THE education, evangelization and more through civilization of the world demands strong, healthy people.
A large percentage of all children born cases to live before the fifth year. Of those surviving, many are suffering from disease which unfits them for usefulness. If by any means we may increase the standard of health among children such efforts make us public benefactors.
When children we well=-born and permitted to live in good surroundings, having correct diet, dress and care, medication is uncalled for. It is a truism that every child has a right to thus enter life, but of the hosts as we meet them it is difficult to recognize health of infant or parent. It is well known that perfect health of nerves for the mother ensures normal position and presentation of the foetus and makes labor a physiological process.
Humanity as yet cannot all claim perfect healthy of nerve or development, and we oftener meet an abnormal nervous state which if continued leaves a lasting impress upon the child. Many a case of wakefulness or restless irritable child has no other aetiology. We have had valuable instruction upon “Preparation for Mother hood,” but we should not lose sight of the fact that every child has two parents, and disease or unhealthful tendency of either or both is of equal importance and should receive medical supervision.
Prophylactic medicine is of the greatest importance. Preserving health is more desirable for the individual and society than restoring health. The writings of Hahnemann revel his purpose to not only cure disease, but to eradicate the tendency thereto. Following the instruction of this renowned teacher one may relieve present suffering and also modify the blight of inheritance. After an observation experience of years, I am convinced that every prescription which corrects an idiosyncrasy or constitutional disturbance, contributes to a better state of the future progeny.
If it is better for a child when his training begins a century before his birth, how much more perfect will he be when his medication is started at the same time. If such training and treatment were continued for a few generations every abnormal condition might be corrected, and healthy parentage would be the rule instead of the exception. It is no longer considered necessary for woman to suffer the numerous complications of pregnancy for medical skill is able in a large degree to modify or wholly remove the painful states. It will soon be recognized that medicine should be administered, hoping to benefit the coming child. We can offer no universal panacea for inherited ills or congenital defects, but would call your attention to the marked improvement possible to many cases.
We conclude that potentized remedies will correct anatomical or structural deficiencies fro knowing that Calcarea carb. 30 given in the morning, and Sulphur 30 in the evening, two weeks out of each month of pregnancy resulted in a perfect, healthy child where others preceding it had cleft palate or hare lip. Calc. phos. and Sul. given as above during seven months was followed by a perfect child where the former one had spina bifida, talipes and muscular weakness.
Graphites, Lachesis, Apis and Petroleum have at different times not only relieved the suffering of pregnant women, but so changed the embryo and developing foetus that the unsightly eczema afflicting former children failed to appear. Tuberculous parents having one or more children who suffered from acute hydrocephalus, have later received Calcarea phos. Sil. or Sul. during the term and these children not only escaped the common perils of dentition, but resisted the floating germs of contagious diseases, even the Klebs-Loeffler bacillus finding no habitation. Able writers report instances where one parent contracted syphilis before marriage and the children were classed as premature labors or still births, but they changed the record to that of living children by a course of pre-natal medication.
While much may be done in way of remedies and diet for rachitis, more may be accomplished by medication of the mother before the child’s birth, giving her health that she will not transmit a tendency to such weakness. Injuries do not develop this malady in a child of perfect health. We may not only give ante-partum medication to avoid a repetition of ailments developed in children previously born as the celebrated Von Grauvogl advised, but by timely attention we may secure health for the first child. We would , if possible, have pregnancy begin with perfect health, physical and mental, of both parents.
Human, perfection does not exist, but we may strive for it by removing the abnormal conditions as se are permitted. She may not be the greater invalid, but we have more frequent opportunity of influencing the mother’s system. Every evidence of disease in her which is recognized and overcome during its intra-uterine existence gives the infant increased advantage at birth.
If conception occur where marriage was prescribed as a cure for existing suffering dependent upon inflammation or spasmodic nerve action, we may expect accidents during the term and lying in for the mother, and many nervous disturbances for the infant. There is a form of infantile paralysis due to injury of the nerves of the brachial plexus, caused by stretching of the nerve- roots, on account of the position of the head during labor. To one who has witnessed a faulty presentation restored by the action of remedies upon nerves and uterine muscles, this calamity seems to be an avoidable one.
