R.N. Banerjee, M.D., Benares City, India.


During the earlier years of m…

During the earlier years of my professional career, in the year 1888, when I had been in the city of Murshidabad, I was requested, in the fore part of a chilly winter night, to visit a patient nearby. He was lying on a dirty, filthy bed, which was spread on straw in a small hut, thatched with straw and fenced round with the branches of bamboos. The hut was situated on the bank of the river Ganges. As he was a poor shopkeeper and badly off, a few creditors of the Shylock type surrounded him and pressed him hard to make a death-bed declaration, in order to liquidate his debts. He had been in miserable condition when attacked with broncho-pneumonia and other complications. He had no other property except a small grocer shop. My first duty was to free him from the clutches of his inexorable creditors; then I examined him to make a diagnosis and bring out the subjective and objective characteristic symptoms.

He was suffering from a dry, tickling cough, with tightness across the chest. The lower half of the right lung was especially affected; moist bubbling rales were heard; the pulse was small, weak and frequent. Cough < lying on the left side; thirst for large quantities of cold water, high fever-temperature above 104. Hoarseness and rattling breathing. As phosphorus covered the most of the symptoms, it was given in the third potency in lukewarm water, with directions to take it in small doses at intervals of two hours. In the morning his condition was much improved in some respects, but later on, between 1 to 2 P.M., he became restless, with burning pain over the whole body, insatiable thirst, fear of death, etc. Ars, alb 6th was given in small doses and he felt better after taking a few. Phosphorus was repeated at long intervals for mucous rales, white and tough sputa of sweet taste, morning and evening aggravation, etc.

The place was a malarious one and it seemed that he had some malarious taint. Later on his fever continued with tenacity, chill preceded by hunger and thirst; felt chilly on uncovering; red-hot face with cold hands; during the heat thirstlessness, desire to uncover, profuse sweat with thirst, perspiration during sleep, bitter taste, foul-smelling stool, red urine, weakness, ringing in the ears, etc. A few doses of china 6 were given with great relief. Fever gradually disappeared, lungs became cleared and he gained strength by and by. I was struck with the marvellous effects of the potentised homoeopathic remedies. Notwithstanding the fact that they had to combat or struggle hard against unfavourable circumstances and harmful drawbacks or exciting causes. I was then a low-potency man and so I did not use higher than the thirtieth potency.

It has been stated by some authors that the repetition of a lower potency of phosphorus may do harm and even endanger life in pneumonic states, instead of doing good. Indiscriminate repetition may do so, not only of the lower but of the higher potencies as well. In the treatment of this case I all along repeated Phosphorus 3 with discretion, without any ill-effect, rather the potency acted as favourably as possible under such adverse circumstances. In many cases I used the sixth potency and repeated it at suitable intervals, without any ill-effects; on the other hand I noted injurious effects on repeating the higher potencies.

I now use both the higher and lower potencies, considering the idiosyncrasy or susceptibility and especially the individuality of the patients. I use the higher when I am sure of the characteristic indications and when the reaction which is aroused by them may follow a favourable course and the low when I am dealing with pathological commonplace symptoms. In all cases I repeat with much caution, taking care of the changes for better or worse.

Case No. 2.-In 1896, one day as I was returning to my office, after taking my evening walk, I observed a number of men who were gossiping and one of them was chanting the spell peculiar to ghost charmers, in a little hut by the roadside. I stopped there and inquired what the matter was. They assured me that a woman, a milkmaid, was under the influence of a ghost or an evil spirit. The truth was this, that the woman was in a high fever and delirium, both eyes were congested, she was talking wildly, and trying to get up by force. It is the general belief among the illiterate people that if a woman is young and beautiful she is likely to come under the influence of evil spirits.

The diseases are, in their opinion, mere effects, the results of coming under the influence of demons. If they can, no matter how, hit the ghost, the disease will then depart of itself. I told them that I could give the patient a small quantity of charmed water, which might be effective in quieting her condition in a short time. I gave her a few doses of belladonna 30, in water, and directed her to take a little quantity of it at intervals of an hour or so. On taking a few doses of it she became quiet and fell asleep. Belladonna not only soothed her delirious condition, but put an end to the fever too. Ignorance and prejudice are the sources of many kinds of evil and cause suffering for a great many people.

