The question should be considered under two headings, first, constitutional treatment, and, seemed, treatment of acute ailments.
Without doubt the more correct the constitutional treatment the less frequently will the physician be called upon to prescribe for acute illness, Now what percentage of children really require antipsoric or constitutional treatment? Probably 100 percent or nearly so.
When should the first antipsoric prescription be made? At the earliest moment the physician is sure he has found the similimum. In what percentage of cases will the physician be given the opportunity to prescribe for infants and children when there is apparently nothing the matter with them? This will depend almost entirely upon the individual doctor and the degree of confidence the family have in him.
The late Dr. George H. Teacher of Philadelphia, told me that often he has known the remedy a child required long before he was asked by the parents to prescribe for the child. On frequent occasions he was given the remedy as a “treat” to the little one, on one but the doctor knowing of the good work. Scarcely any of us but have had a like opportunity. Let us not withhold the remedy, if we known it is the similimum, and having given the medicine let us keep a record of it and of the general symptoms on which the remedy was prescribed. Such data may prove of immense value in after years.
It occasionally happens that the same constitutional remedy may remain indicated over many years. Something the clear picture of the remedy fades as years go by and only by going back, as Kent suggested, and getting the original symptom picture present in childhood can the true similar be found. Of course, some patients will not maintain their remedy identify for any great period of time. Particularly this seem to be true of tuberculosis patients.
Since his death, one of Dr. Teachers patients, a young woman 24, consulted me for nose bleed associated with amenorrhoea.
She had been under the doctors care at intervals since babyhood. Her constitutional remedy had always been Phosphorus-only in a few instances had an intercurrent remedy been prescribed for some acute condition. Dr. Teachers first prescription in this case was Puls. 6th. This was given in February 1907, when the baby was less then a year old. The last prescription has been phos. 50M, given in October 1928 and she had remained well until about six weeks ago.
I repeated Phos. 50M with marked improvement in the patients general condition, showing she was still true to her remedy type. There is in this case the family history of tuberculosis. The patient, however, would not impress one as tuberculous and is more plethoric by far than the so-called Phosphorus type. The remedy has evidently spared her much sickness and suffering these many years.
It has been my observation that when both parents have come under homoeopathic treatment after having had one or two children, children subsequently born are definitely stronger, more resistant, and less psoric. I was first impressed by this fact in the case of my own children and this I have subsequently confirmed in a number of other families. Observations along these lines over a period of years should convince any homoeopathic physician of the unquestioned value of pre-conceptional and pre- natal antipsoric treatment of both patents.
The children who have the benefit of correct homoeopathic constitutional treatment will seldom require remedies for acute conditions, simply because they will, as a rule, rarely suffer from acute illness, with the exception of the exanthemata, in particular.
Hahnemann maintained that many acute conditions were violent expressions of latent psora, a flare-up of latent psora or perhaps an acute exacerbation of an otherwise quiescent constitutional disorder for it is not my intention to provoke any discussion as to what psora was, is, may or might be. It seems to me that it is a very serious question and sometimes a real problem to decide when to and when not to intervene in an acute illness, be the patient a child or an adult. It depends somewhat upon what the physicians essential motive and purpose is.
If that purpose is to sell homoeopathy and himself to his patients and their relatives and friends he will then, of course, endeavor to correctly prescribe for every case of acute sickness be it mild or severe. There is nothing more striking than the manner in which the homoeopathic remedy can wipe out acute troubles. When a new patient comes under the care of a homoeopathic physician, and many time it is for some immediate acute condition, then is the physician fully justified and it is his duty to prescribe for the immediate symptom picture and another family is won over to homoeopathy.
But the case may be very different after deep constitutional therapy has been undertaken. What then? If the case is mild and progressing normally and favorably allow the constitutional remedy to continue its work without interference, this I believe holds true for simple colds, digestive disturbances and even mild cases of measles, chicken-pox, mumps and whooping cough. Allow these conditions a chance to work themselves out of the system. It is surprising how mild some cases are especially where the child has been under careful antipsoric treatment.
More than once I have been convinced that I have spoiled or warped a chronic case by stepping in with an acute remedy even when that remedy was correct and actually took hold and cleaned up the acute ailment. No doubt some will say that if the remedy is really homoeopathic to the case it can do no harm– can only do good and should therefore always be given for every cold, every sore throat, every stomach ache and for every ache or pain that flesh is heir to.
Particularly in infants and children are these apt to be occasional and sometimes even frequent little disturbances, efforts on the part of nature to establish equilibrium. To cover all or even several of these troubles with an acute remedy may even defeat the purpose of nature, may, in fact, be suppressive, smoothing over the surface and yet not touching the underlying miasm which continues to smoulder within.
1. Begin constitutional treatment at the earliest possible moment; begin with the parents and grandparents, that unborn generations may inherit stronger, cleaner constitutions.
2. Give infants and children the benefit of early constitutional treatment.
3. Be conservative in cases of acute illness. Give Sac. lac. and wait. If an acute condition is in no way alarming why interfere? Let nature make the necessary adjustments. Even if the child is suffering from a mild attack of measles, chicken- pox, or scarlet fever give Sac. lac. and dont worry. If the case is severe by all means give the indicated remedy. If you do not see the remedy give more Sac. lac.; and study the case further. If after careful study the remedy is still obscure then call a consultant and if possible get someone who can really help you, one who knows his materia medica and his philosophy, for a serious acute condition is sometimes a matter of life and death and requires a physicians best and most earnest effort.
4. After an acute illness he passed watch carefully for the symptom picture to unfold for those hydraheaded miasms are prone to rouse themselves to action after the storm has subsided and it is often at just such a point that the physician has the best possible opportunity to correct some of the deepest constitutional disorders once and for all. Treat the children with the correct homoeopathic constitutional remedy, it is their best insurance for a long, healthy and happy life.
DR. A. H. GRIMMER; We owe Dr. Underhill a real debt for presenting this paper in the concise form in which it is presented, giving us the philosophy and the splendid following of homoeopathic doctrine. I believe that our greatest opportunity really lies in the prevention of these deep-seated conditions such as tuberculosis and even cancer. I think we can control cancer more in little children than we can in any other way.
Peculiar, unusual, unexpected or unaccountable symptoms are of rare importance if not in conflict with the modalities of the mentals and generals.–RAY W. SPALDING, M. D., before the Eastern, 1929.