General Pathology of Homoeopathy by Stuart Close
Theory of the Chronic Diseases. – Human pathology is the science which treats of diseased or abnormal conditions of living human beings. It is customary to divide the subject into general pathology and special pathology. *Special pathology is divided into *medical pathology, dealing with internal morbid conditions, and *surgical pathology, which deals with external conditions. *General pathology bears the same relation to special pathology that philosophy bears to the special sciences. It is the synthesis of the analyses made by special pathology. It deals with principles, theories, explanations and classifications of facts.
While the findings and conclusions of modern pathology are accepted in large part by all schools of medicine, and serve as the common basis of the therapeutic art, there are enough variations and differences, particularly in general pathology, arising from contemplation of the subject from the homoeopathic point of view to justify the creation of a special field or department, called Homoeopathic General Pathology, especially as it is concerned with *Chronic Diseases.
Homoeopathy differs with regular medicine in its interpretation and application of several fundamental principles of science. It is these differences of interpretation and the practice growing out of them which give homoeopathy its individuality and continue its existence as a distinct school of medicine.
These differences are primarily philosophical. They have to do mainly with the interpretation or explanation of facts upon which all are agreed, and which all accept. These differing interpretations arise from differing viewpoints. Modern science in general, and medical science in particular, regards the facts of the universe from a materialistic standpoint. It endeavors to reduce all things to the terms of *matter and motion. No valid objection could be raised to this if its definitions of these terms were broad enough to include all the facts.But failing in this, and deliberately closing its eyes and refusing to see certain great, fundamental facts which are not covered by its definitions and of which, therefore, no explanation can be made, medical science formulates systems and methods of practice which are not only inefficient, but often positively harmful.
Homoeopathic medical science views the facts of the universe in general, and medical facts in particular, from a vitalistic sub- stantialistic standpoint; that is, from the standpoint of the substantial philosophy, which regards all things and forces, *including life and mind, as substantial entities, having a real, objective existence. In homoeopathic philosophy life and mind are the fundamental verities of the universe.
Upon the recognition of this basic fact rests Hahnemann’s doctrine of the ” Vital Force” as set forth in the Organon, about which there has been so much discussion. All doubt as to Hahnemann’s position is removed and the subject is placed beyond controversy so far as he is concerned by the final sixth revised edition of the Organon, which is at last accessible to the profession. In this edition Hahnemann invariably uses the term, *Vital Principle instead of Vital Force, even speaking in one place of *”the vital force of the Vital Principle,” thus making it clear that he holds firmly to the substantialistic view of life-that is, that Life is a substantial, objective entity; a primary, originating power or principle and not a mere condition or mode of motion. From this conception arises the dynamical theory of disease upon which is based the Hahnemann pathology, *viz.: that disease is always primarily a morbid dynamical or functional disturbance of the vital principle; and upon this is reared the entire edifice of therapeutic medication, governed by the law of *Similia as a selective principle.
As this view leads to a radically different method of practice, the necessity for a special consideration of general pathology in its various departments is evident.
In formulating his “Theory of the Chronic Miasms, ” Hahnemann did for pathology what he had already done for therapeutics: he reduced a great mass of unsystematized data to order by making a classification based upon general principles.
This classification of the phenomena of disease led to the broadest generalization in pathology and etiology that has ever been made, and greatly simplified and elucidated the whole subject.
Hahnemann’s generalization was based upon his new and far- reaching discovery: *the existence of living, specific, infectious micro-organisms as the cause of the greater part of all true diseases.
The history of the progress of natural history shows how men first approached nature; how the facts have been collected, and how these facts have been converted into science by successively broader and broader generalizations leading to the discovery of basic laws of nature.
The work of Hahnemann in pathology may be compared to that of Cuvier in zoology, who reduced the entire animal kingdom to four fundamental classes, based upon the general characteristics of their internal structure : Vertebrates, Mollusks, Articulates and Radiates. Until Cuvier’s time there was no great principle of classification. Facts were accumulated and more or less systematized, but they were not arranged according to law.
Hahnemann reduced all the phenomena of chronic disease according to their causes to four fundamental classes, Occupational or drug diseases, Psora, Syphilis and Sycosis.
Taking the entire mass of morbid phenomena, he first eliminated all of the numerous symptoms and so-called diseases which are merely local, temporary and functional, in persons otherwise healthy, due to non-specific causes, such as indiscretions in diet or regimen, mechanical injuries, undue exertions or indulgences, emotional excesses, etc. Such conditions are not true diseases, but mere indispositions, which disappear of themselves under ordinary circumstances when the cause is removed, or yield easily to corrective hygienic, dietetic, moral or mechanical measures. They ordinarily require no medicine. In this class of cases are included many of the so-called occupational diseases, caused by exposure of healthy persons to noxious influences incidental to environment or vocation, such as unsanitary dwellings, exposure to fumes and emanations from chemicals, absorption of minerals such as lead or copper, etc.
The treatment of such conditions involves merely the removal of the cause, and, in some cases, antidoting the poisons, chemically or dynamically.
This removed a large part of the mass of phenomena from the category of diseases and cleared the way for further new classification of the remainder.
The next step consisted in collecting into a class all the phenomena known to be due to those ancient, widespread and malignant scourges of mankind, the venereal diseases. Syphilis, already recognized as the fundamental cause of a large number of symptoms and as a complicating factor in many diseases, had been studied quite extensively. A careful review and collection of all the known phenomena of syphilis was made, greatly enlarging its scope.
Gonorrhoea as a constitutional disease was but little known, but Hahnemann’s keen mind had detected its relation to many evil consequences following the suppression of the primary discharge by local treatment. He had also observed the evils arising from the topical and mechanical treatment of the anomalous venereal condition variously known as *Sycosis, or the ” fig wart disease,” condylomata, ficus marisca, atrices and warts. (London Medical Dictionary, 1819.)
Certain forms of condylomata were regarded by some authorities as due to syphilis. Although it was known that the tumors were sometimes of venereal origin and accompanied by a kind of gonorrhoeal discharge from the genital passages or the rectum, they were not recognized as the manifestations of a distinct disease, differing in many important respects from syphilis, nor were they necessarily connected with gonorrhoea.
Condylomata were not regarded as having any connection with the large number of peculiar constitutional symptoms which are present in many cases. Hahnemann made extensive researches in the phenomena presenting in such cases and came to the conclusion, first, that they constituted a definite and distinct infectious, constitutional venereal disease, clearly distinguishable from syphilis on the one hand, and the simple, non-specific urethritis on the other; and second, that it was due to the presence of specific, living micro-organisms.
To this newly recognized pathological from the applied the generic name *Sycosis, using the Greek term commonly employed in his day to designate the typical physical manifestation, the “fig wart.” His researches in the general subject of syphilis and gonorrhoea, conducted by the inductive method in science, resulted in throwing a flood of light upon a previously obscure subject, more clearly defining and greatly broadening not only the sphere of the venereal diseases, but the scope of all subsequent research. He was thus the precursor by more than fifty years of Noeggerath, who called attention anew to the importance of gonorrhoea as a constitutional disease and demonstrated the gonococcus as its specific proximate cause.
There still remained the vast number of symptoms constituting the non-venereal diseases, acute and chronic, which afflict man- kind. These for the most part had been or were being classified in the most arbitrary and whimsical manner.
Classifications and nomenclature were being changed constantly according to the varying opinions and theories of individuals, none of whom were guided by any general principle. The situation was exactly like that which confronted Cuvier in natural history and Linnaeus in botany.
