Some years ago a patient of Dr. William Tod Helmuth, Sr., related the following to me: “I had been advised that I needed an operation and called on Dr. Helmuth to arrange for the same. After hearing my symptoms, the doctor said, There are two ways to cure you, one is by an operation; the other is by the homoeopathically indicated remedy. We will choose the latter”.

Should the surgeon be a homoeopathic prescriber, or simply a mechanic making alterations and adjustments in the human machine? Should he leave the prescribing to another, or should he himself be familiar with the symptomatology of at least the important remedies and with their efficiency in surgical cases? “That is the question.” Personally, I believe that the surgeon should be capable of prescribing. Like all specialists in the healing art, the surgeon should be a trained physician.

If not, he is a knives man pure and simple. We as homoeopaths, know the value of the indicated remedy in surgical conditions. Aconite, Apis, Arnica, Arsenicum, Asafoetida, Belladonna, Bryonia, Calcarea phos., Calendula, Echinacea, Hamamelis, Hepar sulph., Hypericum, Iodine, Lachesis, Ledum, Lilium tig., Lycopodium, Millefolium, Mercurius, Nux vomica, Rhododendron, Rhus tox., Ruta, Symphytum, etc., are prominent among a host of remedies that may prove useful to the surgeon if he can and will prescribe.

Some years ago a patient of Dr. William Tod Helmuth, Sr., related the following to me: “I had been advised that I needed an operation and called on Dr. Helmuth to arrange for the same. After hearing my symptoms, the doctor said, There are two ways to cure you, one is by an operation; the other is by the homoeopathically indicated remedy. We will choose the latter”. Dr. Helmuth prescribed and the patient was cured. He knew homoeopathy as well as surgery.

Although we must accept the fact that at times an operation is absolutely necessary, many patients can be saved the danger, expense (an important consideration in these days) and inconvenience of surgical measures by careful homoeopathic prescribing.

The chairman has asked me to report one case in which the homoeopathic remedy has been advantageously employed. During my thirty-four years of practice I have had many surgical patients benefited by correct medication. I choose the following chiefly because of a very happy ending.

Female, age 29. Aug. 1, 1932. Married. History of cystic degeneration of left ovary. Operated by a celebrated homoeopathic surgeon in 1928. Her symptoms had been growing worse for the past six months. She was nervous, constipated, and suffered from flatulence, nausea, vomiting and pain during menstruation. Her physician discovered pathology of the right ovary and advised an operation. A close relative, a prominent homoeopathic physician in his special field, sent her to me for homoeopathic prescribing instead. I elicited sensitiveness of the right ovary on palpitation. She was very desirous of having a child, a longing that had never been fulfiled. I prescribed Apis 6 four times daily. She had no nausea, vomiting or other symptoms during the next menstrual period. I continued Apis intermittently. She grew better in every way.

October 1, 1932. Flatulence during the menses, with a sensation as if gas were coming up into the throat, and the feeling of a lump. I prescribed Asafoetida 3 four times daily. All symptoms vanished rapidly. On March 23, 1933, she was delivered of a bouncing boy. She is in perfect health today. NEW YORK, N.Y.


DR. BRYANT: Gentlemen, I have been doing surgery for nearly twenty years, and a number from the drugless schools, such as the osteopathic, refer surgery to me, and I am convinced that 75 per cent of the surgery done usually can be spared.

Shortly before I left Seattle, a patient referred to me came in and told me she wanted to go to the hospital for operation and when would I arrange it, and, on making an examination, I found pelvic pathology and I thought it could be relieved. That patient was not referred to me by a homoeopathic physician.

It has been my plan always to spare surgery and use it only as a last resort. I told her that I thought the trouble could be remedied and if she would go back to her doctor, I would call him. I sold him on the idea that we had simple homoeopathic remedies I thought would relieve the case. He happened to be an osteopath. He thanked me for the opportunity of prescribing and prescribed the remedy I gave, I will know about this when I go back.

I am convinced that a homoeopath should be a surgeon. I dont believe there is anyone better qualified to do surgery and to know when it should be done. I think it is too bad that more of our men specialize exclusively in homoeopathic prescribing. I believe where the opportunity is presented, if you go in and assist in the case – that is the way I did years ago – you can do a great deal. There was a prominent surgeon who allowed us to have younger men assist him, and gradually in that way you can go in and you are in a position to judge whether or not the patient needs surgery.

DR. ALFRED PULFORD: We have been at swords point on a great many things, but today I want to congratulate Dr. Coleman with all my heart. He spoke of Helmuth. He was first of all a wonderful prescriber.

I remember J.H. MacClelland, in Pittsburgh Hospital, while I was an intern there. He wasnt the best surgeon that every carved, but he was a wonderful prescriber, and he got away with a lot of things that had he not been a good homoeopathic prescriber, he never would have gotten away with.

Here is one of the finest things I saw down there: A case of compound fracture came in. It certainly was the most impossible thing I have seen anywhere. The surgeon was censured by every surgeon who came in because he wouldnt cut off that leg. He looked up and said, “Gentlemen, any fool can cut off a leg, but it takes a surgeon to save one,” and he rolled up his sleeves and went in and gave the man an almost perfect leg. If that isnt one of the best incentives to become a good prescriber, there are none.

DR. COLEMAN: I will relate one case briefly because it is interesting, not so much from a homoeopathic view as from the fact that we should not rush into meddlesome surgery. Some years ago when my regiment was in camp, one of the boys out on the range, as they were putting in the machine gun to the carriage, had an accident and the machine gun went off, and a bullet went through his brachial artery, severing the brachial artery entirely. His life was saved by the promptness of the boys of the Medical Department who promptly put on a tourniquet and sent him in to the hospital.

Some of my captains, one of them especially, thought that that limb would have to be amputated. I begged to differ and said there wouldnt be any amputation of that arm until the demarcation of gangrene should set in. It never did set in.

I prescribed the homoeopathic remedy and that entire case was on homoeopathic treatment, and the boys about the detachment had become quite skilful in the handling of minor remedies.

Years rolled by. We couldnt get any pulse in the radial or ulnar arteries. They were completely cut off. He was a plasterer by trade and he was left-handed and it happened to be his left arm. Several years afterwards he appeared in the room at the medical detachment of the armory, with his arm apparently normal in every way. I felt his pulse and found that I could then detect pulse in that deeper artery of the forearm. The two important ones had been cut off. He was at work at his usual job of plastering, without any trouble, or any inconvenience.

Now, what a crime it would have been to have amputated that arm right away. Just by waiting and doing some prescribing the patients arm was saved and he went back to his job and could earn his living.

Another very important point was that the state saved a large sum of money because if they had to pay the damages of the loss of the arm, they would have had to pay out a considerable amount. They did have to pay out quite a bit at that, but that is one proof of the proper procedure in those surgical cases, to wait and not be in too much of a hurry to operate.

Daniel E S Coleman