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Homoeopathy in Surgical Cases. — A report to the Dutchess Co. Homoeopathic Medical Society, N. Y., by John Hornby, M.D., Poughkeepsie, N. Y.

I. Necrosis of the Metatarsal Bone. — On the 12th of May, 1853, I was consulted by the subject of this report for the treatment of an ulcer on his right foot, which he said he had failed to get cured the last for two years.

His history of his case is as follows: Is about 30 years of age; has had genera] good health; is of temperate habits; is by trade a carpenter. Over two years ago while engaged in erecting a frame building, he inflicted a blow with a heavy hammer on the upper joint of his right foot which made him faintish and sick at the stomach. He had to relinquish work and be conveyed home being unable to walk from pain and swelling of his foot and limb. The pain and swelling increased very much, unheeding medical treatment, and after some time an ulcer opened on the spot where he received the blow, and discharged very bad matter. The ulcer, he said, had baffled all attempts to heal it and grew worse lately, so much so that his medical advisers, after much and varied medical and surgical treatment and despairing success, were urging the necessity of immediate amputation; but, he said, he had at the advice of his friends decided to try homoeopathic treatment before submitting to an operation.

The patient presented a wasted and sickly appearance; was of middle stature; light complexion and nervous temperament His right leg and foot were

enormously swollen, rendering motion very painful and difficult and resembling an “elephant leg.” It was of a scarlet color on the thigh, gradually deepening to purple as it approached the ulcer, which looked like a burned hole on the joint of the big toe of the right foot, exhibiting about an inch and a half of the metatarsal bone, of a dark brown color, and the articulation of the big toe and discharged an ichor of a very offensive odor. His general health, was much reduced and his appetite impaired from confinement and the use of narcotics to sooth the pain of his limb..

May 12th, 1853. Arnica tincture ten drops in a pint of clarified lukewarm rainwater, to be applied through a piece of old linen spread all over the limb for half an hour at a time and repeated every six hours, and to take every morning, fasting, three globules of the fifteenth decimal potency of Arnica montana. Diet to be light.

May 16th. He returned with the limb looking considerably better; the inflammation much reduced and the pain and distress abated. He is able to move the limb with much more ease, it not feeling so heavy as it did before. The ulcer has not altered in any way, discharging its usual fetid ichor. The Arnica application to be made night and morning, and to take one table-spoonful of the following mixture every morning fasting; Mercurius corr., one grain of the sixth dec. trituration in eight ounces of clarified rain water. Diet as before.

May 26th. Since last report he has felt great pain in his limb, with slight fever for a day or two, after commencing the Mercurius followed by amelioration of all symptoms. The size of the limb is much diminished, the inflammation and discoloration fast disappearing. To continue the Mercurius corr. every other morning and the Arnica lotion night and morning. Diet light.

June 7th. The limb looks better. The ulcer shows healthy granulations forming. The sequestrium or diseased portion of the bone is sloughing off and the end of the healthy portion throwing out lymph and granulations. The scarlet and purple appearance of the skin has disappeared, leaving a flush in the skin, over the instep. He can now bear pressure on the foot Sleeps better and has an improving appetite. To continue the Mercurius corr. as before, and the Arnica lotion to be applied only once a day. Diet nutritious.

June 11th. The swelling in the limb and foot has disappeared; the redness continues over the instep; the ulcer is filling and the reformation of healthy bone progressing; his general health is much improved; sleeps well and has a good appetite. To take three pellets of the thirtieth decimal potency of Belladonna every other morning fasting, and omit the lotion.

July 7th. Has improved very much since last report; the ulcer is filling up; the redness over the instep nearly dispersed. To continue the Belladonna as before. Diet as before.

August 5th. The nicer is looking well, has discharged fetid ichor for some days; he has been using the limb more than usual. Carbo veg., one grain of the 15th decimal potency in eight ounces of clarified rain water, one table-spoonful to be taken every morning fasting.

September 7th. Continues to improve; the fetid discharges have abated; has taken the Carbo veg. up to the present time, which is to be discontinued.