Into this wilderness of conflicting names, theories and classifications Hahnemann began to blaze his way, guided by the compass of logic encased in the inductive method of Bacon. His search was now directed to the discovery of the fundamental causes of the non-venereal diseases. Having found that so large a number of symptoms and diseases had a venereal origin in syphilis and sycosis, it occurred to him that it might be possible to find a common, general or primary cause for all, or at least a great part of the remaining symptoms of disease, and thus to make a final generalization. To this end he directed his efforts. Rejecting existing classifications; searching, collecting, comparing, grouping similar and naturally related symptoms in the light of history, logic and experience; tracing the relations between similar diseases and their antecedents, and tracing recognized proximate causes to their antecedent causes as far back as possible, he gradually narrowed the field of general causation until he arrived at one primary cause, which accounted for and explained the greater part, if not all of the phenomena with which he was working.
The determination of a primary cause opened the way for a consistent reclassification of the secondary causes, and the correction of many errors of grouping and nomenclature of diseases. It obliterated at one stroke a large number of fictitious diseases which were in reality named from merely single symptoms. (Hydrocephalus, fever, diarrhoea, hydrophobia, jaundice, diabetes, anaemia, chlorosis, pyorrhoea, otorrhoea, catarrh, eczema, etc., all of which belong to the general class of infections.)
As Cuvier’s work showed that the animal kingdom was built on four different structural plans, so, by singular coincidence, Hahnemann’s work showed that diseases were built, as it were, on four different plans, according as they arose from four different causes; namely, Occupational or Drug diseases, Syphilis, Sycosis and Psora.
Relation of Bacteriology to Homoeopathy :- This brings us to a consideration of Hahnemann’s epoch-making discovery of specific, living micro-organisms as the cause of infectious diseases such as cholera and the venereal diseases, and of the relation of bacteriology to homoeopathy.
The great practical value of Hahnemann’s Theory of the Chronic Diseases has never been fully appreciated because it has never been fully understood.
Hahnemann was so far ahead of his time that is teaching, in its higher phases, could not be fully understood until science in its slower advance had elucidated and corroborated the facts upon which he based it; and this science has done in a remarkable manner. For the suggestion of bacteriology as the basis of a rational modern interpretation of Hahnemann’s Theory of the Chronic Diseases we are indebted to the late Dr. Thomas G. McConkey, of San Francisco. His paper, “Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis,” published in the December, 1908, number of *The North American Journal of Homoeopathy, laid the profession under a deep obligation to him. The critical insight, originality, open- mindedness and evident comprehension of the deep significance of the facts of the case displayed in that brief but suggestive paper add poignancy to our regrets that he did not live to work out a fuller exposition of the subject himself.
It is perhaps less important that Hahnemann should be accorded the just recognition due him for his remarkable contribution to medical science, than that the world should be given the benefit of the practical teaching included in his Theory of the Chronic Diseases.
Modern bacteriological science, by long independent research, slowly arrived at the goal Hahnemann reached more than half a century before in regard to the nature and causes of certain forms of disease. It has accomplished much in the way of prophylaxis, sanitation and hygiene through the use of that knowledge; but the profession at large has failed to follow his logical and practical deductions in regard to the *cure of these diseases, or to discover a means of cure for itself. In this respect modern medicine is no further advanced that it was in Hahnemann’s day. It is obliged to confess and does confess, when driven to the wall, that it has no reliable cure for any disease.
Vaccine treatment, for example, the latest, most general and most widely adopted theory and practice growing out of bacteriology is now acknowledged by the highest representative authority of regular medicine to be a failure.
The *Journal of the American Medical Association (No. 21, 1916), presents, as the leading article of that issue, a paper by Dr. Ludwig Hektoen, on “Vaccine Treatment,” and devotes to it a page of editorial comment.
The editorial opens as follows :
“Looking backward over the development of active immunization by vaccines during the last fifteen years, we appear to be at the termination of one epoch in the therapeutics of infectious disease. In this issue Hektoen traces the stages by which vaccines which were first employed with attempted scientific control have come into indiscriminate and unrestrained use, with no guide beyond the statements which commercial vaccine makers are pleased to furnish with their wares. Already most physicians are realizing that the many claims made for vaccines are not borne out by facts, and that judging from practical results there is something fundamentally wrong with the method as at present so widely practiced. As clearly shown by Hektoen, ‘the simple fact is that we have no reliable evidence to show that vaccines, as used commonly, have the uniformly prompt and specific curative effects proclaimed by optimistic enthusiasts and especially by certain vaccine makes, who manifestly have not been safe guides to the principles of successful and rational therapeutics.”
It is not fair, and certainly not ingenuous, as that keen critic, Dr. E.P. Anshutz, then editor of The Homoeopathic Recorder, pointed out, to put the blame for this failure upon the manufacturer, since *”Vaccine therapy was born in the innermost chamber of laboratory science.”
The editorial concludes as follows:
“The fact that much time and effort of the past ten years appear now to have been wasted, so far as positive results go, should make us doubly cautious in accepting a new and somewhat similar procedure until opportunity has been afforded for its verification under conditions favorable for scientific control.”
Confronted with demonstrations of cure by homoeopathic medication in such bacterial diseases as cholera, typhoid, typhus and yellow fever, croup, diphtheria, pneumonia, rheumatism and even tuberculosis and cancer, the dominant school of medicine has thus far declined to consider them, denied both the cures and the principles upon which they are accomplished, and continued to follow its traditional course. it still pursues the ancient “will o’ the wisp” “specifies for diseases,” ever failing and refusing to see that cure is always *individual, in the *concrete case or patient, never in the generalized disease; and that such a thing as a specific cure for a disease does not, and, in the nature of things, cannot exist, since no two cases, even of the same disease, are ever the same. Realization of such failures, and bacteriological confirmation of the teaching of Hahnemann in respect to the nature and cause of certain diseases, taken together, should at least create a presumption in favor of the truth of his teaching in regard to the cure of those diseases and lead to a scientific investigation of his method.
Dr. McConkey, viewing Hahnemann’s theory from the standpoint of bacteriology, pointed out, first, that we have inherited from preceding generations a false and misleading interpretation of what Hahnemann really taught in regard to *Psora as the cause of chronic non-venereal diseases.
The primary error consisted in regarding psora merely as a *dyscrasia or diathesis, which is directly opposed to what Hahnemann taught as we now understand it. Instead of regarding psora as a dyscrasia Hahnemann *included several of the dyscrasia among the morbid conditions and diseases *caused by psora.
Such an error could only have arisen in minds already prejudiced by the current erroneous teaching of the day, and not yet enlightened by knowledge which was soon to come as a result of original research in the field of bacteriology. On this ground it is conceivable how the error arose and spread. New truth, quickly grasped by a few alert and open minds, penetrates the average mind slowly. Original investigators themselves, absorbed in their own pursuit, are often reluctant to consider their work in its relation to the work of preceding investigators, even if they are philosophically competent to do so, which, as a rule, they are not.
The exceptional work of an individual forerunner, therefore, may easily be overlooked for a time; but eventually the truth discovered by him will be recognized, as it now has been in the case of Hahnemann.
Hahnemann was the first to perceive and teach the *parasitical nature of infectious or contagious diseases, including syphilis, gonorrhoea, leprosy, tuberculosis, cholera, typhus and typhoid fevers; and the *chronic diseases in general, other than occupational diseases and those produced by drugs and unhygienic living, the so-called drug diseases.
Hahnemann held that all chronic diseases are derived from *three primary, infectious, parasitic sources. “All chronic diseases,” he says, “show such a constancy and perseverance * * * as soon as they have developed and have not been healed by the medical art, that they evermore increase with the years and during the whole of man’s lifetime; and they cannot be diminished by the strength (resistance) belonging even to the most robust constitutions. Still less can they be overcome and extinguished. Thus they never pass away by themselves, but increase and are aggravated even until death. They must therefore have for their origin and foundation *constant chronic miasms, whereby their *parasitical existence in the human organism is enabled to continually *rise and *grow.” (*Only living beings grow.)
A misunderstanding of the sense in which Hahnemann uses the word “miasm” has deceived many. It was the word loosely used in his time to express the morbific emanations from putrescent organic matter, animal or vegetable, and sometimes the effluvia arising from the bodies of those affected by certain diseases, some of which were regarded as infectious and others not.
