Homoeopathic Treatment of Syphilis -1


While taking up the General Homoeopathic treatment and study of Syphilis, which include the real meaning of this disease and its therapeutics, we must recall to ourselves that our Master Hahnemann considered it as one of the three miasms with Psora and Sycosis….


While taking up the General Homoeopathic treatment and study of Syphilis, which include the real meaning of this disease and its therapeutics, we must recall to ourselves that our Master Hahnemann considered it as one of the three miasms with Psora and Sycosis.

For a long time Psora was not well understood. It seems to us that the problem of Psora has now been solved. Its meaning seems to be easy. The question has now been solved. It is defined with chronic Tuberculinism, as it is taught to us by Dr. A. Nebel.

As regards sycoses, we have recently tried to broach it and we have indicated its starting points: chronic gonorrhoea, vaccination, anti-variolic and others, repeated serotherapy and perhaps also some malarial conditions more or less latent and ancient even hereditary, generations of hydrogenoid temperament.

Finally as regards Syphilis, it is as present extremely difficult to speak of it with certainty and it may be said that hesitations and groping are continuing since many years in the Official School as well as in the Homoeopathic School.

There is always the “Problem of Syphilis”, which is not yet solved.

The Problem of Syphilis:

In the time of Hahnemann the question seemed more clear because very little was known at that time. Hahnemann, like all other doctors of his time included in Syphilis, the soft chancre, genital herpes and all sorts of cutaneous manifestations. On the contrary he could not include in Syphilis some tertiary manifestations, visceral or nervous of which one could then neither suspect nor understand the mechanism because the germ in cause was not known.

You know that there came the school of St. Louis. Fournier admirably described Syphilis and its real manifestations, which he distinguished from para-syphilitic manifestations of the tertiary period such as tables and general progressive paralysis. Then one could understand that it is necessary to relate them directly with Syphilis.

How the syphilis was treated at that time? In both the Schools it was treated by Mercury.

The pathogenesis of Mercury is very similar to the clinical picture of syphilis in all its stages. On the whole, the question was simple because, thanks to ignorance, of the science of treating, syphilis was reduced to a very elementary level, and if one could not cure all the cases, at least one could not aggravate the diseases. Perhaps some cases were cured but not as many as it is cured today. Everything was simple, but it was necessary to pass through the stage of the first knowledge while discovering the germ itself and afterwards destroying them by all specific medicines.

Then the problem became extremely, difficult, even unsolvable.

You known that before the war of 1914, Gaucher who succeeded Fournier, rose against the German medicines 606 and 914 and the Arsenobenzol compounds which came to us from Germany. He remained for a long time faithful to Mercury.

After sometimes this last metal was almost abandoned and doctors become infatuated with Arsenic.

In order to understand the problem of syphilis we are forced, before speaking of Homoeopathic treatment, to recall to ourselves what is actually known and what is still doubtful in the Official School.

We must first of all state the fact that so long as one was faithful to the only clinic, if one could not cure the syphilitics one did not aggravate the disease. When laboratory became more important, the clinic was neglected to end in the treatment in series. Then some disasters were seen side by side with some “washing” or ameliorations, which were sometimes only superficial and purely temporary.

There is a small book published in 1927, which shows many hesitations and tentatives of the contemporary period as regards syphilis (Sedillot: Le role du terrain dans l’evolution de Syphilis). Some points of view of the author are nearer to our ideas, although in some cases differ very much from our ideas. He was neither an adept nor even I think he had any sympathy towards Homoeopathy, but we may in a completely impartial way praise his book because it is really interesting and curious to read the book.

Sedillot schematises the evolution of Syphilis in a very seducive manner:

The troublesome treponema, it is the primary and secondary syphilis.

The silent treponema, it is the beginning of the tertiary stage without manifestations.

The dangerous treponema, it is the tertiary stage with manifestations which appear at the 40th or 50th year of age, the moment when sclerosis begins in the organism.

The author then presents some conceptions in a very clear manner. The work is full with citations in support of the doctrine upheld.

Syphilis and its association with microbes:

According to Sedillot, the treponema cannot exist and cannot live without being associated with other germs. From this fact we can understand all the syphilitic manifestations.

“The treponema itself”, he says, “prove to us often its affinity to be associated with other microbes. The heredo-syphilitic during his birth is free from all troubles of the skin or of the mucosa”.

We are going to take up this argument put forward in favour of the theory of Sedillot and we will deduce from it the interesting consequences.

