(1 Communication to the Secretary of the Connecticut State Homoeopathic Society.)
MY DEAR DOCTOR: Your favor of the 11th inst. was received on the 12th. I should have been glad to send a few words of greeting to the Connecticut State Homoeopathic Society, if I had known earlier the date of your meeting. As it is, i have no more time than to call your attention in a few words to the importance which the “Elimination Theory” is now assuming, among the allopaths, in relation to disease and its treatment. For centuries back it has been suggested, every now and then, by some wise man, that the secretions and excretions of patients are the results of efforts which nature is making to get rid of some poisonous morbific matter; and that the true indication is to favor rather than to check these excretions. But, in general, the practice of allopaths has been to check and suppress them, as though they regarded the discharges themselves as being the disease. Now, as you must have noticed, Dr. George Johnson, of King’s College Hospital, London, a very high authority, comes out with a statement and argument applying the “Elimination Theory” to Cholera. He holds that the evacuations and vomited substances result from an effort of nature to get rid of a poison, and that they should be encouraged and not be checked.
He opposes absolutely the sedative and astringent treatment by opium, tannin, kino, etc., and advises cathartics and emetics, and he says that applying this method, by treating cholera with castor-oil, in 1849 and 1854, he gained a very remarkable success.
Now, let it be observed that the treatment of such a disease as cholera by purgative and emetics is, in a certain rude way, a homoeopathic treatment. The remedies which we find most successful, viz., Veratrum, Cuprum, Ipecacuanha, are classed by allopaths as emetics and cathartics, This is another instance of the fact, which has been noticed in other departments of pathology and therapeutics, that the most advanced medical philosophy is slowly bringing allopaths round to the same practical position to which Hahnemann’s practical sagacity and observation led him seventy years ago, before there was a possible basis for medical philosophy as it now exists.
One other point: Dr. George Johnson, detailing his cases of cholera treated by castor-oil, says he would have been still more successful had he not erred by using excessive doses. He found he must use small doses. This was Hahnemann’s exposure when he began to prescribe according to the homoeopathic law, and it has been the experience of every succeeding experimenter. And the more strictly the law is followed in all minutiae, the smaller must be the dose, if we would get all possible good, avoiding all unnecessary evil effects. It is in this way that homoeopaths have been gradually led to use, first attenuated medicines, and finally the higher potencies.