Is not QUININE the similimum to Intermittent Fever, par excellence? By QUININE, here, I mean, Sulphate of Quinia, Peruvian Bark, China, Cinchonidia, and others of that like. These are nearly identical so far as their pathogenetic or curative effects are concerned….

BY DR. E.A. Farrington, M.D., and others.

AT the December (1881) meeting of the Philadelphia County Homoeopathic Medical Society, the following discussion was held upon the treatment of Intermittent Fevers., the subject having been reported upon by the Bureau of Clinical Medicine and Zymoses:

Dr. McClatchey, having been invited by the President to open the discussion, did so as follows: “The Society will bear me out on the statement that my voice is not often heard in these discussions, and that I rarely refer to my cases,- least of all, to my cases. But I feel that I must not be silent, being called upon to speak, and must even do a little bragging too. On comparing may success in treating cases of Intermittent Fever, with that of others, that I hear or read about, I feel that I have been very successful.

I attribute my success entirely to this that I treat my cases Homoeopathically, rigidly adhering to the principle, similia similibus curantur in all cases. I follow the precepts of Hahnemann, and prescribe for the totality of symptoms. I individualize each case, and get all the symptoms together, those that are most prominent and those that are least so, the modalities, etc., and having done this, I choose that which is the Homoeopathic remedy for the case, and I find that this is in most cases, or at least, in a very large percentage of them, QUININE, and I believe that all my success in treating such cases is due to my close adherence to Homoeopathy

Is not QUININE the similimum to Intermittent Fever, par excellence? By QUININE, here, I mean, Sulphate of Quinia, Peruvian Bark, China, Cinchonidia, and others of that like. These are nearly identical so far as their pathogenetic or curative effects are concerned. I have heard quite a good many lectures on Homoeopathy, and one of the most frequently repeated statements, made on such occasions, was to the effect that Hahnemann, while engaged in translating Cullen’s Materia Medica into German, was dissatisfied with the explanation given by Mr. Cullen as to the action of Peruvian Bark in the cure of Ague, and that he set himself to experiment with that drug, and very greatly to his surprise, found that the drug, when taken by a person in good health, produced symptoms very similar to those produced in an attack of Ague.

This, together with other experiments, led to Hahnemann finding that drugs would cure symptoms similar to those that they were capable of producing, or similia similibus curantur. Thus Homoeopathy may be said to have had its foundations laid on Bark. Now was Hahnemann mistaken in all this? And if he was, is it not possible that he was mistaken in other things just as well, and might not Homoeopathy be an error altogether? But my experience proves to me that it is not, for just as Hahnemann found that Bark would produce symptoms analogous to those of Intermittent Fever, I have found that bark, or its alkaloid or alkaloids will cure genuine and true Malarial Intermittent Fever.

There are other remedies for Intermittents besides QUININE, as every physician knows, and it is not always necessary to give QUININE or China to cure Intermittent, as is also known to every physician. But there is not one, in my experience, so frequently indicated as QUININE, nor so often the similimum for a case of Ague. In that magnificent treatise, which we should all read daily, Allen’s Encyclopaedia of Materia Medica, you will find a complete record of the pathogenetic effects of QUININE and China, and in these records you will find nearly every symptom of a very large majority of Intermittent Fever cases.

If I were to ask this assembly to give me the keynote or notes for Natrum Muriaticum in Intermittent, the reply must be: :Chill commences at eleven O’ clock in the morning”, and “Herpes Labialis” The QUININE chill may commence at eleven o’ clock and there may be Herpes Labialis also. In regard to Capsicum, I would be told that the chill “commence in the back, thence spreading”, and so on. The China chill also begins in the back. The indications for the concentrated essence of bed-bugs (I confess I do not know what the indication for this delicious medicine is) a voice behind me says, “always worse at night.” If that be true, the chills of QUININE may be worse at night or at many other times.

In using QUININE it is not necessary to give it in the large doses of the old school, for if you do the effect of the drug will be superadded to those of the disease, the curative effect will be crowded out by the toxical effect, and the patient is apt to be made worse. I have never been quite able to understand why out school objected so to the use of QUININE, and seemed almost afraid of it. That the old school uses it is surely no good reason why we should not. It is Homoeopathic to Ague, no matter who uses it.

