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Being native to the blood, the chyle would produce no systemic disturbance. It would be proper to inject only the active, vivifying principle of the chyle, of course, the unassimilable residuum having been removed from it. This would cure nothing of course, for nutrition cannot be forced into the tissues. The most it could possibly do would be to indirectly benefit a disabled digestive apparatus by temporarily bridging this wrong, and giving the incompetent stomach. etc., rest. In all cases when the lesion is distinct from indigestion this artificial feeding would do nothing but harm.
If we inject into the blood anything except a food proper, some form of disturbance will result because of its foreignness to that element. Under physiological consistency, its expulsion will be attempted. But, owing to elective urgency, [I suggest what follows as a rational theory] some constituent of the drug injected, wlll carry the whole to a particular tissue where it will make a more or less decided impression. It will be carried to this particular part by the elective force intrinsic to it-its basic element being identical with the dominent element of the injected drug. But this native element is in bad company-it carries with it foreign and hostile forces. A fight is tbe result. If the subject is in health, his health will be more or less seriously disturbed for a while. If it happen that the part impressed had been expressing itself out of normal line, it may, in its struggle, stagger back into normal line. In this case a cure will have been effected.
Crudely enough, I have projected a theory which I wish my medical brethren would examine and discuss. I admit that there are commercial objections to its espousal and defense, but I believe that most of our eclectic editors are conscientious enough to rise above mercenary considerations for the sake of scientific truth.
AS TO ECLECTICISM. When we compare the prevailing eclectic methods with the common allopathic mode, it ought to be evident to any thinking person that the schools are not yet ready to merge. The broad "regular" who investigates outside his ranks, and who has been almost driven into medical pessimism by the therapeutic atrocities of his school, could step up into eclecticism without straining bimself badly. But if the average, rankand-file allopath should attempt such a feat, it would split him up to his chin, metaphorically speaking.
Dr. Ben Brodnax is a popular physician of Brodnax, Louisiana. He is a man of much natural force, and is a lavish contributor to medical journals. He is appealed to by doctors from all parts of the country for advice. The doctor is an educated, kind-hearted and highly companionable gentleman, and is fairly up to date in everything but rational therapeutics. There is a good natured, authoritative abandon
about his literary method which is very fascinating. Outside of therapeutics, he is a very useful man in the world. It is safe to assume that nine-tenths of the old school are as crude and coarse and dangerous in their clinical methods, as is this representative middle class allopathic physician.
In a recent number of a valued exchange, he tells us how to treat pneumonia. I will abstract his treatment. First, "drastic purgation” with saltz, followed by calomel combined with acetanilid and strychnia. Hot mustard foot baths, with steaming bricks to feet. In additior, euphorbia, red, or black pepper tea, or turpentine and Dover's powder. "A poultice made with a thick double fold of cloth dampened with a mixture of turpentine next to the skin, and a cotton padded jacket outside. A day or so later, tartar emetic with inhalation of medicated vapors-turpentine, vinegar or coal oil. "If pain is heavy you will think of calcium chloride and bichromate of potasb." For difficult, short breathing about this time, sanguinarin [a flash of reason) comes in. Here follow very sensible directions about mouth washes, feeding, etc. Then, "if intense fever * * * overcomes the brain * * you have only to draw a pint of blood from the arm [what if there isn't that much blood left?] and repeat, if necessary. The loss of this blood can be compensated with a little nitro-glycerine and strychnia, the doctor says.
Is it any wonder that the average allopath loses twenty five per cent of his pneumonia cases? Wouldn't it be very dangerous to the life of a lealthy man to undergo such usage? Compare such horse-doctoring with the clean, direct, pleasant, saving medication of modern eclectics! Compare the results-allopathic fatality twenty-five per cent; eclectic losses two per cent.
Such therapeutic benightedness is in natural alignment with the ethical barbarism of allopathy. Think of a body of doctors, so called, (who are fifty years behind the times in the therapeutic art) feeling obliged to declare to the world, that although they recognized the eclectics and homeopathists in the law, and temporarily, for the sake of co operative medical legislation, they “will expel any member of their Association who will lower the dignity of regular medicine by corsulting with eclectics or homeopaths.” This is what the Texas Medical Association did. It reminds a sane, modern man of nothing so much as of the ignorant self-manship and careful exclusiveness of the Chinese. The Chinaman's domestic and state methods bear about the same relation to those of civilized nations, as allopathic practices bear to the enlightened clinicism of liberal medicine.
The foregoing will address itself to the intensely allopathic as the diatribe of a one-ideaed dogmatist, but the liberal and progressive "regular" will recognize its truth and not misconstrue its spirit, I am
not blind to the vast puissance and dignity truly pertaining to so learned a body as is the mother school, even as I am not myopic with reference to the book.wisdom of Jesuitism,,but demonstrable fact has an unlimited advantage over closet dreamery, and I am dealing with facts, not theories. In a doctrinaire sense, medical sectarianism is deplorable -in a practical sense, it is the hope of the medical world.
A STARTLING THERAPEUTIC SUGGESTION. The septic condition--what is it? It is a condition in which putrescence is asserting itselt owing to the presence of sepsin in the blood. That's all very nice, but what is this product, principle, or condition called sepsin? Sepsin? Why, it is a noxious alkaloid, the antivivic qualities of which depend upon something not understood. Sepsis is merely a convenient term. Its invasion marks that epoch in the course of a disease in which devitalization has passed the half way house. It seems contradictory, but owing to the physiological optimism, a very considerable degree of sepsis is consistent with possible recovery.
