CASE OF S. H. WASHBURN, M. D., WITH COMMENT BY B. FINCKE, M. D.
The following is a copy of a letter written August 5, 1889, and tells its own tale:.
“About two years ago my right testicle commenced to get hard and enlarge. I did not pay much attention to it for some time, but it still grew larger, and I went to a doctor here. He has been treating me for over a year without giving me any relief. The testicle continues enlarge, and at present is about ten inches around and seven inches long; hard as a rock. I have worked until the last two weeks.
There is not much soreness, but some pain in my groin, and it seems as though the testicle weighed ten pounds. My health otherwise is good. There is some inflammation, but not much. I had two doctors examine me the other day, and they thought the best thing to do was to take it out. Now as that is a pretty severe operation I thought I would write to you to know what you thought about it, for I can put more trust in you than in doctors here. Pleas answer soon and give me your opinion-if you think I can be cured without an operation-as I must have something done”.
The patient, a soldier of the late war, was about fifty years of age. Sanguine temperament, black hair, blue eyes, and a tendency to spells of despondency. Patient had contracted gonorrhoea in the army, and was treated there for a while, but it returned as chronic gonorrhoea or gleet, for which I treated him with Balsam Copaivae, one drachm to nine drachms of alcohol, dose, ten drops three times a day. But he was always inclined to have a little discharge.
Six years after, while living in St. Louis, he wrote to me that he was troubled with chancre. I sent him Natrum sulph. 6th, then gave him Kali mur., but did not treat him locally. He reported some improvement, but being some ways from me, I did not pay much attention to him. He might have been treated by some one after that.
Then I heard no more of him till he wrote for advise this last time. I had given him gold before, as he was subject to spells of melancholy with a suicidal tendency, and a few powders always relieved him.
As mentioned in his letter, the tumor was treated for one year by one physician, during which time he has taken a good deal (as he expressed it) of “nasty medicine.” also some local applications were made and the tumor grew larger.
“I gave him no opinion in my letter,” Dr. Washburn continues, “but sent six powders of Aurum foliatum, 3d cent. trit., to be taken one at night and one in the morning”.
“About is week after be had commenced taking the powders I met him. He said four days after he had taken the powders the testicle began to soften in spots. On closer inquiry I found he had taken a great deal of bad medicine; health was not good, felt very weary at times and despondent. Gave him eight or ten powders of Aurum foliatum 4th cent. The tumor continued to soften and grow less”.
September 18, 1889, patient writes: “Am feeling well and happy. Swelling has almost disappeared. it gradually decreased until it is almost down to the natural size, and you don’t know how glad I feel. I am truly thankful for the good you have done for me”.
In February, 1890, patient reported the swelling all gone and being in splendid health.
COMMENT BY B. FINCKE.
The foregoing case of chronic enlargement and induration of the testicle presents one of the largest tumors on record, and its cure by internal medicine is one of the miracles of the nineteenth century, which no science except homoeopathics can explain. The only explanation possible can be given by our own science of homoeopathics on the Hahnemannian hypothesis which has been dilated upon extensively by the writer in his commentaries on the Organon, published in the Journal of Homoeopathics in the year 1889.
Here we have to deal with a fact the most certain. The tumor was so large dimensions-the circumference of ten, the diameter of over three, and the length of seven inches. The case nearest approaching to it was one of Dr. Kirsch, published in the Allg. Hom. Zeitung, vol. 40. p. 346, where a man 35 years old had suffered from a swelling of the testicle of the thickness of 1 1/2 fist, hard as sarcocele, for nine months, for which everything had been done without avail.
Patient took Aurum fol. 200 and 300, and likewise Spongia, at intervals of four weeks, with visible success. Four weeks after the lastly given ten doses of Aurum fol. 30, one each tenth day, the swelling had disappeared after four doses, but began to slow itself again after one year. He now received Aurum fol. 30, one dose every ninth day, when the patient during his work, under the sensation as if a fine knife went through it, got rid of his tumor and disease. Four years it had not returned.
