Psora – 5

During the treatment of chronic diseases by antipsoric remedies we often need the other non-antipsoric medicines in cases where epidemic diseases or intermediate diseases (morbi intercurrentes) arising usually from meteoric and telluric causes attack our chronic patients, and so not only temporarily disturb the treatment, but even interrupt it for a longer time….

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If a homoeopathic physician, scrupulous at the wrong occasion, should ask me bow he might fill up the many days after giving a dose, so that it may continue its action undisturbed during the above-mentioned long time, and so satisfy, without injuring, the patient who every day * asks for his medicine, I reply with two words, that he should be given every day at the usual time for medicine a dose of sugar of milk, about three grains, which shall be marked as usual with continuous numbers. I remark here, that I consider the sugar of milk thus used as an invaluable gift of God.**4


(* No old established custom among the people, be it ever so hurtful, can be suddenly changed. So also the homoeopathic physician cannot avoid allowing a new chronic patient to take at least one little powder a day; the difference between this and the many medicinal doses of allopaths is still very great. During this daily taking of a powder, following the numbers, it will be a great benefit to the poor patient who is often intimidated by slanderers of the better medical art, if he does not know whether there is a dose of medicine in every powder, nor again, in which one of them? If he knew the latter, and should know, that to-day’s number contains the medicine of which he expects so much, his fancy would often play him an evil trick, and he would imagine that he feels sensations and changes in his body, which do not exist; he would note imaginary symptoms and live in a continual inquietude of mind; but if he daily takes a dose, and daily notices no evil assault on his health, he becomes more equable in disposition (being taught by experience), expects no ill effects, and will then quietly note the changes in his state which are actually present, and therefore can only report the truth to his physician. On this account it is best that he should daily take his powder, without knowing whether there is medicine in all or in a certain powder; thus he will not expect more from to-day’s powder than from yesterday’s or that of the day before.)

(Chronic patients who firmly trust in the honesty and skill of their physician will be satisfied, without any after thoughts, to receive such a dose of sugar of milk every two, four or seven days, according to the disposition of each, and nevertheless retain a firm confidence, as, indeed, is only just and reasonable.)

(** There were some anxious purists, who were afraid that even the pure sugar of milk, either in itself or changed by long trituration, might have medicinal effects. But this is a vain, utterly unfounded fear, as I have determined by very exact experiments. We may use the crude, pure sugar of milk as a food, and partake of considerable quantities of it, without any change in the health, and so also the triturated sugar. But to destroy at the same time the fear to which utterance has been given by some hypochondriacs, that through a long trituration of the sugar of milk alone, or in the potentizing of medicines, something might rub off from the porcelain mortar (silica), which being potentized by this same trituration would be bound to become strongly acting Silicea(1), I took a new porcelain triturating bowl in which the glazing had been rubbed off, with a new porcelain pestle, and had one hundred grains of pure sugar of milk, divided into portions of thirty-three grains, triturated eighteen times for six minutes at a time and as frequently scraped for four minutes with a porcelain spatula, in order to develop by this three hours strong trituration a medicinal power either of the sugar of milk or of the silica or of both; but my preparation remained as indifferent and unmedicinal as the crude, merely nutritive sugar of milk, of which I convinced myself by experiments on very sensitive persons.)

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We cannot flatter ourselves that the antipsoric medicine given was rightly selected, or that it will forward the cure of a chronic disease, if it quickly and entirely destroys as if by a stroke of magic the most troublesome symptoms, old, great, continuous pains, tonic or clonic spasms, etc., so that the patient almost immediately after taking the medicine, fancies himself as much freed from sufferings as if he were already restored, and as if in heaven. This deceptive effect shows that the medicine here acts enantiopathically as an opposite or palliative, and that in the days following we cannot expect anything from this remedy but an aggravation of the original disease. As soon then as this deceptive improvement within a few days begins again to turn to aggravation, it is high time to give either the antidote to this medicine, or, when this cannot be had, a medicine which is homoeopathically more appropriate. Very rarely will such an enantiopathic remedy do any good in the future. If the medicine which is thus antipathic at once in the beginning, i.e., which seemed so to alleviate, is inclined to reciprocal action, it is possible that when the aggravation from this dose takes place, a second dose of the same remedy may produce the contrary, and thus bring about a lasting improvement, as I have at least perceived in ignatia.

