CHAPTER XII. OUTLOOK. CONCERNING THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE.
Homoeopathy exists exactly as it did in the past and so will do in the future. A law of nature and its God cannot die. Undoubtedly the number of present adherents to the ministrations of the physician who is also a homoeopath is larger than ever before since homoeopathy began its career under Hahnemann in the year 1780.
This monument is erected in the hope that from it, as a center, truth may be spread which will result in the lessening of suffering and the increased usefulness of mankind.-J. B. GREGG CUSTIS, M.D., at the dedication of the Hahnemann Monument, Washington, D.C., June 21, 1900.
The growth of homoeopathy and its practice has been steady. It is true that not always has there been an understanding of the most essential principles of the art, perhaps because its science has not been grasped, but in some measure its basic idea has been utilized, and the scientific results have not failed to appear. In Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia, England, and the Americas there have continually been nominal exponents at least of the practice, so that travellers have never been stranded in this respect.
Notwithstanding organized prejudice of the old school against the system, and in local instances against individual physicians, laws in favor of the rights of the school have found their way into the statues. Bitter antagonism of former years has gradually given way to tolerance or indifference. It has not been necessary for the lamb to lie down the lion, though it has sometimes happened.
A more agreeable phase of the conditions-inharmonious or otherwise-is the fact that individual practicians of both schools have in many cases felt no rancor, or exhibited none, and have in many instances kept alive a friendliness with corresponding cooperation in work on occasional demand.
As a matter of fact, however, there has been a striking tendency of the old school to ignore and reject at the same time all homoeopathic lore, though the homoeopathist himself has had to acquire much of the old school point of view, or at least to respect that viewpoint while rejecting it for his own having the homoeopathic background. Hence, the two schools are importantly distinct, actual agreement being out of the question, except in case the homoeopath become neutral and relinquish his distinctive art and ethics.
The two schools are now no nearer together in their view and practice than they were in Hahnemanns day. Indeed in many ways they are much farther apart. Time has extended the realization and efficacy of the law by which internal remedies are prepared and so obtain their power and lasting advantage in wider spheres than in earlier years. This advance in itself though crudely imitated has not lessened the opposition.
To mention some of the striking differences, we may cite : (a) the reason for any homoeopathic prescription is to give the patient reactive power to resist the malady instead of combat it ; (b) the selection of the proper remedy on the basis of the individual patient, and not for his disease alone ; (c) one remedy at a time, and not a compound or mixed prescription ; (d) one administration to suffice as long as improvement continues, instead of seeking the point of saturation of the system with a drug ; (e) avoidance of foods that contain known drug principles ; (f) proper consideration of the environment, to promote comfort of body and mind.
The Organon itself has the unique distinction of perennial vitality. It is published in all languages, and though five editions were issued by Hahnemann, the essential fundamental root Principles of Homoeopathy are found in the first almost as perfectly and positively stated as in the sixth. It seems then that the Organon, like Minerva from the brain of Jupiter, came forth practically perfect as a guide to the theory and practice of homoeopathy. WILLIAM BOERICKE, M.D.
Here is reproduced what one of the consistent students and practitioners has to say on Hahnemann, his Organon, and medicine:.
Hahnemann was a student of medicine, even when he had not patients to practice on. In 1784, five years after his graduation, he taught surgery for surgeons, not for barbers, shepherds and executioners. He taught hygiene, fresh air, exercise, diversion, baths hot and cold, sixty years before the first bathtub appeared in America. Professor Baldinger, of Jena and Gottingen, in 1785,recommended Hahnemanns teaching as being “better than those give up to that time”.
Did Hahnemann make no medical observations as town physician of Dresden, as physician to the law courts, and as medical practitioner between 1785 and 1789 ? He was esteemed worthy of the acquaintance and friendship of the philologist Adelung, the anatomist Blumenbach, the chemist Lavoisier, all three pathfinders in their respective spheres of activity. Hahnemann did not leave medicine because he translated medical, pharmacal, chemical works. Not infrequently, part of the translated works consisted of original contributions of Hahnemann of more value than the parts translated.
His insistence on medical men preparing their own medicines, his wine test, his work on arsenical poisoning, his arsenical test, all these fall into this time, three years before Klockenbring comes into the pale of the asylum, and the work of Hahnemann speaks for itself as a work of medical importance with never ceasing interest on the part of Hahnemann in medical problems.
Who but a physician of the very first order could have made those undeniably valuable annotations to Hahnemanns translation of Cullens Materia Medica ? Would societies and academies of science have made Hahnemann an honorary member, as they did at this time, if he had been give to making “extravagant claims”? In 1790, he prepared his soluble mercury, an achievement in chemistry for medicine ; raised his voice against the customary methods of venesection and purgation and further debilitation of patients, a cry of profound medical conviction.
