Hahnemann’s clear vision saw in disease not merely an outward alternation of tissues and functions, but a disturbance of the living, “spirit-like” organism which animates the outward frame.
This was to him the seat of all diseases (as distinguished from external injures), and the remedies he employed were of the same “spirit-like” dynamic nature, capable of reaching the essence of the disorder. The cures wrought by Hahnemann’s method are not mere “healings up,” but realise the ideal of John Hunter : “What I call a cure is an alteration of the disposition and the effects of that disposition, and not the destruction of the cancerous parts.” So long as so many homoeopathists are blinded by the visible effects of disease, such as tumours and alterations of solid parts, to the alterations of the organic disposition underlying them, proficiency in the homoeopathic art must necessarily be rare.
I will now proceed to give instances of the medical treatment of diseased bone, and will begin with a tolerably acute case.
CASE XXIV.- NECROSIS OF SMALL PORTION OF LOWER JAW: SEPARATION OF DEAD BONE WITHOUT OPERATION.
In my early homoeopathic days, I was consulted by a lady suffering from an offensive discharge from the gum of the lower p73 jaw. It was in a part where teeth had been extracted, and the probe showed the presence of dead bone. It occurred to me then that the best thing to do would be to take out the dead bone; but the patient was wiser than I, and would not consent. I therefore treated her with medicines – Silica and Phosphorus- and in a few weeks the bone came away of itself, and the patient was soon well.
This result was very much preferable to that of an operation, for many reasons :- (1.) An operation to remove carious bone necessitates the removal of a certain amount of healthy bone, whereas Nature makes a clean division between the living and the dead. (2.) The shock of an operation was avoided. (3.) The treatment of the patient improved her general health, and left her constitutionally better than before, whereas an operation leaves a patient constitutionally worse.
At the risk of being tedious I will give this case at considerable length, as it gives a good picture of the evolution of the disease, and shows how the disease of the bone was merely one symptom of a depraved constitutional state. Surgical removal of the dead bone would not have touched the constitutional condition, though it might have accelerated the healing of the sores.
CASE XXV.- SCROFULOUS DISEASE OF BONES OF FACE, HAND, AND BACK. PROLONGED MEDICAL TREATMENT. CONSTITUTIONAL CURE.
Frank C., 12, schoolboy, was brought to my clinic at the Hospital Nov. 22, 1884. Five years before, he began to suffer from scrofulous disease. Wherever he receives a blow ulceration takes place, and if a bone is struck the bone ulcerates. He has an open wound on the back, along which a probe passes for 2 inches, coming then upon dead bone (the sacrum). The face and right hand also affected. One of his brothers has rickets.
Rx Silica 3, gtt. ii. ter die.
Jan. 5, 1885.- Better; less discharge and less pain. General health better. Sometimes is ravenously hungry.
Jan. 24.- Has irritating pains at anus after stools.
Repeat Silica. Teucrium 1x, three pilules at bedtime.
Feb. 14.- Irritation better. A piece of bone the size of an almond has come out of the wound on the face. The back looks better.
Repeat. Add a lotion of Silicea 6 (3ij.- z3 viij.)
March 14.- Has passed many thread – worms. Now irritation gone. Has a cold.
Rx. Arsen 3 three times a day alternately with silic.
April II.- Has had hurt to thumb. Has a painful swelling under left malleolus. Repeat.