Read before Connecticut Homoeopathic Medical Society, MAy 16, 1939.
J.L. KAPLOWE, M.D.
In recent years the writings of various great men in the field of medicine show beyond a doubt that they feel, at least unconsciously, the truth of the homoeopathic teachings and philosophy. When we read that they believe that the suppression of a symptom does not necessarily mean that the underlying morbid process has come to an end, and that the doctors chief effort must be to promote natural defenses, to supplement them and if necessary to copy them, we can see here a decided leaning toward the Hahnemannian way of thinking and mode of prescribing.
In great works on pharmacology written within the last ten years we learn that chronic disorders such as hysteria, epilepsy, neurasthenia and gout have much in common. While manifested in acute attacks or explosions, for which definite exciting causes such as emotion, fatigue, or dietetic error may be often recognized, they are commonly dependent in largest measure on inherited defects and tendencies. As a rule the liability to recurrence is permanent, and in many cases persistent signs or symptoms can be detected even during intervals apparently free from disturbance.
We read in these searching volumes by men of the “old school” that in hysteria and epilepsy the molecular constitution or even the minute morphology of central nerve elements and endocrine structures may be more or less profoundly altered. That neurasthenia is, at least in part, an intoxication with autonomous poisons or fatigue products, is highly probable. that gout is, if not dependent upon, at all events associated with defective combustion and insufficient excretion of certain products of catabolism – purine derivatives, in particular uric acid – seems well established.
Yet neither in the nervous disorders, nor in the disorder of metabolism, nor in the disorder that exhibits both nervous and metabolic features, is there a definite association of a unique morbific factor, or of any characteristic tissue change discoverable by the microscope with the functional derangements that constitute a recognized clinical syndrome.
These above thought recall the same ideas written by another more than one hundred years ago when he states that:.
In sickness this spirit-like, self-acting (automatic) vital force omnipresent in the organism is alone primarily deranged by the dynamic influence of some morbific agency inimical to life. Only this abnormally modified vital force can excite morbid sensations in the organism, and determine the abnormal functional activity which we call disease. This force, itself invisible, becomes perceptible only through its effects upon the organism, makes known, and has no other way of making known its morbid disturbance to the observer and physician than by the manifestation of morbid feelings and functions; that is, by the symptoms of disease in the visible material organism.
The mistaken notion that in Graves syndrome there is primarily an affection of the thyroid with poisoning by hypersecretion has led to an equally erroneous insistence upon measures of destruction such as surgery, radium and x-ray in its treatment.
Although imperative in some cases, ordinarily destructive measures are unnecessary. The primary and essential element of Graves syndrome is not the thyroid tumor, but a congenital and often hereditary imbalance of the autonomic nervous system. The thyroid perversion is only an incident arising from the character and mode of impact of the existing cause or causes, whether they be physical, chemical or psychic. Sometimes it appears to be a protective reaction, erring by excess.
The natural history of Graves disease shows that many cases, perhaps one-fourth, tend to spontaneous and sometimes complete restoration in six months to two years. A few cases, perhaps five per cent, run a rapid, alarming, and sometimes fatal course. Between these extremes are many degrees of severity. Either death or restoration may be preceded by insanity, or insanity may persist permanently or temporarily after subsidence of all other derangements. Mild psychopathies may show during the whole course of the ailment, or intermittently.
The cardiac, nervous and ocular disturbances may disappear, and the goitre persist diminished or undiminished; the thyroid gland may return to approximately normal size, and nervous or ocular symptoms persist in greater or less degree; nor is a similar issue unlikely even after skillful thyroidectomy. Diabetes mellitus may develop, sometimes tending to persist after apparent restoration. Complete quiescence may be attained and shock, fright, anxiety, etc., may cause renewal of active symptoms.
We know, too, that erythema nodosum can occur in infectious arthritis, rheumatic fever and in tuberculosis. These facts all display the interrelationship between apparently unrelated diseases. In his unique and lucid manner Hahnemann gave expression to this fundamental concept when he wrote in his Chronic Diseases that:.
Careful observations, comparisons and experiments in later years have revealed to me the fact that the tedious ailments of both the body and the soul (provided they do not belong to the class of syphilis or sycosis) which differ so much from each other in their principal symptoms as well as in the different patients, are all of them nothing but partial manifestations of one primitive, chronic psoric miasm, in which they all originate, and whose innumerable symptoms form but one integral disease, and ought therefore to be regarded and treated as parts of one and the same disturbance.
In the great volume on pharmacology by Solis-Cohen we read that the best drug may at one time be an agent that would produce in a healthy person symptoms resembling those presented by the patient, and also that we must recognize the fact that it is the individual who is to be treated and not the disease. These same authors, while they doubt the efficacy and the potency of the fourth and fifth decimal dilutions, are even more dubious of the centesimal potencies, yet state:.
It is a fact that positive neurovascular reactions can be induced with such substances as epinephrine in very minute amounts; that one-twentieth part of one millionth grain of protein may so sensitize the guinea pig, that a second injection will produce toxic symptoms known as anaphylaxis; and that the quantity of musk capable of stimulating the olfactory nerve is so small as to be not only immeasurable but incalculable.
Facts like these, while they do not alter the necessity of proof, and while they do not obscure the difference between a simple element like carbon or a binary compound like sodium chloride and the complex organic molecules conceived in our illustrations, must at least prevent dogmatic denial of any well established fact of clinical observation concerning the effect of homoeopathic medication.
Had these authors stopped at this point, one could credit them with some understanding of homoeopathy, yet we see their limited conception of the true essence of the Hahnemannian doctrine when they write:.