We approve of all sanitary and hygienic influences for the coming mother; would be glad if every one had daily, in unlimited quantities, both sunshine and love, for these make her willing to endure and able to meet difficulties; but combined with all these, and greater in power, is the influence of the truly indicated remedy. In physical or mental irritation, our Materia Medica, with all its imperfections, guides us to measures which correct for the time, and if continued cure the disease.
Sometimes, when a woman becomes conscious that she is pregnant, she looks forward to nearly a year of discomfort; then, a period of greater suffering ending in death, or, if not, an continuance of invalidism, increased burdens and anxiety, without the protection, consideration, and tenderness of her life- companion which reconciles many to endure the inevitable, and in her agony she gives expression to the accumulated unreasonableness of generations of her ancestors.
The mental state varies from a generally unhappy condition to that degree of insanity which makes her hate the coming child, and willing to risk closing her own life to accomplish its death and premature delivery. These deep emotions impress the character of the child she fails in destroying, and, more frequently than many know, gives bent to the mind of a cruel, hard character, an outcast and murderer. The intensity of the evil may be increased by the united purpose of both parents to limit foetal life. “Some biogenic particle goes astray and through transmission impresses its moral bias upon the erring offspring”.
I have seen so often the action of our remedies remove the feelings of hate, dread or fear, that to me it is evident we need only a closer study of indications, and their application, to produce a surprisingly improved condition of the moral tone of society. If half the time and energy spent in visiting prisons and in behalf of ex-convicts were devoted to soothing, making comfortable, and curing the morbid fears of pregnant women, we should have less demand for institutions for the feeble-minded, children’s hospitals, reform schools, and penitentiaries.
If we would have health of the whole organism, a well- balanced, even character, every organ performing its function, every inclination toward normal conduct, we cannot too early begin the treatment of these morbid feelings. A close study of or provings enables us to see are nerve remedies for these disturbances or neuroses: Actea rac., Ars., alb., Cham., Coffea, Beil., Hyos., Stram., Nux vom., Plat., Anacard., Magnesia phos., and Kali. phos.
Then, we would have pre-natal medication begun with the birth of the parents, and wisely continued until each wife in full development, free from disease, with active brain and moral strength, is able to meet wifehood and motherhood with never a term in the hospital nor attention of surgeon, until she may feed her own child without poisoning its system or morals, or exhausting her strength; and until each husband shall have brain, nerve, muscle, and lymphatics in such normal action that he will not transmit weakness of character nor seeds of death.
GEO. B. PECK, M.D.: The object for which the admirable paper to which we have just listened was written commends itself to all, while the possibility of its accomplishment, even in part, and the efficacy of methods recommended may be doubted by many. The reasonableness, therefore, of its teaching alone requires consideration.
In a New York England city, In May, 1848, a young wife lay upon a sick-bed covered with the characteristic eruption of measles in its most intense form from head to foot, and expecting hourly the advent of her first-born. The husband was informed he could not expect the preservation of either. Promptly on times a girl appeared as roseate hued as the parent.
The daughter fell a victim to Allopathic medication three months prior to the completion of her twenty-third year. The mother is still living. Now, if it was possible for morbific gems or their products to enter that uterus and produce upon its inmate the same phenomena exhibited upon its possessor, with equal rapidity, and at the same time it can be no less possible for our finely comminuted preparations to penetrate equally deep and perform their appropriate functions.
But, again, we knew that growth and development depend upon that intangible something, for convenience denominated nerve force; that variation in then quality or intensity produce corresponding variation of result; that even maternal mental emotion leaves its impress on the offspring. We also know that we have power to produce variations in the nerve force at will; that we can produce mental impression at will. Failure, then, to apply this knowledge can only be ascribed to indifference to the new- born or to professional incapacity.
Regarding the particular attenuations recommended it need only be said that too many observations have been made and recorded of physiological phenomena and drug aggravations produced by Homoeopathic preparations above the twelfth decimal to permit any doubt of its efficiency to be considered reasonable. It may be added that the physician who prescribes even occasionally any preparation above the twelfth decimal attenuation unwittingly adds his endorsement of that statement, and I am inclined to count in with them all those who prescribe above the sixth decimal.