Let us take up the case of an individual who has contracted chancre about 60 days — after an infected coition; 35 days after the appearance of the chancre the syphilis becomes generalised. A hyperleucocytosis is produced in order to destroy the treponema which is, you know, extremely fragile and which is refugiated in the lymphatic tissues. Out of the lymphatic tissues it has the chance to live being immediately associated with another germ. It realises that association with the ordinary microbes of the epiderma. In this way there appear roseola, and the cutaneous syphilides in the secondary stage.

This conception is seducive because it is very explicative. Then there would be association of germs of which the seat is in the epiderma and of the treponema which tries to get out. The syphilides of the secondary stage are, you know, extremely polymorphs. A subject who has previously acne, will have acneiform syphilides. The other, carrier of affections such as eczema will see his syphilis is going to produce the affections from which he suffered previously. This fact will prove that the theory of microbian association and will make clear the value of the ground in the evolution of the disease.

Thus, whenever one makes an antisyphilitic treatment it is necessary to ask oneself, if he is acting on the association of microbes, or only on the treponema. While continuing this discussion let us say that Sedillot even thinks that in all sorts of acute affections, such as measles, the eruptive element represents also an association of the virus of the causal disease with ordinary germs of which the seat is in the epiderma.

He says that the subject who suffers from syphilitic skin manifestations do not take care of his skin. The persons who are very clean do not suffer much from skin diseases. In patents of easy going class, roseola either does not appear or remains unperceived while in the Arabs, for example, the skin disease are of the highest degree.

Therefore, it is necessary to keep in mind this possible association of the treponema with other microbian elements. When one arrives at the tertiary stage, this association is still seen. If the treponema produces gammas, it is sometimes associated with fungus or with Koch’s bacilli, which also produces gammas. It is specially in such an association the effect of Potassium Iodide is remarkable.

Sedillot, in support of his statement gives some valuable arguments. The heredo-syphilitics have no skin disease or any disease of the mucosa during their birth. But after a few days pemphigus will be seen to appear in palms and soles. Or syphilitic coryzas; the upper respiratory organs will be immediately infected by inspirited air.

Also the cutaneous lesions are seen on the parts of the body which are exposed to dust.

The secondary visceral syphilis is the syphilis of the mucosa, which normally lodges microbes, or it may be infected accidentally, by ascending or sanguin duct while para-syphilis of the viscera is on the contrary, a syphilis of the parenchyma.

Let us recall also that a subject suffering from acne will have acneiform syphilides. This explains that there may have all sorts of forms and syphilis may simulate all sorts of cutaneous affections: papulae, blisters, pustules, ulcerations, gammas, pseudo-lupus forms, roseola, acne, small-pox, pemphigus, eczema, psoriasis, etc…

In all these cases only one characteristic is to be noted as regards syphilis. It is Copper colour, or the colour of Ham, and then the pigmentation, which follows the disappearance of the lesions.

Other argument in favour of this theory of association of microbes with the treponema to cause cutaneous or mucous affection of the secondary or of the tertiary period may be discovered in the classical treatments. Because these medicines called “specifics” that we inject into the veins, into the muscles or under the skin are nothing but powerful antiseptics against general microbes.

This explains, in order to have a rapid effect in acute syphilitic manifestations one is obliged to give Arsenic or Mercury in ponderable doses. When Homoeopathic high dilutions are given no result is obtained or it acts only on the ground.

It is necessary then to ask oneself while taking up the study of the treatment of syphilis, whether one is not on the borderland of the filed of action of homoeopathic remedies or in the field of action, but on condition not to use infinitesimal doses, but to do Homoeopathy in ponderable doses.

Let us consider tuberculosis and syphilis, microbian and parasitic affections. We have in the germs which may infect the organism, on the one hand some vegetations of lower order, and on the other hand animals or animalcules also of lower order.

But we may affirm Homoeopathy is supreme for all vegetative affections and in all bacterial affections. Most of the germs that are studied in bacteriology are classified in the vegetable category and even there is a tendency to consider Koch’s bacilli as vegetation as a fungus or yeast.

On the contrary whenever the affection is caused by animalcules note that the Homoeopathic treatment should be specially adapted, if not, it will prove less important.

As for example in all spirochetoses, in helminthiasis and in all sorts of parasitoses of the skin, intestines or others, in all sorts of affections caused by protozoas, you know how difficult it is to act purely Homoeopathically. We can only change the ground, i.e., the temperament of the subject. We cannot expulse or kill the parasites as is done by the Officials, because we do not use any medicine directly attacking and destroying the parasites. We should come nearer to Allopathy by using for example in worms Cina. 3x, or Cuprum Oxydatum 2x or 3x.

