The capacity for accurate observation, is perhaps never quite hereditary; it must be acquired for the greater part by practice, by refining and correcting sense-impressions, that means, perfecting by strict criticism our quickly formed opinions of external objects, and the cool and tranquil firmness of our judgment must remain under the constant supervision of mistrust in our power of comprehension. The great importance of this, our object, must be to direct body and soul on these observations, and a much exercised patience, upheld by strong will-power, must fortify us in this respect until the completion of our observations.
Familiarity with the best writings of the Ancients, the Greeks and the Romans, the art of drawing, and also mathematics assists the medical observer. Then it continues:
The best opportunity for exercising our sense of observation and to perfect it, is by proving medicines ourselves. After avoiding all extraneous medicinal influences, and all disturbing mind impressions, the prover must remain at attention for this important business from the time he takes the medicine, alert to all changes of sensation, so that with increasing feeling and open mind he may record them and note down truthfully.
Through the continued tracing of the changes which are occurring in himself, the observer acquires the power to perceive all, even the most complex sensations which he experiences when proving the medicine, and also the most minute changes in his condition, and to write down in an adequate and exhaustive way the conception which has become clear to him.
Only here it is possible for the beginner to observe undisturbed, clearly and correctly, as he knows that he will not deceive himself, that no one is telling him an untruth, and that he feels, sees, and notices for himself what is happening to him and in him. Thus he forms a practice of observing accurately where others are concerned.
The existing symptomatology of the common medical science will strike the man, who makes such requests as of a superficial nature. A single word, or a general expression for the designation of the frequently so very complicated disease sensations and symptoms (such as perspiration, heat, fever, headache, sore-throat, cough, stomach-ache, want of appetite, etc.) is altogether insufficient, considering the innumerable and varied sufferings of patients. The conscientious physician would have to be infinitely more conscientious in distinguishing that which has to be perceived, the language is hardly sufficient to express is suitable words the many divergences of the symptoms in patients. “This is so true,” concludes Hahnemann, “that only the most careful observer can become a true scientific healer.”
TABULAR SUMMARY OF
The remedies, and number of symptoms in the provings recorded in the Materia Medica Pura.
Ist edition. 2nd edition.
Remedy. Hahnemann. Others. Hahnemann. Others.
Acidum muriaticum 57 217 61 218 Acidum phosphoricum 160 411 268 411 Aconitum 206 108 246 183 Ambra – – 141 349 Angustura 93 209 96 203 Argentum 48 152 64 175 Arnica 175 55 278 314 Arsenicum 294 368 431 517 Asarum 14 254 16 254 Aurum 110 203 173 205 Belladonna 176 474 380 1042 Bismuth 4 97 11 97 Bryonia 408 102 537 244 Calcarea acetica 0 255 34 236 Camphora 104 240 105 240 Cannabis 15 54 42 266 Capsicum 277 69 275 69 Carbo animalis – – 159 32 Carbo vegetabilis – – 276 447 Causticum 99 176 106 201 Chamomilla 448 33 461 33 Chelidonium 23 128 28 128 Cicuta 36 205 36 205 Cina 33 15 40 247 Cinchona 391 691 427 716 Cocculus 224 6 330 224 Colocynthis 17 210 26 224 Conium 87 286 89 286 Cyclamen 3 197 5 197 Digitalis 63 355 73 355 Drosera 124 155 132 155 Dulcamara 31 92 52 297 Euphrasia 25 90 37 90 Ferrum 228 36 249 41 Guaiacum 26 116 29 116 Helleborus 90 108 92 196 Hepar sulphuris 182 24 282 24 Hyoscyamus 103 436 104 478 Ignatia 570 54 620 54 Ipecacuanha 144 87 146 87 Ledum 182 130 186 152 Magnet-South and North 716 113 861 372 Manganum 89 242 89 242 Menyanthes 28 269 28 267 Mercurius 232 110 663 761 Moschus 0 39 2 150 Nux vomica 908 53 1198 69 Oleander 10 18 16 336 Opium 114 464 119 519 Pulsatilla 971 102 1046 117 Rheum 79 115 94 115 Rhus 409 334 575 361 Ruta 23 201 26 262 Sambucus 19 97 20 99 Sarsaparilla 34 111 34 111 Scilla 85 201 86 202 Spigelia 95 543 130 542 Spongia 89 227 156 235 Stannum 95 457 204 456 Staphisagria 210 398 283 438 Stramonium 83 463 96 473 Sulphur 112 49 755 62 Taraxacum 0 209 0 264 Thuja 222 287 334 300 Veratrum 307 404 315 401 Verbascum 32 143 32 141
INDEX OF THE NAMES OF HAHNEMANN’S CO-PROVERS.
