THE male bladder, but not the female, contains a small muscular gland, which is about the size and shape of a chestnut, and which is situated about the outlet of the bladder. It has been likened to the womb in females. After the change of life, the female womb is apt to degenerate and similar degeneration often takes place in the prostate of the elderly male, which may swell to a considerable size and may grow from a body as large as a chestnut to the size of a fist or larger.
There are three lobes to this body. The central lobe is near the tube and, if it swells considerably, it interferes with the stream or urine. A very large percentage of middle-aged and old men are afflicted with an enlarged prostate, which causes considerable inconvenience.
The holding capacity of the bladder is much diminished, the urine is dammed back, it becomes strong, thick and eventually putrid, causes great irritation of the bladder, and inflammation, and the inflammation is apt to spread up the ureters to the kidneys and produce degeneration is these organs as well. The sufferer from prostatic enlargement can hold his urine only a short time, he must frequently get up during the night, the stream is weak, and often there is great difficulty in starting, discomfort, anxiety, pain, etc.
Orthodox medicine has practically no treatment for this very frequent condition. Patients with an enlarged prostate are recommended to see a surgeon, and frequently the bladder is opened surgically and the enlarged prostate is taken out. This is a grave operation, which gives a great shock to the system. It is a very speculative undertaking and requires great skill.
I have known healthy, strong men of fifty or sixty die under the operation. On the other hand, I know of men who were operated upon when about eighty who were very satisfied with the result. Of course, every avoided operation should be avoided. It speaks volumes for the low state of modern medicine that the orthodox doctor, but not the homoeopath, sends his patients at the first opportunity to the surgeon. One of my friends is a very eminent surgeon. He specializes in operations on the prostate. He has an excised thousands.
When I told him that this condition could easily be cured by homoeopathy and that I considered it his duty to send to homoeopathic doctors, or even to homoeopathic laymen, all cases of enlarged prostate in which operation was inadvisable owing to the condition or age of the patient, or was refused, he looked at me with incredulity and said:”There is no treatment for enlarged prostate except operation.” He had not the slightest desire to investigate or to make enquiries. He is a skilled surgical automation with a tightly closed ming.
A year ago I was staying at a village in Sussex. There was a smith, a Mr. T., whom I knew slightly, and I was struck by his looking very, very ill, deeply jaundiced and anxious. I asked him: ” What is the matter with you?” He replied: “I have a terrible difficulty with urination, I have to get up every hour during the night and each time I void only quite a little, perhaps a tablespoonful.” He told me his bladder was full to bursting point and therefore he took the minimum of liquid.
His urine was extremely thick and dark, acrid and irritating. I felt his abdomen and noticed that his bladder was the size of a football. It was Sunday, the chemists shop of the village was closed, and I had no homoeopathic medicines with me. So I went to the garden, collected a large basket of parsley, told his wife to chop it up, fill a teapot almost to the brim, pour boiling water on it, let it draw for ten minutes or so, and told her husband that he was to drink the decoction all day long in maximum quantity.
Henceforth he was not to touch flesh, fish, fowl or anything made of them, no spices and condiments, no alcohol, no strong tea, nothing to irritate the suffering kidneys and bladder, and he was to abstain from tobacco. I then set out for an all-day walk.
Ten hours after I called on Mr. T., who told me proudly that he had voided a large vessel full of urine, that his urine had become clear and he felt much happier. Parsley is an old folk remedy for bladder irritation, gonorrhoea, etc., as I happened to know. Returned to London I sent to the smith Sulphur in a low potency which he needed on constitutional grounds, Pulsatilla Ix for pain in the urethra and bladder catarrh, and later on Sabal Serrulata, mother tincture.
In the olden days sufferers from this trouble were given Silica by homoeopaths. Sabal Serrulata is saw palmetto, which grows on sandy soil, in soil rich in Silica, and the juice of the plant contains Silica per-digested by the plant. I have found it of great value for enlarged prostate. Boericke states in his excellent Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica: “Constant desire to pass water at night, difficult urination, cystitis with prostatic enlargement.” The smith had been terribly depressed at the time I saw him first.