In 1792, he put to critical judgment the treatment of repeated venesection given Emperor Leopold, suffering from pneumonia, by three of Viennas foremost physicians, Lagusius, Storck and Schreiber ; Curt Sprenkel, the historian, does not record any disapproval of Hahnemann making “extravagant claims” ; and it was in that same year, 1792, that the Duke of Gotha placed a wing of his hunting lodge at Georgenthal at the disposal of Hahnemann for the use of an insane asylum.
That only Klockenbring entered the asylum, was not Hahnemanns fault, but the fault of the times. The general run of physicians, attendants, and people could not understand why Hahnemann would not treat an insane person as a beast of the jungle, that Hahnemann was then laying the foundation for successful medication of the insane, more than Pinel. All Hahnemanns subsequent writings show his increasing understanding of the unceasing emphasis on mental disease and symptoms and their removal by humane treatment and scientific medication.
Becker wrote of Hahnemann as the “well known physician” and advised people to see him. Schlichtegroll wrote of Hahnemann as “the celebrated Dr. Hahnemann, on whose knowledge as a physician,” in several inquires, “there was only one voice to be heard,” namely, “that nothing could be so desirable as to have such a penetrating physician for the treatment of the insane.” He wrote of Hahnemann as “der gelehrte Arzt,” the scholarly physician, the learned physician, who cured Klockenbring when “der verdeienstvolle Leibmedicus Wichmann in Hanover, in Verdindung mit mehreren anderen,” the meritorious physician Wichmann and several other physicians, could not cure the insane man.
Whoever has an eye to the facts cannot help but find that Hahnemanns moral as well as intellectual integrity is unassailable. He carried his moral principles to moral ends and his intellectual principles to intellectual ends. Nowhere does his intellectual integrity appear in such convincing light as in the Organon, which in 1810, he issued as the Organon der rationellen Heilkunde, Organon of the Science of Medicine, and in 1819, 1824, 1833, the second, third, fourth, and fifth editions, as Organon der Heilkunst, Organon of the Art of Medicine, Organon of the Healing Art. This last title appears also in the last, the sixth, edition, finished by Hahnemann before his death in 1843, and published by Dr. Haehl in German in 1921, and by Dr. Boericke in English in 1922.
What is Hahnemanns Organon of the science of medicine in 1810 and of the art of medicine after 1810 ? What is an organon anyway ? Organon is a Greek term. The term means a tool. In the history of science and letters, this term has been used by three men, Aristotle, Bacon, and Hahnemann. With Aristotle, logic was the organon, the tool, of reasoning. With Bacon, observation and experiment represented the novum organum, the new tool, of knowledge. With Hahnemann, homoeopathy is the organon, the tool, of medical science in 1810 and of medical art after 1810.
That Hahnemann recognized that homoeopathy was a tool, a method of art, a Heilweg, a method of cure, and not a tool of science, a datum of knowledge, a point of philosophy, and at once changed his term and use of homoeopathy when he had this better knowledge, show Hahnemanns intellectual integrity ; his power of critical discrimination between the essential, the important, and the unessential the unimportant ; his readiness to grasp truth for achievement and leave error on the pathway ; a moral and intellectual superiority.
The trouble with homoeopathic physicians is that they will talk and write about homoeopathy, but will not learn and practice homoeopathy. Is the calamitous loss of our homoeopathic schools to a new group of morons the result of Hahnemanns Organon of the healing art, homoeopathy in its true sense of the curative method of scientific medicine, or the result of the ignorance of Hahnemanns followers, practicing homoeopathy falsely and falsely theorizing about it ?.
Homoeopathy, the art, and theories about homoeopathy the science, are two different things. Hahnemann knew it, and therefore, left the “scientific” explanation to others, to these wonderful “modernists”, and thereby showed his genius. No one can budge his art, his method.
In 1811, appeared the first part of Hahnemanns Materia Medical Pura, pure because it contained medicines the effects of which on the human body had for the first time been studied on the human body ; in 1816 appeared the second part ; in 1817, the third part;in 1818,the fourth part;in 1819, the fifth part; in 1821, the sixth part ; with second and third editions following. Are these not contributions to our modern materia medica ? Where would Hughes and Allen and the rest of the notables have been without these foundation stones of homoeopathy.
Dr. Bellows himself declared that the effect of the reproving of Belladonna by his staff of provers was nugatory, and I agreed with him, Belladonna is one of the best proved medicines of Hahnemann, and no triflers will ever improve upon Hahnemann.
Hughes wrote that the preface to the proving is “a masterpiece of observation and reasoning, ” and the thought resulting from the proving was “as original as it was brilliant and fruitful”.
