( From vol.. iv, 2nd edit., 1825.)
This metal in its pure state, as leaf-silver (argentum foliatum), from the supposed impossibility of its being dissolved in our juices-an impossibility that has no better basis than theoretical speculation is said by the teachers of materia medica to be just as powerless as gold (which see).
At first I allowed myself to be deterred by these confident assertions from using it medicinally, and therefore employed only the solution of nitrate of silver (in the dose of a drop of the quintillionth dilution), when I had the opportunity of observing the few subjoined symptoms caused by it.
But, in spite of all the denials of theorists without experience, who always persist in regarding the stomach as a cooking or digesting machine, containing gastric juice which, judging by their trials in the vessels of their laboratory, they found to be incapable of dissolving either metallic gold or metallic silver, and therefore considered these medicines to be incapable of exciting any action upon us such as they do when chemically dissolved legs artis in the stomach, when they are methodic absorbed and introduced into the circulation of the blood; influenced by the reasons I have adduced respecting gold, I could not refrain from employing pure silver in the metallic state. I therefore made experiments on the healthy body with leaf-silver, after triturating it for an hour to the finest powder, with a hundred parts of milk-sugar.
The few symptoms observed from it and set forth in the following pages furnish the homoeopathic physician, in silver under this form, with a curative instrument in many similar morbid states, which cannot be cured by any other medicinal agent, and for which the ordinary physician fails to find a remedy in all his therapeutics, clinical experience and voluminous prescription-books.
But I subsequently found that for homoeopathic use another hundredfold attenuation, that is to say, a grain of powder containing 1/10000 of silver, may be a still too large dose.
The empirical reputation of nitrate of silver in the ordinary forms of epilepsy is not well founded, and seems to have arisen from the circumstance that in some varieties of convulsions, where copper is indicated, a salt of silver containing copper has been used. But that pure silver, such as leaf-silver is, should be efficacious in the worst and commonest form of epilepsy, is not borne out by the primary symptoms as yet revealed from its administration.
R. BOYLE’S so-called diuretic pills, which contain nitrate of silver, and which are so much praised by BOERHAVE, are quite unsuitable for their purpose, not only on account of the perilous size of the doses, but also because silver, as the subjoined symptoms produced by it show, only increases the urinary secretion in its primary action (consequently the opposite of the diminished urinary secretion in dropsical diseases), whereupon, by means of the ensuing reaction of the vital force, the opposite of the end aimed at must take place, which is its permanent secondary action, to wit, a still greater diminution of the urinary secretion; a true antipathic and, for this case, injurious procedure.
Such hurtful mistakes must have hitherto been committed by this ordinary physicians, because they were unacquainted with the primary effects of the medicines, and knew of no way whereby they could learn them, and took no pains to discover the right way. Indeed, for five-and-twenty centuries they have had no notion of primary and secondary action of medicines, as a permanent condition, the exact opposite of their primary action, and that, consequently, in order to effect any permanent cure, medicines to be really curative must be able to produce in their primary action the simile of the morbid state actually present, to allow us to expect from the reaction of the organism the opposite of the medicin primary action (and of the disease similar to it), that is to say, the destruction and alteration into health of the deranged sensations and functions.
On the other hand, silver can cure permanently some kinds of diabetes when the other symptoms of the disease correspond in similarity to other primary symptoms of the disease.
[HAHNEMANN was assisted in this proving by-FRANZ, GROSS, HAYNEL, HARTMANN, HERRMANN, LANGHAMMER, MEYER, WISLICENUS.]
The following old-school authorities were consulted for the effects of nitrate of silver:
HALL, THOM., Phys, Medorrhinum Journal. 1800, July, also in Duncan’s Annals of Medorrhinum v, 1801.
KINGLAKE, London Medical and Physical Journal, 1801.
MOODIE, Medorrhinum and Phys. Journal, 1804.
No old-school writers are quoted for effects of metallic silver.
The 1st edit. gave 200 symptoms to silver, to this 2nd edit. 23 have been added.]
Vertigo, with complete but transient blindness. [THOMAS HALL. in the Phys. Medorrhinum Journal, 1800, p. 518, also in Duncan’s Annals Medorrhinum, 1799. (Effects of A. n. given to a woman, aet. 35, for convulsive attacks. This occurrrd twice, three hours after taking the drug. The name of this author is wrongly give by Hahnemann as “HULL.”)
(It affected the head, as if the fit of epilepsy would come on.)
(Premonitory feeling of the impending fit.)
Dimness of vision with anxiety, heat of face, and weeping eyes.
