In preparing the ninth edition of this work, I have followed the lines laid out for all the previous editions, namely, to present in a condensed form the homoeopathic Materia Medica for practical use. the book contains the well known verified characteristic symptoms of all our medicines besides other less important symptoms aiding the selection of the curative remedy. All the new medicines and essentials of the published clinical experience of the school have been added. In its present compact form it contains the maximum number of reliable Materia Medica facts in the minimum space.
I have tried to give a succinct resume of the symptomatology of every medicine used in Homoeopathy, including also clinical suggestions of many drugs so far not yet based on provings, thus offering the opportunity to experiment with these and by future provings discover their distinctive use and so enlarging our armamentarium.
I am aware that there is a difference of opinion about the advisability of further introduction of remedies, especially of such as seem obsolete or to some minds illusory. But it is not for the compiler to leave out information about any substance that has received the clinical endorsement from a reliable source.
Our Materia Medica must include all substances which have been proved and which have been used with apparent efficacy. It rests with the reliability of such observation. In this connection, I cannot forego to avail myself of the high authority of that master of Homoeopathy, Dr. Constantine Hering, favoring the introduction of all remedies capable of producing reactions in the body that may guide to their medicinal employment.
“Homoeopathy is essentially not only many-sided but all-sided. She investigates the action of all substances, whether articles of diet, beverages, condiments, drugs or poisons. She investigates their action on the healthy, the sick, animals and plants. She gives a new interpretation to that ancient, oft quoted saying of Paul, Prove all things – a new meaning, a new application that acts universally. Elimination of the useless may gradually take place with the growth of accurate physiological and pathological knowledge.”
Again, imperfectly proved remedies necessitate the use of names of diseases at times instead of the component symptoms that alone are the legitimate guide to the choice of the curative remedy. Here too, I have Hering as pioneer guide for the legitimacy of this method, which he also followed in his great work, the Guiding symptoms. He said that he used disease designations not for the purpose of recommending the particular remedy for that disease, but to show the great variety of remedies that may be used for any form of disease when otherwise indicated. For the same reason I have included nosological terms in the symptomatology and Therapeutic Index, as this is a practical handbook for every-day service, and any aid for finding the curative remedy ought to be utilized. As Dr. J. Compton Burnett expresses it:
“The fact is we need any and every way of finding the right remedy: the simple simile, the simple symptomatic similimum and the farthest reach of all-the pathologic similimum, and I maintain that we are still well within the lines of Homoeopathy that is expansive, progressive, science fostered and science fostering”.
The dosage needs some apology. It is, of course, suggestive only: more often to be wholly disregarded. I have followed the lines of the earlier Homoeopathists in this regard, and given what was then considered the usual range of potency, to which I have added my own experience and that of many observing practitioners. Every teacher of Materia Medica is constantly importuned by students to suggest the potency-something to start with at least.
The book is in no sense a treatise, and must not be considered or judged as such. It is as accurate and reliable a compilation and the fullest collection of verified Materia Medica facts and clinical suggestions as it is possible to obtain within the compass of the volume. It supplements every other work on Materia Medica, and if used as a ready reminder of the essential facts or our vast symptomatology and as an introduction to the larger books of reference and record and record of provings, it will fulfil its purpose and prove a useful aid to the student and general practitioner. As such it is again offered with much appreciation of past endorsement to his professional brethren.
I have been aided in seeing this edition through the press by the efficient help of Mr. F.O. Ernesty, who has lightened the labor of making the manuscript more acceptable to the printes, and I desire to express my hearty appreciation of this kind and helpful service.