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By Dr. Bayes.

In the last number of our Review, we alluded to Dr. Rubini's success in the treatment of the Asiatic cholera in Naples, during the epidemics of 1854-5, and during that of the past year. We pointed out that he claims to have cured every case which has come under his care - a statement so unique and extraordinary and one having so important a bearing upon the present health - crisis, now that we are again threatened with the irruption of this dreaded disease, that it is our duty to examine critically the basis of testimony upon which it rests.

We have before us Dr. Rubini's pamphlet, [Statisticsa Omiopatica dei Colerici curati colla ola Canfora, Negli anni, 1854, 1855. Napoli Stamperia e Cartiere del fibrene.] in which he details his method of treatment, its success, and the certificates of men in authority as to the truth of his statements.

In his preface, Dr. Rubini says, that he wishes to “impress on the mind of everyone the assurance that cholera is readily curable by one single remedy, provided it is administered in the earliest stage of the invasion of the disease. This most simple remedy is the saturated alcoholic spirits of camphor. If a man will only provide himself with this remedy, and carry it about with him when he leaves his house, he may thus quietly and securely go about his affairs and fear nothing, The rapid cure, in a few hours, wrought by me in 377 cases, without a single death, has firmly convinced me that Camphor is the specific against cholera, and that it will, with certainty, cure the disease. This experience gives me the right to affirm that this malady is little to be feared.”

The author then proceeds to point out that cholera has yielded to no other remedy, and that it kills seventy out of every hundred patients attacked when they are subjected to the ordinary treatment, or rather by the conflicting treatments, adopted by the allopathic schools. He further shows that cholera kills ten out of everyone hundred patients even when treated by homoeopathic physicians, if they trust to any other remedy than Camphor alone. He claims Camphor, then, as the sole specific against cholera. Hahnemann, he says, “first proposed Camphor, and he and all the Homoeopathists who have since recommended its use, assert that Camphor corresponds with the stage of invasion alone; but that, on the appearance of the vomiting and diarrhea, we must prescribe other medicines to check the progress of the disease, and finally cure it. My own experience has led me, on the other hand, to know that Camphor preserves from and cures this otherwise lethal disease throughout all its stages, and the documentary evidence which I have annexed proves, the truth of my views.”

“Resting solely upon facts, I assert that cholera observed by me in 1854-55 was not absolutely contagious; that Camphor is a certain specific as a preservative against the invasion of the disease; and that it cures it during the early and during all the successive stages, and fosters the force of reaction which nature places in man.”

Dr. Rubini proceeds to divide his method into three parts.

1st. The process of preparing the Spirits of camphor.

2d. The method of prescribing it as a preventive agent.

3d. The mode of administering it as a curative agent.

Dr. Rubini thinks that the reason why Camphor has proved of less service in the hands of other physicians than it has done in his, is from the insufficient strength of the Spirits of camphor in ordinary use. He says that the spirits of wine of commerce is very seldom sufficiently pure for the preparation of homoeopathic medicines, and advises that it should be redistilled until it is of sufficient strength and purity to dissolve and hold in solution its own weight of Camphor. This forms the completely saturated Spirits of camphor advised by Dr. Rubini. A pound of alcohol should be distilled till it is so much over-proof, as to dissolve a pound of Camphor. All weaker Spirits of camphor Dr. Rubini thinks of little or no service. Hence the ordinary Spirits of camphor of the London Pharmacopoeia or that of our Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia (which contains one part of Camphor in five parts of spirits of wine) he considers worthless.

2d. The preventive method. When this scourge of epidemic cholera is in any locality, let those who are in good health (while living in accordance with their usual habits) take every day five drops of the saturated Spirits of camphor upon a small lump of sugar, and repeat the dose three or four times a day. Let them avoid spices, aromatic herbs, coffee, tea, spirituous liquors, strong perfumes, medicated tooth powder, etc. By these simple means many families were preserved from cholera, and many of my friends and patients both in the city and surrounding country. I had few casualities to visit in my private practice, which is very extensive.”

3d. “The curative method. Two or three doses of saturated Spirits of camphor, of five drops each, administered every quarter of au hour, sufficed for a speedy cure.”

