For several years I have been in the habit of using this drug in true Rademacherian fashion as an organ remedy. The perusal of Rademacher`s Magnum Opus is one of the greatest literary treats that ever fell to my lot; based on Hohenheimian bizarries, avowedly and obviously merely an attempt at reducing his genial erratic pretended mysticism to the concrete form of a practice of medicine, by depolarizing it, if I may so speak, it is nevertheless the most genial and most original production it is possible to find in medical literature. It is the most bare-boned lawless empiricism that one can conceive, and yet there are two leading ideas running through the entire work, and these are the genius epidemicus morborum and organopathy; and considered from the pharmacological side, the other two ideas of universal (general) and particular medicines. For Paracelsus there were only three universal remedies, and so also for Rademacher and for their followers. Hahnemann has but three fundamental morbid states-psora, syphilis, and sycosis. Von Grauvogl has but three constitutions of the body-they might have all been working out the father-landish proverb Aller guten Dinge sind drei!
The genius epidemicus morborum is beyond question a fact in nature, but it is dreadfully eel-like, hard to get a grip of. The same may be said of Hahnemann`s tripartite pathology and of Grauvogl`s three constitutional states.
Rademacher`s organopathy (that an otherwise able modern writer appropriates with child-like naivete) is no more and no less than the homoeopathic specificity of seat, with just a dash of a mystic psychic something in the several organs; if we set aside this little particular soul for each organ, it is only local affinity, or elective affinity. And it is quite true in nature, and the mind that cannot, or will not recognize it, is wanting in catholicity of perception; and in practice will often go a mile when three paces would have reached the goal. Whatever else Cantharis may be, it is first and foremost a kidney medicine; whatever else Digitalis may be, it is primarily a heart medicine; and let Belladonna be what, it may, it is before all things an artery medicine, and just in this sense Ceanothus Americanus is a spleen medicine.
The spleen constitutes a dark corner in the human economy, whether considered physiologically or therapeutically.*”Qu’est-ce que la rate? Telle est la question, assez etrange, posee depuis trois mille ans dans la science, et dont, apres trois mille ans, la science a jusqu’a ce jusqu’a ce jour vainement attendu la solution.” -Bourgery. *I have heard it professorially very ably argued that the spleen is the principal manufactory of our blood corpuscles. I have heard that theory equally and professorially refuted, and in its stead the thesis set up that the spleen is, as it were, the ultinum refugium of the old and effete blood corpuscles, wherein they are broken up and their debris sent off again in the circulating medium. A third argued that all this was veritable nonsense, as the spleen had nothing whatever to do with either making leucocytes or breaking up their reddened descendants, that in fact the spleen had no other function than to act as a reservoir for the blood -being, indeed, a king of living sac in the side, to swell or shrink according as the circulation required more or less of the circulating fluid.
I fondle this latter theory myself, and like to call it mine; whose it really is I do not know. Perhaps some of my readers will be able to say what they think the spleen is good for beyond serving as the anatomical something that supposedly sends our dear fellow-countrymen in shoals off London Bridge into the Shames on a rainy or foggy day-I mean, of course, le spleen! This great bugbear of our Gallic and Germanic brethren-as applied to ourselves bien entendu! for they consider it essentially principally a morbus Anglicus, just as we like to think it is principally those naughty French who commit suicide-is really only another name for being “hipped, ” or suffering from an attack of hypochondriasis, and there cannot be any sound reason for refusing it a habitat under the left ribs, since so many have welcomed it under the right ones.
My first and only literary acquaintance with Ceonathus Americanus is the very short empirical; account of it in Hale`s New Remedies, which I read rome five or six years ago. Previously I had frequently felt a difficulty in treating a pain in the left side, having its seat, apparently, in the spleen. Myrtus communis has a pain in the left side, but that is high up under the clavicle; the pain that is a little lower is the property of Sumbul; still lower of Acidum fluoricum; a little further to the left of Acidum oxalicum; more to the right of Aurum; right under the left breast of Cimicifuga rac.