Read before the Bureau of Clinical Medicine, I.H.A., June 17, 1948.
CHARLES A. DIXON, M.D.
Many cases come to me for some soft of trouble completely dissociated from asthma, which they accept because they have been told by other doctors (some of them homoeopaths) that it is incurable.
That is really funny, because I have been curing asthma for many years. Now dont get me wrong; I dont cure every case that comes to me, probably not fifty percent of them, but that is the patients fault, not mine. Some never come back the second time because I have failed to sell them a bill of goods; and some have been cured by that first dose of medicine, perhaps. Dont laugh at that statement! Just recently a lady looked me up after thirty-three years and told me that I did just that for her young daughter.
There is no secret about these cures; it is just pure Hahnemannian Homoeopathy. Lots depend on carefully taken case histories. The Organon tells you how to do it, and Kents Philosophy makes the Organon easier. Dont overlook Kents chapter on the second prescription; many cures are spoiled by that second prescription. Psora, Sycosis, Syphilis: Lots of homoeopaths do not believe in these hereditary causes. I am sorry for them; they are the ones who miss the boat.
I am talking about a lot of things that I never learned in college. Even back as far as my day (the early nineties) the college I attended didnt teach that kind of Homoeopathy. I learned it by independent study of the Organon, Hahnemanns Chronic Diseases, and finally the postgraduate summer school of the American Foundation. A first class knowledge of the Materia Medica is not enough (as many think) to do this kind of work. The repertory is essential, and I doubt if many are competent without postgraduate instruction; at least I didnt know until they taught me.
This is just an outline of what is necessary for you to have or acquire to make it possible to cure the so-called incurable.
DR. J.W. WAFFENSMITH: Mr. Chairman, speaking about these short papers that Dr. Dixon writes, recalls to my mind that recently in the course of my studies I came across one of his papers. I dont remember what the title was, but I do remember one particular paragraph in which he very classically and brilliantly referred to predisposing specific causes in the course of his taking of the case-brief, to the point, but highly instructive, and something that will stick with one for a long, long time. I want to congratulate the doctor not only on that paper – and I dont know in what year it was written, – but also upon this paper.
Asthma is associated with lot of other conditions in subjection, as it were; in fact, it is only in the course of an asthmatic treatment that the miasmatic element comes to the surface; the patient, of course, will not be any way at all permanently alleviated unless that does come to the surface and is properly treated.
Hahnemann tells us that these miasms go to quiescence and they remain in quiescence for a considerable time until some exciting cause brings them out at last again; disappointment, business failures, or whatnot, and that when they come to the surface, they again, under the proper treatment, will go into quiescence. I dont recall ever having read in Hahnemanns Organon where he stated that the chronic miasms are definitely cured.
In my many years of experience in the handling of chronic work, I have come to the conclusion that the chronic miasms, on account of the length of their duration in the history of the race, are never definitely cured, but that they can be properly modified by handling with the indicated remedy from time to time until the patient is comparatively comfortable.
Now, remember, whenever you get a case which reacts to your remedy, if you will wait and give that patient proper time to express the symptoms, there will come in cycles during the expression of that reaction, the entire lifetime of cyclical symptoms which are a part of the miasmatic state of that patient; in other words, the sum total of that patients history; therefore, this particular point that made such an impression upon me in the paper of Dr. Dixon, namely, going back and trying to get the exciting specific causes to which the patient dates his particular illness.
DR. EDWARD WHITMONT: This comes to my mind which very well might illustrate a prescribing difficulty in an asthmatic patient. This was a patient, fifty years of age, with chronic asthma over many years, declared incurable. The symptoms were: worse in the fall, worse from heat, and from damp weather – that is all. Oh, yes one more – the attacks came on during sleep. She slept herself into the attacks.
The first remedy was Lachesis, which acted very well for several months. The trouble returned, Lachesis not holding any longer, but with no change of symptoms to a new modality that would give any further lead. Several remedies were tried, as Kali carbonicum because of the early morning modality; but, on a pure guess or hunch method, Medorrhinum. There was absolutely nothing definite to suggest Medorrhinum, but it cleared up the asthma and brought out a vaginal discharge not mentioned before. She complains very much now about this, but the asthma is gone.
We think of Medorrhinum much more in connection with children and there was absolutely no gonorrheic history for that patient, yet the chronic background needed Lachesis and then Medorrhinum, an absolutely sycotic back-ground. The fact is we must keep the miasmatic state in our mind.
