Review by Dr Kavitha P C
AUTHORS PREFACE [ From volume 1, 3rd edition 1830 ]
It gives a detailed amount of the futile endeavors hither to made to determine the powers of medicines from their colour, taste, and smell. It shows how chemistry has been applied to, in order by wet and dry distillation to extract from medicinal substances phlegma, ethereal oils, empyreumatic acids and oils, volatile salts and from the residuary ‘ caput mortum’ fixed salts and earths call nearly identical with one another. The methods adopted by the latest chemical science of obtaining extracts to be afterwards insipissated by dissolving the soluble parts in various fluids is given here and the mode of separating from them resin, gum, gluten, starch, wax, albumen, salts and earths, acids and alkaloids by means of various reagents and how to convert them into gas.
It is well known that not a single one of the innumerable medicinal substances, in spite of all these technical torturing could be brought to reveal what sort of healing power it was possessed of. Certainly the material substances extracted from them were not the spirit animating every single substance which enable it cure certain morbid stages. This spirit could not be laid hold of by the hands; it can only be recognized by its effects on the living body.
The day of the true knowledge of medicines and of the true healing art will dawn when men cease to act so unnaturally as to give drugs to which some purely imaginary virtues have been ascribed and of whose real qualities they are utterly ignorant and which they give mixed up together in all sorts of combinations.
By this method of treatment no experience can be gained of the helpful or hurtful qualities of each medicinal ingredient of the mixture, nor can any knowledge be obtained of the curative properties of each individual drug.
The day of true knowledge of medicine and of the true healing art will dawn when physicians shall trust the cure of complete cases of disease to a single medicinal substance, and when regardless of traditional systems they will employ for the extinction and cure of a case of disease, whose symptom they have investigated, one single medicinal substance whose positive effects they have ascertained, which can show among these effects a group of symptoms very similar to those presented by the case of disease.
Among the observations from extraneous sources in the following pages are some which were observed in patients, these observations are not altogether valueless, at all events they serve occasionally to confirm similar or identical symptoms that may appear in pure experiments on the healthy.
In Hahnemann’s own experiments and those of his disciples, every possible care was taken to ensure their purity, in order that the true powers of each medicinal substance might be clearly expressed in the observed effects. They were performed on persons as healthy as possible and under regulated external conditions as nearly as possible alike. If during the experiments some extra ordinary circumstances from without happened which might be supposed to be capable of altering the results, from that time, no symptoms in the experiment was registered, they were rejected.
If some little circumstance happened during the experiment, which could hardly be expected to interfere with the effects of medicinal action, the symptoms subsequently noted were enclosed within brackets as not certainly pure.
Hahnemann says that duration of action of medicine can be learned only from experiments on the healthiest possible persons. The very small doses prescribed by Homeopathy produce the uncommon effect, they do just because they are not so large as to render it necessary for the organism to get rid of them by the revolutionary process of evacuations, in cases of disease where the remedy has been unsuitably and not accurately homeopathically chosen.
He who has understood this will perceive that if a work on materia medica can reveal the precise qualities of medicines, it must be one from which all mere assumption and empty speculations about reputed qualities of drugs are excluded and which only records what medicines express concerning their true mode of action in the symptoms they produce in the human body. The dynamically acting medicines extinguish diseases only in accordance with the similarity of their symptoms.
The usual order of symptoms produced by a remedy is arranged as follows:
Vertigo; confusion; deficient mental power; loss of memory; headache –internal, external; forehead, hair; face in general [vultus] ; eyes and sight( bisus ); Ears, heaaring ;nose, small; lips; chin ; lower jaw ; teeth; tongue; saliva; internal throat; fauces, oesophagus; taste; eructation , heartburn, hiccough; nausea,vomiting ;Desire for food and drink , hunger ; scorbiculuscordis , stomach ; abdomen, Epigastrium, hepatic region , hypochondria ;hypogastrium ; lumbar region ; Groin, inguinal region ; rectum, anus,perineum ; alvine evacuation; urine, bladder, Urethra; genital organs; sexual desire; sexual power, emission of semen; menstrual flux, leucorrhoea; sneezing, coryza, catarrh, hoarseness; cough ; breathing; Chest; hearts movements; sacral region, lumbar vertebra ; back; scapulae; Nape; external throat; shoulders ( axilla ) ; arms, hands; hips, pelvis; Buttocks; thighs, legs, feet; general corporeal sufferings and cutaneous affection; Sufferings from open air ; exhalations , temperature of the body , disposition to catch cold, sprains, paroxysms ; convulsions, paralysis, weakness, fainting ; yawning, sleepiness, slumber, sleep, nocturnal ailments, dreams ; fever, chill, heat, perspiration ; anxiety, palpitation of heart, restlessness, trembling ; disturbances of the disposition, affections of the mind .
