The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29
Homœopathy: Past and Present
Homœopathy: Past and Present.
Nothing particular happened in 1755 when young Hahnemann was born. The earth did not commence to revolve on a pin instead of its own axis; nor is it recorded, that the human race forgot to dine in recognition of the birth of the infinitesimal, and the high dynamization of the meat in a hot summer. He was as much trouble as other babies; a microscopic scrap of dead baby skin did not clothe him, neither did a crumb feed him.
"One Science only will one genius fit;
So vast is Art, so narrow human wit"2
1 This account is taken from the Popular Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Lancet and other reliable sources.
2 Pope on Criticism.
"But, Doctor, I suppose dear Mr. Hahnemann discovered Borax? He was such a clever man!"
Madame, I am sorry to say he did not; Borax was introduced into medical practice by the Arabians, used by the Hindoo physicians, and mentioned by Paulus Ægineta, an ignorant fellow of the 'old school, 'who lived in the 6th century.
Genius, however, is not thus abashed. Borax, though cheap, still cost something; what if the substance sold could be bought yet cheaper? 'He determined to treat his patients in future without any medicaments whatever, except perhaps a little powdered sugar; even the sugar was given merely for the purpose of keeping up in the patient's mind the firm belief that each powder contained a particular dose of some medicine.'1
But selling powdered sugar fraudulently as medicine, even at a high price, appears to have been soon discountenanced; and, moreover, sugar cost money: how then shall we estimate the height of a genius, which enabled him to sell water and foul air at famine prices, and in such a manner that the sale was not permanently stopped, as was that of the "Breath of Life;" but enriched him, raised him to the proud position of sole inventor and manufacturer of that" well-known and recognized science"2 Homœopathy or Hahnemannism; and also enabled himself, as well as persons in future generations, to sell water at £25 a gallon—a smell of a phial at a price, and Homœopathic physicians to get paid for recommending it. Surely this was a great man! certainly he was a genius!!
In fact, after various vicissitudes of fortune in the above- mentioned frauds, in 18103 he brought out his book entitled "The Organon of Rational Medicine." The Government found it desirable to protect the public, and, in 1820, prohibited him from dispensing medicines; and thereby, from his inability to have them prepared by druggists, obliged him to give up his practice.4
1 See "The Organon of Rational Medicine," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
2 Letter in Daily Paper.
3 He first published on Homœopathy in 1796.
4 Popular Encyclopædia.
"It seems likely that he was in hope of being busy and conspicuous."1
There his pretensions received support; and in 1835, when 80 years old, he was authorized to practice Homœopathy, and died eight years afterwards. He was a person of great purity of morals, and, at the age of 78, married a young French girl for his second wife.
Such was the education, such the course of study, such the quacking tendencies, the high morality, and the life of this "Prodigy of Philosophy and Learning."
Now this is true Homœopathy, for it is that of Hahnemann." The Heaven-inspired Apostle of Homœopathy," having spent much of his life in the libraries of his patrons, and in translating books for a living, was well read. Thus, he was acquainted with the works of Hippocrates, who wrote 2,300 years ago, for he quotes the following passage, incorrectly,2 and in Greek only, which few of his readers could understand:—"By likes disease is produced, and by the application of likes patients are cured of their ailments; as by vomiting, vomiting ceases." Hahnemann, however, neglects to quote the following from the same section:"Give the patient," suffering from suicidal mania,"a draught made from the root of the mandrake,3 in a smaller dose than will induce mania." 'Hippocrates then insists in strong terms, that, under certain circumstances, medicines will have a different action from that which is common to them; and he further makes the important remark that, although the general rule of treatment be "Contraria contrariis curantur," the opposite rule also holds good in some cases, namely," Similia similibus curantur." It thus appears that the principles of Allopathy and Homœopathy were recognized by the author of this treatise.'4
Neither does Hahnemann deign to take notice of Aretaeus,5 who recommends "For the callous protuberances of the face, the ashes of vine branches, mixed up with the suet of some wild animal, or of the Barnacle goose: for like in the unlike, as the ape to man, is most excellent." Thus, as wine produced these protuberances, the vine was the cure: or, as the vinous face had projections, so had the vine and the goose; while the wild passions induced by wine were simulated by the wild animal; and thus, occasionally, Likes cure likes.
1 Johnson's Life of Otway.
2 This may be a printer's error, but a convenient one.
3 One of the Solanaceæ—a 'Nightshade 'closely akin to Belladonna. See also Genesis, chap, xxx., v. 14.
4 "Hippocrates," by F. Adams, LL.D.
5 A.D. 150.
It was, however, unkind of so learned, honourable, and well- read a man, not to give credit to Dioscorides, who lived in the first century, and, on a truly Homœopathic principle, recommends bugs as an antidote to the bite of the asp; while others write that, when drunk with vinegar, they eject leeches.1
"It was high time for the Wise and Benevolent Creator and Preserver of mankind to put a stop to this abomination (the practice of the 'old school'), to command a cessation of these tortures, and to reveal a healing art the very opposite of this It was high time that He should permit
the discovery of Homœopathy."2
"For the physician . . . . the disease consists only of the totality of its symptoms.""Everything of a really morbid character that the physician can discover in diseases consists solely in the sufferings of the patient, and the sensible alterations in his health; in a word, solely in the sum total of the symptoms."
"The symptoms of disease cannot be cured by the medicines, otherwise than in so far as the latter have the power of also producing alterations in man's health."
"This power of medicines to alter the health can only be ascertained in their operations on healthy persons."
"The morbid symptoms that medicines produce in healthy individuals are the only thing wherefrom we can learn their power to cure disease."
"The curative power of medicines therefore depends on the symptoms they have similar to the disease."
"In order that they (Homœopathic medicines) may effect a cure, it is before all things requisite that they should be capable of producing in the human body an artificial disease as similar as possible3 to the disease to be cured."
"A Homœopathically-selected remedy usually causes a kind of slight aggravation, which has so much resemblance to the original disease, that it seems to the patient to be an aggravation of his disease.4 But it is in reality nothing more than an extremely similar medicinal disease, somewhat exceeding in strength the original affection."
"As this therapeutic law of nature is verified by every pure experiment and every true observation in the world, and the fact is consequently established, 5 it matters little respecting the scientific explanation of the manner in which it takes place."
"The dose of a Homœopathic remedy can scarcely ever be made so small that it shall not be able to relieve, overpower, indeed completely cure and annihilate the pure natural disease."
When Like meets Like, then comes the tug of war.
1 It is common in the East for people to swallow, in water from the streams, small leeches, which cling to the throat, and suck blood largely. That interesting creature "Cimex Lectularius, the common bed-bug," is a Homœopathic medicine,"rich in promise": you take him rubbed up.—See British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia, 1876, p. 305.
3 All words thus printed are so in the original.page 9
4 Oh! crafty Hahnemann!! chief of tricksters!!!
"The best is a single dose of the very smallest one, in one of the highest strengthenings by shaking, 'till its effects are exhausted."2
"Homœopathic strengthenings by shaking1 are real awakenings of the medicinal properties that lie dormant in natural bodies during the natural3 state, which then become capable of acting in almost a spiritual manner upon our life. These developments of properties (dynamizations) are accomplished by the rubbing4 of dry substances in a mortar, but by the shaking5 of liquid substances. These preparations cannot, therefore, have the term dilutions applied to them."
