Dr. SACHI MOHAN CHOWDHURI, B.SC.
Ex-member of the Homoeopathic State Faculty of Bengal.
Poison has shown the real action of Drug but men have used the poisonous action of drug for killing himself or others from the ancient time. Ayurved (the ancient Indian medical science) says “Poison is the medicine for poison” but it has not demonstrated it clearly. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann was a great allopath and allopaths use a number of medicines mixed together to cure a disease. So it is not possible to know the action of single medicine. While translating cullens Materia Medica he found cinchona bark can cure malaria fever and cinchona bark can also produce a fever like malaria. He wished to observe the validity of this.
So he took cinchona bark in his healthy condition and he writes – “I took for several days Ziv of good bark twice a day. My fingers and others parts became cold and I felt tired and sleepy; then my heart began to beat and my pulse became hard and quick. I got a great uneasiness a trembling but without rigor, a weariness in all my limbs then beating in my head, redness of cheeks and thirst. In short, all the symptoms which I had seen in ague appeared one after another, yet without actual chill or rigor. The paroxysms lasted two or three hours and repeated themselves whenever I has a new dose but not otherwise” (Hahnemanns note to Translation of Cullens Materia Medica).
In this proving he observed the picture of disease produced by cinchona bark and also the disease produced by cinchona is similar to malarial fever. So he wrote “In short all the symptoms which had seen in ague appeared one after another.” Finding a new conception of drug he began to prove many important drug on himself and others and was treating patients with these proved drugs whenever he observed the disease produced by the drug is similar to a natural disease.
Thus the proving is the most important factor in Homoeopathic treatment. Now let us quote a few proving of Arsenic alb from the cyclopaedia of Drug pathogensy.
A.W.W. took 2 grains 2x trit. Arsenic alb. Immediately there was persistent nausea followed by a pricking pain over the right eye, then neuralgic pains from the right shoulder to the fingers with numbness and burning in the pharynx. The nausea returned with cold sweat on the forehead after exercise. Afterwards sneezing came on with watery nose. He was very tired without cause.
Dull headache came on one hour after taking the drug with thirst, drinking caused nausea. The headache continued. Afterwards he urinated more freely than usual. For two hours he experienced sinking at the stomach, cold feet languor and sleepiness. He awoke with neuralgic pain in the left temple and he was restless and apprehensive. He felt sight dyspnoea when walking. Three hours after his pulse was 90* and temperature 99.15* His thirst increased.
(ii). A.H.W. took 5 grains 2x tint Arsenic alb. Soon he had slight burning in the stomach with eructation followed by perspiration after slight exercise, flatulency after eating and prinking pain in the right hip. One hour after he was called to stool without relief. There was dull aching in the left ulnar nerve, itching of the right knee and so after pricking and tingling in various parts with lachrymation and shooting pain in the occiput. Afterwards eructations and prickling in the skin which was very annoying, causing restlessness and headache. His pulse was raised four beats. Two hours after taking the drug he felt tired and sleepy, after three hours pulse 80* ; dull occiputal headache with confusion of mind and colicky pain in the abdomen.
(b) Acute poisoning.
(1). A man took nearly two ounces of Arsenic with suicidal intent. In one hour there was abundant vomiting with colic pains and repeated stools. Finding death tardy he filled his pockets with stones and threw himself into the Rhine. His face was then pale and altered – his weakness was extreme – and the coldness of the extremities and face was marked… pain in the abdomen and liquid stools continued. His mind was clear though he answered slowly and was absorbed in gloomy thought. (Forget Gazette der Hamplause 1853).
(II). An English nobleman took, for a local Skin affection 22 grain 1st trit Arsenic twice daily. After three weeks he complained dry tongue and thirst which was so great that it made him ill; this increased. He had chilly fits and got very pale. His face was white and pinched, his pulse weak and quick and at times irregular with extreme prostration.
(c) Chronic Poisoning.
(I). Pauline Phillipofe took, by mistake a large quantity of Arsenic. After an hour vomiting came on which lasted for 48 hrs. Four or five days after she has a feeling of coldness and numbness in the extremities. The cold then reached her forearms and legs and at the same time great weakness of the hands and feet came on. So that on the tenth day she could not work without help, and finally had to remain in bed; for six weeks she was unable to stand on feet.
(II). A large number of persons were poisoned at St. Denis by eating bread containing Arsenic. Dr. Feltz had eighty cases under his care. They presented similar symptoms. Vomiting occurred 1 to 4 hours after eating. Several had diarrhoea at the same time. There were burning pain in the throat, behind the sternum and in the epigastrium. The pulse varied between 99-110. Headache was severe with constriction in the temple. There was prostration and a sense of feebleness in the legs with severe pains in the loins. The urine was normal.
On the third day these symptoms abated and followed swelling of the eyelids and conjunctivitis. In some case the entire face was swollen and in some there was an eruption of urticaria. In two
women the eruption was scarlatinal form in character; one had herpes labialis. All who had no eruption suffered from irritation of skin and scratching caused a transient rash. In eight of this number there was visual trouble. One the fifth day there was great thirst with Pharyngitis and many had herpes labialis. These symptoms continued but grew less until the seventh day. At this time their appetite were still deficient and their throat red. The swelling of the face and other skin affections had abated but they all complained of muscular weakness and weight and burning in the epigastrium. By the tenth day all these symptoms had disappeared with the exception of anorexia and heat in the throat.