Case No. 3.-A girl aged about eleven years had been suffering from chronic malarial fever, with enlarged spleen and liver. Her abdomen became large, hard and prominent and the limbs emaciated. She was constipated and the bowels did not move regularly. Stools were hard, knotty and blackish; aversion to bathing; tongue yellowish. Fever, intermittent type; chill commenced after 12 A.M., temperature during heat 102 or a few points more; burning of soles; desire for sweets; craving for food; face pale, sickly looking, redness of lips, itching eruptions between the fingers < at night in bed, could not stand for a long time, must sit down. As sulphur covered all the symptoms, a dose of the thirtieth potency was given dry on the tongue in the morning, during the intermission.

The bowels after a while began to move regularly. The color of the stool changed to nearly normal. The size of the enlarged spleen and abdomen began to diminish. Eruption and itching sensation disappeared. After a few days, owing to some irregularities, the fever relapsed < between 1 to 2 P.M. Thirst for a small quantity of water restlessness, burning heat, slight perspiration.

A dose of arsenic alb. 30 was given in the morning. Fever gradually disappeared. After a few days the groups of symptoms appeared to be thus; Constipation with ineffectual urging, stool like sheeps drug, temper irritable, quarreled with her brother and sister; generally thirstless, poor appetite. Nux vom. 30 was given, directing her to take it in the afternoon and to repeat it for three or four days. The bowels began to move regularly again. Spleen and liver were much reduced; the size of abdomen became nearly normal; no medicine was given for a few days. At last a dose of sulphur 30 was again required to complete the cure. The general health with bloom in the cheeks became normal again.

When I was a mere boy I used to suffer from malarial fever with enlarged spleen and liver. Then I had to depend upon the Ayurvedic system of treatment and sometimes empiricism as well. It used to take a long time for me to recover my health. But what a sigh of relief comes over me when similar cases are cured in a short time, and in a straightforward manner, on taking a few doses of a well-chosen homoeopathic remedy. What a contrast: On the one hand bitter and nauseating pills and decoctions, and on the other hand a few sugar of milk globules medicated with the indicated remedy and palatable to taste.

Case No. 4.-A student, aged about twenty-one, had a serious type of psoriasis, a scaly eruption from head to foot. At first sight, from a distance, it appeared as if it were a case of leprosy. Both eyes were congested and became red, ulceration on the head fever at 12 A.M., slight chill, temperature 103 to 104, burning sensation all through the limbs during the heat, desire to uncover, thirst for small quantities of water and often, no perspiration, burning, itching, dryness; tongue coated dirty yellow. He had been suffering from this disease for a long time. He was treated during its course by various systems, viz., Ayurvedic, Unani, empiric, hydropathy and, last but not the least, allopathic. The principal and the professor of an allopathic medical college made great for him.

They took his photograph and kept him in their hospital for a few months, treated him and the time with salves and ointments and gave him alterative nostrums internally too; in short, they spared to pains to make use of their humdrums, as much as they could, but could not bring about a cure. The eruption first appeared in a small spot on the right about buttock. From the beginning every means were taken to suppress it, but the attempts to do so utterly failed. On the contrary, each time after the application of suppressive measures, the eruption spread farther, until it covered by arsenic alb., I gave him a dose of the two-hundredth potency, dry on the tongue, in the morning. This checked the progress of the fever and eruption to a certain extent, but as it did not continue to improve a dose of the C.M. potency was given on the fourth day.

The fever disappeared gradually under its benign effect, together with the symptoms of the head, eyes and skin. The eruption and ulcers improved greatly; then the following group of symptoms appeared; itching < at night; aversion to bathing, burning of the soles and palms, foul- smelling, blackish stools, etc. On the basis of these symptoms a dose of sulphur 200 was given. This single dose acted beneficially for two weeks; then another group of symptoms gradually appeared, such as acidity and flatulence < 4 to 8 P.M., canine hunger-the more he eats, the more he craves-etc. A dose of lycopodium 30 was now given.

