By TWO DOCTORS AND A LAYMAN.
I HAVE much pleasure in publishing the following article which I commend to the attention of professional and non-professional readers. It may prove of considerable importance. Homoeopathy has been established for a century. In the beginning doctors followed the methods of Hahnemann and produced their own medicines.
Gradually the process of making homoeopathic drugs was separated from treatment. Still some establishments bear doctors names, such as that of Dr. Wilmar Schwabe, Leipzig, and that of Dr. Madaus, Dresden. In England and America also doctors created homoeopathic laboratories.
Hahnemann laid down in the greatest detail the methods by which homoeopathic medicines should be prepared. Since his time hundreds of additional medicines have been introduced. Unfortunately no uniform method of preparing homoeopathic medicines was adopted.
There is a modern pharmacopoeia prescribing the methods of preparation in Germany, and there are two different pharmacopoeias in America. Unfortunately all these pharmacopoeias differ widely and it appears that in some respects they are not in accordance with the original ideas of Hahnemann.
In Germany there was a very eminent homoeopath, Dr. Leeser, head of the Homoeopathic Hospital in Stuttgart. He was considered to be a leading homoeopath, if not the leading homoeopath, in Germany. Two years ago he wished to leave Germany, and the British Homoeopathic Society, the professional organization of fully qualified homoeopathic doctors, 200 in number, encouraged him to come to England in order to strengthen English Homoeopathy. He came to England and established a laboratory where he produces homoeopathic medicines in the most scientific way in strictest adherence to the original ideas of Hahnemann.
His action might be considered an act of supererogation as there are a number of able homoeopathic manufacturing chemists in this country. Their productions are certainly excellent. That can be seen by the curative results obtained by the professional and non-professional readers of this Journal. At the same time there is reason to welcome this new homoeopathic laboratory.
I spent several hours very profitable at Dr. Leesers London Homoeopathic Laboratories in company with Mr. Everett, a partner of Messrs. Nelson & Co., Ltd. We were shown Dr. Leesers methods of production in the greatest detail, and we were both deeply impressed by what we saw. Dr. Leeser, being welcomed by both the English homoeopathic doctors and chemists, should do well.
I understand that Dr. Leesers establishment in no way competes with the homoeopathic chemists. He does not sell his medicines directly. They can be obtained only through the homoeopathic chemists. Doctors who care to prescribe the Leeser medicines should mark their prescriptions accordingly with the letters L.H.L.
I think Dr. Leeser competes not so much with the English chemists, but with the great homoeopathic manufacturing chemists in Germany and America. If his productions should prove curatively of greater value than those produced on a large scale in America or Germany, then England may obtain an important new industry through the enterprise of Dr. Leeser and of his professional supporters.
[EDITOR “HEAL THYSELF.”].
The importance of the special homoeopathic technique in preparing medicines is generally not sufficiently realized by homoeopathic practitioners. It must be clear that, without the special procedures of Hahnemann for triturating and diluting drugs, there would exist nothing like a Homoeopathic dosology. Attenuation without potentizing would prove to be ineffective and our Materia Medica would be deprived of a number of the most important remedies like potentized Sulphur, Lycopodium, Calcarea carb. and other Calcium salts, Natrum and Kalium salts, most metals and many others which no homoeopath would wish to miss.
Moreover, the range of the remaining remedies would be limited to the lowest attenuations and, in spite of the rule of similia similibus and the provings on healthy human beings, the difference between Homoeopathy and any empiric system of medicinal treatment would probably not have shown to be sufficient to maintain Homoeopathy as an independent method of healing.
Once the great importance of the technical procedures for Homoeopathy has been comprehended, one cannot fail to realize how intimately the progress of Homoeopathy is connected with the state of homoeopathic pharmaceutics. Here, more than in any other respect, the admonition of Hahnemann has to be stressed: “Imitate me, but do it accurately!” Now, our century is proud of its technical progresses and most homoeopaths take it for granted that modern technical procedures are superior to those applied more than 100 years ago by Hahnemann.
Going more closely into this matter, unfortunately, the contrary appears to be nearer to the truth. A study of the pharmacopoeias now in use, especially those of the U.S.A. and Germany, shows very many deviations from Hahnemanns rules, too numerous to be discussed here.
Moreover, the divergencies of the modern homoeopathic pharmacopoeias from each other are enormous. In consequence, the practice of homoeopathic production in those countries, where no pharmacopoeia is acknowledged, is almost arbitrary. This being the situation, Homoeopathy can not make strides as all convinced followers of Hahnemann would expect. Standardization of homoeopathic preparations appears to be indispensable. But, on what lines, on what authority?.
Such was the situation and such were the problems Dr. O. Leeser, formerly a principal physician at the Stuttgart Homoeopathic Hospital, had to face when establishing the London Homoeopathic Laboratories in England. These Laboratories have been approved by the Council of the British Homoeopathic Society and are open to their inspection. But, let us tell of the man himself and the work he is doing.
We had the pleasure of visiting Dr. Leeser in his Laboratories at High Wycombe, 28 miles outside London. He explained to us the principles he has adopted in manufacturing homoeopathic medicines and every detail of the procedure has been demonstrated to us. We have seen much bigger establishments for the manufacture of homoeopathic medicines, but these laboratories seem remarkable for the true Hahnemannian spirit dominating the whole work.