Another case cured with Aurum, dose not given, was that of Dr. Gastier, Allg. Hom. Zeit., vol. 18, p. 89. After several gonorrhoea infections a shoemaker suffered for fourteen years from considerable swelling and induration of the left testicle, more troublesome lately on account of its weight and some pain; sad, discouraged. Was treated for two months, lastly with Mezereum and Arnica without success. After Aurum fol. the sound right testicle swelled as much as the diseased left one with much sensibility. After a few weeks both returned to their natural size.
Rhododendron has also been used with curative effect in these chronic affections of the testicle. A man sixty-four years old had, for the last ten months, a considerable enlargement of the testicle, painful in walking and making it difficult. Dr. Schreter gave Rhod. 30 in solution, six doses. For one month no change could be perceived, then the organ diminished to its normal size after three months.
The writer, in the beginning of his career, forty years ago, cured a young printer, about twenty-five years old, affected with secondary and tertiary syphilis and gonorrhoea, not only of these affections by various remedies in middle and high potencies, but besides of an enlarged and indurated testicle of considerable size by Aurum met. 1100, one dose. On the eighth day a remarkable pathopoetic symptom occurred, viz.: waking up in the night with cutting in the bowels, followed by vomiting of butter- like masses, and then water. Patient testified twenty years afterward, that he was cured perfectly. He then had six living, healthy children.
From these cases it appears that gold in various potencies from the third centesimal trituration up to the 1100th cent. potency proved curative in such severe affections as enlargement and induration of the testicles. Such cases are owing to previous venereal infection producing gonorrhoea. This generally considered trifling affection frequently is followed by frightful degenerations in the organism and furnishes more victims to a short sensual pleasure, than many physicians even imagine.
One of the most loathsome sequelae to gonorrhoea if it had been maltreated in the common fashion by local application, is the enlargement and induration of the testicle. If the young man, inexperienced as he is, would know of such a probability following his trespass in his later years, he might think twice before giving way to the imperative promptings of his animal nature.
But what can we say when even physicians advise a young man to help his sexual passion-which he seems too weak or unwilling to conquer by mental and physical work and exercise and proper living-by impure coition. They commit and crime in a double sense by destroying the innocence of the young man and his victim, and by conniving at the bad practices of his victim if no longer innocent.
The case of Dr. Washburn excels all the others in the promptness with which the medicine acted upon such an enormous tumor of ten by seven inches, hard as rock and growing for two years. Patient had taken six powders of the third trituration of Aurum fol., night and morning; they, therefore, lasted three days. The fourth day already the tumor commenced to soften in spots. It is not stated whether the eight or ten powders of the fourth trituration were also taken, one each night and morning successively, but it is to be supposed.
He then had taken medicine only for the first twelve days. After six weeks the tumor has almost disappeared and was all gone within six months from the beginning of the homoeopathic treatment. It is to be remarked, that after six weeks no more inconvenience was felt. Well may the patient exclaim: “I am truly thankful for the good you have done for me,” and good Dr. Washburn must have felt as grateful as surprised at the success of a cure of which Hahnemann himself might have been proud.
Aurum was recommended by Hahnemann for old induration of testicles. In his provings the symptom of Hermann: Swelling of the right testicle with pressing pain only on touching and rubbing which for several evenings began at 6 P.M. and ceased after 11 P.M. (after 5 days) is in point. The melancholic state of the mind and the tendency to suicide is also characteristic for Aurum. It was, therefore, the correct remedy and homoeopathic to the case. The success proves that it must also have been homoeopathic in regard to the dose.
The doctor had, at the time of prescribing, no higher potency to give and hence gave what he had, triturated according to Hahnemann’s rule by himself. It could seem, when comparing the cases cured with the 3d and 4th trituration, the 30th, 200th, 300th and 1100th centesimal potencies, that it seemed immaterial which potency was given. But Dr. kirsch had given the 200 and 300 with four weeks interval with visible success. Then he changed for Aurum 30 in shorter intervals, and the swelling disappeared after four doses. But it returned after a year and disappeared again after Aurum 30 in doses repeated every nine days.
