“Amongst the lay public there is craze for the administration of drugs by the intravenous or intramuscular routes, and the idea seems to have gained ground among the medical men that drugs are only effective when given in this manner. Then again any drug advertised in a medical journal is considered to be useful if it is backed by testimonials. It does not seem to be realized that, in addition to a large number of useful and patent drugs in the market, there must be a host of others of doubtful value.”
“Every mail from Europe brings to the practitioners in this country a number of new drugs for which the chief evidence of efficacy depends upon their trial in a few cases of a particular disease treated mostly by individuals who are not trained investigators. The majority of these so-called remedies have a very short life, but during this period they often enjoy a rich harvest of patronage. They are, however, useless, and practitioners frequently try them on many of their patients without doing the least good.”
The above excerpt is taken from the presidential address delivered by Sir R. N. (then Major) Chopra, C. I. E., I. M. S., to the Medical and Veterinary Research Section of the Indian Science Congress at Lahore in 1926.
Bane or bliss this craze for injection is creeping into the practice of Homoeopathy bearing the denomination of “Homoeopathic injection.” To call any medicine homoeopathic, it must be a single medicine whose pathogenetic symptoms bear the closest similitude with the disease-symptoms under treatment, and must be employed quite by itself, not mixed or in alternation with any other medicinal substance.
In amplifying aphorism 285 of his Organon of Medicine Hahnemann says: “A fundamental principle of the homoeopathic physician (which distinguishes him from every physician of all older schools) is that he never employs for any patient a medicine whose effect on the healthy human has not previously been carefully proved and thus made known to him (Ref. to Aphor. 20, 21). To prescribe for the sick on mere conjecture of some possible usefulness for some similar disease or from hearsay that a remedy has helped in such and such a disease – such conscienceless venture the philanthropic homoeopathist will leave to the allopath.”
In homoeopathic practice it is therefore imperative that the physician uses only such a medicine whose pathogenetic symptoms bears the greatest similitude to the natural disease symptom under treatment and is administered in the smallest possible dose, orally or by olfaction in the case of a highly sensitive patient. In this work the knowledge of physiology and pathology is indispensable for the physician which enables him to distinguish the natural course of the disease, to be on his guard and to pronounce a probable prognosis; but this knowledge is not the sine qua non of homoeopathic practice.
To a true homoeopathist a disease consists of solely the sufferings of the patient, the sensible alterations in his health, i.e., the totality of the subjective and objective symptoms; any other cause supposed to be hidden in the interior of the patient – an internal invisible cause of the disease, any other mystic material imagined to produce disease, is only fantasy (Aph.70.).
And, since the provings of our school of medicine had been conducted only by oral administration of potentized medicines, and since a collection of real, pure, reliable and authenticated symptoms have been ascertained to belong to each simple medicinal substance only after its complete proving constitute the true Homoeopathic Materia Medica, it is only logical that we administer our medicines in potencies – high or low – through only the oral route. The method of injection was not unknown in the days of Hahnemann. For we find the following remarks in his Introduction to Organon (p. 44, 6th ed.):
“Life was endangered by injecting a little pure water into a vein. (Vide Mullen, quoted by birch in the History of the Royal Society).”
“Atmospheric air injected into the blood-vessels caused death. (Vide J. M. Voigt, Magazin fur den neuesten Zustand der Naturkunde, i, iii, p.25).”
“Even the mildest fluids introduced into the veins endangered life (vide Autenreith, Physiologie, ii, s. 784).”
Of course, it may be argued that the technique and instruments have since been greatly improved; yet reports of casualties from injections are not very uncommon even these days.
Be that as t may, if we take fancy to subcutaneous, intramuscular or intravenous injections, these methods must be thoroughly tested in relation to the homoeopathic provings of potentized medicines in Homoeopathic provings of potentized medicines in Homoeopathic hospitals under competent medical observation, and records of the artificial morbid conditions produced in the healthy human body be carefully and honestly recorded which may then become valuable additions to the existing symptomatology of our Materia Medica and be an unerring guide to practitioners.
Doesnt Hahnemann say that the Homoeopathic Materia Medica is a sacred trust to all practitioners of Homoeopathy and should be kept uncontaminated by excluding everything that is conjectural, all that is mere assertion or imaginary?
In the allopathic system of medicine the method of applying drugs by way of injections did not emerge through somebodys vagary. The idea of rapid action expected from alkaloids led to the investigations in the realm of alkaloidal chemistry. 55 years ago in the Calcutta Medical College Hospitals only two alkaloids viz: Morphia and Strychnine were commonly used by hypodermic injection, one a hypnotic and the other a stimulant; Ether as stimulant was then occasionally used.
