When requested by the Chairman to write a paper for this Bureau, I understood that the main point that I was to discuss was WHEN-NOT how are why-WILL THE HOMOEOPATHIC REMEDY CURE DISEASE? This gave me the impression that there was to be a kind of symposium and others were to write on different phases of the subject. This would have been fine, I am sure, and very interesting. But later, when the doctor learned that I was shuffling along up in the octogenarian class, through kindness of heart I am sure, he very graciously gave me full privilege to write of what-ever I might chose. Hence the title of my paper.
Some ten or more years ago I promised myself that, for the reminder of my days, whatever I might write would be, for the most part, of a clinical nature. This, I believe, is the best and most successful method of conveying a knowledge of the great and many times marvelous results obtainable with the proper application of our medicine in sickness. INFORM THE PEOPLE-this should be our slogan.
Read the history of the great work of the pioneers of Homoeopathy. Note how rapidly they were converting the people and the doctors, about he time of and after the arrival of the great Doctor Gram in New England. I happen to remember that about that time over forty doctors were practicing Homoeopathy in that very small state of Vermont. Will some of you New England doctors young them now and see how you will “swell up” with pride?.
What are we going to do about this situation? We have a situation, have we not? Those pioneers accomplished their great work by practicing real Homoeopathy, curing their patients promptly and thus demonstrating to the people and many doctors the superiority of their treatment.
In this connection I will mention of one or two cases. I began practicing in a city in the northwest in which I had the acquaintance of but one person.
Among the first with whom I became acquainted was a man past forty years with whom I became acquainted was a man past forty years of age, who was employed in the office of a large business firm. He had been having a succession of boils recurring at irregular intervals for a long time, and had found not cure for the trouble. I prescribed Silicia and no more boils appeared.
A few months later, when cold whether came on, I was asked to treat his wife for a very distressing case of chilblains that had recurred for several winters. Pulsatilla cured more quickly than I had anticipated, and that was the last of this trouble. As a sequel to this I will say that just four months after I met this man, he began the study of medicine. He graduated at Pulse College and practiced in Chicago for more than thirty-five years.
I took my first dose of Homoeopathic medicine about seventy- seven years ago: and as I remember what the matter was, I think I can name the remedy that was given,; and as soon as I was old enough to be able to do so, I advocated and defended it among acquaintances.
I came out of college fully convinced of the efficacy of homoeopathic medicine in the curing of disease, but there was one question that often recurred to me, and it was this, Whence the power of the attenuated remedy; what can it be? Finally, with my limited knowledge, I was obliged to be satisfied that it must be some form of electric or electromagnetic power in the different medicines which acted upon, or influenced, similar forces in the tissues and organs of the body.
Time went on-as it often does-until early in the time so often referred to as the “Gay Nineties”. It was about this time that Professor LeBon of the Brussels Academy of Science published his two works entitled Evolution of Matter and Evolution of Force. As soon as I was able to find the books on sale I procured them, and found them of great interest and help in my study, and I am worrying no more about potency.
Before an audience of professional persons it will be necessary to present only a very few quotations to serve our purpose. In his Evolution of Force LeBon makes this statement. If we separate a single atom of any substance quite apart from that substance we will have liberated a reservoir of intense force. . . . The electrons composing that atom become very active and dispose themselves very much as do the planets and satellites in a planetary system.
Again, in speaking of the immensity of force in matter, he gives this example.
Could the once or power contained in the copper of the French centime (being about one gram) be confined in an engine, it would be sufficient to draw a train of forty cars-twelve tons to the car-four and one-quarter times around the earth.
Now, does not this give us some idea as to the origin of the forces in our medicine?.
In the fifth edition of the Organon Hahnemann says: “We develop this power by separating the substance into their most minute particles,” and that is precisely that is done in making triturations and dilutions. And the more widely we separate the atoms and the electrons the more highly potent they become. Since Millikans discovery, we have another division in matter, and this opens up another field for further attenuation of our remedies. And even to an interested onlooker it would appear that this division might continue on and on down to infinity. It would seem to me that a training that would give a student an insight into this subject would be a source of better understanding and satisfaction in the work of his profession.
In order to introduce another item which I think is a very important matter, I will mention another case. I had prescribed for a few incidental troubles for the wife of a prominent business man, but when it came time for the arrival of an heir in the family, she called her former older doctor. When, after a week or more, they found a lack in he quantity and quality of natural food for the child, she asked to have me prescribe.
I found in the general make up of the mother a fair picture of a remedy, and scant watery milk and a tendency in the patient to gain flesh or weight. I prescribed Graphites. Within seven or eight days there was sufficient good milk for the child. It is scarcely necessary to say that she employed homoeopathy for her family from that time on.