A misleading distinction was also made between miasma and contagion and between contagion and infection.
Parr’s Medical Dictionary, London, 1819, now a very rare book, but the highest authority of that time, article, “Miasma,” says: “In the more strict pathological investigation of modern authors they are distinguished from contagion, which is confined to the effluvia from the human body, when subject to disease; yet the contagion, when it does not proceed immediately from the body, but has been for some time confined in clothes, is sometimes styled *miasma. Another kind of miasma (see contagion) is putrid vegetable matter, and indeed everything of this kind which appears *in the form of air. Miasma, then, strictly speaking, *is an aerial fluid, *combined with atmospheric air, and not dangerous unless the air be loaded with it. * * *
“Each infectious disease had its own variety, *diffused around the person which it has attacked, and liable to convey the disease at different distances, according to the nature of the complaint, or to the predisposition of the object exposed to it.”
Under “Contagion or Infection” the same authority says: “It has been lately attempted to distinguish these two words, though not with a happy discrimination. We should approach more nearly to common language if we employed the adjective ‘infectious’ to *disease communicated by contact; for we infect a lancet and we catch a fever by contagion. * * * Contagion then exists *in the atmosphere, and we know distinctly but one kind, *viz.: Marsh- miasmata, which probably consists of *inflammable air.”
The yellow fever of America, epidemic catarrhs, plague, dysentery, scarlatina, Egyptian ophthalmia, jail, hospital and other fevers, smallpox, measles, ulcerated throat, whooping cough, the itch, venereal diseases and the yaws, are mentioned as examples of miasmatic diseases, some of which are regarded as “infectious,” and others not. “Other complaints supposed to be infectious are apparently so from their being the offspring of *contagion (that is, ‘aerial fluids, combined with atmospheric air’) only.”
“People are very variously susceptible to infection. The slightest breath will sometimes induce the disease, while others will daily breathe the poisonous atmosphere without injury.”
“Infection is indeed more often taken than is supported. * * * It is generally *received with the air in breathing.”
This shows the confused state of medical opinion at the time when Hahnemann was conducting his investigations of the subject, which were to result in his propounding the most startling, revolutionary and far-reaching theory in the history of medicine, namely, the *parasitical nature of infections and chronic diseases.
That Hahnemann, in using the word *miasm, had something more in mind than “an aerial fluid mixed with atmospheric air,” is proven not only by his use of the word “parasitical,” but by his several references to the *”living beings” of which his “miasma” were composed.
In a strong protest (1830), against the current, terribly pernicious atmospheric-telluric theory of the nature of cholera Hahnemann stated the infectious, miasmatic-parasitic nature of cholera and described its rise and growth in the following words: “The most striking examples of infection and rapid spread of cholera take place * * * in this way: On board ships in those confined spaces, filled with mouldy, watery vapors, the cholera miasm finds a favorable element for its multiplication, and grows into an enormously increased *brood of those excessively *minute, *invisible, *living creatures, so inimical to human life, of which the *contagious matter of the cholera most probably consists.”
“* * * This concentrated aggravated miasm kills several members of the crew. The others, however, being frequently exposed to the danger of infection and thus gradually habituated to it, at length become fortified against it (immunized) and no longer liable to be infected. These individuals, apparently in good health, go ashore and are received by the inhabitants without hesitation into their cottages, and ere they have time to give an account of those who have died of the pestilence on board the ship, those who have approached nearest to them are suddenly carried off by the cholera. The cause of this is undoubtedly the invisible cloud that hovers closely around the sailors who have remained free from the disease, composed of probably millions of those miasmatic *animated beings, which, at first developed on the broad, marshy bank of the tepid Ganges, always searching out in preference the human being to his destruction and attaching themselves closely to him, when transferred to distant and even colder regions, become habituated to these also, without any diminution either of their unhappy *fertility or of their fatal destructiveness.”
“This pestiferous, infectious *matter,” he calls it, “which is *carried about in the clothes, hair, beard, soiled hands, instruments, etc., of physicians, nurses and others,” seems to spread the infection and cause epidemics.
Here we have an anticipation by more than fifty years of Koch’s discovery of the comma bacilli of cholera. The names, bacilli, bacteria, microbes, micro-organisms, etc., had not been invented in Hahnemann’s time, nor had the microscope, with which Koch was able to verify the truth of Hahnemann’s idea, been invented. Hahnemann had no microscope, but he had a keen, analytical mind, phenomenal intuition, logic and reasoning powers, and vast erudition. He used the terminology of his day, which he qualified to suit his purpose and thus made it clear that by the word “miasma,” amplified by the descriptive terms “Infectious, contagious, excessively minute, invisible *living creatures” as applied to cholera, he meant precisely what we mean today when we use the terms of bacteriology to express the same idea.
Hahnemann’s elaborate and exhaustive studies of the nature and causes of chronic diseases had previously paved the way for his theory of the nature of cholera. In these studies he extended and applied the principle of *Anamnesis to the critical study of a large number of cases of many different diseases.
First analyzing these diseases into their symptomatic elements, he proceeded to make a new three-fold classification:
“If we accept those diseases which have been created by a perverse medical practice, or by deleterious labors in quicksilver, lead, arsenic, etc. (occupational diseases) which appear in the common pathology under a hundred proper names as supposedly separate and well-defined diseases ( and also those springing from *syphilis, and the still rarer ones springing from sycosis), *all the remaining natural chronic diseases, *whether with names or without them, *find in Psora their real origin, their only source.”
We have thus:
1. Drug and occupational diseases.
2. Infectious venereal diseases.
3. All other natural chronic diseases.
Excluding Classes 1 and 2, he found that all the diseases in Class 3 were related, directly or indirectly, and could be traced to *one primary cause.
After many years of patient historical and clinical investigation he found that cause to be an ancient, almost universally diffused, contagious or infectious principle embodied in a *living parasitical, *micro-organism, with an incredible capacity for multiplication and growth. This organism and the disease produced by it he named Psora (Gr. Psora-itch). He did not invent the name but chose it, first because he found that originally, the disease manifested itself mostly on the skin and external parts; and second, because the cutaneous manifestations of the diseases which spring from this cause were accompanied, in their original form, by intense itching and burning.
In all such disease the contagion is conveyed by contact. Research showed that the great fundamental disease thus identified and named, is the oldest, most universal, most pernicious and most misapprehended chronic parasitic disease in existence. “For thousands of years,” Hahnemann says, “it has disfigured and tortured mankind; and, during the last centuries, it has become the cause of those thousands of incredibly different, acute as well as chronic non-venereal diseases with which the civilized portion of mankind becomes more and more infected upon the whole inhabited globe.”
Hahnemann estimated that seven-eights of the chronic diseases of his day were due to psora, the remaining eighth being due to syphilis and sycosis.
The Doctrine of Latency. – Hahnemann taught that psora, like syphilis and sycosis, may remain latent for long periods, “until circumstances awaken the disease slumbering within and thus develop *its germs.” This doctrine of latency was strenuously opposed for a long time, but is now endorsed and taught by the highest authorities in regard to syphilis, gonorrhoea and tuberculosis.
Behring and other authorities on tuberculosis now hold that the infection often occurs in infancy or young life and remains latent until later life. Hahnemann’s doctrine of latency is therefore confirmed by modern research in regard to tuberculosis, as it has long been of syphilis, and, for a shorter period, of gonorrhoea.
“The oldest monuments of history,” says Hahnemann, “show the *Psora even then in great development. Moses. 3400 years ago pointed out several varieties. In Leviticus, chapter 13, and chapter 21, verse 20, where he speaks of the bodily defects which must not be found in a priest who is to offer sacrifice, malignant itch is designated by the word *Garab, which the Alexandrian translators (In the Septuagint) translated with *psora agria, but the Vulgate with *Scabies jugis. The Talmudic interpreter, Johnathan, explained it *as dry itch spread over the body; while the expression, Yalephed, is used by Moses for *lichen, *tetter, *herpes. (See M. Rosenmueller, *Scholia in Levit., p. 11, *edit, *sec., p. 124.)
