It is not our intention to give a complete treatment of the diseases of the respiratory system of the first and the second infancy in this article, but it will not be wanting in utility and interest. We have willingly restricted ourselves in giving some general ideas about the facts that we have observed during our practice while treating children with homoeopathic medicines and to add the pathogenic study of remedies of which the indications are more frequent in course of respiratory diseases of children.

Our experience is enough to say that in infantile pathology, more than that of the adult and the old, Homoeopathy compared with Allopathy, has been proved to be the treatment of choice either it is considered from the angle of doctrinal conceptions or it is considered from pragmatic aspect of therapeutic results. It is besides in the treatment of children every Allopath crosses the threshold of a somewhat mysterious homoeopathy and voluntarily desists himself from the audacity of assuming the treatment of an acute case with imponderable doses absolving himself at the bottom of his heart of the excuse “that the infantile pharmacopea of Allopathy is extremely limited and that the useful dose is so near to the toxic dose that one is right to be afraid of.”

We therefore admit of that fear which is human, and is the beginning of wisdom and that the dose in medicine in the treatment of children becomes a possibility in favour of homoeopathy. When after some good results, the new doctor has gained some confidence on his method and when he timidity extends it to adult and to old, he soon finds that it is in children his method is specially successful.

In fact it is a truism that the children are eminently sensitive to our dilutions for some proved or hypothetical reasons that we have not discussed here. It is thus the method takes form. On the one hand it is inoffensive and on the other hand, so far as we are concerned, we believe that the theories of Hahnemann, applied to the diseases of the first infancy offer another source of interest.

The facts that we have witnessed have convinced us to recognise the exactitude and importance of the notions of morbid ground, of constitutions, of temperaments, of hereditary pathological predispositions. There is no doubt that we are not in a position to prove them with laboratory arguments, but the concrete reality concords exactly with the theories so that one has the right to accept them with a favourable presumption.

We are particularly interested here in acute pneumopathies of infants and here is in summary some of the deductions that we believe to be true.

The acute disease of the respiratory tract of children do not come as a bolt from the blue or as if the organism is suddenly succumbed under the attack of brutal microbes. Before the appearance of the disease the child possessed within it some possibilities of diseases.

What are these preparing possibilities? First of all the ground, specially tubercular. We have worked in a region where no familial heredity was unknown to us and our field of action was vast enough to give us numerous opportunities to make comparisons. The more a family stock is encumbered with tuberculosis, the move there are the risks of an acute affection of the respiratory system in lower ages in the descendants, particularly broncho-pneumonia. The prognosis itself will be as much grave as the familial taint is more charged.

Besides the ground, there is the second factor which is very important for the preparation of the ground. It is the chill. It is customary to read in the medical treatises, that the chill is an “occasional physical cause. But we add that “it is the opportunity that makes the thief.”

The part played by the chill in acute pneumopathies is considerably important. Its causes are different. It may be imputable to bad hygiene, insufficiently heated room, exposition to air current, negligence of the parents who let go out their children insufficiently guarded or dressed. These children generally already suffer from cold. In other cases the catching of cold may be of more general nature such as the consequence of sudden variation of atmospheric temperature or a prolonged coldness. The cause of pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, pulmonary congestions and cortico-pleuritis by the first heat, or when the days are hot and nights are cold. We think that the ground and the chill are absolutely important and during our last years of practice, we were in the habit of advising preventive measures to our clients, recommnending them to keep their children, who are suffering from cold, hotly and sufficiently dressed specially when the atmospheric condition is not favourable and when we doubt the power of resistance of the child.

Mauritius Fortier-Bernoville
Mauritius (Maurice) Fortier Bernoville 1896 – 1939 MD was a French orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Chief editor of L’Homeopathie Moderne (founded in 1932; ceased publication in 1940), one of the founders of the Laboratoire Homeopathiques Modernes, and the founder of the Institut National Homeopathique Francais.

Bernoville was a major lecturer in homeopathy, and he was active in Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis, and a founder of the le Syndicat national des médecins homœopathes français in 1932, and a member of the French Society of Homeopathy, and the Society of Homeopathy in the Rhone.

Fortier-Bernoville wrote several books, including Une etude sur Phosphorus (1930), L'Homoeopathie en Medecine Infantile (1931), his best known Comment guerir par l'Homoeopathie (1929, 1937), and an interesting work on iridology, Introduction a l'etude de l'Iridologie (1932).

With Louis-Alcime Rousseau, he wrote several booklets, including Diseases of Respiratory and Digestive Systems of Children, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Rheumatism, treatment of hay fever (1929), The importance of chemistry and toxicology in the indications of Phosphorus (1931), and Homeopathic Medicine for Children (1931). He also wrote several short pamphlets, including What We Must Not Do in Homoeopathy, which discusses the logistics of drainage and how to avoid aggravations.

He was an opponent of Kentian homeopathy and a proponent of drainage and artificial phylectenular autotherapy as well.