Dr. Rubini was twice attacked himself, owing to excessive fatigue and depression, and very speedily cured himself by these means. The sudden invasion of the disease (when a man is over fatigued, or over excited, or depressed in cholera times) renders it desirable that everyone should carry about with him a few little pieces of loaf sugar and a little bottle of Camphor, so that he may take a dose whenever he gets a qualm or pain at the pit of the stomach.

“When a man is seized with cholera, he should at once lie down, be well wrapped up in blankets, and take every five minutes four drops of the saturated tincture of Camphor. In very severe cases, the dose ought to be increased to from five to twenty drops every five minutes. In the case of a man of advanced age, accustomed to take wine and spirits, where the drug given in drops had no effect, give a small coffee-spoonful every five minutes, and in a very short time the coveted reaction will occur. Ordinarily in two, three or four hours the reactionary fever will set in, with abundant perspiration, and then cure will follow.”

“By these simple means alone, two hundred cholera patients were cured in the Royal Almshouse in 1854. Of these fifteen were especially severe cases, but I did not lose one. All the two hundred were saved from the scythe of death and quickly cured. By these simple means alone, in 1855, eleven infirm persons in the Royal Poorhouse, and one hundred and sixty-six soldiers of the 3d Swiss Regiment, were very speedily cured. The first seventeen cholera patients in this regiment sent to the Military Hospital of Trinita were treated allopathically, and fifteen out of the seventeen died. The one hundred and sixty-six treated by Camphor in the infirmary of the regiment were all cured.”

“Of these patients many suffered, for a longer or shorter time, with bilious diarrhea; but one or two doses a day, of two drops of saturated tincture of Camphor; sufficed to cure this unpleasant symptom.”

“Some also had relapses from abuse of food or other causes, but Camphor completed their cure.”

Dr. Rubini allowed his patients to drink cold water in small quantities at short intervals. Then, when the reactionary fever passed off, he allowed a little light broth and farinaceous diet to restore the strength.

Dr. Rubini meets the objection that has been raised by some, that so large doses of Camphor, as those used by him, are not homoeopathic, by pointing out that all medicines prescribed upon the law of similars are homoeopathic, no matter what dose is used. He shows that a disease, of an extremely acute and transient character, such as cholera, is to be met homoeopathically by a remedy whose action also is very powerful and very evanescent.

After such extremely large doses of Camphor, some unpleasant symptoms occasionally remain; these may be speedily removed by a cup of black coffee, or a few drops of tincture of Opium.

The pamphlet concludes with the publication of certain documents, signed by the authorities, in confirmation of Dr. Rabini's statement, that the three hundred and seventy-seven cases treated by him were true cases of cholera. The following is a translation:

No. 1.

General Administration of the Royal Almshouse, and of the

Hospice, and of the United Establishments.

I, the undersigned Commandant of the above-named Hospice, hereby certify, that of the body of men placed under my care, composed of 1,268 individuals of every age, from the 27th of last July (1854) to the present time, there were two hundred individuals attacked by the prevailing, disease of cholera; of these there were fifteen in whom the disease was terribly severe, who, although they had passed into the last stage, were all perfectly cured by the treatment by Camphor alone, suggested to me by the homoeopathic professor, Dr. Rocco Rubini; there was not one single case of death.

I further certify that Dr. Rubini not only daily visited those that were Attacked, but that when his aid was often sought hurriedly, even during the night, he gave his immediate attention, and all this he offered gratuitously. In proof of the above statements, I give these presents.

Naples, September 11th, 1854. II Generale Goveratore Pucci. (Here is the seal.) III Maggiore Commandante Nicola Forni. (Here is the seal.)

No. 2.

General Administration of the Royal Almshouse, and of the

Hospice, and of the Reunited Establishments.

I, the undersigned Commandant of the above-named House, hereby certify, that by the help of the homoeopathic method of cure with the saturated Spirits of Camphor, prescribed by Dr. Rocco Rubini, eleven individuals were rescued from the cholera epidemic just ceased, which, during the months of September, October and November appeared in the establishment for the male sex, and of then none died. In corroboration of which I give these presents for the use of those interested.

Naples, February 10th, 1856 Visto il Generale Goveratore Pucci II Capitano Commandate Cardo Sodero (Here is the Seal.)

No. 3.

General Administration of the Royal Almshouse, and of the

Hospice and Reunited Establishments.

General Secretaries, Naples, September 30th, 1854.

