Leucorrhoea. The word leucorrhoea, like many of the old pathological terms, does not express its meaning in fullness. The word really means a white flow …

The word leucorrhoea, like many of the old pathological terms, does not express its meaning in fullness. The word really means a white flow from the vagina, yet it is only occasionally found to be white; almost any color or shade of color presents itself in this disease process, if I may be allowed to use that term. The ancient physicians did not understand it, and not much has been added to that meager store even in this day of great learning and research. Any discharge that is not blood is called leucorrhoea, yet there are discharges from the genital canal that are as far from being a leucorrhoea as anything can be. It is not a disease, but the product of a diseased state or condition of the system. The genital canal is one of the waste gates body. Through these discharges it becomes an eliminative exit, and when these discharges are suppressed (dried up locally), the organism becomes affected unfavorably. The patient who is comparatively well with a leucorrhoea discharge, is in some way made sick when the flow is suspended by local treatment. All sorts of morbid phenomena have ensued from bad treatment at the hands of physician, who do not understand the nature and cause of the disease that lies behind them. Clinically we have four divisions of leucorrhoea, the vulvular, the vaginal, the cervical, and the uterine. The first form we find oftener in children, and in aged women, but the other forms we find all during the child-bearing period. The vulvular discharge is sero-purulent, viscid, unctious, having an odor of old cheese or at least an offensive smell. It comes largely from a rapidly developing sebaceous fluid. The vaginal occurs in young women and is creamy or white, purulent; it may be either bland, or excoriating. The cervical discharges are thick, tenacious, ropy, or stringy, showing the albuminous elements. The uterine is similar to the cervical but is more watery. It may be tinged with blood or mixed with pus. After the menopause it is thin watery, and often excoriating. Histologically the cell structures of the canal will often show the origin of the leucorrhoea, if you wish to go that far into the investigation. Some women suffer all their lives with such discharges, while others suffer only occasionally as the result of temporary congestion due to fatigue, cold, exhaustion febrile states or acute disease processes which pass away in a few days, leaving them once more normal. It is the permanent conditions with which we have to deal, and it is those sufferers who call upon us for treatment, and if we do not understand something about the nature of miasmatics, we will soon lose ourselves in the labyrinth of pathological names and conditions to which leucorrhoea is attributed. I will mention a few of them, so as to give you some idea of the confusion which puzzles medical men, who believe in those doctrines, menstruation, foreign growths, laceration, congestion, parturition abortion, sexual over- indulgence, uterine displacements, efforts to prevent conception infections of all kinds, specific disease, such as Syphilis and gonorrhoea, gouty states of the blood, tuberculosis, struma, and a thousand other causes. These makes an interesting study to the lover of etiology and pathology, but Homoeopathy searches deeper than this; although pathological states are not to be despised or overlooked, as they always have some bearing on the case. We have eyes and glasses to look through, which the rest of the medical world know not; they were bequeathed to us by Samuel Hahnemann. All men may wear them if they will, and to put them on, is to put on the habiliments of truth, and to use the telescope of law, that searches the labyrinth of disease to its fountain head and reveals its hidden mystery. Then we see leucorrhoea to be only a symptom, a cleansing and sanitary process to eliminate that which taints the stream of life. A few of you have seen these truths, and many have passed through this life without knowing them, and there are many, however, living to substantiate the truth and leave their seal of approval, that it may be known to all men that homoeopathy, the law of cure, is truth.

The symptoms of leucorrhoea like those of all other chronic disease processes are changeable and number less; our voluminous Materia Medica testifies fully to that fact. Some of the more prominent and constant symptoms are pain in the back, head, and loins, languor, often loss of strength, and general debility, which is made worse by standing or by working, and is worse about the menstrual period. In the treatment of leucorrhoea, I always study my case from the standpoint of the Chronic Miasms and from the light thrown upon disease by Hahnemann’s teachings in his Organon and Chronic Disease. Then I am never disappointed; Hahnemann’s etiology of disease becomes mine, and from what I have learned of disease by experience and from what he has taught me, I get the best results obtainable. Through his revelations in the Organon, I have seen a great light and am not in darkness any longer; I have come into that light, and with every case I study the phenomena of some chronic miasm, active or latent in the organism, slumbering by virtue of the presence of the leucorrhoeal discharge or awakened by its suppression. “The constitutional or symptomatic treatment of leucorrhoea is of the greatest importance,” says Dr.A.C. Cowperthwaite. He further says: “It must be continually borne in mind that leucorrhoea is, in itself, but a symptom, either of some constitutional dyscrasia or of some local existing cause.”

