Symptoms, being the manifestations of the presence of a disease in the system, differ in different cases, according to the character of the morbid entity which gives them birth. If there are two morbid entities within the sphere of the personality, each entity illustrating itself by characteristic symptoms, there will be a totality of phenomena inclusive of the character of both. Symptoms may be therefore, either pure or mixed, simple or compound, as they are the external manifestations of one or more morbid elements.
The former medical doctrine that no two diseases can exist at the same time, within the human system is, as usual with most theories enunciated in a positive and unqualified manner partly true and partly false. It is true so far as similar diseases are concerned, while it is false as to contraries. We shall illustrate this point in the course of the present article.
When the symptoms are illustrative of a single diseased entity; they will certainly be cured or removed by a single remedy. Perhaps even a single dose will suffice to repel the morbid element from the sphere of the personality. This single remedy, however, must be a perfect similimum. The entrance into the sphere of the personality of the simillimum will repel the morbid element to which it is similar, in accordance with the law of specific or vital affinities and antipathies which lies at the foundation of the Law of Cure, which formed the subject of an article in our last number.
As instance of pure symptoms, and also of cure by a single remedy, attention is called to the totality of morbid phenomena, which are found together under the name Small pox. When Small pox occurs in the person of a man, previously in all respects healthy, the manifestations are perfectly pure, inasmuch as all of them are directly referable to the influence of the specific disease-entity variolin, which has invaded the system, and now lies in the personality causing manifold disturbance. The simple character of the disease-entity thus betrayed by the symptoms, indicates a corresponding; simplicity in their treatment. As there is but one morbid influence to antagonize, we require but one remedial influence to accomplish the desired result. This agent, is, as we have said, the simillimum of the disease-entity: and this simillimum is vaccine. Now it is positively certain that the law of the progress and termination of Small pox is utterly abrogated, when the vaccine is administered in cases where the symptoms are purely those of variola and of nothing else. Different individuals, varying in their constitutional susceptibilities will require different doses of this simillimum; but when the appropriate dose is administered, the cure of variola is accomplished in a very short period, and the whole progress of the disease is arrested at once. This interesting fact has been long known to Homoeopathists, and it is very satisfactory to us to discover several prominent gentlemen in the old-school, publishing their own recent success with this, the most perfect of our homoeopathic remedies. Of course Homoeopathic Science and Art, receive no credit for the glorious discovery; but this is of little consequence. The administration of the first and third triturations of vaccine, in the several instances in which we have used it in Small pox, has had, in virtue of its similitude, an effect as wonderful as pleasing. Those pustules which had began to suppurate, were immediately arrested in their course, they became dry and scabby in a very short period, and left no pits, after convalescence. This is the certain and invariable result in all cases of pure Small pox. The symptoms being pure, the disease is simple. We look upon vaccine as the specific entity, of all other entities the most similar to the entity variolin; and for this reason the disease is repelled the personality by its means.
As instance of mixed symptoms, or of a totality of morbid phenomena including the characteristic of two or more disease-entities at the same time present in the individual: the same disease variola may be cited when the morbid manifestations are not only those of variola, but also of another morbid influence, perhaps previously existing in the system and perhaps introduced afterward in consequence of the changed affinities of the individual. The various dyscrasia, scrofula, gout, phthisis, syphilis, gonorrhoea, and the other ten thousand, may, and generally do manifest themselves in some very prominent and offensive manner where the powers of Life which have hitherto kept things quiet,, are reduced by contention with an acute morbid element Hence we commonly have mixed symptoms, in this disease. We have those morbid phenomena directly assignable to the variola and those others which owe their existence to the dyscrasia. These two disease-entities may, and in fact generally do illustrate themselves in precisely the same portions of the organism. The variola symptomatizes itself in a pustule of a certain size, and the dyscrasia symptomatizes itself in the same pustule, making it wider and deeper, filling it to the brim with its own impurities, and rendering its cure or removal by one remedy utterly impossible. The vaccine, before so potent, when the variola symptoms were pure now is much less efficient, antidoting the variola only, and having no effect upon the dyscrasia now thoroughly roused into a state of acute action. The vaccine is not the similimum of the dyscrasia, and therefore has no remedial or repulsive effect upon it. But the dyscrasia may perhaps have its own specific simillimum, which given at the same time with the vaccine will arrest the whole train of morbid phenomena.
The totality of symptoms may be compounded in certain cases by the presence of even a third morbid agent. This last is an incident, we might perhaps call it an accidental. This third element of disease may enter the personality through a draught of cold air, and may symptomatize itself in a congestion or inflammation of the Lungs. The diseased manifestations being found to be thus triply mixed or compound, a corresponding treatment must be adopted. As for the dyscrasia we gave its similimum, so for the accidental we employ the same plan.
