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It will be noticed that this action
is revealed by sensible effects, and that it leads speedily, without shock or danger, to recovery.
These facts may be classed under two heads in the first division I have placed the cases which I thought were suited to give the demonstration which I had in view. They present cures by means of infinitesimal doses of medicines, which would, under similar circumstances, have been given in ponderable doses by other medical men. I allude to cinchona, arnica, ipecacuanha, nux-vomica, iodine, cantharides, mercury, arsenic, ergot of rye, tartar-emetic, vegetable charcoal, nitre, sabina, nitric acid, &c.
In the second class I might relate numerous cases of cures by means of substances of which the use is almost unknown to the generality of physicians; or, at least, is not familiar to them. These are sulphur, silica, rhus toxicodendron, sepia, spigelia, black and white hellebore, thuya occidentalis, bryony, cocculus indicus, lachesis, barytes, pulsatilla, phosphorus, platinum, etc. I shall cite, in this class of facts, only a small number of examples, because they seem to me to present a demonstration less marked than the first, in which one may easily compare the action of infinitesimal and of massive doses of the same medicines, both being used* under the same cir
CASE I-Spasmodic cough depending on the presence of intestinal worms; removal of the cough and expulsion of the worms by means of “ semencontra in infinitesimal doses."
Mlle. R.. aged five years, Passage Choiseul, of a lympathic constitution, but habitually in the enjoyment of good health, had the measles three weeks ago; the eruption was well marked and accompanied by intense fever and very violent fits of coughing. This cough has continued since the disappearance of the measles and has not diminished in violence within the last fortnight; it is dry and very frequent throughout the day, and at times it comes on in violent fits, with feelings of suffocation, resembling those of hooping cough, but which are not followed by hooping or vomiting of mucus, as in that disease; twice only she has vomited, when coughing, the more solid substances of which she had partaken, but the liquids and soups were retained. These paroxysms occur chiefly By the different schools, of course.-ED.
No. 1, Vol. 1.
in the morning on awaking and in the course of the evening. When percussed the chest is perfectly sonorous, and auscultation reveals nothing anomalous in the respiratory sounds.
A continued yet moderate fever, with dry heat, weakens the little patient; no appetite; pretty-much thirst; she sleeps tolerably well at night and often coughs in her sleep.
The physician who had attended this patient with more than usual care, being a friend of the family, had exhausted the series of cough syrups, of pectoral medicines, of soothing and anti-spasmodic pills and mixtures, he had even applied a large blister upon the chest, and he was on the point of opening an issue when it was proposed to him to call me in for a consultation: he accepted, bidding as it were defiance to homeopathy.
When I had proceeded to examine the little patient in presence of my colleague, and had not recognized under this form of spasmodic cough the precise characteristics of hooping cough; when, moreover, I could not discover in the chest any serious pathological alteration which could account for the violence and the obstinacy of the symptoms, it occurred to me that the presence of intestinal worms might perhaps be the true cause of this complaint. To a question of mine upon this point, my colleague replied that a fortnight previously the child had passed two living ascarides lumbricoides, that he had then, at two different times, administered calomel, that after the first dose another ascaris had been brought away dead, that the second dose had produced no effect, and that therefore he was convinced that the presence of other worms could not account for the cough which tormented his patient. Notwithstanding this conviction of his, I thought it right to prescribe semen contra or cina, and the more so, as this medicine appeared to be the most homœopathic to the totality of the symptoms which I had to contend with. My prescription was cina 12, six globules in eight ounces of water; one teaspoonful to be taken every three hours. (14 March, 1851, 6 P.M.)
On the 16th, at 4 P.M., I was informed that the patient had been much better the whole day and night, but that in the morning (16th,) after she had taken the spoonful of her mixture, she had been seized with a very violent paroxysm, and that since then the usual dry cough had continued almost without cessation. I advised that a spoonful of the mixture should be given only if another coughing fit should supervene.
In the evening there was a violent fit of coughing; the next day, the 17th, I discontinued the medicine entirely. On the 19th there had been no fit of coughing; for two days the ordinary cough had been less frequent and less dry; in the preceding night the child had slept very well and had not coughed; she had also the day before and in the morning partaken of solid food, which had been retained. I ordered the same medicine to be resumed; a teaspoonful to be taken night and morning.
