[The original is in the Memorial Collection.].
Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 12, 1849.
Dr. S. S. Guy,
I received your letter this morning. The name of the medicine I have sent you for experimenting in epilepsy is Calcarea arsenica. Thus you can read right what is unreadably written. Some hope for our further correspondence.
All I know of Calc. ars. is, besides a few symptoms, the surprising influence it had in four or five epileptic cases. I used it according to theory not governed by symptoms. I wish it to be proved very much. There is no certainty without proving.
Glonoine I procured for you is the “real stuff” prepared by Apothecary Johns in Philadelphia, and is genuine. I had very little left of my own prepared in my office; it is nearly used up in experimenting. Johns prepared some merely to have the honor of succeeding. It is very difficult and not without danger to make it. It is very evaporative, can only be kept in bottles with a glass stopper fitting well. We make attenuations or solutions in alcohol by 1 to 10 or 1 to 100 and potentize up to 6 and 12 centesimal steps. They keep better than the Glonoine. Water dissolves very little. For our experiments we have shaken 5,000 small globules with one drop of Glonoine about 1/5000 adhering to each globule. The Glonoine remains only on the surface. Solutions in alcohol we think saturate the whole globule.
Only a high degree of heat will cause explosion. Putting one drop on paper and burning the paper you can see the explosion. We have not measured the degree of heat causing explosion. It is prepared a degree below zero. At what degree it would freeze has not been ascertained.
I fell asleep while writing the above and continue next morning.
You ought to take The British Journal, it is the only good journal we have. A new subscriber will get former volumes for a trifle I suppose.
Of Glonoine provings we have now a considerable number but most all done in a hurry. We ought to have some provings in which for an hour at least the pulse is counted without interrupting the observation for a minute. The prover ought to sit down and another feel his pulse and write the changes down. And a third prover the other symptoms.
Most of our experiments have been made with the undiluted Glonoine adhering to globules. Lately we found alcohol solution by far better. Water solution acts slower but is longer lasting.
Please let me know the results of your experiments. Your epileptic patients, if there is aggravation, ought to discontinue the Calc. ars.; if not, continue until skin symptoms appear.
(Signed) C. HERING.
In cases of chronic constipation, you must require them to go without medication for a time, that you may find the especial symptoms to prescribe upon. You will find that they have habitually taken this, that or the other compound, or an enema, everyday, to produce action of the bowels; so they have but one symptom to tell you, and that is constipation. If you study the materia medica carefully, you will find that upon that symptom alone you could prescribe any or every drug that has been proven, as all have it in greater or less degree. The patient will insist that it will make him sick; but you may confidently assure him that it will not, for before he reaches that point you will have found the remedy.
He wont die until he is sick. He wont be sick until he has symptoms, and when he has developed the latter you will see the remedy, and before fifteen or eighteen hours are gone he will have had a natural motion of the bowels, and without suffering. Let him visit you every day for a week, study the case as it develops, there can hardly be a doubt that in the end you will have a perfect image of his sickness, and not only get, but deserve, the everlasting gratitude of your patient, and his whole family as your clients.- J.T. KENT, M.D., 1888.