EDITORIAL NOTES AND COMMENTS

Rabe R F

 

EASTWARD HO!- On September 6th, ye Editor will sail for old England, to be gone about eight weeks. During his absence, Dr. Stuart Close, Editor of the Department of Homoeopathic Philosophy, will steer the good ship “Recorder” through the editorial shoals. Ye Editor hopes to find time to sent back some account of his British experience while these are still fresh in mind.

PETROLEUM AND WHALES-

We have been vacationing a bit down on Cape Cod from Hyannis to Province town, where the Pilgrims first landed on November 121, 1620, and signed their Civil Compact, before proceeding across Massachusetts Bay to settle at Plymouth. Quaint old towns these, down on Cape Cod, old waling and fishing towns, though today the chief industry is selling antiques, miniature Cape Cod windmills and fish dinners to the summer tourists, who roam the Cape in high-powered cards and plebeian flivvers. Truro, Wellfleet, Yarmouth, Orleans, Falmouth, all are reminiscent of old England and of colonial days, The old post road, connecting them all, is still known as The Kings Highway, and in Provincetown is so narrow,that two vehicles can scarcely pass each other.

New England seems to preserve its old colonial names, except in Boston, which, to judge by the elongated names of its important squares, has become a part of the Irish Free State. No doubt in New York City, our aldermen would soon change The King;s Highway into Cohens Boulevard. Such is our boasted American melting-pot which has not quite fused its heterogeneous contents, as we thought it would.

As one approaches Provincetown, if the wind is right, as atrocious odor is wafted to the senses from a fish fertilizer factory.

The oily odor recalls the old healing days when New Bedford was the great whaling port, though every New England seaport town sent out its whaling vessels. Then came the discovery of rock oil, petroleum and much of the whaling industry had to go. The blessings of the Standard Oil Company and of The Rockefeller Foundation are with us now, with us now, with big business and monopoly over them all.

Petroleum, like Psorinum, Baryta carbonica, Silicea and Tellurium has foul smelling odors, especially of its foot-sweat and very much like Psorinum, is worse in winter or from cold. Psorinum lacks vital heat, wants to be overly wrapped up, even in summer, hence is worse in winter, on account of the cold. The skin troubles of Psorinum are worse in winter, so are those of Petroleum, perhaps even more so. Petroleum typifies eczematous eruptions, oozing, offensive, cracking and then bleeding, with crust formation. Cracks or rhagades behind the ears, oozing an offensive moisture, suggestive of course, of Graphites, which in this respect is resembles. Cracks upon the fingers, about the finger tips and alongside the nails.

Offensive diarrhoea from eating sauer-kraut (pardon the indiscretion we mean Liberty cabbage, with, as the cockney would say, a big hill). Yes Petroleum is well worth study and remembrance; a short while ago we had occasion to prescribe for an old arthritic case, with eczematous manifestations. Rhus tox. and Lycopodium were strongly suggested, but had failed to do much. Extreme sensitiveness to cold and lack of sweat, provoked the administration of Psorinum, but this too did little or nothing. Petroleum now filtered through our ivory dome and l0 and behold, one dose of the 10m. acted like magic. Oh, these elusive remedies, how they to play hide and seek with us at times!.

To return to odors, nothing can be more offensive than the odor of the Silicea foot-sweat, and many a case has it cured, with the everlasting gratitude of the victim thereafter. Tellurium has an aural discharge, which smells like herring-brine or fish- pickle. New York homoeopaths should know this odor well, as almost every Jewish Delikatessen Shop can furnish an unmistakable sample. The discharge of Hepar sulphur smell like old cheese. Really it is a shame how physicians have coupled the most delightfully tasting epicurean preparations with vile pathological conceptions. We hate to mention Limburger and Hepar in the same breath, for the former does taste so good, especially on black bread. But dont forget to look up Petroleum.

PLACEBO-

To Give or not to Give; that is the question. Plumb Brown, of Springfield, Mass, representative of a type of homoeopathic physician which is alas, fast disappearing, makes the remark, in an article read before “The International Hahnemannian Association” and captioned “What Am I ?”.

“For the psychological effect upon our patient, most of us at times administer the placebo. Is this right, or is this false courage? Dr. Richard Cabot once said in my presence, that anyone who administered a placebo is living a lie, is dishonest with himself and with his patient”.

Well, we suppose that the answer will depend very much upon the point of view of the individual physician, as well as upon the character and education of his patients. There is also the practical, financial side of the problem to be considered. Homoeopathy, i.e., real Hahnemannian homoeopathy, thrives best under ideal conditions and surroundings, which, unfortunately, are rather seldom found in this thoughtless, superficial age. Barnum was the first to enunciate the oft repeated truism, “The world loves to be humbugged!” And his success as the prince of showmen, would seem to verify the truth of his sage observation.