"Homœopathic medicine becomes strengthened6 at every division and diminution7 by rubbing and shaking: a development of the inherent powers of medicinal substances which was never dreamed of before my time, and which is of so powerful a character that of late years I have been compelled, by convincing experience, to reduce the ten shakes, formerly directed to be given after each dilution,8 to two."
"As long as I gave the medicine undivided, each all at once in a little water, I found that strengthening the dilution bottles with ten shakes caused too strong action, and hence I advised but two shakes to be given. But since a few years, as I can now distribute each dose of medicine in an indestructible solution over 15, 20, 30 days, and even a longer period, no strengthening by shaking the dilution phials is too strong for me, and I again prepare each with ten jerks of the arm."
"The effect of a Homœopathic dose of medicine increases, the greater the quantity of liquid in which it is dissolved when administered to the patient, although the actual amount of medicine remains the same."
"Two drops of fresh vegetable juice, mingled with equal parts of spirits of wine,9 are diluted with 98 drops of alcohol, and strengthened by means of two shakes, whereby the first development of power is formed; and this process is repeated through 29 more phials, each of which is filled three-quarters full, with 99 drops of spirits of wine; and each succeeding phial is to be provided with 1 drop from the preceding phial (which has already been shaken twice), and is in its turn shaken, and in the same manner at last, the thirtieth development of power (potentized decillionth dilution .), which is the one most generally used."
Now these are the strengths of the Homœopathic medicines:—10
7 i.e., at every reduction of their strength by the addition of a diluent.
10 I am well aware that the Homœopathic accounts of the strength of their preparations differ. For Hahnemann gives one strength, the Homœopathic Chemists another, and their "Physicians" a third. I elect to follow that of the "Founder of the Feast."
"For the information of your correspondent signing himself 'Caution, 'I am pleased to be in the position to state that there has been no change in 'Homœopathic Pharmacy.'"1 In fact, an alibi in medicine, ´ la Mr. Weller, Senior, is "the best dose, and one most generally used" now in 1878.
Now, if every human being on the face of the earth took a "best dose" of Homœopathic medicine every second for 100 years; and if there were a million creatures of the animal world to each human being, each of which similarly wasted a similar term in a similar occupation, it would require 210,000 centuries of years for these people and animals collectively to consume one single half-grain of the medicine, say charcoal, common sulphur, or table salt,2 the whole of which will lie on the extreme point of a penknife. The price the 'Homœopathic chemists 'would charge for this single half grain of common salt, &c., would, at their present rates, amount to a trifle of about 250 billion tons more than 3,875 trillions of tons of golden sovereigns. No wonder they say," we should as soon think of entering into a controversy on the merits of small doses as we should over the laws of gravitation."3
1 Letter in Argus, 17th April. 1878.
2 All Homœopathic drugs.
3 Letter in the Argus, 20th April, 1878.
4 The Lancet.
5 One decillionth.
6 The Encyclopœdia Britannica.
7 One hundred thousand sextillions.
8 Ninety-three millions.
"The dose of a Homœopathic remedy can scarcely be made so small that it shall not be able to relieve, overpower, indeed completely cure and annihilate the pure natural disease."1
"The smallest dose of tincture of sulphur of the decillionth dilution can seldom be repeated with advantage even in robust patients oftener than every 7 days.""Sulphur of the decillionth dilution can rarely be taken or smelt at shorter intervals than every fourteen or fifteen days."
"The diminution of the dose essential for Homœopathic use will also be promoted by diminishing its volume, so that if instead of a drop of a medicinal dilution we take but quite a small part of such a drop for a dose . . . . For this purpose it is most convenient to employ fine sugar globules of the size of poppy seeds, one of which, imbibed with the medicine and put into water,2 constitutes a medicinal dose, which contains about the three hundredth part of a drop, for 300 such small globules will be adequately moistened by one drop of spirits of wine.3 The dose is vastly diminished by laying one such globule alone upon the tongue, and giving nothing to drink.""It is especially in the form of vapour, by smelling and inhaling the air4 that is always emanating from a globule impregnated with a medicinal fluid in a high development of power, and placed dry in a small phial, that the Homœopathic remedies are most surely and most powerfully exerted. The Homœopathic physician allows the patient to hold the open mouth of the phial first in one nostril, and, in the act of inspiration, inhale the air out of it; and then, if it is wished to give a stronger dose, smell in the same manner with the other nostril more or less strongly, according to the strength it is intended the dose should be; he then corks up the phial and places it in his pocket-case to prevent any misuse of it, and unless he wish it he has no occasion for an Apothecarys assistance in his practice.5 A globule, of which 10, 20, or 100 weigh a grain, impregnated with the thirtieth shaken up6 dilution and then dried, retains for this purpose all its powers undiminished for at least 18 or 20 years (my experience extends this length of time), even though the phial be opened a thousand times during that period, if it be protected from heat and the sun's light This is much preferable to every other mode of administering the medicaments in substance by the mouth. All that Homœopathy is at all capable of curing (and what can it not cure beyond the domain of mere manual surgical affections?), among excessively chronic diseases that have not been quite ruined by Allopathy, as also among acute diseases, will be most safely and certainly cured by this mode of sniffing.7 I can scarcely name one in a hundred out of the many patients that have sought the advice of myself and my assistant during the past year, whose chronic or acute diseases we have not treated with the most happy results solely by means of this sniffing.7 During the latter half of this year, moreover, I have been convinced (of what I never could previously have believed), that, by this mode of sniffing,7 the power
2 The dispensing vehicle.
5 See previous account of his life, on page
6 Potentized.page 13 of the medicine is exercised upon the patient in at least the same degree of strength, and that more quietly and yet just as long, as when the dose of medicine is taken by the mouth."1"A patient even destitute of the sense of smell may expect an equally perfect action and cure from the medicine by sniffing.2"1"The alteration of the degree of strength,3 by a little, may be effected by shaking the phial in which is the solution of the single globule with five or six smart jerks of the arm before each time of taking it."1"There are, however, Homœopaths, who carry about with them on their visits to patients the Homœopathic medicine in the fluid state, and who yet assert that they do not become more highly strengthened by shaking4 in the course of time; but they merely show their want of ability to observe correctly. I dissolved a grain of soda in an ounce of water mixed with alcohol in a phial, which was thereby filled two-thirds full, and shook this solution continuously for half an hour, and this was in strength and energy equal to the thirtieth development of power."1
"I have very often seen a drop of the decillionth dilution of nux vomica produce pretty nearly just half as much effect as a drop of the quintillionth dilution, under the same circumstances and in the same individual."
Another Araratic assertion, i.e., the part of a grain produces half as much effect as the part of a grain! What wonderful eyes the man had!