The commentators in the so-called English Bible-work also agree with this definition, Calmet among others saying: “Leprosy is similar to an inveterate itch with violent itching.” The ancients also mention the peculiar, characteristic, *voluptuous itching which attended itch then as now, while after the scratching a painful burning follows: among others Plato, who calls itch *glykypikron, while Cicero remarks the dulcedo of scabies.”
“At that time (Moses) and later on among the ISraelites, the disease seems to have mostly kept the external parts of the body for its chief seat. This was also true of the malady as it prevailed in uncultivated Greece, later in Arabia, and, lastly, in Europe during the Middle Ages. * * * The nature of this miasmatic itching eruption *always remained essentially the same.”
It is identical, therefore, with the ancient form of leprosy; with the “St. Anthony’s Fire,” or malignant erysipelas which prevailed in Europe for several centuries and then reassumed the form of leprosy, through the leprosy which was brought back by the returning crusaders in the thirteenth century. After that it spread more than ever. It was gradually modified by greater personal cleanliness, more suitable clothing and general improvement in hygienic conditions, until it was reduced to a “common itch,” which could be and was more easily remove from the skin by external treatment.
But Hahnemann points out that the state of mankind was not improved thereby.
In some respects he says, it grew far worse; for although in ancient times the skin disease was very troublesome to its victims, the rest of the body enjoyed a fair share of general health. Moreover, the disgusting appearance of the lepers caused them to be more dreaded and avoided, and their segregation in colonies limited the spread of the infection. This element of safety was lost when the disease assumed its milder appearing form, as the itch, without losing in the slightest degree its infectious-contagious character. The infectious fluid resulting from the scratching, contaminated everything it touched and spread the disease broadcast.
Metastasis.- Many superficial critics have ridiculed the idea that the *itch, known even before Hahnemann’s day to be due to a minute but visible animal parasite, the *acarus scabiei, was the cause of any other than a local disease of the skin. They did not consider that even if this were true, it might be the host or carrier of another, smaller, infectious micro-organism, in the same way as the flea and the mosquito are carriers of infection. Witty Dean Swift (1667-1745) could have taught them better: ” So naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey,
And these have smaller still to bite ’em,
And so proceed ad infinitum.”
“Psora has thus become the most infectious and most general of all the chronic miasms,” says Hahnemann. The disease, by metastasis from the skin, caused by external palliative treatment, attacks internal organs and causes a multitude of chronic diseases the cause of which is generally unrecognized.
Many have been skeptical of the danger of metastasis of chronic external or skin diseases and this skepticism has led to dire results. It would seem that a physician who dreads and fully realizes the danger of a “repercussion” or metastasis of the eruption of *acute measles or scarlet fever, with its well-known serious and often fatal consequences in the brain, kidneys or lungs, could not consistently doubt the possibility of the same kind of results from the metastasis of a *chronic eruption.
Innumerable facts, observed by competent physicians for centuries past, and confirmed in many cases by modern research, make such a position untenable. Metastasis of disease is today an accepted fact in medical science.
Our knowledge of metastasis rests, scientifically, upon our knowledge of *embolism, “Embolism,” says the “American Text-book of Pathology,” “rests essentially upon the anatomic and experimental investigation and teachings of Virchow.” “Embolism,” says this authority, “is the impaction in some part of the vascular system of any undissolved material brought there by the blood current. The material transported in this method is an embolus.”
Metastasis is the transference of disease from one part to another not directly connected with it.
Of the several kinds of emboli the “Textbook of Pathology” mentions: “2. Tumor-cells. Emboli composed of *living cells, capable of farther proliferation, occur in connection with malignant tumors. In carcinoma and sarcoma isolated tumor cells or cell groups, may reach the blood current either indirectly through the lymphatics or directly when the tumor in its growth penetrates the wall and projects into the lumen of a blood vessel. On lodgment the cells proliferate and give rise to secondary tumors. 3. Animal and vegetable parasites.* Bacteria of various kinds, as well as protozoa and the embryos of a few large animal parasites may be transported by the circulation and act as emboli.”
Hahnemann’s teaching is thus elucidated and confirmed by pathology. The infectious, parasitic, primary and typical microorganism of Psora, driven from the skin by local treatment, finds a ready route to deeper tissues, structures and organs through the capillaries, the lymphatic and glandular systems and the nervous system. Here it develops its secondary specific form and character according to its location and the predisposition and environment of the individual, giving rise to a vast number of secondary symptoms.
“So great a flood of numberless nervous symptoms, painful ailments, spasms, ulcers, cancers, adventitious formations, *dyscrasias, *paralyses, *consumptions and cripplings of soul, mind and body were never seen in ancient times when the Psora mostly confined itself to its dreadful cutaneous symptoms, leprosy.
“Only during the last few centuries, has mankind been flooded with these infirmities, owing to the causes first mentioned” (Hahnemann, Chronic, Diseases).
The Identity of Psora and Tuberculosis :- Hahnemann mentions *”consumption, *tubercular phthisis, continual or spasmodic asthma, pleurisy with and without collections of pus in the chest, hemoptysis and suffocative bronchitis,” among the known tubercular chest and lung diseases as *due to psora. He also mentions hydrocephalus, cerebral and cerebro-spinal meningitis, ophthalmia, cataract, tonsilitis, cervical adenitis, otitis, gastric, duodenal and intestinal ulcers; diabetes and nephritis; rachitis and marasmus of children; epilepsy, apoplexy and paralysis; bone and joint diseases; fistulae; caries and curvature of the spine; encysted tumors; goitre, varices; caries and curvature of the spine; encysted tumors; goitre, varices, aneurisms, erysipelas; sarcoma, osteo-sarcoma, scirrhus and epithelioma and other diseases, some of which are now known and other of which are thought to be of tubercular origin.
As practically all the diseases known to be due to the tubercle bacillus are attributed by Hahnemann to Psora, it follows that the cause is identical, *and that the two terms, *psora and tuberculosis are synonymous.
The modern list is growing slowly by additions, from time to time, of other disease found to be pathologically or bacteriologically related to tuberculosis. It is quite possible that a large part, if not all, of the remainder of Hahnemann’s list may ultimately be included in the modern list.
Osler, speaking representatively and with the highest modern authority, agrees with Hahnemann, when he says: *Tuberculosis *is *the *most *universal *scourge *of *the *human *race.”
Hahnemann chose Leprosy as the typical form of the ancient protean disease which he named Psora.
Modern bacteriology finds that the bacilli of leprosy resemble the tubercle bacilli in form, size and staining reactions, and that *the leper reacts to the tuberculin test.
Saboraud said: *Leprosy is a tubercular disease closely allied to tuberculosis.”
The same staining characteristics are shown by the bacillus smegmatis, the grass and dung bacilli of Moeller, the butter, bacillus of Rabinowitsch and the bacilli from the crypts of the tonsils, described by Marzinowsky.
McConkey, through clinical experience, came to believe and taught that heart disease, with or without valvular lesions, diabetes, rheumatism and cancer were tubercular in nature and origin.
Alley (H. C.) taught the same of typhoid fever. The list might be extended indefinitely.
The writer believes, tentatively, that Acute Anterior Poliomyelitis, etiologically puzzling in spite of the discovery by Flexner of its specific micro-organism, is of tubercular nature and origin.
In considering tuberculosis or psora as a fundamental disease giving rise to many secondary forms of disease, the specific action of the tubercle bacillus must be considered as conditional No specific organism acts unconditionally. All living germs that propagate and multiply, must have favorable conditions and a suitable soil in which to grow.