If we want to go up in the higher dilutions we will do some good to a child who has worms in the sense that all toxins, all the nervous troubles caused by worms, affection of meninges or the mental troubles that the child has, will be ameliorated by Homoeopathic remedies; but we will not be able to eliminate the worms which we can do by a disguised vermifuge, i.e., by Homoeopathy remedy in lower dilution which is the least toxic.

It is useless to give a Homoeopathic treatment to a child to make him free from lice which can easily be done by the local use of a toxic drug. After that treatment we can prescribe Sulphur or Lycopodium which will check the relapse acting on the constitutional Psora and the tendency of the organism for cutaneous or other parasites will be eradicated.

In the same way when it is necessary to act on protozoas or against spirochetes, we should not make too much use of infinitesimal doses. But acting in such a way we can act only on the higher sphere of toxins, i.e., to say on the symptom secondarily caused by the parasite in question.

The Officials have an advantage over us in the sense that caring less for the intoxication, they use drugs in strong doses which are or which are not tolerated. As much as a young subject tolerates Arsenic or Mercury, so much less and aged man will tolerate them.

This fact is very well explained by Sedillot in his book. It gives us to understand that the classical treatment of the Officials as it is to-day gives good result if the patient, besides his syphilis, is healthy, if he is not arthritic, if his liver is functioning well, finally if his organism has not lost its balance for other causes. One known only that there is a chancre and that one wished to stop further troubles. Thus one gives him big doses of Arsenobenzol or of Mercury.

But in some cases, if one prescribes I gr. 20 of Arsenobenzol at a time, and if the sympathetic system of the subject is not in balance, one may kill him because of nitritoid crisis. Finally after the 40th year when the patient has a torpid liver, when he has arthritic manifestations with tendency to sclerosis, we may cause ill to the patient and it is often asked whether a patient who has not been treated has no more the chance to be cured than others. Two friends are attacked by Syphilis. The one neglects it, while the other wants to be cured. It is the first one who will live 70 years while the other who was treated will die early or will have dangerous consequences of the toxic effects of the drugs applied specially on the liver.

Therefore, we are face to face with a double problem, which should be solved by a single process. On the one hand the Officials move backwards being afraid of the toxic effect of Arsenobenzol in massive doses; on the other hand the homoeopaths would like to come nearer to the Officials because they are not sure of their classical remedies. In order to attempt to solve the problem the point of view that we will propose will be no doubt very temporary. It will be removed within 10 years.

In support of his statements, Sedillot gives still one experimental fact. He has said that the roseola is localised on some parts of the skin, and not on other parts. So if one region is more aseptised than the other, the roseola will not appear on the aseptised part.

As regards the Bordtt-Wassermann reaction Sedillot says:

“Negative sero-reaction means; Either the treponema has disappeared and is impossible to find out, or the treponema in the state of slow vitality, has not made any recent association with other microbes, but is susceptible of a dangerous reawakening and the means of defense of the organism are completely at rest.”

“The positive sero-reaction means on the contrary that the organism is still under the influence of treponema associated with microbes and that there is leucocyte defense of the organism.”

You understand the possibility of reactivation by Mercury or Arsenic. Then there will arrive a period of silence when the subject goes very well and it is at that time the treatment is necessary but on condition that he should not be made prematurely old favourising the process of sclerosis which will become fatal in course of his life.

Mauritius Fortier-Bernoville
Mauritius (Maurice) Fortier Bernoville 1896 – 1939 MD was a French orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Chief editor of L’Homeopathie Moderne (founded in 1932; ceased publication in 1940), one of the founders of the Laboratoire Homeopathiques Modernes, and the founder of the Institut National Homeopathique Francais.

Bernoville was a major lecturer in homeopathy, and he was active in Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis, and a founder of the le Syndicat national des médecins homœopathes français in 1932, and a member of the French Society of Homeopathy, and the Society of Homeopathy in the Rhone.

Fortier-Bernoville wrote several books, including Une etude sur Phosphorus (1930), L'Homoeopathie en Medecine Infantile (1931), his best known Comment guerir par l'Homoeopathie (1929, 1937), and an interesting work on iridology, Introduction a l'etude de l'Iridologie (1932).

With Louis-Alcime Rousseau, he wrote several booklets, including Diseases of Respiratory and Digestive Systems of Children, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Rheumatism, treatment of hay fever (1929), The importance of chemistry and toxicology in the indications of Phosphorus (1931), and Homeopathic Medicine for Children (1931). He also wrote several short pamphlets, including What We Must Not Do in Homoeopathy, which discusses the logistics of drainage and how to avoid aggravations.

He was an opponent of Kentian homeopathy and a proponent of drainage and artificial phylectenular autotherapy as well.