No time of recovery is given in the writer’s case, but the few pellets of Aurum 1100 certainly removed the tumor, and this was owing to an effect of a high potency. The effects of the 30, which must be classed as a high potency, because physical science can not detect in it the least material thing-aside from the vehicle carrying it-of the 200, 300 and 1100, shows conclusively that, if the 3d and 4th trituration was as efficacious as the course of the disease proved to be, the curative agency could not have been material which we, from its physical appearance, call gold, but the medicinal force carried by this matter, called gold.
This medicinal force resides in it, unconnected with what the physicist and chemist calls the physical and chemical properties of matter, and is some force sui generis with which the Creator, in his bounty, has endowed all kinds of matter for the benefit of his human children. Matter being inert, by nature, serves as a vehicle as well for the physical and chemical, as for the medicinal forces which Hahnemann was the first to discover and develop by potentiation.
This medicinal force inherent in matter belongs to a higher form of life than the physical and chemical properties which represent the inorganic life force, while the medicinal force represents the organic life force and hence is similar to the life force which, according to aphorism 8 Organon rules the organism during life.
Hahnemann himself, after showing how the older physicians, especially the Arabians, had applied gold powder with success which they obtained by trituration under water on rough linen, or dry on a rubbing stone, tried his first trituration with milk sugar in watery solution, and found it sufficient for producing strongly marked symptoms, but later he recommends the thirtieth cent, potency as sufficient for medical purposes.
Therefore, in our case, it had been the pathopoetic force in the administered triturations of gold, which developed from the crude substance by potentiation turned the disease into its contrary, health, on homoeopathic principles.
Dr. Buchmann made a highly interesting experiment in this regard which confirms this view. He took.
September 29, 1880, fifteen ten-mark gold pieces, cleaned them with soap and water from all impurities. He then submitted them to a careful rinsing with distilled water and dried them under avoidance of all friction. The gold pieces were washed several times in a glass with distilled water, and at last fifty grains of distilled water were poured over them in a glass.
The glass was gently swung to and fro, so that the coins could not leave their relative position, and this was repeated fifteen minutes later. From this gold water Dr. Buchmann took about a teaspoonful in the mouth, and swallowed it, after a few seconds. The taste of the water was astringent, sourish bitter, and combined with a contractive sensation on the whole tongue. During the time following he observed the following symptoms: The water was taken:.
10 A.M. After 10 minutes burning at soft palate.
After 20 minutes confusion of head. Pressing on both parietal bones. Nausea.
After 25 minutes: Burning at lower side of nasal cavity as in coryza.
After 30 minutes: Drawing pain through left side of lower jaw.
Toward 11 A.M.: Drawing pain in left tibia. Aching in region of heart. Drawing in lower radius, first left then right.
Afternoon: Sensation as after a blow to lower part of left tibia.
Pressing upon left instep as if boot were too tight and foot swollen (the ankle joint sprained several years ago). Right eye lachrymating from noon to night (right eye lachrymating for some time in 1879, from paralysis of right facial nerve).
After Dr. Buchmann had taken of the gold water, his most sensitive prover, a lady fifty years of age and healthy, took unsuspiciously a large swallow, more than a tablespoonful, which, on accounts of her exceeding sensitiveness to the action of metals experienced on former occasions, she afterward regretted very much.
For, immediately after taking the gold water, a proving commenced, and brought out fifty well marked symptoms within two days and a half, which not only verified the Hahnemannian symptoms, but gave new ones, and many with characteristic distinctness. As the end the prover was so disgusted that she did not want to drink any more of the precious water. As this proving has probably never been published in English, as far as I know, it may be acceptable to insert it here.
Mrs. F. B.-, fifty years, in good health, suffers only from a hemorrhoidal knot and inclines to constipation.
Took a large swallow of Dr. Buchmann’s symptoms are placed on the opposite side.
September 29, 1880. Hahnemann’s symptoms are placed on the opposite side.
