My admonitions to take his case more seriously, to give me adequate details about his symptoms, and to let me know which of my remedies had done him the most good were unavailing. Practically the only treatment known to orthodox medicine in case of dropsy is tapping.

(Continued from our last issue).


ON October 6th, 1929m E.C. of Birmingham wrote to me that he was ill with heart disease, that he was exposed to violent attacks which caused his face to turn purple, accompanied by heavy perspiration, exhaustion and loss of consciousness, etc., and he asked me whether I could help him. On enquiry I learned that he was a business man, fifty-seven years old, standing five feet seven and a half and weighing thirteen and a half stone.

He was very stout, had been given Digitalis and his apparently sound teeth had been pulled out. Besides, his doctor had him to be and placed him on the usual milk diet, which had increased his obesity still further, to his injury. He has always been living on a rich heating diet, with large quantities of flesh, fish, fowl, bacon, eggs, beer, etc.

I told him that it was essential to get his weight down, forbade flesh, fish, fowl and everything made of them, condiments, spices, food and drink at high temperature, alcohol, and he was to live on a diet calculated to reduce his weight by 2 to 3 lbs. a week. He was given Nux vomica and Carbo vegetabilis combined to improve his digestion, and Podophyllum for his liver. Further, he was immediately to get out of bed and take gentle exercise to be increased from day to day.

Improvement followed promptly. On November 6th he wrote:.

“I am improving considerably. My pulse certainly seems more regular and of a normal heat. I sleep very well and certainly feel refreshed. My weight has gone down to 13 stone 1 lb.”.

On December 8th he Wrote:.

“I feel I am progressing very favorably indeed. I am able to get about very well and am feeling better in myself. I weight now 12 stone 7 lbs. I am very pleased indeed with the result of your treatment.”.

He received various homoeopathic remedies, indicated by his ever-changing condition and symptoms, Sulphur 6x, Crataegus 1x to strengthen his heart, Vanadium 6x to strengthen his arteries, etc. On March 30th, 1930, he wrote:.

“My weight has gone down to II stone II lbs.”.

He had lost nearly 30 lbs. of superfluous fat, much to his benefit, and had become quite agile.

Mr. E.C. was a bustling, impatient business man, who habitually rushed about. He was genial, keen, and had no patience. He “could not be bothered” about his health, did not care to think about it. If I sent him a couple of remedies which he was to try and to report which of the two suited him best, he usually replied that he felt better, had no idea which of the two had done him more good, that he left everything to me.

In view of his numerous and ever-changing symptoms I had asked him to keep written note of the effects of medicines. He did nothing of the kind. He neglected writing to me for weeks or months, and then came a letter, or a telephone message, telling me that he was not very well, followed invariably by the words: “Send me anything you like. You know best.”

My admonitions to take his case more seriously, to give me adequate details about his symptoms, and to let me know which of my remedies had done him the most good were unavailing. So we went on year after year, he insisting upon going his own, notwithstanding my warning, and those of his splendid wife.

His neglect was all the more serious as he has been told before he came to me that he had only six months to live. Instead of dying in the short space allotted to him, he insisted upon keeping alive, going to business and rushing about in motor cars from customer to customer and from town to town. Then I did not hear from him for a long time. At the end of January, 1934, I heard from his wife that he had paid no attention to himself, had been going the pace, using his body mercilessly, and that he had gone to pieces altogether.

He had some very serious attacks, was in bed, totally prostrated, but he had not sent for a doctor because he has not confidence in any of the local physicians. I also learned that he had abandoned the diet which I had given him, and that he ate anything he fancied. From his wifes description it was quite clear to me that not only his heart but also his kidneys had broken down. Yet he took flesh, fish and fowl, spices and condiments, alcohol, etc., which are injurious to the kidneys, as if he were a sound, normal man.

Our January 31st, 1934, I sent him my directions. At that time he could only sleep in the sitting position, had great difficulty with urination, urine was very dark, he had very bad nights with restlessness and distressing dreams, terrible flatulence, difficult to pass, a distressing cough, swollen feet and ankles, etc. The position was obviously most serious.

I put him immediately on a strengthening, but non-heating diet, basins of Hovis bread and milk, with an abundance of honey, mashed vegetables and potatoes, semolina sweetened with honey, bran pudding, extremely weak China tea sweetened with honey, etc., honey being a most valuable heart food. I also gave him orange juice and eggs in the most digestible from.

To improve his kidneys and the bladder condition he was to take an abundance of parsley decoction, and he was to find out whether Lycopodium or Raphanus 30 suited him best for ridding him of the bowel gas. For his heart trouble and cough he was given Prunus virginiana 1x There was some improvement, but there remained the terrible restlessness and aggravation at night. Whereupon I sent him Aurum 30, which helped him greatly.