It has become apparent that Hahnemann has led a highly moral and intellectual life, useful both to his family and the world at large. Osler, that archenemy of homoeopathy, admitted that “no one individual had done more good to the medical profession that Hahnemann.” Napoleon did not confine the good that Hahnemann did the medical profession, but considered homoeopathy as the most beneficent discovery since Gutenberg invented the art of printing. Bier, the successor of Bergmann in the chair of surgery at the University of Berlin, declares that Hahnemann was an “important personality.” Fishbein, the new editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, admits that Hahnemann with his dilutions did less harm that Rush with his massive doses of jalap and calomel.
The question can never be : What is Hahnemanns Organon, Hahnemanns homoeopathy, in this light or that light, in this century or that century ? We must not fall into the Einstein- Newtonian squabble over space and time, light weight and light flight. The only proper question is : What is Hahnemanns Organon ? What is homoeopathy ? Hahnemann has answered the question, most clearly, in paragraph 50 of the fifth and sixth editions of the Organon : Heile durch Symptomenachnichkeit ! The introduction to Dr. Boerickes translation of the sixth editions of Hahnemanns German Organon, which I wrote, puts the answer into sober, understandable, scientific English.
Hahnemann gives homoeopathy as a method, the method of cure, Heilweg, a method that cures by symptom-similarity. Hahnemanns homoeopathy is today, was yesterday, and will be in the days to come the curative method of medically curable diseases by symptom-similarity. It cannot be otherwise. Changed, and it is no longer homoeopathy. It is a mistake to believe that the homoeopathy of the present is not the homoeopathy of any edition of the Organon.
Homoeopathy is the organon of curative medicine and will be its organon as long as there will be curative medicine. Hahnemann conceived his homoeopathy by induction in his proving of china in 1790 and, though the book, entitled Organon, has gone through six editions, each edition different from the others, homoeopathy, the organon of curative medicine, was never changed, could not be changed, by Hahnemann in any of his writings, from 1790 to his death in 1843, or by anyone else after him. Homoeopathy is today what it was when it was conceived a perfect induction of the scientific imagination, if ever there was a perfect induction in the annals of human thought.
In proving china, the homoeopathic relation between drug effects and disease effects evident to Hahnemann. “Heile durch Symptomenachnichkeit” is not merely “Let likes be treated by likes,” but the likes must be specific, and for Hahnemanns homoeopathy they are specifically the symptomatic effects of drug and diseases. In the proper practice of homoeopathy, there is no breach in the relation of these conditions.
We expose bodies not in physiologic isomorphic state to the action of bodies known to effect similar pathologic heteromorphic states. The results of the experiment is the removal of the pathologic state in medically curable diseases. The experimental result proves, establishes, maintains, that homoeopathy is the method, and the logical necessity, the law, for the practice of curative medicine.
What we seek is truth. Science calls for nothing else than the establishment and formulation of truth, and only those who will ignore what they do not wish, will not acknowledge the truth established and formulated by others than themselves or their favorites. Science is correctly related knowledge of natural phenomena. In homoeopathy, we related our knowledge of natural phenomena, and when we relate correctly we practice homoeopathy logically, scientifically, and produce true medical results. We may view that matter from all angles of pathology. Homoeopathy is the curative method of medicinal therapeutics.
Homoeopathy is not materia medica, or posology, or the Hippocratic injunction of the duty of the physician toward his calling. Materia medica, pure though they be without any admixture of impurities, cannot be homoeopathy ; medical materials are only a means for the clearer practice of homoeopathy. The minimum dose is not homoeopathy, it is only a means for accelerating cures by avoiding unnecessary aggravations in the practice of homoeopathy. The pathologic notion of psora that non-venereal chronic diseases are the result of underlying uncured non-venereal infections is not homoeopathy.
The pathologic notion of psora that non-venereal chronic diseases are the result of underlying uncured non-venereal infections is not homoeopathy, but only a direction for the removal of underlying uncured infections in the practice of homoeopathy. Homoeopathy is only the method of treating individuals suffering from disease curable by medicine with medicines the curative action of which has been ascertained : it is the method of treating individuals suffering from diseases curable by medicine with medicines the curative action of which has been ascertained : it is the method of treating and curing individuals with medicinally curable diseases on the basis of symptom-similarity, on the basis of scientific comparison of the symptomatic effects of disease and the symptomatic effects of drugs.
As I wrote in my Introduction to the Boericke edition of the sixth Organon and repeatedly before and since, Hahnemann discovered the common symptomatic factor for both pathologic and therapeutic diagnosis and thereby made the practice of medicine scientific. There is a false note in presidential addresses before the Institute when we are given not a word on Hahnemann and homoeopathy and 15,000 words on Pasteur who was a chemist and Gorgas, who was only an administrator, neither a physician in the true sense.