Spirit of the Homeopathic Medical Doctrine [From volume 2 , 3rd edition 1833]
In this section Hahnemann says that it is impossible to understand internal essential nature of diseases and the changes they produce in hidden parts of the body and also that it is absurd to frame a system of treatment on such hypothetical surmises and assumptions. It is also impossible to derive the medicinal properties of remedies from any chemical hypothesis or from their smell, colour, or taste and it is useless to attempt from such hypothetical surmises and assumption, to apply to the treatment of diseases these substances which are so hurtful when wrongly administered.
So a physician should clearly perceive what is curable in disease, and what is curative in medicine and to employ this for curative purposes.
The two fold conditions of human life are health and disease. Human life is in no respect regulated by purely physical laws, which only obtained among inorganic substances. The material substances of which the human organism is composed of are regulated by the law peculiar to vitality alone. This fundamental power maintains mind and body in the conditions of sensibility and activity necessary for the preservation of the living whole, a condition almost spiritually dynamic.
Altered health is termed disease–consists of a condition altered originally only in its vital sensibilities and function irrespective all chemical or mechanical considerations, in short it is a dynamically altered condition a changed mode of living which may bring about changes in the material component parts of the body afterwards.
The influence of morbific injurious agencies is invisible and so immaterial. The exciting causes of disease also act on our health, only in a dynamic very similar to a spiritual manner, and they first derange the organs of the higher rank and of the vital force, producing altered sensations and altered activity [abnormal functions]
Now because the diseases are only dynamic derangements of our health and vital character , they can be removed only by means of
agents and powers which are also capable of producing dynamical derangements of the human health; that is to say diseases are cured virtually and dynamically by medicines,
There are three modes of action of medicines
1. Medicines capable of producing in the healthy body a different [allopathic] affection from that exhibited by the disease to be cured.
2. Medicines capable of exerting in the healthy individual an opposite [enantiopathic, antipathic] state to that of the case to be cured.
3. Medicines that can cause a similar [Homeopathic] state to the natural disease before us.
The allopathic and antipathic mode of employing medicines very rarely cures. The employment of every medicine produces at first certain dynamic changes and morbid symptoms in the living human body [primary or first action of the medicine] but on the other hand by means of a peculiar antagonism a state the very opposite of the first [the secondary or after action]
For e.g.: in the case of narcotic substances, insensibility is produced in the primary action, sensitiveness to pain in the secondary.
Another e.g.: a burnt hand plunged in cold water, remains cold and painless not much longer than whilst it remain in the cold water, but afterwards feels the pain of the burn much more severely.
There remains therefore only a third mode of employing medicines in order to effect a really beneficial result i.e. medicines capable of producing a morbid affection in the organism similar to the actual case of disease.
Eg (1) from daily experience – the burning pain produced by the contact of boiling water with the skin is over powered and destroyed by approaching the moderately burnt hand to the fire, or by bathing it uninterruptedly with heated alcohol or turpentine which causes a still more intense burning sensation. The burning pain produced by these strong spirits lasts only for a few minutes, whilst the organism homeopathically freed by them from the inflammation occasioned by the burn, soon restores the injury of the skin and forms a new epidermis through which the spirit can no longer penetrate.
Eg ( 2) – Précised dancers know from old experience that, those who are extremely heated by dancing are relieved for the first moment by stripping themselves and drinking very cold water but there after infallibly incur mortal disease. But it is wiser to administer a liquor whose nature is to heat the blood, such as punch or hot tea mixed with rum or arrack and in this manner walking at the same time gently up and down the room, they rapidly lose the violent febrile state induced by the dance.
Eg (3) – Old experienced reaper, after exertion in the heat of the sun, drinks a glass of brandy in order to cool himself.
Eg (4) – A frost bitten limb is restored to normal temperature by applying to it snow, or rubbing it with ice cold water.
Eg (5) – The illness occasioned by excessive joy is rapidly and permanently removed by coffee.
Even though we are exposed to a multitude of disease exciting causes, we only become seriously ill when our organism has a particularly impressionable weak side (predisposition) that makes it more disposed to be affected by the morbific cause in question, and to be deranged in its health.
The medicines are otherwise artificial dynamic agents, they act at all times, under all circumstances on every living, animated body. I.e. the medicinal agents possess an absolute power of deranging human health, whereas the morbific agents possess only a very conditional power, vastly inferior to the former.
The medicines are able to cure diseases only if the second natural law is also fulfilled i.e. a stronger dynamic affections permanently extinguishes the weaker in the living organism, provided the former be similar in kind to the latter. The organism, as a living individual unity, cannot receive two similar dynamic affections at the same time, without the weaker yielding to the stronger similar one; consequently the stronger medicinal affection extinguished the weaker natural morbid affection and the organism is therefore cured of its disease, only a small dose of medicine is necessary and useful for the cure of disease.
