There is a belief among a number of individuals in general and medical men in particular that modern therapeutic developments have caused the practice of homoeopathy to become obsolete, that it has served its purpose and should be discarded. Nothing could be further from the facts. No one will deny that general medicine has made remarkable advances within the last few years. Typhoid fever, diphtheria and other diseases are diminishing so rapidly that we may expect them to pass into history. The question that confronts us as scientific medical men seeking the truth is, how has all this been achieved?
We answer: sanitation and the development of bodily resistance. Yellow fever, typhus and the plague are examples of the splendid conquests won through the knowledge of modes of transmission. Sanitary measures, public or individual, prevent disease by excluding the cause form contact with the host. The great workers in this field, many sacrificing their lives in experimentation, deserve places in history undiminishable in the march of time. The development of bodily resistance against disease is the chief concern in these remarks.
If we examine carefully into the modus operandi of present-day medical achievements, no high degree of logical attainments is needed to form the conclusion that Modern Medicine Is Really Proving the Truth of Homoeopathy.
Present-day experimentation is directed largely toward developing so-called antigens. These are really similar acting. Vaccine therapy is simply another name for Isopathy, introduced by Dr. Lux, a homoeopathic veterinarian, in 1823. This method was not new with him, however. Xenocrates practiced it in 400 B.C. The prophylactic use of smallpox virus was mentioned in the Athava Vera (1500 B.C.). “Pox-sewing” was practiced by the Chinese in 1000 B.C. Early in history the Greeks, Circassians, Arabians, Africans, Scots, Danes and others practiced isopathic inoculations. All these and the introduction of cow-pox by Jenner are based on the law of similars.
Let us review a little history. Constantine Hering antedated Pasteur in proposing the diluted rabietic saliva as a prophylactic for hydrophobia in 1833. Swan antedated Koch in the introduction of Tuberculinum. Burnett treated cases of tuberculosis with Bacillinum in 1885. Kochs Tuberculin appeared in 1890. Inoculations against typhoid, diphtheria, etc., are purely homoeopathic (or isopathic) in principle.
Therapeutically, the vaccines are not as efficacious. This is due to the fact that an isopathic remedy has not the same curative power as a homoeopathic one (similar but not the same). The nosodes, Tuberculinum, Syphilinum, etc., produced better results when not prescribed for the actual diseases from which they are obtained, but for other conditions presenting a similar symptomatology.
There is no tendency on the part of the “old school” to limit the introduction of homoeopathic and isopathic remedies to the vaccines. We are all familiar with the paper by W.M. Storer, L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S., Ed., “Therapeutic Reform,” read before the Ulster Branch of the British Medical Association in 1905. He gave homoeopathic indications for Ant. tart., Belladonna, Cinchona and Quinine, Ergot (Secale corn.), Cantharis, Terebinth and Arsenicum. He said : “The therapeutic value of a drug corresponds exactly with its pathogenetic, or disease-producing powers.” “The key to therapeutics is toxicology.”
“Every substance which can paralyze or kill cell protoplasm can also act in small quantities (on the other side of an indifferent point) as a stimulus to cell activity.” “The absolute quantities are very different with different substances.” The recognition of homoeopathic principles by such famous “old school” representatives as Bier, Schulz and Rapp is encouraging to those of us who cherish fair play as well as scientific advance.
The entirely dissimilar, like Dr. Morris Fishbein, known by his “Follies,” take a different attitude. Could we expect anything else? “None are so blind as those who will not see.” Fishbein writes: “Before the rapid effects of the satisfactory administration of mercury and 606, measurable by the Wassermann test, theories of psora and similars could not exist.” Such superficial reasoning really helps the cause of homoeopathy. The theory of psora has nothing to do with the principles of similars, it was a later thought of Hahnemann which can be accepted or rejected insofar as Homoeopathy is concerned. Belief or disbelief in the so-called doctrine of psora affect our results as practitioners of medicine, however. Our old friend, Dr. Eugene Nash, well known for his wit as well as his prescribing, expressed himself thus in regard to psora:.
“If you ask me, what is psora? I answer in true Yankee style, what is scrofula? Perhaps psora is scrofula, or scrofula is psora. Call it either or neither. Yet it is present, a something named or unnamed which must be recognized and which complicates so-called acute diseases. Now there is nothing so very remarkable about this. Syphilis does the same. Once contracted or inherited, no matter what ordinary acute disease appears, we are at times obliged to turn aside from its treatment to give a quietus to the enemy before we can overcome the acute affection”.
