In presenting this paper the first thought in mind is an earnest belief that most homoeopathic physicians recognize the fact that the majority of surgical conditions are preventable if the patient can be seen before the stage of gross pathology.
It is now generally accepted that homoeopathic remedies act through the defense mechanism of the body. The action of highly potentized remedies is psychogenetic, while crude drugs are physiological. ALL drugs that have a physiological effect depress the defense mechanism.
It is well to consider here the statement of Dr. Alexis Carrel, for thirty years and until 1939 Conductor of Research in the Rockefeller Institute, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Surgery in 1921. In his book, Man, The Unknown, he said:.
Man is an indivisible whole of extreme complexity. No simple representation of him can be obtained. (p.2). He is the chemical substances constituting the tissues and humors of the body. He is the compound of tissues and consciousness that hygienists and educators endeavor to lead to its optimum development while it extends into time. (p.3.).
Further on Dr. Carrel says:.
Man cannot be separated into parts. He would cease to exist if his organs were isolated from one another. (p.44). And it is impossible for a specialist, actively engaged in the pursuit of his own task, to understand the human being as a whole. (p.45.) Still more harm is caused by the extreme specialization of the physicians. Medicine has separated the sick human being into small fragments, and each fragment has its specialist. When a specialist, from the beginning of his career, confines himself to a minute part of the body, his knowledge of the rest is so rudimentary that he is incapable of thoroughly understanding even that part in which he specializes. The more eminent the specialist, the more dangerous he is. (p.46.).
DEFENSE MECHANISM OF THE BODY.
This brings us to the subject of the defense mechanism of the body. In our present understanding it consists of the autonomic nervous system, reticulo-endothelial system, blood plasma, leucocytes (especially polymorphonuclear), monocytes, sensorium commune, diencephalon, thalamus and hypothalamus.
Dr. Carrel makes interesting comment in Man, The Unknown, as follows:.
There is not a shadow of a doubt that mechanical, physical, and chemical sciences are incapable of giving us intelligence, moral discipline, health, nervous equilibrium, security, and peace. Our curiosity must turn aside from its present path, and take another direction. It must leave the physical and physiological in order to follow the mental and the spiritual. (p.43.).
We can readily see embodied in this last sentence the essentials of drug provings originated by Samuel Hahnemann, and that these highly diluted remedies administered to the healthy individual for their action through the defense mechanism is proven by the symptoms produced as their effect is made known on the intelligence, moral discipline, and the nervous equilibrium.
Again, we KNOW that the highly diluted homoeopathic remedies affect the autonomic nervous system because it is through the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine glands that there become manifest the symptoms of fear, anger, shame, suicidal tendency, and the modification of cutaneous circulation.
The above commentary and quotations bring us to the subject of this paper.
SURGERY VS. Similia.
Surgery has never cured disease, yet it is essential often as a means for the preservation of life. Crude drugs and physical therapy are often of value as palliatives. Potentized remedies, applied according to the Law of the Similars, cure.
As specific illustrations I call to your attention the remedies in use in some of the more common conditions where surgical intervention is often required.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association, April 7, 1940, Doctor Alvarez of the Mayo Clinic told what he had learned from 385 appendectomies. Of these, 130 had suffered one sharp pain suggesting appendicitis, and after operation, 87 of them were cured. Of the other 255 patients, 60 were actually worse from the operation and only two were cured.
Now let us turn to homoeopathic prescribing:.
Many years ago Doctor Walter James, one of our most brilliant scholars, and under whose direction I received my homoeopathic training, once said to me: “Bryonia is the most indicated remedy in the first stages of appendicitis, the symptoms being characteristic of this trouble”.
Other remedies of special value are:.
Arsenicum: Chills; diarrhoea; restlessness; exhaustion. Thirst for small quantities of water at frequent intervals.
Lachesis: A most valuable remedy. Sensitiveness all over the abdomen; stitching from seat of inflammation backward and downward into things.
Belladonna: Severe pain in caecal region;
Plumbum: Tense swelling caecal region; its great characteristic being, however, retraction of abdominal wall. Eructation of gas and vomiting, both having faecal odor.
Rhus tox.: Swelling over McBurneys point.
Over a period of years it was my custom to advise patients suffering from calculi that their best hope of recovery was through surgery. However, due to what might be considered a chance indication, Phosphorus, based upon the symptoms of the patient himself in contradistinction to the calculus-produced symptoms, I was able to cause the rapid disappearance of a calculus in the pelvis of the kidney the size of a Mexican kidney bean.
