In connection with being made ill by specific articles of food several interesting points arise : Try at first to see whether it is a combination of foods which disagree, or the one given element of diet. A wise professor once told me that almost anyone could eat almost anything if they ate it by itself. Next in the case of certain acids, try giving cream cheese or cottage cheese with them.

Homoeopathy is so rich in remedial agents that often its practitioners tend to rely on their drugs alone, and to disregard hygiene and other adjuvants to cure. Especially do they fail to work out diets in detail for their patients. It is essential that they bother to do this for a number of reasons. In the first place, for the psychological effect upon the patient. Patients want to feel that every scientific care is being given them, and that the doctor takes flattering pains with them; and they need something to do, a call to active co-operation on their part. Especially is this last the case when the actual remedy administration is in so pleasant, simple and sparse a form as homoeopathy prescribes. In the second place, without any drug of any kind, diet can do wonders for many types of cases as modern medicine ably demonstrates.

Let us consider, for instance, the value without any drug, of strict diets in such diseases as : Diabetes, nephritis, high blood pressure, renal colic and the uric acid diathesis, arthritis, gall-stones and jaundice, gastric and duodenal ulcer, mucous colitis, visceroptosis, constipation, obesity, and last, but by no means least, tuberculosis and cancer. Every homoeopathic physician must be grounded in the classical dietary treatments; must know when to give a diabetic the Newburg high- fat diet; and the difference between diets for nephritics and nephrotics; must enforce purine-free diets on the chronic renal colics; must be conversants with the Lippe diet for ulcer; and the Lahey-Jordan diet for mucous colitis (with its cream of wheat and celery, whose roughage combined with the concomitant rest prescribed does such wonders in those obstinate cases). The physician must know how to influence acidity, strong urine, asthma and eczema by dietary means.

It is good training for us, and a helpful method of experimental control of our remedies, to start chronic patients who have someone of the above mentioned diagnoses, on diet and regimen plus Sac. lac. without any remedy, and see how far you can improve their condition. Thus do we learn what scientific common sense will, and will not, do for us. Meanwhile you are getting closer to the patients true similimum, and can give it in prepared ground, with startling and enlightening effect.

Diet can often replace the use of drugs – a valuable help for the homoeopath. Take a patient who has been “living” on soda bicarbonate for years. Teach them that soda, chemically alkaline, produces acid, physiologically, in the stomach, and train them to substitute lemon juice and the citrous fruits in general, and watch. You will be amazed that so simple a means will work so well. Meanwhile the soda intoxication symptoms will pass off, and your case values will begin to be unravelled.

The physician must also at the onset remove articles of diet and diet habits of eating which hold the patient back from cure, and which cover the spoor on the trail to a totality”, and therefore to subsequent healthful progress. He leans in this quest the idiosyncrasies to food on the part of the patient. These, as every homoeopath knows, are of great help and import. In this connection there is a wise rule: Chronic cases should not eat to excess that which they especially crave, whereas acute patients may-and should-eat largely of what they crave, if the craving comes on with the illness. The most extraordinary lapses from classical procedure show admirable results when this rule is followed.

But, be sure that it is a true craving, unusual, individualizing the patients reaction to the )so-called) acute disease. The craving for and aversions to food in chronics will, of course, give you sound generals for your hierarchy of symptoms. If, in chronic cases the remedy is given, it will, little by little, enable the patient to assimilate that food which he craved, at the same time, quite reasonably, modifying the craving. For example, I have an Argentum nitricum patient who craved sugar and was ill from it, and who, under Arg. nit. no longer craves it, but can eat it with impunity. Similarly, I have a Calcarea child, who, after Calc., ceased craving chalk and indigestibles and can assimilate lime from the food.

In connection with being made ill by specific articles of food several interesting points arise : Try at first to see whether it is a combination of foods which disagree, or the one given element of diet. A wise professor once told me that almost anyone could eat almost anything if they ate it by itself. Next in the case of certain acids, try giving cream cheese or cottage cheese with them. For instance, those with whom strawberries disagree, can often take strawberries if cream cheese is eaten at the same time; and similarly with tomatoes.