Is preventing medicine to be celebrated and not homoeopathy, when we are celebrating the introduction of homoeopathy into this hemisphere ? There is a false note given in impressions given for the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the introduction of homoeopathy into the United states when we forget our Hippocratic oath and cast disrespect and contumely upon the greatest path-breaking teacher in modern medicine, Hahnemann who taught us homoeopathy, the method of treating medically curable diseases on the basis of symptom- similarity, the only direct method in existence of curative scientific medicinal therapeutics.
Modern immunity or resistance therapeutics is Pasteurs prophylactic method of infection to prevent reinfection. Hahnemanns curative method is disinfection to be without infection, the homoeopathic method of remedial therapeutics. Chicago, with its focal therapeutics, says we must disinfect, not reinfect, in order to cure, and we are told that Hahnemann is dead. Vienna, the Mecca of Hebras scabies, and not second to Paris in admiration of Pasteur, talks of miasms today as Hahnemann did a hundred years ago.
In considering the “anti- allergic therapy” of bronchial asthma, Hugo Habicher (American Medicine, June 1925, p. 366) gives it as based on the theory that “in the great majority of cases” the asthmatic attack is “caused by unknown miasmae” and that “such patients should be taken to regions which are free or practically free from miasmae” or “should be treated by a non-specific anti-allergic therapy.” In Frankfurt, the chemotherapeutics of Ehrlich has lost its original slogan of parasitotropism and has more regard for the role of the host. With Morgenroth, the host counts more than the parasite, as it did with Hahnemann.
In staid old Boston, Paul D. White (Journal American Medical Association July 11, 1925, p. 82) speaks of the importance of the “study of symptoms,” of “idiosyncrasy to drugs,” of the importance of “the individual in therapy,” of “the average dose, pharmacologic action in animals and the usual course in man” as helpful guideposts, but “very crude ones,” just what Hahnemann said, only a great deal better.
“We must establish,” says White, “in the future more accurate directions than we have at present when we have to treat a particular person with a certain family history, a certain past history, and present constitutional peculiarities,” just what Hahnemann felt before he gave his famous directions for the practice of homoeopathy. Hahnemann could afford to be dogmatic. He had something to be dogmatic about.
Hahnemann was independent in intellect. Hahnemann was moral beyond the “morals” of his detractors. He sought the good, the principle that purifies, as well as the true, the principle that illumines. He “sought truth earnestly and found it.” He himself wrote this in English. He sought goodness. He followed his father, who had the soundest concepts of what is good and worthy of man, who in the very words of Hahnemann, “hatte die gesundesten Begriffe von dem was gut and des Menschen wurdig genannt werden kann”.
Hahnemann wrote as clear a German as Luther, who made modern German, and as beautiful a German as Goethe, who wrote the finest modern German, wrote as compelling a German as Schopenhauer, who wrote the most philosophic, and as Lassalle, who wrote the most eloquent German ; wrote as soberly as Kant, only more clearly and more elegantly, and therefore more understandingly. Only a distorted mind can discover in Hahnemanns style the style of a revival preacher.
Hahnemanns Organon is not “a mere seed with inherent flaws.” It is a complete method, practiced and practicable. All the improvements in modern medicine carry us back to Hahnemann and his experiments that led and followed his conception of homoeopathy, his organon of curative medicine. Science says, Here is the thing ; take it or leave it. Homoeopathy says : Here am I ; take me or leave me. Homoeopathy has nothing to do with ignorant speculators whose science consists in putting forth, not science, not homoeopathy, but merely their own unprovable, improbable speculations.
Hahnemann will be honored ; Hahnemanns Organon of curative medicine will be practiced ; homoeopathy on the basis of symptom- similarity will be in medical vogue. Consciously and unconsciously, Hahnemanns homoeopathy is finding acceptance throughout the whole medical world.-JAMES KRAUSS, M.D., F.A.C.S., Hahnemann and Hahnemanns Organon of Medicine, in sixth edition of Hahnemanns Organon, Boericke & Tafel, Philadelphia, 1922.
One day one the truths enunciated by Hahnemann and verified by his followers are being substantiated by our allopathic friends. It is well.-E.A. TAYLOR, M.D.
Hahnemann, born 1755, came to know that the giving of strong drugs to cure the sick, without any low to guide in their selection, was worse than useless ; it was exceeding dangerous and positively harmful. RUSSEL C. MARKHAM, M.D.
Does Nature cure ? Well, that depends. It depends on many things, including what is cured. It would be hard indeed to be forced to the confession that physicians do not in spite of nature sometimes cure. There are many cases where the best of fresh air and good food and even good nursing fail of themselves to restore health, good accessories to medicine thought they are.