” In this world, who can do a thing, will not”
And who would do it, cannot, I perceive;
Yet the will’s somewhat – somewhat, too, the power –
And thus we half-men struggle. At the end,
God, I conclude, compensates, punishes.”
The lay prescriber is only a “half-man”; he lacks so much that may mean safely for his patient. On the other hand, the doctor who does not know Homoeopathy is only the complementary “half-man” He lacks what could mean, so often, healing and life.
A great and deadly poison, already mentioned, may help you to save life-often many lives in day in the tropics, viz. the corrosive sublimate of mercury-our Mercurius corrosivus.
Another patient in the hospital-in the women’s ward, under the gynaecologist, a very good prescriber, who failing to help her or to check her diarrhoea, called in one of the physicians. She was very collapsed, with bloody diarrhoeic stools, and, to the disgust of the physician, nothing helped her, and she died. Post mortem they found the intestines thickened, and green, and gangrenous. The wretched woman had taken corrosive sublimate to get rid of her unborn baby, and in trying to murder her infant had destroyed herself-in a particularly unpleasant way! Always remember Mercurius cur. for dysentery As said, the worse the distress-the more terrible the “never-get-done” straining, the more the blood and slime, the more certainly Mercurius cor. will help. We get told how our missionaries score here, sometimes to the surprise of some doctor who knows nothing of Homoeopathy.
CHOLERA is a long story. It must wait for another day. Cholera, once, publicly, twined the laurel wreathes for the brows of Hahnemann. Europe rang with his fame in those evil days.
I have been telling you about some desperate remedies for desperate conditions; but, abroad in the tropics, diseases are so urgent, and so quickly fatal. You, especially, will need to know these.
But do not run away wit the idea that our remedies are all of that description. The stinging-nettle cures burns for us, in the most miraculous way-and gout-and some cases of malaria. Marigold and St. John’s Wort cure wounds and cuts; the latter especially injuries to nerves, and to parts rich in nerves, as lips and fingers. Arnica cures bruises and injuries to soft parts-may cure people years later, who have never recovered form some ancient injury.
The there are the homely “polycrests” – remedies of constitutions-calcarea, Sulphur, Natrum mur., Lycopodium, Sepia; and the remedies of chills and fevers-Aconite, Bryonia-invaluable in diseases less violent and not so rapidly fatal, yet which may threaten life, or make it a burden. These are less spectacular and arresting-merely the modest and efficient handmaidens of our everyday life.
PEOPLE talk of Allopathic medicines, and Homoeopathic medicines.
What is the difference? None, necessarily. The difference is, not in the medicine, but in its application.
An allopath who (as we said) uses Ipecac. to cure vomiting; Cantharis or Terebinth for inflammation of kidneys; Salicylic acid or Quinine for Meniere’s disease; or Vaccines, is practising Homoeopathy.
Why? Because Ipecac. is their most precious emetic; Terebinth and Cantharis both inflame kidneys; and Vaccines are crudely homoeopathic, changed by preparation, as Hahnemann puts it, “from Idem” (the same) “into Simillimum” (similar).
Bits of Homoeopathy are scattered through Old School text- books. Norman Walker, in his Introduction to Dermatology, writes of Potassium Iodide (p.47): “In rare cases the lesions produced are at first solid, and later break down in manner so similar to gumma, that one or two patients have been dosed into their trouble.” And in Frederick Taylor’s Practice of Medicine we read that ” Charcot, remembering the effect of large doses of quinine in producing deafness and tinnitus,” used this drug in Meniere’s disease, with success. While Gowers found Sodium salicylate useful here…..
All medicines, by whoever applied, and whatever their nature, ARE homoeopathic, if used to relieve conditions similar to those they are capable of provoking. and a homoeopath could do quite good work in an allopathic surgery with allopathic text- books for his guide; only he would use the allopathic medicines in exactly the opposite way to that intended : i.e. he would employ purgatives for diarrhoea, emetics to control vomiting, diuretics for enuresis, etc. But he would use a very different dosage; and he would get-very different results!
You see, it is not the name of the medicine, or the fact that it is peculiar to our vast homoeopathic Materia Medica-or even that it is prepared and sold by a homoeopathic chemist, or prescribed by a homoeopathic doctor, that makes it homoeopathic…. It is only homoeopathic if its salient and characteristic symptoms correspond with those we are seeking to cure.
The cottage wife who doses her baby with castor oil for diarrhoea, and cures it, is practising Homoeopathy. She gives it, in common with members of the profession, with the idea of washing away some irritant in the bowel that is causing the diarrhoea. But, generally, after the dose of castor oil, there is no evacuation-to her surprise.
Remember always, wherever you go, and whatever you see, that what any substance-medicine or poison-can cause, that it can cure; and nothing else.
