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homeopathic treatments compared with other medical systems, they strongly advised a reduced premium for homeopaths. This recommendation was passed without a dissentient vote. Lord Henry Gordon presided at this meeting, (see report for year 1864.)
If mankind lived natural lives, a dormant sixth sense would come more into activity and we would instinctively select proper food containing the elements of medicine which would go far to correct digestive and intestinal troubles. Even the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field can surpass the lords of creation (as they like to style themselves) in this wise.
Watch the birds in your garden and see how they select Crocus, presumably as a stomach medicine. Then observe the common starling and the house sparrow, how they will crop the abrotarium vulgare whilst feeding their young on garbage. It is precisely the same with the fever few. Upon one occasion I recollect being at an hotel near Hury Reservoir where a child was racked with pain from colic. The house was situated miles away from town and four or five miles from the nearest resident medical man. I noted the sour breath and pinching pains and asked if they had any chamomilla growing in the garden, but this they did not know. I however found one of its tribe, - the fever few-and it only took a few minutes to make a cup of tea from this, which was given in teaspoonful doses and promptly relieved the little sufferer.
With regard to feeding, take the ordinary pig, fed on all kinds of fermenting food and suffering acute dyspepsia. As soon as he is let out of his stye he hunts up coals and cinders because they contain carbon, thus counteracting the acidity and heartburn from which he undoubtedly suffers.
The deer, when stung by a snake, rushes off into the wood and selects an herb which immediately counteracts the snake poison, and he straightway returns to the combat and invariably kills his adversary. Again, observe the small lean emaciated moor sheep after a severe winter, often suffering from tubercular disease of the lungs and a consumptive cough ; they may be classed as true homeopaths, for as soon as summer comes they seek and devour with avidity the Droseria Robundifolia from amongst the moss where it grows, and in this way soon cure the disease. Even a dog will eat coarse grass to tickle his fauces and make him vomit any unsuitable food. Just observe nature and no one need go to a University for education. Nature is undoubtedly the best teacher, and it is only when we try to improve her handiwork that we bungle and have to pay the penalty. Then come to home life and consider the baby who has not
yet got his instincts blunted by respectable civilization, although aunts and grandmothers will do their level best to make an angel of him. From his first week in life they will give him some form of steeped bread, which he splutters out as if it was the evil one, which it is to him, for he instinctively knows it is not right and will make him ill. If forced upon him the result is invariably a fit of colic from this most improper food. If he could use his tongue he would probably swear and say what fools they were, as they must know his salivary glands are undeveloped, and it is common knowledge that it takes saliva to convert starchy food into sugar before it can be digested. By this means baby is wilfully made ill.
I have seen old grandmothers years ago instinctively chewing bread to give to baby although they knew nothing of the physiology of dietetics, yet they were doing right and following an instinctive habit of some of the lower animals. For all that, I think this is a very dirty habit.
Baby requires nothing but its mother's milk, or failing that, some good cow or goat-milk with a little sugar added, as human milk contains more sugar than any other, until its teeth come. If you wish to give a baby a treat give it a good bone from the meat to chew at. See how it knows what is good-watch the little lips smack. This dodge will often keep baby quiet for an hour or more and will not do him any harm. And surely an hour's rest is a great boon to a hard worked mother.
One of the most absurd things I ever knew committed from reasoning from a false premises was the following: I had a young girl under me for epileptic fits and there was what we know as globulus epilepticus, i. e., sensation of a ball rising up from the stomach to the throat. One morning the mother and daughter were at the dispensary, the latter suffering from acute pains similar to colic. I expressed my surprise at this and asked her what she had had to eat. She briefly explained it as follows: On the Saturday previous the patient had had a fit and a meeting of the neighbors had been held with the result that they had come to the conclusion that it was a rising of the lights into the throat and that undoubtedly the best means to keep them down was to give her a double charge of gun shot. This was accordingly done with the natural resulta fit of lead colic. It appears they had seen the lungs of an animal float on water and reasoned accordingly. Verily “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
The next point to be considered following the law which indicates the choice of the remedy is the quantity or dose to be employed to produce its curative effect. In this as in the law we are the very opposite to the regular allopathic medicines. The question of dose is decided by homeopaths thus: the smallest quantity compatible with healthy stimulation to the diseased organ. Particular individual temperaments differ and a coarse sluggish nature requires more material doses than high strung, finely organized people. Some are built on the cart-horse principle-large bones and plenty of muscle-others are more like race horses-fine bones, small muscles and large nerves. These latter kind require higher attenuations than the former. Some are so exquisitely sensitive to drug action that the millionth part of a grain of medicinal substance will affect them beneficially. You must never lose sight of the fact that all disease is an effort of nature to recover health, and homeopathy only aids nature in throwing off the incubus. Medicines in homeopathy are pure substances prepared by dilution or by trituration. The first dilution is made by succussion, one part to 99, one hundred times repeated; this is termed lc or first centesimal. You can, acting on the same principle, subdivide ad infinitum. This is the liquid process. For solid substances the principle is the same with the exception that one part is gradually mixed with 99 parts of sugar of milk and triturated in a Wedgwood or Agate Mortar to an impalpable powder so that under a 1/4 in. microscope objective you cannot detect the medicinal substance from its incipient sugar of milk. Personally I prefer low dilutions, and so do the majority of patients. It seems an attribute of old Adam transmitted to the human race today to want as much for their money as possible. You have probably read the story of the woman in the chemist's shop in a pit village who asked for a pennyworth of calomel, and the chemist was very carefully weighing out 14 grain, severely scrutinized by the woman. All at once she burst out with, “Hawd a wee, mon, ye need’na be sae stingy wiv it, it's for a puir fatherless bairn.”