"Every patient is, especially in his diseased point, capable of being changed in an incredible degree by medicinal agents corresponding by similarity of action; and there is no person, be he ever so robust, and even though he be affected only with a chronic and so-called local disease, who will not soon experience the desired change in the affected part, if he take the salutary Homœopathically suited medicine in the smallest conceivable dose; who, in a word, will not thereby be much more altered in his health than a healthy infant of but a day old would be. How unmeaning and ridiculous is mere theoretical scepticism in opposition to this unerring infallible experimental proof!"
This fellow was not infinitesimal in his assertions.
"By careful observation and experimentation," Hahnemann "had discovered a truth not to be refuted by any experience in the world, that the best dose of the properly-selected remedy is always the smallest one in one of the high strengthenings by shaking1 ( or the thirtieth dilution) as well for chronic as for acute
Thus, of common salt and charcoal, the dose is the 1 or 2 decillionths of a grain; of camomile, 2 quadrillionths of a grain; of nutmeg, 2 millionths of a grain, &c., &c.; and he goes on to say,"Who can fail to perceive in this instance the infinite superiority of the (Homœopathic) treatment by means of remedies of similar action over the wretched treatment by opposites (contraria contrariis) of the antiquated ordinary school of medicine."2
The Homœopathic imposition was, no doubt, greatly assisted by the use of unintelligible, and, to the lay mind, astounding words to express simple things. Thus, 'To be shaken 10 times before taken, 'is, in Homœopathic Tuttenham 'Dynamize by 10 succussions 'Rub 20 times in a mortar, 'becomes 'Potentize by 20 triturations; "Let him smell the well-shaken, weakest medicine, 'reads 'Administer a single olfaction of the potentized decillionth dilution ., '&c., until we do not wonder that the public is overwhelmed, dazed, and thinks there must be something in it.
Hahnemann was compelled to reduce the dose of his medicines so that they could produce no effect, for, when he gave them in active doses, they increased the disease; as, should opium be given in an effect-producing quantity in a case of apoplexy, the patient would probably never wake again. To continue his theory it was therefore necessary that the dose should be powerless.
It is sad to know that so bold an asserter was only second in the degree of his extravagancies. Hahnemann is nothing to Swift as an imaginative author; for the latter describes a man, who" had been 8 years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials, hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw, inclement summers."1 But, then, Swift lived about a century earlier than Hahnemann, and history relates that it is always the early bird that gets the worm. Yet Swift did not make money, whereas Hahnemann did, 'as he was an honest man.'
Rhases wrote on Professional Impostors.2"The frauds of impostors," he says,"are more numerous than could be contained in this whole work. Some of them pretend to cure epilepsy, and having made a crosscut in the back of the head, they extract from the wound something which they hold in their hands, and thus impose upon people. Others in like manner cause it to be believed that they extract a small lizard from the nostril. Some remove imaginary films from the eye, which they previously introduced. Others create a belief that they suck water from the ear with a reed; others that they extract worms from the ears or teeth. Why should I mention those who introduce pieces of bone into wounds and ulcers, and afterwards extract them? There are others who make a man believe he has swallowed hairs, glass, or the like, and then, tickling his throat with a feather and making him vomit, they exhibit the substance in question as if it had been brought up. There are some who undertake to collect all the infirmities of the body into one spot, and then extract them. Thus," he adds,"they often do much mischief, and sometimes are guilty of culpable homicide."
Thus Hahnemann was not even the first impostor.
"But, doctor, they sometimes perform wonderful cures."
1 "Gulliver's Travels:" Jonathan Swift.
2 Ad. Mansor vii., 27, Paul. Æg.
With regard to medicines, this scientific Prince shows himself again a genius, in the form of a master plagiarist: he enumerates1 about 47 different drugs without acknowledgment of their discoverers; yet of these, nine were written of by Hippocrates 2300 years ago, and the rest by other ancient or previous authors. Having thus taken these drugs, he proceeds to appropriate them as his own: so much so, that, in subsequent Homœopathic books, his name is written after them, in the place that custom gives to the discoverer. Take Aconite as an example, which is written thus:"Aconite (Hahnemann):"2 and present Homœopathic physicians and their supporters are in the habit of asserting that Hahnemann discovered Aconite; that it is a purely Homœopathic medicine; and that, if a rational physician order it, he is filching from the Homœopaths. Such a supporter may be surprised to hear that Aconite was known and written off by Hippocrates 2300 years ago; by Dioscorides, Theophrastus, and other later authors, whose works have come down to us. But particularly by Von Storck, who, in 1763,3 published his essay "On the Internal use of Thorn Apple (Stramonium), and Monkshood (Aconite)." Thus the use of the drug lay open to this honest man.
"But," says some charming Homœopathica,"perhaps Hahnemann never heard of your Mr. Von Storck." Oh! yes, my dear madam; for the simple old thief quotes4 Baron Von Storck on the use of Stramonium, when it fits in with his Homœopathic ends; but it was not convenient to quote him from the same book about Aconite. Neither, madam, is there, in this respect, so far as I know, one among his disciples more honest than his master.
1 "The Materia Metlica Pura," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
2 "Jahr's Manual of Homœopathy."
3 Hahnemann was born in 1755, and first published on Homœopathy in 1796.
4 "The Organon of Rational Medicine," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
5 Deadly Nightshade.
The poacher then proceeds to remove from his prey the domestic names, as far as possible, and masks them from ordinary recognition under Latin, Greek, or contracted titles. Thus, common table salt becomes "Natrum Muriaticum;" Sulphur,"Hepar Sulph.;" Rhubarb,"Rheum;" Rue,"Ruta;" Cinchona bark,"China;" Elder,"Sambucus Nigra," &c., &c., ad nauseam, till their own mother would not know them.
"Poor Cupid, sobbing, scarce could speak,
Indeed! Mamma, I did not know ye:
Alas! how easy my mistake!
I took ye for your likeness, Chloe."3
Having thus stolen other people's children, and given them new dresses, he gives them a new character, so that each one has many pages of symptoms; and this is the way he went about it."We now find it best to investigate the medicinal powers even of such substances as are considered weak; and the plan we adopt is, to give to the experimenter on an empty stomach, daily, from 4 to 6 small globules of the thirtieth4 dilution of such a substance moistened with a little water, and let him continue this for several days."5 Having given a globule to the healthy victim, who was not unfrequently a mere paid agent living at a distance6," "all the sufferings, accidents, and changes of the health of the experimenter during the action of a medicine are solely derived from this medicine, even though the experimenter had observed a considerable time previously the spontaneous occurrence of similar phenomena in himself." Thus, if the experimenter take common table salt, or charcoal in a dose of such a fraction of a grain as contains 60 "O's," more or less, and presently break his neck or blow his nose, this" accident is solely derived from this medicine." These medicines must therefore be more dangerous than one might think, judging by the amount of "nothing" in them.
1 Acetic Acid.
2 Dr. Adams in P. Æg.
5 "The Organon of Rational Medicine," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
6 "Jahr's Manual of Homœopathy."