Other pathogenic micro-organisms besides the tubercle bacillus, notably the ordinary pyogenic organisms, play their part in the causation and maintenance of the tubercular process. The pyogenic organisms may originate in the teeth, mouth, pharynx, tonsils, nose, ears, or even in the lungs themselves; in the skin, joints, bones, or in short, in almost any organ or tissue of the body where septic processes or lesions exist. But wherever they originate, they play their part in modifying and conditioning the activity of the specific cause of tuberculosis, the bacillus of Koch, and in giving the case its individual character.
Individualization is the cardinal principle of a true pathology as well as of a true therapeutics.
In the eager quest for the specific bacterial causes of the various diseases the principles of logic have not always been applied, and particularly that principle known as the Law of Causation, which teaches that every effect has *a number of causes, of which the specific cause is only the proximate or most nearly related in the preceding series. It also teaches that the specific cause may be modified in its action on the subject by collateral causes or conditions affecting both the subject and the antecedent causes, so that no specific cause can be said to act unconditionally.
Applying this principle to the subject of individual disease we find that, while specific micro-organisms are a necessary factor as immediate or proximate causes of the respective diseases attributed to them, they only act conditionally, and that many modifying conditions must be considered in assigning them their true relation to individual, concrete cases of disease. It follows that micro-organisms, as causes of individual disease, have a very different kind of importance from that which is commonly assigned to them.They are reduced in rank to an equality with several other related, accessory, contributing causes. The tubercle bacillus, for example, ranks in the individual only equally with constitution, heredity, predisposition and environment. Environment includes social and economic position or condition of life as regards means of subsistence, food, clothing, light, air, housing, neighbors, occupation, mental and physical conditions and habits of life and thought. To conduct a campaign against tuberculosis by directing the efforts principally against the bacilli, while neglecting the numerous other equally important causative factors, is futile and hopeless.
Different also is the kind of importance to be attached to the micro-organism from a therapeutic standpoint. Bacteriology can never serve as a basis for a reliable and efficient therapeutics for the individual. Since the micro-organism is only one of the many causes of diseases, the curative remedy for the concrete, resulting disease in the individual must correspond to the combined effects of the various causes. The combined effects are manifested by groups of phenomena or symptoms which vary, more or less, in the various individuals, according to their conditions and circumstances. As the individual cases of every disease vary in their causes and conditions, and consequently in their symptoms or effects, there can be no specific, general remedy for a disease.
It is at this point that the necessity appears for a *general principle of therapeutics. What is needed is not a general remedy for the disease, so long vainly sought, but a general principle, applicable to all the varying cases so that the particular remedy needed by each individual may be found. The homoeopathic system of therapeutic medication is based upon such a principle, and in that system, combined with rational, moral, hygienic, sanitary and sociological measures is found the solution of the problem.
The Toxicological Theory of Disease. :- Life, as a state, of existence, has been defined as “a continuous adjustment of internal to external relations.”
Every living organism is constantly exposed, at every stage of its existence, to influences from without. The known facts all tend to show that every manifestation of energy on the part of the organism is a reaction to some external agent or influence; or, as it might be put, life, as a state of existence, is the result of constant interaction between the living substance of the organism and the elements of the external world; between the individual and his environment; between the microcosm and the macrocosm.
The specific, exciting or efficient causes of disease are all actually or relatively external to the organism. When a pathogenic agent gains entrance to the living organism, resistance is encountered, a reaction is excited, and the phenomena of that reaction representatively constitute disease. Disease, therefore, is the vital reaction of the living organism to the influence of an agent which is inimical to its welfare. In other words, disease is primarily a *morbid dynamical disturbance of the vital principal or power which animates the organism, caused by the influence of some morbific agent external to the organism and manifesting itself by perceptible, sensorial, functional and organic symptoms.
It is not sufficient to say, merely, that “disease is a morbid dynamical disturbance of the vital force.” That definition is correct as far as it goes, but it stops in the middle. To complete it we must add; “caused by some morbific agent actually or relatively external to the organism;” for every internal effect must have an external cause, and *vice versa, according to the universal law of cause and effect. From this point of view all diseases may be regarded as intoxications.
All drugs act by virtue of their specific toxic properties.
All bacterial diseases are primarily intoxications or toxaemias.
Pathologists agree that all pathogenic micro-organisms produce their effects in the living body by means of the specific poisons which they secrete while living, or generate after death.
Diseases arising from physical injury or mechanical violence are toxaemias resulting from chemical changes in the injured tissues, brought about by mechanical interference with the circulation and innervation through inhibition of normal functioning, which leads to degenerative changes and the formation of toxins. Localized circulatory stasis, imperfect oxygenation and the inhibitory influence of traumatic shock upon the normal functions and secretions explain the chemico-toxic changes which occur under such conditions.
Disease arising from chemical agents, aside from the direct physical injury or destruction of tissue as by corrosive poisons, are poisonings of the organism.
Disease resulting from mental or physical trauma occur as a result of the toxic chemical or physical changes that take place in the fluids and tissues of the body through the medium of the nervous system, which reacts to the morbid impression of a violent or long-continued mental emotion in the same way that it reacts to any other dynamical disturbance.
If all diseases are the result of some form or degree of poisoning, then in the last analysis *all curative treatment is antidotal treatment, and cure is accomplished by the use of agents which have the power to antidote or neutralize the poisons and remove their effects.
Physiologically, therapeutically and chemically neutralization is essentially an assimilation.
Since all poisons act pathogenetically on the living organism primarily by virtue of their specific dynamical qualities (as distinguished from their physical and chemical qualities), it follows that the law governing the action of antidotes, if there be such a law, must be a dynamical law. The law of cure appears to be a form or phase of the law of assimilation or reciprocal action, which is dependent upon the law of attraction.
Cure, in the strict sense of the world, can only be accomplished by the use of agents which have the power to neutralize the poisons causing the disease and remove their effects. In other words, all true antidotes, in the medical sense, are physiological or dynamical antidotes, which act specifically according to the physiological or dynamical law of assimilation.
Regular medicine knows no such agents or laws and denies that they exist. From its point of view physiological antidotes are merely” “remedies employed to *combat the symptoms or after effects, and to neutralize the effects of poisons after absorption into the system. As their name implies, *they do not act on the poison themselves chemically, * mechanically, *or otherwise, *and they are not in this sense true antidotes.” (Ref. Handbook of the Medical Sciences.)
Upon this point hinges the whole controversy between homoeopathy and allopathy.
Homoeopathy is based, essentially, upon the law of antidotes, which is found by observation, experiment and clinical demonstration to be the law of mutual action or attraction, expressing the equality and contrariety of action and reaction, as manifested in the living organism by similarity of symptoms, and resulting in physiological and chemical assimilation or neutralization.
Antidotes are commonly divided into three classes, according to their mode of action: 1. Physiological or dynamical; 2, chemical, and 3, mechanical.
Dynamical antidotes, in their crude, state, are themselves poisons of varying degrees of power. An antidote, in the physiological or dynamical sense, is a toxic substance which, by virtue of its dynamical affinity for another toxic substance, has the power to neutralize that substance and remove its effects. This constitutes cure, the only true antidoting, the working principle of which is applicable in the treatment and cure of diseases as well as of poisonings.
Physiological or dynamical antidoting requires that the antidotal substance shall be pathogenically similar to the poison, but opposite in the direction of its action. Action is directly upon the organism and indirectly upon the poison. Physiological antidoting takes place between drugs according to the law of the Repulsion of similars.
“Medicines producing similar symptoms are related to each other and are mutually antidotal in proportion to the degree of their symptom-similarity.” (Boenninghausen.) Hence, the rule, “Let similars be cured (treated) by similars” – *”Similia Similibus Curentur.”