In such cases we may also successfully use, for the ailments following after a few days from such an antipathic remedy, one of the remaining medicines from the considerable store laid down in Materia Medica Pura, in the Archiv der homoeopathischen Heilkunst or in the Annalen. This may be done for a few days until the Psora-disease returns to its customary routine course, when a homoeopathically selected antipsoric medicine is to be given to continue the Cure.

Among the mishaps which disturb the treatment only in a temporary way, I enumerate: overloading the stomach (this may be remedied by hunger, i.e., by only taking a little thin soup instead of the meal, and a little coffee); disorder of the stomach from fat meat, especially from eating pork (to be cured by fasting and pulsatilla); a disorder of the stomach which causes rising from the stomach after eating and especially nausea and inclination to vomit (by highly potentized antimonium crudum); taking cold in the stomach by eating fruit (by smelling of arsenicum); troubles from spirituous liquors (nux vomica); disorder of the stomach with gastric fever, chilliness and cold (bryonia alba); fright (when the medicine can be given at once, and especially when the fright causes timidity, by poppy-juice (opium); but if aid can only be rendered later, or when vexation is joined with the fright, by aconite; but if sadness is caused by the fright, ignatia seeds); vexation which causes anger, violence, heat, irritation, by chamomilla, (but if beside the vexation there is chilliness and coldness of the body, by bryonia); vexation with indignation, deep internal mortification (attended with throwing away what was held in the hand, by staphisagria); indignation with silent internal mortification (by colocynthis); unsuccessful. love with quiet grief (by ignatia); unhappy love with jealousy (by hyoscyamus); a severe cold (next to keeping the house or the bed) by nux vomica; when diarrhoea resulted, by dulcamara; or if followed by pains, coffea cruda; or if followed by fever and heat, by aconite, a cold which is followed by suffocative fits, (by ipecacuanha); colds followed by pains and an inclination to sleep, (by coffea cruda); cold with consequent coryza and loss of the sense of smell and of taste, (by pulsatilla); overlifting or strains (sometimes by arnica, but most certainly by rhus toxicodendron); contusions and wounds inflicted by blunt instruments, (by arnica); burning of the skin (by compresses of water mixed with a dilution of highly potentized arsenicum, or uninterrupted application for hours of alcohol heated by means of very hot water); weakness from loss of fluids and blood, (by china); homesickness with redness of the cheeks, (by capsicum).

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But during the treatment of chronic diseases by antipsoric remedies we often need the other non-antipsoric store of medicines in cases where epidemic diseases or intermediate diseases (morbi intercurrentes) arising usually from meteoric and telluric causes attack our chronic patients, and so not only temporarily disturb the treatment, but even interrupt it for a longer time. Here the other homoeopathic remedies will have to be used, wherefore I shall not enter upon this here, except to say that the antipsoric treatment will have for the time to be totally discontinued, so long as the, treatment of the epidemic disease which has also seized our (chronic) patient may last, even if a few weeks in the worst cases may thus be lost. But here also, if the disease is not too severe, the above mentioned method of applying the medicine by smelling a moistened pellet is often sufficient to help, and the cure of the acute disease may thus he extraordinarily shortened.

The intelligent homoeopathic physician will soon note the point of time when his remedies have completed the cure of the epidemic intermediate disease * and when the peculiar course of the chronic (psoric) malady is continued.


(* Usually these epidemic intermediate diseases appear in the form of a fever (if they are not the permanent miasms, small-pox, measles, dysentery, whooping cough, etc.). There are fevers of various kinds, a continuous acute fever, or a slow remittent, or an intermittent fever. Intermittent fevers appear almost every year in a somewhat changed form. Since I have learned to cure chronic diseases and maladies by a homoeopathic extirpation of their psoric source, I have found the epidemically current intermittent fevers almost every year different in their character and in their symptoms, and they therefore require almost every year a different medicine for their specific cure. one year they require arsenicum, another belladonna, another antimonium crudum, or spigelia, aconite, with ipecacuanha, alternating with nux vomica, sal ammoniacum, natrum muriaticum, opium, cina, alone or in alternation with capsicum, or capsicum alone, menyanthes trifoliata, calcarea carbonica, pulsatilla, one of the two carbos, arnica, alone or in alternation with ipecacuanha, and with these they were cured in a few days. I would not, indeed, except any one of the non-antipsoric medicines, if they are only homoeopathic to the whole complex of the symptoms of the prevailing fever, in its attack as well as in its apyrexia (see von Boenninghausen, Versuch e. hom. Therapie d. Wechselfiebers, 1833, Muenster), but I would almost always except cinchona; for this can only suppress its type in many large doses in a concentrated form (as quinine), and then it changes it into a cachexy of quinine, which it is difficult to cure. (China is only appropriate to the endemic intermittent fever in marshy regions, and even this can only be rightly cured by it in connection with antipsoric remedies.) Even at the beginning of the treatment of an epidemic intermittent fever, the homoeopathic physician is most safe in giving every time an attenuated dose of sulphur or in appropriate cases, hepar sulphuris in a fine little pellet or by means of smelling, and in waiting its effects for a few days, until the improvement resulting from it ceases, and then only he will give, in one or two attenuated doses, the non-antipsoric medicine which has been found homoeopathically appropriate to the epidemy of this year. These doses should however only be given at the end of an attack. With all patients in intermittent fever, psora is essentially involved in every epidemy, therefore an attenuated dose of sulphur, or of hepar sulphuris is necessary at the beginning of every treatment of epidemic intermittent fever, and makes the restoration of the patient more sure and easy.)