10 a.m., immediately: Hahnemann’s symptoms.
1. Taste sourish, bitter, astringent, burning similar to arsenic.
Sometimes a sourish taste on tongue (after two and a half hours). Bitter taste in mouth with dryness (after. eight hours).
2. Burning and sore sensation in throat.
Stinging sore pain in throat only on swallowing.
3. After two minutes: Retching and vomiting of slime and bile, twice repeated till noon.
Retching with pressure in abdomen. Vomiting of butter like masses and water (Fincke)
4. After fifteen minutes: Cold sensation in lower legs with cramp like pain in calves.
Coldness of legs up to knees in bed, can not get warm.
5. Tremulous sensation right above stomach pit.
Heart seems to tremble in walking like loose.
6. Faintness with great weakness.
Sensation of inner vacuity and weakness in whole body. Very tired on. awaking, morning, Great weakness,. afternoon, suddenly on sitting and reading.
7. Heaviness in head.
Confusion of head after rising with heaviness in occiput.
8. Great appetite for coffee;
Great longing for coffee eats a roasted coffee bean to allay it.
9. Sudden, violent aching in stomach pit.
Aching in stomach region. Stomach aching as of hunger.
10. Shortly after, a strong below, as with a hammer, below left mama, repeated after a few seconds.
At times a single very strong beat of the heart.
11. At 11:30 A.M.: Swollen, red cheeks, left more, burning, hot to touch.
Swollen shining face as of sweat with protruding eyes. Swelling of both cheeks Swelling of one cheek.
12. Sensation of foreign body in oesophagus.
A painful impediment in the oesophagus on swallowing.
13. After dinner irresistible sleep for half an hour.
Invincible sleep after dinner.
14. After awaking, vomiting of some food.
15. Accumulation of sweet tasting water in mouth.
Accumulation of pleasant tasting saliva saliva in mouth.
16. Curative symptom: The hemorrhoidal knot is quite shrunk and pains in anus never returned since.
The margin of anus painfully swollen, sharp stitches in anus and rectum.
17. Drawing together pain at inner thigh; that knee can not be extended properly.
Painful stiffness and lameness of knees.
18. Blow as with a hammer below l. mamma repeated several times in longer intervals.
19. Stinging pain on tongue.
Excoriation of tongue. Swelling of nose in room after being open air.
20. Swollen sensation in nose in as of coryza.
Swelling and redness at and under r. nostril.
21. Sensation of swelling at upper lip, not to be drawn over teeth.
22. Pain in masticatory muscles as of a thrust or blow from afternoon to night.
Parotid painful on touch like pressed or bruised.
23. Copious, watery evacuation, with griping about navel till night. Unusual copious stool in evening. Colic, griping and cutting in abdomen, then diarrhoea and after that distended abdomen.
24. Cold feeling in whole body, especially back, from 5-6 P.M.
Coldness in whole body without fever, morning.
25. Restlessness and anxiety, with depression in evening; must go to cemetery, though much affected, about dark.
Restlessness and hasty urging to bodily and mental activity.
26. Scintillation before lower half of the field of vision, as if she must look above something.
Halfsidedness of vision, or as if the upper half of eye were covered with a black body, so that she could only see with lower half, and the upper remains. invisible.
27. Loss of appetite for supper.
Appetite for nothing.
28. Awaking at 2 A.M. with dryness of tongue and impossibility to close mouth because of complete stoppage of nose.
Sensation of stoppage of nose as of dry coryza with passage of air free.
29. Constrictive sensation in the region of garter.
Pain below knees as if ligated tightly in sitting and walking.
30. Cramp, pain in calves and toes, as if toes were drawn under in bed.
Curative symptom: rapid cure of tonic spasm in fingers and toes by laying on a gold watch. Dr. Horbach.
31. Sept. 30, after rising: OEdematous swelling of lighter colored skin over zygomatic bones.
Swelling of both cheeks, morning.