Let us consider Dr. Fishbeins remarks regarding mercury and “606”. It is inconceivable that any modern physician would deny the cause of syphilis. The existence of the spirochaeta pallida is an established fact. It is also absolutely true that mercury and “606” are capable of destroying these organisms in the body by their direct anti-parasitic action. So far so good, but Dr. Fishbein only scratches the surface. We know, as logical and practical physicians, that disease can be combated in two ways.
By direct anti-parasitic action and by stimulating the resistive forces of the body. The first is extremely limited in its application, few diseases are cured in this way. The latter has a wide range of adaptability. Homoeopathy cures by virtue of its power to stimulate reaction, or, if one wishes to clothe it in modern terms, by the formation of antitoxins by the action of antigens (homoeopathic remedies.).
Examination of the pathogenesis of Mercury reveals the fact that it is capable of producing in the healthy human body, symptoms similar to the secondary manifestations of syphilis. Arsenicum (606), to a less extent, bears the same relationship. The falling hair, skin eruptions, etc., are familiar to us all. Bastedo says: “Yet in most cases (syphilis) they (salvarsan and neosalvarsan) are not completely curative and must be alternated or combined with the mercury treatment.” The remedy (Mercury) possessing the greater symptom similarity is actually more curative than Arsenic (606), which has greater anti-spirochaetic power.
Dr. Fishbein “reasons” again as only he can: “Before such a fact as the inevitable response of the heart to an adequate dose of digitalis, any theory of dynamics and vibrations which called for splitting the dose into decillionth parts was bound to evaporate.” Even those possessing the most superficial understanding of Homoeopathy know that the actual size of the dose, whether it be the tincture, the 30th or higher potency, has nothing to do with its principles. It is simply the smallest dose that will cure. Digitalis was recommended by the celebrated Sir James Mackenzie (who appreciated the great value of symptomatology), for auricular flutter, auricular fibrillation, and cardiac conditions accompanied by dropsy.
It is claimed, and justly so, that digitalis exerts its beneficial action by retarding the impulse passing through the bundle of His, thus giving the ventricular muscle time to rest. This is not all, however. On examination of the toxicology of Digitalis we find that it is capable of producing auricular flutter and auricular fibrillation by directly poisoning the heart muscle. Is this not another example of the law of similars? Dr. Richard Hughes classical description of this remedy in his Pharmacodynamic is worthy of his fine, logical mind and his broad character.
Let us examine still further into modern medicine. Poison ivy antigen (the purified active principle in almond oil as prepared by Ralph Oaxley Clock) is receiving praise as is shown by the following quotation:.
“As a rule, one injection of 1 cc. of the almond oil extract will be found to give relief. In severe cases two or three doses may be required at intervals of twenty-four hours. Usually the subjective symptoms of itching are relieved in twelve to twenty- four hours after the first dose, and local reactions are absent. The author believes any local treatment, even at its best, to be relatively ineffective when compared to the results that have been obtained by the intramuscular injection of the almond oil extract of poison ivy”.
Another point, familiar to all homoeopathic physicians, is brought out in this quotation. The superior curative action of internal medication injection over local measures.
Careful examination into the symptomatology of Oslers “curative remedies” reveals the fact that they act homoeopathically. Mercury we have already discussed. Quinine cures [? Ed.] malaria in the same manner that Mercury cures syphilis in large doses by its destructive action on the plasmodium malariae, and in small doses, when the symptoms correspond, by the similarity of the symptoms. The physiological action of Ferrum (iron) is to first increase the number of red blood corpuscles, then to diminish them. It produces anaemia and it cures it. The same is true regarding the salicylates in the treatment of rheumatism. They are capable of producing similar pains in the healthy human body.
No one should dispute the fact that antitoxin has almost conquered [? Ed.] diphtheria, and the world owes von Behring a debt of everlasting gratitude for his great achievement. But what is the modus operandi of serum therapy? Let us see. Anti- toxin consists of the receptors (Ehrlichs Side-chain Theory) produced within the horse by repeated small doses of toxin (antigen). The action is homoeopathic. When we treat a case of diphtheria with a homoeopathic remedy we are endeavoring to produce the formation of antitoxin. The injection of the already formed antitoxin is exactly the same in principle. It possesses the advantage of having immediate curative properties; we do not have to wait for autogenous receptor development. Italics by the editor.