Nor does Homœopathy scatter her lively discourse or good advice with niggard hand. She is the handmaid of lovers, and of domestic felicity. Were it not for heaven-inspired Homœopathy, how should we know that we should give them both aconite, when She makes reproaches;" when "he exclaims, that his beloved has this moment sung the difficult passage which he had just executed himself;" when" she has fears and apprehensions, accompanied with entire absence of courage;" (happy thought! go together through a churchyard at 12 p.m. sniffing a globule of the decillionth of aconite); or,"if he have confidence and energy of character, or despair," you still give him Aconite; it's all the same. So, also, if she make" loud moans and lamentations, bitter complaints and reproaches;" have "great anxiety, accompanied with trembling or languor;" if "he has doubts about recovering;" if "she makes moans and lamentations arising from the apprehension of her death being near;" if she should "mention when she is to die;" should she have "fear of men," or "hatred of men," "dread of ghosts;" or should she have "vehemence, headstrongness,4 quarrelsomeness, sensitiveness with ill-humour to be offended with the least joke;" if "noise and music" (say a deranged hurdy-gurdy)"are intolerable, and make him feel sad;" if "he is absorbed in thought," or has "silent grief and care:" in fact, whatever is the matter with him, to the extent of similar classic sentences filling 17 pages, what a relief to know that in any case you can cure this quarrelsome couple! Pour in your Aconite; let them together sniff at a globule in a phial, and he and she forgive and forget in the way they 'all do it.'
1 "Materia Medica Pura," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
Or he is away; and she has "ennui, she feels lonesome;" or "it took her an hour and a half to fall asleep;" she is "not disposed to do anything;" or she is "exhausted, and becomes very nervous from playing on the piano for a short while, with painful, oppressive anguish of the chest;" or "is cheerful and sociable;"while he "inclines to hum a song to himself," and "is resolute and courageous:" what about this couple? Why, says some ignorant Rationalist, a husband will cure the girl, and he is the man."Sir," says the Homœopathic saviour of our lives,"none of this frivolity; they each require a sniff of an invisible quantity of carbonate of soda; that will take the 'lonesomeness or cheerfulness 'out of her, and 'the courage and humming 'out of him."
'But "should she frequently look in the looking-glass, and imagine she looks wretched,"3 what, then, Mr. Rationalist, will you recommend her lover to give her? 'Why, sir, certainly a compliment and a k . . . 'No, sir! the billionth part of a grain of Natrum Muriaticum. 'Which, being interpreted, Mr. Homœopath, is Common Salt. 'Sir! how dare you vulgarize our medicines!! you have triturated and succussed my potentized dynamization!!! 'Ah! what a complete science it is!!
Or should Amanda have "an itching of the left arm, inducing a desire to scratch," some vulgar gallant might hint at a flea, and praise his knowledge of the chase. Avaunt! thou heathen and ignorant one!"A drop, containing the one one-hundred-thousandth part of a grain of rue is, in many cases, more than sufficient for curative purposes."4
1 Sic. I am not acquainted with this brand.
2 The common meadow anemone, or windflower, introduced into the "Edinburgh Pharmacopœia" through Baron von Störck in 1779, or earlier.
3 "Jahr's Manual of Homœopathy."
4 "The Materia Medica Pura," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
But—horrible thought—should Ethel "push away from her" . . . . But we must quit these noble pastimes, else the paper may be clogged with the potentized decillionth dilution of classical quotations of this" well-known and recognized science."2
The Homœopaths may say,"This is not our Homœopathy." That may be so with "Bastard Homœopaths;" but I never knew a shuffler at school who could not invent some new excuse. This is Homœopathy, real Homœopathy, by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann, their prophet and their guide, whose bust figures so freely in their shops; and these results, called 'Provings, 'are constantly referred to as guides to treatment and the action of medicines in the "British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia of 1876."
Having thus described a lot of nonsensical symptoms, Hahnemann proceeds to give, by assertion, a Homœopathic character to the medicines. Thus (to keep to our former example), let us assume that, when a patient is feverish, he advises aconite. Now, when the body is feverish the temperature, as shown by the thermometer, is increased; thus, that aconite should be the Homœopathic remedy, it should have the power of raising the temperature of the body of a healthy man. Yet this is not its property; for when so taken,"the pulse sinks, the skin is cold and livid;"3 in fact, aconite acts on the system as a direct heart-depressant, is antagonistic to fever, and, when used in that state by" Homœopathic Physicians," is an instance of the falsity of their assertions and of their treatment; an example of more theft from the maligned 'old school, 'and particularly from Baron von Störck, who wrote on the internal use of aconite when Hahnemann was only seven years old; and from Dr. Collen, who wrote on the power of aconite in acute and chronic diseases, when Hahnemann was 10 years old. Opium is another drug to which Hahnemann gave a specious but false character, that he might call his use of it "Homœopathic," &c., &c.
2 'Letter in Daily Telegraph
3 Taylor's" Medical Jurisprudence."
The Great Prophet says:—"In no case is it requisite to administer more than one single simple medicinal substance at one time."1 This enlightened man was not only ignorant and assertive, but also inconsistent and contradictory, for he recommends the use of opium, which is a compound drug composed of "morphia, codeia, narcotina, papaverin, paramorphia (thebaica), narcein, meconin, meconic acid, opianine, besides extractive and fatty matters."2 Now, what an awful Homœopathic effect must a single sniff of the dynamized one-sixty-noughtieth part of a grain of all these dreadful substances produce! It must be enough to end the walking powers of "the most stubborn unlaid ghost,"3 and make him seek safety from the poisoning Homœopath in his ancient corpse. The very water, in which the Homœopath gives his "suspicion," is formed of two elements and a medium, commonly electricity; a flash of lightning is a pimple compared to the Homœopathic effect produced by the potentized4 electricity in a drop of cold water, which is thus no doubt capable, Homœopathically, of effecting "the most marvellous cures."
Again, coffee and tea are Homœopathic medicines; and under no circumstances are to be drunk when Homœopathic medicine is being taken,5 else a mixture of drugs is affected. Now, coffee consists of 15 substances, each being compound.6 No; Providence did not intend man to take, in health or sickness, a single elementary substance, for it is not possible for him to do so under any circumstances. The Homœopath does not do it medicinally; he only pretends to do so, well knowing that the pretence is false; for when he gives a globule, the mass of it is composed of milk-sugar, which, while being a second ingredient in the dose, is itself a compound substance; and, to complete the mixture, water is added, making the third ingredient, and being again a compound substance. Again, in their tinctures is contained first the drug, a compound substance; then alcohol, a compound substance; and this is to be taken in water, a compound substance.
4 Strengthened by shaking up.
Yet I have before me a Homœopathic prescription, of course by only a "Bastard Homœopath,"1 for vichy water. And this is what he ordered, Homœopathically, as a "single substance" for his "poor" patient:—"Carbonic acid, bicarbonate of soda, bicarbonate of potash, bicarbonate of magnesia, bicarbonate of strontia, bicarbonate of lime, bicarbonate of protoxide of iron, bicarbonate of protoxide of manganese, sulphate of soda, phosphate of soda, arseniate of soda, borate of soda, chloride of sodium, silica, organic matter, and bituminous matter." But then, no doubt the patient was directed only to sniff once a month or so on the outside of the room in which the bottle stood.
