Suppression (1912)

Suppression means forcible removal of symptoms by external measures, regardless of the welfare of the patient. Such measures are the destruction of parasites, excision of the tonsils, cutting away of piles, the application of liniments and countless other procedures….

In medicine the term suppression is ordinarily understood to mean the forcible removal of some effect or symptom by external measures, regardless of the welfare of the patient. Such measures are the destruction of parasites, excision of the tonsils, cutting away of piles, the application of liniments and countless other procedures. In a broader sense it includes everything that distorts the natural image of disease and as such may be incidental and is moreover not always confined to any one method of practice.

As comparatively few men are privileged to see the powerful reactions which belong to homoeopathic experience, it is not strange that much therapeutic nihilism should prevail, hence a many look to preventive measures or the pure recuperative powers of nature for help. This, is also largely responsible for much makeshift practice, with the consequence that the normal course of disease is rarely observed and its lessons are therefore lost. It is to be observed that the laity has learned much by often seeing unaided nature do better work than meddlesome physic. This has operated as a great and beneficent check upon certain methods of practice.

The homeopath who once sees the indicated remedy upset his cherished notions of prognosis will be very slow to surrender its power for any palliative whatever. It is a great pity that every practising physician can not be brought to see at least one true homeopathic cure.

If it be true that similar causes bring about like effects, and we once admit that a similar acting remedy has ever cured a single patient, we thereby acknowledge the universality of the law and should cease trying hypothetical treatments: based upon speculative diagnosis. The human body is a great storehouse of potential energy which it is our business to direct when ever its expenditure becomes irregular or inharmonious. No man can do this by confining it, first here then there; for life exists by expression and its pent up internal forces will irresistibly destroy their container when treated thus. Knowing this the true physician realizes that every real cure proceeds outwardly and a symptom is the external reflex of an internal distress, the stamp of which it bears.

The habit of every cell in the human body is determined by the central nervous system, and it in turn is governed by the soul; therefore every disease has its mental phase, in which it stands rooted and grounded. The nervous system of itself acts largely automatically, regulating the life forces and expenditures, but it in turn is governed by the soul whose acts are all voluntary, but while it is quiescent the former acts automatically in a dynamic manner.

As cure commonly means the removal of some evil, distress or disability, its scope is broad and its attainment idealistic. What seems a cure to-day we may tomorrow know as a recovery only; for it is one thing to hold the vital forces well in hand, but quite another to eradicate disease.

While cleanliness has done much to limit new accretions to psora, syphilis and sycosis, it has accomplished nothing toward removing the death stamp which these miasms have fixed upon the human cell for thousands of generations; nor will it. Only a similarly acting non self-propogating substance can stimulate the cell to throw off these poisons which have fastened themselves upon it and which daily ripen a rich harvest for the surgeon and the undertaker.

The common treatment of gonorrhoea is particularly pernicious in firmly implanting the sycotic miasms. It is a case of continuous suppression from the start, each step being more insidiously destructive until death closes the scent. When we know how easily this infection passes from tissue to tissue, and how its presence excites rapid cell proliferation, we should beware of suppressing it or treating it lightly. How many women have been sterilised directly or indirectly by this poison? How many go to the operating table for the removal of its effects?

The many phases of psora can be met in but one way, by the similar remedy. Nor will a single drug ever meet all of them. Hence a careful study of the “Chronic Diseases” of Hahnemann is most necessary if we wish to do the most good; always bearing in mind that the mind puts its stamp upon every symptom, and to do the very best work we must be able to see the imprint. It is true that this task is not always easy; for many conditions necessarily come on with an absence of mental phenomena. Then the task may be still more difficult; but we must train our minds to observe the slightest deviations from the normal, for it is the irregularities of disease that furnish us with the surest clue to the indicated remedy, hence the cure.


D. A. Williams: It is a difficult matter to discuss a paper like this of Dr. Boger’s for while it is interesting, it does not tell a great deal about suppression. It is rather an indefinite thing; there are a lot of us who think that we see suppression at times, but would be unable to offer satisfactory proof of it to another. Very often the statement is made that there is suppression present in a case when the fact asserted is open to much doubt. Suppression certainly does occur, but I think that it is too loosely claimed to be present when it may not be.