On the 20th I was apprized that the little patient had passed two lumbricoid worms the previous evening; the skin was cool, her complexion rosy, her appetite good; the cough less frequent and much easier. I advised that the medicine should be continued for a few more days, at the end of which there were no traces left either of the cough or of the other symptoms.
I have cited this observation as remarkable in three different respects-namely, with reference to the diagnosis, the selection of the medicine, and its rapid and efficient action, notwithstanding the minuteness of the dose-a few globules of the 12th dilution. I may add that the case was witnessed by my colleague, who had attended the patient during a whole month and who had uselessly employed the remedies which his experience and the affection he had for the sick child had suggested to him.
(To be continued.)
MEDICAL REFORM, AND THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF HOMOEOPATHY IN GREAT BRITAIN.
By a Physician practising Homoeopathy. Second Edition. London: W. Headland; Manchester: H. Turner, 1856.
THIS pamphlet is divided into two parts. part contains a review of what ought to be reformed in the practice of medicine, as adopted by physicians generally, and points out the advantages which homœopathy holds out, both to physicians and patients. The second part deals with the future of homeopathy, and offers several suggestions as to the best mode of improving its practice and of extending its influence.
The latter part of the pamphlet first appeared in April last, in the British Journal of Homœopathy. The whole was re-printed soon after and met with such a rapid sale that a second edition, with some additions, was brought The second edition has met with a degree of success equal to that of the first. We need say no more to prove that the "Medical Reform" of our anonymous friend touches upon points of great importance to homœopathists, and that the suggestions which it contains have not failed to attract considerable attention.
The following extracts will enable the reader to judge of the value of some of our authors views and wishes, and of the manner in which he handles the subject under consideration.
"More than a quarter of a century has passed since homoeopathy was introduced into England. In the present condition of our medical reform, it is worth while, before we speculate on its future, to take a rapid survey of the past, and to dwell briefly on the present. The retrospect is not altogether satisfactory, the aspect is somewhat overcast, and it behoves all who love homoeopathy as a new truth, as the truth of healing by the agency of medicinal substances, to bestir themselves that the future may be hopeful. The present generation of homoeopathists should consider
themselves as trustees for the right of management of Hahnemann's precious discovery of a law of healing, of general applicability. The future should be our chief concern- - we pass away—dum loquimur senescimus, we grow old while we speak. Comparatively few of the british homœopathists are alive to the awful importance of their duty in this respect. It does not suffice that a practitioner should derive an income sufficient for his purposes from homoeopathic practice ;—he has pledged himself to the maintenance and the establishment of a great principle. There is much at stake. A great truth has often been overlain; it lies dormant, and is, after the lapse of ages, resuscitated. In our case, our reform should make continuous progression; anything less than that is a disgrace to the passing generation, through whose sloth or luke-warmness such a trance is occasioned. Awake, ye sleepers! This is no time for folding the arms, or for thinking a victory is won. Sebastopol is not taken, while the north side is in possession of the barbarian." (p. 29.)
No true disciple of Hahnemann will be disposed to disagree with the author upon the importance of the duties which devolve upon british homoeopathists at the present time. The possession of a great truth entails a proportionate degree of responsibility. He who knows the truth and is luke-warm in his efforts to make it generally known and generally accepted is a traitor to the cause which he advocates. Let us now see what our
"We must, for the purpose of securing our future, make good use of the present. We must have hospitals, and schools attached to them. This is the first requirement. There should be such hospitals, each with a school attached to it, in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. There is now only a very small hospital in London, which is quite ineffectual, from the smallness of its income. Its number of in-patients does not exceed twenty. It should have at least one hundred beds. It is notorious that though the success of its medical officers in the treatment of cholera, the year before last, was much greater than that of any other class of medical men, its reports were contemptuously rejected by the medical council appointed by government to report on the different modes of practice adopted for that disease. If instead of sending in a report of some sixty cases, treated in thirteen or fourteen weeks, the medical officers had been enabled to send in a report of 600 cases, would that report have been contemptuously rejected?
"The sort of hospital we want is this: one in which the great body of the subscribers should have the election of the medical officers. It should also be sufficiently endowed. It should be a free hospital, in every legitimate sense of the word. It should be open to the poor, without letters of recommendation. Its medical officers should be chosen in respect of their merit, and on no other ground. It should have a school attached to it, for