In Hahnemanns pre-Homoeopathic days, to use the phrase of Dr.Richard Haehl and the late Dr.William Boericke, we find him meeting with a good measure of success in the treatment of bone ulcers by a combination of curetting and the local use of alcohol as a clearer and stimulant to graduation.

The consideration of the subject before us presupposes first of all the wisdom of surgery as an adjunct to medical treatment, and secondly its evaluation with respect to the individual case requiring surgical intervention.

First let us orient ourselves,as followers of Hahnemann, as to the proper relationship of surgery to homoeopathy.

In Hahnemanns pre-Homoeopathic days, to use the phrase of Dr.Richard Haehl and the late Dr.William Boericke, we find him meeting with a good measure of success in the treatment of bone ulcers by a combination of curetting and the local use of alcohol as a clearer and stimulant to graduation. this method he described as follows: “the diseased bone, I scrape clean and separate out the unhealthy portions,bandage it with alcohol and wait for the result”. (For a more extended account of this treatment, vide Richard Haehl Samuel Hahnemann: His Life and Work, Supplement, vide richard Haehl Samuel Hahnemann: His Life and Work, Supplement 198, Vol. II, p.398).

Later in his life,writing in the Organon, Hahnemann states that external conditions are too often treated from the purely local standpoint,especially surgically, which procedure is, in his opinion, correct only in so far as the affected parts require mechanical aid (and he often speaks of these measurers as an exemplification of the “mechanical art of surgery”). In section 186 of the Organon, he includes, in these measures. the reduction of dislocations, by needles and bandages to bring together the lips of wounds, by mechanical pressure to stem the flow of blood from the open arteries; but the extraction of foreign bodies that have penetrated in living parts;l by making an incision into a cavity of the body in order to remove an irritating substance or to procure the evacuation of effusion or collections of fluids; by bringing into apposition the broken extremities of a fractured bone and retaining them in exact by an appropriate bandage, etc., (Haehls 6th Edition).

Hahnemanns method of treating bone ulcer was quite contrary to Heckers method of using mixtures of medicine in bone caries, the only ingredient of which that could possibly be curative according to HahnemANN BEING QUICKSILVER.

The various operations designated by Hahnemann as “:being right in so far as the affected parts require mechanical aid, whereby the external obstacles to the cure (note here Hahnemanns use of the word, external, in contrast to those obstacles in the way of recovery;mentioned in Section 3 of the Organon) which can only be secure by the agency of the vital force”, would be included in modern surgery under such operations as, for example; the treatment of fractures and dislocations, the suturing of wounds, the control; of haemorrhage (by logician,torsion, pressure and other means,such as the use of electric cautery when nothing else availed); operation for the removal of bullets, or other foreign bodies (located by the use of the electro-magnet, the x-ray or other means) operations upon the various body viscera for the removal of “irritating substances”, which might mean the removal of tumors, causes, diseased organs such as the appendix, spleen, etc.: operations for the removal of gall- stones,renal or cystic stones; paracentesis for removal or pleural, peritoneal, or joint fluids, etc.; the proper treatment of open or closed fractures, by incision, drainage, wiring or plating of unhealed fractures of the long bones, etc., in fact, many and all of the unavoidable or inevitable operations of aseptic surgery. In this category may be found any one, if not all, of the cases about to be presented.

As a foreword to their citation, it may be well to recall the courageous and truly wise words of the large Dr.James B.Bell of Boston, who stated at one of the meetings of this Association that recourse to surgery in any instance was and should be put down as a frank acknowledgment that such a case was impossible of cure by the physician,either through medicine or any other means,save surgery alone.


The case given her could be carefully substantiated by records on file at the Newton Hospital. It is taken from the records of a former patient of he late Dr.Richard S.True, a woman past the climacteric, who had received chiefly Lycopodium for hepatic symptoms, and after receiving no -permanent relief was operated on by Dr,Henry L.,Houghton, and a large number of gall- stones removed.

Following the operation the patient died well for a time, the wound healed uneventful but in spite of this patient developed a moderate temperature, with pain under he shoulder blade,and x-ray plates showed a well marked pleural effusion. Bryonia 1M was then administered by Dr.Houghton. It action was prompt ,the fluid disappeared and the patient made a good recovery. The indications, though not clear in this cases,were the stitching pains,aggravation on motion, localization on the right side, late evening aggravation, thirst, dry mouth and coated tongue. the interesting feature of the case was the prompt alleviation of what was a very distressing and serious complication after a difficult and serious operation.


This case was satisfactory in respect to the comparative ease with which certain of the symptoms were accounted for by x- ray of he abdomen,which disclosed a large (single)_ stone. The patient had been melancholy for some time, had been treated by a great many different physicians without benefit,and when high blood pressure, the operation was approached very cautiously, a preliminary fast being observed for four or five days, Upon operation,which was skillfully done by Dr.A.J.Shadman, the gall- bladder was opened and the stone removed,without removal of the viscous itself.

Benjamin Woodbury
Dr Benjamin Collins WOODBURY (1882-1948)
Benjamin Collins Woodbury was born August 13, 1882, at Patten, Maine. He was the son of Dr. Benjamin Collins, a homeopathic physician, and Matidle Albina (Knowles). He attended Patten Academy and received his M.D. from Boston University Medical School in 1906. Following graduation Dr. Woodbury began his practice in Lewiston and Winthrop, Maine, and in 1907 moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he practiced for the next nine years. Dr. Woodbury married Miss Gertrude Fancis O'Neill of Boston at Eliot, Maine on June 18, 1915.
In March, 1919, Dr. Woodbury left the Islands and located in San Francisco where he practiced for two years and then returned to the East and established a practice in Boston. He was a trustee and a member of the staff of the Hahnemann Hospital, Boston, and in 1947 was elected president if the International Hahnemann Institute, Washington, D.C. He also gave many lectures on homeopathy at Boston University and at postgraduate sessions of the American foundation of Homeopathy.
Dr. Woodbury died on January 22, 1948, in Boston at the age of 65.
The doctor was the author of "Materia Medica for Nurses", published in 1922 and of many articles in medical journals in England, India, and the United States. Dr. Woodbury was also a writer of plays and poetry.