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The symptoms of the original chronic disease will, however, always be found somewhat varied after the cure of such a prevailing intermediate disease. Also another part of the body will be found suffering, so that the homoeopathic physician will choose his antipsoric remedy according to the totality of the remaining symptoms, and not simply give the one he intended to give before the intermediate disease appeared.

When the physician is called to treat such a prevalent disease in a patient whom he had not before attended as a chronic patient he will not unfrequently find, especially if the fever was considerable, that after overcoming it by the remedies which had been homoeopathically specific with other patients of this kind, the full restoration to health does not follow even with good diet and mode of living: but incidents of another kind will show themselves (usually, called after-pains or secondary diseases) and these will gradually be aggravated and threaten to become chronic. Here the homoeopathic physician will nearly always have to meet a psora which is developing into a chronic disease, and this will have to be cured according to the principles here laid down.

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Here is a fitting opportunity to note that the great epidemic diseases: smallpox, measles, purple rash, scarlet fever, whooping cough, fall dysentery and typhoid, when they complete their course especially without a judicious homoeopathic treatment, leave the organism so shaken and irritated, that with many who seem restored, the psora which was before slumbering and latent now awakes quickly, either into itch-like eruptions* or into other chronic disorders, which then reach a high degree in a short time, if they are not treated properly in an antipsoric manner. This is due to the great exhaustion of the organism which still prevails. The allopathic physician, when such a patient, as is frequently the case, dies after all his unsuitable treatment, declares that he has died from the sequels, of whooping cough, measles, etc.

These sequels are, however, the innumerable chronic diseases in numberless forms of developed psora which have hitherto been unknown as to their origin and consequently remained uncured.

Epidemic and sporadic fevers, therefore, as well as the miasmatic acute diseases, if they do not soon terminate and pass directly over into good health, (even when the epidemic and acute miasmatic part has found a homoeopathic specific which has been rightly used against them), often need an antipsoric assistance, which I have usually found in sulphur, if the patient had not used shortly before a medicine containing sulphur, in which case another antipsoric suitable to this particular case will have to be used.

Endemic diseases, with their striking pertinacity, depend almost wholly on a psoric complication, or on psora modified by the peculiarity of the nature of the locality (and the especial mode of life of the inhabitants), so that, e.g., in intermittent fever originating in a marshy region, the patients, even after removal into a dry region, often remain uncured despite of all their use of china, unless the antipsoric treatment is especially used. The exhalation from swamps seems to be one of the strongest physical causes of the development of the psora latent within with so many persons and this most of all in hot countries. Without an almost regular use of the best antipsoric method of cure, we shall never succeed in removing the murderous qualities of humid climates and changing them into passably healthy, habitable regions. Man may accustom himself to the extreme degrees of atmospheric heat, as well as to the most violent cold, and can live joyous and healthy in both extremes, Why should he not be able to accustom himself to marshy regions just as well as to the driest mountain regions, if there were not a hitherto undiscovered and unconquered enemy of vigorous life and lasting health, lying in ambush in marshy regions, i.e., psora? Wherever psora lies latent within (and how frequently is this the case?) it is developed into chronic diseases of every kind, especially those in which the liver is most affected, through stagnant water and the gases that emanate from damp soil and from swamps; and this is effected more surly, yea, unavoidably by these causes than by any other physical power injurious to health.