5. Spongy, easily bleeding gums, which, however, were not painful nor swollen. [MOODIE, in Medorrhinum and Phys. Journal. 1804.( General statement. Literally, “after a time, tenderness of the gums, with x disposition to bleed; they were, however, neither painful nor swollen)]
Sensation as if the velum palati were swollen, not per se, but on moving the tongue and when swallowing.
Sickness, weight, and pressure in the stomach. (On three occasions, three hours after ingestion.) [HALL, 1. c.]
Burning heat in the stomach. [KINGLAKE, in London Medical and Physical Journal, 1801.( Effects of A. n. given to a man, set. 30, for epilepsy.)]
Burning in the stomach and on the chest. [ MOODIE, l. C.1
10.The urinary organs are at first greatly irritated.( Not found; the name of the authority being omitted, it is doubtful to which it tightly belongs.) [l. c.]
Disagreeable stoppage in the upper part of the nose for three days. [ HALL, 1. c. ]
Discharge from the nose like white pus mixed with blood-clots.( After the three days of S. I1. The pus is said to have been like brain-substance.) [HALL, 1. c.]
Feeling in all the limbs as if they would go to sleep and stiffen.
Exhaustion in the afternoon.
15. Profuse night sweat.
Anxiety that compels him to walk quickly.
He became suddenly dizzy, and as if a mist were before the eyes.
Vertiginous, sleepy intoxication; his eyes closed.
Attacks of vertigo; he cannot think properly; also when sitting and reflecting (aft. 1/2 h.). [Gss.]
Stupid in the head. [Gss.]
5.His head began to creep and crawl, as from intoxication.
He is always in a kind of intoxication; he knows not what is the matter with him. [Fz.]
Feeling of gloominess in the head, as if smoke were in the brain.[ Myr. ]
As if stupid and hollow in the head, the whole brain is painful, with chilliness.
Shooting burning pain in the head.
10. Severe shooting and tearing pain in the head.
(In the morning shooting headache, with redness of one eye.)
When standing and reading he had a sudden burning sensation in the scrobiculns cordis, a sensation of dull contraction of the brain from all sides, and like a threatening of vertigo, with sick nausea in the region of the sternum, such as is apt to occur after rapid violent turning round in a circle; at the same time a sudden heat all over the body, but more in the face, and momentary perspiration on the chest and face.
A sensation compounded of pressure and drawing in the head, above the right ear towards the back (aft. 4 h.). [Gss.]
In the left temple horrible pain compounded of aching and tearing (aft. 5 h.). [Gss.]
15. Tearing in the left temple. [ Gss. ]
Tearing as if in the bone of the left temple and above the left mastoid process. [ Hnl. ]
Drawing pain from the occipital bone to the middle of frontal bone, in a curved direction over the right temporal bone, externally. [ Hrr. ]
Aching tearing pain on the left and right temporal bones, increased by touch. [Hrr.]
Squeezing pressure on the right temple, with intermittent sharp stitches inwards (aft. 5. d.). [Ws.]
20. Cutting stitches, as if in the bone of on the surface of the brain just in front of the left ear, going forwards. [Hnl. ]
Aching pain on the temporal bones, externally. [Hrr.]
Aching pain on both parietal bones, externally. [Hrr.]
Aching pain on the left parietal bone, externally. [Hrr.]
A slight pressure on the head causes sore pain. [Fz.]
25. Slight rippling shudder over the right side of the hairy scalp. [Hnl.]
Aching pain with stupefaction in the sinciput, and drawing aching in the occiput.
Aching headache in the forehead above the eyebrows (aft. 2 h.)[ Ws.]
Aching tearing headache in the left frontal protuberance (aft. 6 h.) [Gss.]
Aching tearing headache under the left frontal protuberance, during which the eyeball also seems to be compressed. [Gss.]
30. Intermittent boring pains, anteriorly on the left side of the forehead all day, aggravated after lying down in the evening (aft. 7 h.). [Lr.]
The nape feels stiff, and there is a strange feeling in the occiput; a kind of drawing and aching therein.
In the right temporal muscles, the right frontal muscles, the lateral cervical muscles near the thyroid cartilage, and posteriorly towards the nape, a spasmodic twitching and jumping of the muscles that pushed away the hand, with twitching pain.
A pimple on the left temple, that when touched pains like a boil.
(The borders of the upper and lower eyelids are very red and swelled, but the eyes do not suppurate.)
35. Great itching in the canthi of the eyes.
Painful gnawing aching in the facial bones of the right side, worst on the malar bone (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]
Tearing on the left zygoma. [ Hrr.]
Fine drawing pain in the facial muscles, especially on the malar bones. [ Ws. ]