The homoeopathicity of the pollen extracts comes to mind as we approach the hay fever season.
Why, if all we have said be true, is not homoeopathy recognized and universally taught as part of the great science of medicine?.
Endocrinology, the efficiency of which is too often grossly exaggerated today, was practiced in the time of Confucius, who was born 500 B.C. Concoctions of toads, spiders, lizards and frogs were prescribed. According to Dr. Garretson they contained the hormones of these insects and animals cutaneous suprarenals. We as homoeopaths have used such remedies for years.
Dr. Sajous, in “The Internal Secretions and the Principles of Medicine,” says:.
“Aconite has been used considerably for the arrest of colds. Its value in this connection is accounted for from the fact that it dilates the peripheral arterioles, and thus allows a greater volume of blood to penetrate the capillaries and to exercise more effectively the antitoxic action. It is also beneficial in neuralgia and migraine when the blood pressure is elevated, thus driving the blood into the diseased nerves”.
“Aconite has been used in sthenic pneumonia, etc.,” and “in fevers of various kinds.” Is this not homoeopathy, Dr. Sajous?.
X-ray can produce epithelioma and can cure the same. Radium aggravates cancer in small doses and destroys it in large.
The size of the dose has probably caused more ill feeling than any other factor connected with Homoeopathy. Let us repeat. It is not the actual size, but the smallest dose that will cure.
Here are a few examples, taken from “old school” literature, showing the power of dilution. The Journal of the American MEdical Association says: “A milligram (15/1000 grains) of thyroxin produces a 2 percent rise in basal metabolism in a man weighing 70 kilograms (154 lbs.).” Speaking of botulinus the following appears: “In such a reaction (speaking of botulinus) the fatal dose is diminished to. 000,000,000,000,000,000,003 cc”.
Three sextillionths of a gram. Some dilution for the Journal of the American Medical Association to admit, we say. A therapeutic dose of 1/50,000 mg. of tuberculin is recommended, “future treatment being based on the reaction.” Observe the word “reaction”.
Dr. Brams in his article on Exophthalmic Goiter says that 1 mg. (15/1000) of a grain of thyroxin will produce symptoms.
Lieb stimulated the uterine contractions of a guinea pig with 1/100,000 quinine solution.
Dr. Ringer, speaking of amyl nitrite, began treatment with a minim dose, but found it too strong and was obliged to reduce it to one-third of a minim. He continues: “The tenth, nay, even the thirtieth, of a minim will in some cases counteract the flushing”.
Claude Bernard said: “Every substance which in large doses abolishes the property of an organic element stimulates it when given in small ones”.
Christiansen, of Harvard, writes: “The effective therapeutic dose should be far below the toxic dose”.
The extraordinarily distinct radiographs taken of the 60 trituration of Radium brom. by Boericke & Tafel some years ago, “knocked into a cocked hat” the old threadbare claim that “there is no medicine in the 30th potency”.
Why, if all we have said be true, is not homoeopathy recognized and universally taught as part of the great science of medicine?.
Constructive development has always been hampered by one of the most ignoble manifestations of the human mind. Namely, Intolerance. The Greeks, especially in Athens under Pericles, were noted for liberality. Freedom of thought was characteristic. It may seem strange that Christianity, having love and tolerance as its basic teaching, should have produced among its followers such characters as Torquemada, a combination sadist and masochist. This fanatic, through his diabolical persecutions, inflicted a blow upon Spain from which she has never fully recovered. On the other hand it produced the truly saintly Father Damien. This spirit of bigotry was not confined to any one creed. The “legalized” murders of Presbyterians, Puritans and Catholics during the Elizabethan period is familiar history. The Puritans themselves, seeking religious freedom, practiced an inconceivable intolerance.
This failing characterized the early Christians, and they brought much of their persecution on their own heads. This can be explained thus: Intensely strong beliefs, unless possessed by broad characters, are apt to develop bigotry. The pre-Christian beliefs were many but not intense. Everyone chose his own Deity, many of which were in the temples. It is not strange, therefore, that medicine should be contaminated by the same obnoxious influence that has too often dominated the most important subject of religion. When Hahnemann injected the truth of similars into moribund physic, he produced an unforseen reaction. Perverse human nature running true to form rejected the truth of his great discovery.