September 23rd. Continues to improve in his general health and personal appearance. The ulcer looks healthy, but appears stationery, not having advanced since last report. To take three pellets of the third decimal potency of Phosphoric acid, every morning fasting. Diet to be invigorating.

October 19th. The ulcer looks a little fuller, but in all other respects the case remains the same as at last report. To discontinue medicine.

November 3d. Slight improvement in the ulcer and return of occasional fetid discharges. To take three globules of the fifteenth potency of Carbo veg., every morning.

December 13th. Has improved a good deal; the ulcer is filling slowly, and looks clean and healthy; his general health is very much better; has a ring of herpes circinnatus broken out on the thigh of the diseased limb, causing him great discomfort. To take the globules of the thirtieth potency of Sepia every other morning.

January 4th, 1854. The ulcer is filling up slowly; the ring-worm continues the same. To take one table spoonful every morning fasting of the following: Sepia, one grain of the thirtieth decimal potency in eight ounces of clarified rain water.

February 14th. The ulcer is filling up fast; the ring-worm from being stationary on the thigh of the diseased limb, has spread all over it, causing much discomfort; general health good. Sulphur, one grain of the thirtieth decimal potency in eight ounces of clarified rain water, one table-spoonful every morning fasting. Diet invigorating.

March 16th. Has continued the use of the Sulphur up to the present time. The ring-worm spread gradually all over the diseased limb, and up the back of his body, stopping at the nape of the neck. It caused him great discomfort from its burning character, hindering sleep at times, but notwithstanding it he has had better appetite and has improved in health and strength. The ulcer has healed entirely, leaving a blush on the spot where it existed, from the pressing of his boot. Since the healing of the ulcer, the ring-worm has disappeared, and leaves him, as he now reports himself, as well in health and strength as he had been for years before his misfortune. He expresses himself very grateful for his cure and the rescue of his limb from amputation.

II. Ulcerated Leg. — March 31st, 1855. The subject of this report, a married female, the mother of five children, aged about 38 years, of dark complexion, and enfeebled constitution; applied to me for the treatment of her left leg, covered with sores, which she said had been in that condition for five years. The history of her case she related to be as follows: about six years ago she had been delivered of a healthy living child, and was progressing favorably after her confinement, when thinking herself capable of doing her own family work, and being superinduced by necessitous circumstances, she arose from bed before the usual time. For a few days she went along with her work very well when she took cold, which, she said, confined her to bed for many days and ended in symptoms of milk leg. She was duly attended to by her physician and the swelling subsided somewhat, but the veins in her limbs continued distended and painful, yielding seemingly to rest and treatment and returning on use of her limb.

This state, she said, continued for a long time, and then the veins burst, as she called it, growing into bad sores, which all she had had done for could not heal. The leg on examination presented the following appearance; the left thigh and leg were swollen to twice their natural size. The thigh looking flushed, and the leg from the knee down to the ankle of a crimson color, deepening to a livid hue, as it neared the toes, which were just discernible, under the swollen and overlapping instep. The veins were “varicosed.” From the knee to the instep there were several ulcers vegetating, two of the largest were about an inch and a half in diameter, the lesser ones about an inch and the smaller and smallest from half an inch to the size of a pea, giving out a sanious discharge and very tender to the touch. The limb was difficult to move, from its size and weight and occupied with a dull aching pain, keeping the patient in a state of chronic misery which was depicted in her countenance. Her general health was much impaired; her appetite bad; her sleep restless and strength much reduced. Pulsatilla tincture, two drops in a pint of clarified lake-warm rain water to be applied through a piece of old linen cloth spread all over the limb, and kept wet for half an hour at a time twice a day, and to take three globules of the fifteenth decimal potency of Pulsatilla, night and morning. Diet nutritious.

April 4th. The swelling and discoloration of the limb has subsided, leaving it nearly of its natural size, the ulcers look cleaner and discharging less than before treatment; pain in the limb diminished; appetite and sleep better. To repeat the Pulsatilla lotion night and morning, and to take three globules of Pulsatilla of the fifteenth decimal potency every night at bed time.