Chemical antidotes act on the poisons themselves rather than against their effects. Their action depends upon their property of uniting chemically with poisonous substances and altering their chemical and physical character. By their use soluble and absorbable substances are converted into insoluble or partly soluble substances, which may then be removed from the body by physical or other means. Their use is restricted to cases in which the poison is known and capable of being directly acted upon chemically. The remaining dynamical effects of the poison, if any, must still be antidoted dynamically.
So-called “mechanical antidotes,” while necessary and useful, do not properly come under the head of antidotes. They are merely means of accomplishing physical expulsion of the poisonous substances from the body, after which dynamical antidotes are required to remove the pathogenetic effects of so much of the poison as has been absorbed, exactly as in cases where chemical antidotes are used.
A true therapeutics, therefore, stands as the connecting link between pathology and pharmacology. Without an adequate therapy, pathology and pharmacology have only an academic interest for students and savants who love to dig curiously into the things of nature. With and adequate and efficient therapeutics they become powerful agencies for benefitting humanity. With a false therapeutics they become a curse to the world through the countless evils of drug addiction, prolonged, perverted and suppressed disease, ruined lives, crippled and mutilated bodies and blasted minds. The shores of time are strewn with pitiful wrecks, victims of false therapeutic systems and methods, “science falsely so-called.”
Science is erected upon a foundation of facts, principles and laws. Science is related, systematized knowledge.
A system, to be scientific, must be capable of including, explaining and using all the facts upon which it is based, Its fundamental law or principle must include and be harmonious with all its subordinate and related laws and principles. Its technic or practical methods must be based directly upon and conform to the principles which it seeks to apply. Ethics, it hardly needs to be said, requires that its representative shall consistently “practice what he preaches.”
A true science of pathology must include and be able to explain all the symptoms of disease – the finer, subjective individual symptoms as well as the general functional, organic and objective changes that occur in disease.
A true science of therapeutics must correspond and connect at every point with its correlated science of pathology, and be capable of adaptation and application to the needs of individual cases of disease.
The identity of the individual must not be lost in the class. A scientific therapeutic system must be broad enough to cover the needs of the individual as well as the class. It will not do to reject one class of basic phenomena (subjective, for example), and attempt to formulate a system upon the remainder.
Therapeutics, as a science exemplified in homoeopathy, rests upon two series of phenomena; the phenomena of diseases and the phenomena of drugs or agents used in the treatment of diseases. These two series of phenomena are connected by a general law. Systematized knowledge of the phenomena of diseases constitutes the science of pathology. Systematized knowledge of the phenomena of drugs constitutes the science of pharmacology. Systematized knowledge of the laws, principles and methods which connect the two sciences constitutes the *science of therapeutics and the effectual use of these in treating and curing the sick constitutes the *art of healing, or applied therapeutics.
In a true science of medicine, pathology, therapeutics, pharmacology and toxicology as well as medical, physiological and pharmaceutical chemistry are fundamentally one, in having for their principal, object the observation, study and treatment of the effects of all agents which act either pathogenically or therapeutically upon the living organism, whether it be in a mechanical, chemical, electrical or dynamical manner.
One fundamental principle underlies them all-the law of reciprocal action or equivalence.
The law of chemical affinity and definite proportions; the law of physiological or dynamical affinity; the law of assimilation; the law of antidotes or the repulsion of similars (upon which is based the theory of cure) are all phases of the universal law of mutual action, which governs every action that occurs in the universe.
Every agent or stimulus, external to the organism, which has the power to excite a vital reaction in the organism, comes legitimately under the universal law and may be applied for therapeutic purposes in accordance therewith, when the corollaries of the law are known.
Pharmaco-therapeutics finally resolves itself into a process of physiological or dynamical antidoting, based upon the law of attraction, affinity or mutual action and governed by the principle of symptom-similarity.
Predisposing, exciting and contributing causes of disease all come to this in the end- that by some condition or combination of conditions they ultimate in the production of a *poison the action of which is the proximate, efficient or specific cause of the reaction of the organism which constitute disease.
Hence, diseases always bear the symptomatic likeness of drugs, or poisons. By mechanical dilution and potentiation poisons may be deprived of their lethal qualities and transformed into healing remedies normally assimilable by the sick organism. Similarity of symptoms is, therefore, the natural guide to the curative remedy, as well as to the true diagnosis of the disease, and comparison of symptoms is the process by which the conclusion is reached.
Idiosyncrasy and Drug Diseases.- *In paragraph 30, Organon, Hahnemann says that medicines appear to have a more powerful influence in affecting the health of the body than the natural morbific agencies which produce disease, inasmuch as suitable medicines overcome and cure disease.
*In paragraph 31, he remarks that natural disease-producing agencies have only a conditional power of action, depending upon the disposition and degree of susceptibility of the organism. They do not act (perceptibly?) on every one at all times. Of a thousand persons exposed to smallpox, for example, perhaps not more than one or two would be infected, and these only if they happened to be in a susceptible condition at the time of exposure. he implies that the remainder are entirely immune by virtue of natural resistance.
*In paragraph 32, he somewhat unguardedly asserts that it is otherwise with drugs; that *they act unconditionally. Every true medicine, he says, acts at all times, in all persons, under all conditions producing distinctly perceptible symptoms “if the dose be large enough.” He here establishes at least one condition. No man in his normal condition is entirely or absolutely immune to a dose of arsenic, or strychnine or quinine, nor to the bacilli of cholera or tuberculosis. *The extent of its action in either case is conditional. The violence, extent and duration of the effects will be proportionate to the size of the dose and the susceptibility of the individual as influenced by constitution and environment, *but it always acts. Strictly speaking, every action in the universe is conditional.
One of the problems that frequently confronts the homoeopathic physician is how to deal practically with those peculiar and puzzling cases which present the phenomena of what is commonly called idiosyncrasy.
By idiosyncrasy we mean a habit or quality of the organism peculiar to the individual. It is a peculiarity of the constitution, inherited or acquired, which makes the individual morbidly susceptible to some agent or influence which would not so affect others.
To the average physician idiosyncrasy ordinarily means merely an oversensitiveness to some drug. He is called upon, for example, to treat a case of intermittent fever. After giving what he regards as a moderate dose of his favorite quinine he sees his patient quickly become violently delirious; or perhaps develop a violent attack of vomiting and go into collapse; or have a haemorrhage from the kidneys, or lungs, or into the retina. All these grave conditions have been reported of quinine and some cases with fatal results; or what is nearly as bad, with permanent loss or impairment of function, as blindness, or deafness.
Again he meets a case which seems to require opium. He administers the usual dose and sees it produce dangerous congestion of brain, lungs or intestines. He explains such experiences as being due to idiosyncrasy, substitutes some other drug and lets it go at that. Such experiences do not teach him much and he goes on in the same old way afterward; but there is much to be learned from such cases, if we view them aright.
Other patients manifest a morbid susceptibility to agents and influences not classified as medicinal. For example, a person can not eat some common article of food without suffering. Apples, peaches, strawberries, fish, shell fish, onions, potatoes, milk, fats or butter, etc. affect certain people unpleasantly in a most peculiar fashion. Then there are the idiosyncrasies of smell. One cannot bear the odor of violets; another of lavender; another of any flowers when he is sick.
One of my patients always gets an attack of hay fever and asthma if he rides behind a horse. The odor and exhalation from a perspiring horse are noxious to him. A woman hay fever victim has a fit of violent trembling and aggravation of all her symptoms if she comes in proximity with a cat. These examples of idiosyncrasy are quite distinct from hysteria and the general oversensitiveness found in neurasthenics and broken-down constitutions, where every little annoyance seems a burden too great to be borne, and every sense is painfully acute.
“The fundamental cause of every idiosyncrasy is morphological unbalance; that is, an organic state in which, through excess and defect in development there results excess and defect in function, with a corresponding degree of hyper-excitability or non-excitability.” (Rice.)