I should have mentioned the fact that teas, tonics, quinine, beer, etc., have been given in this case to no avail. A careful prescriber can correct this deficiency in milk in most cases, but from the information I have gathered, this treatment seems to have become a lost art. Since I discontinued obstetrical practice, I have frequently been called upon for medicine in these cases by some of my former patrons.
Nature provides the best food possible for the infant. Evidence of the peoples believe in this is the fact that dealers strive to imitate the mothers milk as nearly as possible.
Some in this audience know something of my interest in children. That interest extends down in to and beyond the cradle. I firmly believe that treatment-prenatal and in the early months and years-may prove of great benefit as to the health and well-being, not only in children, but in many cases throughout the life of the person. If the doctor be a student, as every doctor should be, and will study carefully a few remedies pertaining to this subject, he can render much helpful service, give many children a more favorable start on life, and at the same time gain in the growth of his practice.
Now I will digress for a moment to say that this is the most difficult job in the way of writing a paper that I have ever attempted. When I began to “reminisence” (I put that word in quotation marks) so many things came looming up that the difficulty lay in the attempt to decide which should be left out. And show I hope not to tire you or bore you too much if I mention two more items, then try to make a finish of this rambling effort.
Several years ago a man from Detroit, while visiting his son in our city, was asked by his son to consult me. His was the worst case of tic douloureux I had ever met with. He was a railway engineer and had been in charge of one of the fast trains on the Michigan Central road. He was given time off and was to employ the very best medical talent in the city. This was at the early beginning of the third winter and he had had no permanent relief.
I will not take time to recite his symptoms more than to say it was a plain Belladonna case, with all the ear-marks: the coming on the sudden sharp, jerky, tearing pains, then waning and returning again; better in hot weather and in the cold winter terribly severe. I prescribed Belladonna of course, and within the few days that he remained on his visit he was much better. I should say I prescribed through the mails a few times during the winter, and rather early in the spring he returned to his engine and was happy. No practitioner in our school should make a mistake in prescribing in this case.
Now one more cases. A young lawyer called me late in the evening, saying he was suffering so that he must have relief, and asked if he might come to my office. He was having his third protracted case of sinus trouble following an attack treatment since October. I will not consume time by describing the pains more than to record that he side he had suffered constantly, could not sleep nor attend to his professional work as it should be done.
I gave him Pulsatilla, of which he took two or three doses before retiring. The next day we met on the street and with a smile on his face he said. “Your know I was in your office last night and:” (stroking his head) “that pains is all gone,” Pulsatilla stopped the pain, and that with Nux vomica cured within a very few weeks.
I mention this case to gain an opportunity to say something on this subject.
We see and hear so much about this disease that is commonly called sinus disease, and judging from what we see and know in our cities and vicinities, their must be tens of thousands of cases every year; every large majority are treated locally, paying a good free and getting for the most part very indifferent results; and not a few of these cases are told that they can be helped but cannot be cured. I have personal, positive evidence of this fact.
But the most distressing part of it all is the fact that many, if not most, of our homoeopathic specialists are giving this local treatment, and some of them exclusively-this without any internal medicine.
One man, after having had two or three prescriptions was told that local treatment was necessary, and that the fee would be three dollars, three times a week. He drove thirty-five miles to get homoeopathic medicine and was cured for three or four dollars Case after case like this can be recalled.
But I fear I am taking too much of our time and am not going to leave you in very good spirits by speaking of all the unfortunate things that have come to us to hinder the work of carrying on in what I think will prove finally to be one of the greatest gifts of God to humanity, excepting that of the great, the super-Man of Nazareth. My great regret is that I shall not be permitted to work in this great cause for another score of years. [Dr.Overpeck was permitted to work for only a “score of weeks” longer. He died October 8, 1934. Readers of the RECORDER will recall Dr.Overpecks great interest in the development of backward children, and the good work he has done for them, not only himself, but in stimulating others to study out these cases- ED.
If we thus carefully examine our patients there will be found little or no trouble in finding the similimum. The necessity for close and careful examination of patients is well known to all Homoeopathic physicians, yet numbers of case are reported in which the examination has been poorly made. We read numerous cases reported in journals in which no clear indications are given for the remedies selected. Indeed, in many such cases, any one of a dozen remedies is equally called for. When we
remember that in some cases the choice between two remedies is decided by one symptom, the necessity for this this careful examination which Hahnemann advises becomes apparent.
Thus a case is recalled in which a very careful prescriber had given Arsenic in a case of gangrene when the sufferer would not allow himself to be covered. The doctor over looked the fact that the Arsenic patient wants to be covered. The Arsenic did no good; a physician was called in consultation, and Secale was given with benefit-Homoeopathic Physician, 1887.