April 13th. The limb has returned to its actual size, the pain abated, and locomotion easy. The ulcers look clean and are granulating; appetite good; sleeps well. To repeat treatment as before. Diet invigorating.

April 24th. Is progressing very satisfactorily. The limb looks natural in size and color, is useful without pain or distress. The ulcers are healing fast. General health much improved and spirits cheerful; eats and sleeps well. Pulsatilla tincture, five drops in a pint of rain water as before, and used once a day and to take three globules at bed time every night of the thirtieth decimal potency of Sulphur.

May 11th. Since last report she has been on a visit to a sister in the country, when she was able to wear a garter on the left foot, a circumstance unusual to her for the last six years. The limb is quite restored to its former condition, and she is now in the enjoyment of perfect and robust health.


Homoeopathy in the Army. — “Another effect of the war has been to reduce to its proper level the practice of Homoeopathy. Rampant for distinction and loud in the demands for justice, the followers of this system of quackery earnestly sought recognition by the Government and a place in the army, and at one time it did almost seem, through the strenuous exertions of certain unprincipled politicians, that their request would be granted. But in the discussion of the matter a fair comparison was made between the results of the two systems of practice by actual statistics, and we have seen the result. The authorities have performed the solemn duty which they owed to our soldiers, and the regular system of practice triumphantly takes its stand as the only one legitimately under the patronage of the Government. The significance of this fact has not been lost upon the community at large, and has doubtless tended more to crush out the claims which the Charlatans have urged for favor than anything else which could have been done. A rather surprising effect of this decision of the Government has been apparent in the decrease in numbers of this class of practitioners. It being a regulation that none but regular practitioners are eligible for examination, very many of the homoeopathists have been tempted to turn heretics to their faith in the hope of obtaining positions.”

[American Medical Times, Sept 27, 1862.

Homoeopathy, probably, will have received some assistance from the prevalent medical practice in attaining its “proper level” when the war is ended.

Of those who had volunteered for the war and were willing to endure the trials, fatigue and exposure of camp life, were many of our patients who, of course were desirous of receiving, when sick away from home, that medical treatment which they had been accustomed to, and in which alone they had confidence. “Rampant for distinction and loud in the demands for justice the followers of” this, Medical Times Editor, “through the strenuous exertions of certain unprincipled (Medical) politicians” endeavored to prevent their request from being granted, by such editorials in the Times as follows:

“The United States Senate is engaged in these momentous times in the consideration of a subject, in itself, perhaps, the most frivolous which ever enlisted the thoughts of a rational creature, but which may prove the most important act of the session. Senator Grimes, of Iowa, has introduced a bill placing some of the military hospitals, at Washington, under the charge of Homoeopathists. * * * With no desire, however, to prejudge a question of so much importance, but earnestly seeking the welfare of our sick soldiers, we deem it our duty to contribute to our Legislators such information as may be in our possession, in the hope of aiding them in the formation of correct opinions as to the merits of the medical regime which they are urged to establish in our military hospitals.”*[“Amer. Med. Times,” Jan. 18, 1862.]

Most of our readers doubtless remember the reports of the select committee of the Governors of Bellevue Hospital in reference to introducing Homoeopathy in that institution. The majority report embodied certain statistics, which were incorrect, and false deductions which were exposed in the minority report prepared by Dr. Kellogg. The majority report is published in full as a continuation of the editorial article from which the above extract is made. Extra copies were printed on letter paper and sent to every member of Congress “to aid in the formation of correct opinions.” This one-sided way of forming opinions so characteristic of the authors, had no influence however among the members of Congress as the unfairness of the thing was manifest at a glance.

This was the “fair comparison made between the results of the two systems of practice by actual statistics” and let us see “the results. The authorities have performed the solemn duty which they owed to our soldiers” by obliging them, nolens volens, to take every morning their draught of whiskey and Quinine, and not only not permitting those who had homoeopathic remedies to use them, or even to abstain from all medication, but compelling them to take what they knew from past experience would injure them.