Without pausing to set forth more fully the modern scientific explanation of these phenomena we may say that idiosyncrasy, from the standpoint of the homoeopathic prescriber, is often the key to a difficult case. Viewed as modalities, these peculiarities, which are merely vagaries to the average practitioner, take on a certain degree of importance as indications for a remedy. Properly interpreted and classified, they sometimes rank as “generals,” expressing and representing a peculiarity of the patient himself of the case as a whole. They aid in individualizing the case and differentiate between two or more similar remedies. Thus, in a certain puzzling case the symptom, “aggravation from onions,” discovered only after the case had baffled me for several weeks, led to the selection of Thuja, which cured the case.
Idiosyncrasies are inherited and acquired. They represent a morbid susceptibility to some particular agent or influence. Of their causes there is little more to say, except that the drug idiosyncrasies, both inherited and acquired, appear sometimes to be due to the previous *abuse of the drug, to which a morbid susceptibility now exists, and that the remainder have their origin in what Hahnemann called the *psoric constitution. Many persons who have been poisoned by a drug are afterward hypersensitive to that drug – a condition known as anaphylaxis. A familiar example is the susceptibility to Rhus or ivy poisoning of those who have once been poisoned, especially if their initial attack was treated topically, by external remedies. Such persons are poisoned by the slightest contact with the plant, or even by passing in its vicinity without contact. In such cases the disappearance of the original external manifestations of the disease is followed by the setting up of a constitutional susceptibility which renders them peculiarly vulnerable, not only to the particular drug concerned, *but to the diseases to which that drug corresponds homoeopathically. They are illustrations of metastasis, which is regarded by some as being due to a suppression of the primary from of the disease by injudicious topical or palliative treatment. This view is based upon direct observation, and is sustained by analogy with the well-known serious results of the accidental or incidental disappearance or repercussion of external symptoms in the acute eruptive diseases, such as measles and scarlet fever.
Where the initial attack is perfectly cured homoeopathically by internal medicines such results never follow. Investigation shows that some cases of inherited idiosyncrasy and morbid susceptibility to drugs are traceable to the abuse of those drugs by parents or ancestors. This relation has been observed particularly in the case of two drugs, sulphur and mercury. A case occurred in my practice in which such a violent and sudden aggravation followed the administration of a high potency of Mercury that the patient’s life was endangered. He afterward asked if he had been given mercury, and said that he had never been able to take mercury in any form. He had been salivated by mercury, in youth, and his father and mother before him had been heavy users of the drug. Cases occur in which even amalgam fillings in teeth cause symptoms of mercurial poisoning, from absorption of infinitesimal quantities of mercury.
It has been held that the homoeopathic correspondence of sulphur to such a vast number of symptoms and diseases is partly due to the widespread abuse of sulphur by preceding generations; in other words that the commonly found sulphur symptoms which make it curative in so many conditions, represent a vast *proving of sulphur upon the human race, pursued for several generations, which has created a general morbid susceptibility to the drug. The same might be said of many other drugs, but such an idea, interesting because novel and practically suggestive, should not be given too much weight lest it lead us astray into the realm of speculation.
In the closely related subject of “drug diseases,” we are on safer ground. The subject of drug diseases has a particular and perennial interest for the homoeopathician, because his professional life is devoted largely to the observation and study of the phenomena produces or cured in the human organism by drugs. It comes before him at every point in his career and he, more clearly than any other, realizes its importance. The homoeopathic materia medica, from which he derives his knowledge of the remedies used for the cure of disease, is made up principally of collections of symptoms derived from healthy persons who have intentionally taken small doses of drugs and carefully observed and recorded their effects under the direction of trained observers.
Every proving is the clinical record of an artificial disease produced by some drug. Every case of sickness demands its corresponding drug, which is found by comparing the symptoms of a patient and the symptoms of drugs. For every disease arising from natural causes there has been found, or may be produced by some drug, a similar artificial disease, symptoms corresponding with symptom, often to the minutest details. This similar corresponding drug, once found and administered in the proper dose, proves to be the curative. Upon this easily demonstrable fact is founded the homoeopathic healing art. From this fact was deduced the healing principle, which is the scientific basis of homoeopathy.
Acceptance of the idea that disease may be cured by drugs is quite general, but the truth of the related idea that drugs also *cause disease, and each drug its own specific disease, although partially recognized, is by no means as clearly recognized as it should be. The alcoholic, the drug addict and the “dope fiend,” have long been regarded as “victims of a *disease,” by some regarded as a peculiar psychical disease and by others in other ways; but only very recently has it dawned upon a few of the “regular” profession that the mysterious, indefinite disease from which the addicts suffer is, in each case, a definite, specific *drug disease, caused by and representing the action of the particular drug to which he is addicted; that the *opium addict suffers from the opium disease, the “coke fiend” from the *cocaine disease, etc.
Homoeopathy should have taught them this long ago. Few seem to realize that a very large part of the disease met with in ordinary practice is the result of what may be called involuntary poisoning. Symptoms are constantly appearing in our clinical records which are the product of drugs, either self-administered or ignorantly prescribed by that class of physicians who are forever prescribing for the results of their own drugging without knowing it. There are many, even in the homoeopathic school, who do not realize this fact and who fail to see that the problem before them is as often one of antidoting a drug as of curing a true natural disease. This has a very practical bearing on the case, for the first step in such cases is to seek out and stop the use of drugs and antidote them, rather than to blindly proceed to give more drugs. Nature unaided will often remove many of the symptoms in such cases if the dosing is stopped and a little time is given. The remainder becomes the basis of homoeopathic prescribing under accepted homoeopathic principles, and the case as a whole affords an opportunity for the discerning physician to impart some wholesome instruction in the rules of right living.
Hering said: “The last taken drug affords the best indication for the next prescription.” The experienced homoeopathic physician, therefore, gives particular attention in the examination of cases to ascertaining what drugs have been previously used, with a view to stopping their use and antidoting such as have been most influential in producing disorder, as revealed by a study of the symptoms.
Over-dosing and too frequent changing of remedies in homoeopathic practice often leads to the confusion of the prescriber and the damage of the patient.
This was exemplified in a case seen by me in consultation with a young physician. The patient was an infant about eighteen months old who had been under treatment for two weeks. The diagnosis was indefinite, because the nature of the initial disease was obscure. The case did not at first seem serious and probably was not; but the child was now obviously very sick and there had been no signs of improvement. The young physician exhibited his up-to- date card record of the case, very neatly kept. It contained the symptoms of the first examination, quite fully and clearly taken, with temperatures, pulse and respiration carefully charted. The first prescription was Belladonna 3x, which manifestly as to remedy, if not to dose, corresponded closely to the symptoms as recorded and was a good prescription. But the record showed that on his visit the following day, finding his patient slightly worse, he had changed the prescription and given two other remedies, also in very low dilutions, in alternation. From that time on the prescription was changed almost daily, two remedies in alternation being given each time and presently, palliatives and adjuvants, cathartics, stimulants, etc., began to show on the record. In the two weeks of treatment some twenty different medicines had been given, in strength ranging from mother tincture to 3x dilution. The result, of course, was inevitable. Given the sensitive organism of an infant, acted upon by such a number of medicines but slightly removed by dilution from the crude state, each one being capable of exciting more or less toxic reaction, and one could surely foretell the result – “confusion worse confounded.*” Every drug given had produced some effect, if not the effect desired. The resulting symptom picture was of the well-known “composite” character, blurred and indefinite, with little or no character. Hardly one clear-cut, definite symptom could be found-much less that group of consistent and co-ordinated symptoms which is required in making an accurate homoeopathic prescription. It was a clear case of getting lost in a very small patch of woods. If the doctor, after making his first prescription to Belladonna 3x had known how to rightly interpret the fact that the patient seemed *somewhat worse the next day instead of better, as he had expected; if he had then discontinued the remedy without giving anything else except placebo and awaited the curative reaction, he would have found his patient much improved on the following day. Without knowing it he was then witnessing that “slight aggravation of the symptoms” following the exhibition of a well-selected remedy of which Hahnemann warns us. Better still would it have been if he had given the Belladonna in the thirtieth or two hundredth potency in the first instance, instead of the 3x. There would then have been no aggravation, the patient would have been better on the second day, and would probably have gone on to rapid recovery. Instead of this, however, the doctor misinterpreted the facts, thereby doing himself, his patient and homoeopathy injustice. Believing that he had made a wrong prescription, he changed it. In his beginning confusion he further departed from sound principles by giving two medicines in alternation, thus multiplying the sources of error and confusion. From this point on, like a man lost in the woods, he was simply “walking circles around himself” – hopelessly lost as far as his own efforts were concerned, until somebody came and guided him home.