Acidity, etc., discontinued under its effect. After which, according to indications, ac-nit. 30 and ac. phos 30 were required. In time, nearly a month and a half, he became quite a changed man. There was now no scaliness peculiar to psoriasis. He regained his strength so much that he was able to walk to my office, which was more than a mile from his lodging. By the end of the fourth month a number of white spots, like lime, appeared on his body. Taking into consideration the accompanying symptoms, a dose of calc. c. 30 was administered and then, later on, according to indications a dose of nat. carb. 30 and after a lapse of time I gave him a dose or two of calc. sulph. 30.

From these various cases of so-called skin diseases, it is clearly proved that such conditions cannot be local only, and it may be affirmed that they are constitutional in nature. Had they been local, then the external application would have suffered to cure them, without any relapse or had after-effects, due to suppressions. But, as after the utter failure of external means, they disappeared forever without causing further injurious effects, under the beneficial action of the internal use of highly potentised homoeopathic remedies given according to indications, so it can be asserted that the root-cause cannot be other than dynamic and that the visible signs are due to the invisible origin which baffles the power of the organs of sensation to detect.

Case No. 5.-Mr. R, age above forty, robust constitution, bald head, had been suffering from chronic headaches, severe pain in forehead, throbbing in both temples, < from motion, heat, especially the heat of the sun, during summer weather; accompanied with nausea; > in a cool place, dark room (by day). A few doses of glonoinum 6 were given to him with directions to take this at intervals of an hour, until he found relief. This remedy promptly relieved the pain, but after a few days he had a relapse.

Glonoin 6th did not take effect, nor even the thirtieth, so two doses of the two-hundredth potency were given, with directions to take them at a interval of two hours in case he should get no relief from the first dose. He was promptly relieved on taking the second dose and there was no attack for a few days. Then he got another relapse on being overheated one day. At this time the two-hundredth potency did no good, so a dose of the 1m potency was given, which promptly relieved the pain as if by magic. After taking this dose he did not have any further relapse during the season.

In this case, as well as in many other chronic cases, I have often observed that generally, in long-standing cases, these do not respond to the lower potencies, whereas the higher potencies act with promptness; of course there are exceptions to this general rule. In sluggish or terminal cases, when radical cure becomes questionable, the lower potencies or even crude substances may afford relief and may palliate to the end. Some practitioners advise the repetition of the higher potencies indiscriminately and even assert that such a course will not aggravate. It may be so in their experience, but in my long observation I have noted aggravations from the repetition of even the thirtieth potency. Some patients are so susceptible that they cannot bear repetition.

As in selecting the proper remedy, so in regulating the proper potency and repetition, it requires strict individualization. It is better to proceed with caution than to be in an indiscriminate hurry. We should hear in mind that the remedies may produce severe aggravations similar to the phenomena of anaphylaxis and that these may turn out to be fatal, too. In cases where the use of the higher or highest potencies seems to be preferable, I generally use a single dose and watch the result for a reasonable length of time. I do not generally repeat the dose unless I am sure that its action has been exhausted or in the event that it has not acted owing to some causal interference or deficiency of energy of the vital principle, due to previous maltreatment. The repetition or a change of potency or of the remedy should be made according to circumstances.

During the course of my earlier practice, during the rainy season the window just in front of my bed had been kept open all night, although I did not take notice of it, but due to this exciting cause, on the next day both my eyes became congested and red. A small group of vesicular eruptions then appeared on the forehead and eyebrows. The eyes became very painful. Some of my acquaintances insisted on my applying some lotions to my eyes and external applications to the eruptions.

But I persistently refused their unasked advice and took a few doses of belladonna 6, which gave me relief from the pain and tenderness, but did not act on the eruption. There was intense itching of the eruption and an < at night. Mainly depending on these two peculiarities, I took a few doses of merc. sol. 30, which acted like a charm in removing the eruption and the itching sensations as well.

I have noted in some typical cases that until the constitutional remedies are given according to the indications, the disease producing cause obstinately persists in its course of action. As for example, a few years ago, I treated in infant boy who had been suffering from convulsions. During the fit his face became red. After some allopathic, ayurvedic and homoeopathic failures, it now came my turn to apply the Hahnemannian homoeopathic principle. There was paucity of symptoms, but I tried, according to indications, opium, nux vom. etc., to no purpose. Then I came to know that his father had had syphilis and that the saliva flowed form the mouth of the boy during his sleep.