He felt that he had come to the end of his tether, he did not want to go to the hospital to be operated upon and it was a miracle that his kidneys had not been seriously infected. Urination and urine rapidly normal with the medicines and diet mentioned.
On June Ist, 1931, a Mr. H. C. J. wrote to me from Cardiff: ” For some years I have been troubled with my water. It is too frequent in the day, and, after lying down at night, I have difficult in starting. I have had treatment from my doctor, who told me that my prostate was as large as an orange and he wanted me to see a specialist. I am sixty-one years old.”.
As he did not wish to be operated upon, I put him on the non- irritating diet, previously mentioned, told him to take an abundance of fruit, fruit juice, barley water, and I gave him on general constitutional grounds Sulphur for clearing up the case and Conium 3x to act on the prostate.
We read under the heading “Conium” in Boericke: “Much difficulty in voiding urine, it flows and stops again, interrupted discharge, dribbling in old men.” Besides Conium is indicated if there has been an injury. I was under the impression that there had been an injury in his case. I alternated Sulphur and Conium, then gave him some Pulsatilla and Arnica and Chamomilla when bladder urging became particularly pressing. The he received Sulphur in the 30th potency. The man improved prodigiously.
He was tall and thin when he wrote to me first. After a few weeks he wrote: “I weighed myself this morning and am 7 lbs. heavier than I have ever been. I am feeling well. I keep to your instructions. On June 30th, 1932 he wrote me a very amusing letter as follows:.
“Last night I had to go to the doctor to have my ear syringed, as the wax had got hard and had made me deaf. When that was over, we had a chat about my old complaint. The doctor passed his finger up my back passage, and told me that the prostatic gland was much larger, and was nearly closing up the bowel and that I had got much thinner during the months when he had not seen me.
I told him, as regards my being thinner, I am heavier by a number of pounds. He felt and pommelled me about and admitted that I was in good condition. He asked who had advised me about the prostate and when I mentioned your name he said contemptuously, that man is a quack. I asked him how he accounted for you curing people where doctors had failed. He did not answer, but pressed me to have the operation.
Now as regards my own opinion, he told my wife thirteen months ago that I would not be alive in three months time. Now if he was anyway near right, I could not have improved as I have. Several people whom I told what the doctor had said laughed and told me they had never seen me looking so well as I do now.”.
Major J. R. brought me on December 21st, 1932, his father, a retired Army surgeon with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, who was seventy-eight years old. He had had a very serious attack of influenza, something like a seizure, he complained about palpitations, bronchitis, deep depression, and particularly about an enlarged prostate, which made his nights a misery.
He explained to me: “Of course as a surgeon I know that nothing can be done for that trouble except operation, and I am too old for it.” Aluminium was used in the kitchen and many of his troubles had followed a severe attack of influenza. He was given a dose of Influenzinum 30 every Sunday and a dose of Aluminium 200 very Wednesday. In addition he was to take night and morning a dose of Sulphur 6x and a little Nux vomica before meals.
The combination of Sulphur and Nux vomica improved his general condition. On December 30th the Sulphur and Nux vomica were exhausted and he was given Sabal Serrulata, mother tincture, ten drops three times a day which was alternated with Bryonia, because of his bronchitis, another sequel of the old influenza attack.
On January 5th Bryonia was exchanged for Pulsatilla because of pain in the prostatic region. Later on he was given Ignatia in various potencies because of his depression and a few doses of Thuja 30 to antidote his numerous vaccinations.
On January 25th the old gentlemen wrote to me: ” I am happy to say I am still sleeping well nearly every night so I think the prostatic enlargement must be a good deal better, because the irritation caused thereby prevented sleep in the past.
You have helped me certainly and I am much obliged to you.” In another letter Lieut-Col. R. wrote: ” I am decidedly better and now can sleep for six or seven hours.” On March 12th, 1932, he wrote ” I am practically well now,” and his son, Major R. told me: “My father certainly is very much better in health. My mother tells me that he sleeps quite well, and I do not think the enlarged prostate is worrying him now.” Before he came to me the patient had taken strong tea with much sugar, coffee, meat, spirits, etc. He was given the usual non-irritating diet in addition to the medicines mentioned.