And now about our genius's theory of disease. Here also, he seems to have been very mixed, as was his custom on all points. The Prophet first says:—"In a word, the totality of the symptoms must be the principle, the sole thing the physician has to take note of in every case of disease." "The collection of symptoms is the only indication, the only guide to the selection of a remedy." "Everything of a really morbid character that the physician can discover in diseases, consists solely in the sufferings of the patient and the sensible alterations in his health; in a word, solely in the sum total of the symptoms."2 This theory Insurance Companies appear not to appreciate or adopt.
Now, we poor ignorants of the 'old Rational school 'think it necessary to know more of a disease than such a set of symptoms as those previously quoted from Hahnemann's works. We think it necessary, for example, to examine the lungs, the heart, &c., by listening to their sounds to be aware if the former have holes in them, or otherwise; and in the latter, whether the valves work naturally, &c., all of which is as certain to the rationally and thoroughly educated medical ear as if one saw the organ laid open before one. Not so Hahnemann. He did not want to know whether she had typhus fever, or what was the matter: he only wanted to know if" the pimple on her nose itched," or "on which side she lay," for he says:—"The Homœopathic physician does not entertain the foregone conclusions devised by the ordinary school, (who have fixed upon a few names of such fevers, beyond which mighty nature dare not produce any others, so as to admit of their treating these diseases according to some fixed methods,) and does not acknowledge the names 'gaol fever, bilious fever, typhus fever, putrid fever, nervous fever, or mucous fever.'"1
Yet, while he thus distinctly enjoins that the external" symptoms are the sole thing the physician has to take note of;" and also, that "the Homœopathic physician does not acknowledge the names of typhus fever, &c.," he presently directs him,1"when speaking of the disease, to say to the friends for convenience, 'a kind of typhus, &c.;'" and, moreover, has, at the end of his "Materia Medica Pura," an index of all the diseases named in his time. What can the man, (I beg his pardon,"The Great Spirit,") mean, unless it were necessary that the charlatan should proclaim that everything in his shop was different from, and superior to everything in the "old store" over the way; but he still found it compulsory to sell soap and candles, which, however, he would call Smegma mundi muliebris tabellœ,2 and Lucernce Candidœ,3 respectively. It is not to be wondered at that the "Professor" should not know much of disease, for the Baron and Duke, with whom he chiefly lived during his studying days, could never have had many of the complaints peculiar to men, women, and children; neither could he have made many post-mortem examinations on them, and thus proved the truth of his opinion. Moreover, the practical groundwork of his medical education in anatomy, physiology, and pathology was not attainable by translating books for sale, on the money produced by which he was mainly dependent.
Hahnemann's early education in the natural history of disease being thus deficient, he, as far as he could, prevented diseases from having a natural history, the clever scheme of an unprincipled and ignorant quack. It was another illustration of Mahomet and the mountain. Similarly it was his tenet that no crisis, no turning-point, ever occurs in disease; all that happens is due to a sniff of one of his 20-year-old globules, and improvement results solely therefrom. He taught that the natural tendency of all disease is straightway to death.
This doctrine, if credited, as it seems to be, by some persons of high perceptive faculty, and, shall we say, of exalted olfactory powers, was calculated to lead to the easy attainment of an unmerited fame, and the rapid filling of money bags; for though, of course, many patients died unassisted against their disease, still some would certainly recover; for we of the 'old school 'hold that the natural tendency of all disease is towards health; and, since Hahnemann arranged to call some mild disease "a kind of something dreadful," it was not difficult to assert the frequent performance of Homœopathic miracles.4
2 "Soap of the Toilet Table of the Woman of the World."
3 "Wax Candles."
4 See the account of Hahnemann's cure of a violent pleurisy in 5 hours by a sniff of a decillionth globule. Query, was it pleurisy?
" Thou dost with lies the throne invade,
By practice hardened in thy slandering trade;
Obtending heaven for whate'er ills befall,
And spattering under specious names thy gall."1
The first charge of slander to be brought against "the Divinity" is that of opprobriously calling the ordinary practitioners-in-medicine by false names; among which, that of "Allopath" was and is the most common. Now, this title infers that, while Hahnemann chose to bind down his school to the practice of the treatment of disease by "Like" remedies only, the ordinary practitioner had bound himself down to treat disease only by "Contraries;" an assertion as false as Hahnemann and his system. The ordinary practitioner gives himself no name, reserving the right of treating disease in any way that may be shown to be serviceable; and until he gives himself some such contracted title, it is a slander for a Homœopath to assert that such is his mode of practice.
Now, what are we, and how should we be styled? We are disciples of 'the medicine of experience; 'as is the British lawyer of the law of precedents and experiences. We are 'Rationalists, 'open to the conviction of the treatment of disease by any mode shown to be efficacious. To quote Dr. Adams, LL.D., when defining ancient medical schools,"The sect, called the Rational maintained that it is the duty of the physician not to neglect any collateral science or subject. They therefore inquired sedulously into the remote and proximate causes of diseases; and into the effects of airs, waters, places, pursuits, food, diet, and seasons in altering the state of the human body, and in rendering it more or less susceptible of morbid changes. Looking upon general rules as not being of universal application, they held that the treatment ought to be modified according to the many incidental circumstances under which their patients might be placed. They freely and fully availed themselves of whatever aid they could derive from experience, analogy, and reasoning. Hippocrates, Galen, Aëtius, Oribasius, Paulus Ægineta, Actuarius, and all the Arabian authorities, may be looked upon as belonging to this, sect."
Thus, what there is good in Homœopathy, &c., as taught by Hippocrates and other authors during the last two or three thousand years, we gladly accept; but I am not aware that any good thing has emanated from Hahnemannism; which, on the other hand, has done more to injure the fair science which it defaced than aught else I know of. Homœopathy has been a common thief, plagiarist, and slanderer of those who begot the science of medicine—who nurtured her tenderly, and raised her to her present perfection of maturity.
But before all, if you please, we are of the 'old school, 'just as we may be of the Ancient University of Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, or Dublin; not that that infers that the 'old school 'does not advance; and it would be just as false to say so, as that these universities do not advance with the age; for in the van they march, as do we. We are of that 'old school, 'from which Hahnemann and his followers filched everything in their system and practice that is true, or worth knowing. We are of that 'old school 'of which Homœopathy was a diseased and baneful excrescence; now, however, happily excised from all connection with its honest parent by the sharp stroke of the knife, wielded by the British Medical Association at Brighton in 1851, which, in the face of the facts of Homœopathy, passed the. resolution,"That it was derogatory to its members to hold any intercourse with Homœopathists;" from which day this sect "has been ostracized by the profession, and branded as aliens to whom no professional countenance could be shown."1
We are of the 'old school 'in the sense in which the British Constitution is old, in which almost all that is good is old; and, while having the advantage of all that is old, we now lead the van in the discovery of means of relieving the sick, and in modes in which the Homœopaths, by their tenets and self-imposed rules, have never had, and never can have, any part.
1 Dr. Wyld, Vice-President of the London Homœopathic Society.
"Let concealment, like a worm i 'the bud,
Feed on his damask cheek: he linned in thought;
And, with a green and yellow melancholy,
He sat, like Latience on a monument, Smiling at grief."—Twelfth Night.
