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[** *Read before the Homoeopathic Medical Society of Cayuga County, N. Y., March 8th, 1864.]


There is, as yet, no case on record of Hydrocele cured by a single dose of a homoeopathic remedy as high as the fourteen thousandth. The following reports of two such cases are taken from my journals. The potency administered was a dilution potency of the kind described in the article published in the AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW, vol. II., p. 282.

I. B., a boy of German descent, six weeks old. October, 16th, 1861. Oval, elastic, bladder-like tumor in the right part of the scrotum, and moveable under it, as large as a pigeon's egg, sometimes larger, more like a small hen's egg. When the tumor is as large as that, patient spreads his legs apart. No testicle can be found at the right side. The veins injected at the surface of the scrotum at the right side. The tumor was never found to go away or to decrease, on the contrary it lately has increased so as to draw the mother's attention to it. The tumor offers an elastic resistance to the touch, without pain, and cannot be reduced. There is some eruption of small red pimples about the body and the mother is covered with larger red pimples all over. Silicea16000 one pellet.

October 25th. After that the tumor gradually decreased. The testicle became distinct and the tumor receded above along the course of the spermatic cord, presenting a soft and roundish appearance.

November 5th. The tumor is entirely gone. Only now and then there is a slight appearance as if the right spermatic cord was a trifle larger than the left one also. This symptom disappeared.

II. K., a boy of American descent, six months old.

June 1st, 1863. Hydrocele as large as a pigeon's egg. Silicea14000, six pellets. The tumor disappeared in two or three days.


1. These cases give further testimony of the efficacy of single doses of high potencies of homoeopathic remedies correctly selected.

2. Their practical and scientific value consists, not only in the fact, that the cures were effected — although that is one of the many triumphs of Homoeopathy — but also in the fact, that the cases present clear objective symptoms without any complicity of subjective symptoms, and thus serve as test cases beyond cavil.

Hydrocele is a disease of such objectiveness, that the subjective sensation or judgment of the patient is not likely to interfere with the diagnosis. Here the patients were infants, unable to communicate any subjective symptom at all. And so here are clear cases leaving no room for conjecture or speculation. They rest entirely on the certainty of objective symptoms which are of a positive value, whilst subjective symptoms depend, more or less, upon the physical or mental condition, sincerity and capacity of judging on the part of the patient relating the symptoms, as well as of the physician guided by them.

Subjective symptoms are often decisive or guides for a correct treatment. Yet, where we can rely upon and succeed by purely objective symptoms, there is a certainty, almost absolute and far above mere faith, in the efficacy of our remedies. As Dr. Buchner used to say, “ the ox does not believe it, and still he gets cured.”

3. Such test cases ought to be multiplied. It would be well if Homoeopathists would direct their attention to such well defined diseases, where, as in Hydrocele, the only variable element is size and quantity, for test and experiment.

Similar investigations, already, have been made in the province of pneumonia. Alloeopathists used to take pneumonia as a test for proving the comparative advantage of expectative treatment. And Homoeopathists took up the same pneumonia as a test to prove the comparative superiority of homoeopathic treatment. The results are extremely valuable in their way. But pneumonia is, of itself, so complicated a state of the organism, that it would be well to find a simple, fairer and stricter test. Such is afforded by cases similar to those here reported.

Of course such tests must not jeopardize the life or wellbeing of the individual experimented upon. They should be made in cases which have no dangerous character, but which at the same time are known to be diseases without a tendency of getting well spontaneously.

And in order to make the experiment really a test, the remedy should be administered singly and not by alternating or combining with other remedies.

The habit of alternating remedies is as injurious to the science as is the practice of mixing them. If cure follows, it remains always doubtful which of the remedies really was the remedy. Alternating, as well as mixing, necessarily obscures and vitiates the observation, and it is properly rejected be the best homoeopathic minds.