PREAMBLE [ From volume 2, 3rd edition 1833 ]
In Homeopathy the treatment is not directed towards imaginary or invented internal causes of the disease, not yet towards names of diseases invented by man of which nature knows nothing. As every case of non-miasmatic disease is a distinct individuality, independent, peculiar, a complex of symptoms always differing in nature, so inorder to effect a cure we should take every aggregate of morbid symptoms as complete as can be met within any single known drug.
We can neither enumerate all the possible aggregate of symptoms of all cases of disease, nor indicate a priori, the homeopathic medicines for these possibilities. For every individual given case, the homeopathic practitioner must himself find them and for this end he must be acquainted with the medicines that have till now been investigated in respect of their positive action or consult them foe every case of disease. Besides this he must do his endeavor to prove thoroughly on himself or other healthy individuals medicines that have not yet been investigated as regards the morbid alterations they are capable of producing, inorder there by to increase our store of known remedial agents, so that the choice of a remedy for every one of the infinite variety of cases of disease may become all the more easy and accurate.
Without this investigation to know the pure pathogenetic action on the healthy individual all treatment of disease will continue to be not only foolish but also a criminal action, a dangerous attack upon human life.
The medicines our sole instruments which enable us to cure the sick. In order to acquire knowledge of this experiments are to be conducted on healthy human beings. The direction for this is given in the organon of medicine 4th edition aphorism 113 – 136. [5th edition aphorism 120 - 145]
Regarding the experimenter – if he suffer from slight ailments during these provings of the powers of medicines, then these symptoms should be placed in brackets, there by indicating that they are not confirmed or dubious. But this will not often happen, being that during the action upon a previously healthy person of a sufficient strong dose of the medicine, he is under the influence of the medicine alone and it is seldom that any other symptom can show itself during the first days.
In order to investigate the symptoms of medicine for chronic diseases for e.g. in order to develop the cutaneous diseases we must not be contended with taking one or two doses of it only, but continue its use for several days to the amount of two adequate doses daily to experience an action from it and also should continue to observe the diet and regimen.
The mode of preparing the medicinal substances for homeopathic treatment will be found in the 5th edition of organon of medicine aphorism 269 – 291 and also in the second part of the chronic diseases. For the proving of medicines on healthy individuals, dilutions and dynamization are to employed as high as are used for the treatment of diseases, namely globules moistened with the decillionth development of power.
The symptoms obtained from proving should be questioned repeatedly to ascertain the exactness of their sensations and sufferings and to ascertain with exactness the conditions under which the symptoms occurred. Diet should be regulated and the prover should be free of mental tensions, in order to be able to observe the alterations .In their health purely and obviously due to the medicines taken.
By conducting the trials in this manner, we become careful, sensitive observers and if with this combine pure moral conduct and the acquisition of other useful branches of knowledge – we will become proficient in the healing art.
VOLUME 2 : NOTA BENE FOR MY REVIEWERS
This is to show how much enmity the better healing art had to endure from the allopathic doctors up to the year 1817.
There were several unfair criticisms on the second part of materia medica pura especially on the essay at the beginning of its entitled “ spirit of the homeopathic medical doctrine ”
Perversions of words and sense, incomprehensible palaver which is meant to appear learned, abuse and theoretical skeptical shakings of the head, instead of practical demonstrations of the contrary appears to be weapons of too absurd a character to use against a fact such as homeopathy.
The homeopathic system of medicine never pretended to cure a disease by the same, the identical agent by which the disease was produced. It only cures by means of a medicine that possess the peculiar power of being able to produce only a similar morbid state and this is the mode most in conformity with nature.
Those persons who criticises the “ Spirit of Homeopathic medical doctrine ” doesn’t know the difference between identical and similar. They should at least have some idea of the meaning of the word ‘Homeopathy’. Their attempts against the systematic expositions of the above-mentioned doctrine have proved unsuccessful. Spirits such as this are no subjects for joking with. This doctrine appeals not only chiefly but solely to the verdict of experience. The experiments repeated carefully and accurately and you will find the doctrines confirmed at every step.
A case is taken according to the direction given in the organon, all its discoverable symptoms and administer pure and unmixed, the most appropriate homoeopathic medicinal substance in a dose as small as this doctrine directs and taking care to remove all other kinds of medicinal influences from the patient. If it does not give relief we will be able to give a public refutation of this doctrine – then homeopathy is as good as lost; it is all up with Homeopathy if it does not show itself efficacious.