1 "The Popular Encyclopaedia."from which, as well as from other sources, the account of many of these, our ancestors of the 'old school, 'is derived.
On the other hand, on the maligning and Homœopathic side is Hahnemann, of "Pnœum" memory, the great plagiarist and slanderer, followed by a disorganized crowd of "Bastard Homœopaths." Nor do I know of one Homœopath, whose name as a philanthropist, philosopher, or scientist of any kind, can be mentioned. Some there have been, no doubt, who, as "Bastard Homœopaths," have been prominent in the shoal of their 'similar 'small fry; the most pushing of whom will be presently named. But no Homœopath, so far as I know, has, by his original work, benefited mankind one iota; though some have profited themselves much, as has also Mr. Holloway by his "Indisputable Pills and Ointment." Where are their classic schools of medicine? Where their professors of world-wide fame? Echo answers, where? To complete the Homœopathic list, therefore, as it was commenced, so it must conclude with the name of Hahnemann.
"There is no likelihood between pure light and black darkness; or between righteousness and reprobation."1
Nor does this "Prince" cease his "evil-speaking, lying, and slandering," at calling his teachers and masters by false names; he continues his false-witness, and makes it subservient to personal puff and self-interest. Thus, he asserts,"by opposite medicinal symptoms (antipathic treatment) persisting symptoms of disease are not cured."2"The other remaining method of treatment, the Homœopathic, by means of medicines with similar symptoms, is the only one that experience shows to be always serviceable."2"Much more frequently than in the course of nature, an artificial disease, caused by the long-continued employment of powerful, inappropriate (Allopathic) medicine in ordinary practice, associates itself with the old natural disease, and the chronic patient now becomes doubly diseased."
2 The "Organon of Rational Medicine," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
And so his false-witness and puff, asserted in the usual quack fashion without a particle of proof or argument, runs on ad nauseam to the extent of being contained in about a quarter of the paragraphs of his book. But "we are not to be dejected by the slanders and calumnies of bad men, because our integrity shall then be cleared by Him who cannot err in judgement."5
"Some voices of the hated Rationalists
Were also heard to wonder in the din,
(Fellows of forty were these Questionists),
Wherefore the reasoning did not begin!"
2 See page 10.
3 See page 10.
1. "Disease consists solely in the sufferings of the patient and the sensible alterations in his health."1 This Dr. Ruddock2-has negatived, for he now prescribes his remedies under the 'old school 'name of the disease. This system is filched, without acknowledgment, from us of the 'old school.'
2. "The morbid symptoms that medicines produce in healthy individuals are the only thing wherefrom we can learn their power to cure disease." This Dr. Ruddock has negatived, for he now prescribes "prepared chalk" for poisoning by oxalic acid. This remedy is filched, without acknowledgment, from us of the 'old school. 'No doubt these Homœopaths have cause to fear the coroner, should they persevere in their infinitesimal and absurd theory in such cases. For what is the Homœopathic antidote for oxalic acid? This —?3 They know nothing about it, and have nothing to suggest.
3. "The curative power of medicines, therefore, depends on the symptoms they have similar to the disease." This Dr. Ruddock has negatived, for he now prescribes iodide of potassium for lead colic. This remedy is filched, without acknowledgment, from us of the 'old school.'
4. "In order that they (Homœopathic medicines) may effect a cure, it is before all things requisite that they should be capable of producing in the human body an artificial disease as similar as possible to the disease to be cured." This Dr. Ruddock has negatived, for he prescribes aconite for fever. This remedy is filched, without acknowledgment, from us of the 'old school.'
5. "Pure and careful Homœopathy can cure all important and serious diseases." This Dr. Herring4 has negatived, for he says,"We are frequently called upon to cure symptoms which we are either unable to imitate in our provings, or which we can only reproduce incompletely." Also, in so many words, by Dr. Wyld, Vice-President of the British Homœopathic Society:—" In cases of this kind" (i.e., of consultation with a rational practitioner, for which he is contending),"one practically admits that his system has failed."5
1 "Organon of Rational Medicine," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
2 "Ruddock's Homœopathic Vade Mecum." I have selected Dr. Ruddock as the exponent of present Homœopathic practice, as I see his books chiefly for sale in Homœopathic windows.
3 "The British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia of 1876."
4 Jahr's Manual of Homœopathy."
5 The Lancet.
6. "The dose of a Homœopathic remedy can scarcely ever be made so small, that it shall not be able to relieve, overpower, indeed completely cure and annihilate the pure, natural disease."1 This Dr. Ruddock has negatived, for he prescribes 30 grains of chloral hydrate for sea-sickness. This remedy is filched, without acknowledgment, from us of the 'old school. 'On such a dose Hahnemann remarks,"I must here observe that this essential rule (an unnecessarily large dose) is chiefly transgressed by presumptuous tyros in Homœopathy."
7. "The smallest dose of tincture of sulphur of the decillionth dilution can seldom be repeated with advantage in robust patients oftener than every seven days, even in a case of itch. Every external treatment of such local symptoms, the object of which is to remove them from the surface of the body, as, for instance, driving off the skin the eruption of itch by all sorts of ointments, &c . . . . has been the most prolific source of all the innumerable named or unnamed chronic maladies under which mankind groans; it is one of the most criminal procedures the medical world can be guilty of, and yet it has hitherto been the one generally adopted and taught from the professorial chair as the only one." This Dr. Ruddock has negatived, for he prescribes sulphur ointment externally. This remedy is filched, without acknowledgment, from us of the 'old school.'
8. "Sniffing2 is much preferable to every other mode of administering the medicine in substance by the mouth." This Dr. Ruddock and the "British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia" have negatived, for I am unable to find that they prescribe "sniffing" at all. Thus, they revert, without acknowledgment, to the practice of us of the 'old school.'
9. "The alteration of the degree of strength (potentization), by a little, may be effected by shaking the phial in which is the solution of the single globule with 5 or 6 smart jerks of the arm before each time of taking it." This is negatived by the "British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia," which says," These diluted preparations have been called indiscriminately dilutions, attenuations, and potencies; but since the latter term involves a theory, it will not be employed in the following pages." Thus, they revert, without acknowledgment, to the practice of us of the 'old school!'
3 i.e., The most diluted of all.
Drs. Pulte and Epps (to change the authority) negative this, for they say,"In regard to the choice of higher or lower attenuations, we consider Homœopathic, legitimate and useful, all strengths1 from the stronger or mother tincture2 and first trituration up to the highest dilution." Thus, they revert, without acknowledgment, to the practice in perceptible doses of us of the 'old school.'
Of 51 remedies recommended by Dr. Ruddock to be purchased in a "handsome mahogany or fancy-wood chest, adapted to his Homœopathic Vade Mecum," 22 are taken from Hippocrates 'list of 2,300 years ago. Thus he reverts more than his supposititious master to the practice of us of the 'old school. 'Not that Dr. Ruddock removes their aliases: Chalk is "Calc. Carb.;" Sulphur is "Hepar S.;" Tincture of the common Marygold is "Calendula;" Cuttlefish3 is "Sepia;" in the usual insinuating and pseudo-scientific manner.
