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In the November number of the REVIEW, Dr. Lippe has professed to answer a paper addressed by me to Mr. Wilson, commenting on a “case of severe and complicated pneumonia, with remarks on a characteristic indication for the selection of Lycopodium,” reported by him at page 420 of the Monthly Homoeopathic Review, of England.

In this paper Dr. Lippe has so completely distorted the purport of my questions, that I feel compelled to trespass upon your pages with a few words of reply.

The question is one of vital importance to the practical Homoeopath. I may, therefore, claim your forbearance for recapitulating the chief points of Mr. Wilson's case, and of my questions upon it, which, I may here state, still remain unanswered.

Mr. Wilson reported a case of Pneumonia, which he treated by dissolving live globules of Lycopodium200 in a tumblerful of water, and of which he gave a teaspoonful every two hours.

Mr. Wilson informs us that he gave Lycopodium200 in this case because there was a “fan-like motion of the alae nasi.

He tells us, on page 425, “when clearly marked, no matter through what organ or tissue the symptoms of any attack of illness may manifest themselves, in children, and young people” “the whole group of phenomena in such attacks will be found under Lycopodium.”

On page 424, he speaks of the above symptom as being an “unerring characteristic.

And at another part of his paper says that “Lycopodium had never failed to meet and cure this symptom,” through a twelve years experience.

Yet we see Mr. Wilson acting as though he had no faith in his own twelve years experience, nor in the unerring characteristic, nor in its never failing cure, for he draws a picture of himself searching through the pathogenesy of ten other medicines, notwithstanding the possession of all these advantages.

The contemplation of this painful state of uncertainty, called forth my plaint “are we never to arrive at certainty in the practice of physic?” and made me rise from the perusal of the case with a feeling of very considerable disappointment. If we are to abandon Pathology and Physiology as uncertain lights, we have a right to demand some more certain lights in exchange. Yet Mr. Wilson practically tells us to abandon the search after certainty — to be content with chaos of perpetual disorder — to distrust all experience, even the best tried and most often proved. I say, that after all that Mr. Wilson has told us regarding the “unerring characteristic,” and the certainty with which “Lycopodium” has always cured it, we have a right to demand why he sought the pathogenesy of ten other remedies. His conduct belies his assertions.

Then, in the same paper, we find three other very grave discrepancies:

1st. Mr. Wilson treats the case of acute pneumonia, with frequently repeated doses of Lycopodium200

2d. He professes to believe that pleurisy of an acute form may be cured by simple olfaction in five hours.

3d. He professes to believe that acute dysentery ought to be treated by one single dose of Mercurius corr. Sub.200

It is infantile in Dr. Lippe to say, that the answer to my question, as to “why pneumonia, pleurisy and dysentery are all to be treated on different principles?” is to be found in the case itself. Equally absurd was it in Dr. Hewitt, another of Mr. Wilson's apologists, to say that the Organon answers all these questions. I repeat that these diverse modes of administration shew an utter want of faith on the part of Mr. Wilson.

If olfaction will cure a case of pleurisy in five hours, ought Mr. Wilson to have been content to cure a case of acute pneumonia, with frequently repeated doses, in nearly three times as many days? Or, if a case of acute dysentery is cured by one single dose, ought a case of pneumonia to be treated by doses frequently repeated.

Again, Dr. Lippe writes as if I had claimed that I had improved on the Hahnemannian method. I refer him and your readers to my paper, page 592, Vol. VII, of the Monthly Homoeopathic Review, where he will find that it was in reference to this discrepancy in Mr. Wilson's treatment, that I asked: “Will some high dilutionist enlighten us on this point? Has Mr. Wilson discovered an improvement on Hahnemann's method? And if he has done so, how can we object to the practice of others who claim to have made still further improvements by giving low dilutions and even massive doses?”

I yield to no man in my ardent desire to see Homoeopathy assume its true place in the science of medicine, I am most anxious to see some more definite knowledge acquired as to those doses and dilutions which will most speedily remove disease and restore health. I am equally ready to administer the highest or the lowest dilutions if I can see sufficient bona fide testimony as to the superior efficacy of the one or the other; but I hold that Mr. Wilson's paper cuts at the roots of our faith, by the uncertainties and contradictions it contains throughout. We ought to set aside all party spirit in our search after truth; nor ought we to allow ourselves to be deterred from exposing error, even though we find it in high places.

For my own part, I disclaim all partizanship in the field of science. I am willing to accept Mr. Wilson's testimony that where there is “fan-like motion of the alas nasi,” it indicates that Lycopodium is the true remedy. I have lately had two such cases in two young children suffering from the sequelae of badly treated scarlatina. I gave Lycopodium30 in both cases with immediate and permanent good results. I am glad to add this testimony to Mr. Wilson's careful observation. This will give me confidence in Lycopodium should a similar case again come under my care.

My charge against Mr. Wilson does not lie in the fact of his having given Lycopodium, but in his having given way to vaccillation and uncertainty when he had recognized a “characteristic indication,” and possessed a remedy which responded to it. In like manner, if olfaction will cure in hours, why give medicine in a form, which he confesses, takes days to effect the same end? So also, if to give one single dose and await the result, is the Hahnemannian and safe and successful mode for the admistration of medicines, why give frequently repeated doses?

I have asked these questions in vain of Mr. Wilson; he is so busily engaged in a game of hair splitting in a controversy with Drs. Hempel and Dudgeon that he has no time nor perhaps the power to explain his own very illogical paper. I therefore ask Dr. Lippe or some other high-dilutionist, which of these methods is that which has most recommended itself to his practical experience? olfaction? one single dose? or, frequently repeated doses?


Source: The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 04 No. 09, 1864, pages 411-414
Description: Question on Doses, Reply to Dr. Lippe
Remedies: Lycopodium clavatum
Author: Bayes, W.
Year: 1864
Editing: errors only; interlinks; formatting
Attribution: Legatum Homeopathicum
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