I cordially and fully endorse Dr. Chapman’s paper, including the reference to the importance of paternal medication. “Whatsoever a man (or woman) sow that shall he (she) also reap!”.
PHOEBE J.B. WAITE, M.D.: I would like to have heard Dr. Chapman’s paper before beginning my speech. I would like to have had a copy of it and committed it to memory. It is too valuable to lose any part of it. The father of medicine, Esculapius, lived, we are told, I think, somewhere about nine hundred years before Christ. He had five children, three sons and two daughters, and all these children, admiring the skill of their father in medicine, took to medicine, the whole five, the sons and the daughters. From the three sons have descended all the doctors of the world, that is, men doctors.
There weren’t women doctors then. And while these doctors in medicine were a long time getting around, you see the woman has got there just the same. So here we are descended from these two beautiful daughters of Esculapius; the one believed in preventive medicine, and the other in curative medicine. I did not read that these sisters ever came into collision in their practice, but their fame has come down to us. Hygeia, the beautiful daughter of Esculapius, advocated the use of a medicine which I would like to advocate for pre-natal medication. It is the blessed sunshine, the fresh home, the clean heart, and the loving kindness and tender mercy which should be shown for wife and expected mother.
These are things which tell upon the children. If we believe in the transmission to the child of the mother’s qualities shall we not also believe in the healthy organization of the mother and the healthy organization of the father as well, because the father has something to do with these things. Very little, you may say; however, we will give him credit for what he has to do in the matter. Do we believe in tobacco blindness, in tobacco neurasthenia? Shall we not believe that these diseases are transmitted to the child, and shall we say that any wife has her husband’s full share of kindness who is brought up in the air of the vile perfumes of tobacco? It is poisoning not only the husbands, but the wives, and the children of this land.
Do we believe in tea and coffee neurasthenia? Then shall we believe that the mothers who are sipping tea and coffee, who do not take their food, and who cannot get through the day without a cup of strong coffee in the morning can not be expected to rear children strong, vigorous and healthy. Shall we not expect them to be “bundles of nerves?” I have looked at mothers, and have seen them so proud over their children, beautifully dressed, and they say, “My little girl is such a nervous little thing that I hardly know what to do with her”.
Dr. Chapman’s paper is very much to the point. The medication, or the teachings of Hygeia, ought to have begun in the mother of the mother of this child one hundred years ago. This is the doctor I am speaking for now. The other daughter of Esculapius-I am ashamed to say I do not remember her name-is immortalized in a tree, the leaves and bark and flowers and fruit of which are for the healing of the nations. I suppose the use of this tree must have been to prevent disease, and it is used by the Homoeopathic school, be necessary; indeed, it is quite necessary, to prescribe remedies for the mothers of unborn children.
Professor Lilienthal says, that cocaine and sulphur will save more children than all other remedies put together. We must not forget these remedies. Silicia, Gelsemium, etc., we will not forget; neither will we forget the remedies for those diseases which are inherited, but will prescribe for every mother the things which we have tried to emphasize to-day; and we would prescribe, if we would prescribe, if we knew enough, the Homoeopathic drug which would remove the sordid condition in a mother and help her. I believe that children are born to live, not to die; and the fact that one-half the children of the world succumb before they are five years of age is a terrible commentary on modern civilization.
R.W. JAMES, M.D.: I am much in favor of this latter daughter of Esculapius, I am very thoroughly in love with the first one that Dr. Waite has spoken of, simply because she was in favor of hygienic measures. If we are going to make a good, healthy future nation, we must begin our hygienic measures in all our surroundings. Sanitary science is doing good work, but it deals with the external world. It gives us good work, but it deals with the external world. It gives us good houses to live in, good air to breathe, good surroundings in every way. That is all very good, but the foundation of health must be laid also by placing good, healthy matter sin the tissues of the human system, and we are not going to do the unless we give the proper medicines. Give the system of a mother good blood; make the cells act in harmony; make the nerves system act properly upon these cells and upon these tissues.