People love to be humbugged provided that it is painlessly, cleverly and artistically done and in spite of their chagrin at being deceived, have a certain sense of admiration for the one who, as one apt in Americanese puts it, “was slick enough to do them.” Of course the giving of an innocent placebo hardly comes within this category, yet nevertheless it is, as Cabot says, dishonest.

Our best curative work is done when there exists between physician and patient that mutual harmony of understanding and confidence which admits of no doubt,. In fact, we question seriously , whether good work can ever be done in the absence of such an ideal relationship, or where there exists an attitude of scepticism and antagonism, on the part of the patient. If there may be said to be a psychology in the giving of a placebo, we contend, that the same psychology exists when it is withheld.

Nor is this omission always a matter of intelligence, for many an uneducated and unintelligent man will accept without hesitation or question, the pronouncement of his physician, who gives him a single dose of medicine upon the tongue. Perhaps the psychology of fear here plays a part; for are not we medical men credited with the hidden, mysterious powers of the aboriginal “medicine man” by many of our more simple minded patients?.

Homoeopathy is a truly marvelous science and art, and once a patient has experienced the quick relief from suffering and impending danger, produced by a single dose of medicine, he is forever after willing to accept whatever his physician may direct or give. Thus after all, there is much to be said upon either side of the question, depending upon the conditions present in each case; yet we can all strive to attain the acknowledged ideal and more and more omit the ancient rite of the placebo.

“QUININE AMAUROSIS-

Amaurosis in one eye and amblyopia in the other followed quinine treatment in the young man. He had taken I gm. a day for five days for recently acquired malaria. Vision gradually improve, but was only 1:2 in both eyes three months afterward, and both papillae were still some the slightest sign of visual disturbance, and to give nitrites and other vasodilators, with digitalis, and strychnin to stimulate the vitality of the optic nerve fibres.”J.A.M.A.

Fine business, we should say; but personally we beg to be excused from this kind of quinine therapy. When will physicians learn that quinine can only cure malaria when indicated by the symptoms peculiar to it; that under other conditions quinine does not cure malaria or destroy the malarial protozoa; that it paralyze or inhibits the activity of the plasmodium, but drives it deeper into the tissue recesses; that malarial patients “cured” with quinine are never really well thereafter, but that a whole host of troubles may and usually do sooner or later develop, among which will often be found chronic disturbances of the liver, particularly the gall-bladder.

And what about the poor amaurotic and amblyopic young man who has been cinchonized almost to destruction and then stimulated with nitrites, digitalis. Truly, there ought to be a nineteenth amendment for physicians, it is far more necessary than the futile eighteenth for the poor layman! The ill effects of wine and beer are as nothing compared to the evils of wine and beer are as nothing compare to the evils of senseless drugging. Rather a Katzenjammer than an amaurotic eye, any time think we.

RELATION OF IODIN DEPARTMENT OF ARTERIOSCLEROSIS TO ITS CLINIC AND PATHOLOGY-

Wiesel finds that the diagnosis “arteriosclerosis is made far too frequently. Many patients have simply symptoms of beginning old age, with disturbances of the endocrine glands (sexual, thyroid). One part is of hypothyroid, the other of hyperthyroid type. Even isolated spasms of vessels-including coronaries-do not warrant a diagnosis or arteriosclerosis. Iodides ameliorate the subjective symptoms in only a part of the cases. Many symptoms supposed to be arteriosclerotic, like loss in weight and disturbances of the cases. Many symptoms supposed to be arteriosclerotic, like loss in weight and disturbance of the heart, are probably due to the treatment with iodides.”- Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, Vienna.

A wonderfully sage observation, containing a most important admission, italicized by ourselves. It has been said and wisely, we think, that “no man has a higher blood-pressure than he deserves.” In other words, blood-pressure keeps pace and is consistent with the physical and mental state of the individual. The symptoms of old age are those of gradually progressive physical decay, appearing earlier in some than in others. True, disease may initiate this process of ageing at an unnaturally early period of life; syphilis, for example, will do it; but so will hard work under unfavorable life conditions, such as unhygienic surroundings, wrong living and thinking, abuse of food and drink, worry and drug taking, etc.

To make a diagnosis of arteriosclerosis, under and all conditions,simply because there are manifestations of oncoming senility, is obviously absurd, but to fill up with iodides the poor, mislabelled arteriosclerotic, is indeed, as suggested by Wiesel, apt to prove disastrous. That many symptoms are produced by the iodides seems seldom to occur to the physician or even to the homoeopathic physician with allopathic tendencies, yet how logical the thought is about how true the fact. Do we not all see cases in which many symptoms are the product of the drugs taken and not the expression of the alleged disease. Hence is it not wise to give Nature a chance and by removing the causes of disease whenever possible, as well as the obstacles to recovery or cure, permit the patient to express his own symptomatic individuality, which we may then hope to meet with an appropriately chosen remedy and a wisely selected dietary and exercise regime”.