Ahner. Hartmann. Mossdorf. Anton. Hartung. Rosazewsky. Baehr. Haynel. Ruckert (two).
Becher. Hempel. Stapf. Clauss. Herrmann. Teuthorn. Cubitz. Hornburg. Urban. Franz. Kummer. Wagner. Gross. Langhammer. Wahle. Gunther. Lehmann (two). Walther. Gutmann. Meyer. Wenzel. Friedr. Hahnemann. Michler. Wislicenus. Harnisch. Mockel.
NOS. OF SYMPTOMS WHICH HAVE BEEN BORROWED FROM OTHER WRITERS.
Acidum muriaticum 22 Aconitum 110 Argentum nitricum 8 Arnica 47 Arsenicum 382 Asarum 6 Aurum 6 Belladonna 475 Camphora 93 Cannabis 47 Capsicum 4 Carbo animalis 3 Chamomilla 3 Chelidonium 6 Cicuta 37 Cina 11 Cinchona 141 Cocculus 6 Colocynthis 29 Conium 155 Cyclamen 1 Digitalis 131 Drosera 3 Dulcamara 83 Euphrasia 2 Ferrum 37 Guaiacum 3 Helleborus 34 Hepar sulphuris 10 Hyoscyamus 355 Ignatia 15 Ipecacuanha 41 Ledum 4 Magnes 195 Manganum 1 Menyanthes 3 Mercurius 139 Moschus 39 Nux vomica 48 Oleander 10 Opium 518 Pulsatilla 25 Rheum 11 Rhus 49 Ruta 3 Sambucus 1 Sarsaparilla 4 Scilla 30 Spigelia 17 Stannum 5 Stramonium 383 Sulphur 10 Veratrum 247
ON THE EFFECTS OF ARSENIC ON THE DEAD BODY.
Baron von Gersdorff wrote to his friend Hahnemann.
Eisenach, June, 1835.
A former pupil of Dr. Giuseppe Mauro, in Naples, Dr. Guiseppe Tranchina, prosecutor of Anatomy in Palermo, a man of about thirty years of age, with whom I became personally acquainted, in the summer of 1832, and who is very distinguished and capable in his own line, especially in the science of injecting, and in the manufacture of all kinds of anatomical preparations, had discovered a method of preserving the human body, in all its internal and external parts, for a long time, perhaps from four to seven years, which would perfect it from corruption, so well that all its members would remain in a supple condition, and even when the bodies had lost this, to restore it again as in life. The pallor of the corpse, with possible signs of decay, would disappear and give place to a life-like tint, and the hair and all the small nerves would retain their firmness and toughness, so that they could not easily be torn or broken; even when the body was dissected a long time after the preparation, the bad odour was absent, and apart from the absence of warmth the body had an appearance resembling life. This discovery, so important to anatomy and pathology, as well as to many who find pleasure in preserving near them their deceased loved ones, for a long time, so that they might become accustomed to their loss by degrees, Tranchina owes, apart from his sagacity and skill, to Homoeopathy, that is to your Materia Medica, dear friend. He was reading the last symptom on Arsenic: “The body was still fresh and intact after sixteen days,” when he thought of a way of treating bodies with a solution of arsenic, so that it could be brought into intimate contact with even the smallest internal and external parts of the corpse. As he is particularly skilled in injecting, he succeeded after many attempts so perfectly, that the above result was obtained. He dissolves one pound of arsenic, sometimes a little more, in twenty-four pounds of spirits of wine, or which is just as good, in the same quantity of water, to this he adds one ounce and a half of red lead or cinnabar, in order to give to the mixture a red colour, and he injects this through an opening in the left carotid (main artery of the neck). In the beginning he found it difficult to overcome the valves of the heart; but later he succeeded, and injected in this way the whole body, even to the finest vessels, with the arsenical fluid. If he thinks that the intestine is in a bad condition, he makes an opening in the abdomen and introduces the arsenic through the canula that is used to draw off the fluid in dropsy (instrument for paracentesis); then both openings are sewn up, and the corpse can be kept anywhere, even exposed to the air, without any fear of decomposition taking place. In the beginning his discovery met with very little credit and approval; he attracted only jealousy and hatred from the physicians of Palermo, and was unable to obtain a higher degree as physician for the disclosure of his secret. Later, quite a sensation was caused, when it became known that the body of a prince, so prepared by him, was still intact at the end of three months; this fact induced the Pope to have his friend, Cardinal Zuola, who died in Palermo this winter, preserved so that he might bring him to Rome. On account of the unfavourable weather it was sixty- six days before the body travelled to Rome, accompanied by Tranchina, and everybody in Palermo was able to see it. Tranchina received there from the Mayor, a reward of 400 ducats, also much honour and was made a knight by the Pope, who saw that his friend’s body was so unchanged and as if still alive. His Holiness kept the body near him for three months; he gave Tranchina four gold medals, and 100 scudi. In Naples Tranchina had to undergo some public tests, which gave full satisfaction. The translation of Menach’s letter (?) of May 14th of this year, which will shortly appear in the “Anzeiger,” to which I sent it to-day, will describe these in detail. Tranchina received-as England wanted him, and he would have been very wise to have accepted-from the King 3,000 ducats, the Order of Francis I, and the position of second physician in the Military Hospital of Naples, with the exclusive right for ten years, but with the condition that he must disclose his secret and mode of procedure to the Medical Faculty. This happened on April 11th of this year, and he has prepared two corpses, one with spirit and one with water for the inspection of the physicians; these bodies have been placed in a closed and sealed room which will only be opened after forty days. The prosecutors of the German University will probably try to imitate this when they hear of it, but only the most skilful will succeed perfectly.
