Homoeopathy is an admitted fact. A problem; which is being solved to the satisfaction of every earnest inquirer. Even if there was no theory by which we could explain the modus operandi of its remedies, the mere mention of what it does, the bare observation of numberless cases would be sufficient to give such undeniable evidence as to make any honest mind pause and investigate. But thanks to Hahnemann, there is a law discovered positive and certain by which we are directed to that remedy which will remove disease. The various symptoms point as so many fingers to the drug which by producing a similar condition in the organ diseased, eradicates the morbid process. Inseparably connected with this law, though not a part of it, comes the doctrine of small doses, dilutions and triturations. These dilutions &c, are a necessity arising from the perfect adjustment of the law, and not a binding obligation upon all who believe. We are all prone to materialism. In spite of all the lessons in dynamics we are receiving from the discovery of imponderable forces, we love to deal with things tangible.
The homoeopathist, if he could do so with impunity, would give just as large doses as the allopathists, but by reason of the tender susceptibility of the diseased organ and the specific operation of his remedy upon that organ, he is compelled by the force of circumstances to graduate his dose to the acute or chronic, sluggish or irritable character of the disease. The allopathist by giving medicines which affect other organs than the ones diseased may give almost any dose the patient will retain and yet not aggravate the existing disease, because the medicinal force is spent in disturbing healthy organs.
The misapprehension of the reason of the different doses on either side is the great stumbling block both to the professional and laical in accepting homoeopathy. What sense, say they, is there in giving the millionth or trillionth of a grain of medicine? What science or analogy is there for using the 3d or 30th dilution or attenuation? or is there common sense in supposing they have any effect?
Without giving the more popular reasons which have been often repeated, we reply, Physiology, Pathology and all of the collateral sciences not only justify but make it indispensable. The smallest molecular quantity of a drug is in perfect consonance with, and the crude and massive doses which are yet in vogue, are directly against, all the teachings of other departments of science. At present we shall refer only to the facts of physiology, as corroborative of the doses of Homoeopathy.
If every physician, before administering to his patient, would ask himself the three following questions, they would soon become dilutionists of some sort. They are these: 1st. What is the organism which I am about to dose? 2d. What is the cause of the disease? 3d. In the light of these answers how large ought the particles of my medicine to be?
1st. Let us look what is the organism which requires this unnatural aid, and we shall see that it is not a self-operating-grinding machine in which poisonous plants and minerals are to be brought to a certain consistence, but an inconceivably fine, tender and delicate mechanism, fearfully and wonderfully made. The atoms of crude medicine which physicians have been and are still giving, are many times larger than the conduits through which they must pass to reach the part diseased. The Capillaries or vessels through which every atom must pass to its place of destination are only 1/3000 of an inch in diameter. The blood-globules are the carriers which take and deposit these particles, and they are 1/4000 of an inch. The walls of these globules or carriers are in thickness 1/12400 of an inch. The fibres in the nervo-centers are 1/14000, but become so small as to be immeasurable when they reach their peripheral distribution. The discoverable solids of the body, according to Majendie, are 1/9000 of an inch, but most of them are actually so small that they cannot be measured, even by the aid of a microscope. Majendie well remarks that they are beyond the ken of our senses, as the infusory animals, globules of fluids &c, were before the invention of the microscope. And he adds: He who shall discover an instrument by which we may perceive the intricate arrangement of matter, will enrich the field of human knowledge and immortalize himself. Seeing then that these parts, each of which however maintains its individuality, are so small as not to be discoverable by the microscope, where is the common sense in that professed science which crowds the system with crude and untriturated particles either vegetable or mineral which must either clog up or break down the delicate texture, in its futile effort to remove a lesser malady.
Many of the mineral remedies which are commonly administered untriturated, consist of particles, each of which are from 1/50 to the 1/500 part of an inch in diameter, These of course cannot undergo solution and absorption in smaller forms, for they are insoluble in the chemicals of the human system. They can only operate as mechanical irritants to the mucous membrane of the intestinal tract and thus punish the unoffending bowels for a disease in some other locality. If therefore we desire the atoms of medicine to reach the place diseased they must certainly be smaller than the vessels through which they are to pass; that is they must be less than the 1/4000 of an inch in diameter. It is a plain fact in Mechanics that a larger substance cannot pass through a smaller opening; and yet the dutiful children of Hippocrates neither heed nor practice upon this philosophy.
Our 2d question is: How came the disease? For the sake of brevity and illustration we shall here refer only to those diseases which arise from a specific cause; and if we show that they have been caused by the reception of some atoms or particles, so small as to be imperceptible by the microscope, it will surely give us some clue as to how large our medicinal particles should be, for the one must certainly penetrate to where the other has been lodged; the last should be smaller than the first. As representing one class of these diseases let us take Scarlatina. How is it produced? By a poison which enters the circulation, at least sufficiently to have its effect upon the nervous system. How large are its particles, or how much has entered the system? Alas no man can see or approach the calculation of its amount; it is so fine and so sparse as to be invisible and imponderable.
So with nearly all contagious diseases. So too in kind with Hay Asthma, the particles which cause it are imperceptibly small yet they are vegetable emanations or triturations which have an influence upon all persons but to which some are peculiarly susceptible. So with the diseases which are produced by contact with animal poisons as Syphilis, Hydrophobia, the bites of serpents &c, the molecules are so exceedingly small that they cannot be measured or weighed, and no one can tell how little may produce a ravaging disease, and horrible death.
