THE VITALISM OF THE HAHNEMANNIAN SCHOOL



The term “anti-biotic” was first used by Waksman and by “antibiosis” is meant “the deadly fight of life against life” (DR. GABRIEL SANCHEZ de la CUESTA y GUTIERREZ: Therapeutic Ideas. Page 262. Seville, 1951).

With the works of Fleming, Woodruff, Thom, Chain, etc., the Traditional School obtains precise indications in therapeutics, specifying that there exist stocks and organisms that are susceptible or not susceptible to the antibacterial action of penicillin.

Well-known among the public are at present the numerous preparations on the market of penicillin and its compounds, which are specially indicated in pneumocosis, staphylocosis, streptocosis, gonocosis, syphilis, gangrene, etc., with surprising results in some instances.

Fleming himself, in his article “Systematic Administration of Penicillin”, published in The Lancet of London, September 9, 1944, declared:

The salts of penicillin for therapeutic use are active at a 1/100,000,000–1.250,000,000 dilution and I have succeeded in producing morphological changes in the germs of patients treated with these dilutions.

Finally, Von Kenel, who continued the work of Fleming, and his collaborators affirm that for an antibiotic such as penicillin, streptomycin, chloromycetin, aureomycin, terramycin, hydrocylin, etc., to be used in the therapeutics, the following requirements at least should be met by such antibiotic:

1st–To make difficult or inhibit the development of pathogenic micro-organisms, and 2nd–it should not interfere adversely with the vital state and functions of the patients organic cells.

Paul Joseph Barthez, of the Montpellier School, devised the term “VITAL PRINCIPLE” (GARRISON: History of Medicine, page 377, 1922. LAIN ENTRALGO: History of Medicine, page 347, 1954), and in his work Elements of Mans Science, 1778, he declared:

The knowledge of chemistry, physics, and mechanics is not sufficient to explain the phenomena of life; it becomes necessary to admit a vital principle which differs from the general properties of matter.

His theories won a number of proselytes among whom renowned vitalists appeared, such as Bichat, Bordeu, and Bouchut, each with a different point of view, but substantially maintaining the need for admitting an immaterial principle that assumes all of the functions proper to the living being, such as nourishment, growth, reproduction, morbid aptitude, sensibility, resistance to medicinal action, etc.

The different ideas on vitalism, as well as Hippocrates principle of Natura Medicatrix, gave rise in the mind of the famous sage of Meissen, Dr. Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann, to the need for carrying out a medical reform so as to include an propound therein his own ideas on vitalism and explain in a definite, concise manner his therapeutic axiom of Similia Similibus Curentur, for which purpose he published his Organon Of Rational Medicine, which in later editions was called Exposition Of The Homoeopathic Medical Doctrine or Organon Of The Art Of Healing, constituting a work of medical logic. The sixth edition of it consists of 294 paragraphs.

In paragraph 10, in respect to vitalism, the Founder of Homoeopathy has written: The material organism, deprived of vital force, cannot feel, or act, or do anything for its own preservation. It is to the immaterial element, which vivifies it both in the state of health and in the state of sickness, that it owes the performance of its vital functions (Organon , 6th German edition, 1842. Translation from English into Spanish by Dr. Romero, Mexico, 1929).

From the year, 1810, to our day, despite the opposition of famous adversaries to the Hahnemannian doctrine, such as Trousseau and Pidoux of Paris, Pedro Mata of Spain, Fenelon, Gabino Barreda and Ocaranza of Mexico, and several others of various countries in the world, academic discussions on vitalism, animism, and organicism, have been of a higher and higher import and at present the physicians of the Traditional School, departing from all doctrinary principles, are recognizing an openly eclectic therapeutics accepting a naturism of the Hippocratic type.

Hilario Luna Castro