DR. A.H. GRIMMER: Dr. Kent says that asthma has a great deal of sycosis in its background, whether inherited or acquired, and naturally, we would think of remedies like Thuja, Natrum sulph., and Sepia. They are, I think, among the leaders, at least in frequency of use.
One thing Dr. Dixon stressed by which we must not fail to profit, and that is that it isnt always the doctors fault that we dont cure our asthma cases; that the patient is to blame many times, not always because he doesnt come back, or we fail to sell a bill of goods, but because he goes afterwards, after taking the homoeopathic remedy and getting the reaction, to a drugstore preparation that somebody tells him about and he thinks he will get relief from his symptoms, when the homoeopathic remedy is working.
This may happen unless you tell them of the philosophy, and that they must not interfere with the rhythm of this remedy by any means; that they must suffer aggravations; that they will have them. Unless you explain that to them, you will fail in a lot of cases, and that is where we have to sell ourselves and tell them that we know they may expect some aggravations; lay the cards on the table and say, “I dont want the case unless you stay with me long enough to do you some good.” If you do that, it will be a big help to you and you will prevent them from breaking into palliatives that will prevent any cure.
DR. T.K. MOORE: I dont know where this fellow got his education but he has it. Sometimes when he goes away he asks me to go over and sit in and watch them file by, and I am surprised at all of the things I see, where others have failed. I am thinking of one right now.
It happens to be asthma, a little fellow six or seven years of age, who had had this asthma all his life, and had been continuously under the care of a child specialist. Finally they went to Dixon and the child was well in no time at all. But the bill had accumulated with the specialist and the mother went back to pay it and told this fellow that the child had been with Dixon and was well, and he said, “It wont last very long.”.
She said, “Yes, it will. His cases get well and stay well,” and she said, “and you seem to have a little trouble with rhinitis. He is good with that also”.
I dont think he went over!.
DR. HARVEY FARRINGTON: I really did appreciate this paper, as some others have also shown that they did. It is short and to the point.
Asthma is usually a difficult disease, maybe partially because of the causes, but I think I have never failed to cure a case that gave me a real opportunity, except perhaps one or two. One I should like to speak about – one particularly – a man, now ninety-four years old, suffering from asthma as far back as he could remember, so that we might say that he had had asthma at least eighty years. He was prescribed for by the best homoeopathic physicians through all the years, dating back anyway sixty years, with very little benefit.
I think that I prescribed for him myself about forty-five years ago. So, looking over a list of remedies that I knew about, I happened to remember Blatta orientalis. There were no very definite symptoms. He had all the symptoms recorded for Blatta, but they were mostly ordinary pathognomonic symptoms. I started him on the 3x. He had five doses, with very great relief, another series in about two weeks, and another in ten weeks.
Towards the last doses, because the last doses had not held so long, I gave him the 6x. In two weeks more he got the 30th, and, to make a long story short, later we went to the 200th, and the last dose he received was about two weeks ago, 1M of the Blatta.
Now, the history of that medicine is exceedingly interesting. You will find it recorded in Anshutz New, Old and forgotten Remedies. sixty or more years ago there was an Englishman living in India who had an asthma which nobody could cure. Finally he gave up and went out into the wilds and lived alone there with his servant, reading and just passing the time and suffering with his asthma. As all Englishmen do, he drank his tea.
One day he drank it and, strangely, had great relief, and all through the evening he improved. He slept all night – something he hadnt done for years. Next day he began to swill tea and he drank cup after cup. About that time an Indian whom he knew came in to visit him. This man was rather intelligent. He got the story of the wonderful relief from tea, and he said, “I would like to see that tea. How was it brewed?”.
He went to the cook and she said she had made it in the usual way. He said, “Have you thrown the grounds out?” She had not. He looked in there and saw a brown bug about an inch and a half or an inch and three-quarters long, a cockroach! So he made a concoction of the nice little cockroaches and began curing asthma all over the country!.
Now, I said this disease is rather difficult to cure. There are many cases that are on a tubercular basis.
Long ago I ceased to ask the mother whether the child had had eczema. I say, “When?”.
I remember one case where the mother said, “This child has not had difficulties in breathing as far as I know. Oh, yes, the way, she did. When she was two she had eczema and we cured it with ointments”.
Strange to say, the mother offered this information herself: “Since then she has had asthma”.
The remedy in that case was Ipecac, and after two or three prescriptions of the 200th, in a period of a month or so, a slight rash came back, and the girl made a perfect recovery.