Now if we arrange the symptoms according to the method suggested by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in his Materia Medica pura we must write the Materia Medica as follows.
Cold sweat on the forehead after exercise, dull headache. Neuralgic pains in the left temple. Headache Occipital, with confusion of mind, headache was severe, with constriction in the temple. Shooting pain in the occipit, confusion of mind with occipital headache apprehensive.
A pricking pain over the right eye; tingling in various parts with lachrymation. His eyelids were swollen and puffy, there wee visual trouble. Swelling of eyelid and conjunctivitis sneezing came on with watery nose.
The entire face was swollen, face was pale and altered. Burning pain in the throat, behind the sternum and in the sternum and in the epigastrium pharyngitis, throat red, heat in the throat. Numbness and burning in the pharynx.
Tongue dry and thirst.
Vomiting lasted 48 hours. Abundant vomiting with colic pain and repeated stool. Persistent nausea, slight burning in the stomach with eructation: great thirst with pharyngitis. Anorexia, heat in the throat, appetite deficient; sinking at the stomach, flatulency after eating colicky pain in the abdomen. His pulse was 90 and temperature 99.15*. Pulse raised four beats. Pulse 80. His pulse weak and quick and at times irregular.
A feeling of coldness and numbness in the extremities. The cold them reached her forearm and legs, an eruption of urticaria the eruption was scarlatinal in – form in character, herpes labialis, irritation of the skin and scratching caused a transient rash; the coldness of the extremities and face; neuralgic pain from the right shoulder to fingers. Cold sweat on the forehead after exercise. Cold feet; perspiration after slight exercise itching of the right knee and soon after, pricking and tingling in the various parts pricking in the skin which was very annoying; he had chilly fits and got very pale, his face was white and pinched.
Great weakness of the hands and feet came on so that on the tenth day she could not walk without help and finally had to remain in bed. There was prostration and a sense of extreme feebleness in the legs with severe pain in the twins. Muscular weakness, his weakness was extreme: very tired without cause, languor, restlessness felt tired; extreme prostration. He urinated more freely than usual.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann has written The Materia Medica pura by arranging the symptoms from the proving and his followers also has accepted this in their materia Medica. These Materia Medicas do not show us any picture of disease. If the symptoms from the more prover are taken the Materia Medica of this drug will have more symptoms.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann enunciated the law of Homoeopathic treatment as follows ( & 26 organon) “A weaker dynamic affection is permanently extinguished in the living organism by a stronger one if the latter (whilst differing in kind) is very similar to the former in its manifestation.”
The law requires the similarity between the natural disease and the disease produced by the drug in proving.
Dr. Hahnemann wrote (in & 34 organon) “The greater strength of the artificial diseases produced by medicines is however not the sole cause of their power to cure natural diseases. In order that they may effect a cure it is before all things a requisite that they should be capable of producing in the human body an artificial disease as similar as possible to the disease to be cured, in order, by means of this similarity, conjoined with its somewhat greater strength, to substitute themselves for natural morbid affection and thereby deprive the latter of all influence upon the vital force.
Here Dr. Samuel Hahnemann explained the action of the drug. The drug produce a disease similar to the natural disease and it will be more powerful than the disease and thereby cures the natural disease.
So the aim should be to get a picture of an artificial disease produced by drug from the Materia Medica. The Materia Medica of Hahnemann and his followers frustrated this objects. Dr. J.T. Kent in his lesser writings wrote. “The student of our materia medica must study a proving until he feels the image of the totality of such feelings of all his provers as if he had proved the remedy and felt all the morbid feelings of provers.”
He clearly admitted that the materia medica does not give the proper image of the disease and so he had given much stress on the reading of the proving.
Now symptoms from the provings of the drug should be collected in such way that the image and the picture of the disease should remain in tact.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann wrote in Sec. 130 Organon. “If at the commencement first dose administered shall have been sufficiently strong, this advantage is gained, that the experimenter learns the order of succession of the symptoms and can note down accurately the period at which each occurs, which is very useful in leading to a knowledge of the genius of the medicine, for then the order order of the primary actions, as also that of the alternate actions is observed in the most unambiguous manner.
Here he has advised that the order of succession of the symptoms is essential for the proper knowledge of the drug. He has acknowledged the fact that the symptoms only cannot give the picture of the disease produced by the drug in the articles 131 and 132.
Now the symptoms of these provings and poisonings are taken in the order of succession.
Symptoms in the first place.
(a) (i) Persistent nausea. (ii) Slight burning pain the stomach with eructations.
(b) (i) Abundant vomiting with colicky pains and repeated stools (ii) dry tongue and thirst.
(c) (i) Vomiting came on which lasted 48 hours (ii) Vomiting occurred 1 to 4 hours after eating; several had diarrhoea at the same time. There were burning pain in the throat behind the sternum and in the epigastrium.