If tolerance had dominated the majority of medical men of his day, if desire for the truth had inspired their actions, the charge of sectarian medicine would not be made today. But the spirit of intolerance is not yet dead. Sir William Osler, an extremely able man in many ways, was not above his ignoble passion. In his lectures delivered at the Yale University, “The Evolution of Modern Medicine,” the name of Hahnemann is not mentioned. Even the most narrow-minded must admit that he existed, and that he made a lasting impression on the history of medicine.
If Sir William had written a history of music would he have left out the immortal name of Beethoven or Wagner? Would the excuse that he did not like, or understand, Wagnerian music be sufficient excuse for so great an omission> Hahnemann, and the followers of Hahnemann, existed and are existing today. They have no desire for sectarian medicine, all they ask is that homoeopathy be accepted in its true light, and that it receive its just status in the great field of medicine. This will be done when intolerance ceases to exist.
Fairness forces us to admit, however, that all the intolerance is not possessed by the opposition. Unfortunately there are among us those who are not without it. Our object is to cure or relieve the sick. We are scientists seeking the truth in whatever form it may appear. I have heard members of our school rail at the “outrageous practice of injecting the blood of a horse into the body of a child”; that “appendicitis can always be cured with medicine,” etc. Now, the fact is that the action of antitoxin is a demonstration of the law of similars.
What really concerns us is, will antitoxin cure diphtheria? That it does cure diphtheria is an established fact. Again, appendicitis is nearly always a surgical disease. Those who do not regard it as such had better have their death certificate blanks handy. Dr. H.A. Roberts excellent paper on this subject, presented at our last meeting, should be read by everyone.
Exaggerated claims do great harm to any cause. We know that all diseases cannot be cured by any one method of treatment. In our application of the homoeopathic remedy, we may find no remedy corresponding to a given case. This we think is not common, we can usually find a more or less corresponding similimum. If not fully covered, we use complementary remedies. Again, a patients vitality may be so low that no reaction will take place. Lastly, pathological changes may have advanced to such an extent that no regeneration is possible. Dr. Cadman, well known for his method of answering questions “right off the bat,” was asked: “Do you believe in miracles?”
He answered: “I believe in the radio, is not that the greatest of all miracles?” But Dr. Cadman stubbed his toe. The radio is not a miracle, but a scientific fact following natural laws. This never happens. The forces or laws of nature, set in motion by the Divine Intelligence, are unchangeable. A rose bush grows as a rose bush, an oak tree as an oak tree, the water of Niagara flows over the falls, and this ship is propelled upon the ocean. If it should suddenly start to fly, that would be miracle.
King Canute commanded the waves to recede, but all he got for his trouble was a pair of wet feet, over shoes not having as yet come into use. Joshua commanded the sun to stand still. He might as well have commanded a New York taxicab driver to stand still and give one the right of way. We do not believe in miracles. The changes that occur in the human body with the advance of years, must eventually lead to pathological degenerations from which recovery is impossible. We know that the timely Homoeopathic remedy is capable of retarding this inevitable end, but there comes a time when even that must fail.
Frequently we hear the assertion that the homoeopathic materia medica contains too many unreliable symptoms. Our old friend Dr. Nash wrote:.
“Not all the symptoms so appearing are equally valuable. Indeed, while some are of inestimable value, some are of absolutely no value at all, because they are not the effects of the drug claiming to have been proven.
“This sifting of the genuine from the spurious has occupied the same and painstaking care of the best observers of our school for many years, and the work is still going on, and must continue to go on in the years to come”.
The fanatic, the oppressor, is still with us. Disregarding our beliefs or disbeliefs, all righteous advocates of the principles for which our country stands recoil with humility and chagrin at the injustice imposed upon all members of the medical profession by such measures as the Harrison and Volstead Acts. Some may consider that a narcotic or alcohol are sometimes necessary, some may not.
All, however, believe in freedom. The “red tape” involved in securing alcohol, the limitation of “a pint of whisky to a patient in ten days” and the inability of the general public to procure a small amount of a homoeopathic alcoholic dilution, when we know that certain remedies are more potent in this form, is a frightful example of the violation of personal rights. It seems that the only place where we can procure both “Life” and “Liberty” is the newsdealers. “Give me liberty or give me death” has taken on a new significance.
Many branches make up the great field of therapeutics – electro-hydro-physical therapy (including osteopathy), etc., each has its respective efficiency. Homoeopathy, or Medicinal Therapeutics, the only method of prescribing remedies according to a definite system, should take its proper place as such in modern medicine.