Psora – 5


(* So from the water-polypus which has several of its branches lopped off in time new branches will shoot forth.)

(Only an ordinary ignorant practitioner can lightly promise to cure a severe inveterate disease in four to six weeks. He need not, indeed, keep his promise! What does he risk, if as a matter of course, his treatment only aggravates the disease? Can he lose anything? Any honor? No; for his colleagues, who are like him, do no better. Can he lose in self-respect? Should he yet have any to lose?)

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The strength of a patient under an antipsoric treatment, even if it should be continued ever so long, ought continually to increase from the very commencement of the correct treatment even to the restoration of health and of the normal state. The strength increases during the whole of the cure without the use of the so-called tonics, and the patients joyously rise up again of themselves in proportion as their life is delivered from its corroding enemy.*

The best time for taking a dose of antipsoric medicine seems to be, not an hour before going to bed but, rather, early in the morning while fasting. The medicine in the numbered paper (as also all that succeed) if it is desired that it should act but feebly, should be taken dry and allowed to dissolve on the tongue, or be moistened with two or three drops of water on a spoon, and by itself, without in either case drinking anything after it or eating anything within half an hour or a whole hour.**4

After taking the medicine the patient should keep perfectly quiet at least a full hour, but without going to sleep (sleep delays the beginning of the action of the medicine). He must avoid during this hour, as indeed throughout the treatment, all disagreeable excitement, nor should he strain his mind immediately after taking the dose, in any way, either by reading or computing, by writing, or by conversations requiring meditation.


(* It is inconceivable how allopathic physicians could think of curing chronic diseases through a continuance of exhausting and debilitating treatments, without being restrained by their lack of success from repeating continually their perverse treatment. The amara which they give between, together with the quinine, without being able to supply the strength lost, only add new evils.)

(Numbering the powders continuously has the convenience that the physician when the patients render their daily report (especially those living at a distance) putting first the date and the number of the powder taken that day, can recognize the day when the patient took his medicine, and can judge of the progress of its action according to the report of the following day.)

(** If the medicine is to act more strongly it must be stirred in a little more water until dissolved before taking it, and in still more water if it is to act still more strongly, and the physician should order the solution taken a portion at a time. If he orders the solution taken in one or three days it must be stirred up not only the first time, but also the other two times, by which every part thus stirred acquires another somewhat higher degree of potency, and so is received more willingly by the vital force. To direct the use of the same solution for a greater number of days is not advisable, as the water, kept longer, would begin to putrefy. How a dose for smelling may be adapted to all degrees of strength, I have mentioned above.)

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The dose of antipsoric medicine must not be taken by females shortly before their menses are expected, nor during their flow; but the dose can be given, if necessary, four days, i.e., about ninety-six hours after the menses have set in. But in case the menses previously have been premature or too profuse, or two long-lasting, it is often necessary to give on this fourth day a small dose of nux vomica (one very small pellet, moistened with a high dynamization) to be smelled, and then, on the fourth or sixth day following, the antipsoric. But if the female is very sensitive and nervous, she ought, until she comes near her full restoration, to smell such a pellet once about every time seventy-two hours after the beginning of her menses, notwithstanding her continued antipsoric treatment.*

Pregnancy in all its stages offers so little obstruction to the antipsoric treatment, that this treatment is often most necessary and useful in that condition. Most necessary because the chronic ailments then are more developed. In this state of woman, which is quite a natural one, the symptoms of the internal psora are often manifested most plainly** on account of the increased sensitiveness of the female body and spirit while in this state; the antipsoric medicine therefore acts more definitely and perceptibly during pregnancy, which gives the hint to the physician to make the doses in these as small and in as highly potentized attenuations as possible, and to make his selections in the most homoeopathic manner.


(* In such a morbid state of the menses nothing can be done in the cure of chronic diseases without the intermediate use of Nux vomica, which here specially reduces to order the disharmony arising in the functions of the nerves from so disorderly a flow of the menses, and so quiets this excessive sensitiveness and irritability, which put an insurmountable obstacle in the way of the curative action of the antipsoric remedies.)

(In what more certain way could, e.g., the return of miscarriage, which is almost exclusively due to psora, be prevented, and, indeed, be lastingly prevented, than through a judicious antipsoric treatment before or at least during Pregnancy? In what more reliable way could the states of the womb, which are not infrequently dangerous, and sometimes fatal even in a proper presentation of the foetus and in a natural labor, be removed in advance than by a timely antipsoric treatment during pregnancy? Even the improper presentation of the child has, if not always, still very often its only cause in the psoric sickness of the mother, and the hydrocephalus and other bodily defects of the child have surely this cause! Only the antipsoric treatment of the sickly wife if not before, at least during pregnancy, can remove in advance the mother’s inability for suckling, as also in suckling prevent the frequent sore breasts, the soreness of the nipples, the frequent inclination to erysipelatous inflammations of the breasts and their abscesses, as well the haemorrhages of the uterus during suckling.)

(** Nevertheless, the entire opposite frequently takes place, so that the wife who before pregnancy was always sickly, and uninterruptedly complaining, feels in unusual good health during every pregnancy and only during this state. And with such cases this time of pregnancy may very well be made use of for antipsoric treatment, which in such a case is directed against the symptoms of the morbid state before pregnancy, so far as this can be remembered.)

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Sucklings never receive medicine; the mother or wet-nurse receives the remedy instead, and through their milk it acts on the child very quickly, mildly and beneficially.

The corporeal nature (called the life-preserving principle or vital force) when left to itself, since it is without reason, cannot provide anything better than palliatives in chronic diseases and in the acute diseases springing thence which cause sudden danger to life, owing to the indwelling psora. These are the causes of the more frequent secretions and excretions of various kinds taking place of themselves now and then in chronic (psoric) diseases, as e.g., diarrhoeas, vomiting, perspiration, suppurations, haemorrhages, etc. All these are attended with only temporary alleviations of the chronic original malady, which owing to the losses of humors and of strength thereby only becomes more and more aggravated.

