The recent smallpox scare in Glasgow, Scotland, has drawn
the attention of the local homoeopathic doctors to Variolinum.
The fatal cases in this outbreak were in non-vaccinated people and so there was a great rush to get vaccinated. Some got “done” who should never have had it and were seriously upset in consequence.
But the other side of this medal is that most people appeared to suffer no ill effects from the ordinary vaccination, and had gained at any rate a measure of protection from a dread disease.
It was natural that some doubt should arise in minds of several doctors, especially those with little experience, as to the exclusive use of Variolinum in the prophylaxis of smallpox. Had they been able to test it in the treatment of actual cases they might have gained confidence, but such an opportunity was defined them.
In these circumstances one gets help and strength from the writings of our doughty champions who have faced such difficulties in past.
Dr. H.C. Allen’s challenge1 to test Variolinum and publish the failures to the world has always inspired me, and Dr. Bonnell’s experience with Variolinum and Vaccininum in prophylaxis and treatment during a bad smallpox epidemic in Oklahoma gives us the strength of actual facts.2 You will remember he had to appear in court for not vaccinating with cowpox, but his proof of the power of these homoeopathic remedies both in prevention and cure was so sound that he emerged with colours flying. He started off by convincing his lawyer who asked for the powders! All the cases treated homoeopathically lived, whereas 20% of those treated by other methods died. Allen also states3 that Dr.Fellger gave Variolinum to hundreds of exposed people and none of them were ever attacked by smallpox. Not even the unvaccinated members of a family whose father had the confluent disease.
My experience is more limited than that of these masters and I have never had the chance to treat smallpox. So my contribution is of small value compared to theirs.
But I have noted a few of the effects of VARIOLINUM 30. given prophylactically. Most people taking the powders were affected to some degree, and some quite severely. In fact one of out hospital staff desired ordinary vaccination because “these homoeopathic smallpox powders upset the nurses so much!”.
In the Homoeopathic Hospital we gave Variolinum 30., three powders 4-hourly, to all the patients and Staff; most doctors did the same with their patients. As we do not know how long Variolinum gives protection, it was intended to repeat the dose every two weeks during the epidemic but it died down within that time.
Cowpox vaccination was not refused to those who demanded if, but its dangers were pointed out and Thuja 30. given on the 5th day after it. EFFECTS OF Variolinum 30., THREE DOSES 4-HOURLY.
Tiredness was the most usual symptom. It began from 12-48 hours after the doses and lasted as a rule one or two days; one case felt quite exhausted for a week.
This experience of a healthy young woman was common:.
“I began to feel tired 24 hours after the powders; the following morning felt as if recovering from an illness; that forenoon wanted to leave the office and lie down as the legs felt weak; felt all right a few hours later”. Fever chill.
Chills up and down the back with considerable malaise, in a healthy much vaccinated woman.
Chills like water down back (one case).
Intense frontal headache.
Dull headache, fuzzy head, pressing all round head; difficult to describe.
On the 4th night after the powders frontal headache over the left eye with chilliness.
Headache was common and varied from slight to severe.
Eyes feel weak. Purulent conjunctivitis with weeping, crossness in a girl of 9; required Pulsatilla to antidote.
Nose and Throat.
Dry throat, dull singing in ears; coryza for 3 days with sleepiness and aches all over; sore throat recurred in 8th day.
Skin of back irritated, large wheals back after hot bath.
Irritation of old vaccination scars.
Itch all over < in bed.
Spots like large flea bites on back and left thigh.
Nausea was common, and occurred soon after the dose. Bad taste in mouth. One or two loose stools occurred in several provers on the first or second day.
Loss of appetite.
Recurrence of an old right epigastric pain a few hours after Variolinum 30. in a man who had had duodenal ulcer but had had no pain for over a part.
Vertigo for three day, things swimming round, with nausea.
Back and limbs.
Sore back, stiff, pains all over.
Aggravation of old sciatic pain.
Stiff right side of chest to back, where previous trouble had been, as if the side were being stretched when rising from bed or after sitting long; gradual > from the 6th day but the soreness in right side persisted longer.
In one woman who suffered considerable-malaise the menses were early and profuse and she and engorged breasts before hand which she never had had before.
The scale of proving is small but is has convinced me that Variolinum in the 30th centesimal potency acts powerfully on many people, producing an illness rather like influenza. The tendency to rouse up told lesions was noted on several occasions and in line with the effects of influenza.
In conclusion it would be of great help to homoeopathic doctors all over the world if the known facts about the power of homoeopathic remedies to prevent and cure smallpox were collected together and published in the Recorder.