There is but little in homoeopathic literature in regard to the treatment of syphilis. Whether it has received the attention it should in our profession, or not, it certainly deserves a careful study by every physician who practices Homoeopathy. We hear it charged by our opponents, that Homoeopathy can not cure syphilis and gonorrhoea. That it is not powerful enough to cope with such terrible diseases. Consequently, our Allopathic brethren, from such misrepresentations, very undeservedly get a lucrative practice in this class of diseases, which from distrust on the part of the patient or from unskilful management by the homoeopathic physician, are entrusted to their care, inflicting great injury on the reputation of the homoeopathic method of practice generally, as well as innumerable torments on their patients and on humanity.
Far from admitting that the allopathic method with large doses of medicine can cure syphilis or gonorrhoea more quickly than Homoeopathy, we affirm, on the contrary, that it cannot cure it either in so short a time, nor so radically as the true homoeopathic method. In fact I will hardly admit Allopathy can cure syphilis at all. If it can, no case has ever come under my observation from allopathic treatment, in which I could not detect some traces of the disease in the system. I know the so called regular physicians claim all the science and learning, as if the homoeopathic physician did not have access to the same fountains of knowledge from which they derive theirs. Yet the oldest and wisest heads among them know there are but few, if any, cases of syphilis they can radically cure. And such men are very cautious in their assertions that the true homoeopathic practice is inefficient for the cure of syphilis. A great number of patients, even from the best allopathic physicians, are discharged cured, when the disease is only partially or wholly suppressed, and would require six months or a year's careful treatment for its eradication. And in many cases the symptoms are greatly intensified and aggravated, the disease being made worse after a long and careful trial of their treatment, than if left to nature. If such cases after years standing are cured, as they have been and can be, with the “mites,” or “nothing,” as our learned opponents say, what, I ask can justify them in their mode of treatment, so ruinous to the human system, and so unsatisfactory in its results?
To understand thoroughly the homoeopathic treatment of syphilis, there are a few fundamental truths that should be well understood, and I will state some of them as practical facts (not as theories) which have been proved and illustrated by cases from actual experience in the treatment of the disease.
That syphilis is contagious no one will doubt, and it usually makes its first appearance on the genitals in the form of a little sore, pimple, or blister, about three days after copulation. But it sometimes may be communicated to the person without sexual intercourse.
Several years since a gentleman consulted me for a sore lip that proved to be a chancre, which was caused by using tobacco from a man who had acute syphilis. Another case of a lady who had contracted the disease in the secondary or chronic form, from an instrument that had been used for a person who had syphilis. Both cases were above suspicion, and the cause, could be unmistakably traced to the sources named. Both cases were cured in a few months by Merc. sol. 30 a dry powder every other night, omitting the medicine a few days occasionally to give it the full curative action.
The chancre when it first makes its appearance upon the genitals or elsewhere in the form of a little blister or sore is not a local disease, but the whole system is more or less impregnated with the subtle poison. Therefore any caustic or local application to the diseased part or the internal Administration of powerful doses of Mercury, only modifies or suppresses the disease, which may be developed in some other form at a future time.
Mr. — , aged 24, of robust constitution, consulted me, June, 1857. The surface of his body in different places was covered with an eruption of reddish yellow spots, from the size of a pin's head to a five cent piece. Throat sore and ulcerated, of an unhealthy color, evidently syphilitic. He was otherwise in apparent good health. He had a chancre four years previous, but it was very soon suppressed by the application of Nitrate of Silver or Caustic, and a few doses of physic. Gave Merc. corr.30 three times a day for three weeks, omitting every other day, when the spots had nearly vanished. Followed by Merc. v.55 once a day, six or eight weeks, as long as he improved; then Nit. ac.30 in same manner, omitting at times, for four months, when he was apparently well and the disease never returned. I could repeat many similar cases where the disease had been suppressed longer without making any appreciable disturbance in the general health till it made its appearance, and treated in a like manner with the same result.
That syphilis, primary or secondary is hereditary, but few will doubt. And it may be transmitted to the offspring from the father or the mother; and sometimes the child will be affected with secondary syphilis without any visible symptoms of the disease in either.
Was called to attend Mr. — 's child, aged 12 months, June, 1855. It was evident the child had secondary syphilis, The corners of the mouth, the face, anus and other portions of the body were affected with permanent unhealthy ulcers or sores. The mother was but seventeen and never had any symptoms of syphilis, and this was her first child. It was also afflicted with diarrhea from the irritation of dentition. Gave Merc. v.55 for three months with gradual improvement. Dissolved one powder in six teaspoonfuls of pure cold water, and gave one teaspoonful three times daily, omitting two or three days after every powder. Followed Merc. v. by Merc. sol.300 in same manner for eight months. The cure was complete, and the disease never made its appearance again. No other remedies were used except, occasionally, a few powders of Cham.“ and lpec55 for the diarrhea.
