ILLUSTRATIVE EXTRACTS FROM THE WORK.
A. FROM THE INTRODUCTION.
I will now quote a few passages from the Introduction which will show you Hahnemann estimate of certain doctrines and methods which are not by any means extinct to-day, and also his his estimate of the Vis medicatrix nature. In these s in all my quotations from Hahnemann I give his own italics, of which he made liberal use.
“A favorite idea of the ordinary school of medicine until recent (would that I could not say the most recent!) times, was that of morbific matters (and acridities) in diseases, excessively subtle though they might be though to be, which must be expelled from the blood-vessels and lymphatics through the exhalants, skin, urinary apparatus, or salivary glands, through the tracheal and bronchial glands in the form of expectation, from the stomach and bowels be freed from the material causes that produced the disease, and a radical causal; treatment be thus carried out.”
“By cutting holes in the diseases body, which were converted into chronic ulcers kept up for years by the introduction of foreign substances (issues, setons) they sought to draw of the materia peccans from the (always only dynamically) diseased body, just as one lets a dirty fluid run out of a barrel through a tap-hole. By means also of perpetual fly-blisters and the application of mezereum they thought to draw away the bad humours and to cleanse the diseased body from all morbific matters-but they only weakened it. so as generally to render if incurable by all these senseless unnatural processes.”
“I admit that it was more convenient for the weakness of humanity to assume that in the diseases they were called on to cure there existed some morbific material of what the mind might form a conception (mote particularly as the patients readily lent themselves to such a notion., ) because in that case the practitioner had nothing further to care about then to procure a good supply of remedies for purifying the blood and the humours, exciting diuresis and diaphoresis, promoting expectoration and scouring out the stomach and bowels. Hence in all the works on Materia Medica, from Dioscorides down to the;latest books on the subject, there is almost nothing said about the special peculiar action of individual medicines; but besides an account o their supposed utility in various nosological records of diseases, it is merely stated whether they are diuretic, diaphoretic, expectorant,. or emmenagogue, and move particularly whether they produce evacuation by the stomach and bowels, upwards or downwards; because all the aspirations of the practitioner have ever been chiefly directed to cause the expulsion of the natural morbific matter, and of sundry (fictitious) acridities, which is was imagined wee the cause of disease” (pp.10, 11).
“But the essential nature of diseases and their cure will not adapt themselves to scanty fantasies, nor to the convenience of medical men; to humour such stupid, baseless hypothesis, diseases will not cease to be (spiritual) dynamic derangements of our spirit- like vital principle in sensations and functions, that is to say, immaterial derangements of our state of health:” (p.11).
Are, then, the foul, often disgusting, excretions which occur in diseases the actual matter than produces and keeps them up”: Are they not rather always excretory products of the disease itself, that is, of the lie, which is only dynamically deranged and disordered” (p.14).
DERIVATION. Further on Hahnemann exposes the doctrine of “derivation.” which in his day was the favorite excuse for the employment of violent measures.