Diagnosis, at the best, is simply a guess aided and abetted by intuition and keen observation, the latter a trait to be cultivated by us all. The absence of diagnosis is not fatal if the remedy is indicated, otherwise how could the above-related cases have been cured? And how does it correspond to the following true occurrences. From one of our factories a man was sent home, sick.

Said the expert with the ax: “Any fool can split a straight stick, but it takes a woodchopper to split a knot.” This applies also to the doctor. While we do not advocate the prescribing on single symptoms, we do believe that a storehouse full of “red- strands,” or characteristics, is good for all of us, especially when, as we all do, we meet a case with a paucity of symptoms.

With the only symptom present, “fidgety feet while sitting,” I cured two cases of I. sided ovarian neuralgia; Dr. A. A. Pompe, of Vancouver, Wash., a case of somnambulism; Dr. Kent a case of involuntary urination. Dr. Kents case recalls a peculiar case of my own. Girl about fifteen years had involuntary urination only on attending school, church or theater. No other symptoms. She was compelled to stay at home. I suspected excitement as the cause. Kent lists but one remedy-Gels. it failed. We finally elicited the following and only symptom: “At long intervals I feel as if I could drink a well dry.” Bry 30x, one dose weekly, turned the trick. She can now go anywhere.

Mr. Lewis Morse, of Baltimore, a real homoeopath, and a very accurate prescriber, visited us this month. He put this up to me: “A druggist at Baltimore asked me to cure his footsweat. Allopaths and Homoeopaths had failed. I now appeal to a layman, Sweat was profuse, very offensive, whitened the skin and destroyed the socks and shoes. I cured the case with one dose of the 1m potency, and for being a layman my fee was a “Thank you.” After a long search I finally found the symptoms in Herings “Guiding Symptoms” under Secale. This recalled a case of mine cured by Cobalt, the only symptom being “the odor of sole leather”.

Mr. Morse related a peculiar case of a girl who could not extend her arms while in a stooping posture. This he cured with Sambucus after numerous good homoeopaths had failed. This again calls to my mind another peculiar case where allopaths, homoeopaths, chiropractors and osteopaths had all fallen down. The girl, nineteen years old, apparently well in every way, “could not work with her hands while sitting, on account of severe pain across dorsal region.” She received Chelidonium 30x and now works steadily.

My barber, who, according to the many write-ups in the magazines and dailies, is an artist on bobbed hair, had a lady patron with a wealth of beautiful hair come to have it bobbed. He remonstrated, but after she told her reason, he complied, got interested and sent her to me. She was twenty-four years old, dark-complexioned, complained of nothing. Always well, with excellent, clear skin until vaccinated.

Soon a slight eruption developed, spreading all over the body, forming large mortarlike splotches, well raised, with quite red areolae. She had consulted various skin specialists, had been plastered from head to foot with salves and ointments, which had only < the conditions. With no symptoms on which to base a prescription and only the vaccination as a base, I gave Thuja in various potencies and- failed.

I now recalled having read an article somewhere speaking of the relation of Radium to psoriasis. I gave three doses daily for one week in the 100th potency. At the end of the week I thought I could detect a slight lowering of the elevations. Repeat one dose and placebo. At the end of the second week the improvement was noticeable to the patient. We then repeated only as the progress seemed to lag. The splotches all dried up, scaled off, leaving the skin and scalp a normal pink. Ointments? “Not by a jugful,” Crude drugs and ointments do not cure skin diseases. The average “skin specialist” is all that his name implies.

Mr. Morse related a case of piles cured with Dioscorea. He pointed out to me that while several remedies had piles looking like bunches of grapes. Dioscorea alone had “a single grape.” He likewise related the following case, which I believe will be of interest. “While living in Bristol, Vt., a niece came on a visit. On the last day of her stay, she told me that she had had headaches since eight years old. She was then fifty. After every hard days work she would be laid up in bed for several days with either a pressive pain beginning in the vertex and to occiput down back to stomach, causing nausea, or a bursting pain from within outward. Pulling back of head to heels. Crawling as of worms over bones of skull and limbs. She received one dose of Silicea 1m with a second dose to be taken if required. She did not require the second dose. This was in 1907. There has been no return to date. She had doctored allopathically steadily for twenty years”.

“Where doctors disagree who shall decide?” By the same token, if the indicated remedy fails where shall we look for a cure? Homoeopathy and the indicated remedy are synonymous. Then is it necessary to leave the homoeopaths camp? If so, there is but one reason-IGNORANCE OF DRUGS YET UNPROVED. Just what are we doing in the line of progressive provings? Laboratory provings are getting us nowhere. Pope knew what he was talking about when he said: “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, the proper study of mankind is man.” Hahnemann alone was the one to realize it.

In respect to diagnosis being vitally necessary to homoeopathic prescribing, being narrow by sticking to ones own system; and laboratory provings, we would respectfully refer our esteemed colleagues Wosselhoeft, Jones, Boyd and Hinsdale to Boenninghausens tribute to homoeopathy. Diagnosis to the successful homoeopathic prescriber means little, to the unsuccessful prescriber much, to the allopath everything, so that it is easy to tell which way a doctor is drifting.

Diagnosis, at the best, is simply a guess aided and abetted by intuition and keen observation, the latter a trait to be cultivated by us all. The absence of diagnosis is not fatal if the remedy is indicated, otherwise how could the above-related cases have been cured? And how does it correspond to the following true occurrences. From one of our factories a man was sent home, sick. A doctor was called, but was not sure what ailed the man. The doctor in turn called a surgeon who prided himself on his diagnostic ability. Conditions grew worse, the surgeons diagnosis was “cold on the kidneys.” Another-a real-diagnostician was called in.

His diagnosis was “pneumonia.” The victim was carted off to the hospital, where he promptly “passed out,” the diagnoses not being vindicated by the postmortem. The second bunch of this group was a singular coincidence. There men friends were stricken with apparently the same condition and within twenty-four hours of each other, the first an Overland official, the second a coal dealer, the third a travelling man. Their cases had been diagnosed “appendicitis” and they were ordered to the hospital for operations. The travelling man refused; he was told he would be sorry. The Overland official and the coal dealer were carted off to their respective hospitals.

Dr. Geo. Crile, of Cleveland, came by special train to Toledo and was given the right of way over Toledos streets in order that he should lose no time in reaching the bedside of the Overland official. He operated. The patient promptly died. The coal dealer met the same fate, only not quite so spectacularly. The travelling man received Dioscorea and is alive and well today. Those case occurred ten years ago. Diagnosis figured in the two deaths, the indicated remedy figured in the only recovery. I sincerely doubt their diagnosis in al three cases, but there was no doubt as to the indications for Dioscorea. As my estimation of the indicated remedy has risen with my better acquaintance with homoeopathy, my estimation of diagnosis as a material factor in prescribing has fallen. This conclusion is based on an average of forty cases daily.

There is no doubt of the symptoms but there is every doubt of the diagnosis, as Dr. Richard Cabot must have fully realized when, as reported, he made nearly 4000 postmortems and found the diagnoses to be but 50 per cent. accurate. MORAL: Homoeopaths, stick to your homoeopathy and study carefully, persistently and understandingly your materia medica and, diagnosis or no diagnosis, you will have no postmortem regrets.

Alfred Pulford
Alfred Pulford, M.D., M.H.S., F.A.C.T.S. 1863-1948 – American Homeopath and author who carried out provings of new remedies. Author of Key to the Homeopathic Materia Medica, Repertoroy of the Symptoms of Rheumatism, Sciatica etc., Homeopathic Materia Medica of Graphic Drug Pictures.