In the past I have carefully avoided describing any of my own cases in this journal. I have somewhat reluctantly done so now partly because it seems desirable that my readers should know that I have not merely a theoretical knowledge of homoeopathy and dietetics, to the teaching of which this journal is devoted, partly because I have been informed from various quarters that doctors have endeavoured to depreciate Heal Thyself by telling people that this magazine was edited by a mere layman who had no practical knowledge of treatment.
Besides, it seems to me important that the professional readers of this journal should know how enlarged prostates can be cured without operation and laymen be encouraged to study the new art of healing and practice it in view of the lamentable shortage of homoeopathic doctors.
In June, 1993, I received a letter from a Mr. Laurence G., Derby, complaining about an enlarged prostate from which he had suffered for then years. He wrote: “The doctor says he could take it away by operation, but as two of my friends did not survive that operation, I do not feel like taking the risk, especially as the greater part of my income is derived from a pension which my wife would lose if I went first.” It is always desirable to examine an enlarged prostate by way of the bowel exit where it can clearly be felt, especially as there is the possibility that there may not be an ordinary enlarged prostate which otherwise is healthy, but that there may be a cancerous enlargement.
I immediately sent him some Sulphur 6x, to be taken night and morning, told him to take parsley tea and asked him to come and see me. He wrote in reply that he as an old man, that he had not been away from Derby for twenty years and begged me to give him advice without seeing him.
On July 17th I sent him my directions. He was to take the usual non-irritating diet, an abundance of liquid, and was given sulphur 6x night and morning, and Silica 12x between meals to start with. The Success was instantaneous. After a few days he wrote to me: ” I am pleased to say I am already a lot better for following your advice and taking the medicine.
On the whole I am decidedly better.” On July 23rd he wrote: “I am keeping wonderfully better, I have no urine trouble whatever, and I have a distinct feeling that the gland is reduced. I am sticking to your diet, and like it.” On August 1st he wrote: ” I am pleased to say I am as well as I have been for years. I have no stoppage of urine at all and very little pain. I am in first-rate health. I think I am cured.” This was followed by a letter no August 13th: ” I am pleased to say I am keeping better.
I have no attacks. I can certainly go much longer without emptying the bladder, and have no, or very little, irritation. I generally wake three times in the night, but mostly without feeling any uneasiness. Still I get out of bed and empty my bladder for fear of trouble.” As the man had been living on a devitaminized and demineralized diet, his diet was greatly improved and he was given an abundance of vegetable water.
Notwithstanding a hugely increased intake of fluid he, like all the other patients, noticed that urging to urinate and bladder control became greatly improved. At first of course all of them were horrified at the idea of vastly increasing their intake of liquid.
A year ago I was attending a well-known nobleman. His masseur arrived and told him: “My lord I am afraid that I cannot treat you to-day. I am too ill.” “What is the matter with you ?” “I have been bleeding profusely from the bladder for a fortnight and I am at the end of my strength.” ” See whether Mr. Ellis Barker can help you.”
Having been told that the blood was bright red, thin and liquid, I opened my pocket case and gave him without hesitation a millionth of a grain of Phosphorus, Phosphorus being indicated if there is bright blood, arterial blood, and Hamamelis when there is thick dark blood from the veins.
I was in a hurry and the masseur was very anxious. So I asked him to get into my care, and put to him the usual questions while driving home. Arrived at my house I examined him by way of the bowel exit and found a very large prostate, from which he had suffered for ten years, but on the right side of the prostate there was a spongy soft outgrowth which possibly might have been malignant.
I immediately gave him the usual, non-irritating diet with an abundance of liquid, especially bran decoction, and Sabal serrulata, five to ten drops three times a day. I also gave him mother tincture of Thlaspi bursae pastoris, to be held in reserve if there should be further haemorrhage. Happily the one dose of Phosphorus sufficed to stop the haemorrhage for months.
This case proved entirely different from the previous ones. Vast improvement was followed by set-backs, and there were numerous symptoms which made it necessary to use a large number of remedies. There was the feeling of a stone rolling in the bladder, which called for Pulsatilla, burning urine, which called for Cantharis, great pain on movement, which demand Bryonia, pain in the perineum, particularly when sitting, which was corrected with Cyclamen 3x, etc.