The old school are almost daily making use of our remedies, and shall we abandon them so soon as Ringer, or Harley, or Phillips introduces them and their methods to their old-school brethren? They are constantly making such experiments. There is a man almost within the sound of my voice, and his name is Horatio C. Wood, who is constantly making such experiments-rediscovering Homoeopathic screws. If we are to abandon our remedies so soon as the Allopaths take them for their use our whole Materia Medica is in great danger.

The physician who fails to use QUININE for Ague because of its Allopathic history, and with knowledge of its action, casts dirt on the graves of his ancestors, and is also belittling Homoeopathy.

Dr. C. E. TOOTHAKER: In what doses Dr. McClatchey give QUININE?

Dr. McCLATCHEY: In whatever doses I please or think will be best in the given case. ” Let no pent-up Utica contract our powers. The whole boundless continent is ours”.

Dr. TOOTHAKER: I cured a child of chills with China 30, after it had been extravagantly dosed with QUININE.

DR. FARRINGTON: I have been waiting for some other member to get up and reply to the remarks of the gentleman of my left. The insinuations which he has thrown out concerning Hahnemann are so outrageous that I wonder that so many did not rise, eager to defend, that the chair would find it difficult to decide as to who should be the first to reply. Is it possible that the gentleman’s eloquence has wrought this wonderful effect? If so I had better sit down, as I cannot compete with him. The assertions that he has made to-night in all truth (of course he does not mean them for a farce) show that Hahnemann claimed Peruvian Bark to be the remedy for Intermittent Fever. That is a “reading between the lines” which is rather too broad for me to comprehend.

Hahnemann thought when he was translating Cullen, s Materia Medica, that certain of the symptoms attributed to Peruvian Bark were rather peculiar. So he determined he would test them. He was astonished to find that he produced the same symptoms which he had, when he suffered from chills and fever. Now may good friend asserts that Hahnemann considered that, with few exceptions, Peruvian bark was the remedy for Intermittent Fever. Hahnemann distinctly says that China is the remedy when the chill comes so and so, the fever so and so, and the thirst so and so this is flat contradiction to the assertion that QUININE is the remedy for Intermittent Fever.

I deny, too, that those symptoms which he found under QUININE are as characteristic of QUININE, as they are of the others referred to. In may experience China is frequently indicated. If his remarks had ended here, I should have applauded. I find that the potency must not enter into the question at all. I do not believe in any “pent-up Utica.” I have given the drug high, low and crude. But the worst cases that I have ever had to handle were those in which QUININE had been abused.

The results of the administration of QUININE are two, either a cure, which oftener results, I confess, or a spoiling of the case, which often results, If the case has been one of malarial poisoning, and is taken in the beginning, if there is no systemic taint, psoric, sycotic, or syphilitic, QUININE will often by its power of destroying germs, prevent the manifestations of the disease. If there is anything in addition to the malarial poison, QUININE will ruin the case. The question is a broad one and is one which seriously involves Homoeopathy.

It is a question Which calls up the power of Homoeopathy to cure any disease in which there is a substantial poison, Rheumatism Scarlatina, Diphtheria, and the puerperal fevers. I never saw a clearly indicated remedy given which was not followed by relief. I have had many failures in the treatment of Intermittent Fever. I agree with the gentleman that it is more important to mention our failures than our success. I do not pretend to say that I have cure every case. But when my remedy has been properly selected, it has never failed, and that remedy has not always been China. I will not be confined to Cinchona, but I will take the whole of Nature’s gifts, and use them according to law, and not according to empiricism.

E. A. Farrington
E. A. Farrington (1847-1885) was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. He began his study of medicine under the preceptorship of his brother, Harvey W. Farrington, MD. In 1866 he graduated from the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1867 he entered the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1868. He entered practice immediately after his graduation, establishing himself on Mount Vernon Street. Books by Ernest Farrington: Clinical Materia Medica, Comparative Materia Medica, Lesser Writings With Therapeutic Hints.