The regularity of that “system of practice” which “triumphantly takes its stand as the only one legitimately under the patronage of the Government” we cannot doubt, knowing the fact that to all who need medical assistance is regularly administered Quinine, Morphine, Dover's Powders or Calomel

“The significance of this fact has not been lost upon the community at large and has doubtless tended more to crush out the claims which the Charlatans have urged for favor than anything else which could have been done.” This is particularly evident among those who have survived the medical campaign and reached their homes. Our army is not made of the same material as armies usually are, but of the best; students, clerks, mechanics, lawyers, doctors and divines fill up the ranks, men who are no more accustomed to be dictated to in their choice of a physician than in the color of their coat — they form a part of “the community at large,” and when they return, if return they do will be able to form an opinion regarding the comparative success of the two schools of practice, especially if facts are not carefully withheld, such as fourteen deaths out of sixteen cases of typhoid fever in one ward which lately occurred in a military hospital in Brooklyn.

“It being a regulation that none,” who know anything of Homoeopathy, “are eligible for examination, very many incompetent and unprincipled persons have been tempted” to assume positions as surgeons, while we have heard of many Homoeopathists who are now serving their country under other than surgeon's commissions, as captains, majors and colonels. We regret as members of the profession that in the medical department of our army have been committed as great frauds and as many criminal transactions as elsewhere. Surgeons have appropriated to their own use hospital stores intended exclusively for the sick; they have refused to attend to the wounded when called upon and treated them worse than brutes.

Valentine Mott has “been annoyed with the intimation that the noble surgical staff of our army might be polluted with Homoeopathy” and to prevent its culmination sends the following resolutions to the New York Academy of Medicine:

Whereas, Petitions have lately been presented to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, for the employment of homoeopaths as Surgeons in the Army; Therefore,

Resolved, That the New York Academy' of Medicine deem it their duty, in the interest of the army, respectfully to protest against the employment of such practitioners, for the following reasons:

“1st. That the practice wherever subjected to accurate observation has failed to establish itself in any hospital.

“2d. That in the countries where it originated and attained its fullest development, it has not been introduced into the army or navy.

“3d. That it is no more worthy of such introduction than other kindred methods of practice as closely allied to quackery.

“4th. That such appointments would dissatisfy and dishearten the medical staff of the army, who understand the true character of Homoeopathy, and who have entered the service of their country, with confidence that the Government would strive to elevate the standard and promote the efficiency of the medical staff, results surely to be defeated by appointment of Homoeopaths.

Resolved, That a copy of the above resolutions be sent to the Hon. Ira Harris, United States Senate, and Hon. F. A. Conkling, of the House of Representatives, with a request that the resolutions be presented to the two Houses of Congress.”

Mark the difference between the above and the following adopted at a meeting of the Massachusetts Homoeopathic Medical Society:

Resolved, That, in this hour of our country's peril, it is our duty to do every thing in our power for its common defense; that it is especially incumbent upon us, as members of a profession whose object is the preservation of life and the restoration to health, to aid, protect and preserve, by every means which our science and art possess, those soldiers who so bravely offer their lives in their Country's service.

Resolved, That while we honestly differ from some members of our profession, and believe that Homoeopathy presents many advantages for the treatment of diseases incident to the camp and field; and while many of those already enlisted in the army are known to firmly entertain similar opinions — it is our duty and the duty of Government to extend to them at least the choice of a system which has been attended with such success in the hospitals of the Crimea, among the wounded of Solterino, in the epidemics of cholera and yellow fever, and in that devastating scourge which often falls upon newly formed armies in warm climates — the typhus or camp fever.

Resolved, That we, as members of the Massachusetts Homoeopathic Medical Society, tender our professional services and medicine gratuitously to the families of soldiers absent in the service of their country.

Resolved, That we will cordially co-operate with the proper authorities in their efforts to extend this method of treatment to the army and navy; and we earnestly and respectfully request his Excellency the Governor of this Commonwealth to accept as surgeons such of our members as may tender their services.“

Quod Deus vult perdere, prius dementat. S.


