INDIA has become a stronghold of Homoeopathy. In that great country about twenty Homoeopathic journals are published in English and in the various local languages. To the subtle Indian mind the wonderful science and art of Homoeopathy appeals strongly. There are excellent doctors in India, there are hundreds of excellent homoeopathic doctors and thousands of lay practitioners of every kind.
The age-old Indian medical lore which is based on the experience of countless generations has many points of resemblance with the Hahnemannian method of healing. Although India has a large homoeopathic literature produced by her sons, all Indian homoeopaths have the greatest veneration for the founder of homoeopathy, and they study ardently all homoeopathic books published in the English language.
There are some excellent publishing houses in India, and they have had the great merit of bringing out many books which had gone out of print. Hahnemanns “Chronic Diseases” is considered his masterpiece. It was the last great book which he published. It had gone out of print and had become extremely difficult to obtain by advertising for it. Now enthusiastic homoeopaths here and in India can obtain that magnum opus at a reasonable price.
“Chronic Diseases” is an imposing work. Messrs. Ringers have published it in two tall and stout volumes which together run to 1,672 pages. The work is introduced by an essay of 132 pages written by Hahnemann, entitled “The Nature of Chronic Diseases.” Doctors frequently express the principle, “chronic diseases are incurable”. It is to the glory of homoeopathy that it specializes in the cure of chronic disease, and therefore the work before us is particularly valuable to every true homoeopath.
Hahnemann stated in the introductory chapter:.
“The Homoeopathic Healing Art, as taught in my own writings and in those of my pupils, when faithfully followed, has hitherto shown its natural superiority over any allopathic treatment in a very decided and striking manner; and this not only in those diseases which suddenly attack men (the acute diseases), but also in epidemic diseases and in sporadic fevers.
“Venereal diseases, also have been radically healed by Homoeopathy much more surely, with less trouble and without any sequelae; for without disturbing or destroying the local manifestation it heals the internal fundamental disease from within only, through the best specific remedy. But the number of the other chronic diseases on this great earth has been immeasurably greater, and remains so”.
In this introduction Hahnemann gives full directions, how to treat chronic diseases. If we wish to cure, we can, of course, do no better than to listen to the words of that great master of the new healing art.
In the pages following the large introductory chapter, which is by itself equivalent to a big volume, we have an alphabetical list of the more important remedies. The list starts with Agaricus, Alumina, Ammonium carbonicum, Ammonium muriaticum, Anacardium orientale, and it ends with Zincum.
These volumes form a wonderful quarry in which every earnest worker can find priceless treasures. Each remedy is first described and its potentialities, and summarized briefly but adequately.
Then follows a description of the various effects produced by the various remedies in the treatment of diseases of the mind, the inner head, the outer head, the eyes, the apparatus of hearing, the nose, the face, the teeth, the mouth and throat, the stomach, the abdomen, the rectum and anus, the urinary organs, the male sex organs, the female sex organs, the respiratory organs, the chest, the neck and back, the upper extremities, the lower extremities, the nervous system, the skin, sleep, fever, etc.
It seems worth while to quote a few paragraphs in order to show the literary style and practical value of this wonderful book. We read under the heading of Aurum (Gold):.
“Just as superstition, inexact observations and credulous conjectures have been the source of innumerable untrue statements as to the virtue of medicines in the Materia Medica, so also lack of proving and groundless theoretic reasons of physicians have with just as little reason denied to exceedingly powerful, and therefore highly curative substances, all medicinal powers, and have thus deprived us of these remedies.
“Here I will only mention gold, and, indeed, not the gold changed through the ordinary chemical processes, neither that dissolved by acids, nor that which is separated again by precipitation (the fulminating gold), both of which were also stated to be, if not useless, still utterly injurious substances; probably because they could not be given in a so-called just a dose, i.e., in an excessive quantity, without incurring danger.
“No ! I speak of the pure gold, unchanged by any chemical process.
“This the modern physicians have declared to be entirely without effect, and have finally omitted it altogether from all their teachings of Materia Medica, and have thus deprived us of all its great curative powers.
“It was stated, that it cannot be dissolved in the gastric juice, and that it is, therefore, altogether without power or use. This was their theoretical supposition, and such theoretical dicta have always, in medicine, had the force of conviction. As they do not question experience the only possible revealer in the healing art, which rests altogether on experience because it was more convenient merely to assert, they usually put bold affirmation, theoretic, empty supposition and arbitrary decrees in the place of well-founded truth.
“The excuse, that older physicians also supposed gold to be without any use or efficacy, will not here avail them. So, e.g. FABRICUS (in “Obs. med.”) says: How could the slight heat of our stomach have any effect on leaf-gold, when it loses nothing even in the most violent fire? Or NIC. MONARDES (“de ferro,” pp. 32, 33): The patients may believe me and save the expense of putting gold into their medicine; they will in no wise gain from it any medicinal virtue in their diseases.
Or again, ALSTON (“Nat Med.” I., p. 69_: Since gold in its metallic state is not dissolved and can not be changed by our vital force, it cannot, therefore, have any medicinal power, except such action as it may exert on the bowels by means of its weight, hardness and mechanical form. Or, finally, J. F. GMELIN (“Appar. med. min.” I., p. 445): Since gold is indestructible, cannot be dissolved in vapour, and cannot therefore combine with the juices of the animal body, it cannot therefore have any curative power.
“Nor can it serve them as an excuse if they can adduce many other old physicians as deniers of the medicinal powers of gold, and can name men like ANT. MUSA BRASSAVOLUS, FEL. PLATERUS, HIER, CARDANUS, JO. BRAVUS PETRAFIT, FRANC. PIC MIRANDOLA, MERINUS MERCENIUS, DURETUS, CAMERARIUS, CORDOSUS, CONRINGIUS, LEMARY, ANGELUS SALA, and even JOH. SCHROEDER, so credulous in other matters.
“They are all wrong, and with them all the modern physicians.
“Gold has great medicinal virtues which cannot be supplied by anything else. At first I allowed myself to be kept back by these deniers from hoping to find any medicinal virtues in pure gold; but as I could not be satisfied in believing that any metal was, in itself, without medicinal virtues, I first made use of gold in solution. From this experiment were derived the few symptoms of the solution of gold.
I then would give, where the symptoms would lead me to its homoeopathic use with patients, one quintillionth or a sextillionth of a grain of gold solution as a dose, and found even here a similar curative virtue as I afterwards discovered in pure gold”.
Many of the readers of this journal will be delighted by being able to obtain Hahnemanns masterpiece, which has been practically unobtainable for many years. We owe a debt of gratitude to the publishing house for having brought out this wonderful work.
The volumes are printed in excellent clear type on excellent paper, and are sumptuously bound. They are a delight to the eye. Even those who have very poor eyesight will easily be able to read them.