Although there was steady improvement in his condition and although he had infinitely better nights-his wife wrote “I can safely say that the Aurum 30 has helped him wonderfully to sleep,” the ominous swelling of feet ad ankles got worse. On March 12th his wife wrote me: “He enjoys all his food, but the big anxiety is the fact that his legs are swelling more than usual.

Do give me some hope that this is not so bad as it would seem.” From the wifes description it was not clear to me which was the indicated remedy of his dropsy, so I acted as I do usually in obscure case and sent her a number of medicines to choose from namely, Apis 1x, Apocyanum 1x and Eel Serum 3x. She was to try each in turn and report to me which had benefited him most.

Her next letter. dated March 18th gave me the impression that Apis had been slightly helpful in the 1x potency, but that the other medicines had been disappointing. On march 21st I sent a him further box of Apis 1x and as the dropsy became very worrying to me I resolved to try a high potency, and sent him a single dose of Apis in the 1,000the potency. The effect was miraculous. On March 23rd Mrs. E.C. wrote to me:.

“I am more than delighted to tell you that, although Mr. C. was very upset after taking the single dose of Apis 1,000 and was in considerable pain, he has since improved beyond words. He has passed since last night at 11 oclock (it is now twelve mid-day) about three quarts, in fact I think, three and a half quarts of urine.

This has relieved him wonderfully. His legs are going down, and last night was the first night he has had a good night, sleeping all night, although he had not been given any Aurum 30 pilules. I feel this morning like a bird in the air with joy. I know now that he is one the highway for a sure recovery. Words fail me to express my gratitude. I was so delighted that I wanted to telephone to you. After washing and changing him this morning he has fallen into a sound sleep.”.

Practically the only treatment known to orthodox medicine in case of dropsy is tapping. The drawing off of the fluid in the tissues has frequently most disastrous results. It has the same effect as blood drawn off in large quantities. The patient is apt to collapse and die. I cannot offer an adequate explanation for this. Possibly it is due to the shock, possibly the evil effect is caused by blood being mixed with the water, which is withdrawn from the body.

The most interesting and the most important lesson taught by this experience is that medicines given in very high potencies are not a mere illusion, as so often if asserted, but are exceedingly potent for good. Apis, the poison of the honey bee, given is doses of one-tenth of a grain every few hours had hardly any appreciable effect upon the patient.

A single dose of the same remedy in the thousandth potency had an extraordinarily powerful and most beneficial effect after an initial aggravation. The thousandth potency, written if figures, would consist of the figure I above the line with I followed by 2,000 noughts below the line. A millionth of a grain would be the third potency. It would take half an hour to write the fraction in which Apis was given.

As the medicine had had so wonderful and effect, I sent to Mrs. E.C. a few more doses to be given extremely rarely. For a fortnight there was not the slightest need for a second dose. On April 9th Mrs. E.C. wrote: I have not given him a second dose of Apis 1,000. These is still a small quantity of water in the legs and feet, but very much less than there has been.” The patients wife was full of gratitude and she wrote to me:”.

“Words have failed me in expressing by letter my gratitude for all you have done and have been instrumental in doing for my husbands betterment of health, and when the worst is over I am writing to the journal where I found you name in order to proclaim that years ago you saved the life, or prolonged the life, of on whom the cream of the medical profession had given only six months to live.”.

In october, 1929, Mr. E.C. had been given months to live by best doctors and consultant of Birmingham, who had given to that stout man a milk diet, put him into bed, and dosed him with Digitalis. I dare say with that treatment the forecast might have come true.

Instead of this he has been living for four years and six months. This article is headed “An Unsatisfactory Case” although it may not be disappointing from the point of view of those who thought that the patient would be dead within six months. The case has been extremely disappointing to me because the patient persistently refused to co-operate with me.

He lightly abandoned his diet which had done him so much good, left off his medicines which had saved him, failed to report to me for months and months, rushed about madly, and at last got himself into a condition of extreme gravity. Unfortunately many patients do not realize that it is necessary to be cautious for years and to keep in constant touch with their adviser.

J. Ellis Barker
James Ellis Barker 1870 – 1948 was a Jewish German lay homeopath, born in Cologne in Germany. He settled in Britain to become the editor of The Homeopathic World in 1931 (which he later renamed as Heal Thyself) for sixteen years, and he wrote a great deal about homeopathy during this time.

James Ellis Barker wrote a very large number of books, both under the name James Ellis Barker and under his real German name Otto Julius Eltzbacher, The Truth about Homœopathy; Rough Notes on Remedies with William Murray; Chronic Constipation; The Story of My Eyes; Miracles Of Healing and How They are Done; Good Health and Happiness; New Lives for Old: How to Cure the Incurable; My Testament of Healing; Cancer, the Surgeon and the Researcher; Cancer, how it is Caused, how it Can be Prevented with a foreward by William Arbuthnot Lane; Cancer and the Black Man etc.