The truthfulness of this doctrine cannot be suppressed. As it is asserted for certain that we only need sound human reason in order to understand the beneficial effects that results from a faithful following of its precepts and thus enable us to triumph certainly over all obduracy.
This improved [Homeopathic] medical doctrine will stand out in more prominent relief and appear to greater advantage against the foil of this nonsense, and will dispel the nocturnal darkness of antiquated stupidities, for it teaches how to afford certain benefits in diseases.
EXAMINATION OF THE SOURCES OF COMMON MATERIA MEDICA [ volume 3 , 2nd edition 1825 ]
1. The first source of Materia medica is mere guess work and fiction which attempts to set forth the general therapeutic virtues of drugs.
Medicines were rarely given singly, almost always they were given in combinations with other medicines. And if they ever give a single substance for example, in powder they are sure to order also some herbal infusion (another kind of medicine) or heterogeneous medicated cluster or embrocation or fomentation of some other kind of herb to be used along with it. This inherent vice clings like pitch to the ordinary practitioner, so that he can never rid himself of it. And for they have plenty of excuses i.e. they maintain this or that medicine (of the peculiar and pure effects of which they know nothing) as the principal ingredient of their compound prescription, and that all the effects must be attributed to it. The other substances were added for different objects, some to aid their principal ingredient, some to correct it, others to direct it to this or that part of the body or whatever other instructions as to their conduct they may give to the accessory medicines (their pure effects being unknown); as if the drugs were intelligent beings, endowed with well disposed wills and complaisant obedience, so that they must produce just that effect in the interior of the ailing body which the doctor ordered them, and not a particle more.
It is foolish to estimate the effect of one force, while other forces of another kind were in action, which often contributed mainly, though in common with the rest, to produce the result.
The general therapeutic virtues of drugs ascribed to them by Dioscorides and reechoed by his successors which occupy the greatest space in the materia medica even of our own day, are purely fictitious, when for instance it is stated that this or that medicine is diuretic, diaphoretic, purgative, expectorant or a purifier of blood and homours etc. when no other virtue could be attributed to a medicine it must be at least an evacuant, in some way or other because without an evacuation of the morbific factor which was their material concept of disease, they could not imagine that a medicine could effect a cure. According to them, the existence of a disease was due to this hypothetical morbific matter, they bethought themselves of all the conceivable excretory passages from the body by which this lethal matter could be driven out by medicines and the medicines had to do them the favour to pick out and search for this imaginary morbid matter from the numerous vessels and fluids and of clearing it away by means of urine, sweat, expectoration or alvine discharges. These were the principal effects they desired and hope from their remedies – this was the part all the medicines in the materia medica had to play.
This assertion that this or that medicine is resolvent or depressor of sensibility, irritability or the reproductive function rest upon baseless hypothetical assumptions alone. Because its effect have never been proved singly, but almost always in combination with others. So using these for healing the sick will have the most grievous consequences and falsehood is the greatest crime.
11. The second source of the virtues of drugs in the materia medica is alleged to have a sure foundation viz. their sensible properties, from which their action can be inferred.
It was the folly of those ancient physicians, to determine the medicinal powers of crude drugs from their signature i.e from their colour and form. They gave the testicle shaped orchis root in order to restore manly vigor, the phallus impudicus to strengthen weak erections, yellow turmeric powder of curing jaundice, and considered hypericum perforatum whose yellow flowers on being crushed yield a red juice, useful in haemorrhage and wounds etc.
Although it is absurdity, traces of it are to be met with in the most modern treatises on materia medica. It is actually foolish to guess the powers of medicine from their smell and taste. They pretended, by dint of tasting and smelling, to find out what effect they would have on the human body and for this they invented some general therapeutical expressions. All plants that had a bitter taste should and must have one and the same action, solely because they tasted bitter. Although some of them have besides the peculiar power of producing nausea, disgust, pain in stomach and eructation in healthy individuals and consequently of curing homeopathically an affection of a similar nature; yet each of them possess peculiar medicinal powers quite different from these, which are hither to been unnoticed but which are often more important than those ascribed to them and where by they differ extremely from each other.
Hence to prescribe the bitter tasted things without any distinction, as if they all acted in the same manner, as they were indubitably identical medicines, having only the power of strengthening and improving the stomach, betrays the most wretched, rudest, routinism.
From this any one may easily see how irrational and arbitrary the maxims of the ordinary materia medica are and how near they are to downright falsehoods.
Another example – cinchona bark was found to have a bitter and astringent taste and they judge that all substances having similar properties possess the same medicinal power as cinchona bark. But it is false that willow bark or a mixture of aloes and gallnuts have the same medicinal properties as cinchona bark.
The dynamic properties of a medicine should be determined in the human organism. Respecting their true medicinal and healing power, which is so extremely different in every active substance from that of every other, and can only be revealed when it is taken internally and acts directly upon the vital functions of the organism.