Prescribing upon these facts, I gave him a dose of merc. sol. 200, which acted favourably to a certain extent and decreased the intensity and the frequency of the convulsive fits. The condition now coming to a standstill, I repeated the remedy, but no further progress took place. I now gave him a dose of merc. viv. 200, which acted promptly in mitigating the suffering and continued to act for a long time and thereby gradually, but completely, cured the boy without the help of any other remedy, I have noted in some cases that when merc. sol., being indicated, decreases the symptoms to a certain extent, but fails to make further progress, then merc. viv, succeeds in effecting the cure.

Case No. 6.-A few years ago I treated a boy who had been suffering from chronic diarrhoea for a year or two. He used to have four or five loose stools during the day and night. Stool quantity copious in the morning, with gushing; color light yellow, watery, offensive odor, rumbling in abdomen, nearly painless, loss of appetite; distention of abdomen at night, offensive flatus, etc. According to indications I gave him Podo. 6 and 30, which checked the motions to a certain extent, but did not cure. On inquiry I was one day informed that the boy was suffering from the effects of vaccination. He had been well before he was vaccinated.

With this hint I restudied the case and found the following symptoms: Stool, yellow, watery, expelled forcibly with much noisy flatus; gurgling like water from a bung hole; diarrhoea after breakfast. I now thought of thuja, as it covered these symptoms to the letter, together with the bad effects after vaccination, and it was given in the thirtieth potency, one dose only, before breakfast. This acted like a charm, although nat. s., podo., etc., had failed to cure. Within two or three days the boy had formed stools for the first time after a long period of suffering. Now his appetite increased so much that it might be called voracious or insatiable.

He used to frequent the kitchen in order to get something to appease his abnormal hunger and he began to take great interest in the condition of the pot, in which rice was boiling especially for him. The members of the family began to lose their patience at his attitude and requested me to do something to check his abnormal appetite. I did not however, interfere with the natural course and waited for further progress and results. After a reasonable time I noted that although he ate much, the food materials were not properly assimilated, and that he preferred to be naked. I now decided to try a dose of iodin 30, which was given, and gradually his abnormal appetite became normal and he gained weight as a healthy child of his age should.

His father is an allopathic physician of some repute and he tried his best to check the diarrhoea from the very beginning, without any appreciable lasting effect. So the boy was sent here for a change, under his maternal grandfathers care. During my professional career I have come across many cases suffering from eczema, etc., as the after-effects of vaccination, which is a veritable scourge of so-called civilized society and the more so as it is inflicted under a compulsory law, which is opposed to the natural birthright of freedom of all human beings. Although the excuse is offered that vaccination combats an evil, whereas in truth the real evil is the vaccination itself and the evils which it is capable of leaving in its wake.

I generally follow the principle of discontinuing or not repeating the medicine, as soon at it appears that reaction has commenced in the system. It is best not to interfere with the re- active stage. Although in some cases it is difficult to ascertain the duration of it, yet it is better to err on the right side and to be sure of the cessation of reaction. After the dose seems no longer to act, I either repeat it, or change the medicine according to the circumstances which are present.

A Peculiar Case.

In January, 1918, a gentleman, whose son had been cured by me of a scrofulous growth of the submaxillary and cervical glands, requested me to take up the case of a poor girl who was related to him and to treat her gratis. As the case was a peculiar and interesting one, I agreed to his proposal in order to observe what homoeopathic treatment could do for her. Although her age was nearly fourteen years, she did not have the sort of development peculiar to her age and common in this part of the country owing to the tropical climate. She grew tall, but that was all and nothing else. Her whole spine was very sensitive or even hypersensitive to touch. If any one of her playmates would touch this part with the finger or even in the event that she would touch herself by mistake, she would be seized with a kind of fit, the effects of which lasted for two or three days.

She had spasmodic fits or convulsions at first and was compelled to be in bed, being totally incapable of getting up and moving about as usual during the course of the attack. She could not even take her food and suffered from nausea and colic near the umbilical region. She could only swallow a small quantity of milk or water, though with difficulty. She complained of a burning sensation in her spine. The bowels did not move regularly, and she suffered from constipation. Appetite normal, could answer questions intelligently, although a little shy and modest. On suffering for two or three days from the effects of this spasmodic fit, she again rallied and would be able to attend to her business as usual.

R N Banerjee