Your true friend and godfather, A. FREIH. V. GERSDORFF, Geh. Reg. Rat.
METHOD OF CURING THE NOW PREVAILING NERVE AND HOSPITAL FEVERS.
Dr. Stapf gives us this essay in the “Lesser Writings” of S. Hahnemann, with the following annotation:
After the return of the French troops from Russia in 1812, and the many hardships connected with war, a peculiar war epidemic spread all over Germany, a contagious typhus of a strange kind, for which the chief specific remedies seemed in many cases to be Nux vomica and Pulsatilla. After the battle of Leipsic in the autumn of 1813, a typhus developed which was quite different from the other but not less devastating, to fight this, various methods of treatment were suggested and were carried out with more or less success. No striking results crowned any of these methods. Hahnemann made known in the above essay a method of treatment for this peculiar kind of typhus, entirely different from all the other methods but capable of really curing it, after he had obtained decidedly happy results in his own practice. He treated 180 cases of typhus in Leipsic and only one old patient died; a stroke of luck of which very few physicians could boast. How little honour and recognition was aroused for his method of treatment proved useless, is a well known fact which does not bring much honour to certain people.
The publisher (“Allg. Anz. der Deutschen,” F.G. Becker, No. 6. year 1814).
ON THE CONTENTS OF THE WRITING
We have only to say briefly: After Hahnemann had explained how useless all the existing remedies were for this disease, he shows the symptoms of the new fever in two main stages, and recommends for the first stage, Bryonia alba and Rhus tox., for the second Hyoscyamus niger. If in certain cases a third stage appears of partial paralysis of the mental faculties, sweet spirit of nitre,-one drop in an ounce of water-a teaspoonful to be given at a time.
“On the Treatment of Venereal Disease,” contains nothing new for homoeopaths according to Hartmann’s statement. Naturally he objects energetically against the local dispersion of the evil and the too drastic cures by mercury.
“On the Treatment of Burns,”- two essays in the “Allgem. Anz. der Deutschen,” No. 156 and 204 of 1816.-These essays were the outcome of Prof. Dzondis’ praise of the “only sure remedy” for burns, which consisted of cold water. Hahnemann recommends instead warm spirits of wine (see literary contest with Dr. Dzondi, Chapter 11).
“ON UNCHARITABLENESS TOWARDS SUICIDES”
Is a small essay based on the principle, “a disease condition almost always underlies suicide,” which can frequently be an epidemic, and attack more often than not “honest and moral people instead of bad scoundrels.” This disease of the mind not infrequently follows a bodily ailment which has been overlooked by the physician and the relatives, and Hahnemann advises us to fight it with a “small dose (one billion times diluted) of gold dust,” Aurum metallicum, which can be mixed with the beverage of the patient.
Materia Medica Pura, and the 2nd Edition of the “Organon.”
Dear Mr. Arnold,
Please send by the next post the 25 r. (Probably the remuneration for one of the six parts of “Materia Medica,” published by Arnold, 1811-1821.) and kindly state in writing the conditions regarding the second edition of the “Organon” ( The second much improved edition of the “Organon,” published by Arnold, 1819.) which we discussed together, so that I may begin at once with the work which will require much time.
I am surprised that you do not think of my Materia Medica when you advertise your publications in the public papers. One of my correspondents has complained to me about it.
What are you doing, how are you? Is life still interesting?
Your faithful friend, DR. SAM. HAHNEMANN.
L. (Leipsic), 27th June, 1817. To Mr. Ch. Arnold, Publisher in Dresden.