That most fascinating of books, the dictionary, defines a nosode as “a disease product used as a remedy”. Many of our homoeopathic doctors would describe nosodes in opprobrious terms; some use one to open almost every chronic case; others give them where the miasmatic history is clear and the symptoms are mixed or obscure; certain prescribers put them in as “intercurrents”; the French school combine or alternate the suitable miasmatic nosode with the most similar remedy for the top layer, or recent symptoms.
In cases where no drug stands out, after patient questioning and repertorizing, some give the nosode of the main miasm in order to stir up the depths and throw out indications for a curative prescription. We hear much of the role of the nosode when seemingly well chosen drugs fail to act or hold; and in the clearing up of recalcitant relapses. The strict homoeopath uses the exanthem nosodes for immunization often, although Merc. cy., Bell. and Dros. prevail, too.
The list of nosodes in current usage in homoeopathy is sizeable; in the precious fourth volume of Clarkes Dictionary of Materia Medica, the Clinical Repertory, we find mention of twenty-two, including such a well-known remedy as Secale. In Great Britain Bach developed a new group of the intestinal variety mostly. Certain ones from the exanthemata have been added, such as Scarlatinum and Pertussin. Some are rare to many, as Melitagrinum, Skinners nosode from eczema capitis, or Nectrianinum, the tree cancer remedy.
The big three, corresponding to Hahnemanns miasms, Psorinum, Medorrhinum and Syphilinum, are well known to all, as is Tuberculinum or Bacillinum. H.C. Allens book, The Nosodes, is a classic on these; but an adequate knowledge of them must be built up by study of J.H. Allens books on two of the three miasms, as well as modern sources such as H.A. Roberts masterly lectures to the American Foundation for Homoeopathy Summer School.
The best practice, I believe, gives the nosodes by their definite symptomatology, like any other remedy; and this truism has led me to make some brilliant results in acute cases. While driving on your rounds, ask yourselves the acute uses of Syphilinum or of Psorinum.
As an example let us take the case of Miss X. who was beside herself with agony at receiving an enema from a skilful nurse. Sensation of unbearable constriction at rectum, with pushing down pain, and actual prolapse of anus, clusters of hard tender piles with fissures and burning; history of obstinate constipation for years; habitually took an enema twice a week, and dreaded the ordeal to the point of hysteria. Luetic family history. Fears the night, when she is <, and the exhaustion of waking; and insanity. Such remedies of Aesc. and even Lach. had been given without relief. Syphilinum 1M., one dose; relaxation of the rectal spasm in a few minutes, followed by almost normal bowel action for the first time in her memory, with relief of depression, etc.
Or again, Mrs. M., in the knee-chest position, cyanosed, gasping and wheezing, her coarse unruly hair standing out in all directions, muttering, “If I could get to the seashore – if I only could.” Medorrhinum 10M., one dose, with relief in five minutes while I watched. (Previous adrenalin in other attacks with no help.).
An eleven-year-old boy in bed with fever of 103, room stifling but a woolly muffler wrapped around his head, pale, dirty skin, drenched in fetid sweat, slight thin discharge from ear which could be smelled on entering the room. No pain whatever unless his head was raised on a pillow, as I discovered on asking why the pillow was on the floor.
History of running ear on and off since scarlet fever at four years of age. Psorinum 10M., one dose. Fever dropped in two hours, ear discharged violently for a week; chilliness, sweat and odor gone. Three weeks later mother said boy was never so well; no ear discharge for ten months, when it became necessary to repeat dose.
The Bellevue-Stratford is hardly the olive grove at Colonas, nor Philadelphia Greece; yet there is a school of notable philosophers here as there, and though we may not be peripatetic, I hope we will all join in a deep and sprightly discussion of the uses and abuses of these unpleasantly important instruments of human correction, the nosodes.
NEW YORK, N.Y.
DR. BAKER: I agree with Dr. Hubbard, that you get your best results in using the nosodes where you can prescribe them as a regular homoeopathic remedy on the symptoms, only you cant always get the symptoms. Then you have to use them until you can get the symptoms – especially that case of the knee-chest position and the Medorrhinum. I have seen that work like a charm.