HAHNEMANN’S DOSAGE OF MEDICINES TOWARDS THE END OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
In “Essay on a New Principle,” etc (“Hufeland’s Journal,” 1796) we read for instance about powdered arnica root for dysentery:
I had to increase the dose daily, more rapidly than is necessary with any other effective medicine. A child of four years of age got at first four grains daily, then seven, eight and nine grains. Children of six or seven years of age could at first only bear six grains, afterwards twelve and fourteen grains were requisite. A child of nine months, which had not taken anything by the mouth. could at first only stand two grains (mixed with water only) in an enema: ultimately six grains were necessary.
Hahnemann possessed a self-prepared good tincture of AEthusa cynapium; of this he once took a grain himself because he felt very absent-minded in consequences of much mental work which he had undertaken in rapid succession, and which rendered him incapable of reading.He ordered for a child of six years ten grains of Ledum infusion. He ordered arsenicum for periodical headaches in doses of I/6th to I/10th grain in solution.
A strong muscular inn-keeper, who suffered from asthma and at the same time was afflicted with disturbances of his mental balance, received each morning three grains of Veratrum. The remedy was continued for four weeks and the ailment, which had been of four years duration, gradually lessened, until he was completely cured.
A young woman of 35 years, who had many attacks of epilepsy, a few days after her confinement, was attacked with mania accompanied with general twitching of the limbs. After other physicians had in vain tried to cure her, she received from Hahnemann half a grain of powdered white hellebore (Veratrum album) in the forenoon, and also at two in the afternoon, after which she quickly improved and made a complete recovery.
Nux Vomica was administered by him daily for vertigo, fear and rigors, up to an amount of seventeen grains, after which the fever and nerve attacks disappeared and did not return although the patient had previously suffered, for many years, from these attacks.
In a sick report in “Hufeland’s Journal” of 1797 on a “case of rapidly cured Colicodynia” which we have already mentioned in detail. Hahnemann recommends Veratrum in single doses of four grains of which the patient took two doses each day, therefore, eight grains, in the hope of a more speedy recovery. The “Artificial nerve colic”: as Hahnemann calls the condition was so increased by it that the patient nearly died.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PREPARATION OF BELLADONNA AS A PROPHYLACTIC FOR SCARLET FEVER.
For the preparation of this remedy which is a preventative of Scarlet Fever, a handful of the fresh leaves of the wild growing belladonna (atropa belladonna L.). is taken before the flowers have opened. These are pounded in a mortar to a pulp and the juice is squeezed through a cloth. This pulp is immediately (without previous cleansing) poured upon a flat porcelain basin to the thickness of the blade of a knife, and dried in a current of air; it will evaporate within a few hours. It must then be stirred and again spread with a spatula so that it may harden equally and having become completely dry it may be made into a powder. The powder is then stored in a warm bottle and corked.
If we wish to prepare a prophylactic from this remedy, we dissolve a grain One grain equals approximately the 35th part of an apothecary’s pound of this powder… by trituration in a small mortar with one hundred drops of distilled water. We pour the thick solution into a one-ounce bottle and rinse the mortar and the pestle with three hundred parts of diluted alcohol (five parts of water to one of spirit); we then add this to the solution and render the unions perfect by diligently shaking the liquid. We label the bottle “Strong solution of Belladonna.” One drop of this is intimately mixed with three hundred drops of diluted alcohol by shaking it for several minutes and this is marked “Medium solution of Belladonna.” Of this second mixture one drop is mixed with two hundred drops of the diluted alcohol, by shaking for several minutes, and marked “Weak solution of Belladonna,” and this is our prophylactic remedy for scarlet fever, each drop of which contains the twenty-fourth millionth part of a grain of the dry Belladonna juice.
Of this week solutions of Belladonna we give to those not affected with scarlet fever, with intention to render them immune from the disease-to a child one year old, two drops; to a younger child one drop; to one two years old, there; to one three years old, four; to a child four years old, according to the strength of his constitution, five to six; to a five year old child, from six to seven; to a six year old child, from seven to eight; to a seven year old child from nine to ten; to an eight year old child, from eleven to thirteen; to a nine year old child from fourteen to sixteen drops; and with each successive year up to the twentieth, a dose every seventy-two hours, well stirred with a teaspoon for a minute in. any kind of drink, as long as the epidemic lasts, and four and to five weeks there after.