In May, 1857, the father of the child called on me after heating himself at a fire, and said he thought he had the measles, I found him nearly covered with syphilitic eruption. The scalp, face and body were broken out with reddish yellow spots of different sizes. He confessed he had a small sore or chancre which was suppressed by the application of Caustic, and a few doses of medicine in a short time. That was nearly two years before he was married, and then about four years before the disease made (its appearance in this form. Gave him Merc. cor.16' one powder a day, dry at night for two weeks; followed that by Mer. viv.55 and Mer. sol200, giving a powder once in two or three days for six months, when he recovered and the disease since has not made its appearance. Gave the Merc. viv.55 about a month then the Merc. Sol.200 a month in alternation, frequently omitting a few days.
Sometimes chronic syphilis may be radically cured in conjunction with some acute disease, which, if properly treated, forms a crisis and syphilitic miasm disappears with the attack, as the following case clearly proves:
Mr. — , aged 36, consulted me January 1st, 1856; had a chancre about seven years previous, supposed himself cured of that complaint. But had been sick the last two years, and under the care of an allopathic physician who had the charge of a marine hospital. Grew worse all the time; had unhealthy ulceration of the throat and palate, offensive breath, syphilitic eruption of the scalp and other portions of his body, and large syphilitic warts around the orifice of the anus that had been there for a long time. Greatly emaciated, and his whole system in a cachectic condition. Gave Nit. acid” a powder every night for a month. He improved rapidly, and after discontinuing medicine for some time, Merc. viv.55 was used in the same way, continued these remedies for six months when the warts were all gone and he was greatly improved in health. Thought himself well. Omitted medicine three months, when he was attacked with severe double pneumonia. Dullness over the whole chest on percussion, high fever, delirium, and great prostration; intermittent pulse, tongue loaded with yellowish white coating, breath offensive, and constipation; cough violent, dry, continual, with severe pleurisy. Gave the usual remedies in such cases, Acon. the first, Bry. and Tart emet. the second and third days, but without relief. All symptoms worse, except the cough little looser. Being reminded of the old trouble, gave Mer. sol90 in water every three hours. He found immediate relief. For several days expectorated large quantities of bloody slime, and continued to improve for five or six days with the Merc. sol. 30, when I gave Merc. sol.200 twice a day for three weeks, discontinuing occasionally. Since that time he has been perfectly well, showing no signs of syphilitic troubles. Chronic or secondary syphilis is contagious, and it assumes a type of the disease similar to the source from which it is communicated, and it is sometimes, probably, transmitted by means of the semen. The above case is a fair illustration. When he was married, and till after his children were born, he had no visible symptom of the disease, but I found his wife and two children had secondary syphilis of a similar type to that which he himself presented. They were all cured in a year and a half. The remedies used were Merc. viv.55, Mer. sol.200, Nit. acid30, Mez.30, Sass200., Sulph200., Thuj.20 The high potencies have proved the most efficacious in chronic syphilis, when all other remedies were unable to cure. I call high potencies from the twelfth to the three hundredth. Nothing proves more conclusively the curative power of the potencies than cases of chronic syphilis. I have had many patients in whose cases there was no reasonable way to evade the truth that there is a curative power in the high attenuations, as the patients could tell by the effects of the medicines, although they had not the remotest idea what they were taking.
Mr. — , aged 27, came under my care June, 1850. He had been suffering with the most terrible syphilis for more than three years. His case was considered hopeless by his physicians. He had extensive ulcers on the scalp, face, sternum, and a very large and deep one on the left ankle, that had prevented the use of the limb for a long time. He was pale and emaciated, suffering the most violent pains by night and day. Had used Mercury and other drugs in large and repeated doses, and Opium was his only relief. Gave Nit. acid30 in water three times a day which gave him great relief, as well as gradual improvement in his general health. When the remedies were alternated with Sach. lact. he would most always remind me I had changed his medicine, and expressed great impatience because it did not do him as much good as the previous one, which induced me to give it to him (as well as others) oftener than I otherwise should. I also gave him Merc. viv55, Merc. sol.200, Sass.200, Aur. fol.30, Mez.30, Sil.30, Sulph.50 and Sulph.200, continuing each of these two or three months before changing. In two years the pains all left and the ulcers healed. He never recovered the use of his limbs as they were distorted and drawn up, but otherwise he is comfortable and enjoys fair health.
