THE true scope of medical science is the healing of the sick, the relief of human misery. Tried by this test, there was no real medical science in the world until it was evolved from the law-similia similibus curantur. Before this all was blind experiment, all disorder and confusion, and to the pages of disease were added the tortures of the damned. Disease was regarded as some evil spirit which had possessed the body. Some infarct, which bad lodged in the bowels and must be driven out by purging or let out by the lancet.
The wildest and most absurd definitions were given, e.g., an infarct was defined by Kampf, in 1726, as an unnatural condition of the bloodvessels, which are plugged in various places by ill concocted, variously degenerated, fluid bereft inspissated, viscid, bilious polypus and coagulated blood. Heinreeh Speffens, who, in Oken’s periodical, 1822, is put on a level with Aristotle, Goethe, and Humboat, thus defines hearing. It is the identity of the inorganic of the organization and its internal being, consequently identity of the nervous and osseous systems. Hunger is internal tension of the assimilation under the influence of the mass opposed external.-Ameke’s History of Homoeopathy. .
In 1803 physiological chemistry taught that blood consisted of nine ingredients: odoriferous matter, fibrinous parts, albumen, sulphur, gelatine, iron, potash, soda, and water. The medical history of the times down to the date of Samuel Hahnemann’s appearance upon the field of action is a whirling of theories, one following upon the other with astonishing rapidity.
Stoll taught that disease was caused by gastric impurities, bilious conditions, and intestinal obstructions; therefore, vomit and purge was his watchword.
Brown that asthenia and asthenia caused all disease, and “allay irritation” was his war cry. The antiphlogistic treatment contended for supremacy, but, whatever theory was uppermost, poor old humanity was blistered and bled and salivated and purged with intent to drive out some unseen, unknown evil thing which was supposed to be its enemy.
All experiments of the actions of drugs were made upon the sick. Drugs were compounded in mixtures of from eight to fifty remedies, as that it was impossible to separate the action of one drug from the other or from the symptoms of the disease. In this absence of law and order, in this extremity of the human race, the phenomenon which always appears at such a crisis was repeated. A man was raised up who was equal to the emergency, Samuel Hahnemann. He established a system of perfect law and order.
The fact that the poisonous effect of drugs can be used as the determining indication for their selection in the treatment of disease was dimly seen by the ancients, but Hahnemann seized upon the fact and dragged it into the light of perfect day. He demonstrated that it was the foundation rock of medical science; that it was a fixed and perfect law which never can be altered or improved, though its methods of application may be almost endless. Upon this rock he built a Materia Medica.
He was no common man who, in the error of his age, could see so clearly. It is true he partook somewhat of the color of his times, but illumined the age with a wondrous light. He adopted an entirely new method of determining the curative power of drugs, viz, proving then upon healthy organisms,-the method now approved of and practiced by all scientists.
He discovered that certain remedies had specific action upon certain tissues and curative action in certain diseases. As a chemist, he far surpassed the age in which he lived. He discovered a test for metals which has stood the test of time, and is used in every laboratory in the world to-day. He discovered several new products, among then the black oxide of Mer., our Mer.sol. He was the first physician in the world to advocate single remedies and small doses, to regard diet and hygiene as important in the treatment of the sick. Was not this a legacy to medical science? Was not this the birth of medical science?.
My second proposition is that there has been no progress in the therapeutics of the dominant school since the glorious truth of Homoeopathy burst upon the world, except as it has been developed upon Hahnemannian principles or stolen outright from our system without credit being given.
It is quite possible to set the world agog with some wonderful discovery, as did Brown-Sequard’s Elixir of life, and yet contribute nothing to medical progress, because it is soon proven to be not only worthless but harmful. All the so-called scientific discoveries, as Brown Sequard’s Elixir, the oral-tar compounds, and the late Dr. Hammond’s vital energizer, may be classed among the harmful discoveries, and therefore have no weight in the argument. Hahnemann built the tramway upon which all great lines of thought have been projected in both the Allopathic School and our own, Rokitansky, Virchow, Klebs, and Koch are indebted to him for the principle upon which they elaborated their thought.
Hahnemann had discovered, as before mentioned, that certain remedies has a specific action upon certain organs and tissues, as Digitalis upon the heart.
And it was upon this basis that Virchow wrought out his localization theory. Hahnemann anticipated the germ theory when he discovered the essential germ cause of cholera. Koch even wrought in the self-same methods as Hahnemann. He tested the poisonous matter upon healthy organisms, then diluting the poison infinitesimally, he tested it upon diseased organisms, differing only in the method of administration, using injection aided by the mechanical improvement of his day.