(* When such an eruption appears in any quantity, it is called by writers scabies spontanea (spontaneous itch) – a mere chimera and nonentity, for as far as history goes, no itch has arisen except from infection, and it cannot now arise again of itself without infection with the miasma of itch. But this phenomenon after acute fever is nothing else than the secondary eruption so often mentioned above springing from the slumbering and latent psora remaining within after the repression (or more rarely the gradual disappearance) from the skin of the original eruption of itch. This eruption frequently leaves the skin of itself and it has never been proved that it infected any other person with the itch.)

(Presumably these exhalations possess a quality which as it were paralyzes the vital force of the organism (which in an ordinary state of health is able to keep down the internal psora which always endeavors to manifest itself) and thus predisposes to putrid and nervous fevers.)

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The latest symptoms that have been added to a chronic disease which has been left to itself (and thus has not been aggravated by medical mismanagement) are always the first to yield in an antipsoric treatment; but the oldest ailments and those which have been most constant and unchanged, among which are the constant local ailments, are the last to give way; and this is only effected, when all the remaining disorders have disappeared and the health has been in all other respects almost totally restored. In the general maladies which come in repeated attacks, e. g. the periodic kinds of hysteria, and different kinds of epilepsy, etc., the attacks may quickly be made to cease by a suitable antipsoric; but to make this cessation reliable and lasting, the whole indwelling psora must be completely cured.

The frequent request of a patient to have one symptom, which above others is troublesome to him, removed first of all, is impracticable, but the ignorant patient should be excused for his request.

In the daily written report during the use of an antipsoric medicine, the patient who lives at a distance should underscore once, for the information of the physician, those incident symptoms during the day, which after a considerable time or a long time he has now felt again for the first time; but those which he never had before and which he first felt on that day, he should underscore twice. The former symptoms indicate that the antipsoric has taken hold of the root of the evil, and will do much for its thorough cure, but the latter, if they appear more frequently and more strongly, give the physician a hint that the antipsoric was not selected quite homoeopathically, and should be interrupted in time and replaced by a more appropriate one.

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When the treatment is about half completed, the diminished disease commences to return into the state of a latent psora; the symptoms grow weaker and weaker, and at last the attentive physician will only find traces of it; but he must follow these to their complete disappearance, for the smallest remnant retains a germ for a renewal of the old ailment.* If the physician should here give up the treatment and suppose what the common man (and also the higher class of the non-medical public) is apt to say: It will now likely get right of itself, a great mistake would be made; for in time there would develop, (especially when any important untoward events take place), out of this little remnant of this only diminished psora, a new chronic disease which gradually would increase unavoidably, according to the nature of diseases springing from unextinguished chronic miasms as shown above.

The cito, tuto et jucunde (quickly, safely and pleasantly) of Celsus, the patient may reasonably ask from his physician, and from the homoeopath he can rightly expect this in acute diseases springing from occasional causes, as well as in the well-defined intermediate diseases prevalent at times (the so-called intercurrent diseases).

But with especial regard to the Cito (quickly), i.e., the hastening of the cure, the nature of the case forbids it, at least in inveterate chronic ailments.

The cure of great chronic diseases of ten, twenty, thirty and more years’ standing (if they have not been mismanaged by an excess of allopathic treatments, or indeed, as is often the case, mismanaged into incurableness) may be said to be quickly annihilated if this is done in one or two years. If with younger, robust persons this takes place in one-half the time, then on the other hand in advanced age, even with the best treatment on the part of the physician and the most punctual observance of rules on the part of the patient and his attendants, considerable time must be added to the usual period of the cure. It will also be found intelligible that such a long-continued (psoric) chronic disease, the original miasm of which has had so much time and opportunity in a long life to insert its parasitical roots as it were, into all the joints of the tender edifice of life, is at last so intimately interwoven with the organism that even with the most appropriate medical treatment, careful mode of life and observance of rules on the part of the patient, great patience and sufficient time will be required to destroy this many armed polypus in all its parts, while sparing the independence of the organism and its powers.

Samuel Hahnemann
Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) was the founder of Homoeopathy. He is called the Father of Experimental Pharmacology because he was the first physician to prepare medicines in a specialized way; proving them on healthy human beings, to determine how the medicines acted to cure diseases.

Hahnemann's three major publications chart the development of homeopathy. In the Organon of Medicine, we see the fundamentals laid out. Materia Medica Pura records the exact symptoms of the remedy provings. In his book, The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homoeopathic Cure, he showed us how natural diseases become chronic in nature when suppressed by improper treatment.