User Tools

Site Tools



BY James B. Bell, M. D., Augusta, ME.

The interesting article of Dr. Morgan, in the August number of the Review, effectually explains the vexed question of psora, and disposes of the not less troublesome question of the treatment of scabies.

In blind and unreasoning devotion to the master, some have not hesitated to deny the existence of the acarus entirely, while others have been driven to the fable of spontaneous generation. It is not thus that our cause is served. A weak point renders the whole armor weak, and those who so easily refute these views think they have refuted Homoeopathy and shown Hahnemann to be a charlatan; and they have, indeed, given us a dangerous shot, if these representations of the master's doctrines were true. But happily there are many men at the present time whose broader views and closer insight enable them to demonstrate the complete harmony between the homoeopathic and other scientific discoveries, and to inspire, therefore, a deeper respect for that far seeing intellect which looked so deeply into nature's mysteries; and I believe that thus all the chief Hahnemannian teachings will be found to harmonize with the added facts (not fancies) of science.

What is simpler than that the acarus or its ova should be transplanted from person to person, and should impart to each a specific poison - a miasm - and that the death of the acarus does not destroy this miasm, which continues to act under the name of psora until met by specific homoeopathic remedies. I believe the acarus to be the source of the psoric miasm, and that all the various eruptions and other consecutive effects accompanying and following scabies, are due to a specific poison imparted to the organism by the acarus scabici. If Psorin is to be used in medicine, therefore, I believe it should be prepared from the acarus, as the Apis is from the bee, Cimex from the bed-bug, etc., instead of from the secretions of scabies.

I confess I do not fully understand Dr. Morgan's views with regard to the communication of scabies. I think there can be no doubt that it is transmissable by the transplanting of the acarus or its ova, and, only thus. I know it is not communicable by contact. I have seen from three to four hundred cases of scabies in, the clinic of Hebra in the space of three months, and there was scarcely one I did not have my hands upon, and the only precaution I took was to take care not to receive any of the cast off scales or scabs, in which the ova and sometimes acari reside, upon my person.

It is the opinion of Hebra that not only the ova but also the acarus may retain life for months without nourishment, and be capable, of course, of reproducing the disease whenever they meet with the necessary conditions, viz.: living human epidermis and time to get under it.

That the disease is conveyed by the acarus and only thus, Hebra regards as a fixed fact, but I have not the means at hand to detail his experiment in proof of it.

There is one point only in diagnosis, and this is not rendered sufficiently prominent nor correctly stared by Wilson. The acarus burrows along the skin between the epidermis and its basement membrane, feeding upon the secretion that would otherwise form epidermis. This burrow raises the epidermis immediately over it, somewhat above the surrounding surface, causing the scales to separate and to dry, producing the following appearance:

A somewhat wavy line, of the diameter of a coarse hair and one-fourth to one half-an-inch in length, and of a dark color, not whitish as Wilson states. The color is owing to foreign substances or, in other words, dirt among the loosened scales of epidermis, and is never wanting because not easily removed by ordinary washing. The burrow or canicula terminates in a little papula, out of which a colorless fluid can be pressed. Here resides the acarus, and the papula and the fluid are both results of the irritation caused by his presence. These caniculae or burrows are best seen in the thin skin between the fingers, or better still if the case is several weeks old, and a male, upon the penis, which is the favorite resort of the acarus. It is easily mistaken for a scratch and thus generally overlooked, but once seen and recognized there is no longer any difficulty in diagnosticating scabies. The canicula is the diagnostic sign of scabies. Those who claim to have cured scabies by the internal administration of remedies in dilutions (and, therefore, not in sufficient doses to reach the animal through the circulation and poison him); must first prove to us the presence of this diagnostic mark in the cases thus cured and that they use no mechanical means, such as through washing with soap and nail brush, which are sometimes sufficient to destroy the acarus. There can be no better treatment than that of Dr. Morgan - first, kill the acarus then treat the miasm.

Hebra of course denies the psora theory, but his views of the pathology and treatment of skin diseases generally are even more inimicable to the old school theories than to ours, and his ridicule of the routine treatment is very cutting.

He regards all skin diseases as local lesions, accompanied by more or less systemic reaction. In combating those troublesome popular ideas, imbibed from the allopathic practice, of the necessity of “physicking the blood,” “drawing out the humor,” etc., etc., no better language could be used by us than that of this high authority in the allopathic school. His ideas would be regarded as decidedly heterodox by our allopathic neighbors if they came from us. I have heard him address the following language to a large class of physicians and students: “The prevailing pathology and treatment of skin diseases may be summed in two words shaerfe and sheissen.” [Acridity and evacuations.] “All laxations of any kind, all saline and other purgatives have an injurious effect upon skin diseases.” “All counter irritations, sinapisms, vesications, etc., are nonsense and stupidity (unsinn und dunmheit). If you must use them, apply them to the patient's seat, for there they will do little harm and the scars will not be seen.”

“Not Homoeopaths, but Allopaths and humanity should raise Hahnemann a monument three times higher than St. Stevens. Had it not been for him we should now be sunk in such a swamp of dosing that a thousand hangmen could not free us from our debt to humanity.”


Source: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 05 No. 03, 1864, pages 145-148
Description: Scabies.
Author: Bell, J.B.
Year: 1864
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
You could leave a comment if you were logged in.
en/ahr/bell-jb-scabies-158-10357.txt · Last modified: 2012/07/12 10:55 (external edit)