Now, just one more point: I believe I should tell you I never at all pay any attention to allergies. Almost all these cases have some kind of external influence that causes or brings on attacks or that increases the attacks. I have heard of people sensitive to cats, dogs, horse danders – I was gong to say horse feathers – all kinds of foods, and I can tell you a number of stories along that line. I will not weary you now. Wait until somebody else writes a paper on asthma as short as this.
DR. ANTHONY SHUPIS: What do you do, what do some of you older, more experienced homoeopaths do, when you see an acute case in the evening? Do you give epinephrine to suppress the attack?.
Apparently these cases that are brought up as cured dont have too much evil result from previous suppression by, say, epinephrine given for alleviation of that acute attack. I should like to know someones opinion on that.
DR. FRED B. MORGAN: May I say a word? Every case of “asthma,” is not asthma. One of new troubles is histoplasmosis. If you want to find out all about it, write to the Bureau of Health in Washington, and you will get a very small pamphlet, not much in it, but it does contain about all that is really known about it.
It is due to a mold being located in the trachea and bronchi, a mold that is similar to penicillin, and those cases never get complete relief. They are the cases that are a little bit asthmatic or else very asthmatic. They give up their business and they are shut up, and they go on for year after year. Some of them cough terrifically.
Now, I got a culture from Duke University, and I worked out the vibratory rates of this culture of histoplasmosis, or rather of Histoplasma capsulatum, and made a study of it in our homoeopathic armamentarium, and Sabina has the same, exactly the same , vibratory rates as histoplasmosis, and it doesnt make any difference what potency you give it in, so far as I can see. But those cases have hope, and those cases that have gone on for years and years are curable by using the proper homoeopathic remedy, and it is usually Sabina.
DR. WILBUR K BOND.: May I add my two cents to this discussion?.
Having lived with an asthmatic for some eighteen years, and having fought the disease tooth and nail since my postgraduate course in Boston, I think I can contribute a little. I also wish to gain a little from some members in doing so.
The so-called asthma remedies have proved disappointing: Ipecac, Blatta orientalis, Arsenicum, Senega. The usual remedies we think of for the disease of asthma are disappointing. The more I study it, the more I have decided that we have to get the totality of the case, including the mentals, as well as the difficult breathing.
Kents Repertory has a lot of nice things pertaining to the particular type of asthmatic cough and difficult breathing, especially the one “difficult breathing with cough, asthmatic cough.” The patient may be worse lying on the left side; get his reactions to heat and cold, whether he is thirsty or not thirsty, what his cravings are.
One case I have in mind has a strong craving for sweets; so the treating of asthma is not the treating of asthma; it is the treating of the patient, in my experience; the grand totality must be considered.
I find Sulphur is a very fine remedy and one that comes out in a great many cases, where you dont get the typical picture of Arsenicum. However, if you do get an asthma case that is worse at midnight or after, you dont need to look any farther than Arsenicum.
If it comes on at three oclock, or four oclock, or two-thirty in the morning, you dont need to look any farther than Kali carbonicum; but you are not going to get those textbook pictures and cases arent as easy as all that. But what if you get an asthma that begins in the evening and last on through the night until morning, or what if the asthma is comparatively free in the morning and begins to set in at eleven or twelve noon and rages in the afternoon on through the night, and then if free when the morning comes? Those are things to think about.
I have that particular type of case, asthma beginning in the evening, worse until morning; and also the one that begins at noon, or eleven oclock in the morning. I find, together with the craving for sweets and any of the other symptoms, Sulphur is a very fine remedy; but what if your Sulphur does not hold? You might have to look around for other Sulphur compounds. If the individual is a person inclined to hurry, you might look to your Sulphuric acid as an inter-current.
I wish to mention a very fine remedy that is so often overlooked, and you overlook it in the Repertory, since it has the abbreviation of “Sulph. acid,” and that is Sulphuric acid, because this individual is markedly aggravated from the inhaling of sulphur dioxide fumes from soldering or from a locomotive in a railroad station which produces all the symptoms, tight cough better by expectoration.
Look it up, Sulphuric acid, as a suggestion.
Now, occasionally your Arsenicum fails. I have been reading some accounts in the journals where they have suggested Thuja as the alternative for our symptoms. The authors in some of the journals have gotten some very fine results from the use of Thuja as an alternative to Arsenicum.