If the objection be made that the medicines we give are far less active and severe in their operation than the specific causes of disease, we reply that this is more than counterbalanced by the increased susceptibility of the parts at the time the medicine is given. When the seeds of disease are introduced in the system, all its parts are in healthy action and comparatively tolerant of the foreign influence, but when the remedy is applied which has its specific action upon the part affected, then the susceptibility of that organ by reason of the disease is increased a thousand fold, and at least in a greater degree than the activity of the first exceeds that of the last.
Again, it is also true that medicine has all its specific action even when taken in health, in doses so small as not to be perceivable to the sight or touch. The gardiner need snuff the fragrance of the flower but once, in order to assign it to its particular class. A single grain of musk will scent a room for years and yet lose no perceptible size or weight. Here actual particles are continually being emitted and yet years may elapse without appreciably lessening the bulk.
Take a lump of opium or a bottle of laudanum and merely smell a few times of either and you will soon begin to feel the heavy head, the dizziness, the dreamy revery and all the peculiar effects of opium. Take a email quantity of the powder or tincture of Ipecacuanha, and treat it in the same way and you will soon feel nausea, faintness, and the usual effects upon the membranes of the respiratory organs. Use Belladonna and the peculiar headache, dryness of the throat & c. will soon be made apparent. So with the whole class of odoriferous drugs, a fact which any physician, or layman must admit to be true. Let us then ask the question again how large are the particles which you thus receive in merely smelling of these preparations? All must answer, they do not know; for they are neither seen nor felt, yet they are just as surely material as the rocks of the earth, and they are sufficient in size to produce a drug disease.
Does not common sense declare that every physician should regard and act upon these physiological teachings, and does not the same common sense declare that if these have an action upon the healthy economy, they should and must be triturated beyond the ken of our senses when we desire to have them exert a curative impress upon the tender and impressible organ diseased?
Not only is it true in regard to morbid physiological action, that infinitesimals are the moving influence, it is also true in the normal and healthy operations of nature. If we watch the secretory and excretory system in their regular action, we see the same truth as plainly taught. The grannies which are continually deposited to supply the place of those which are excreted and the rejected elements of perspiration and other secretions accord perfectly in size with the facts we have mentioned. The process of generation illustrates the same principle.
The imperceptible dust of the male plant is wafted by the gentlest breeze to its opposite and thus impregnates. Spallanzani and Arnold have shown that the 1/1000000 part of a drop of frog's semen fecundates the egg as rapidly as more. Harvey has also shown that rabbits are fecundated where not a trace of semen can be found. But this we cannot farther notice. Our concern is with morbid derangement. To be brief, it is safe to say that all idiopathic diseases are produced by what allopathists are yet pleased to call fanciful doses; yet there is something more than the workings of fancy in the effects they show. The various organic diseases which all physicians are called upon to treat are yet supposed to be real, though they are produced by influences which cannot be clutched by the hand or seen even by the most powerful glass. Since then we see the causes of disease or the influences by which they come this brings us to our-
3d question. What doses do we need to remove it? This needs no abstruse reasoning, nothing but the logic which common sense suggests. As has been the cause so must be the cure. This is plain and undeniable. If poison in imperceptible doses has been the exciting agent certainly our remedy ought to be in a like state of comminution; give as much and as often as you choose but let it be in such form that it may penetrate the finer meshes of the organism in which the disturbance exists. The physiology of the parts and the minute foreign influences introduced, both tell us in unmistakable language, let the antidote be such in size that it can follow the bane. There is or ought to be an adage, which says: you cannot send a dog in a rat-hole. Neither can yon eradicate disease, by crude doses of drugs. It may sometimes be held in abeyance whilst nature effects the cure, but never by these radically removed.
The true homoeopathist will give enough medicine to obtain the end desired whether it be the 1st., the 3d., or the 30th. The particles of the 3d, 6th or 10th triturations are more perceptible to the senses than the disease producing atoms.
Why then is it unreasonable that we should find, as we do find, that these are quickly curative? It is natural for those who have no knowledge of attenuations to have more confidence in 5 grains of the pure drug than in five grains of the 3rd trituration, yet the last contains thousands more of particles than the first, and although they are very minute in size yet each contains all the distinctive characteristics and specific endowments of the original drug with the vast advantage that its parts may enter where they else would not. According to Mayrhofer, in one grain of the 3d trituration of Tin or Arsenic, there are 115,200,000 particles of the medicine. The same author by a glass of three hundred diameters has seen Platina in the 10 dilution; Gold in the 10th and 11th potency; Silver in the 12th attenuation; Mercury in the 10th; Iron in 7th and 8th; Tin 13th and 14th; Copper 12th. These are facts and cannot be avoided. Yet when we speak of the 3d or 6th attenuation our allopathic friends still stand back with horror and exclaim there is no medicine in them! They forget that rule in philosophy which says there is no limit to the divisibility of matter or else believe it to be true in every thing else but medicine. They are willing to take the microscope and search for the minute causes of disease or for its locality in the system, but when it is proposed to use the same means to observe the atoms which may cure, they are dumb with astonishment at the 'loose reasoners' of the age.
Here we see the inconsistency of modern Physiologists. The names of Majendie, Draper and Dalton, we mention with the highest respect and admiration of their talent, acquirement and triumph. By their devoted labor they have conferred an inestimable boon upon science and mankind. They will need no monuments but the fruit of their toil. And yet after having accomplished so much they refuse to use these facts for their highest end. They have helped to develop a beautiful science, but thus far it has served as much for amusement as use. It is the privilige and duty of homoeopathists to take these facts and appropriate them to their highest and legitimate use, namely, to corroborate the substantial facts connected with our law of cure.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 11, 1859, pages 481-488
|Teachings of Physiology in relation to Homeopathy.
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