11. "In no case is it requisite to administer more than one single simple medicinal substance at one time."4 This is negatived by a prescription now before me of a leading Melbourne Homœopathic practitioner, in which are ordered Podophyllin, Nux Vomica, and half a pint of water. In another is ordered our preparation of Ergot in 60 drop doses; in another our ordinary doses of Quinine and Morphia. Thus, these persons revert, without acknowledgment or recantation, to the practicc of us of the 'old school.'
2 Usually much stronger than ours of the 'old school.'
3 Composed chiefly of Lime—see Dioscorides, Galen, Celsus, Aetius.
4 "The Organon of Rational Medicine," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann."
5 "Homœopathic Domestic Medicine."
1 Recommended by Haly Abbas, an Arabian physician; as also stimulant applications, as onions, &c.
2 Recommended by Dioscorides in the 1st century.
3 The "British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia" gives 5 different modes of making ointments, taken from the "old school."
4 "Organon of Rational Medicine," by S. C. F. Hahnemann.
1 Translator's preface to "The Organon of Rational Medicine," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
2 Alas! poor Yorick.
3 "The Organon of Rational Medicine," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.
5 Dr. Ruddock orders galvanism for paralysis.
6 The italics are Hahnemann's.
"So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite 'em;
And so proceed ad infinitum."1
Poor old Hahnemann! What a shocking old ignoramus or swindler you were! or else, Drs. Ruddock, Pulte, Epps, and others, what Bastard Homœopaths are you—false to your prophet, false to your theory! Alas! how, 'twixt two stools, has Homœopathy melted like snow in the sun. For if Hahnemann be right, Homœopathy, as written of and practiced at the present time, is the greatest fraud of the day; for it slaughters its thousands. If Drs. Ruddock, Pulte, Epps, and Co. be right, Hahnemann was a fool, a charlatan, or a rogue; and slaughtered his thousands. But if Hahnemann be the exponent of Homœopathy, and these present 'Homœopathic physicians 'do not practise Homœopathy, while, with faces brazen as their door- plates, calling themselves 'Homœopathic physicians, 'then, in the words of their leader, these "Bastard Homœopaths are not much to boast of." And yet, O Hahnemann! they put your bust in their chemists 'windows. However, it is not in the least like you, according to the portrait of your feeble head, published in your "Organon:" a fancy bust to advertise a fancy science: yet may they still treat your bust, as they have your theories, and cry,"Off with his head, so much for Hahnemann."
"After these expressions by Hahnemann with reference to Bastard Homœopaths, &c., need I say that his books are not to be purchased in Melbourne; though their chemists keep great store of Bastard Homœopathic works?
For in the matter of slander and false-witness, there is little falling off. Hear Drs. Pulte and Epps:3—" Aconite is the principal remedy in the commencement of the treatment of lumbago,4 and does more than the leeches can accomplish; a
"That fatal and perfidious bark,
Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark."2
1 Jonathan Swift.
3 "Homœopathic Domestic Medicine."
4 Rheumatic pains in the muscles of the back." Since Von Störck's experiments were published in 1762, aconite has been generally and often successfully employed, particularly as a remedy for obstinate rheumatism."—Woodville, published in 1790.
Again, under the treatment of inflammation of the lungs, say they:—"In the beginning of this state give china;1 particularly if the patient in the early part of the disease, under Allopathic advice, had been bled." I have never in my life seen any patient bled for inflammation of the lungs, and but a few times altogether.
These persons also have an article on salivation, with the suggestion of the False, that this is often met with. In the whole course of my life I have never yet seen a patient medicinally salivated, nor even affected by mercury, beyond a slight tenderness of the gums: the giving of mercury to this end is not now in vogue; yet the suggestion no doubt pays 'Homœopathic physicians. 'For myself, I scarcely ever order mercury, having no faith in it, except in one disease. Errors I can understand, ignorance excuse, where brains or opportunity are deficient; but slander is indefensible, and robbery a crime which no honest man would commit.
"But, doctor, the 'old school 'slanders the Homœopaths too!"
No, madam; we take no more notice of them than of aught else that is false as Homœopathy; in no scientific book of ours that I know of, is Homœopathy mentioned, still less slandered. Slander is an element of Homœopathy, not of the 'old school. 'We work for the advance of science. For myself, I shall speak no more of them. Dynamization, decillionths, filchings, and slander! Faugh!
The present race of 'Homœopathic physicians 'appears to be capable of two things; the first, slandering the 'old school, 'as described above; the second, copying the 'old school. 'Their knowledge of the human body in health and disease, (such as it is,) is copied from the 'old school; 'all of their medicines of value; their doses; their external applications.
"But, doctor, onion poultices are excellent things, ar'n't they?"
Madam, they are an obsolete and nauseous way of applying warmth and moisture: better done by spongio-piline, linseed meal, &c. This remedy is filched, without acknowledgment, from Dioscorides of the first century. They no doubt are an advertisement of the Homœopathic presence, for they affect a neighbourhood to tears.
"But their chopped raw beef is good?"
Another remedy, madam, filched, without acknowledgment, from us of the 'old school, 'and described at length by that great French physician, Trousseau.
"But their Hydropathy, doctor?"
Introduced, madam, 2,300 years ago, by Hippocrates; employed by Celsus, Galen, and many famous physicians during the middle ages. The 'water-cure 'of the present day was organized and carried out by Priessnitz, a Silesian peasant, in 1829; and, under Drs. Wilson, Johnson, and Gully in England, and other physicians of the 'old school 'abroad, has attained to considerable fame.
To continue: not only does the "Bastard Homœopath" of the present day copy us in all these matters, but he seems to be afflicted with a kleptomania of the most omnivorous kind. Take their "British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia," published in 1876, as an example. This book is of the same binding, in material and colour, as our 'old school'" British Pharmacopœia," published in 1867; it has the same paper, the same type, the same arrangement, and the same words, paragraph after paragraph. It says:—"In identifying the plants used as (Homœopathic) medicines . . . . where the medicine is officinal in the 'British Pharmacopœia of 1867, 'the Committee have accepted the conclusions arrived at by the compilers of that work."1"In supplying tests for identifying and ascertaining the purity of various substances, the Committee have largely availed themselves of the 'British Pharmacopœia of 1867.'" Many of the chemical substances used in Homœopathy are employed, also, by the 'old school; 'and since the majority of these are best prepared on a large scale, it has been recommended that they should be obtained from the manufacturing chemists."1" Throughout this work, the weights and measures are those that have been adopted by the 'British Pharmacopœia;' and the system of volumetric analysis, which is often referred to, is that for which full details are published at the close of the same work."1"No one should pretend to make Homœopathic medicines who is not thoroughly versed . . . . in making all the ordinary preparations employed by chemists;"1 thus they cannot even educate their own chemists."No attempt has been made to teach botany . . . . natural history . . . . or chemistry."1 Can these 'Bastard Homœopaths"2 do nothing but slander and copy the hated 'old school?'
1 "The British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia, of 1876."
"Aconite Leaves. Characters: Leaves smooth, palmate, divided into five deeply-cut wedge-shaped segments; exciting slowly, when chewed, a sensation of tingling. Flowers numerous, irregular, deep blue, in dense racemes."
