CONCLUSION – SOME LESSONS FROM THE CASES
IN relating the above cases I have not exhausted the interest they contain. There are still some useful lessons in practice to be deduced from the observations.
There are several ways in which remedies may be introduced into the homoeopathic materia medica. The classical way is, of course, Hahnemann’s original method of testings or “provings” on the healthy. This he soon found it possible to supplement, by observations made on patients under the influence of a remedy. A remedy given on certain indications will often remove symptoms which were not before known to be part of its symptom-list. The observer who watches the case notes this effect, and he may prescribe the remedy for another patient presenting some of these new symptoms. If in the second case these symptoms are relieved or removed, he is entitled to regard them as part of the drug’s symptom-list or “pathogenesis,” as it is technically called. Again, when a remedy is given to a patient it may, in addition to relieving him, excite other symptoms which are no part of his disease, and are not known to be part of the drug’s causation. These symptoms should be noted and tested in the same way, and if confirmed in practice, they also may be added to the drug’s symptom-list.
In making use of nosodes, the physician may proceed in exactly the same way as with remedies derived from plants or minerals. The first nosode used in homoeopathy was so introduced. Hahnemann himself proved Psorinum, and his proving has been the basis of its use in Homoeopathy ever since. But this has not been the case with all the nosodes, and it was not the case with Coqueluchin.
It is self-evident that every case of an infectious disease is, in effect, a proving of the infective principle. This being evident, it follows that a symptom-list compiled from the signs or symptoms of a large number of cases of any infectious disease supplies a solid basis on which the homoeopathic physician may prescribe its nosode. It also follows that the nosode must be more or less homoeopathic to every case of the disease.
But the homoeopath can never lose sight of the necessity of individualising his cases. Individual cases of the same diseases differ enormously, and it not infrequently happens that some consideration apart from the ordinary manifestation of the infection at work will indicate the remedy. The homoeopath must be prepared to meet this, and, therefore, can never be a slave to routine.
Moreover, although the symptoms of a disease form a picture of the curative powers of the nosode, it is a great advantage to the homoeopath to have a proving of the remedy as well. Provings are made with homoeopathic attenuations of the virus on healthy persons. These preparations will not produce the actual disease, and they will not endanger the health of those who test them; but they will produce symptoms, and these symptoms are valuable guides to their use in any morbid condition, whether part of the original disease or not. Provings of this kind have been mostly made by homoeopathic physicians on themselves, from the time of Hahnemann downwards.
Coqueluchin still remains to be tested in this way, or “proved”; but in the meantime the evident symptoms of whooping- cough, and the history and diagnosis of whooping-cough infection, may be taken as the indications for its use, as was done in my cases. In the course of these cases several symptoms of a distinctive character were removed, which may be tested in future cases, and, if confirmed, may be looked upon as leading indications for the use of the nosode. These symptoms are :-
(1) “Itching of the palate on lying down at night.”
(2) “Stinging pain in or on the chest, with cough.”
(3) “Sickness or feeling of sickness, at the end of cough.”
(4) “Sobbing or sighing at end cough.”
(5) “Strangling sensation with cough on waking.”
These symptoms I commend to the notice of homoeopathic physicians, and ask them to observe whether their experience confirms them or otherwise.
The indications in addition to those which I have found valid in prescribing Coqueluchin are as follows :-
(1) Hacking cough.
(2) Deep sounding croupy cough.
(3) Cough provoking or followed by intense tickling in throat-fauces or trachea.
(4) Hacking cough with coryza.
(5) Spasmodic choking cough.
(6) Cough with difficulty of getting breath.
(7) Cough in frequently repeated paroxysms.
(8) Spasmodic cough with intense flushing of the face.
A further important point in homoeopathic practice is to observe the RELATIONSHIPS OF REMEDIES. It is not often that a single remedy will cure a case of disease. Sometimes it will- even a single dose of the remedy. But more often there will come a time when the remedy must be changed and another given. It is then of great importance to know which remedy to select next. It will often happen that the indication for the next remedy is so clear that there is no room no doubt which to select. But that is not always the case: several remedies may be apparently equally well indicated. It is then very useful to know if experience has proved that certain of these agree well with, and complement the action of, the one which has done well but ceased to benefit. For some remedies agree well with others; some arrest their action or over-action, or, in other words, act as antidotes. If an antidote is required, it is valuable to have a list of the remedies which have proved antidotal to the remedy given. If a complementary remedy is required, it is useful to have a list of remedies which have been found by experience to follow the remedy well, and carry on its work.
Can we, then, gain any information on these heads from the experience of my fourteen cases? I think we may infer that Coqueluchin is followed well by Corallium, Causticum, and Podophyllum. At any rate, these remedies acted well after Coqueluchin had given marked relief to the patients.
On the other hand, I think it may be inferred that Influenzinum is in some degree inimical to the action of Coqueluchin. An attack of influenza brought back whooping cough symptoms in one case when these had been nearly cured. This attack of influenza was cured with Influenzinum, and after that Coqueluchin could do not more for the case. On the other hand, Coqueluchin has rapidly cured influenzal coughs when they have assumed the whooping-cough type.
With these observations, I place this small contribution to an immense subject before my readers. With all the earnestness which I can command, I entreat my homoeopathic confreres to give to the use of the nosodes the very deepest and most careful attention.
In hoc signo vincimus.