111. Third source of materia medica is chemistry.
Attempts were made a century ago by Geoffroy, but still more frequently have such attempts been since, medicine became an art to discover by means of chemistry, the properties of remedies which could not be ascertained in any other way. There were many theoretical fallacies by which the medicinal properties of medicines were arbitrarily declared to reside in their gaseous and certain other chemical constituents alone. That these hypothetical elementary constituents possessed certain medicinal powers was really amusing and also to see the rapidity with which those gentlemen could create the medicinal properties of every remedy out of nothing.
To attain the knowledge of the real pure action of medicines on the human frame by means of vegetable and animal chemistry, the materia medica up to that period was miserably deficient. The information obtained from chemistry with respect to the properties of drugs appeared to be a much more likely source than all the idle dreams of ancient and modern times.
Animal chemistry can merely separate from animal substances such inanimate matters as show a different chemical action with chemical reagents. But it is not these component parts of animal tissues, separated by animal chemistry, on which the medicines act, when they derange the health or cure the diseases of the living organism. In fact no information respecting the nature of the living organism or the changes which the different medicines are capable of effecting on it when alive, can be derived from these separated inanimate portions.
In like manner constituents which exist in plants as shown by vegetable chemistry possess the most powerful medicinal properties, each of these medicinal substances is capable performing in altering the state of an individual whether in health or in disease.
The water or oil distilled from the plant or the resin obtained from it is certainly not its active principle, this only resides invisible to the eye in those parts now extracted from it, and is in itself perfectly imperceptible to our senses. Its effects are manifested to our senses only when it is taken by the living individual and when they act dynamically on the susceptible spiritual animal organism in a spiritual manner.
Chemistry merely features the chemical significance of inanimate, speechless component parts of medicine, it teaches us that they act so and so with chemical reagent and this is of little importance to the physician. These appellations tells us nothing of the changes in the health of the living man which may be affected by plants or minerals each differing from the other in its peculiar, invisible, internal, essential nature, the whole healing art depends on this alone.
The manifestations of the active spirit of each individual remedial agent during its medicinal employment on human beings can alone inform the physician of the sphere of action of the medicine as regards its curative powers. The name of each of its chemical constituents, which in most plants are almost identical, teaches him nothing on this point.
Eg – the dynamic relation of calomel to the human organism can only be learned from experience derived from its medicinal employment and from its internal; administration when it acts dynamically and specifically on the living organism thus it is only actual experiment and observation relative to the action of medicinal substances on the living human subject that can determine their dynamical relations to the organism.
Substances having the same chemical composition may not possess the same medicinal properties. Each science can only judge and throw light on subjects within its own departments.
The proper province of chemistry is nearly to separate the chemical constituents of substances from each other, and to combine them together again. Chemistry can only give chemical information with respect to medicinal substances, but cannot tell what spiritual dynamical changes they are capable of effecting in the health of the human being nor what medicinal curative powers each particular drug possess and is capable of exercising in the living organism
1V. The fourth impure source – is the clinical and special therapeutic indication for employment into the ordinary materia medica.
This is the most common of all source of materia medica. Knowledge of the curative powers of medicines was obtained by the employment of medicines in actual disease. This was resorted o from the very beginning, as it appeared the most natural method of learning the powers of medicine. These experiments at the sick bed would have been made with single, simple drugs only, because by mixing several together it would never be known to which among them the results was to be ascribed.
It accordingly happen that in almost every instance, a mixture of medicine were employed in diseases and one could not ascertain which ingredients of the mixture produced a favorable result. In short, nothing at all was learned from this method.
Hence it is undeniable that to ascribe any powers to a medicinal substance which was never tested purely, that is, unless along with others, consequently was as good as never tested at all, is to be guilty of deception and false hood.
After thousands of blind trials with innumerable substances upon millions of individuals , the suitable specific remedy is at last discovered by accident.
Mere experimenting with all imaginable substances which might come into the head or hands was undoubtedly sufficient to enable him to discover by accident a suitable remedy. These few specifics are derived from domestic practice.
Eg (1): The inhabitants of deep valleys were forced to suffer from their goiters. After thousands of drugs and domestic nostrums had been tried in vain, roasted sponge was found to be the best thing for it.
Eg (2): Many years after its first invasion the venereal disease was treated in the most unsuccessful manner by the physicians of the schools, by starvation, by purgatives, and other useless remedies, until at last mercury was hit upon and proved itself specific.
Eg (3): Intermittent fever endemic in marshy regions had long been treated by the Peruvians, probably after innumerable trials of other drugs; with cinchona bark, they found it to be the most efficacious remedy.