If you should come across astonishing cures by natives, with plants of which you know nothing, take heed how you despise them. Find out all you can about them. Look out for power everywhere. You can use these strange substances, or help us to use them, for “like” conditions. They can be “proved” and so made scientific and absolutely reliable.
In such ways the homoeopathic Materia Medica has grown, and grows.
Some of our very great remedies-Gelsemium-Baptisia- Caulophyllum-Cimicifuga-have been learnt by homoeopathic doctors from the North American Indians. God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble. We have no monopoly of knowledge. In company with the great Newton, we are just children, picking up here and there, a pebble beside the ocean of Truth.
Doctors who go to the ends of the earth and, wedded to what they have been taught, try to crush out native healing, are certainly not advancing knowledge.
My Father was always greatly interested in medicine. When a (very) young officer of Engineers in the West Indies, people there were dying like flies from “yellow jack”. The treatment of he doctors was the favourite “blue pill and black draught”. He was Aide-de-Camp to the Governor, Sir Charles Darling. Lady Darling died of yellow fever. a black doctor saw her in consultation. He said, ” My opinion, is, BLEED COPIOUS.” My Father found that the people with yellow fever who fell into the hands of the old native women with their indigenous remedies, generally recovered while the patients of the doctors died. Don’t be above learning form the old-native woman, if she can cure what you cannot.
Narrow-minded schoolmen, overtrained, and content with what they have been taught-or the portion thereof that has gone home- and with supreme contempt for any knowledge outside the schools, are the people who bar progress. A broad-minded homoeopath has the freedom of the universe. He has got at first principles, and can apply them. He works by Law-a pretty useful ally!
On one occasion my Father rowed across to a neighbouring Island with a brother officer. One of those tropical storms came on and drenched them to the skin. My Father rowed back, kept warm, and was none the worse. The other man sat in the bow-got chilled-and was buried with yellow fever next day.
Chills are a great danger in tropical climates. A brother, an Artillery officer, was, years later, stationed in the same West Indian Island, St. Lucia. He was fond of fishing, and used to fish in malarial valleys, often in the evening, but at any time of day, when he would be “plastered with mosquitoes.” He never took quinine, and he never got malaria. But he used to take the precaution of warmer clothing at the time of sundown.
In parasitical diseases, such as malaria, there are two factors-the organism and the HOST : and the latter is the bigger factor. My Father used to say that, in that malarial island, he never woke without finding his forehead like a nutmeg grater with mosquito bites, and yet he never had malaria, or quinine. In these days people drug themselves in anticipation with quinine, and huddle away under mosquito nets and helmets-and succumb. It is better to kept fit and avoid chills, than to poison yourself beforehand with quinine, and undermine your resistance. An occasional dose (once a month) of Natrum mur., that great antidote to malaria and quinine poisoning, has been found to protect from malaria, even in people who have had previous frequent attacks. Our Compton Burnett lecturer can tell you more about this. Very often the remedies for malaria will be Eupatorium for the acute attack, and Natrum mur. when it is over, and to prevent. But sometimes, as in a case I mentioned in my previous lecture, the remedy will be, not Quinine, and not Natrum mur., but Arsenicum. It is the symptoms that decide. And Dr.Burnett found in stinging-nettle tincture (Urtica urens) a very wonderful remedy for some of the worst forms of malaria.
I will give you some sheets that we have had printed for patients abroad who cannot get homoeopathic help, and for missionaries. They give a few of the outstanding remedies for different acute disease; and with each (repeated every time, in order to be grasped and compared), drug pictures that differentiate the one from the other. You can hardly mistake them. In machinery, it does not matter how complicated is the mechanism, provided that the working is simple. And in the same way, it is well to multiply your drug pictures, in order that the one needed may always appear where it is needed, for comparison. It is weary work turning backwards and forwards in order to compare.
As I said, wherever you people go, if you happen to see the effects of any poisons, observe and carefully record their exact symptoms-their drug pictures. You can then use those poisons as precious remedies, safely prepared after the method of Hahnemann (about which I am going to tell you) to combat those same symptoms in the sick. They may not be recorded in the Repertory; they may not have got into Clarke’s Dictionary, or into Boericke’s Pocket Manual; but they are, nevertheless, leaves of the tree appointed for the healing of the nations. If their symptoms are definite and true, and you see them again in any disease, administer the remedy, and the magic will work. How can you be sure of this? Why, because you are applying the Great Law of Similars.
Every locality, and every season, seems to provide remedies most efficacious for its own sicknesses. And in deadly climates of rapid diseases and death, there are, besides poisonous plants, deadly reptiles and insects, whose venom matches in intensity and rapidity the diseases that appeal. by like symptoms, for their help.