Allopathy has, so far, not been able to do any more than this toward a genuine cure of the chronic diseases; it could only imitate the unreason in corporeal nature in its palliatives (usually without an equal alleviation and with a greater sacrifice of strength). It caused therefore, more than the other, a hastening of the general ruin, without being able to contribute anything to the extinction of the original malady. To this class belong all the many, indescribable purgatives, the so-called dissolvents, the venesection, cupping, the applying of leeches now so insanely frequent, the sudorifics, the artificial sores, setons, fontanelles, exutories, etc.

God be praised, the homoeopathic physician who is acquainted with the means of a radical cure, and who thus through the anti-psoric treatment can destroy the chronic disease itself, has so little need of the above mentioned applications, which only hasten dissolution, that he has on the contrary to use all care that the patient may not secretly use some of these appliances, following the old routine, diffused over the whole earth by allopathy. He can never yield to the request of the patient, e.g., that he has become accustomed to being bled so and so many times a year, or to be cupped, or to use purgatives or warm baths, and that he therefore needs them. Such things cannot be permitted.

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The homoeopathic physician who is a master of his art, and God be praised! there is now a not inconsiderable number of such masters in homoeopathy, never allows a drop of blood to be drawn from his patient; he never needs any such or similar means of weakening the body, for such a course evermore remains the negation of curing. Only journeymen, half homoeopaths still, I am sorry to say, use such a contradictio in adjecto (weakening while desiring to cure).*

Only in the one case, where, as in many chronic diseases, the delay in passing evacuations causes great trouble, he will permit (in the beginning of the treatment before the antipsoric medicine has had the time [in its after-effects] to produce improvement in this point) if the stool is not passed for three or four days, a clyster of clean, lukewarm water without the least admixture, also perhaps a second, if an evacuation does not result within a quarter of an hour. Rarely a third injection will be needed, after waiting a third quarter of an hour. This help which acts chiefly mechanically by expanding the rectum, is harmless when repeated after three or four days if it is necessary, and, as before mentioned, only at the beginning of the treatment – for the antipsoric medicines, among which in this respect lycopodium next to sulphur has the pre-eminence, usually soon remove this difficulty.

The inexcusable wasting fontanelles the homoeopathic physician must not at once suppress, if the patient has had them for some time (often for many years), nor before the antipsoric treatment has already made perceptible progress, but if they can be diminished without totally stopping them, this may safely be done even in the beginning of the treatment.

So also the physician should not at once discontinue the woollen underclothing, which is said to prevent the taking of cold and the recommendation of which is carried very far by the ordinary physicians in default of any real assistance. Though they are a burden to the patient, we should wait until there is a visible improvement effected by the antipsorics which remove the tendency to taking cold, and until the warmer season comes. With patients who are very weakly, he should in the beginning change to cotton shirts which rub and heat the skin less, before requiring patients to put linen underclothing on their skin.


(* This may well be pardoned with journeymen and beginners: but when they assume to boast of this noviceship and declare in public journals and books that the incidental use of blood-letting and leeches is indispensable, yea, that it is more essentially homoeopathic, they become ridiculous and are to be pitied as tyros and as laboring under delusion; and their patients also are to be pitied. Is it laziness or a haughty preference for their old (although ruinous) allopathic routine, or is it lack of love for their fellowman which prevents a deeper entering into true, beneficent Homoeopathy and an elevation into the troublesome but correct and useful selection of the remedy homoeopathically specific in every case, and into that mastery of Homoeopathy now no more rare?)

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For many easily perceived reasons, but especially in order that his delicate doses of medicine may not be interfered with in their action, the homoeopathic physician can not in his antipsoric treatment allow the intermediate use of any hitherto customary domestic remedy, no perfumery of any kind, no fragrant extracts, no smelling-salts, no Baldwin tea, or any other herb teas, no peppermint confection, no spiced confections or anise-sugar or stomach drops, or liqueurs, no Iceland-moss, or spiced chocolate, no spice-drops, tooth-tinctures or tooth-powders of the ordinary kinds, nor any of the other articles of luxury.

So-called warm and hot baths for the sake of cleanliness, to which spoiled patients are usually very much attached, are not to be allowed, as they never fail to disturb the health; nor are they needed, as a quick washing of a part or of the whole of the body with lukewarm soap-water fully serves the purpose without doing any injury.

At the end of these directions for treating chronic diseases, I recommended, in the first edition, the lightest electric sparks as an adjuvant for quickening parts that have been for a long time paralyzed and without sensation, these to be used besides the antipsoric treatment. I am sorry for this advice, and take it back, as experience has taught me, that this prescription has nowhere been followed strictly, but that larger electric sparks have always been used to the detriment of patients; and yet these larger sparks have been asserted to be very small. I, therefore, now advise against this so easily abused remedy, especially, as we can easily remove this appearance of enantiopathic assistance; for there is an efficient homoeopathic local assistance for paralyzed parts or such as are without sensation. This is found in cold water * locally applied (at 54° Fahrenheit) from mountain-springs and deep wells; either by pouring on these parts for one, two or three minutes, or by douche-baths over the whole body of one to five minutes duration, more rarely or more frequently, even daily or oftener according to the circumstances, together with the appropriate, internal, antipsoric treatment, sufficient exercise in the open air, and judicious diet.


(* Water of this and a lower temperature has the primary power of depriving the parts of the living body partly of sensation and partly of motion, in such cases it therefore gives local homoeopathic assistance.)

Samuel Hahnemann
Samuel Hahnemann