Of such drugs that are unsuitable to the stomach either for causing emesis like Ipecac and Antimony products, necessitated research for alkaloids leading to the discovery of emetin and the method of intravenous injections of antimony salts. Under aphorism 273 of his Organon Hahnemann remarks : Those extracts obtained by means of acids of the so-called alkaloids of plants, are exposed to great variety in their preparations (for instance, chinin, strychnine, morphine), and can therefore not be accepted by the homoeopathic physician as simple medicines, always the same, especially as he possesses in the plants themselves, in their natural state (Peruvian bark, Nux Vomica, Opium) every quality for healing.
Moreover, the alkaloids are not the only constituents of the plants.” This last sentence should be noted by all with the greatest advertence. The allopathic physicians greatest contemplation is to palliate a single trouble, while the homoeopathic physicians greatest and only concern is the whole individual patient, the totality of his symptoms. Now-a-days, injections are getting overabused. Drugs which can easily be administered by mouth are used hypodermically and intravenously, e.g. Vitamins. Naturally we get vitamins through food, i.e. through mouth, the stomach doing the rest of the work and the system thus acquires the required supply of vitamins for its maintenance.
Before inoculation was known in Europe, it was vogue in China, India and Turkey against small pox Lady Mary Montague, wife of the British Ambassador in Turkey, introduced it in England by Edward Jenner in 1796. We have, amongst our nosodes, variolinum which is used by us in potencies per oral, not only as prophylactic but also to cure a host of symptoms quite successfully on the principle o similitude. There is class of physicians who declare that vaccine therapy simulate Homoeopathy therapy. But these two are poles asunder.
Pasteur, perceiving that Jenners milder cow-pox prevented the appearance of severer small-pox, conceived the prophylactic treatment of infectious diseases by milder vaccinations with the virus exciting a given infection. To prove his conception, Pasteur took a number of sheep, vaccinated some of these sheep with a milder prophylactic dose of anthrax virus; he then injected into all the sheep anthrax in large dosage sufficient to excite anthrax; all those sheep he had vaccinated previously with milder prophylactic anthrax virus lived without anthrax, and those not vaccinated prophylactically died with anthrax .
The honest Pasteur die not label his theory as Homoeopathy. He was a scientific experimenter, hence he did not keep his method of preparation clandestine, neither did he give his preparations inscrutable names for keeping them mystical for all time.
He was honest enough to place all his cards before the profession. Anthraxinum, Vaccininum, Variolinum, etc., have been adopted in Homoeopathy in attenuated and potentized forms, but while the old school practitioners employ Jenners and Pasteurs discoveries mainly for prophylactic purposes, our Materia Medical of Nosodes (H. C. Allen) records a great multitude of pathogenetic symptoms separately under each individual nosode after having subjected these to strict homoeopathic experimentation, to wit, homoeopathic experimentation, to wit homoeopathic proving. These nosodes have now become very useful weapons in the armamentarium of the Homoeopathic doctor, and mark-they are all administered per oral.
Biological products, when first adopted in medical practice, were given through mouth. They did not yield the expected results, and it did not take long to discover that our stomach readily digests these before they can act otherwise. The first biological product was Adrenalin, introduced in 1898, and it is now used almost exclusively by injections. Monoglandular products were similarly used first by mouth, their failure brought into use polyglandular therapy by mouth, and these are again replaced now by monoglands administered by injections.
What an ever-changing kaleidoscope! Thus, speculations and experimentation are eternally going on in the old school because it is not based upon truth, it h as no law to guide and control, while Hahnemanns system has for its anchor and compass the eternal and indubitable law of nature-Similia Similibus Curantre.
Intravenous injection was started first with transfusion of blood. Saline transfusion was introduced by Col. Rogers about the year 1904 in Cholera. Other medicines through veins came into practice later. The necessity for intravenous use of some medicines was felt when their intramuscular or intradermal use was found irritating and often unsafe. If we call a medication Homoeopathic it must answer Aphorism No. 2 of the Organon.
Some people are prone to lay stress on the patients faith in treatment, but we assert that in Homoeopathy there is no question of “faith-cure.” It is solidly based upon positive facts. It stands with its own luminous glory upon facts elemental, as also upon mental and physical morbidity of all living beings. The artificial morbid symptoms of the provers were not due to any faith-either irrational or hypnotic.
Where the lunatic is cured by Homoeopathic treatment, does any question of faith arise? In pediatry, nobody counts upon the faith of the child-patient. In veterinary practice of Homoeopathy the Vet does not invoke any faith in the animal for his tiny globules to act and cure. Thus, the class of critics that the cure effected by homoeopathy depends upon the faith of the giver and the taker, is futile.
