The medicines which have been found most suitable and excellent in chronic diseases so far, I shall present in the following part according to their pure action on the human body, as well those used in the treatment of the diseases of psoric origin, as those used in syphilis and in the figwart-disease.
That we need far fewer remedies to combat the latter than the psora can not with any thinking man form an argument against the chronic miasmatic nature of the latter and still less against the fact that it is the common source of the other chronic diseases.
The psora, a most ancient miasmatic disease, in propagating itself for many thousands of years through several millions of human organisms, of which each one had its own peculiar constitution and was exposed to very varied influences, was able to modify itself to such a degree as to cause that incredible variety of ailments which we see in the innumerable chronic patients, with whom the external symptom (which acts vicariously for the internal malady), i.e. the more or less extensive eruption of itch, has been driven away from the skin by a fatal art, or in whom it has disappeared of itself from the skin through some other violent incident.
Hence it seems to have come to pass that this half-spiritual miasma, which like a parasite seeks to inroot its hostile life in the human organism and to continue its life there, could develop itself in so many ways in the many thousands of years, so that it has even caused to spring forth and has born modified offshoots with characteristic properties, which do not indeed deny their descent from their stock (the common psora) but, nevertheless, differ from one another considerably by some peculiarities. These changes are due in some part to the varying physical peculiarities and climatic differences of the dwelling-places of men afflicted with the psora,* and in part are moulded by their varying modes of life, e.g. children in the corrupt city air develop rachitis, spina ventosa, softening of the bones, curvatures, cancer of late bones, tinea capitis, scrofula, ringworm; adults exhibit nervous debility, nervous irritability, gout of the joints, etc. And so also the other great varieties in the mode of living and in the occupations of men with their inherited bodily constitutions give to the psoric diseases so many modifications, that it may easily be understood, that more numerous and more varied remedies are needed for the extirpation of all these modifications of the psora (antipsoric remedies).
(* E.g. the Sibbens or Rade-Syge commonly found in Norway and in the northwest of Scotland; the Pellagra in Lombardy; the plica polonica (Koltun, Trichiasis) in Poland and Carinthia, the tumorous leprosy in Surinam; the raspberry-like excrescences (Frambosia) in Guinea called yaws and in America pian; the exhaustive fever in Hungary called Tsomor, the exhausting malady of Virginia (asthenia Virginensium), the human degeneration in the deep Alpine villages called cretin, the goitre in the deep valleys and at their entrances, etc.)
I have often been asked by what signs a substance may beforehand be recognized as antipsoric? But there can be no such external visible marks in them; nevertheless while proving several powerful substances as to their pure effects on the healthy body, several of them by the complaints they caused showed me their extraordinary and manifest suitableness for homoeopathic aid in the symptoms of clearly defined psoric diseases. Some traces of their qualities leading in this direction gave me in advance some hint as to their probable usefulness; e.g. the efficacy of the herb Lycopodium, much praised in Poland for the plica polonia pointed me to the use of the pollen of lycopodium in similar psoric ailments. The circumstance that some haemorrhages have been arrested by large doses of salt was another hint. So was the usefulness of Guaiacum, Sarsaparilla and Mezereum, even in ancient times where venereal diseases could not be healed by any amount of mercury unless one or the other of these herbs had first removed the psora complicated with it.
As a rule it was developed from their pure symptoms, that most of the earths, alkalies and acids, as well as the neutral salts composed of them, together with several of the metals cannot be dispensed with in curing the almost innumerable symptoms of psora. The similarity in nature of the leading antipsoric, sulphur, to phosphorus and other combustible substances from the vegetable and the mineral kingdoms led to the use of the latter, and some animal substances naturally followed them by analogy, in agreement with experience.
Still only those remedies have been acknowledged as antipsoric whose pure effects on the human health gave a clear indication of their homoeopathic use in diseases manifestly psoric, confessedly due to infection; so that, with an enlargement of our knowledge of their proper, pure medicinal effects, in time it may be found necessary to include some of our other medicines among the antipsoric remedies; although even now we can with certainty cure, with the antipsorics now recognized, nearly all non-venereal (psoric) chronic diseases, if the patients have not been loaded down and spoiled through allopathic mismanagement with severe medicine-diseases, and when their vital force has not been depressed too low, or very unfavorable external circumstances make the cure impossible. Nevertheless, it need not be specially stated that the other proved, homoeopathic medicines, not excepting mercury, cannot be dispensed with in certain states of the psoric diseases.
Homoeopathy, by a certain treatment of the crude medicinal substances, which had not been invented before its foundation and development, advances them into the state of progressive and high development of their indwelling forces, in order that it may then use them in curing in the most perfect manner. Some of these medicines in their crude state seem to have a very imperfect, insignificant medicinal action (e.g. common salt and the pollen of lycopodium). Others (e.g. gold, quartz, alumina) seem to have none at all, but all of them become highly curative by the preparation peculiar to Homoeopathy. Other substances, on the other hand, in their crude state are, even in the smallest quantities, so violent in their effects that if they touch the animal fibre, they act upon it in a corroding and destructive manner (e.g. arsenic and corrosive sublimate) and these medicines are rendered by the same preparation peculiar to Homoeopathy not only mild in their effects, but also incredibly developed in their medicinal powers.
The changes which take place in material substances, especially in medicinal ones, through long-continued trituration with a non-medicinal powder, or when dissolved, through a long-continued shaking with a non-medicinal fluid, are so incredible, that they approach the miraculous, and it is a cause of joy that the discovery of these wonderful changes belongs to Homoeopathy.
Not only, as shown elsewhere, do these medicinal substances thereby develop their powers in a prodigious degree, but they also change their physico-chemical demeanor in such a way, that if no one before could ever perceive in their crude form any solubility in alcohol or water, after this peculiar transmutation they become wholly soluble in water as well as in alcohol – a discovery invaluable to the healing art.
The brown-black juice of the marine animal Sepia, which was formerly only used for drawing and painting, is in its crude state soluble only in water, not in alcohol; but by such a trituration it becomes soluble also in alcohol.
The yellow Petroleum only allows something to be extracted from it through alcohol when it is adulterated with ethereal vegetable oil; but in its pure state while crude it is soluble neither in water nor in alcohol (nor in ether). By trituration it becomes soluble in both substances.
So also the Pollen of lycopodium floats on alcohol and on water, without either of them showing any action upon it – the crude lycopodium is tasteless and inactive when it enters the human stomach; but when changed in a similar manner through trituration it is not only perfectly soluble in either fluid, but has also developed such extraordinary medicinal powers, that great care must be taken in its medicinal use.
Who ever found marble or oyster-shells soluble in pure water or in alcohol? But this mild lime becomes perfectly soluble in either, by means of this mode of preparation; the same is the case with baryta and magnesia and these substances then exhibit astonishing medicinal powers.
Least of all will anyone ascribe solubility in water and alcohol to quartz, to rock-crystal (many crystals of which have contained enclosed in them drops of water for thousands of years unchanged), or to sand; nor would any one ascribe to them medicinal power, and yet by the dynamization (potentizing)* peculiar to Homoeopathy, by melting silica with an alkaline salt, and then precipitating it from this glass, it not only becomes soluble without any residuum in water and in alcohol, but also then shows prodigious medicinal powers.