One of my early experiences showed me that such a thing was possible; I had a baby who seesawed between asthmatic bronchitis and eczema. I would use all sorts of outward applications for the skin trouble and it would disappear, but bronchitis immediately made its appearance. Then I would suppress the bronchitis and get the eczema again. I took this case to Dr. Wm. Wesselhoeft and he suggested a remedy which I gave and the whole illness cleared up and the baby had neither the skin trouble nor the bronchial affection. It is frequently said to young graduates, you must not do this or you must not do that on account of the danger of producing a suppression, but I do not come across so very many cases of suppression. Perhaps my own mental view of the case is not deep enough to see a suppression where others would claim they saw it.

President: I call attention to the fact that all visiting physicians are cordially invited to take part in the discussions of this meeting.

W. H. Freeman: Those of us who always make a careful study of cases will be able to see the results of suppression and should be able to demonstrate its existence to others in nearly all chronic conditions, although it takes years of experience and conscientious case study to reach the point where we can always recognise it in all its various forms.

It is usually very difficult to make others see or believe in that which we see so clearly, however; and usually they are unwilling to see or acknowledge its existence, possibly for the reason that such would force the acknowledgement of wrong methods of treatment which, for reason of expediency they may be decidedly unwilling to change. Suppression is satisfactorily demonstrated in all cases where the similimum removes present symptoms after which there is a return of some old condition that had existed preceding the app1ication of suppressive agents.

G. B. Stearns: I believe that every case of chronic disease is a case of suppression, not necessarily a suppression from drugs, although often so. If we consider disease from a basic or perhaps better to say, very general standpoint, we may be able to see this. The organism of the patient makes an effort to overcome every acute condition of ill-health. If that is not completely overcome, a disordered condition is left, which is not at the time expressed by symptoms, and the foundation of chronic disease is being laid. To that extent it is a suppression. If there is any outside element or influence that interferes with the reaction of the system to the disease, you get further suppression, whether that interfering element be a drug, cord, warmth or what not. It is all suppression.

Richard S. True: We must remember that effects are not always immediate and that we miss evidence of a fact because we do not give enough time for it to occur, often interfering with it ourselves by impatient use of another remedy. I agree with Dr. Stearn’s views of suppression.

W. H. Freeman: I have in mind a case well illustrating this subject of suppression: A young married man consulted me about five years ago for intestina1 indigestion which my prescription failed to relieve. He then consulted his former physician who evidently relieved the condition by suppressive measures.

Very soon afterward, he became afflicted with tic douliereaux and was unsuccessfully treated for nearly a year by several of the best known nerve specialists in New York. After the expenditure of hundreds of dollars without obtaining a particle of relief, he again consulted me on the advice of a relative.

His symptoms aside from the pain in the right face and nostril were meagre and lacking in peculiar characteristics. Both Dr. Stuart Close and Dr. J. B. Campbell treated him in addition to myself for several months without success and it was only after I had selected kali-carb. on the single symptom—”pain in nose extending to occiput,” that he began to improve and finally there was a complete cessation of the tic, but a return of the original intestinal symptom which cleared up after giving him natrum sulph.

C.M. Boger
Cyrus Maxwell Boger 5/ 13/ 1861 "“ 9/ 2/ 1935
Born in Western Pennsylvania, he graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and subsequently Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia. He moved to Parkersburg, W. Va., in 1888, practicing there, but also consulting worldwide. He gave lectures at the Pulte Medical College in Cincinnati and taught philosophy, materia medica, and repertory at the American Foundation for Homoeopathy Postgraduate School. Boger brought BÅ“nninghausen's Characteristics and Repertory into the English Language in 1905. His publications include :
Boenninghausen's Characteristics and Repertory
Boenninghausen's Antipsorics
Boger's Diphtheria, (The Homoeopathic Therapeutics of)
A Synoptic Key of the Materia Medica, 1915
General Analysis with Card Index, 1931
Samarskite-A Proving
The Times Which Characterize the Appearance and Aggravation of the Symptoms and their Remedies