This patient had been operated for a like-sized stone in the opposite kidney and was convalescing from a nephrotomy done for the removal of a stone in the opposite kidney. He expected at some future date to return to the hospital for a second nephrotomy.
We have all experienced such startling results at various times in our practice when prescribing was based on the peculiar or mental symptoms of a patient and not expecting gross pathological changes to disappear.
The concrete experience I have just described brought me to a sudden realization that even gross pathology and calculi in various parts of the body have been known to disappear when the actual similimum has been discovered.
Two of my patients while under treatment for renal calculi have been given strictly homoeopathic high potency remedies. Both have passed stones varying in size from small peas to navy beans, following the use of Calcarea renalis and Berberis.
This condition is often productive of cholelithiasis.
Stones in the bladder are cause of great pain only when they are of a size where passage through the cystic duct is possible with distention. Large stones, producing few or no symptoms, are often carried through life.
Inflammatory conditions, including acute and chronic infections which would usually involve the gall-bladder, are often secondary to hepatic inflammations and infections, and are responsible for symptoms.
Here the following remedies are of great value:.
Chionanthus: Periodic sick headaches, menstrual and bilious. Jaundice. Headache, chiefly over eyes with painful eyeballs and pressure over root of nose. Stools soft, yellow, pasty. Tender hepatic region. Sudden gripping pains as if slip knot around intestines was suddenly drawn tight and gradually loosened.
Chelidonium: Jaundice. Fixed pain under inferior angle of right scapula. Yellow coated tongue with imprint of teeth. Pain in stomach through to back. Relief temporarily by eating.
Cholesterinum: Obstinate hepatic engorgements. Burning pain in hepatic region.
Lycopodium: Right-sided pain, < 4 to 8 p.m. Craves everything warm. Intellectually keen, muscularly weak. Acid eructations. Melancholy; afraid to be alone. Red sediment in urine.
Cinchona officinalis: Great debility. Slow digestion. Vomiting of undigested food. Flatulence. Belching of bitter fluid which gives no relief. Worse after eating fruit. Tinnitus aurium.
Myrica: Bitter taste; nausea. Offensive breath. Strong desire for acids. Weak, sinking feeling in epigastrium. Jaundice. Dull hepatic pain.
Podophyllum: Hot sour belching. Thirst for large quantities of cold water. Empty gagging or retching. Distended abdomen with sensation of weakness or sinking.
Mercurius vivus: Sweetish taste. Salivation. Spongy, bleeding gums. Putrid eructations. Great thirst for cold drinks. Weak digestion with continuous hunger. Rectal and urinary tenesmus. Jaundice. Aggravation at night. Sweat without relief.
Natrum phosphoricum: Yellow, creamy coating, posterior half of tongue. Acid eructations. Jaundice. Sour vomiting. Greenish diarrhoea.
DIVERTICULITIS OF THE COLON.
I wish to mention this condition in passing because it was explained to me at Stanford University as often a fatal issue. My patient had a violent diverticulitis involving the entire colon, the x-ray picture showing multiple diverticula; the patient bedridden with at times feeble vomiting and copious bloody stools with great tenesmus. Violent cutting pains after stools lasting for hours. Permanently cured by Nitric acid in high potency. This is the only case I have ever seen of diverticulitis, with the exception of one patient (not my patient) that died at Stanford University.
FISTULA IN ANO.
One of my first demonstrations on the possibility of a cure of an anal fistula was in a patient who was president of a large wholesale drug company. This came shortly after my conversion to homoeopathy, many years ago. Two prominent surgeons had recommended immediate surgery, the patient consulting me after being told that nothing but surgery would be of value. I agreed with him that this was probably true, yet suggested that a brief trial be given the homoeopathic remedy.
After careful history taking, the following symptoms were evident: Greasy taste. Aversion to sweets. Feeling of rawness about the rectum. Sensation as if lime were burned in stomach.
Causticum completely cured this patient within three weeks time. The relief was immediate and the cure progressive.
Other indicated remedies are:.
Silica: Chronic suppurative processes. Patient is cold, chilly, hugs the fire. Wants warm clothing. Hates drafts. Lacks grit, moral and physical.
Nitric acid: Splinter-like pains. Irregular edges. Exuberant granulations. Foetid footsweat.
Graphites: Anus extremely sore. Stools covered with mucus. Eczematous subjects cracking behind the ears.
Ratanhia: Constriction about anus which burns and aches for hours after stool. Cutting lancinating pains in rectum with dryness.
