THE following article from our friend Dr. Benjamin C. Woodbury reached us the end of May, 1924, and how it has so escaped insertion in our pages we cannot tell. However it has lost nothing by keeping. In fact, we are not sure it has not gained, like good wine. Dr. Woodburys covering letter is particularly important in the present crisis when deference to the professional “establishment” with its enforced ignorance of Hahnemann and Homoeopathy is depriving the public of any knowledge of the most important therapeutic method the world possesses.
Dr. Woodburys article should be compared with another, “Gunpowder versus T.N.T.” which appeared in our July issue of 1924, p. 175. Our pamphlet “Gunpowder as a War Remedy” (Homoeopathic Publishing Co.) gives a historical and practical account of the remedy. Gunpowder and Echinacea between them should be equal to most cases of blood-poisoning. They do not require fine adjustments in prescribing and the lower potencies are most efficient, so that the laity can handle them with entire safety. This by way of introduction. ED. “H.W.”].
Here is Dr. Woodburys covering letter:.
“DEAR DR. CLARKE, I am sending you the enclosed notes which you may possibly find place for in THE WORLD..
“It is certainly cheering to find men who like yourself do not lose faith as the years pass by. The relation between Homoeopathy and the lay movement is certainly an important one and it is encouraging that this bond has remained, which so apparently indissolubly links the profession and the laity in England.
“I trust you are still enjoying god health. With kindest regards.
“BENJAMIN C. WOODBURY”.
MEDICAL ANACHRONISMS-BLACK GUNPOWDER.
BY V. C. WOODBURY, M.D.
In these modern days of synthetic medicine, it is verily an anachronism to present anything to the realms of medical journalism, that is derived from he observations of the laity, or again, from any but official sources.
Yet singularly enough, all medical authorities, in all ages, have, whenever honest, acknowledged the debt that is owed to just such empirical observations as those of the laity.
In fact Hahnemann unhesitatingly states in his lesser writings (“Aesculapius in the Balance”):.
“In one word: the primary origin of almost all authorities for the action of a simple medicine is derived, either from he confused use of it, in combination with other drugs, or from domestic practice, where this or that unprofessional person had tried it with success in this or that disease (as if an unprofessional person could distinguish one disease from another.).
“Truly this is a most unsatisfactory and turbid source for our proud Materia Medica. For is some of the common people had not, at their own risk undertaken experiments, and communicated the results of these, we should not have known even the little we do at present about the action of most medicines.”.
It is an interesting fact, in the history of American medicine, that this debt that is owed to then laity, and more especially to the aborigines is indeed a grievous one; one in fact, along with many another debt, e.g., their inhumane treatment in many instances at the hands of their white brothers, which will not soon be paid.
It is certainly conceded that the American Indian had made no small contribution to our knowledge of domestic remedies.
Among the several uses of Gunpowder complied by Dr. John H. Clarke, and reported in the pages of THE HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD, I am not sure whether or not that of its therapeutic effects in indigestion have been given their full significance.
Anent this usage, may I quote the following from the account given in the journal of that naturalist, Henry D. Thoreau, in his “Maine Woods?”.
“The Indian was quite sick this morning with the colic. I though that he was worse for the moosemeat he had eaten. The Indian growing much worse, we stopped… to get some brandy for hi,, but failing in this, an apothecary recommended Brandreths Pills, which he refused to take, because he was not acquainted with them. He said to me, Me doctor-first study my case, find out what ail em-then I know what to take. We dropped down a little farther, and stopped at mid-forenoon on an Island and made him a dipper of tea. In the afternoon we went on a little farther, though the Indian was no better.
Here at last we were obliged to spend the rest of the day and night, on account of our patient, whose sickness did not abate. He lay groaning under his canoe on the bank, looking very woe-begone, yet it was only a common case of colic. As we were taking our tea at twilight, while he lay groaning still under his canoe, having at length found out what ail him, he asked me to get him a dipper of water. Taking the dipper in one hand, he seized his powder-horn with the other, and pouring into it a charge or two of powder, stirred it up with his finger, and drank it off. This was all he took today after breakfast beside his tea”.
Here our interest in the narratives ends, with the intelligence that, the party set our early the following day “The Indian being considerably better.
Thus we see how the instinct of Aboriginal man serves him to natural therapeutic ends.
So long as man transgresses the obvious laws of nature, just so long will the therapeutist seek aid in drug therapy.
But even under empirical therapeutics at its worst (for does not so state Hahnemann?): “Rare cures occur, effected obviously by medicine, of so striking a character, that one is astonished at so daring a rescue from the very jaws of death; these are the hints afforded by the Author of Life, That there is a Healing Art.”.