Mr. — , aged 40, consulted me August, 1853, was very intemperate; had syphilis several times; throat and mouth badly ulcerated, could scarcely swallow anything; ulcers on the head and face; appetite gone, and his whole system saturated with disease and medicine; was unable to work and his case appeared hopeless; he had had several physicians who pronounced him incurable. Gave him Merc., viv.50 a dry powder twice a day for a month, then Merc sol.200 the same length of time, alternating the two monthly for five months as long as improvement was perceptible under their influence; followed by Nit. ac.30 and Sulph.60 in the like manner for a year more, returning at times to Mer. sol.200 At the end of two years he was in his usual health and has ever remained so till the present time. A strict diet was prescribed.
Mr. — , aged 31, May, 1855, nine years previous had chancre. For the first seven or eight years had been under care of different allopathic physicians, but had of late about given up all hopes of recovery as his health grew poorer all the time. He had no ulcers or eruption externally, but his health was gone. Pale and emaciated, and so feeble; he had done no labor for two years; throat inflamed and ulcerated; dry cough; feet swollen at times; continual constipation; hair falling out; most violent nocturnal pains in his limbs; and unbearable mental depression, as if life was a burden. All his symptoms worse from one to four, a.m. The severest pain in the left arm, just above the elbow, and so violent about one at night, he would weep like a child. Gave Aur. fol.30 two powders daily, omitting as he got relief. In six weeks he was nearly relieved of the pain and greatly improved in appetite, strength and mental sufferings. Followed by Sulph.60 for seven weeks, when I gave Merc. sol.360; continued these remedies a year, giving them at different times as they appeared indicated, when he was nearly as fleshy and well as ever in his life, and has since continued in good health.
Mr. — , aged 28, June, 1854, had been in the hospital nearly a year with Panama fever and syphilis; came to me with chronic diarrhea; night sweats; no appetite; a mere skeleton in flesh; feet swollen; and a large ulcer in the right ankle, which his physician told him must be amputated. Had walked but little for a year and was reduced to the lowest condition. Gave Ars.100, Sulph.60, Nit. ac30, Merc. viv.55 and Sil.30, continuing each remedy from one to two months before changing. In a little over a year was well and sound, remaining in perfect health till the present time.
These are some of the worst of a great number of cases I might cite that have recovered with similar treatment. A careful diet was prescribed, but a free use of fruits and vegetables, wine, liquors of all kinds, coffee, tea, and spices were strictly prohibited; bathing in cold water and access to good air was enjoined in all cases.
I have used higher potencies every year, and during the last twelve months have treated two very difficult cases, they having resisted the treatment of both allopathic homoeopathy and homoeopathic allopathy for two years, which have entirely recovered under the effects of the two hundredth potency — Lehrman's. I have not the least faith in any remedy but the high potencies for chronic syphilis, and if you get a good effect, at first, from the low dilutions or triturations, like the allopathic treatment, they suppress the disease and it surely will at some time break out anew in a worse form than at first.
The indications for the use of Mercurius and its Chlorides are of importance in the treatment of syphilis. I think they are different remedies, and have their individuality in this disease. If the chancre is very dry, hard and discharges but little, or none, and the secondary symptoms break out in distinct, reddish yellow eruption — Merc. corr. is the remedy indicated. If the chancre is soft, eats or corrodes deeply and discharges much, and if the cellular tissue is particularly affected by secondary symptoms — Merc. corr. is the best remedy. In other cases when these symptoms are not well marked, Merc. viv., or Merc. sol., is to be given if indicated. They are more frequently indicated in this disease than any other remedy, but that should not prejudice the mind against the use of any other medicine.
That syphilis assumes varied forms, in different persons, may perhaps be caused in part by a difference in the virus or poison. But the principal cause, no doubt, is the scrofulous or psoric miasm in the person affected. In good healthy constitutions some case of recent chancre will readily yield to a few doses of the proper remedy (I do not mean those cases that might properly be called false chancre, a slight pimple, or abrasion, resembling chancre in its early stages so nearly that its true nature can with difficulty be detected, If there is doubt, wait a few days without giving any medicine and it will disappear itself), while others assume a moat malignant form and require a long and judicious treatment to make a radical cure. Such persons are always affected with some chronic miasm or the suppression of another eruptive disease.
When homoeopathic physicians see syphilis in all its varied forms, and how inefficient have been the means of cure in all times past by the old school, how can they but acknowledge the truth of the psoric theory, the only true principle by which chronic diseases were ever cured. And how can they but admire the memory of the great man who first promulgated and demonstrated that great pathological truth.
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 03 No. 05, 1862, pages 211-219
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