"Aconitum. Characters: Leaves smooth, palmate, divided into five or seven deeply-cut, wedge-shaped segments; exciting slowly, when chewed, a sensation of tingling. Flowers numerous., irregular, deep blue, in dense racemes.
This is, indeed, a "well-known and recognized science."
"But, doctor, their medicines can do no harm?"
This, madam, is not so. We find that the 'Homœopathic physicians 'differ from their chemists as to the strength of their medicines: the one says the strength of a preparation is the one fifty-thousandth part of a grain to the pint of water, the other nine and three-fifths of a grain to the pint.1 Their "Pharmacopœia" says:—2"Hitherto the mother-tinctures3 made from fresh plants have varied greatly in strength." We know that their mother-tinctures are frequently much stronger than ours of the 'old school. 'We know that several people have been poisoned by these medicines; by Homœopathic camphor, strychnine, &c.;4 and we know that the infinitesimal dose is not now essential to Homœopathy, as it was to Hahnemann, in spite of his thunder, lightning, and excommunication.
While, however, these are historical facts and strong evidence of the dangers of Homœopathy, the following analyses of Homœopathic medicines show conclusively that Homœopathic patients live on sufferance; that medicines, containing powerful drugs, differing from the proper strength in every sample examined, are unreliable; and that the Homœopathic chemists who prepared them are incompetent.
I submitted to Mr. William Johnson, Government Analytical Chemist, a solution of Arsenicum Album (white arsenic) 3, 5 (bought from a leading Homœopathic chemist in Melbourne), which should contain 9 3/5 grains of Arsenious Acid to the imperial pint,6 or 1 grain in 1,000 drops. He states that it contained a quantity "equivalent to about 12 grains to the imperial pint," or 1 grain in 800 drops; and is therefore 25 per cent, above the standard.
1 Daily papers, April 5th, and subsequently, 1878.
2 Page 11, published in 1876.
3 i.e., the strongest tinctures.
4 Medical Times and Gazette, 29th November, 1873.
5 3 is the preparation commonly sold to the public, and was so purchased.
6 "British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia," 1876.
"The following analyses are of Homœopathic medicines bought by me or my assistant from leading Melbourne Homœopathic chemists, and bear their names. Those marked (*) were specially supplied to me by one of them for the purpose of analysis. The results are these:—
Arsenicum album (white arsenic) 3.
The standard tincture contains 9.60 (i.e., a little more than 9 ½ grains of arsenious acid in the imperial pint, or 1 grain in 1,000 drops.2
Bottle No. 1 contains 10.1 grains of arsenious acid per pint, or 1 grain in 960 drops, and is therefore 4 16/100 per cent, above the standard.
Bottle No. 2* contains 3.052 grains of arsenious acid per pint, or 1 grain in 3,145 drops, and is therefore 68 21/100 per cent, below the standard.
Bottle No. 3 contains 4.334 grains of arsenious acid per pint, or 1 grain in 2,214 drops, and is therefore 54 86/100 Per cent below the standard.
Bottle No. 4 contains 8.379 grains of arsenious acid per pint, or 1 grain in 1,145 drops, and is therefore 12 72/100 per cent, below the standard.
Antimonium tart (tartar emetic) 3.
The standard tincture contains 9.60 grains of tartar emetic in the imperial pint, or 1 grain in 1,000 drops.
Bottle No. 5 contains 5.145 grains of tartar emetic per pint, or 1 grain in 1,865 drops, and is therefore 46 41/100 per cent, below the standard.
Bottle No. 6* contains 8.700 grains of tartar emetic per pint, or 1 grain in 1,103 drops, and is therefore 9 38/100 per cent, below the standard.
Mercurius corr. (corrosive sublimate) 3.
The standard tincture contains 9.60 grains of corrosive sublimate (per- chloride of mercury) in the imperial pint, or 1 grain in 1,000 drops.
Bottle No. 7 contains 11.273 grains of perchloride of mercury per pint, or 1 grain in 851 drops, and is therefore 17 42/100 per cent, above the standard.
Bottle No. 8 contains 3.469 grains of perchloride of mercury per pint, or 1 grain in 2,767 drops, and is therefore 63 87/100 per cent, below the standard.
Bottle No. 9* contains 5.420 grains of perchloride of mercury per pint, or 1 grain in 1,771 drops, and is therefore 43 55/100 per cent, below the standard.
Ferrum muriaticum (perchloride of iron) 3.
The standard tincture contains 961.23 grains of the anhydrous perchloride of iron in the imperial pint, or 1 grain in 9.987 drops.
Bottle No. 10 contains 161.78 grains of perchloride of iron per pint, or 1 grain in 59.33 drops, and is therefore 83 17/100 per cent, below the standard.
Bottle No. 11 contains 723.70 grains of perchloride of iron per pint, or 1 grain in 13.26 drops, and is therefore 24 72/100 per cent, below the standard.
Strychninum nitr. (nitrate of strychnia) 3.
Bottle No. 12 contains no nitrate of strychnia, but a very large quantity of free nitric acid with some strychnine in solution.
Belladonna (deadly nightshade) 3.
Bottle No. 13 produced no dilatation of the pupil, and there was no evidence of the presence of any belladonna.
Cosmo Newbery, B. Sc.1
Technological Museum Laboratory"
June 7th, 1878.
2 "British Homœopathic Pharmacopœia."
1 Analytical Chemist and Superintendent of the Industrial and Technological Museum.
Thus, of fourteen Homœopathic preparations examined, bought from the most prominent Melbourne Homœopathic chemists, and bearing their names, not one was prepared according to the receipt; some being greatly too strong, others containing almost none, or none of the drug. The conclusions to be derived therefrom, I leave to the public.
In what, then, does Homœopathy consist? Certainly not in small doses, for they are not essential; certainly not in "dynamization," for it is discarded; certainly not in the administration of one 'single substance, 'for it is not attempted; certainly not in "likes cure likes," for Hahnemann's so-called 'provings 'were ridiculous, if not fraudulent; certainly not in the discovery of new drugs, for Hahnemann and his successors have but filched, without acknowledgment, from the 'old school; 'certainly not in the accuracy of the compounding of their drugs, for all analysed are incorrect; certainly not in the practice of Hahnemann, for the present sect has forsworn everything that Hahnemann pretended to be most essential to his system.
This chaotic state of Homœopathy may account for the strange fact that you can keep no Homœopath to any one Homœopathic point, for it is untenable; while the mass of them know almost nothing of the pretensions and changes of a system as "fixed in its principles"4 as the entire absence of principle will permit.
But, to sum up, we find that Homœopathy was commenced in fraud, continued in slander, and sustained by filching, false-witness, and ignorance; and that all of Homœopathic 'science 'that remains, is its bastard representatives clinging to slander, the last rag of the Homœopathic skirt. Them, lovers of the false and fair, like Circe's swine, I now leave to frolic in their native mire.
Walker, May, and Co., Printers, 9 Mackillop st. (off 66 Bourke-st. West), Melbourne.
4 The Organon of Rational Medicine," by Samuel C. F. Hahnemann.