The teaching of Hippocrates is based on experience and the observation of the sick at the bedside. He demanded from the doctor the highest gifts. The fact that natural products are preferable to so called puree chemicals may be illustrated by a further example.

IN September 1933, all the German medical journals published a proclamation by Dr. Wagner, the recognized head of the German medical organizations, addressed to all the doctors who endeavour to cure the sick biologically.

“Although medical science has developed mightily and has give us many means for healing the sick, it cannot be denied that methods of healing which are not recognized by orthodox medicine have had striking successes and that in many cases these unorthodox methods have proved superior to orthodox ones.

The greatest successes have been obtained by healers who do not belong to the medical profession, by men and women who had studied methods of cure developed by age-old traditions and folk-lore. Here and there a few medical men studied these unorthodox methods and last they organized themselves into groups.”.

Dr. Wagner urged all medical men who were interested in unorthodox forms of healing to form an organization.

About the same time there appeared in the journal Der Tag an article by Professor Dr. H. Reiter, which stated:-.

“The refusal on the part of orthodox profession to study those popular methods of healing, which are based on tradition and justified by success has gravely diminished the confidence of the people in orthodox doctors. The medical profession would have acted more wisely if it had examined them carefully and it should try to strengthen its position by learning from medical folk lore and from unorthodox healers”.

As two physicians in great position have urged medical men to think biologically, I would like to discuss the question: “What is meant by treating diseases biologically and why is there so great a hostility among the people against orthodox medicine ?”.

Let us go back Hippocrates. 2,300 years ago Hippocrates laid down the principles of treating disease biologically. Unfortunately his successors abandoned the principles of the Father of medicine and created an orthodox school, to the misfortune of mankind. Already in the writings of Galen we find that conceit and self-admiration, which is most damaging to medical progress.

Galen in his writings reports only successes, never a failure, and he asserts that the success of medical treatment is based on the mystery with which it is surrounded. On the other hand, Hippocrates always frankly states when he has failed to cure, and he teaches that medicines should be prepared in accordance with the dictates of nature, that herbal drugs should be given in the fresh state, and that their treatment with alcohol, honey, boiling and extraction should be limited to the minimum.

The teaching of Hippocrates is based on experience and the observation of the sick at the bedside. He demanded from the doctor the highest gifts. He wrote:- ” He who wishes to practice the medical art should have the necessary qualifications and tuition, he should study medical science, beginning the study in tender years, should love the work and be willing to devote to it the necessary time. Before all, he should have a natural gift. Unless nature shows the way, a man cannot become a healer.”

He proclaimed that a doctor required the following qualities:- “Unselfishness, kindness, modesty, dignity, good judgment, calmness, energy, cleanliness, ability to speak in telling sentences and knowledge of all that is practically useful of necessary, faith in God, freedom from superstition and hatred of evil.”.

If we read the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, we find little about out diagnosis, which means the naming of diseases, but much about the forecasting of future developments, of prognosis. For instance, we red under the heading “Consumption”:-.

“Consumptives are likely to die if their expectorations, held over the fire have a disgusting smell like burns flesh and if the hair of their head is falling off. Consumptives die soon if their expectoration dropped into sea water sinks to the bottom. The most dangerous period for consumptives is between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. If consumptives experience itching all over the after constipation the outlook is unfavourable. Consumptives who have breathing difficulty without expectoration, or who spit out masses of crude phlegm are bound to die soon.”.

Hippocrates demanded that the physician should have the ability to forecast the development of the disease, and to supplement the information given by the patient by telling him his symptoms. This would give him confidence in his doctor.

The demand of Hippocrates that doctors should be able to describe to the patient those symptoms which he himself has omitted cannot be fulfiled, but many unorthodox healers possess that ability. Hippocrates was interested in the science of facial expression. Every doctor has been told about the facies Hippocratica.

A century ago doctors were taught the science of expression in books, such as Prof. Baumgartners Kranken Physiognomik. My own teacher, Prof. Garre of Bonn, taught his students that they ought to be able to diagnose at sight whether a patient whom they saw for the first time was suffering from disease of the kidneys, of the stomach or of the lungs, etc.

Inspection of the urine has been completely neglected. The modern doctor does not use his eye and nose, but chemicals. Hippocrates based important diagnostic conclusions upon the various discolorations of the urine, and the time at which they took place, its smell, etc. Similar teaching to be found in the classical writings of the past which have unfortunately been neglected, such as Hufelands Enchiridion medicum.

For instance we read in that book that if there are cloudlets in the urine which rise to the top, a crisis is far away, but if they sink to the bottom a crisis is at hand. There are many other important indications observable in the urine by the naked eye which it would lead too far to mention.

Then there is nail diagnosis. The experienced doctor, by looking at the nails, can tell the exact age of a baby and see that a patient has had a certain disease, such as pneumonia, so many weeks or months ago. Diagnosis based on the study of the iris of the eye is also of great value although it is despised by official medicine. In a dissertation recently published in Germany the result of study of the iris of 417 dogs is described. In 34 percent of the cases, iris diagnosis furnished the identical findings as orthodox diagnosis of the living animals, and in 56 per cent iris diagnosis arrived at the same results as the findings discovered by pathologists after death.

Those who practice iris diagnosis can tell from the discoloration of the iris which medicinal poisons have been absorbed. For instance, the iris of the Morphia-user displays a light blue discoloration. then there are “cramp rings” visible in the eye. A physician who understands iris diagnosis can say at glance to the mother:- ” I suppose you are bringing me the baby because of cramps or convulsions.” I personally have been particularly interested in the indications of death known to iris diagnosticians and have heard of cases where death was foretold to take place in six months and where it actually occurred after six months, although the patient knew nothing about this prognosis.

The fact that prognosis about may be greatly facilitated by indications based on tradition may be seen from a report of the meeting of the Pope with the well known lay healer, pastor Kneipp. Kneipp was ordered to come to Rome to see the Pope. He believed that the ecclesiastical authorities disapproved of his treating thousands of patients medicinally while neglecting his parish.

With fear and trembling he sat on the edge of his chair and reported to the Pope about his parish. The Pope interrupted him and said:- “I have not asked you to come to Rome because of your parish, but because of my health.” As soon as Kneipp heard this, he sat comfortable back in his chair and talked to the Pope as if he were an ordinary patient. When Neap was asked about his sudden change of attitude, he said:- “When the conversation was about the parish he was the Pope and I was a little priest, but when his Holiness asked about his health I was the Pope.” The Pope asked Kneipp how many years he would live.

Kneipp replied without hesitation:- Your Holiness will live another ten years.” The Pope, feeling ill, thought this forecast reckless and asked on what grounds he had made it without an examination and without any knowledge about his complaints and Kneipp frankly confessed that his prognosis was based on the Popes ears. It was an old peasant rule that years of life could be measured by the appearance of the ears. The circulation of the blood in the ears was so good and the ears were so nicely coloured that he could expect another ten years of life. As a matter of fact the Pope lived another and a half years.

Hippocrates relied principally upon natural methods of cure: diet, heat, light, baths, exercise, open-air treatment, massage, etc., and among medicines he preferred herbal remedies, as produced by nature. Unfortunately the study of medicinal herbs has not made such progress since then. Perhaps I ought to describe the way in which we study the efficiency of herbs at our Biological Research Institute.

G. Madaus