As said, substances of whatever nature that can affect mind or body in health, can be used to cure like conditions in the sick. And homoeopath have used during the last hundred years, with perfect safety, the most virulent poisons of every kind; not only mineral and vegetable, but disease-products, and the deadly venoms of snake, spider, lizard and toad. The old Latin proverb has it, ” The greater the Remedy.” And – everything that can harm, can heal.
But when medicines are used homoeopathically, i.e. on persons rendered sensitive by disease, one must remember that, being administered to sensitives, the dose has to be reduced. Old School is finding this, were vaccines are used. Wherever Allopathy is unwittingly adopting homoeopathic remedies, that is, using substances to combat the very conditions they can provoke, Allopathy has perforce to approach homoeopathic dosage and preparations.
” The two schools are converging; but the approach is all on the side of Allopathy.”
It may seem strange to you, but a poison in very high potency is often its own best antidote : only there must not have been destruction of vital tissues, as in the Arsenic and Mercurius cor. poisonings I told you about last week. In such cases, you might relieve suffering; but the patient is destroyed.
I have seen a case of nitric and poisoning (by inhalation) where Nitric acid in high potency was curative. The boy had been inhaling fumes from spilt nitric acid, and was brought into Hospital as white as a sheet and collapsed. The inhalation of nitric acid fumes may produce a very rapid and fatal inflammation of the lungs. None of the other acids have this effect : and Nitric acid is one of the remedies which homoeopaths have to consider in pneumonia. We put that boy to bed, and gave him Nitric acid in high potency, and he was all right next day. It was a great relief.
A silly proceeding, is it not, to add poison where there is already too much, and so increase the evil?…. But it works! You see, by preparation we change the stuff, till it becomes not the same, but like.
When you give a preparation of pneumococcus in pneumonia, you are not giving more of the “bugs” to a patient who has already more than he can do with. You grind them up with sugar of milk, as I shall show you-you kill them-then you potentize. It is a like remedy : it is no longer the same.
Homoeopathy always demands, for cure, the remedy that provokes symptoms most like those to be cured. But the most like of all, often, is the disease-poison itself; not in its crude condition, but changed by preparation and potentization; rendered inert for mischief, and only potent for good.
You have heard in a Compton Burnett Lecture that, where Old School is using disease-products, rendered ” similar ” by preparation, it is being forced into what Hahnemann was forced into and taught, one hundred years ago. That is to say…..
They have to change their polypharmacy for his single remedy.
They have to adopt his single dose, to evoke vital reaction : repeated as symptoms demand.
To realize that he has correct when he contended that it is only the reaction of Vital Force against drug, or against disease, that is curative. That disease is merely the rebellion of Vital Force against noxious agents, inimical to life; and that cure comes from the stimulated reaction of Vital Force against disease.
They experience also his initial aggravation-sometimes of great severity, because they lack his experience in the preparation, the administration, and the dosage of homoeopathic remedies; which differ entirely from those of the Old School.
When medicines are applied, as they have been for centuries, to do violence to the organism, to cause vomiting-sweating- purging-to deaden pain-to paralyse the action of the bowels to induce a drugged sleep-to modify the action of the heart-the doses must be material. You are doing something subversive to the patient, or to his parts. The dose has to be a poisonous, but not a lethal dose; and sometimes the dividing line is narrow. Therefore, the Old School standard of dosage is apt to be the largest one can dare to give, in order to produce the desired effect. But when a remedy is given merely to stimulate the reaction of a person rendered sensitive by disease, it should be given in the smallest dose that will evoke the desired reaction. Anything more will, pro tem., increase suffering by a too violent aggravation of symptoms. Homoeopathy never wants to do anything to the patient; only to stimulate his own reactive powers against disease, and so cause him to cure himself.
As Arndt’s Law gives it… Large doses of a poison will be fatal to certain cells : they kill.
Smaller doses of the same poison will merely inhibit (paralyse) the same cells.
Still smaller doses of the same poison will act the stimulants to those same cells, and increase their activity.
You can look upon this as more or less explain Homoeopathy. Different body-cells are affected by different poisons. The bite of a certain spider, whether on finger or toe, affects the heart, and may thereby cause death. The poison of a certain vetch affects nerves of locomotion, and paralyses the limbs. Certain snake poisons disintegrate the blood, and prevent its coagulation. Belladonna is above all a poison to brain cells. All these can be used in large doses to kill, had in fine doses to stimulate and cure.
A big dose of arsenic will destroy the cells that from the lining of stomach and intestines. A smaller dose will irritate and inflame them, causing vomiting and diarrhoea. But when these same lining cells are irritated and inflamed (as in food poisonings) very fine doses of Arsenicum will stimulate healing, and the patient will be rapidly cured.