We may perhaps be allowed to pause in the course of this essay, long enough to say what must suggest itself in view of this introduction into the personality of these three remedies -disease producing entities-to antidote and repel the three morbid influences already occupying a lodgement there. This, of Homoeopathy, is after all an allopathic system of medicine. We most certainly do introduce into the system another disease producing influence, when we give either the Vaccine, the Sulphur, or the Aconite, in the presence of which we expect the variola, the dyscrasia and the accidental to leave the patient. It is another disease. But it is a similar one-and this is the great truthful principle which makes us Homoeopathic and Allopathic at the same time.
Returning again to the consideration of the general nature of Symptoms, we find that whether pure or mixed they are, while essentially demonstrative of a diseased condition, either curative or destructive. To assure ourselves of their occasional curative character we have but to recur again to the disease we have selected to illustrate the points we wish to make. No one can deny to the specific eruption which characterizes variola, an essential curative nature. Within the pustules there is held, ready for expulsion, and in the very process of evection, the variolin, the active principle of the disease. No more proof of this statement is required than is found in the fact of the subsidence of most of the other symptoms, upon the appearance of the cutaneous affection. The interior recesses of the personality are at once freed from the presence of the offending entity. The material side of the personality receives the disease in all its fullness, and the variola is thrown off into the surrounding atmosphere. That this is-the fact is plainly evident, as it is at this period only that communicability is possible. It is when the pustules are ripe, that the air and clothes are filled with the contagion. It is now that the disease-entity changes its position, that it leaves the organism, and is dissipated abroad.
The destructive character of certain symptoms is of course apparent enough, and we need not dwell upon this point. When we come to speak of the removal of symptoms, the propriety of the distinction here drawn between the curative and destructive manifestations will be perhaps more evident.
The value of symptoms, whether pure or mixed; curative or destructive, depends, of course, upon the knowledge they render of the specific character of the morbid influence. We very well understand that a knowledge of the specific nature of this disease-entity, is equivalent to a knowledge of the remedy. We have, of course, only to select from the materia medica, that one of all the agents therein contained, which seems the most nearly perfect similimum to the morbid influence. Symptoms therefore are of greater or less value as they illustrate or fail to indicate specific peculiarities. The totality of the symptoms should always be the ground of prescription: but close study of peculiar manifestations will very much facilitate the selection of the remedial agent. Now for instance the pathognomonic or peculiar symptoms of variola, is the peculiar character of the pustule. The other symptoms, are chills, fever, pains, etc. In a search for the similimum, if we consider the chills, fever, and pains as first in importance and to be first attended to, we are perhaps lost for a while in a labyrinth of pathogenetic record. As is well known the remedies which cause chills, fever, and pains, are innumerable. If any one of these be administered, Aconite for instance, the disease-entity will not be properly antidoted, for the simple reason, that the real similimum has not been given. The hold of the morbid influence may perhaps, so to speak, be slightly relaxed, but the disease still remains within the sphere of the individual, and will continue to manifest itself all the more vehemently perhaps through the symptoms which Aconite does not palliate. Let us suppose on the other hand that proper attention is paid to the specific or peculiar symptom of the pustule; we at once discover the similitude between it and pustule of vaccine. Our attention thus loudly called to this as a remedy, we discover on a study of its pathogenesis, that the other symptoms of variola, viz:-the fever and pains are by no means so well marked in Vaccine as in Aconite and Belladonna. Fever and pain are indeed present in a proving of Vaccine, and are perhaps often severe, but they are certainly never so important or prominent as in the remedies named and in variola. We lose sight, or seem to ignore this fact in view of the one great peculiar symptom of the specific pustule; and the result of treatment pursued when the vaccine is administered shows the wisdom of this method of prescription.
Pathognomonic symptoms are of value not only in assisting to select the proper remedy, but also by their disappearance as indicating the removal or neutralization of the morbid influence. At this point we properly come to speak of the removal of symptoms. It must first be understood that the removal of a symptom, and the cure of a disease, are two distinct things. The former should be merely incidental to the latter. It is in this very matter that the disciples of Hahnemann differ most from those of Galen.. Homoeopaths, as above shown, use symptoms as means of discovering the essential disease, which when thus betrayed is the subject of direct treatment. The followers of Galen, on the other hand, considering the totality of the symptoms as the disease proper, instead of its external manifestation, direct their remedies against them alone.
It may some times happen that in treating a symptom, the physician inadvertantly treats the essential disease. The pain of Cancer, for instance, when so severe as to require direct treatment, may be controlled by Conium in some instances, and in these cases, Conium may be the Homoeopathic specific.
In syphilitic ulcerations also, the applications of mercurial ointment, which may have the effect of removing the symptom is indirectly productive of a cure of the essential disease, by virtue of its homoeopathicity of Syphilis. Granulations of the eye lids are sometimes removed by the application of Nitrate of Silver, but they are never cured by this means, unless the specific essential disease, which is thus externally manifesting itself, finds its true similimum in the Caustic.