This has been the most protracted case I have ever handled. Happily the soft outgrowth at the right side of the gland which had given me much concern disappeared completely, urination stream and bladder capacity greatly improved, but there were inexplicable set-backs.
One day my patient told me quite casually: “Three years ago I was examined by a specialist in Harley Street, who stuck a tube into my bladder and gave me a violent pain.” I cocked my ears and wondered whether, in addition to the enlarged prostate, there was an unhealed injury to the sphincter or to the bladder itself, caused by the brutal use of the cystoscope. the most wonderful diagnosis is that which can be effected without instruments by the reaction of the patient to homoeopathic medicines.
There is a herbal medicine called Staphisagria which is particularly useful for injuries to the bladder and its sphincter. I gave the man a few doses of Staphisagria 3x, which produced immediate and very great relief. This showed clearly that there was a bladder injury apart from the prostate enlargement. This shows incidentally the danger of orthodox examination in bladder troubles. I have met a considerable number of people whose bladders were gravely injured by unskilful use of the catheter or the cystoscope.
I then gave him a single dose of Staphisagria 200th potency and warned him that there might be an aggravation which probably would be followed by improvement. During the next day the bladder pain became much worse, but then disappeared completely and he told me that this had been the most wonderful medicine he had ever had.
Mr. E.B., a literary man, noticed seven or eight years ago when he was well over fifty that he had to pass water more and more frequently, especially at night. A leading West End physician sent him to a Harley Street specialist who examined him twice with a cystoscope, charged thirteen guineas, and told him that there was an enlarged prostate which would probably grow larger from year to year and which cold be cured only by operation.
No advice as to diet or medicine was given, for ” there is no other treatment for that condition except surgery”. Mr. E.B. disregarded this trouble until the end of 1932, when things became very awkward. He had to get out of bed every half hours or so and was afraid to go for walks, go to the theatre, etc. At last he went to an eminent homoeopath who, like all good homoeopaths, is averse to operations.
He examined the prostate from the anus and said: “You have an enormous prostate, about the size of a pear, and I am afraid you have to reconcile yourself to an operation.” The man came to me ,I gave him the usual non-irritating diet, and a number of medicines, among them Silica, Thuja, sulphur, and particularly Sabal serrulata, and the condition has so much improved that the patient no longer thinks of an operation and has practically no discomfort.
It must not thought that all enlarged prostates can be cured with Sabal serrulata and one or two of the other remedies mentioned in these pages. It would only confuse lay readers if all the medicines given were enumerated. In the first place one must treat in every case the totality of the symptoms. If the symptoms cry out for Sulphur or Calcarea or Phosphorus, that remedy must be given, whether the disease has one name or another name, but of course a bladder specific may be interpolated.
If a prostate case cannot stand the heat, must put his feet out of bed because they burn, feels a sinking at eleven in the morning, and has other Sulphur symptoms, he must be given Sulphur in the first place, and Sabal serrulata may be given afterwards. Possibly sulphur will cure the whole case, including the prostate. Besides taking note of all the constitutional symptoms, the prescriber must consider the medical history and inheritance of the patient.
If there is a tubercular tendency or suspicion, he should receive infrequent dose of Bacillinum or Tuberculinum in the 30th potency, or higher; if there is a suspicion of cancer, he should receive infrequent doses of Carcinosinum, or Scirrhinum in the 100th potency or higher; if there has been vaccinial poisoning or gonorrhoea, Thuja 30 or medorrhinum 30 should be give once twice a week. The homoeopathic prescriber must act with intelligence, not like an automation.
If sabal serrulata is given to all prostate cases, some will be cured and other will not be cured, although they might be cured if the prescriber had used the necessary intelligence and industry. Under the heading of enlarged prostate Boericke enumerates forty-three remedies in his pocket materia medica, while Kent enumerates forty-eight. Homoeopathic prescribing is difficult if it is done conscientiously.
Hitherto I have found that cases of prostatic enlargement respond rapidly and easily to homoeopathic treatment, combined with a judiciously selected diet, making operation unnecessary, which are expensive, risky and occasionally involve many months in bed. I know a gentleman who had his prostate taken out when eighty years old. The operation was successful, but the patient felt ill and weak for two years afterwards.