The most recent discoveries of Koch regarding the blood of diphtheria and typhoid containing elements which are curative in each of the diseases referred to show that the gleaner is going on in the fields already harvested by our school. Hering had proved the worth of Tuberculinum when Koch was in pinafores. He also advocated the use of Hydrophobin sixty years before Pasteur rediscovered it, also Psorinum.
Homoeopaths have enriched medical science by proving drugs of commerce, which were before considered inert, to be capable of curing disease. They have antedated the use of the diseased products of the human body as curative agents. And another most wonderful development entirely due to Homoeopaths is the demonstration of the fact that various animal viruses will heal the sick. This was never dreamed of by the Allopathic School, and they have not yet stolen these remedies, to my knowledge.
This enables the homoeopath to wield incalculable vantage over them in a treatment of all malignant diseases, as typhoid fever, diphtheria, erysipelas, etc. The animal viruses, as Apis, Crotalus, Lachesis, Naja, Tarentula, Theridion, Bufones, etc., have proven of untold relief to human misery, and are entirely due to the heroic provings of Homoeopathis. Constantine Hering enriched medical science by his labors along this line.
Hering, like of Hahnemann’s followers, was a very learned man. He was a wonderful naturalist. The collection which he made at Surinam is preserved with great care in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.
There are numbers of individual remedies which owe their use entirely to Homoeopaths, and are now used by Allopaths, no credit being given for their use, as Aconite, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox., Mercurius, Glonoine, Hepar sulphur, etc. Many of these remedies are recommended in their text-books-Ringer, Shoemaker and Phillips with long paragraphs of Homoeopathic indications so plain that you would suppose you were reading Hughes or Arndt.
These indications have been garbled from our literature with the most impudent kind of plagiarism, viz., Chamomilla is recommended by Ringer in summer diarrhoea of children, characterized by green, many-colored stools, Podophyllum in bilious morning diarrhoea. Dr. Aulde, of Philadelphia, recommends Rhus tox, in rheumatism in doses of one part to ten, but expresses diffidence in giving his carnation concerning a remedy so altogether new, notwithstanding it was carefully proven by Hahnemann, as every Homoeopath well knows.
They give Rhus tox. for rheumatism, Pulsatilla for dysmenorrhoea, and Aconite for fever, but do not differentiate between these remedies and adopt the one which fits the individual case. Therefore, while they acknowledge the propriety of proving drugs upon the healthy, use our remedies and our dose. (Their medicine cases are full of semi-potentized triturate tablets and pilules.) They are not making the progress they would seem to be making, because they are not using these remedies homoeopathically but empirically. These facts are too well known to this Convention for me to enlarge upon the subject.
In the face of the most unjust opposition and cruel persecution known in the annals of history, we have forced the dominant school to reform its methods and adopt a gentler and more humane system, and have won to our belief such a majority of the power and intelligence of the laity that should the earth open to-day and swallow up every Homoeopath, public opinion would protect the world from the barbarism of the past.
Our school has made wonderful strides of progress on its legitimate line, developing methods by which the fixed and perfect law may be perfectly applied. We have refined and regulated the dose; we have proven new remedies, thus narrowing down the list of incurable diseases. Hundreds of volumes are monuments of the devotion and industry of our pioneers. See Bradford’s Bibliography. These works form a vast pyramid, with Hahnemann’s Organon and Materia Medica Pura as its base, with Jahr and Reckert and Teste and Hempel and Baehr and Carroll Dunham and Farrington and Hughes and Drysdale and Cowperthwaite and Hale and Arndt and Lippe and Burt building upon them, with Allen’s Encyclopedia and the Drug Pathogenesy towering above them all. And now Hughes is fashioning the capstone, his repertory of the Cyclopaedia.
Our literature is a stupendous growth. It embraces whole libraries of volumes which it would require a lifetime to peruse- not only exhaustive treatises upon our therapeutics, but elaborate discussions of every phase of medical science, even dipping deeply into psychology and spiced with poetry. See Holcombe’s, Raue’s and Buck’s classical works and Crawford’s Kalevala and Bushrod Josephe’s Alaskama. Bradford’s Bibliography, itself a notable book, chronicles the long list of authors too numerous for me to mention.
Our growth may be compared to that of a grand oak, Hahnemann the central trunk, Similia the main root, his great followers the spreading branches, and the thousands of twigs the faithful practitioners who are devoting their lives to the application of Materia Medica to disease.