I look forward to the time when diseases may be annihilated; when the human race may reach that point of millennial health that we shall be exempt from disease. We shall do it, if at all, by annihilating one disease after another, and then our missions as physicians will be ended.
W.P. McCRACKEN, M.D.: I am not foolish enough to think I can discuss a paper that I have not read. Henry Ward Beecher once said, when asked for his rules for longevity: “Choose your father and mother;” and I think that is what one would have to do to be very long-lived. I remember a case where the mother, during gestation, shut herself up in her own house and refused to go out upon the street. Now, we cannot alter God’s plan of creation, and the man or woman who sneers at or ridicules a woman on the street or anywhere, who is fulfilling the law of God, is not fit to be upon this earth.
She cannot, probably, bring forth an intellectually nor physically strong man or woman, and be shut up in a house during the nine months before confinement. Then I would make a strong cry against the dress of woman at that time. Many women think that if they are tightly laced around the waist, and keep their waist-measure as usual, that is all that is necessary. I think more can be done by dressing than any one thing, and then plenty of fresh air and bathing and good, common- sense diet, and I don’t believe there would be much need for medication.
G.W. BOWEN, M.D.: The first ten years of a doctor’s life be has to learn what he doesn’t know, and establish his reputation as a physician. In the next ten years he works for pay. I have passed those years, and have spent a great deal of time in learning how we can cure the results of a father’s indiscretion and of a mother’s sensitiveness. If the weakness is below the belt, Sepia will remedy that surely. If there are dyspeptic troubles, Nux vomica and Belladonna will prevent it. Consumption we can obtain benefit from Belladonna and Arsenic, and, perhaps, Calcarea; and so on, though the list of parental ailments.
ALFRED E. HAWKES, M.D., of Liverpool, England: I think this tis one of the most important papers that we have had during the Congress; and I am very glad to have such a thoroughly Homoeopathic paper. Of course, I don’t think that hygeia can be neglected for one moment. What I will say will be chiefly on ante-natal medication. I would like to refer to some five families in as many minutes. One disease has not been referred to this morning-laryngismus stridulus. In one family, three children had died of it, and I was called in to see the fourth child. Cuprum etc., were tried, but the child died. During the fifth pregnancy I had early opportunity of giving Calcarea and Sulphur, and in the sixth pregnancy the same course was followed, and to- day that woman has two healthy children of which she is thoroughly proud.
Since that time I have saved others. In another case of trouble of the bladder, a record of which you will find in this mouth’s Review, the child a boy of two or three, had tubercular disease of the bladder. That was diagnosed by Reginald Harrison, who assisted me, and the child was cured of it by Calcarea alone. The mother was given it, and and the next child was perfectly healthy. Another child was born rachitic. The mother was treated in the same way, and the next child was born perfectly healthy; the third child, the mother not having received treatment, was born rachitic. During the fourth pregnancy I had full away, and treated the mother in the usual way, and the fourth child was absolutely healthy.
J.H. HENRY, M.D., of Alabama: I am very glad to be here to day, to see this question discussed in the light of Homoeopathy. Take a series of abortions in a family; we commenced with our remedies as high as the thirtieth, and we followed Hahnemann’s treatment. I will say, I have seen more fatality with men who offered thousands of dollars for the cure of their children, and where every single rule of hygiene was carried out family and die, one after another, with every hygienic principle carried out for years.
I remember one case, where a man says to the doctor, “Here is a check for a million dollars if you will cure my last child.” Every sanitary measure was carried out, but the child died. Coca is the remedy that it seems to me the Homoeopathic physicians have forgotten. Muller, of Leipsic, published in the British Journal, of October, 1857, 49 pages upon Coca., and he expresses the opinion that, in the nervous diseases of children, it is one of the most potent remedies. He speaks of the benefit of dropping it in the eye, and producing a partial deadness. The allopathic physicians have taken that up, and published it as something new.
J.W. WHITMAN’S M.D., of South Carolina: Every one has a hobby, but you havn’t hit my hobby, and that is diet. What is medicine if we don’t have food? If the mother does not have the proper nutriment for her child, what can we expect of the child? I think we should look to the table for a great deal of benefit, as this is lost sight of more than anything I know of.