These specific remedies can only be used in diseases of a constant character i.e. these diseases always remain the same, some are produced by a miasm which continues the same through all the generations such as the venereal chancres, others have the same exciting cause, as the ague from marshy exhalations, the goiter of the inhabitants of deep valleys and bruises caused by falls and blows.
They conceived the idea of considering all those from among the vast array of diseases, which bore any resemblance to each other, as one and the same disease. Thus they collected the innumerable cases of diseases into a few arbitrarily formed classes of diseases. But in this way no sure remedial agent were found.
From these accidental cures we can learn nothing. These very chance cases of accidental cures, when they have occurred to physicians, have done most to fill the materia medica with seductive declarations respecting the curative action of particular medicines.
So turbid and impure are the sources of the ordinary materia medica and so null and void its contents.
Since the only trust worthy way, the homeopathic has been pursued with honesty and zeal, the specific remedies for several of the other constant diseases have already been discovered.
Eg (1): curative and prophylactic remedy for scarlet fever is the smallest doses of belladonna, which has the power of producing a very similar fever and lobster red colour of the skin.
Eg (2): In purely inflammatory fevers with agonizing anxiety and restlessness, Aconite is the specific remedy and appearance has confirmed this truth
Eg (3): Symptoms of croup are found in the pure materia medica among the symptoms produced by burnt sponge and hepar sulphuris and these two alternately and in the smallest dose cure this frightful disease of children.
Eg ( 4) : whooping cough – sundew produces similar condition .
Eg (5): for condylomatous disease – thuja occidentalis internally in high dilution cures the disease.
Eg (6): Attacks of autumnal dysentery – by corrosive sublimate.
This improved healing art (homeopathy) draws its knowledge not from those impure sources of materia medica hither to in use. It administers medicine to combat the diseases of mankind only after testing experimentally their pure effects—i.e. observing what changes each can produce in the body of a healthy man – that is pure materia medica.
This doctrine of the pure effects of medicines promises no delusive, fabulous remedies for names of disease, imagines no general therapeutic virtues of drugs but possesses the elements of cure for diseases accurately known and the remedy is selected based on symptom similarity.
A REMINISCENCE [ volume 4, 2nd edition 1825]
The actual morbid state was attributed to pathology by the old school of doctrine, and it was given special names and recorded in nosological works. For this specially named diseases they gave special modes of treatment and this constituted the science of therapeutics.
When the morbid state of the patient was known to the physician by its nosological name, he uses the art of prescribing where by the requirements of chemical skill and pharmaceutical rides were attended to, if not the welfare of the patient.
But if the physician find the disease in his patient too unlike any of the pathological forms of disease to permit him to give it a name of this sort, it was admissible for him to assume for the malady a more remote and concealed origin, in order to establish a treatment. Thus for example suppose a patient suffered from pain in back, his disease was ascribed to be concealed or suppressed haemorrhoids.
Another e.g. – occasional pains in the limbs – to be concealed or immature gout and against this fancied internal morbific cause the treatment was directed.
After such criminal mode of procedure, now that the whole human race seems to be awaking in order powerfully to vindicate its rights. The day begins to dawn for the deliverance of suffering humanity which has hither to been racked with diseases, and in addition tortured with medicines administered without reason and limit as to number and quantity, for imaginary diseases in conformity with the wildest notions of physicians. The large doses of medicine do no good, but really injure the patient. These medicinal substances whose true action is not known, were so blindly resorted to; mingled together increased the sufferings of the patient, who already is suffering from his disease.
Every unprejudiced person should at once perceive that, as careful observation finds every individual case of disease in nature differ from every other.
Diseases are nothing more than alterations of the sound, normal state of health manifested by signs and symptoms. So the honest physician should investigate the peculiar character of the disease before him, in order to restore the patient with certainty. A cure is nothing but transformation of the abnormal state of health, into the normal healthy state. Medicines are the agents for curing disease, they must possess the power of affecting an alteration in the state of health.
The simple natural way alone remain for us, in order to ascertain clearly, purely and with certainty the powers of medicines upon man viz. to administer the medicines to healthy individuals and carefully record the sufferings, symptoms and alterations produced in their corporeal and mental state. Only such a medicine capable of producing in the healthy individual a similar morbid state, is capable of transforming a given case of disease, rapidly, easily and permanently into health. Indeed such a medicine will never fail to cure the disease.
THE MEDICAL OBSERVER A Fragment [ volume 4, 2nd edition 1825 ]
In order to be able to observe well, the medical practitioner requires to possess the capacity and habit of noticing carefully and correctly the phenomena that takes place in natural diseases as well as those that occur in the morbid states artificially exerted by medicines when they are tested upon the healthy body and the ability to express them in the most appropriate and natural expressions.