Paeonia: Fissures with large oozing. Anus offensive, moist and sore. Smarting and burning all the time.
Platina: Crawling, itching, especially at night.
ACUTE SUPPURATIVE MASTOIDITIS.
Capsicum: Swelling and pain behind the ears. Burning and stinging in the ears. Sensitiveness, especially at the top of the mastoid.
Belladonna: The symptoms are too well known for detail.
Ammonium picricum: Boring pain extending to ear, orbit and jaw.
Silica: With old fistulous openings and sequestra discharging a yellow creamy pus.
Asafoetida: Caries with offensive discharges. Intolerable soreness about fistulous openings. Especially indicated in osteomyelitis of the tibia.
Aurum: Especially of the bones of the cranium, the palate and the nasal bones. Pains worse at night. Offensive odor. Discharging small sequestra.
Platina muriaticum: Especially in tarsus. (Mezereum).
Calcarea carbonica: Especially of the vertebrae. Sour sweat. Obesity. Waxy, white complexion.
Fluoric acid: Especially dental, but also of long bones with thin, excoriating discharges.
Stillingia: Especially luetic of long bones. Worse at night and in damp weather.
Conium: Urination difficult. Intermittent.
Ferrum picricum: Especially in the aged.
Chimaphila: Tenesmus. Frequent urination. Sensation as of sitting on a small ball.
Thuja: Frequent pressing desire to urinate with small discharge and great straining. Stitches from rectum to bladder.
Sabal serrulata: Of unquestioned value in prostatic enlargement; epididymitis. Acts on the membranoprostatic portion of urethra. Iritis with prostatic trouble. Constant desire to pass water at night. Enuresis. Cystitis with prostatic hypertrophy. Loss of sexual power.
I have had a striking example of the verification of a peculiar symptom representing Lachesis in a patient suffering from a septic gall-bladder, the symptom being intense rigor with the patient begging to be held by attendants, and in one occasion begging that somebody sit on his chest and on his legs. The patient was permanently cured by six doses of the 4M. potency.
Ninety per cent. of patients seen during the functional disturbance of disease which always precedes gross pathology will never reach the stage where surgery becomes imperative if the exact similimum is found.
DR. FARRINGTON: It has always been my theory that, while the similar remedy may help ordinary ailments, especially those that are self-limiting, and your patient makes a good recovery, when you come to a case which presents gross pathology and, especially, if that case is malignant, you have to hit the nail on the head or else you only palliate.
We have all had experience with most of the remedies that the doctor has mentioned. I only wish he had incorporated what he said extemporaneously into his paper because some of it is just as interesting as the text itself.
For instance, I would like to have him put down there that the special indication for Capsicum in mastoiditis is burning at the tip of the mastoid. I did not know that. I have never seen it in print. I have cured several mastoids and a number of fistulae. I have removed or dissolved several kinds of calculi.
Some years ago I reported to this body the case of a clergyman who took to drinking because he had such terrible urging to urinate, with cutting and burning pains, referred especially to the glans penis. He was cured with Prunus spinosa 200. The stone disappeared. Two surgeons had diagnosed it by probe. In those days we did not know anything about the x-ray. The man had the good sense to go back to them and ask them to examine him, and they could not find it.
One of the most remarkable cases was in a woman of about forty- eight who had calculi which entirely filled the pelvis of the right kidney. As I remember, there were about five large ones, the size of small marbles. The entire interspace was filled with small bits or detritus.
This case required nearly four years for complete cure. The first remedy was Lycopodium. I need not take up your time except to mention the fact that whenever she was passing a stone, she had flatulence which would cease as soon as the stone had been gotten rid of. The next remedy was Kali carb. which did good work, and the final remedy was Sarsaparilla. She was improving all this time. She had little or no pain, and only a vague discomfort when the stones were passing.
At first there were little quadrangular flat pieces, about 3/16 inch square. Then they were roundish or irregular, but when she began to pass bits like eggshell, she had terrific pain and I had to give her morphine; but in this case it did not interfere with the final outcome.
The final event was the passage of about half a cupful of gravel. That was some ten years ago, and she has never had any trouble since.
With regard to fistulae, I think that in those cases where there is a great deal of induration and the disease has gone on a long time, you are going to have great difficulty in curing the case with medicine. I remember one case cured with Sepia. This man came to me with pain in the rectum. I made no examination but gave him some remedy, I forget what it was, Nitric acid, I think.
A few days afterward he was back again. He said, “I found out the cause of my trouble. I pulled out one of these hard little shells that grow around an apple seed. I feel all right now.” But there was an injury there, and the fistula resulted from it. I made good by curing the fistula without operation.