HYDATIDS — In the September Number of the Review for 1859, (Vol.1, p. 561,) I reported the case of Hydatids which occurred in my practice. This case was particularly interesting to me from the fact of its simulating so perfectly all of the stages of gestation.

The narrative of Mrs. H. as to the cessation of her menstrual flow the second month after her marriage, the nausea for several weeks, the quickening at the fifth month, and the motion from that time to her full period of nine months was fully confirmed by her mother and an old midwife who was the friend and confident of the family.

In that communication I promised to keep watch of the lady and report at some future day. I stated that she was then enciente. As in the first case, so in this she enjoyed excellent health. The nausea, and quickening she declares to have been the same, and that the motion continued the same as in the first instance up to the beginning of labor, when the pains were identical. In the second case there was not the terrible hemorrhage, nor the large mass of hydatids, but a large well formed healthy boy.

I have delayed my report until I could see the result of another eighteen months. I have now the high gratification of stating that Mrs. H. is the mother of a second fine healthy boy. John T. Temple, St. Louis, Mo.


Hahnemann on Large Doses of Homoeopathic Remedies. — “Large doses of remedies which are homeopathically indicated are much more certainly injurious than when they are given without holding any relation of similarity (homoeopathic relation) to the case of disease, or when they stand in a relation of contrariety (antipathic), that is are given entirely at random (allopathically). In the homoeopathic use of remedies, in cases where the totality of the symptoms of the patient is paralleled in great similarity by the action of the drug, it is a real crime, not to give very small, the smallest possible doses; for in these cases massive doses, such as are ordered of drugs in the ordinary quack practice, are veritable poisons and murderous portions. Convinced by thousand-fold experience, I make this declaration and mean it to apply to every homoeopathic administration of drugs in general and universally, especially when the disease is acute * * * Let no one come

then and say * * * a remedy has been given * * * in an appropriate case, yet, in the strongest doses and not too seldom either, but every two or three hours and yet the patient is dead. Nay, I reply from full conviction for that very reason he is dead and thou hast killed him. Hadst thou given him a single dose of the smallest part of a drop of the twenty-fifth or thirtieth dilution (in rare cases a second dose, repeated on the third or fourth day), then had the patient been saved, certainly and with much less trouble.” [From Note to Prov. of Hyos., Reine Arzneimitretellehre, 4, 46. 1825.


ALBERT GILES, M.D., died, at his residence at Racine, Wis., on the 7th of June, 1862. He was born in Kingston, N. Y., May 10th, 1809. In early life he was engaged in a printing office but left this to enter upon the study of medicine, and graduated at Pitsfield, Mass., in December, 1835.

He immediately commenced the practice of medicine at Troy, N. T. Soon after graduating, in January, 1836, he married Miss Ann Osborn, of Troy, and in 1839 or 40 removed to Troy, Wis., where he practiced the old system until 1846 when he embraced the teachings of Hahnemann. In 1847 he removed to Racine, and after ten years of successful practice his health failed and he was obliged to seek a more inland place. He accordingly entered into partnership with Dr. J. Bowen of Madison, Wis. Here, in connection with Dr. Bowen, he edited The Madison Homoeopathist. His family being much opposed to his leaving Racine, after a few months he returned and entered into partnership with the writer. We always found him to be a thorough and earnest student and devoted to his profession. He was a man strict integrity and high moral worth. No pressure of circumstances would cause him to swerve one jot from his standard of justice and right.

He was troubled with a catarrhal difficulty which extended to the bronchial tubes and thence to the lungs. He had traveled considerably in several of the Western and South-Western States and California with the hope of obtaining some benefit, but without avail.

RUFUS B. CLARK, M.D., Racine, Wis.


Source: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 03 No. 05, 1862, pages 233-240
Description: Miscellaneous; Homoeopathy in Surgical Cases; Ulcerated Leg; Homoeopathy in the Army; Hydatids; Obituary
Author: Ahomeo03
Year: 1862
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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