This also applies t shellfish in some patients. Beware the combinations of acids and sugars, starches with meat, in people with delicate digestions. Buttermilk will often so alter the colons flora and fauna that putrefaction is regulated and much can be digested which hitherto did not agree. A famous German homoeopath, Dr. Schlegel the elder, told me that if everyone would drink buttermilk the race would profit enormously, and if they would add honey (formic acid) and radishes (which are anti-uric acid) even more trouble would be saved. Remember that onions help keep blood pressure down (the excitable Italians with their garlic and onions rarely have hypertension).

In idiosyncrasies of preference rather than actual aggravations, ingenuity will save much trouble. Your child or patient who will not take milk may enjoy it if vichy or seltzer be added, or if milk and cream are mixed half and half with ginger ale or sarsaparilla. Or the difference between hot and cold milk may change the dislike.

Those needing iron who claim cabbage gives them gas can often take raw cabbage with sour cream dressing. Spinach pureed with egg chopped on it will tempt the anti-green child. Cider and raw apples are marvelous for thinning the arthritic patient. Brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and honey will not harm him as other sweets will. These hints may seem feminine and trivial, but I assure you, they work. I hope the discussion of this paper will provoke much more lore in this lines.

There is another sphere where diet aids materially in cleansing the system. We have mentioned buttermilk and lemon juice. White of egg, with lemon or orange juice makes a detoxifying liver wash for the bilious. The egg albumen forms albuminates with the poisons which accumulate in the liver. Tea made from red clover blossoms and drunk, two quarts daily, helps the cancer patients and appears to cleanse the system. (An old German adjuvant).

So far we have not even mentioned the important relationship between certain foods and the best action of our remedies. But surely you all know these symbioses and antagonisms. For example, Aconite and acids do not agree, coffee antidotes the action of Nux vomica. These relationships are legion and can be found in Clarkes Dictionary of Materia Medica and in many other of our classics, under the separate remedies.

Certain theoretical problems of enormous interest to me come up under this subject. For instance, we use articles of food as remedies. What reaction, if any, may these have on patients sensitive to them, even in the crude, combustible form? And vice versa, can we aid the suitable remedy by giving its crude counterpart as a food simultaneously? Furthermore, should we not make and prove the whole range of vegetables, fruits and nutritive articles, so that when we find a patient with an idiosyncrasy to something we can compare his case with the proving of the offending food and see whether it may not fit and aid? These foods should be proven on those with a sensitivity to them. For instance, I should prove egg-plant, our friend, Dr. Roberts, has proved tomato, and a patient of mine, who is violently ill from even a dash of red pepper lurking in the soup – though he has plenty in his disposition – would make an admirable prover of Capsicum.

These last considerations are offered to you as “articles of diet”. Think them over, digest them, and give the society a valuable and full discussion of this too often neglected phase of concomitant homoeopathy. NEW YORK CITY.


DR. W.J.S. POWERS : This is a very difficult paper to discuss. It is full of great deal of material and on a subject that we know virtually very little about. It is practically the working out of each individual as we gradually gather our information and put it together. It is all we can do.

Dr. Hubbard mentioned in one part of the paper the idiosyncrasies to food, and being very careful of the idiosyncrasies that the individual has, I have found that by using the raw vegetables and raw fruits, with plenty of dairy fats, I do not have to pay such close attention to those idiosyncrasies. I have found people who could not eat fruit. One woman could not eat fruit.

Every time she ate fruit she broke out with little lumps all over her body. That was a puzzle for me for a moment, but I asked her to try the raw vegetables and raw fruit and go easy at first on the raw fruit. She did so, and inside of two weeks she could eat any kind of fruit without any disturbance whatsoever. I found this in several different instances. Some people cannot eat cooked cabbage, for instance, but they can eat raw cabbage.

Elizabeth Wright Hubbard
Dr. Elizabeth Wright Hubbard (1896-1967) was born in New York City and later studied with Pierre Schmidt. She subsequently opened a practice in Boston. In 1945 she served as president of the International Hahnemannian Association. From 1959-1961 served at the first woman president of the American Institute of Homeopathy. She also was Editor of the 'Homoeopathic Recorder' the 'Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy' and taught at the AFH postgraduate homeopathic school. She authored A Homeopathy As Art and Science, which included A Brief Study Course in Homeopathy.