Articles

The Homeopathic Echo 3

June 1855

A journal of Health and Disease

“Health Shall Live free and Sickness Freely Die

This issue of the Homeopathic Echo continues giving information about Homeopathy, and advice about general health.

The Action of Infinitesimal Doses Considered in Relation to Homeopathic Law

Dr Fischer starts by saying: “By the will of the Almighty Creator all things in nature have been placed in certain relation to each other, which are fixed and uniform; in other words’ they have been endowed with capacities of acting, and capabilities of being acted upon, according to certain uniform laws.” He relates the laws of Homeopathy to the Universal laws, saying “Our observations reveal to us facts, but of the mysterious agency on which the results depend we know nothing, and can never know anything in our present state of being.”

He mentions three “Grand theoretical problems”, which we have to solve, these being: First – Why are diseases cured with similar irritants? Secondly – Why by minute and infinitesimal doses? And Thirdly – Why best by medicines in an attenuated state?

In answer to the first question, he states that it is a known fact that diseases are curable by agents which excite similar affections; that two similar diseases cannot c0-exist; and that the secondary effect of a medicine is the opposite effect of the primary. To employ a similar irritant is also to meet the disease directly, in its very home. If the similarity is perfect, there can be no new actions set up entirely foreign to the disease. Homeopathy cures the disease without inflicting new ones, acute or chronic.

In answer to the question as to why minute and infinitesimal doses can operate, he stated that: first, they act directly on the disordered parts of the body;  secondly, they act in the right direction, or assist nature in the reaction, without aggravation: thirdly, disease renders the parts particularly sensitive to the appropriate medicine; and fourthly, the power of the medicine is exalted by a peculiar mode of the preparation.

With regard to the small dose, which is the greatest obstacle to the progress of Homeopathy, he states: “we must again assert emphatically that it is a question of fact, to be settled only by appointment; that those who content themselves either with ridiculing it, or with reasoning about it, will never ascertain the truth respecting it, and that it is the duty of every man to enquire into the evidence in its favour as a matter of fact, and if possible to test this evidence with his own eyes.”

He states that ridicule has been called the test of truth. “And if this be so, Homeopathy, and the efficacy of the small dose must be true, for it has stood exposure to every kind of banter induced, whether witty of sarcastic, for more than half a century, and Homeopathy not only exists – it advances steadily on every side.”

Hyegiene (sic) Regimen

In this section, he extols the virtues of muscular exercise, quoting: “Idleness enervates the frame, labour fortifies it; the first tends to produce premature old age, the last to perpetuate adolescence”.

Appropriate exercise is indispensable to the preservation of the integrity of the body, and in proportion as it receives too much or too little exercise, or exercise inappropriate of ill-times, in the same ration will be its departure from a state of health.

Discussing Muscular Exercise in Children, he states that such exercise id beneficial to the young in particular, as can be seen by the tendency of all young animals to exercise freely. This produces increases of size and power in all the parts exercised, and leads to physical development.

The first requisite od healthy exercise is that it be the kind adapted to the condition of those by whom it is taken. It should also if possible be taken in the open air, so that it invigorates their respiration, or if not be performed in a large well ventilated room. He also states that active outdoor games in which many persons join together, and which are attended with shouting and laughing, are far more conducive to health than the solitary silent walk.

But he cautioned never to continue any exertion after it fatigues, because there is a point beyond which exercise instead of invigorating weakens, “and this point may generally be known by the feeling which promotes it”.

Moving further on, he states that the mental faculties in the young ought not to be severely tasked, and he thought that the time spent in schools was far too long, whereas muscular exercise and fresh air are essential to the formation of pure blood without which the development of the body can proceed.

He describes manhood as the period where the condition of the body is not particularly adapted to labour, but also states that those who pass their days in listless idleness, are, of all men, least to be envied. Not only are they led too frequently led into vices injurious to health, but the nervous system becomes the victim of sloth – “ennui, hypochondriasis, and indigestion afflict the unhappy mortal”.

Persons who are much occupied in writing will do well to have a high desk, at which they should stand to write whenever they are fatigues with sitting, and he recommends a seat with a circular hole in the middle. People who lead a sedentary life out to have at least one hour walking and gymnastic exercises everyday, and by the time of old age walking was the best fitting exercise.

Materia Medica

In this section he discusses the antecedents of the patient’s family, saying that this is especially required if diseases have been present in previous generations. The method of investigating the condition of the patient includes: the sexes and their distinctions. The age, and the conditions which qualify it, individual characteristics, affections etc to which (if any) the patient is especially liable, the method of living and general habits, the part or organ especially susceptible, and atmospheric or other local influences.

He gives a list of medicines that are adapted to the particular constitutions.

For the scrofulous, scorbutic, etc habit, he recommends Arsenicum, Sulphur, Calcarea, China, Mercurius, Nitric acid, Silica, Natrum mur, Carbo veg and Lycopodium.

He also gives suggested remedies for the debilitated or exhausted constitution, for the lean habit of the body, for the dry constitution, and for the plethoric, corpulent, or leuco-phlegmatic constitution.

Domestic Practice

In this section he first discusses nervous fever and typhus fever, for which he recommends Bryonia 3, Rhus tox, Phosphoric acid, Arsenicum 3 and Carbo veg 12.

For croup, he mentions exciting causes such as exposure to cold and damp, and derangement of the digestive functions, such as a too nutricious or heating diet, too much animal food, or stimulants such as wine or coffee. He recommends Hepar sulph in the incipient stage, and in the inflammatory stage Aconite, Spongia and Hepar sulph.

He also discusses pleurisy, an inflammation of the substance surrounding the lungs and covering the inner surface of the ribs, giving symptoms such as cutting, lancinating pain in the side and fever. He recommends Aconite for the fever, then Bryonia and Sulphur.

Lecture on Physiology

In this “very useful and surely interesting part of the journal”, he discusses the wonderful machinery of the body of man. He talks about the human body being made up of an assemblage of countless cells, the blood representing the whole body in a liquid state, and about the action of digestion of the food.

Words to the Wise

Again, he cautions on the effects of alcoholic liquors.

“Intemperance is the son of our land, and with our prosperity is coming upon us like a flood; and if anything should effect the hopes that hang upon our experiment of civil liberty, it is that river of fire that is rolling through the land destroying the vital air, and extending around an atmosphere of death.”

He states that every drunkard stands as obstinately face to face with death ass do those heroic soldiers who won the heights of Alma. And he cautions against hospitality as being a cause of intemperance, where it is actually considered kind, friendly and polite to press a friend to take even more than her would be inclined to take.

He also cautions that when the habit is acquired of drinking prudently, as it will be called, on all days of public festivities, a desire will soon be formed to drinking at other times, “until the healthful appetite of nature is suspended by the artificial thirst produced by ardent spirits”.

Footnotes

“Keep the doctor from your door as long as you can; but when disease appears, don’t trigfle with it, but send for the doctor, and pay kind respect to his advice. Disease is soon shaken by a physic well taken.”

“This is capital ale – see how long it keeps its head!” “Aye, but consider how soon it takes away yours.”

“Ignorance is the curse of God: knowledge the wings whereby we fly to Heaven.”

Dr Wendy Rose Isbell

August 2018

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