32. Vomiting of coffee immediately after drinking it.
33. Watery diarrhoea with griping in intestines eight times till noon.
34. Heat, redness and swelling of both cheeks toward noon.
35. Difficulty of extending knees.
36. Vomiting of meat soup after dinner.
37. Constrictive sensation below knees with spasmodic bending of toes.
See 29, 30.
38. Watery evacuation four times from noon to night.
See 23, 33.
39. Sudden attack of anxiety by oppression in stomach pit with eruption of sweat.
Dyspnoea with anxiety.
40. Immediately after the last symptom: pain in upper abdomen more to right, with much distention of colon transversum, dyspnoea and stinging under left mamma in heart.
Swelling in whole upper abdomen with stinging pain on pressure. Oppression of chest with dumb stitches in it.
41. Several times vomiting of bitter mucus with after taste of gold water accompanied by cold sensation on chest, abdomen and back with cessation of oppression.
See 3, 14, 24, 22, 36.
42. Accumulation of water in mouth till night.
43. Painful distention in intestines with frequent ructations of air.
44. Bitter sweet taste till 11 P.M.
45. Frequent awaking in night by spasmodic pressure in stomach region, eructations of air, oppression and spasmodic pain in calves.
46. October 1. Twice in morning after rising watery diarrhoea, the first time with nausea, both times with slight griping in abdomen.
Every morning light stool, with some griping.
47. Frequent eructations of air.
48. Vomiting of meat soup for dinner, in afternoon.
49. Pains in intestines in bed by distention of air. See 43.
50. Sensation of icy coldness of whole body with common warmth of body. See 24.
Sec: Mikroscopische und anderweitige Beobachtungen, etc. Gekroente Preisschrift Leipzig. Baumgartner 1881, pp. 92.
Buchmann communicated this experiment in order to prove the solubility of the gold, even in the mere bringing this indifferent metal in contact with distilled water for a short time. He desired to add to his investigations on the solubility of metals and hard substances by the microscope this physiological experiment, resting upon the supposition of the infinite divisibility of matter.
The writer, escaping an error which he held with many others some thirty years ago, has in some other place shown the incorrectness and untenableness of this idea and in the refutation of this theory shares the opinion of the greatest chemists and philosophers. The fault in Buchmann’s reasoning upon his experiment is a twofold one, viz.: the infinite divisibility, being a mere hypothesis, can not be proved by experiment and a physical question can not be solved by a physiological experiment.
The physiological experiment is a symptom of the working of the organic life-force, while the physical question relates to the inorganic life-force residing in matter uttering itself in physical and chemical properties and being amenable o physical and chemical treatment, but not to that life-force, the medicinal force of which is similar to the organic life-force of man, in being able to turn the organism into opposite states. Here is, therefore, a fallacious disjunction of the concepts of physics and physiology.
It must, of course, not be disregarded that the physico-chemical school throws life out of physiology altogether and puts in its place the physical and chemical properties of matter, a reprehensible confusion of idea to be emphatically rejected as illogical and unphilosophical. For physiology is the science of organic but not of inorganic life, the latter of which it taught in the books on Physics and Chemistry.
Furthermore, the infinite divisibility of matter loses all ground when we observe the action of the high and highest potencies.
The objection of the materialists who put their action into the infinite division of the matter originally employed, under the names of molecules and atoms, which if they could be compared at all, are far too large quantities to be compared with high potencies, is a mere prevarication, for they can not fortify their position by proof and experiment, and defer it ad graces calendas “if it last a thousand years,” as one defender of the materialistic faith, though he himself applies and makes high potencies, told us in a public discussion in the Homoeopathic Union.
But we can prove the correctness of our position in every new case of proving or cure with a homoeopathic high potency either in the first case by producing the symptoms peculiar to the remedy, or in the second by the restoration of health.
After all this we arrive at the conclusion that, what in our case of Dr. Washburn acted, was not the physical and chemical property of the metal gold, but its immaterial medicinal force which in that third cent, trituration was just proportioned to the disease or to the force with which the pathogenetic potency acted upon the human life force.