Another caution for such tests, in order to secure the utmost certainty would seem to be this, that in every case only one dose should be given-at a time, and its action allowed to go on as long as there is reason to expect it to be active.

Frequently, when watching the effect of our remedy, we see it develop in a reversed order a train of symptoms which preceded the present state of the disease in the organism, and which some times constitute the serological symptoms of the disease on hand.

Lastly, such tests should be made with various potencies, high, middle and low, and the experience with each should be recorded respectively.

There is no reasonable foundation for animosity between high and low potencialists. It reminds one too much of the animosity of the Allopathists against Homoeopathy.

High, middle and low are relative terms, of which none has any meaning without the others. The truth is, that we want to know, which is the peculiar action of every potency, and want to know it of every potency of every kind, from the poison up to the hundred thousandth potency.

The question, what that peculiar action is, is a question of fact. It can not be answered by fighting personalities and authorities, not by ridiculing the low dilutionist, not by sneering at the high potentialist. The truth can only be arrived at by careful, patient, conscientious and persevering investigation of facts; by friendly cooperation and criticism; and by correct observation and exact experiment, such as Hahnemann made, advocated and insisted upon.

We, individuals that we are, can not do every thing ourselves. Non omnia possumus omnes — division of labor is the natural convenience and the correct principle. By it every one will find his appropriate place tor the work, the very place he likes and selects, being the very result of his talents and accomplishment.

A Homoeopathist who can not bring himself to acknowledge the fact, that a high potency does have effect at all, ought to beware of ridiculing high potencies. For, by doing so, he would show that he means that a question of fact and science should be settled by an appeal to belief or ignorance, and to the lower passions of mankind. Rather let him go to work to study the action of the low potencies with which he is acquainted, and let him faithfully record the facts which he then observes and experiences. In that manner his labor will contribute to our art and science.

Only he must be as careful as every scientific observer ought to be, that is, he must apply single remedies in single doses, not mix, not alternate, nor rotate, else his observations would lack exactness and his judgment would be discreditable.

It is a remarkable fact that the alternating and rotating method is mostly, and almost exclusively, met within the practice of exclusive low potentialists. On the other hand, the more one gets into the habit of using high potencies, the less occasion he finds to resort to alternating or rotating, and the more he relies on the single remedy and the single dose.

If there are practical excuses for alternation and rotation, they certainly do not concern or advance medical science.

Now, when we divide up our conjoint labor for observing the action of poisons and of low, middle and high potencies respectively, and when we shall have recorded and digested the observations gained, then, and then only, we may safely approach the next question, which and what potency is the proper one required in the given case.

This is a most serious and most practical question, no doubt. It can not be put off with the rule Similia Similibus alone, inasmuch as that rule, our fundamental one, is understood to relate to the quality of remedial action, whilst the question of the dose is a question relating to the quantity of remedial action.

Hence, before we shall have satisfactory evidence on the first question about the action of the various potencies, it would be gratuitous to dispute about the other question, which is the right potency in the given case?

In answering this second question, such only will be justified. who shall have either themselves made the required experiments and observations on the action of potencies in their various degrees and kinds, or who are able to avail themselves of such experiments and observations made by others.

4. The degree of potency used in the cases above reported may seem to be high; yet it is comparatively low. I have already myself instituted provings with potencies of the 15000, 16600 and 41000 centesimal dilution, and they resulted not only in the confirmation of the old provings, but also in new lights and shades of the picture.

Surely, in this matter of dose, we have just touched the threshold of the temple, and the vista opened before us only convinces us that many, very many, trustworthy observations will be required, before we shall be enabled to give a final answer to the question.

It is this most difficult problem, however, the problem of infinitesimality, more than any thing else, which is destined to give to Homoeopathy that precision, positiveness and certainty, and that separate and equal station among the exact sciences to which the laws of nature entitled it.


Source: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 11, 1864, pages 500-505
Description: Hydrocele.
Remedies: Silicea terra
Author: Fincke, B.
Year: 1864
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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