The question arises what is a dyscrasia? Here are some of the many definitions given: “A sin process or something that makes the body healthier,’ (Jeremy Taylor); a disease of an undefined character; a general impairment of health; a degeneration, a faulty condition of the body; a morbid diathesis, and a predisposed condition of the state of the organism. In all these we see nothing fixed or definite, but when we say a syphilitic, gonorrhoeal or a psoric diathesis, we begin to see cause and definite cause at that. When we speak of a tubercular diathesis, we all know just what we are talking about. We may say the same thing of a leucorrhoeal discharge. Let us first learn whether it be tubercular; if so, it will have the characteristics of the pus, of the anaemia, of the mental and physical phenomena of this diathesis And the same thing may be said of every form of disease. (See Vol. I, Chronic Miasms, under Sexual Organs.) The leucorrhoea of the tubercular patient is thick, and yellowish, creamy, or greenish-yellow; it often has a sweetish odor, at other times there is no discernable odor. The leucorrhoea of Psora is whitish, albuminous, odor-less, and usually bland; that of Sycosis is thin, watery, greenish-yellow or dark, like dirty water and usually acrid, and excoriating, producing pruritus of the parts passed over. The odor is pungent, musty, like fish- brine or stale fish. Often every symptom that presents itself in the organism, will correspond with the whole leucorrhoeal discharge. A careful study and acquaintance of the miasms will soon reveal this to be true. It will not require much study, if the observations is at all acute, for you to prescribe from a miasmatic basis. There is no disease that requires a more careful study and analysis of the constitutional symptoms than does this disease. The tubercular forms must be treated as you would a tubercular patient suffering from any other process. They should have a nourishing diet, plenty of fresh air and sunshine, exercise, appropriate bathing, and anything that will restore the vigor and tone to the system. A tubercular leucorrhoea is the one that produces a great drain on the system, due of course, to the blood changes and the death of the red blood cell. In the true sycotic we see no such blood changes, no such anaemia or loss of strength; in the sycotic the body is usually well nourished, although when we find a mixed miasm as in Sycotic element, then a cachexia and diathesis may develop, that approaches malignancy with its blood changes greater even than the simple tubercular. Each case must be carefully studied and a remedy based usually upon the totality of the active miasm; only in the sycotic form do I prescribe douches or injections and then not oftener than once a day, using sterile water at about the temperature of the body; too much douching is bad practice as it balloons the vaginal canal, producing reaction of the tissues and in the end becomes a local irritant. Besides this the organism soon demands the stimulant effect produced by the hot water, and it is not long until the patient cannot do without it. I have found better results come, from the non-use of them; at best you can only cleanse the vagina and the real trouble is entirely confined to the uterus. I often prescribe raw eggs, milk, cream, olive oil, cereals, vegetables, fresh air, sleeping with windows wide open and so on so as to get the best results from the environment. The raw eggs replace the loss of albumin that is more or less a factor in the case; raw foods and fresh air are also splendid in renovating the system. The olive oil increases the amount of fats in body, so necessary to assist in overcoming the work of the tubercular element. The loss of adipose tissue being about the first change we see taking place in these patients, together with blood-cell changes. We see the same changes taking place in children suffering from worms. The urine will soon be found to be covered with fat globules. Take away potatoes and meats for a short time or give them sparingly and increase the fats. The best fat is olive oil; two dessertspoonfuls a day are sufficient, it being about all the system will take care of. Eggs, pure butter and cream follow in their order as fat producers, fresh air and plenty of walking together with the indicated remedy will soon restore these patient’s health.

John Henry Allen
Dr. John Henry Allen, MD (1854-1925)
J.H. Allen was a student of H.C. Allen. He was the president of the IHA in 1900. Dr. Allen taught at the Hering Medical College in Chicago. Dr. Allen died August 1, 1925
Books by John Henry Allen:
Diseases and Therapeutics of the Skin 1902
The Chronic Miasms: Psora and Pseudo Psora 1908
The Chronic Miasms: Sycosis 1908