Seventy years ago there was but one Homoeopath physician in the United States; to-day there are twelve thousand. We have sixteen colleges, graduating five hundred students annually. These colleges were the first medical colleges in the country to establish a four years’ course of study and demand a thorough preparatory examination. The American Institute was the first national medical society to demand of the colleges under its control a lengthened course and higher grade of scholarship. These college have adopted the most advanced methods of clinical teaching. They have always been in the front rank of progress. Let me here acknowledge that it was a Homoeopathic college which first opened the doors of medical college to women.
We have seventy-six hospitals and fifty dispensaries. In these hospitals the average mortality is only 3.12, they are in perfect sanitary condition, for Homoeopaths were first to advise strict care in regard to hygiene and diet, and Listerism is nothing more than absolute cleanliness. Our pharmacies have such a reputation for the purity and exactness of their preparations that they are patronized largely by careful physicians in the Old School.
The law of cure is a grand central figure around which revolves lesser lights. Dr. Edwin Hale has discovered and demonstrated a law of dose which he deems a corollary to the law of cure, viz., when the primary symptoms of a drug resemble the primary symptoms of a disease the minimum dose should be used, and when the secondary symptoms resemble the secondary symptoms of disease, large or physiological doses must be used.
The late Dr. Tessier placed on a firm basis the fact that individual attacks of disease owe their explanation to the definite predisposition which exists in the individual.
Dr. Woodbury, of Chicago, has elucidated a system of succession of remedies which is about to be given to the medical world in book form.
Dr. J.S. Mitchell has given us a special treatment for cancer. He is not a cancer specialist, but by scientific investigation has discovered a method of treating this loathsome disease, which has been followed by wonderful results. His treatment is Homoeopathic, his method of applying the remedies only is original. See Medical Era, May, 1889.
Dr. Henry Garey, of Baltimore, Md., has devised a system of massaging the sound-conducting apparatus of the middle, ear, by which treatment he claims to have produced marvelous results in cases of deafness heretofore considered hopeless.-Transaction of American Institute, 1892.
Dr. Pratt is the father of the orificial philosophy for which he claims that it is the discovery of the cause of chronic diseases as a class, and that by the aid of orificial surgery which it implies, it is possible to cure four-fifths of all forms of chronic disease. If this is true, and testimony pours in from every quarter, this marks a marvelous progress in the prevention and cure of disease. Our French contemporaries have stamped out anthrax among cattle and sheep by the use of anthrax.
Our Dr. Dudgeon has devoted much study to optics and written valuable works upon the subject. See British Journal of Homoeopathy, 1882 to 1893.
Our Dr. Blackley, Manchester, Eng., is the highest authority in the world concerning hay fever. .
By gathering atmospherical dust on glass with glycerine he determined the pollen origin of this disease. His work upon the same is classical.
This late Dr. Drysdale, Liverpool, Eng., was one of the most eminent pathologists, biologists and microscopists of the age, as well as one of the most ardent lovers of Homoeopathy and logical expounders of its law (see British Journal of Homoeopathy), during the last thirty-five years, all of which period he was the senior editor, and did a great amount of valuable work in the study of drug action. He made a study of the germ theories of infectious diseases as early as 1878, anticipating much of the work which Pasteur has since developed. He gave eight years of his life to the study of the life histories of monads, now known as saprophytes.
The words of his friend and fellow-student, Dr. Dallinger, give us an idea of this work. “Our work in this inquiry, extending through night and day observations, occupied eight years, and during that time, by use of the most powerful and perfect lenses constructed, we were enabled to study the cycles of life in thee minute forms, and to show that their life history was a definite and prescribed as the life history of a butterfly or a daphnia, although they were so small that a hundred million might revel in the space occupied by a millet seed. And this research proved that abiogenesis, or spontaneous generation, has nothing to hope from a thorough knowledge of saprophytic organisms.”.
To shown the versatility and eminently practical character of his genius, I cite the fact that he made a study of the subject of ventilation, and jointly with Dr. Hayward, a deeply scientific colleague, wrote a most valuable book on Health and Comfort in House Building. No man in our age has added more to the sum of knowledge in medical art and science than John James Drysdale. For a complete study of his work, see the British Homoeopathic Review, September, 1892.
Therapeutics and pharmacy will always be the legitimate field for Homoeopaths. The majority of our ablest men will devote their lives to adapting the Materia Medica to the cure of disease, and this is the height of wisdom, for, given the certain law of cure, close application of methods according to this law will in the majority of cases prevent the necessity for surgical interference, and when the surgeon takes up the scalpel it is an admission of weakness. He practically says I cannot restore the body to health, therefore it is better that it should lose one member than that the whole body should be lost. Surgery should be the dernier resort and Homoeopathy has made it so. It has greatly modified Allopathic surgery. Mortality has greatly decreased under surgery, aided by our therapeutics and in our hospitals which are models of hygienic perfection.