Another sect of practitioners seem to be over head and ears in love with Isopathy, and they claim this mode of therapy as a modified form of Homoeopathy. Isopathy is a so-called theory of cure by identical and idem, while Homoeopathy is a mode of cure with a single drug dynamis whose pathogenetic symptoms are found to be the most similar to the totality of symptoms of the natural disease under treatment and in the smallest possible dose. Full details of Hahnemanns instructions in this regard is to be found in his Organon of Medicine.
Unlike Vaccine therapy or Isopathy, the Homoeopathic system of treatment does not claim to attack micro-organisms directly and kill them. Homoeopathy goes much beyond that sphere, it alters the morbid condition of the individual sick and restores his health, so that no bacteria can grow, thrive, multiply and ultimately destroy the host; it also increases the resisting power of the vital force against infection; it sterilizes the living body so as to say.
It is a mighty fight of Force against Force, energy, on the principles of Similia, the homoeopathic physician possessing powerful instruments by way of potentized drugs whose strength and energy he can increase or decrease as needs be to meet the morbid force and vanquish it. Nothing material on either side comes for the consideration of the homoeopathist.
Material morbid substances, e.g., pus, ulcers, boils, skin lesions, morphological changes (unless resulting from palpable external injuries), irritations, inflammations and innumerable other external morbid conditions are only the results of the invisible disease-force manifesting itself in those visible and sensible forms which are fully sufficient to enable the physician to cure in-an arrangement by which the Lord of life in His infinite kindness reveals to our sense what is to be removed for the restoration of health.
After all these years the advocates of tuberculins fight shy to apply it broadly in positive tuberculous cases, for the safety of its application is yet doubtful. Potentized tuberculin is much widely employed by the homoeopathist in various diseases, guided by its pathogenetic symptoms, and they employ it per oral.
In 1885 Koch declared his treatment of rabies, but the causative organism has not yet been isolated. Pasteur discovered that by drying the spinal cords of rabid animals for varying periods of time he could prepare a series of viruses of different strength. In 1903, Negri reported the constant finding of definite microscopical bodies in certain brain cells of animals dying from rabies. In Homoeopathy, Lyssin (Hydrophobin) in potencies per oral yields most encouraging results.
When a tiny little globule of a potentized Homoeopathic medicine is dissolved in a tumbler ful of water and the solution is taken in teaspoonful doses, or only such a globule is put dry on the tongue, or such a globule is dissolved in a dram of alcohol and the patient only inhales from the phial once through each nostril, no medicinal substance is detectable through the most powerful microscope or by chemical analysis; hence it cannot be conceived to have got into the gut of the patient and absorbed from there, or to have at once got into the gut of the patient and absorbed from there, or to have at once got into the blood- circulation and fight the micro-organism playing in the blood stream.
Homoeopathic medicinal dynamis instantly touches the lingual or olfactory nerve, strikes upon the sensory system and drives to the seat of the disease a similar yet stronger artificial disease-force, thus dislodging the natural disease- force that has manifested all the visible morbid derangements. Here is the fundamental difference between the Hahnemannian method and the injectional method of administering medicine.
Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar, M.D., C.I.E. recommended and personally employed mustard plaster, internal administration of chloroform and hypodermic use of morphia solely for the palliation of that vexatious symptom of hiccough which sometimes appears in cholera patients and obstinately refuse submit to the carefully selected homoeopathic medicine. He cited these measures only as palliatives, and in the whole of his valuable literature not in a single instances he advised to employ Homoeopathic potencies by injections.
Under aph. 67 of his Organon Hahnemann permits palliation in emergent cases only. He remarks: “And yet the new sect that mixes the two systems appeals (though in vain) to this observation, in order that they may have an excuse for encountering everywhere such exception to the general rule in diseases, and to justify their convenient employment of allopathic palliatives and of other injurious allopathic trash besides, solely for the sake of sparing themselves the trouble of seeking for the suitable homoeopathic remedy for each case of disease- and thus conveniently appear as homoeopathic physicians without being such. But their performances are on a par with the system they pursue; they are corrupting.”
I, for one, do not bear any particular hostility against injections. But when it comes to be styled as homoeopathic injection (this very name being self-contradictory) and when it is sought to be applied not only in the most urgent cases threatening imminent death, but is propagated for general application in all conditions of sickness, I should, before I adopt it, ask for its thorough proving under a group of competent physicians in a hospital on healthy human beings and the results be made known to the public, without withholding the name and the method of preparation. Hahnemann and his co-provers, the immortal Herring and all the American and British provers did not keep the names and method of preparations of any of their proven medicines in eternal oblivion. That would be tantamount to fostering patent medicines.