Sir, - The generous assistance so prodigally bestowed by yourself, from sentiments of the purest philanthropy, to the male inmates of the Royal House during the invasion of the cholera, constitutes a trophy of glory that will not be overlooked by the Author of our being, and the whole force of human praise is wholly inefficacious for its amplification.

So often as it has pleased the Supreme Ruler of the Universe to crown with the happiest results your christian charity, in not having permitted that any of the two hundred patients under your care should have succumbed to the disease, to me, to whom is committed the care to this recluse family whom I represent, there only remains the duty to present to you this attestation of the sentiment of gratitude in the name and on the part of this same family, and to manifest to you on my side the sentiments of my highest consideration.

To Dr. Rocco Rubini, Professor of Homoeopathic Medicine, Naples. General Commandante, Filippo Rucci

No. 4

Command of the Swiss Regiment of Wolff, No. 3

No. 1149

Sir,-When several cases of cholera, some of which were very severe, manifested themselves among the soldiers of my regiment, I expressed to Canon Schwertfeger, my chaplain, my desire to make your acquaintance in order to request you kindly to visit the invalids in the quarters of my regiment, and to treat them in accordance with your highly reputed method. You, Sir, had the goodness to attend to my request, and to come gratuitously every day to treat those of my poor soldiers who were sick of the cholera.

God, the remunerator of charity, has crowned your every labor with full success. All my sick soldiers recovered, and so also did Knusali of the second Cacciatori, of whose recovery little hope was entertained; he now feels himself in perfect convalescence. Therefore, not wishing to trespass on your valuable time. I write to beg that you will not further inconvenience yourself to come now every day to the quarters; but if this disease should again show itself. I shall then again request your most effectual and admirable assistance for the soldiers dependent on me.

Receive this document, Sir, as a certificate of service rendered, and as an attestation of my great esteem and gratitude.

To Dr. Rubini. Colonel, Eduardo Wolff. (Here is the seal.)

No.5 being merely a private note of thanks, accompanying the following statistical statement, we omit.


Third Swiss Regiment of Wolff.

A detailed statement of the individuals of the above-named regiment treated in the hospital, as shown in the margin, and in the infirmary of the regiment, during the cholera beginning on September 30th. 1855.

(Here follow the names of 183 soldiers attacked by cholera.)

Colonel Commanding the Regiment, Eduardo Wolff.

Naples, December. 1855.

Among the above-mentioned one hundred and eighty-three individuals noted in the present list as struck down with cholera, s eventeen were sent into the Military Hospital of the Trinity, of whom only two had the good fortune to recover.

The remainder, then, were treated in the infirmary of the corps by the homoeopathic method of Dr. Rubini, that is to say with the saturated alcoholic tincture of Camphor, who were all suffering more or less severely, with the disease, and were all cured. Among the number I would specially mark Knusali Gaspare (page two, line twenty), who not only passed through every stage of this disease, but, in addition, suffered from typhus, and who, nevertheless, was perfectly cured by this method, and remains in a perfect state of health.

Naples, December 16th, 1855 (Here is the seal.) The Colonel Commandant of the Regiment, Eduardo Wolff

On the last page of the pamphlet is a tabular statement, showing that four other physicians, who adopted this method, met with equal success. Dr. Sabatini treated twenty-seven cases; Dr. Salutanzii, fifty-six; Dr. Spitelli, eighty; Dr. Ricci, one; and every case was cured.

We have deemed it our duty to place this method of treatment of cholera by Camphor alone, its numerical results, and the corroborative testimony by which these results are verified, fully before the English members of our profession. [Dr. Vernon Bell has born his own personal testimony to the high professional moral worth of Dr. Rubini, and expressed his own most perfect faith in the exactitude and integrity of the statements contained in his pamphlet.] It will also be remembered, that in addition to the five hundred and forty-one cases treated during the years 1854-5, Dr. Rubini has treated fifty-one during 1865 with an equally brilliant result.

We think that the evidence here adduced has a sufficiently wide basis, including as it does five hundred and ninety-two cases, all of which recovered, and resting upon such unexceptional testimony, will justify our repeating the treatment experimentally, if the cholera, which now threatens us, should become epidemic. The treatment here proposed has the advantage of extreme simplicity, ease of application, and of perfect safety.


Source: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 06 No. 11-12, 1866, pages 401-403
Description: Cholera, as Treated by Dr. Rubini.
Remedies: Camphora officinalis
Author: Bayes
Year: 1866
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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