Some of you were at our clinic yesterday. Perhaps you noticed that one clinician had a number of cases where low potencies and local treatment were given. They were interesting, especially the talks on diagnosis and care and management of the case, but the treatment was not altogether homoeopathic. I presented one which was improving under high potencies alone. The patient, a woman of twenty-six, had been losing her eyesight progressively since she was eight years old. She had a recurring iritis. Each time the attack subsided she found she could not see quite so well. Purple rings would start in her vision, rush toward her, burst in a purple ball, and then pass off. Niccolum was the remedy. I gave it in the 1M. She received over a period of several months three doses of the 1,000th; then she got the 10,000th. She is now free from trouble, and her sight is slightly improved.
In the clinic, those who are pathologically minded and think a great deal of diagnosis naturally use low potencies, as they almost always do. But now, seeing the results that have been obtained by Grimmer and myself, they are trying to use the high potencies.
Our eye man came to me the other day and he said, “Farrington, I made a wonderful cure of mastoid with Silica. I gave my patient the 10M.” Then he grinned. I said, “That is fine.” “I gave it to her on Saturday. On Monday she was very much better, so I gave her three more doses, and got a terrific aggravation. But luck was with me, and all the symptoms subsided.” I said, “You are right, luck was with you”.
DR. MOORE: I just want to speak of one of the sins of omission of Dr. Bryant. I am fussing around making indexes. Homoeopathy, if it is anything, is technique, careful technique. When cases are reported, we should absolutely have the potency and the repetition. Those things must be in. You cannot tell, if a fellow does not record it, whether he use the 3x. or 1M.
I think when any cases are reported in our Recorder they should always have the potency and the detail of application. Otherwise, they do not have the full value.
DR. WAFFENSMITH: The problem of mastoiditis, to my mind, is not only a serious one but very important from the homoeopathic. Although recognizing the value of manual interference, it has been my habit to place growing dependency upon constitutional treatment. I always appreciate a paper where surgical competition is keen as in this condition.
I recall a recent experience. I had treated the lad for antisocial proclivities, covering a number of years. While away on an extended journey, the boy became seriously ill with a throat infection. It was an episode in a downward swing of the then prevailing miasm.
The former family physician was called in attendance. Threatening mastoid symptoms appeared, which were not controlled and all preparations were made for an operation.
Instructions had been left that I call as soon as I returned, which I did. Under these trying, circumstances, I quietly and carefully studied all phases of my previous record, and fortunately was able to gather a few of the primary symptoms of the throat infection. I decided on the biniodide of Mercury, one dose of the 50M., with an urgent request the family wait another twentyfour hours, which resulted in a rapid cure of the condition.
The mother of the patient pleasantly remarked afterward, “The family saved a fee of 500”.
DR. PULFORD: I would like to interpolate by way of parenthesis that you can do a great deal in septic conditions both before and after surgery with Hepar sulphur and Silica. I have been able to stave off a lot of operation, and I have been able to save a lot of limbs after the operation, when the surgeon could not heal them up.
One particular case came about two or three weeks ago with the large finger of the left hand swollen almost to the size of the wrist, and all black. It was surprising what Hepar Sulphur did for that case in two weeks.
DR. GOBAR: Seeing that surgery out there yesterday recalled to my mind an incident that I had of an old man about eighty years of age. He had gangrene of two fingers of the left hand. He had a bad heart murmur, and his general condition was very bad. I did not know what to do. He had the left-sided condition and the blueness and distress. I put him on Lachesis. I dont remember the potency. I think it was about the 200th. I thought there wasnt very much I could do anyway, and let it ride.
The next day I went back, made a complete amputation of those fingers, and they healed in just a few days. He lived for about a year and a half after that.
DR. BRYANT: I accept Dr. Moores criticism with apologies. However, I have only one excuse to make, and it is probably a poor one. That is, the records of potencies were sacrificed in the interest of brevity. I would like to add that my instruction was under Dr. Walter James; he took me as a raw recruit. Dr. Moore and I both graduated at Jefferson, so there is an added reason for accepting his criticism. Dr. James taught me that anything under the thirtieth potency really was of no value. As I look back upon his instructions, I think his reasons were good. I use the low potencies at times, the 3x. or 6x. He made the statement to a friend of mine, “If I can keep that boy (and I was twenty-eight years of age then) on the thirtieth or above, he will never become a mongrel.” So I am still using the thirtieth and above.