Quite recently, in a patient with chronic endocarditis with cardiac dilatation and hypertrophy, we found a host of distressing symptoms, due to the tincture of Digitalis, which she had been taking in twenty drop doses four times a day, at the advice of her physician.

The stooping of the drug and the giving of a few doses of Nux vomica, soon put her right, removing the nausea, vomiting and goneness, as well as the epigastric oppression,the trembling and apprehension. No doubt under certain extreme conditions, twenty drops doses of Digitalis would be imperative and prove to be life saving; but such indiscriminate dosage as just cited can only be condemned. Alas, the art of Medicine is difficult to acquire and life is after all but very short!.

PHYSIOLOGY OF INSULIN-

Dale believes that there is every indication that insulin will prove to have an importance for physiology and medical science far beyond that of its use in the treatment if diabetes. There are doubtless cases in which the natural function has been so completely lost, the islets so hopelessly degenerated, that not even a partial recovery can be anticipated. In such, insulin can prolong life and make it more tolerable, but only at the cost of daily infections which can never be remitted or reduced. All the experience which had accumulated before the introduction of insulin pointed to the possibility of restoring to many diabetics a reasonable measure of normal function by giving their overworked remnant of islet tissue as complete a rest as possible.

In many cases this was only achieved by a restriction of diet which was almost unbearable, though still compatible with life. If insulin is now used simply to enable such patients to eat a large quantity of food so long as they can tolerate daily injections, they will get no permanent benefit, and insulin will be wasted. On the other hand, if it is used as an aid to the regimen of dietary rest, to enable these patients to obtain some recovery of normal function without such cruel reduction of their diet; if it is used to bring into this class, for which some measure of restoration is possible, others in whom, without insulin, no diet sufficient for life would keep the blood sugar down and give the overstrained islet as chance of recovery; then, indeed, it will be used to the real advantage of the patients, and be worthy of all the extraordinary enthusiasm which its discovery has aroused”-Lancet, London.

The above extract by J.A.M.A. of Dales article in the London Lancet for May 19, 1923, is of interest to homoeopathic prescribers, emphasizing the fact that Insulin therapy in diabetes is substitutive, though not necessarily curative treatment, enabling diabetics to continue indefinitely, while enjoying more of the pleasures of life. Insulin in this sense is a crutch and a most valuable one when properly used. The scientific world has paid homage and rightly so, to its discoverer, Banting, of Toronto, Canada, and the Canadian government has just granted Banting a life annuity of dollar 7500.

Nevertheless, the cure of the diabetic, when cure is still possible, can only be brought about by the basic, constitutional remedy, homoeopathic to the individual diabetic himself. This means, that for the purpose of curative treatment, the purely pathognomonic glycosuric symptoms must be largely ignored in the selection of a homoeopathic remedy. While Phosphoric acid, Kali Bromatum, Uranium nitrate and others have much to commend them at times, it will be found that the real work must be done by the more deeply acting antipsorics and antisycotics such as Sulphur, Calcarea, Kali carb., Natrum Sulph., Thuja etc.

Let no homoeopath deceive himself with the idea,. that Insulin will make the use of the homoeopathic remedy unnecessary.

“VALUE OF INSULIN IN TREATMENT OF DIABETES-

Whether insulin is as valuable in the treatment of diabetes mellitus as is thyroid extract in myxedema, Major says, remains to be seen. But the discovery of any substance that will clear up hyperglycemia, glycosuria and ketonuria, and rescue a patient from coma is epoch making. There is every evidence that it will rob surgical diabetes of most of it terrors. The question as to whether insulin after use will raise the carbohydrate tolerance ad restore the islands of Langehans to their normal functioning state, is a pertinent one and as yet unanswered.”-J.A.M. A.

Another timely observation regarding insulin. Substitution therapy is undoubtedly very largely overdone by many physicians, who have stumbled into endocrinology and are using ductless gland preparations ad libitum and with a breezy disregard of all scientific knowledge or teaching. Sooner or later these men will, while still fumbling in the therapeutic darkness, fall through the homoeopathic door into the white light of wisdom and truth. In the meantime, it behooves us homoeopaths to take up the work of proving the endocrines along Hahnemannian lines and thus establish them upon a really solid and scientific foundation.