That this action is mediated by the nerve system needs not any further asservation, for no data are extant, that a millionth part of a grain of gold in a little milk-sugar, or an indefinite quantity of gold after bringing it in contact with water for a short time, should dissolve and enter the system by the absorbents, or by the blood, or by some other inferior organs or by osmosis or by mere contact, and in this manner produce the wonderful action we are talking about.
The supposition of the solubility of gold in water is flatly denied by chemical science, which is authoritative in this respect. But the translation or transference of the medicinal forces with which all matter, being inert by the uniform testimony of dynamic science, is endowed, upon other matter by means of potentiation through inert vehicles, is a scientific explanation in accordance with experience which is the only valid proof of the soundness of a theory.
The question is entirely of philosophical nature. The fallacy, as above said, is in the mixing up physiology with physics and rendering it subordinate to it, and in this way subservient to the materialistic tendency of the age in which we live.
The gold leaf triturations, used in our case, the gold water used for the provings in Dr. Buchmann’s experiment, the gold leaf in Hahnemann’s provings and the potencies used in the other case for cure were all derived from gold alloyed with copper. But in the writer’s case the gold potency was made from chemically pure gold prepared in the mint of Frankfort on the Maine. The alloy evidently made no difference and the effects were owing exclusively to the gold in it. For Copper has no pathopoetic action upon the testicles as our provings show.
Can the physico-chemical school show anything like the cure of Dr. Washburn of chronic enlargement and induration of the testicle as described above? No, the only reliance this school has in such severe cases is local application and surgery. It is utterly incapable of dealing with them by internal medication and gives the lie to the famous dictum of the great surgeon of Vienna, Dr. Billroth, when he says:.
“Medicine must become more and more surgical”.
The biologico-dynamical doctrine of Hahnemann consists in this:.
Life-force runs, through all the substances inorganic and organic, forming a continuous series of degrees and it constitutes their real existence.
Hence inorganic substances contain life-force and owe their existence to it as well as organic bodies.
The life-force of organic bodies is a higher degree of life-force than that possessed by inorganic bodies which is two- fold: the inorganic life-force relating to the physical and chemical properties of matter, and the organic life-force relating to the medicinal property of matter, of acting upon the life-force of man by conversion of its state into its opposite.
The medicinal life-force of matter is employed in sickness by administering a remedy which is capable of producing similar symptoms to those to be cured.
This medicinal force to be curative must be graduated to the state of the human life-force, in order to avoid unnecessary aggravations or production of new symptoms by the medicine.
This graduation of the medicinal force is attained by the process of potentiation of the medicinal substances by imparting their force to insert vehicles in certain proportions.
These preparations called high potencies contain of the original substances employed nothing but the inorganic life-force and are thus assimilable by the organic life-force of man.
These high potencies act upon man by turning the state of his life-force into its opposite, viz., health into disease, and disease into health, provided in the latter case that the law Similia Similibus and in both cases the homoeopathicity to the life-force is satisfied.
Dr. CLAUSEN: I think that this philosophy is too little appreciated by many of us, and I move a vote of thanks be extended to Dr. Fincke for his interesting and valuable paper.
The motion was seconded and carried.
Dr. BELL: When Grauvogl appeared, Hering said, “Endlich ein Denker” (At last a thinker”). We, too, have now a thinker among us, and I want to show that we appreciate him. We will find a great deal of food for thought in that paper. I have never known a member of the I. H. A. to make the recommendation that a young man should gratify his passions illicitly, and I never want to. Hence, I was particularly pleased to hear Dr. Fincke speak as he did. It not infrequently happens to me, as probably to all of us, to have a patient who has had this advice given him, and I want to say right here that the physician who gives such advice is neither a knave nor a fool, but is both.
Dr. W. H. Rose, of Westerly, R. I., kindly extended an invitation to the Association, in behalf of the citizens of Westerly, to take an excursion to Westerly by boat and view the quarries, and afterwards take a sail.
The secretary was instructed to notify Dr. Rose of the decision of the society, and a vote of thanks was passed to Dr. Rose and the citizens of Westerly.