The toxic effects of drugs prescribed in the ordinary routine of practice are commonly overlooked. In spite of a popular delusion to the contrary, a drug loses none of its power in being prescribed by a man who writes M.D. after his name. Today, as in the dark ages, there are physicians who give drugs as if they believed that each of them at their behest, would find its way through the devious channels of the body and perform the exact task assigned to it. Unlike the chemist and the pork packer, they do not see the “by-products,” nor make use of them.
It was said of the pork packers that they had learned to utilize every part of the pig except his squeal. Then came an enterprising phonograph firm whose agents invaded the slaughter house and actually recorded the squeals for reproduction, thus completing the work of salvage.
It is different with the doctors. If the patient recovers after his dosing all is well and the doctor is confirmed in his faith. If the patient gets worse, or new symptoms arise, all is still well, medically speaking. It is merely a “complication” for which he has a ready name and a convenient pathological classification. If the patient dies there is no lack of causes assignable on a pathological basis, and the requirements of the Health Department are easily met in filling the blanks in the death certificate. Thus “science” is vindicated and the doctor felicitates himself on his diagnostic and pathological acumen. His faith in drugs is not shaken.
Rarely does it occur to the prescriber that the “complication” is but the symptomatic reflection of the drug or drugs he has previously given. Sometimes he does seem to have faint glimpses of that unpleasant truth, as when tetanus, trismus or acute Bright’s disease speedily follow vaccination; or when haemorrhage in lungs, kidneys or retina quickly supervenes upon the administration of massive doses of quinine; or when he happens to recognize one of the “puzzling eruptions” said to be caused by one or more of the twenty-nine drugs named by Glentworth Butler, in his work, “The Diagnostics of Internal Medicine.” But such flashes of insight are rare and accomplish little in stemming the tide of drug which is engulfing so many victims. Though such a physician may be as keen on the scent of the last new bacillus as Buster was on the trail of Bunny Cottontail, his nose is singularly dull when it comes to trailing the *most common of all causes of disease – the preceding drug.
In the rank and file of medicine the old ideas on pharmacology still obtain, in spite of vaunted progress. A drug, or combination of drugs, when administered to a patient, is supposed to have no other effects than those assigned theoretically to the class to which it belongs. The “other effects,” which are sure to arise, are attributed to the natural progress of the disease or to some theoretical “complication.”
When we come to examine these allopathic drug classifications from the standpoint of that knowledge of drugs which is derived from actual observation of their effects upon the healthy, as recorded in homoeopathic provings, we find them to be of the crudest character, based upon the most superficial knowledge of drug action. The gross toxic effects of the drug, as observed accidentally in men or animals or as guessed, are set over against equally crude generalizations of diseases, usually on the antipathic principle where any principle at all is discoverable.
For although the allopathic school of medicine of the present day repudiates any law or principle, it is plain that the rule of contraries still dominates it. One has only to take down any standard allopathic work on materia medica to find its drugs arranged in some twenty-five or thirty classes, the names of which either begin with “anti” or imply the same thing, as pointed out by the late Dr. Conrad Wesselhoeft, of Boston. Thus we find anti-toxins, anti-spasmodics, anti-periodics, anti- pyretics, anti-acids, anti-septics, anthelmintics, alteratives, tonics, counter-irritants, etc. Manifestly, the appellation “allopathy” holds good today, as it did a hundred years ago, when Hahnemann applied it.
As long as drugs retain their power to make well people sick, and as long as doctors continue to make such generalizations as these, so long must both be recognized and dealt with as causative factors in the production of human ills. And so, as our allopathic neighbors and our homoeopathic brethren with allopathic proclivities remain as yet in a large majority, there will continue to be plenty of work for the real followers of Hahnemann to do in dealing with the results of their medical obtuseness for some time to come. True it is that if the use of crude drugs could be entirely done away with, the sum of human ills would be greatly reduced; or, as Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes wittily said: “If all the drugs in the world were dumped into the sea, it would be better for mankind *and the worse for the fishes.” In either case probably two-thirds of the existing ornaments of the medical profession would shine in other spheres with at least equal radiance.
This phase of the subject is important from a practical stand- point. Cases will frequently present themselves which are puzzling, and resist all efforts to cure until they are recognized as “drug cases.” The trouble may be entirely due to drugs, or there may be a combination in varying proportions of drug and disease symptoms.
It should be a matter of routine in making first examinations, to ascertain what drugs have been used. In chronic cases this investigation should extend back through the whole life-time of the patient. The diseases from which the patient has suffered, and the drugs used in their treatment should be ascertained if possible. The patient may not know all, but he will usually know some of the most common and powerful drugs he has taken, and a search of the druggists’ files may reveal the rest. The key to a difficult case may be the drug or drug which have “cured” some acute disease, perhaps early in the patient’s medical history. Antidoting the drug clears up the case.
Frequently, for example, will some chronic disease of the liver, kidneys, spleen or lungs be traced back to an initial attack of malarial fever checked by massive doses of quinine or arsenic. The patient has “never been well since.” The seemingly indicated remedies do not act. A few doses of the appropriate antidote, perhaps Arnica, or Ipecac, or Pulsatilla, or even of Arsenic or Cinchona-the abused drugs themselves, *in high potency – will clear up the case and either cure or render it amenable to other symptomatically indicated drugs.
It is a fact that the high potency of a drug is sometimes the best antidote for the effects of the crude drug.
It is not unusual in the treatment of such cases for the original symptoms to be reproduced. I have seen a full- fledged, typical attack of intermittent fever reproduced in a case which had become tubercular, within a week after the administration of an antidotal dose of Arsenic in high potency. The patient made a rapid recovery. The initial attack of intermittent fever, in the case referred to, was five years before.
In a case variously diagnosed as “chronic gout,” “chronic articular rheumatism, etc. unsuccessfully treated by many physicians, including European specialists, I witnessed the reappearance of a discharge from the urethra fifteen years after the original gonorrhoeal discharge had disappeared under the influence of astringent injections. With the establishment of the discharge the patient’s “rheumatic” symptoms began to rapidly improve and a perfect cure resulted. This was a case of chronic gonococcic septicaemia, or so-called “gonorrhoeal rheumatism,” in reality, metastasis of the original disease caused by the use of injections. The key which unlocked the door and released the imprisoned disease was Thuja, the typical “anti-sycotic” remedy of Hahnemann.
Drug symptoms and complications often arise in the most unexpected and surprising ways, and baffle all but the most acute and experienced examiners. Hair dyes and tonics, complexion beautifiers, dentifrices, medicated soaps, antiseptics; borax in baby’s mouth to prevent sprue, and carbolic acid in mama’s douche to prevent babies; innumerable ointment and lotions; to say nothing about the equally numerous patent and proprietary nostrums which fill the shelves of the corner drug stores and find their way “down the red lane” into the human system, all play their part in creating morbid susceptibility, idiosyncrasy and drug diseases and in making work for the doctor.
These are some of the things to look for among the possible causes of a disease. They are things very generally overlooked by the type of physician who either does not know their importance, will not take the time and pains to find out, or does not care. The patients of such physicians are fair game for the man who does know, who will take the time, and who does care; and he will not be in practice very long before he bags his share of them.