“ARSENIC CONTENT OF BLOOD AFTER ARSPHENAMIN INJECTION-

Analysis of blood taken immediately after the completion of the injection showed that 60 per cent. of the arsenic injected had been localized outside the blood stream. The maximum quantity of arsenic in the blood stream based on average values is found immediately after injection. This value expressed in milligrams of metallic arsenic per hundred grams of dried specimen is 4.21. Observations at later intervals, up to one day, indicate that the arsenic equilibrium in blood gradually becomes lower, based on average values. There was a marked increase in arsenic after a period of one day with a gradual diminution at late intervals, based on average values.

“ARSENIC IN SPINAL FLUID AFTER ARSPHENAMIN INJECTION-

From a review of results, which include the examination of 239 spinal fluids taken from 151 patients after the intravenous administration of silver arsphenamin. Cornwall and Myers infer the following facts to be proved: Arsenic passes into the spinal fluid; arsenic can be found in the spinal fluid at the end of two hours in an amount as large as 143 mg. per hundred grams of dried specimen; arsenic can be found in the spinal fluid as late as seventy-two hours in an amount as large as 192 mg. per hundred grams of dried specimen. In general the arsenic content in the spinal fluid falls after the first two hours. It rises slightly between twenty-four and forty-eight hours, and at the end of seventy-two hours is present in greater quantity than at any time between two and seventy-two hours-J.A.M.A.

Arsenic, homoeopathically given, leaves no traces of itself in any of the body fluids or tissues, but cures the conditions for which it is given, when homoeopathically indicated. Do not forget, that Arsenic, when given in the form and dosage as commonly employed by our old school friends, as well as by “progressive homoeopaths,” causes many wrecks and brings about conditions which are worse than the disease for which it was given; furthermore, remember that Hahnemann taught that two dissimilar diseases can displace each other and that a drug disease can likewise displace a natural one.

An arsphenaminized patient is not necessarily a cured syphilitic, nor even a contented one. Disease is not an entity and cannot be driven out with a club.

THE PAN-THERAPIST-

With the June, 1923, issue died The North American Journal of Homoeopathy, to become reincarnated as The Pan-Therapist, which is the official organ of the Auto-Hemic Therapy Foundation (Inc.) Society. The definition of pan- therapist states that he who culls from all sources, regardless of school or pathy, may with becoming propriety consider himself a pan-therapist. THE HOMOEOPATHIC RECORDER considers the name well chosen and particularly apt in the present circumstances, as heretofore at least, the erstwhile North American has browsed about in many strange fields and pastures for its literary material, at times omitting to state the name of the fertile field from which it cropped its pabulum.

In its new and more consistent garb our esteemed contemporary from the windy shores of Lake Michigan will no doubt extend its culling in all conceivable directions. Friend Rogers has our best wishes and thanks for the new title.

THE NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR HOMOEOPATHIC RESEARCH-

Attention is called to the activities of this organization, whose announcement is published, for want of space, in the “Trade Winds” section of this issue. The scope of its work is similar to that of the Washington, D.C., organization; in any case, both bodies look to the wider establishment of homoeopathic principles among both laity and physicians.

The present is a most critical period for homoeopathy. But two homoeopathic colleges are left in the United States, and it is extremely doubtful whether either one for these can stem the rising tide of decadence, which for many reasons has set in. It is still a debatable question whether homoeopathy can best be perpetuated and advanced through under-graduate or through post- graduate colleges.

Apparently, the former have failed, while the latter have not had a real chance. It is our belief that the growth of specialism has had very much to do with the “Gotterdammerung” of homoeopathy. Charles Mayo, the eminent surgeon, once remarked: “When homoeopathic physicians took up surgery, homoeopathy died.” This may be an exaggeration, but there is, nevertheless, much truth in it. One of the greatest bars to homoeopathy is the almost universal disagreement as to what really constitutes homoeopathic practice.

The latter means many things to many physicians and the definition of a homoeopathic physician, adopted years ago by our national association. The American Institute of Homoeopathy, is both laughable and asinine in its construction and conception. The time has come when we must practice what we profess to preach, when we must either be true to label and live up to the sectarian name, or drop it altogether. At present we are neither fish, flesh nor fowl, or even good red herring.

Whether foundations for homoeopathic research will be the means of solving the question remains to be seen; but in any event our best hopes and wishes are with them. May their efforts succeeded beyond all expectations!.

OPENING FOR A HOMOEOPATHIC PHYSICIAN-

A fine opportunity for a homoeopathic physician is to be found in Pierre, South Dakota. This town formerly had two homoeopaths, one leaving a year ago on account of ill health due to ever work, while the other, Dr. Hollister, died in 1922. A large homoeopathic clientele awaits the newcomer, who must be strong, in good health, capable and a real homoeopathic physician. For further particulars, address Eloise O. Richberg, M.D., 1531 East Sixty-fifth Street, Chicago, Illinois.

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