General Pathology of Homoeopathy

In the rank and file of medicine the old ideas on pharmacology still obtain, in spite of vaunted progress. A drug, or combination of drugs, when administered to a patient, is supposed to have no other effects than those assigned theoretically to the class to which it belongs. The “other effects,” which are sure to arise, are attributed to the natural progress of the disease or to some theoretical “complication.”

When we come to examine these allopathic drug classifications from the standpoint of that knowledge of drugs which is derived from actual observation of their effects upon the healthy, as recorded in homoeopathic provings, we find them to be of the crudest character, based upon the most superficial knowledge of drug action. The gross toxic effects of the drug, as observed accidentally in men or animals or as guessed, are set over against equally crude generalizations of diseases, usually on the antipathic principle where any principle at all is discoverable.

For although the allopathic school of medicine of the present day repudiates any law or principle, it is plain that the rule of contraries still dominates it. One has only to take down any standard allopathic work on materia medica to find its drugs arranged in some twenty-five or thirty classes, the names of which either begin with “anti” or imply the same thing, as pointed out by the late Dr. Conrad Wesselhoeft, of Boston. Thus we find anti-toxins, anti-spasmodics, anti-periodics, anti- pyretics, anti-acids, anti-septics, anthelmintics, alteratives, tonics, counter-irritants, etc. Manifestly, the appellation “allopathy” holds good today, as it did a hundred years ago, when Hahnemann applied it.

As long as drugs retain their power to make well people sick, and as long as doctors continue to make such generalizations as these, so long must both be recognized and dealt with as causative factors in the production of human ills. And so, as our allopathic neighbors and our homoeopathic brethren with allopathic proclivities remain as yet in a large majority, there will continue to be plenty of work for the real followers of Hahnemann to do in dealing with the results of their medical obtuseness for some time to come. True it is that if the use of crude drugs could be entirely done away with, the sum of human ills would be greatly reduced; or, as Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes wittily said: “If all the drugs in the world were dumped into the sea, it would be better for mankind *and the worse for the fishes.” In either case probably two-thirds of the existing ornaments of the medical profession would shine in other spheres with at least equal radiance.

This phase of the subject is important from a practical stand- point. Cases will frequently present themselves which are puzzling, and resist all efforts to cure until they are recognized as “drug cases.” The trouble may be entirely due to drugs, or there may be a combination in varying proportions of drug and disease symptoms.

It should be a matter of routine in making first examinations, to ascertain what drugs have been used. In chronic cases this investigation should extend back through the whole life-time of the patient. The diseases from which the patient has suffered, and the drugs used in their treatment should be ascertained if possible. The patient may not know all, but he will usually know some of the most common and powerful drugs he has taken, and a search of the druggists’ files may reveal the rest. The key to a difficult case may be the drug or drug which have “cured” some acute disease, perhaps early in the patient’s medical history. Antidoting the drug clears up the case.

Frequently, for example, will some chronic disease of the liver, kidneys, spleen or lungs be traced back to an initial attack of malarial fever checked by massive doses of quinine or arsenic. The patient has “never been well since.” The seemingly indicated remedies do not act. A few doses of the appropriate antidote, perhaps Arnica, or Ipecac, or Pulsatilla, or even of Arsenic or Cinchona-the abused drugs themselves, *in high potency – will clear up the case and either cure or render it amenable to other symptomatically indicated drugs.

It is a fact that the high potency of a drug is sometimes the best antidote for the effects of the crude drug.

It is not unusual in the treatment of such cases for the original symptoms to be reproduced. I have seen a full- fledged, typical attack of intermittent fever reproduced in a case which had become tubercular, within a week after the administration of an antidotal dose of Arsenic in high potency. The patient made a rapid recovery. The initial attack of intermittent fever, in the case referred to, was five years before.

In a case variously diagnosed as “chronic gout,” “chronic articular rheumatism, etc. unsuccessfully treated by many physicians, including European specialists, I witnessed the reappearance of a discharge from the urethra fifteen years after the original gonorrhoeal discharge had disappeared under the influence of astringent injections. With the establishment of the discharge the patient’s “rheumatic” symptoms began to rapidly improve and a perfect cure resulted. This was a case of chronic gonococcic septicaemia, or so-called “gonorrhoeal rheumatism,” in reality, metastasis of the original disease caused by the use of injections. The key which unlocked the door and released the imprisoned disease was Thuja, the typical “anti-sycotic” remedy of Hahnemann.

Drug symptoms and complications often arise in the most unexpected and surprising ways, and baffle all but the most acute and experienced examiners. Hair dyes and tonics, complexion beautifiers, dentifrices, medicated soaps, antiseptics; borax in baby’s mouth to prevent sprue, and carbolic acid in mama’s douche to prevent babies; innumerable ointment and lotions; to say nothing about the equally numerous patent and proprietary nostrums which fill the shelves of the corner drug stores and find their way “down the red lane” into the human system, all play their part in creating morbid susceptibility, idiosyncrasy and drug diseases and in making work for the doctor.

These are some of the things to look for among the possible causes of a disease. They are things very generally overlooked by the type of physician who either does not know their importance, will not take the time and pains to find out, or does not care. The patients of such physicians are fair game for the man who does know, who will take the time, and who does care; and he will not be in practice very long before he bags his share of them.

Stuart Close
Stuart M. Close (1860-1929)
Dr. Close was born November 24, 1860 and came to study homeopathy after the death of his father in 1879. His mother remarried a homoeopathic physician who turned Close's interests from law to medicine.

His stepfather helped him study the Organon and he attended medical school in California for two years. Finishing his studies at New York Homeopathic College he graduated in 1885. Completing his homeopathic education. Close preceptored with B. Fincke and P. P. Wells.

Setting up practice in Brooklyn, Dr. Close went on to found the Brooklyn Homoeopathic Union in 1897. This group devoted itself to the study of pure Hahnemannian homeopathy.

In 1905 Dr. Close was elected president of the International Hahnemannian Association. He was also the editor of the Department of Homeopathic Philosophy for the Homeopathic Recorder. Dr. Close taught homeopathic philosophy at New York Homeopathic Medical College from 1909-1913.

Dr. Close's lectures at New York Homeopathic were first published in the Homeopathic Recorder and later formed the basis for his masterpiece on homeopathic philosophy, The Genius of Homeopathy.

Dr. Close passed away on June 26, 1929 after a full and productive career in homeopathy.