The mental symptoms as given so marked that Dysentery must be one of the remedies to be compared when any of them occur. We find faint or weak spells, fear, excitability, irritability, low spirits, flatulency and exhaustion, relief from open air in a large percentage of these patients. Fear or anxiety, et cetera, “hits the stomach” is frequently heard.

My experience with Dysentery compound is based on the “provings” of Dr. Thomas M. Dishington and his collaborators published in England and distributed here by Boericke and Tafel. Their spread out of symptoms is not an original proving but a “clinical proving”; that is, according to Dr. Dishington, “a disappearance of symptoms from within outward after prescribing the medicine and accompanied by an increase of vitality.” Because of the danger of producing incurable dyscrasiae with morbific products perhaps we should be content with this method of proving them. We are not all Sherbinos nor should be. Nevertheless, we cannot but think that many peculiar distinctions must be lost and the saltiness of characteristics dulled when the method of taking away symptoms is substituted for the unlimited possibilities of producing them. This must be doubly true of such diffusive remedies as we know the nosodes to be.

In making original provings for individual prescribing so much depends on perception; on the degree of care to follow up distinctive features; on the receptivity of the human nature instinct; on the insight and sympathy necessary to appreciate latent or active emotions and temperament; on recognizing the significance of what the observer sees or heats; and not the least of these activities, the discrimination to express it all in phrases fitting to the individual instead of the general category. But when these difficulties are realized as opportunities the quest becomes quite romantic.

Not so with the clinical proving. Even to approach this ideal with a clinical proving would require still more care and sifting. Considering the avoidable shortcomings of the retrograde method it appears that Dr. Dishington and his workers did well with Dysentery compound. but no clinical proving can express the originality of the drug as well as provings induced for that certain purpose.

I first began to prescribe dysentery about seven and a half years ago and to date of this writing have prescribed it one hundred and sixteen times. Twenty-eight or about one-fourth of these prescriptions were failures although the twenty-eight does include a few from which there was no report. One probable reason for so many failures is the fact that I crowded the selection of this remedy for awhile so as to become acquainted with it and find out what it would do. Considering these facts eighty-eight successful prescriptions out of one hundred and sixteen may save me from being pointed at without pride.

I find that I prescribed this remedy for bronchitis, nocturnal enuresis, colitis, gastric ulcer, renal calculus, gallstone effects, remote effects of shock of motorcycle accident, “nervous indigestion”, feeble digestion, spongy bleeding gums, anginal pains, arterial hypertension with headaches, gastric ulcer, flatulence with faintness (many instances) heart disturbances functional and chronic, lumbago, sciatica, patients with a multiplicity of symptoms and diagnoses, decompensated heart, nasal fissure, colic, vertigo, arthritis, herpes zoster, melancholia, ovarian irritation or worse, acne, chorea, relaxed stomach, vertigo relieved by closing the lids, sinusitis, heat flashes of menopause, eczema rubrum, epistaxis, and -I think we had better stop here before I am questioned as to how many of these conditions were cured.

I will answer that question before it is asked. In the first place, it is now realized more or less that diagnosis began on the adolescent notion of arriving at a name that would dictate the treatment. Of course this may be more or less necessary for surgical conditions but mostly injurious……

for the purpose of medicinal treatment. Medicine has not yet entirely emancipated itself from this practice.

Diagnosis is too much the art of arbitrary nomenclature and too little the art of discovering intrinsic influences and tendencies. And so many regular physicians have the physicians instinct for the more humanistic details! If they could but free themselves from the notion of force, from gross therapeutic measures-but this is pulling us still farther from the subject of Dysentery compound. Arbitrary nomenclature at best has no relation to individualistic medication and is always being questioned and disputed. One could double the list of diagnostic terms pertaining to these one hundred and sixteen patients with no enlightenment as to the individual remedy needed by any of them. On the other hand, the perception of general influences and tendencies points toward similars and curative remedies.

Royal E S Hayes
Dr Royal Elmore Swift HAYES (1871-1952)
Born in Torrington, Litchfield, Connecticut, USA on 20 Oct 1871 to Royal Edmund Hayes and Harriet E Merriman. He had at least 4 sons and 1 daughter with Miriam Martha Phillips. He lived in Torrington, Litchfield, Connecticut, United States in 1880. He died on 20 July 1952, in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut, United States, at the age of 80, and was buried in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.