In order accurately to perceive what is to be observed in patients, we should direct all our thoughts upon the matter we have in hand, otherwise with all powers of concentration upon it so that nothing that is actually present may escape our senses. This capacity of observing accurately is chiefly acquired by practice, by refining and regulating the perceptions of the senses.
The best opportunity for exercising and perfecting our observing faculty is afforded by instituting experiments with medicines upon ourselves. By persevering in this careful investigation of all the changes that occur within and upon him, he attains the capability of observing all the sensations, be they ever so complex and also the first shades of alterations of his health.
So true, it is that the careful observer alone can become a true healer of diseases.
HOW CAN SMALL DOSES OF SUCH VERY ATTENUATED MEDICINE AS HOMEOPATHY EMPLOYS STILL POSSESS GREAT POWER ?
In the preparation of homeopathic medical attenuations, a small portion of medicine is added to a small quantity of non-medicinal fluid (water or alcohol 100 drops) and subjected to the process of succusion or trituration, there ensues such a great development and liberation of the dynamic powers of medicinal substance. This method of attenuating medicines for homeopathic use also effects an equal distribution of the medicinal drop through out the non-medicinal fluid.
The spiritual power of medicine is produced by friction, where by the internal physical properties are roused and developed by it and also the dynamic medicinal powers of natural substance are developed to and incredible degree.
From this we perceive that the preparation of medicinal substance by trituration lead to the development of their powers and this answers the homeopathic purpose in proportionately smaller quantities and doses.
SCHEMA OF ARRANGEMENT IN EACH MEDICINE
1. Name of the drug — common name / latin name .
2. Brief description of its preparation, parts used, its properties, poisonous effects.
3. Name of Hahnemann’s disciples who assisted him in the proving of the drug, and the authorities of traditional medicine quoted by Hahnemann for the recorded effects of drugs.
4. Order of symptoms – vertigo to disturbance of disposition and affections of mind.
5. Symptoms are numbered from 5, 10, 15 , 20 …… etc
6. Time of occurrence of some of the symptoms after taking the medicine is given at the end of the symptom in brackets.
7. Symptoms got by Hahnemann, his disciples and other authorities are put together.
8. Two grades – ordinary and bold. Bold indicates the frequently occurring symptom.
9. Some symptoms are given in brackets they are doubtful symptoms. When the circumstances like fright are supposed to interfere with the action of medicine. The symptoms are placed in brackets for the purpose of informing the reader that they could not be convinced genuine. E.g.( a drawing and tearing in the forepart of urethra when not urinating – Pg. 275 volume 1 )
10. Notes by Dr. Richard Hughes at the bottom of the page designated by small figures 1, 2, +
Translated from the latest German editions by R. E. Dudgeon, M.D.
With annotations by Richard Hughes LRCPE.
This work consists of 2 volumes.
Published by: B Jain publishers Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.
Contents of volume 1 :
Preface by author .
Spirit of the Homeopathic Medical Doctrine
Total 37 drugs ( from Aconite to Ipecac )
No. of pages – 718.
Contents of volume 2 :
Nota Bene For my Reviewers
Examination of the sources of the common materia medica
The medical observer a fragment.
The power of small dose of homeopathic medicine .
Total 30 drugs ( ledum to verbascum )
No. of pages — 709.
The materia medica pura as left to us by Hahnemann consist of six volumes, two of which ( vol 1 $ 2 ) had reached a third edition ,while the remainder did not get beyond the second .
Dates of publication of these volumes are :
Volume 1 — 1830.
Volume 2 — 1833.
Volume 3 $ 4 — 1825.
Volume 5 — 1826.
Volume 6 – 1827.
Earlier editions, the pathogenesis of the various medicines not arranged in the same way as they are in the latest .
Thus in the former editions — Hahnemann’s observations are put first, separately numbered ; the symptoms observed by his disciples under his superintendence and those derived from the work of other observers being arranged together in a different list and specially numbered .
In the third edition, to which only the first two volumes attained, the arrangement is different. Here all the symptoms of each medicine whether observed by Hahnemann himself or his disciples or taken from the old school authorities are combined in one schema and numbered continuously.
Hahnemann’s own observations being distinguished – by having no name or sign attached, while those of his pupils are indicated by an abbreviation of the name of each appended to their respective observations. The authorities of the old school are named after the symptom for which they are responsible.
Another peculiarity in the work, as it has been left to us, is that the medicines are not arranged alphabetically. Each volume contain a varying number of medicines, arranged alphabetically according to their common German names, but there is no attempt to maintain the alphabetical arrangement in respect to the whole work.
If the work had been translated as such (German original), this would give 6 volumes of various sizes and their contents differently arranged. It would reproduce the work as it exists in the German original, but it would like that, be difficult to use as a book of reference; and if the minor details of the German work were also preserved it would involve a considerable additional amount of printing without any advantage there from.
