As a thesis on the subject of homoeopathy, I know of nothing more to the point than a recital of those experiences that led me, as a recent graduate of the allopathic school of medicine, to a wholehearted adoption of the philosophy and practice of the newer school-homoeopathy.
During my resident study at the University of New York, 1888-91, I had heard much of the foolish inutility of homoeopathy, of course, and when I graduated our very large class was told that now we were educated in all the latest lore of medical sciences; but my habit of reading many, instead of a few prescribed authors, compelled me to remember that so many divergent opinions were in evidence among these supposed authorities on almost every phase of study except anatomy, that this assurance of a completed education was not wholly convincing.
With my diploma in medicine, my state examinations completed, my registration for practice in both New York and Pennsylvania secure, I took three months at home before selecting that particular locality that was to be blessed with my medical and surgical skill.
While at home I discovered that my former preceptor practicing there was an evident apostate from his orthodox training, as his practice was very plainly of homoeopathic complexion, much to my disgust. We quarrelled over this apostacy and I was quite inclined to look with suspicion on his state of mental composity.
His story of why he, a graduate of the same school as I, had descended to such unorthodox practice, is worth repeating.
He also had been told in New York that his education was of the very elect, and that he was now equipped to handle any emergency in truly scientific manner. He soon discovered this to be a rank overstatement, for his first experience in practice brought him into contact with a very fatal type of epidemic diphtheria, before the days of Pasteur and diphtheria antitoxin. He lost most of his cases and was about to abandon his field when he remembered a despised homoeopath, and a woman at that, who was laboring in an adjoining field, and, so far as he was able to discover, losing no cases.
Being first a physician and secondarily a scientist he resolved to forget his pride of education and go to her to find out what she was doing that he was not, or what she was not doing that he did.
He found her an enthusiast, willing to talk of her science, as is any true followers of Hahnemann, and she told him that this particular epidemic was falling into two classes, as regards indications for prescribing, the one Lachesis and the other Mercurius cyanatus, all of which was pure Greek to him. She explained the indications for each remedy and gave him a quantity of each, which he took without much enthusiasm, but applied according to the indications she had given him.
He then lost no more cases, and gladly undertook a study of homoeopathy by means of her library and grafts from her remedies.
Both the studies and their results so impressed him that from this accidental beginning he became one of the best prescribers it has ever been my good fortune to know.
This story was all like a fairy tale to me and while something not easily to be explained, nor, from my knowledge of the narrator, to be doubted, yet the stronghold built up by my professors was not to capitulate so easily.
I was reluctant to believe that any material fact in therapeutics had wholly escaped my learned professors in medicine, and, also, I had heard this unorthodox and foolish school that believed in infinitesimals too severely criticized and denounced and ridiculed to accept its teachings as anything but a passing fancy, even on the statement of my respected and much loved preceptor; and so a sort of armed truce developed between us on the whole subject, though I did condescend to ride him during my vacation, to make the diagnoses, also the prognoses, he to do the prescribing.
My cherished prognoses, made with the utmost finality, were daily shown to be far too pessimistic, for cases of influenza, even pneumonia of apparently serious type, were often up in a few days and soon again at work, apparently no worse for their recent illnesses.
In New York we had recently been through the very fatal epidemic of 1890-91, where the prognosis was generally bad under what I what I believed to be the very latest application of the ultimate of science, and these unaccountable recoveries were not easily explained.
Day after day I was compelled to feel that there must be something that had accidentally been left out of my very scientific training, but to admit that this something was the principle of Similia Similibus Curantur was not for a moment considered.
It took a severe attack of influenza of personal application to furnish the final straw that broke the back of my uneducated resistance. Within an hour following the initial chill I was in such pain as it did not seem mortal man could be asked to endure, with no relief from the continued tossing that sought for some spot where ease might be hoped for.
My preceptor was hurriedly summoned, and this was his greeting:.
“Young man, I now have you just where I want you, and am going to give you a homoeopathic demonstration that will convince the most illogical and stubborn pig that I have ever known.
One dose of Rhus tox., brought the most blessed relief within ten minutes, where my faith had been pinned to coal tar suppressants of the symptoms of pain and fever.
The next morning found a much chastened medical spring on his way down town to find out what it was all about.
The Organon, Kent, Carroll Dunham, Hering, Raue, were devoured in the next few weeks, and what a revelation!.
Instead of the heterogeneous opinions of many so-called authorities of the self-styled orthodox school with its completely unsatisfying theories, a new field of logic dawned, with no disagreement among the various authors, all recognizing one unchangeable law of cure, and at last there was something to which one could anchor, and from which one might with some degree of intelligence reason.
It has now been well over forty-one years since these occurrences, and at no time since has respect for homoeopathy lessened, nor had the lost respect for the older school returned even in small degree.
As practice increased, the time for individual study of each case was not available, and snap diagnoses were generally the rule, but, even so, the results were such as to justify the choice of homoeopathy as regular practice, and, when time offered, there was no more delightful pastime than search for the indicated remedy, and the joy of successful application of the correct similimum was always greater than that of an operation completed without technical error.
When such operation resulted in improved condition there was always a keen sense of success almost at hand, but this was never to be compared with the intense satisfaction that followed the exhibition of the correct remedy in an annoying symptom complex, for in the latter case the forces of nature seemed to be released and health was on a higher plane afterward, which can seldom be said of even the most successful operation.
Science is never more nor less than demonstrable truth, and the truth can never be wholly lost, even though it may be neglected or misunderstood or misapplied, but always, sometime, somewhere, it will raise its head and demand recognition.
The persistence of the philosophy of Samuel Hahnemann throughout the many years of ridicule by the older school is evidence that the truth is here embraced.
Benjamin Franklins statement of long ago, that but one percent of humanity is capable of independent thought and correct reasoning, no doubt accounts for the fact that the true disciples of Samuel Hahnemann number not much more than this insignificant percentage in the field of medicine; but who would wish to be of the ninety-nine percent?.
If the true function of medicine is to cure quickly, pleasantly and effectively, then the objects of prescribing remedies for human ills are fully met by the homoeopathic prescription, while a search of the materia medica of the older school fails dismally to produce any so-called remedies that fill acceptably these specifications.
It is charged by the so-called regular school that homoeopathy is symptomatic in its aims, while the object aimed at by the orthodox prescription is the removal of the causes, a charge that is notorious for its opposition to the facts of the case, for the totality of the symptoms constitutes the case,if by symptoms we mean all of the body indications put forth by disease, or during the progress of disease.
Allopathy decries specific prescribing, preferring to treat disease expectantly, the expectation being evidently that something different may soon happen, and an expectation that seldom disappoints, for whether the new happening be recovery or death, neither is touched by the objects of the allopathic prescription, as the cause is never well understood.
Treatment of cause is a myth, except in so far as sanitation or hygiene may be regarded as causes, yet this has always been the Shibboleth applied to the practitioner of medicine, and is about as fundamental to a true consideration of treatment as most of the other Shibboleths quite generally employed.
To be of the elect followers of Samuel Hahnemann is the hall mark of the thinks while to follow the herd is to admit an inability to think independently or reason correctly, which is an indication, even a tacit admission,that membership is in the ninety-nine percent controlled by mob thought alone. STROUDSBURG, PA.