Homoeopathy alone taught first of all how to heal the well-defined idiopathic diseases, the old, smooth scarlet fever of Sydenham, the more recent purples, whooping cough, croup, sycosis, and autumnal dysenteries, by means of the specifically aiding Homoeopathic remedies. Even acute pleurisy, and typhous contagious epidemics must now allow themselves to be speedily turned into health by a few small doses of rightly-selected Homoeopathic medicine.
Whence then this less favorable, this unfavorable, result of the continued treatment of the non-venereal chronic diseases even by Homoeopathy? What was the reason of the thousands of unsuccessful endeavors to heal the other diseases of a chronic nature so that lasting health might result? Might this be caused, perhaps, by the still too small number of Homoeopathic remedial means that have so far been proved as to their pure action? The followers of Homoeopathy have hitherto thus consoled themselves; but this excuse, or so-called consolation, never satisfied the founder of Homoeopathy – particularly because even the new additions of proved valuable medicines, increasing from year to year, have not advanced the healing of chronic (non-venereal) diseases by a single step, while acute diseases (unless these, at their commencement, threaten unavoidable death) are not only passably removed, by means of a correct; application of homoeopathic remedies, but with the assistance of the never-resting, preservative vital force in our organism, find a speedy and complete cure.
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Why then, cannot this vital force, efficiently affected through Homoeopathic medicine, produce any true and lasting recovery in these chronic maladies even with the aid of the Homoeopathic remedies which best cover their present symptoms; while this same force which is created for the restoration of our organism is nevertheless so indefatigably and successfully active in completing the recovery even in severe acute diseases? What is there to prevent this?
The answer to this question, which is so natural, inevitably led me to the discovery of the nature of these chronic diseases.
To find out then the reason why all the medicines known to Homoeopathy failed to bring a real cure in the above-mentioned diseases, and to gain an insight more nearly correct and, if possible, quite correct, into the true nature of the thousands of chronic diseases which still remain uncured, despite the incontestable truth of the Homoeopathic Law of Cure, this very serious task has occupied me since the years 1816 and 1817, night and day; and behold! the Giver of all good things permitted me within this space of time to gradually solve this sublime problem through unremitting thought, indefatigable inquiry, faithful observation and the most accurate experiments made for the welfare of humanity.*
(*Yet I did not allow any of these unintermitted endeavors to become known either to the world or to my followers, not, indeed, because the ingratitude so frequently shown to me prevented me, for I heed neither ingratitude nor persecutions on my troublous path of life, which yet has not proved altogether joyless, because of the great goal toward which I have striven. No, I left it unmentioned because it is improper, yea, hurtful to speak or write of things still immature. Not until the year I827 did I communicate the essentials of the discovery to two of my pupils, who had been of the greatest service to the art of Homoeopathy, for their own benefit and that of their patients, so that the whole discovery might not be lost to the world if perchance a higher call to eternity had called me away before the completion of the book – an event not so very improbable in my seventy-third year.)
It was a continually repeated fact that the non-venereal chronic diseases, after being time and again removed homoeopathically by the remedies fully proved up to the present time, always returned in a more or less varied form and with new symptoms, or reappeared annually with an increase of complaints. This fact gave me the first clew that the Homoeopathic physician with such a chronic (non-venereal) case, yea in all cases of (non-venereal) chronic disease, has not only to combat the disease presented before his eyes, and must not view and treat it as if it were a well-defined disease, to be speedily and permanently destroyed and healed by ordinary homoeopathic remedies but that he has always to encounter only some separate fragment of a more deep-seated original disease.
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The great extent of this is shown in the new symptoms appearing from time to time; so that the Homoeopathic physician must not hope to permanently heal the separate manifestations of this kind in the presumption, hitherto entertained, that they are well-defined, separately existing diseases which can be healed permanently and completely. He, therefore, must first find out as far as possible the whole extent of all the accidents and symptoms belonging, to the unknown Primitive malady before he can hope to discover one or more medicines which may homoeopathically cover the whole of the original disease by means of its peculiar symptoms. By this method he may then be able victoriously to heal and wipe out the malady in its whole extent, consequently also its separate members; that is, all the fragments of a disease appearing in so many various forms.
But that the original malady sought for must be also of a miasmatic, chronic nature clearly appeared to me from this circumstance, that after it has once advanced and developed to a certain degree it can never be removed by the strength of any robust constitution, it can never be overcome by the most wholesome diet and order of life, nor will it die out of itself. But it is evermore aggravated, from year to year, through a transition into other and more serious symptoms,* even till the end of man’s life, like every other chronic, miasmatic sickness; e. g., the venereal bubo which has not been healed from within by mercury, its specific remedy, but has passed over into venereal disease. This latter, also never passes away of itself, but, even with the most correct mode of life and with the most robust bodily constitution, increases every year and unfolds evermore into new and worse symptoms, and this, also, to the end of man’s life.
(*Not unfrequently phthisis passes over into insanity; dried-up ulcers into dropsy or apoplexy; intermittent fever into asthma; affections of the abdomen into pains in the joints or paralysis; pains in the limbs into haemorrhage, etc., and it was not difficult to discover that the later must also have their foundation in the original malady and can only be a part of a far greater whole.)
I had come thus far in my investigations and observations with such non-venereal patients, when I discovered, even in the beginning, that the obstacle to the cure of many cases which seemed delusively like specific, well-defined diseases, and yet could not be cured in a Homoeopathic manner with the then proved medicines, seemed very often to lie in a former eruption of itch, which was not unfrequently confessed; and the beginning of all the subsequent sufferings usually dated from that time. So also with similar chronic patients who did not confess such an infection, or, what was probably more frequent, who had, from inattention, not perceived it,. or, at least, could not remember it. After a careful inquiry it usually turned out that little traces of it (small pustules of itch, herpes, etc.) had showed themselves with them from time to time, even if but rarely, as an indubitable sign of a former infection of this kind.
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These circumstances, in connection with the fact that innumerable observations of physicians,* and not infrequently my own experience, had shown that an eruption of itch suppressed by faulty practice or one which had disappeared from the skin through other means was evidently followed, in persons otherwise healthy, by the same or similar symptoms; these circumstances, I repeat, could leave no doubt in my mind as to the internal foe which I had to combat in my medical treatment of such cases.
(*So also, more lately, VON AUTENRIETH (in Tubitiger Blatter fur Naturwissenschaft and Arzneikunde, 2 vol., 2d part.))
Gradually I discovered more effective means against this original malady that caused so many complaints; against this malady which may be called by the general name of Psora; i. e., against the internal itch disease with or without its attendant eruption on the skin. It then became manifest to me, through the aid afforded when using these medicines in similar chronic diseases, in which the patient was unable to show a like cause, that also these cases in which the patient remembered no infection of this kind were of necessity caused by a Psora with which he had been infected, perhaps, even in his cradle, or in some other way that had escaped his memory; and this often received corroboration on a more careful inquiry with the parents or aged relatives.