DRUG PICTURES : 75.
IN early medical days, unwilling to tie oneself down, even by coming on the Hospital Staff, and being only desirous of “keeping ones hand in”, and getting experience by helping in various outpatient clinics (general medical, gynaecological, and the departments for childrens diseases and nerve diseases), one filled in half days all the week round, and took the place of absentees, and worked on in this desultory way from the day of qualification in 1903 till 1914, when one sought and was reluctantly given a Staff appointment :-reluctantly, because the, then medical staff had an idea of raising the status of the hospital by excluding any doctors who could not boast the “highest qualifications”, M.D. Lond. being the desideratum.
Well, in those for-off days a certain woman presented herself in the Gynaecology Department complaining of ovarian pain; which appeared first on one side, crossed to the other, and then reverted, always. The physician in charge was horrified at the obvious prescription, Lac can. “Why give such a drug ?”-to him most repulsive. however, when she next turned up, a month later, the pain had, of course, disappeared.
It was quite a nice little introduction to Lac can. These are the things that rivet a drug in the memory : and establish it as a power, and, as such, certainly not to be despised. By the way, while we are telling tales out of school, the same doctor was greatly disgusted at the idea of Tuberculinum as a medicine. “I would not take it myself, and would not give it to my patients”.
Potentized alcoholic preparation, probably the 30th in those days, that is to say, one in a decillion. and given by the mouth. Well shortly afterwards, when the Koch excitement came along with a perfect tornado of trumpets, and a little later, the Armbroth Wright demonstrations, under the microscope, of tubercle bacilli in the process of digestion, or elimination, safely in white blood corpuscles, this same doctor began injecting his former horror; the dosage now crude, and the method far more questionable and perilous . . .
Ah, but !-we are told, such drugs are apt to get neutralized, or digested, or something, and lost in mouth or stomach. Think of the impurities of the buccal cavity ! Why risk delicate remedial agents in-what is, after all, natures own ordained way of absorption !.
As a matter of fact, once potentized, remedies do not suffer the perils of neutralization. Hahnemann proved that to his own, most critical satisfaction 100 years ago : though we are still slow and reluctant to realize the true inwardness of his experiments and teachings. Among the unstable elements there is Phosphorus, which, if exposed to air, promptly changes its nature and properties. It must be kept under water in order to survive as Phosphorus, without metamorphosis into phosphoric acid.
Yet Hahnemann proved that, when potentized, a few globules of phosphorus in a paper may remain for years in a desk, retaining their medicinal properties and without changing them for those of phosphoric acid. He says, “The medicinal chemical substances which have been thus prepared” (by potentization) “are no longer subject to chemical laws . . .
A remedy which has been elevated to the highest potency, and by this means has become almost spiritualized, is no longer subject to the laws of neutralization: highly dynamized natrum, ammonium, baryta, magnesia, cannot, like their bases, be changed to neutral salts by acetic acid : their medicinal properties are neither changed nor destroyed.” And he also says, “Besides the stomach, the tongue and the mouth are the parts most susceptible of medicinal impressions.” And Hahnemann was not only a most careful observer, but was accounted “one of the great analytical chemists” of his day. But of course all this has been of late physically demonstrated by Dr. Boyd of Glasgow.