Our surgeons have performed many brilliant operations and have done much original work. Dr. G.D. Beebe was the first surgeon to remove several feet of intestine (58 inches) and get end-to-end union with recovery of patient. -United States Medical and Surgical Journal, 1869.
Dr. I.T. Talbot, of Boston, was the first surgeon in America to successfully perform tracheotomy. Van Lennep of Philadelphia, has done great things for intestinal surgery, experimenting on dogs, making reaction of gut with end-to-end union, using rubber turning as splint instead of decalcified bone, and has tested the method an human cases with the best results. He has improved the operation for fistula in ano and done much good original work.
Dr. Flagg the first President of the American Institute, revolutionized the science of dentistry by his methods of operating and invention of instruments. Dr. Lungren of Toledo, was the first surgeon to bring the peritoneal surface together in the closure of the uterine incision in Caesarean section and published the method several years before Sanger made use of it as the basis of his improved Caesarean operation, which is the approved method at the present time. Dr. Lungren also first ligated the fallopian tubes without removal to produce sterility after having twice performed the Caesarean section upon the same patient.
Biggar, of Cleveland, also has witnesses of his, great skill in a living mother with two fine children delivered at different births by Caesarean section. He has a new method of forming the flaps in extrophy of the bladder. His method of repairing the perinaeum is worthy of note, and an original method of covering amputated bone with periosteal flaps for which he claims three benefits: 1. Protection. . Medium of nourishment. 3. More rapid healing and less deformity.
Dr. Knoll, of Chicago, has made several advances in surgery. 1. He has on original operation for radical cure of fistula in ano by dissecting out all the diseased tissue which forms the canal and stitching up the parts, first advocated in 1887. 2. An operation for the radical cure of hernia, consisting in opening up the carnal to the peritoneum, freshing the edges of the whole ring and stitching the parts together with heavy silver wire.- Medical Era, July, 1888. This operation he claims is in advance of any other operation of the kind even up to the present date. 3d. His treatment of eccentric stricture of the oesophagus by the stylet and dilators method of using and cut of the instrument.- Sharp and Smith’s Catalogue, Chicago, 1893.
Lee, of Rochester, has a wonderful record in laparotomies. See Transactions, American Institute, 91.
N. Schneider, of Cleveland, has the honor of being the first surgeon in America to remove a tumor from the brain with recovery of patient. This tumor was the size of a walnut, situated back of the colt. The operation was reported in 1860, in the Ohio Medical Reporter, and was copied in the New York papers and acknowledged to be unique.
Dr. Schneider introduced to the profession the use of carbolized oil in the dressing of wounds. It used to be known on the road, in his days of railroad surgery, as Schneider’s oil.
It is probably true that the modern treatment of wounds is a growth which all surgeons have nourished and cultured, but the following statement was made to me by Dr. Dudgeon, of England, in replay to recent inquires as to the part taken by our foreign brethren in the development of medical science, viz, that Dr. Bolle, a Homoeopathic physician of Aix is Chapelle was the father of the modern treatment of wounds.
In a recent number of an Allopathic journal, the Medical News, there appears a Columbian article upon the work of American surgeons, which, in the usual style, ignores the work of Homoeopathic surgeons. Well might Helmuth sound the toxin; it is time the history of Homoeopathic surgery was written. But they cannot deceive the dear public. It well knows that we have a galaxy of surgeons, with Helmuth as Nestor, who have made Homoeopathic surgery honorable the world over.
In mechanical therapeutics, our surgeons have invented many appliance of recognized value. Dr. Dudgeon’s sphygmograph is acknowledged to be the very best instrument of the kind in the world. Garey, of Baltimore, has invented the instrument called the vibrinator, for massaging the sound apparatus of the inner ear, which is destined to be of incalculable value to the afflicted.
The protection sheet which is now used in all the hospital for the insane, and which has banished camisoles, cribs, anklets, straitjackets, and all other cruel restraints of iron, wood and leather was invented in the Middletown, New York, State Homoeopathic Hospital, under the suggestion of Dr. Seldon H. Talcott.
Dr. Edwin Hale has invented a bivalve expanding speculum which is now used by both schools in the United States. Also the pistol-handle forceps for which he claims that the line of traction and the curve of the handles make it equal if not superior to Tarnier’s.