The personality of Dr. Leeser is best known to us as the author of a text book of Homoeopathy, part of which entitled “Inorganic Remedies” has been translated from German into English by Dr. Linn J. Boyd of New York. In Germany the first volume of this text book, Foundations of Medicine (1st edition 1923, 2nd edition 1927) did much for the revival of Homoeopathy which has taken place in that country during the last decennium. And his booklet Homoeopathic und Biochemie in the famous series of “Reclam” publications did much in popularizing true Hahnemannian Homoeopathy.
During many years Dr. Leeser was Editor of the German Homoeopathic Journal, and sometime of the journal, Hippokrates. Numerous papers of his on homoeopathic subjects were published in these journals. Easier accessible to us are his last papers in the British Homoeopathic Journal, Constitution and Constitutional Treatment (July 1934) and The Meaning of Potentizing (April 1936). At the Homoeopathic Hospital in Stuttgart, Dr. Leeser had an ample opportunity of making clinical experiences and furthermore of teaching Materia Medica and clinical therapeutics.
His thorough study and practice of Homoeopathy during more than twenty years justify high expectations from his new enterprise for the benefit of Homoeopathy. We are glad to report here about the principles and methods Dr. Leeser is applying in the manufacture of homoeopathic medicines, a complete stock of which is available.
1. The Triturations. To this process Dr. Leeser attaches special importance. For insoluble substances trituration is known as indispensable up to and including the 3rd centesimal (or 6th dec.) potency. In full accordance with Hahnemann, Dr. Leeser considers triturating the method to be chosen also for soluble salts like Natrum mur., etc. Obviously, if triturated through the three lowest centesimals, the physical state of such a salt is far more different from a common solution than a dilution starting from the first potency would be.
And the uncommonly altered physical state appears to be essential for the medicinal efficiency of such salts to big quantities of which the organism is adapted. (See Dr. Leesers paper on The Meaning of Potentizing). It should be remembered likewise that Hahnemann, for many dry parts and products of plants and animals too, preferred preparations by triturating in the three lowest centesimal potencies to tinctures.
But, triturations deserve their name and their prominent place only if properly prepared according to Hahnemanns accurate and minute rules. There difficulties arise. We have to remember that the exerting work of one hours triturating (alternating with scraping) for every degree of potentization applies to 100 grains of trituration only; therefore, 100 grains (or 6 grammes), that is less than 2 drachms of a 3rd centesimal potency require three hours work by hand without taking into account the work and time needed for the thorough cleaning and heating of the utensils. Such proper triturations would prove to be too costly to be used generally.
On the other hand, if the pharmacists indulge in abridging the time of rubbing and scraping, or in augmenting the quantities triturated per one hour and one potency, inferior preparations will result. Indeed, various instances of such negligence of Hahnemanns requirements have been demonstrated to us. Whereas a property made trituration of Lycopodium 1c has a distinct oil smell, imperfect preparations do not smell at all. If the same powder is dissolved in water, a bad preparation will be recognized by not giving the milky turbidness to the solution which a good trituration shows. .
The reason for these differences were obvious, when we examined these preparations under the microscope. It was significant that in the bad triturations the Lycopodium spores were practically not broken up, whilst in proper preparations practically all the delicate spores were broken. Unbroken spores cannot set free the oily contents on which depend the smell of a proper trituration, the milky turbidness of its solution in water and, as a matter of greater importance, its medicinal virtues. The unsatisfactory preparations were imperfect.
Where a bigger demand for homoeopathic medicines exists, triturating by hand has been abandoned for practical reasons. It is done by machines, by mills of the mortar-and-pestle type or by ball mills. But the preparations resulting from such machines, as widely used on the Continent, appeared equally unsatisfactory, i.e. Lycopodium 1c. of big factories showed all the deficiencies as described. The spores and the milk sugar are mixed, but the spores are not ground properly, are not broken up.
In striking contrast the products of the mills of the London Homoeopathic Laboratories answered all the tests as well as the small quantities triturated by hand, made according to Hahnemanns rules. The reason could be easily understood: These mills had a heavy weight attached to the top of the pestle, which produce a thorough grinding effect. The mills we have seen at other places worked without pressure, thus the grinding effect was inadequate.
We have seen at the London Homoeopathic Laboratories other examples of triturations which clearly demonstrated the same differences in quality. For instance in 3x triturations of Sulphur and Carbo veg. the properly made ones gave a permanent uniform, turbid (colloidal) solution, while other preparations left the water clear and transparent, the particles being too big to be kept in suspension, formed a deposit.
Between the proper Hahnemannian triturations made by hand and the products of the London Homoeopathic Laboratories mills no difference could be observed. Dr. Leeser told us that he had experimented with many types of mills until he found a suitable one and then the proportion of time for grinding a certain quantity had to be adjusted, correct hand made preparations always serving as standards for comparison. Once the time needed for a certain quantity had been found by many tests with various substances, these proportions could be applied as an empiric unit for proceeding with this type of mill for any substance to be triturated.