The like may be said concerning the expensive and so-called fine sorts, as well as concerning the cheap sorts of Chinese tea which so flatteringly allures the nerves and so secretly and inevitably infests and weakens them. Even when made very weak and when only a little is drank only once a day it is never harmless, neither with younger persons nor with older ones who have used it since their childhood; and they must instead of it use some harmless warm drink. Patients, according to my extensive experience, are also willing to follow the advice of their faithful adviser, the physician in whom they have confidence, when this advice is fortified with reasons.
With respect to the limitation in wine the practitioner can be far more lenient, since with chronic patients it will be hardly ever necessary to altogether forbid it. Patients who from their youth up have been accustomed to a plentiful use of pure* wine cannot give it up at once or entirely, and this the less the older they are. To do so would produce a sudden sinking of their strength and an obstruction to their cure, and might even endanger their life. But they will be satisfied to drink it during the first weeks mixed with equal parts of water, and later, gradually wine mixed with two, three and four and finally with five and six parts of water and a little sugar. The latter mixtures may be allowed all chronic patients as, their usual beverage.
More absolutely necessary in the cure of the chronic diseases is the giving up of whisky or brandy. This will require, however, as much consideration in diminishing the quantity used, as firmness in executing it. Where the strength appreciably diminishes at giving it up totally, a small portion of good, pure wine must be used instead of it for a little while, but later, wine mixed with several parts of water, according to circumstances.
Since, according to an inviolable law of nature, our vital force always produces in the human organism the opposite of the impressions caused by physical and medicinal potencies in all the cases in which there are such opposites, it may easily be understood, as accurate observation also testifies, that spirituous liquors, after having simulated refreshment and heightened vital warmth immediately after partaking them, must have just the opposite after-effects, owing to this opposite reaction of the vital force of the organism. Weakness and a diminution of the vital warmth are the inevitable consequences of their use – states which ought to be removed as far as possible from the chronic patient by every true physician. Only an allopath who has never accustomed himself to observation and to reflection, and who is unwilling to acknowledge the injurious effects of his palliatives, can advise his chronic patients to daily drink strong, pure wine to strengthen themselves; a genuine Homoeopath will never do this (sed ex ungue leonem!).
(* Even for men in quite good health it is improper and in many ways injurious to drink pure wine as a customary beverage, and morality only permits its use in small quantities at festive occasions. A youth cannot keep his sexual desires under control up to his marriage unless he altogether avoids banquets. Gonorrhoea and chancre are due to such excesses.)
The permission of beer is quite questionable! Since the artifices of brewers in modern times seem to intend, by their addition of vegetable substances to the extract of malt, not only to prevent it from souring, but also and especially to tickle the palate and to cause intoxication, without any regard to the injurious qualities of these malignant additions which often deeply undermine the health when daily used, and which cannot be discovered by any inspection, the honest physician cannot allow his patient to drink whatsoever is called beer; for even in the white beer (thin beer) and the porter, which on account of their lack of bitterness seem so harmless, not infrequently have narcotic ingredients added to give them the much-liked intoxicating quality in spite of their diminished quantity of malt.
Among the articles of diet which are generally injurious to chronic patients are also all dishes containing vinegar or citric acid. These are especially apt to cause disagreeable sensations and troubles in those afflicted with nervous and abdominal ailments. They also either antagonize or excessively increase the effects of several medicines. For such patients also very acid fruit (as sour cherries, unripe gooseberries and currants) are to be allowed only in very small quantities, and sweet fruits only in moderate quantity; so also baked prunes as a palliative are not to be advised to those inclined to constipation. To the latter, as also to those suffering from weak digestion, veal which is too young is not serviceable. Those whose sexual powers are low should limit themselves in eating young chickens and eggs, and should avoid the irritating spice of vanilla, also truffles and caviare, which as palliatives hinder a cure. Ladies with scanty menses must avoid the use of saffron and cinnamon for the same reason; persons with weak stomachs should avoid cinnamon, cloves, amomum, pepper, ginger and bitter substances, which, being palliatives, are also injurious while under homoeopathic treatment. Vegetables causing flatulency should be forbidden in all abdominal troubles and where there is an inclination to constipation and costiveness. Beef and good wheat-bread or rye-bread, together with cow’s milk and a moderate use of fresh butter, seem to be the most natural and harmless food for men, and also for chronic patients; only little salt should be used. Next to beef in wholesomeness are mutton, venison, grown chickens and young pigeons. The flesh and fat of geese and ducks are even less to be permitted to chronic patients than pork. Pickled and smoked meats should be rarely used and only in small quantities.
Sprinkling chopped raw herbs on soups, putting pot-herbs into vegetables, and eating old, rancid cheese must be avoided.
In using the better quality of fish their preparation should be especially looked to; they had best be prepared by boiling and used sparingly with sauces not much spiced; but no fish dried in the air or smoked; salt fish (herrings and sardines) only rarely and sparingly.
Moderation in all things, even in harmless ones, is the chief duty of chronic patients.
In considering diet, the use of tobacco should also be carefully considered. Smoking in some cases of chronic diseases may be permitted, when the patient had been accustomed to an uninterrupted use of it, and if he does not expectorate; but smoking should always be limited, and more so if the mental activity, sleep, digestion or the evacuations are defective. If evacuations regularly only take place after smoking, the use of this palliative must be all the more circumscribed, and the same result must be obtained in a lasting manner through the appropriate antipsoric remedies. More objectionable yet, however, is the using of snuff, which is wont to be abused as a palliative against rheum and obstruction of the nose and insidious inflammation of the eyes, and which being a palliative, is a great hindrance in the cure of chronic diseases; it can, therefore, not be allowed with such patients, but must be diminished every day and at last stopped. An especial reason for this is also that in snuff the medicinal liquors (sauces) with which almost all snuff is medicated touches with its substance the nerves of the inner nose and injures just as if a foreign medicine were taken, which is less the case with the burning smoking tobacco in which the strength is disintegrated by the heat.
I now pass to the other hindrances to the cure of chronic diseases which must be avoided as far as possible.
All those events in human life which can bring the psora latent and slumbering within, which has hitherto manifested itself only by some of the signs mentioned above, wherein the patient varies from a state of health, so as to break out into open chronic diseases, these same events if they occur to a person already a chronic patient may not only augment his disease and increase the difficulty of curing it, but, if they break in on him violently, may make his disease incurable, if the untoward circumstances are not suddenly changed for the better.
Such events are, however, of very various nature, and therefore of different degrees of injurious influence.
Excessive hardships, laboring in swamps, great bodily injuries and wounds, excess of cold or heat, and even the unsatisfied hunger of poverty and its unwholesome foods, etc., are not by any means very powerful in causing the fearful malady of psora which lies in ambush, lurking in secret to break forth into serious chronic diseases, nor of great consequence in aggravating a chronic disease already present; yea, an innocent man can, with less injury to his life, pass ten years in bodily torments in the bastile or on the galleys rather than pass some months in all bodily comfort in an unhappy marriage or with a remorseful conscience. A psora slumbering within, which still allows the favorite of a prince to live with the appearance of almost blooming health unfolds quickly into a chronic ailment of the body, or distracts his mental organs into insanity, when by a change of fortune he is hurled from his brilliant pinnacle and is exposed to contempt and poverty. The sudden death of a son causes the tender mother, already in ill health an incurable suppuration of the lungs or a cancer of the breast. A young, affectionate maiden, already hysterical, is thrown into melancholy by a disappointment in love.