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REPORTS OF THE CENTRAL BUREAU.*** [Presented to the American Institute of Homoeopathy at its Sixteenth Annual Meeting]


The undersigned, members of the Central Bureau of Materia Medica, respectfully report:

That, in view of the importance of more extended efforts for the improvement and augmentation of the Materia Medica, which is the only object for the advancement of which they are appointed, they consider it advisable for the American Institute of Homoeopathia to amend the Ninth By-Law by making the following addition to it:

And it shall be the duty of each member of this Bureau to select a certain medicine which he will prove, and the symptoms of which he will arrange, indicating the number of provers by which each is verified.“

They therefore, respectfully recommend the adoption of this or a similar amendment. And for the purpose of assisting the members of the Bureau in the performance of this duty, they would advise the passage of a standing resolution, requesting all members of the Institute to send to the members of the Bureau any provings they may have of the medicines under consideration.

Although the subject of provings has been so ably reported upon by a former member of this Bureau, it is very much to be regretted that many of the reported provings are so imperfect as to be nearly useless. They exhibit great carelessness in describing and locating symptoms, and there is very frequently no effort to note attending circumstances. Such ”provings“ prove nothing more conclusively than ignorance of the teachings of Hahnemann and the suggestions of his followers in relation to provings, or an entire disregard of those teachings and an absence of that faculty of close observation which is indispensable to the correct proving and successful use of medicines.

We would urge upon all those who undertake to prove any medicine, a careful perusal of Hahnemann's directions as to the manner of making such experiments they may be found is the Organon in paragraphs 121 to 142 inclusive.

We consider it desirable, that the age, sex, temperament and individual peculiarities of the prover should be mentioned.

The name of the medicine, the potency, the dose, the mode of taking it, whether dry or in water, and the time of day at which it is taken, should be clearly stated.

It's very important,

That each symptom be written down carefully at, or as near as possible to, the time, and in the order, of its occurrence and the time at which it occurs noted:

That the location of each symptom be given with precision, and that the symptom be described with minuteness, in every respect:

That each symptom with all its attending circumstances and concomitants be written in a separate paragraph and numbered, that it may be more easily referred to in studying the character of the medicine and in arranging the symptoms systematically.

If the prover feels doubtful whether any symptom is the effect of the medicine, he should affix to it a note of interrogation within brackets, thus: (?).

The reasons for these directions are obvious, and it is not necessary to occupy the time of the Institute with a more minute consideration of them.

We would advise in conclusion, that each prover who makes use of potencies in proving, should make the trial with high potencies, afterwards, if necessary in his particular case, proceeding to the lower dilutions and triturations, and even taking the crude substance or tincture, if satisfactory results are not obtained with the attenuations.

B. F. JOSLIN, M.D., Chairman





Dr. Hempel agrees with the report of the Committee except in the matter of proving drugs with the attenuated substance. Dr. Hempel has never been able to elicit any reliable symptoms by means of the middle or higher potencies, unless the organism had been previously saturated with massive doses of the original drug. Dr. Hempel admits that in exceptional cases, by organisms endowed with peculiar idiosyncratic susceptibilities to medicinal action, symptoms may be elicited by the higher potencies; but he considers it unreliable to commence the proving with these potencies. All the splendid provings of the original provers of the Materia Medica and of the Austrian Provers' Union, of the Provers' Society of Prague and of any other proven Society whose provings are accepted with universal acclaim and confidence, have been instituted with massive doses of the strongest preparations of the drug; the higher or middle potencies were invariably tried after the former. Dr. Hempel deeply regrets that the proving with high potencies is to be made a normal standard for provers. If there is to be any legislation on the subject, he would propose that all such provings be rejected rather than encouraged; he is convinced in his deepest soul that it is owing to the incorporation of such provings in our Materia Medica that all the confusion and uncertainties with which it is now tainted, are presenting immense and almost insufferable difficulties to the inexperienced student of our Science.



MEDICAL REPORT OF THE HALF OPHAN ASYLUM-Now-York.-For many years the number of deaths in this Asylum has been comparatively very small. It was not to be expected that this state of things would continue without occasional exceptions. During the past year there have been five deaths here, and one child died of consumption a few weeks after leaving the Asylum. This number of deaths, out of three hundred and fifty children under care, is a return, for the present year, to about the average rate of mortality in other asylums.

Of the deaths here, there was from Congestion of the Brain. 1: Marasmus, 1; Gangrene of the Mouth, 1; Pneumonia, 1; Dysentery, 1.

The following are among the cases treated:

Abscesses of various kinds. 21; Chilblains, 59 at one time, a great many of the children suffering in cold weather; Convulsions, 2; Croup, 1; Diarrhea, 20: Dysentery, 5; Erysipelas of the Face, 2; Fever, 13; Inflammation of the Ear. 3; Jaundice, 3; Mumps, 12; Ophthalmia. 173; Paralysis, 1; Pleurisy, 3; Pneumonia, 4; Prolapsus Ani, 2; Sore Mouth, 8; Quincy, 2; St. Vitus' Dance, 1: Varloloid, 2; Eruptions of various kinds, I think not less than the cases of Ophthalmia, as they frequently go together or follow each other, 173

One child admitted with Hip Disease was returned to her friends, and one partially paralyzed and having St. Vitus' Dance, was cured of the latter disease, and very much relieved of the Palsy, while here.

There were but few cases of Ophthalmia until July, when it spread rapidly. On the 10th of July, there were 72 cases; on the 17th, 121 cases. But on the 2d of August, they were reduced to 80 cases.

Hitherto I have been able to say, that not one eye has been lost. Let us hope and pray that the mild means which have heretofore proved so efficacious, may still be effectual in averting blindness.

The treatment has been exclusively Homoeopathic.

B. F. BOWERS, M.D. Physician to the Asylum.


PERSONAL.-A correction.-Dr. Thomas Moore, Surgeon to the Northern Home for Friendless Children, Philadelphia; desires us to state that Dr. Bushrod W, James is the attending physician at the “Home” and not. Dr. D. James as we stated in our last number. The latter gentleman is one of the consulting physicians.


Source: The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 12, 1859, page 574-576
Author: AHomeo01
Year: 1859
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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