These symptoms are the symptoms of the various organs of the digesture apparatus. Physiologically the symptoms produced by Arsenic alb. in proving shows the derangement of the Nutritive function symptoms first.
Symptoms in the second place.
(a) (i) a pricking pain over the right eye, then neuralgic pain from the right shoulder to fingers with numbness.
(b) (i) His face was then pale and altered. (ii) he had chilly fits and got very pale; his face was white and pinched.
(c) (i) A feeling of coldness and numbness in the extremities. The cold then reached forearms and legs. (ii) Swelling of the eyelids and conjunctivitis. In some entire face was swollen and in some there was an eruption of urticaria. In two women, the eruption was scarlatinaform in character; one had herpes labials all who had no eruptions suffered from irritation of the skin and scratching caused a transient rash.
In eight of the number there were visual troubles.
All these symptoms are the symptoms of the various organs of the sensory and cutaneous apparatus i.e. physiologically the skin sensory function.
Symptoms in the third place.
(a) (i) Very tired without cause (ii) Dull acting pain in the left ulnar nerve.
(b) (i) His weakness was extreme (ii) Extreme prostration.
(c) (i) Great weakness of the hands and feet came on so that on the tenth day she could not walk without help and finally had to remain in bed, for six weeks she was unable to stand. (ii) Muscular weakness.
These symptoms are the symptoms of motor function.
Symptoms in the fourth place.
(a) (i) Sneezing came on with watery nose.
(b) (i) His pulse was weak and quick. These are the symptoms of respiratory and circulatory functions.
Symptoms in the fifth place.
(a) (i) Sleepy.
(b) (i) Absorbed in gloomy thoughts. These are the symptoms of the mental function.
Thus arsenic alb. is found to derange firstly nutritive function, secondly skin and sensory function; thirdly the motor function; fourthly the respiratory and circulatory function; fifthly the mental function.
The symptoms of thirty provings from cyclopaedia of drug pathogensy and constitutional Therapeutics were arranged according to the order of succession of symptoms and found that Arsenic all deranges nutritive – skin and sensory – motor – respiratory – mental – excretary functions one after another in a definite order.
Arsenic alb must be curative to those diseases which can derange the different functions in the order similar to the order of derangement of function by Arsenic alb. and the power of it must be superior to that of the disease. To illustrate:
1. Subrata Chowdhury, Calcutta, 10-7-54, age 15.
He has passed no stool for two days; in the evening, he felt chilly and went to bed early; at 11 p.m. he woke up with restlessness and felt pain in the chest and could not breath freely. He was much afraid and anxious. He asked his father to call a doctor as he was dying soon.
Arsenic alb. 30 1 dose at 12 p.m. He felt well within 15 minutes and slept well the whole night.
Here the disease – deranged.
Nutritive function – (constipation).
Skin and sensory function (chilly) – motor function (restless) – respiratory function (fear and anxious) one after another.
2. Ranita Mitra, Banibon, Howrah, age 15.
The patient relates her case as follows:
“I have been suffering from headache for two months. It began from the morning, increases at noon and gradually become less in the evening. I have no pain at night. During the pain I do not like to move, lie down in the bed and do not like noise and talking with others. I do not pass stool daily and I am constipated. According to old method I administered Bryonia – 30, 200 and Gelsemium – 30, 200 but no effect. On enquiry about the development of the disease she did not pass stool daily.
In the morning headache began. As soon as the headache began he could not walk and took to bed and kept quiet. During mid – day when headache became severe he felt difficulty in breathing. In the evening she became very irritable and disliked noise. The development of disease showed that it deranged nutritive function (constipation) skin sensory function. (headache) motor function (kept quite and lay down) respiratory function (difficulty in breathing) mental function (irritability) one after another.
On 4-9-54 Arsenic alb. 30 1 dose.
5-9-54 A bit less, phytum 1 dose.
6-9-54 No headache, Phytum.
The patient is alright and no medicine.
Those cases shows the patient suffered from different diseases namely breathing difficulty and headache respectively but the course of the development is similar to that of Arsenic alb. and so Arsenic cured them.
Now if the symptoms produced by drug in proving and poisoning are arranged according to the order of succession of symptoms, the feature of the drug disease is clearly obtained. A few drug diseases produced by the drugs in proving and analysed from the cyclopaedia of drug pathogensy are given below.
Aconite nap. deranges – Skin sensory, nutritive, respiratory, motor, mental, excretary one after another.
Sulphur deranges – Skin sensory, nutritive, circulatory, motor, mental, excretory, reproductive.
Nux vom. Skin sensory, motor, nutritive, respiratory, mental, urinary.
Lycopodium – Nutritive, skin sensory, respiratory, motor, excretary, mental, reproductive functions.
Pulsatilla – Nutritive, skin sensory, circulatory, motor, reproductive, mental, excretary function.
Phosphorus – Nutritive, respiratory, skin sensory, motor, mental, reproductive, excretary.
This is placed before the learned thoughtful and well – wishers of Homoeopathy for their opinion and discussion.