Of course there is nothing in the nature of sepsis to give us the slightest hint as to its correction. This has to be learned by experiment alone. Very elaborate and fine spun theories are projected upon the medical reader by closet students and doctrinaires, in relation to this subject. They include a discussion of those ultimate processes that are related to the performances of leucocytes, phagocytes, ptomaines, neucleins, etc. Nothing practical has resulted from this learned theorizing. A number of drugs have become popular as antiseptics, vegetable and mineral, but there is room for improvement in this direction. The discovery of a certain and specific antiseptic is a great desideratum. Recently an eastern firm offered a prize for the best essay on the subject of antiseptics. I am not a competitor but I am going to suggest what ought to be the boss of anything that has ever been named along this line. As there is nothing new under the sun, it may transpire that some nosey son-of-a gun has, some time in the dingy past, sprung this thought upon the medical world. If so, I have never seen it, nor heard of it.
Ancient Egypt has been called the cradle of civilization. Whether it was or not, there were inventors and discoverers in that dim period whose equals have scarcely existed since. They possessed arts, tremenduous in their possibilities, beyond anything practically conceiv
Among them was that of embalming their dead. Talk about antiseptics-what must have been the potency of the material with which they saturated their embalming strips! It was so effective as to have male putrescence and decomposition impossible. The
subjects embalmed, and the linen in which they were swathed have withstood the ravages of three thousand years of time! How do we know that its preserving power was not equal to forever! Is it not still exerting its antidecomposing power on the mummies? If not, why do they not decompose? Even if the material had the immediate effect of carbonizing the corpse, does it not remain an element of the mummy?
Now what is the most natural suggestion in this connection? Simply, to use mummies and their wrappings for medicine. They can be either powdered or tinctured. There you have it-now cut loose and try it.
It is my private opinion that although its antiseptic properties might be phenomenal, it would have no power to retard the septic process. The medicine to do this must reach back of the symptom, sepsis, to its cause. But I submit that the treatment would be as rational as the symptom-whacking now so popular with our allopathic brethren. A perverted nerve center, or something still back of that is instigating diphtheria. Incident to this disease (possibly) is the appearance of a certain breed of microbes. Kill these and you kill the disease! Whence, poisoned horse serum !!
That microbes are not initial to disease is tacitly admitted by all bacteriologists in the concession that they will only squat on suitable soil; i. e., the system must be already below par-sick-before microbes will make a lodgement. The fact is, a disease commences when it begins, not afterward.
Even if it were a fact that bacteria convert a simple, into a serious disease by superimposing a specific malignant condition, is it logical to conclude that killing the bacteria will end the disease? Will not the further depraved condition of the system, owing to severe sickness, still more emphatically beckon to microbes of the same, or some other variety? Excuse my latin, but it is my opinion that this microbe business is all dam poppycock.
SUPERSTITION A BLESSING. I have received a copy of The Philadelphia Journal, edited by Thomas G. Newman, and published at San Diego, California. It is devoted to spiritual philosophy and phenomena.
The editor is a tolerably, straight writer, for one whose common associates are the immortals. There is less of esoteric obfuscation and altisonant chaos in his utterances than is common to adept spiritualists. I would not ridicule spiritualism, for it may be right, but why do so many of its companions affect a lingo that substitutes sound for sense?
It is astonishing how many Christian scientists, and the like, are making a living by healing the sick. This magazine, like many others of the same kind, is full of the advertisements of the spiritual healers.
They furnish long lists of testimonials, the genuineness of which is placed beyond doubt. A certain healer, whose astounding powers are effusively attested to by the editor, makes snap-shot cures at very long range-thousands of miles. It is worth noting that some of these healers mix a few simple drugs with their pious pow.wowry; these drugs having been first spiritually potenized. Here is evidence from Mrs. S. A. Jewett, Pittsburg, Pa.:
"I had suffered great pains a long time from a prolonged sickness; but when I was sitting Thursday evening for your psychic treatment, the pains all left me at once, and I was instantly cured. Although there is some little soreness I've had no pain since.
Here is a testimonial from Mrs. R. Irvin, 65 Corydon St., Bradford, Pennsylvania :
"My foot was very, very painful; and when your letter came I took and bound it onto my foot and it was perfectly easy right off, and it has not troubled me any since. It is wonderful and I feel very happy over it.
Here is one from G. W. Ackerly, 60 Herkimer Place, Brooklyn, New York:
“At my first sitting for your psychic treatment, doctor, my hand by some invisible impulse was lifted to my head which was very sore and painful, and believe me, before the half hour was up, I could press hard as possible on my head; and there was no soreness, no pain-all had left. It was wonderful.
Speaking with reference to these and other testimonials, and of the doctor, the editor says:
Those sitting for psychic treatment should put the left hand upon the signature of one of his letters and place the mind calmly upon spirit and spiritual things - upon health, harmony, happiness and heaven.
I note that nine-tenths of the cures are effected upon women. Either very few men take to spirit cure, or Christ is much more easily influenced in behalf of women than of men. The letters I have copied are doubtlessly genuine, and I could have copied scores of others equally convincing. Now, doctor, what are you going to do about it?
It is not within sanity that the second person in the "holy trinity' lends himself to the mercenary schemes of a lot of sciolistic visionaries? Co-incidence is eliminated by conditions peculiar to nearly all the reported cases. It results that superstition may be very effectively utilized in the cure of disease. Unless it is a fact that there is a Prince of the universe, Son of the King of the universe; and is a fact that be is susceptible of being influenced by particular men and women, then it is a fact that superstitution constitutes an important curative element.
This justifies some startling ethical conclusions. First, superstition is a good thing. Second, ignorance is a laudable condition and should be encouraged. Third, delusion is better than realty, since it will relieve suffering that realism can't reach. Fourth, the ignorant are