grains of sugar of milk to the millionfold powder trituration. A grain of this dissolved in alcohol and water may be developed in the diluting vials with alcohol to the necessary degree of potency of their powers by giving for each potency two succussive strokes. Also with the freshly expressed juices of the herbs it is best to at once put one drop of the same with as much sugar of milk as is taken for the preparation of the other medicines, so as to triturate it to the millionfold powder attenuation, and then a grain of this attenuation is dissolved in equal parts of water and alcohol, and must be potentized to a further dynamization through the twenty-seven diluting vials by means of two succussive strokes. The fresh juices thus seem to acquire more of dynamization, as experience teaches me, than when the juice without any preparation by triturating is merely diluted in thirty vials of alcohol and potentized each time with two succussive strokes.)
(Even phosphorus which is so easily oxidized by exposure to the air is potentized in a similar manner, and thus rendered soluble in these two liquids, and is thus prepared as a homoeopathic medicine; but in this case some precautions are used, which will be found below.)
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(** That after the completion of every three hours’ trituration of a medicinal substance, the mortar, pestle and spatula are to be several times scalded with boiling water, being after every scalding wiped quite dry and clean, I presuppose as indispensable, so that no idea of spoiling any medicine that may be triturated in it in feature may be entertained. If the further precaution is used of exposure mortar, pestle and spatula to a heat approaching red heat, this will dissipate every thought that any least rest of the medicine last triturated can cling to them and thus even the most scrupulous mind will be satisfied.)
(Only phosphorus needs some modification in the preparation (if the first attenuation to the 100th degree. Here the hundred grains of sugar of milk are at once put into the triturating bowl and, with about twelve drops of water they are stirred by means of the wet pestle into a thickish pap; one grain of phosphorus is then cut into numerous pieces, say twelve, and kneaded in with the moist pestle and rather stamped than rubbed into it, while the mass which often clings to the pestle is as often scraped into the mortar. Thus the little crumbs of phosphorus are rubbed to little invisible dust particles in the, thick pap of sugar of milk even in the first two periods of six minutes each, without the appearance of the least spark. During the third period of six minutes the stamping may pass over into rubbing, because the mass is then approaching the form of powder. During the succeeding three periods of six minutes each trituration is carried on only with a moderate force, and after every six minutes the powder is scraped from the mortar and the pestle for several minutes, which is done easily, as this powder does not adhere tenaciously. After the sixth period of trituration the powder, when standing exposed to the air in the dark, is only feebly luminous, and has but a slight odor. It is put into a well-stoppered vial and marked phosphorus 1/100, the other two triturations 1/10000, and 1/mill. are prepared like those from other dry medicinal substances.)
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To potentize the substance to the ten thousandth attenuation, one grain of the powder last mentioned as being the one hundredth is taken with one-third of 100 grains of fresh sugar of milk, stirred in the mortar with a spatula and treated as above, so that every third is triturated twice for six minutes at a time, and after every trituration is scraped together (for about four minutes), before the second third of the sugar of milk is added and after this has been similarly treated the last third of sugar of milk is stirred into it and again similarly triturated twice for six minutes at a time, when it is scraped together, put in a stoppered vial with the signature 1/10000 as it contains the medicine potentized to the ten thousandth attenuation.* The same is done with one grain of this powder (marked 1/10000) in order to bring it to I, and thus to attenuate it to the millionfold potency.
In order to produce a homogeneity in the preparation of the homoeopathic and especially the antipsoric remedies, at least in the form of powders, I advise the reducing of medicines only to this millionth potency, no more and no less and to prepare from this the solutions and the necessary potencies of these solutions; this has been my own custom.
The trituration should be done with force, yet only with so much force that the sugar of milk may not be pressed too firmly to the mortar, but may be scraped up in four minutes.
Now in preparing the solutions from this, and in bringing the medicines thus potentized one millionfold, into the fluid form, (so that their dynamization may be still further continued), we are aided by the property of all medicinal substances, that, when brought to the potency I, they are soluble in water and alcohol; this property is still unknown to chemistry.
(* Thus it will be seen that every attenuation (that to 1/100, that to 1/10000, and also the third to 1/1000000 or I) is prepared by six times triturating for six minutes and six times scraping together for four minutes each time. Thus each one requires one hour.)
(In the beginning I used to give a small part of a grain of the powders potentized to the 1/10000 or the I degree by trituration, as a dose. But since it small part of a grain is too indefinite a quantity, and since Homoeopathy must avoid all indefiniteness and inexactness as much as possible, the discovery that all medicines may be changed from potentized medicinal powders into fluids with which a definite number of pellets may be moistened for a dose, was of great value to me. From liquids the higher potencies may also be easily prepared.)