Several cases of granulated eye lids, which, had we continued in old-school practice, we should most certainly have cauterized with Silver, have yielded to daily doses of the 3rd trituration of Lunar Caustic, after several doses of Sulphur 30. In these cases the essential disease evidently found its similimum in the Caustic, and the symptom disappeared with the disease which caused it. A topical application to the lids might have produced the same result. It sometimes does. But these topical applications are neither philosophical or safe. The symptom may be driven away by an unhomoeopathic means while the disease which caused it still exists in the individuality, ready to break out at the first opportunity. Again the means employed may be profoundly homoeopathic, and in virtue of that homoeopathicity, may drive off the symptom to which they are applied; and yet not be sufficiently attenuated to make a lasting impression on the refined vitality, and the disease consequently is not thoroughly neutralized. The applied remedy is not finally absorbed; and consequently is not dynamized: as all thing must be which eater the personality; through its circulation up and down the frictionizing currents of the body. The remedy is applied to the molecular sphere and becomes a part of that, but as a foreign element coming from the perifery, it is not permitted to penetrate far. The immediate vicinity of the symptom, is generally the limit of the remedial position, when the application is topical. Inasmuch as the position of the disease essence in more interior, in the personality, the real cause of the external trouble is not reached through topical means, as usually employed.
Symptom treatment is advisable under two exceptional circumstances: first, when the symptom is destructive, second, when it is unbearably painful. When a syphilitic ulceration is destroying the important tissues of the genital organs, we have no hesitation in applying such means, as experience has taught us are likely to arrest the progress of the sore. These means may be applied directly to the portion afflicted, while at the same time the internal administration of the proper homoeopathic remedy may be continued. In cases of violent flooding it is generally better to apply remedies directly astringent on the tissues concerned in the trouble, if any other than surgical means are to be employed, than to give the proper homoeopathic remedy alone. This is a system of palliation, and of course, is not pursued under the Law of Cure, except when the palliating is also an homoeopathic remedy.
Palliations may be applied not only upon the locale of the symptom, but also to the vitality itself. This is, generally speaking, more objectionable than topical palliation, but it must now and then be resorted to, under circumstances of unbearable pain. The 30th dilution of Aconite may act as an efficient palliation when repeated often enough, in many cases of neuralgic pain. In secondary syphilitic neuralgia it palliates the nocturnal pains and permits the patient to sleep. Its administration, however, is objectionable on two accounts, first, because the Aconite antidotes the curative remedy (Sulphur) which should be allowed to act uninteruptedly, and secondly, because an Aconite action is instituted which is another, but not a similar disease, to the one already in the system. The same objection of course applies with much greater force to the lower dilutions, not only of this drug but also of others. As is well understood Opium in crude mass is perhaps the oftenest employed as a palliative in painful cases, both in the new-school and the old. The effect of this drug, as is well known, is to numb the nerves of physical sensation. A condition of paralysis of course deadens the nerves to remedial sensations, and thus the influence of Opium palliatives is much to be dreaded. Nevertheless, use becomes after a time a second nature, and as we have seen, a distinct pathogenetic action, as also a curative one, result from placing on a tongue stained with tobacco, dilutions as high as the hundredth; so also we have witnessed the specific effects of drugs when prescribed for patients in the daily habit of using Opium, in excessive quantities.
The direct removal of symptoms which are neither painful nor destructive is unjustifiable in the highest degree. If there is any exception to this rule it is an eruption on the face of a young lady. Ones feelings are apt to get the better of his judgment, and the eruption on a pretty face must be driven away by topical means, We have made topical applications in one instance; in which the eruption had continued for two years; after having administered the proper internal remedies for a few weeks. We succeeded in freeing the face from pimples at the expense of the shoulders and arms. The locality of the manifestation was changed to a place more convenient: but of course the disease was unneutralized; the psora uncured.
We have already spoken in “Answers to Correspondents” of the injurious effects apt to follow the direct removal of symptoms, when illustrated upon the skin, and have already published a very interesting letter corroborating our views.
To sum up this whole matter of symptom treatment in a few words, for this article has already extended beyond the length intended, we have to say simply that the general rule is, never to treat a symptom except incidentally to the cure of the disease which caused it. The nature of symptoms is one which involves a recuperative element; and where ever the disease symptomatizes itself, thither is found rushing in eager haste to effect a cure, many times successfully brought about through them, the vitalities of the individual. The treatment of the disease itself is the limit of the function of the physician, the curer, as such. When, however, the symptoms call for direct treatment, the character of curer is lost sight of in that of the sympathizing friend who relieves suffering, and wards off impending destruction, by means which in his judgment will least interfere with the final purpose of Cure.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 05, 1859, pages 193-202
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