Merits of Translated Work
1. Medicines arranged alphabetically, symptoms arranged in the plan adopted in the latest editions.
2. To give out the work in two handsome volume of equal size. (Instead of publishing the work in six volumes of very unequal size, with no general alphabetical arrangement of the medicines.)
3. This of greater utility and literary homogeneity of the work.
Plan adopted for the Work (Translation)
The essays distributed throughout the original volume have been divided between the two volume of the translation, so as to form appropriate prefaces to each.
The alteration introduced by Hahnemann in his latest editions with regard to the indication of the name of the prover by an abbreviation has been extended to all the medicines in this translation These abbreviations are printed in italics.
4. Hahnemann’s abbreviations of his provers name are not always the same, but uniformity has been maintained in this translation.
The names of old school authorities for symptoms are printed in small capitals – can see it at a glance by the student or a casual reader, whether the symptom is one produced by an intentional proving, or is the result of the generally accidental poisoning or over dose of an old school observer.
As in the original, the symptoms with no name or abbreviation appended are those observed by Hahnemann himself. Subjoined is a list of Hahnemann’s fellow provers, the abbreviation of their names employed in this work and the medicines proved by each.
Eg : Stapf , Ernst —- Stf ( acon, ars, arn, asr, bel, bry, cam, can, cha, chi,)
Of these provers Adam was a Russian physician .
Von Gersdorff — a noble man residing in Eisenach.
Nenning a surgeon who furnished many of the symptoms of materia medica of Hartlaub and Trinks , from whose work Hahnemann took some symptoms, Indicated by the abbreviation of their names – Hb, Ts , either singly or conjointly. The remainders of the provers are more properly Hahnemann’s own disciples.
Most, if not all of these provers were medical men many of them well known as eminent practitioners of homeopathy, and some distinguished by their valuable contributions to Homoeopathic literature.
Many of the symptoms have the time of occurrence after taking the medicine. This is indicated by contractions between brackets. Here “m ‘’means minutes, ‘ h ‘ hours and ‘ d ‘ days.
This is not the first English translation of Hahnemann’s Materia Medica Pura. In 1846 Dr. Hempel published a translation. But as Dr. Hughes has pointed out, Hempel’s translation is extremely imperfect.
The present is the first attempt to give a faithful and complete English translation of the latest editions of the work. Dr. Hughes helped in this work. He has done the careful revision of the proof sheets and has given numerous suggestions of improved versions of the original , where by both the faithfulness and readableness of the translation have been greatly improved.
It is of course, impossible to render exactly into English the expressions peculiar to the German language or to give an exact translation of every word. So the translator has given the English equivalents for German phrases where such exist or to give English expressions that most nearly correspond with the German originals.
There are certain German words and phrases used by Hahnemann, for which we have no precise English equivalent. Sometimes two totally different things are expressed by one English word only.
For eg :
The German Hals – used for both throat and neck.
Brust – either chest or mammae.
Fuss — denotes foot, sometimes leg upto knees, sometimes the whole lower extremities.
Schenkel – thigh, sometimes leg, occasionally the whole lower limb .
Schooss – the groin or iliac region occasionally the whole hypogastrium.
Gesicht — sight or face.
Druckend – pressive sometime aching.
And it is not always easy to determine which English equivalent should be used, no hard and fast rule can be adopted and the translator must determine from the context or sometimes from his “inner consciousness ” which translation should be employed.
As a rule druckend, followed by ‘ auf ’ or ‘ an ’ must mean pressive, whereas if followed by ’ in ’ it probably means aching.
Forwards by Hughes who assisted Dr. Dudgeon in this work
Hughes refers to the Hahnemann’s quotations from authors.
These are absent from few of his pathogenesis and in many are very numerous . It is obvious that no new editions of a work so full of citations can be satisfactory, which does not examine these in their originals for purpose of verification and of correction ( if necessary ) . Therefore to make this translation of the Materia Medica Pura as accurate as possible, it should be desirable that all the citations contained in this work should be verified from their original sources and renewed from thence. It often adds to the value of a symptom that, we should know the object and circumstances of its occurrence, the dose by which it was produced and so forth Hahnemann rarely gives such information. We long for the daybooks of the experiments, which gave us these, in the case of the cited symptom we have them. On the first mention of any authority in each pathogenesis, he has stated the nature of his observations, and to each symptom that has required it, he has appended such explanations and corrections as might be necessary to set it forth in its full meaning and value. All these matter will be found in the notes at the bottom of the pages, designated by small figures 1, 2, etc and divided by a line from Hahnemann’s own annotations which have the usual *, +, etc