I myself once had a diabetic patient who was very indignant sometimes. When troubled with a bilious attack her medicine was somewhat bitter, whereas, the medicine given her for her diabetic trouble was tasteless. She resented this and politely told me that when I wanted her to get better I gave her bitter medicine, but when I did not want to see her well I gave her water. She closed our interview by telling me that “She did not object to pay for medicine, but she was determined she would not pay for water."
My greatest trouble has been to get people to believe in tasteless medicine. Small doses of homeopathic medicines are perfectly safe. This is a great point in their favor.
A while back a bigoted partisan of old physic suggested that an inquest ought to be held on every one who died in homeopathic hospitals. If an impartial one was held on a great many who succumb under allopathic care, some very strange disclosures would be made. But then they are qualified, whilst homeopaths are not in England. I venture to suggest that the qualification of a medical system ought to be-How many lives they can save? or how to relieve promptly. The candid confessions of eminent medical men ungoverned by pride or professional self-conceit are often most startling. My friend Dr. W- used to say his diplomas were not worth a snap of the finger in practice. Dr. R- now a homeopath used to say allopathic medicine is one of the greatest frauds on the face of the earth. Hundreds of other medical men have expressed themselves in similar terms, and it was quit recently the “ Lancet” had a leading article deploring the ignorance of the medical men generally in the use of medicine, adding “even the modest herbalist could beat them out and out." Just imagine the condition things must be in when you read matter like this in the leading medical journal of the established system of medicine in England.
In regard to diagnosis upon which the old system prides itself I think homeopaths can give them points.
Below I give a clipping taken from a local daily :
“The report of the Statistical Committee of the Metropolitan Asylums Board states that nearly 2,000 cases of mistaken diagnosis had been admitted during the year. The expenditure represented, which ought never to have been incurred, was £12,000 for the year."
Well might Dr. Parks say our people shot the African Bush Doctors, but from personal observation of the efficiency of their methods in treating disease those men were qualified to teach our leading medical men lessons.
Under the small doses of homeopathy it is impossible for a fatal mistake to occur. Very fortunately the regular system is rapidly amalgamating with homeopathy, and like non-comformity in religion, if homeopaths would but give up the name they might be admitted into the fold of mother church and be considered orthodox and respectable.
Our American cousins were quick to perceive the advantages of the teaching of Hahnemann and soon established schools and colleges to teach it. They did not wait for patronage from the state recog
nized medicine. Hard facts of its utility and benefit to mankind soon made it respectable.
It is not within the province of my paper to give more of the evil results of orthodox medicine, or I could do so with a vengeance. I can however assert that if I was ill and could not get a homeopath to attend me I would trust to nature for recovery. I have not one word to say against old school medical men, for among them I have some very warm friends and many of them are noble specimens of manhood. Its their system that I speak against. Some of these gentlemen are so liberal that they will take a hint from a homeopath or to use the words of Dr. W – “would take a hint from an old woman, from whom he had often got a good one."
I am greatly interested in Dr. W.'s Case Book. He gave me permission to peruse it if I wished, and on doing so a most striking fact became apparent. Every case he had cured was in accordance with homeopathic law, although I may explain he had chosen his medicine quite ignorant of the law upon which a homeopath would have based his choice.
Another great advantage of homeopathy is the shortened period of convalescence and the absence of detrimental after effects of severe drudging. Who has not observed the countless number of valvular diseases following upon the favorite old school method of treating rheumatic fever? Who has not seen poor sufferers from deafness, noises and ringing in the ears, the results of overdosing with quinine, and still worse, the quiet way of lowering patients into the grave with large doses of bromide potassium. This has become quite common nowadays.
Such dangers are happily avoided by adopting homeopathic treatment. If the public only knew the intrinsic value of the new system of medicine they would never hesitate for a moment to adopt it.
“Ah!” said a gentleman to-day, “It's the faith patients have in their medical attendant that cures them." We will grant that this is a factor in recovery, but tell me how much faith a tiny baby suffering all the suffocating effects of a bad attack of croup could have. There is the livid face, whistling respiration, hoarse, croupy cough and gasping for breath. But give this little sufferer a drop of spongia tosta on the tongue every ten minutes and watch the marvellous effect. Slowly the purple color disappears, showing that the blood is being better oxygenated and so prompt relief is given. Tell me whether the fraction of spongia or faith in the one who administered it had most to do with the recovery.