I once consulted Dr. Charles N. Cooper in cincinnati, as you all know a very fine prescriber. He said, “The doctors around Cincinnati are using Antimonium ars. for their asthma cases.” So it might be that Antimonium sulph. could come in there as well as the Antimonium ars., in some of the stubborn cases.
Then the nosodes are very valuable. Medorrhinum has been mentioned, as you have just heard. The nosode, Pneumococcin, has been mentioned. Many of these cases are mixed with pansinusitis, and, to my notion, pansinusitis ought to be very closely related to a condition of suppuration of the lungs, except in this instance it is confined to the cells of the head, so Pneumococcin might be a good nosode to remember in connection with asthmatic cases due to pansinusitis.
I have had very fine success in asthma in children with Natrum sulph. as the starting remedy.
Now, I wish to emphasize again that it is necessary to get the whole history of the case and battle that thing tooth and nail from the start, thinking only of the individual and not so much of the asthmatic symptoms.
In giving these symptoms this morning and contributing what little I have discovered, I, in return, hope to receive some suggestions from you.
DR. DIVAN HARISH CHAND [New Delhi, India]: I was very much interested in the remarks of the doctor in regard to the subject of Lac caninum, but I have never seen it being used in England, though I have seen some good prescribers in Indian use it, but never saw it used in the high potency, but only in 3x or 6x as a palliative and sometimes either given in acute catarrh or given along with the indicated constitutional, Kali carbonicum in 200, to use as a standby in case the patient got an acute attack, and then he could use it instead of atropine.
In England the prevalent practice is, if the patient is very bad, he gets the constitutional homoeopathic remedy. then if he does get an attack, use it for the acute attack. Their contention is that it does not affect the body so deeply as to be disturbed by the action of the hypodermic remedy and it is an excuse for using some of the other things.
I should like to know what is the opinion of the very learned doctors about Dr. Dixons remark about the miasms, psora, sycosis, and syphilis.
DR. CHARLES A. DIXON [Closing]: I may say I am very much gratified at the discussion that this paper has brought out, and I am not going to attempt to answer it all.
Dr. Waffensmith mentioned a former paper of mine and, for his information and that of the rest of you, it must have been after I had the postgraduate teaching that I wrote that paper, because that is where I learned that kind of homoeopathy and that kind of case-taking.
I will add a little bit to Dr. Moores story. I think I reported it to the meeting before this. The father and mother brought the little boy in, possibly two and a half years old, and it had been treated twice weekly by the home specialist, and they had run up an enormous bill. The man was a shop worker and couldnt afford that kind of treatment. They were very skeptical about homoeopathy, not knowing anything about it, but a neighbor who did know something about homoeopathy and about my treatment, persuaded them to come to me. You know you can see resentment in your new patients oftentimes when you get taking the case, and I could see that Mister was resentful at the questions I asked, and, finally, before I had prescribed, he said, “Doctor Dixon, what was the cause of this childs having asthma? Is it inherited?”.
I said, “Absolutely it is”.
“Well, whom from?”.
“Well, I said, “I will leave that to you and your wife, but one of you has had gonorrhoea”.
Of course, you can guess that my first prescription was Medorrhinum in that case, and the father was resentful at the way I handled his question. They went away and the next day the madam came in and she said, “It is me. I am the one that had gonorrhoea.” Gods truth I am telling you!.
Now, you can imagine from the discussion that we have had, that it is not an easy job to cure asthma. I have had failures and I have had cases that went beyond the time when it would be reasonable to expect a cure. I can always get a lot of comfort by going back to Dr. Kents Lesser Writings, where he made the statement that it was often necessary to take five years to cure asthma, because of the piling up of these old miasmatic suppressions that have to be taken care of; and let me tell you that I have cured a cast and it took me five years to do it, and brought out an old suppressed eruption on that girl, who is now a grandmother, and she is still treating with Dr. Dixon.
I have had experience with Dr. Farringtons Blatta. I sometimes read Anshutz New, Old and Forgotten Remedies, and I know he does. I found out some time ago about that incident, where he was curing a rather interesting case with one of those old remedies. Cockroaches are prevalent in Akron as well as in India, but I think they are impotent. I have never been able to get anything out of Blatta yet.
DR. FARRINGTON: You have got the wrong Blatta. You use mine and you will have results.
DR. DIXON: I will go to Chicago and get a cockroach!.
I was very glad to get that slant of Dr. Morgans on Sabina, and I am going to add that to my armamentarium and see what we can get, because, I am not bragging about it, I have asthmatic cases in every day, I believe, in my office, and a lot of them I cure.