To any special disease form as such it (homoeopathy) cannot apply, for in maladies it is usually the etiology, in affections the pathology, that must control treatment. The symptoms are of importance chiefly as they indicate their origin. Moreover the totality of symptoms of remedies, that is to say, their entire range of influence – by no means corresponds with the totality of symptoms of recognized disease forms.
The authors close their discussion on homoeopathy with the statement that:.
This sort of symptom matching is, however, going out of vogue among physicians educated in modern homoeopathic schools. It is for these trained men to study critically the traditional expedients of their school, to select those whose value can be best demonstrated, and to present the latter to the general medical profession in an understandable shape, and so fortified by exact observations – not mere statistics – as to convince the skeptical.
This is not entirely flattering, nor it is a denial of the truth of homoeopathy, and coming from such great authority within the “old school” is even encouraging. To rise up in defense against the criticism is needless, for the weakness and shortsightedness of the attack necessitates no come-back. The defense speaks for itself.
Again we learn from great “old school” works on pharmacology that the biologic reaction of a cell to a drug influence exhibits two phases, namely interference or primary effect and restoration or secondary effect. The secondary effect is opposite in type to the original or primary effect of the drug. In not a few instances the efficacy of a medicament depends largely, if not wholly, upon such secondary reactions. It is the large dose that causes the primary influence to prevail, while the small dose permits the reaction or secondary effect to become manifest.
Whether the original (primary) phase or the reactive (secondary) phase shall in a given instance be the more intense or the more lasting, and which shall first become evident, will depend not only on the size of the dose, but also on the frequency of administration relative to the speed of elimination, that is, upon the quantity active at any one moment. If the original dose and the frequency of repetition be so adjusted that the active quantity is always small enough, secondary effects will appear.
If, however, notwithstanding the smallness of the individual doses, elimination is less rapid than the absorption of new increments of the drug, a sufficient quantity may accumulate and become active enough to permit the primary influence to develop and continue. So too when large doses are given in the first instance, and continued with sufficient frequency, the overpowering original influence of the drug is sufficient to suppress the reaction or secondary effect, hence only primary effects will appear.
Then we read further in these classical volumes on pharmacology that no better pharmacodynamic example of the relation between primary and secondary actions can be cited than is seen in the emetic and anti emetic action of ipecac. If a full dose of ipecac be given, it will induce vomiting. Emesis is therefore its true physiological manifestation or primary effect. If, however, a very small dose be given, no vomiting or nausea will result, but pathologic vomiting may in some cases thus controlled.
Presumably the cells of the vomiting center were sufficiently stimulated to respond, but the response was not strong enough to result in the discharge of a motor impulse. It was however strong enough to induce a contrary reaction or secondary effect and in the instance cited, this effect becomes sufficient to antagonize the morbid emetogenic impulses. Similarly minute doses of pilocarpine will overcome by secondary effect salivation and morbid sweating. The primary effect of the drug in decided doses is to produce these symptoms. These thoughts written by great pharmacologists of the “old school” seem to flow from the pen of Hahnemann himself.
In the December, 1938 issue of the Journal of the American Institute of Homoeopathy, Dr. J. T. Simonson lucidly describes five logical reasons for serious consideration of the parallelism between the action of a remedy presented because of its similar effects to the symptomatic and pathologic manifestations of disease, and the effect of an antigen on tissues and organs sensitized by disease.
His first reason is that drugs and toxins or other blood foreign substances when administered to healthy human beings for definite time periods produce symptoms similar to the reactions or symptoms of a disease in which the same drugs or toxins have been proven to be curative. This phenomenon is a close parallel to the antigenic action of a drug, foreign protein or toxin in stimulating cell resistance and the production of antibodies specific to the disease producing the symptoms. Secondly,.
In a patient whose tissues are sensitized by disease, the similar remedy will stimulate curative activity when given in smaller doses than would be necessary to produce symptoms in the healthy individual. This phenomenon is an acknowledged characteristic of all drugs or toxins acting as antigens.
In the third instance the law of similar is dependent upon a study of the action of drugs on healthy humans, just as the study of antigenic action is based on the action of proteins, drugs and other materials foreign to the blood stream.
As a fourth factor, Dr. Simonson states that “A patient suffering from disease becomes sensitive and responsive to the drug or toxin which would produce in a healthy individual, the symptoms from which the diseased patient is suffering.” One can add that the diseases person becomes specifically sensitive or receptive.
Finally, as a fifth point of parallelism he states that the Arndt-Schulz law governs the varying effect of large and small doses of antigen.
We may add here the corollary that the greater the similarity between the indicated remedy and the disease state, the greater the specific sensitivity or receptivity, in other words the greater the degree of antigenic action; hence the similarity, the less the mass or the higher the potency of drug is required to satisfy the sensitivity and thus establish a state of immunity.
It seems strange that such nonhomoeopathic men as Terry, Kolmer, Rentz, Landsteiner, Macht, Sollman and others are experimenting in fields which continue to give added proof yearly to the Hahnemannian doctrines.
Hamburger has shown that very small quantities of calcium salts, and numerous substances such as colloidal metals, magnesium, mercury, and benzine given in small doses showed a stimulating effect on phagocytosis, but caused a paralyzing effect when given in greater concentration.
Kolmer state that:.
While massive doses of arsphenamine and mercuric chloride tend to suppress antibody formation and cause decrease in complement, small doses tend to increase the production of agglutinine and augment the complement, after a primary decrease.
It has been shown in recent years that the old conception of antigens was not complete, and that we now have the right to consider almost any blood foreign substance, among which are drugs and inorganic compounds, as antigens or substances which have the power to produce antibodies or resistance bodies in the blood and tissue cells and then unite specifically with the corresponding antigen, rendering the latter inactive.
Many drugs and inorganic substances in minute quantities have been shown to possess this antigenic power, uniting with body proteins to produce conjugate antigens of a specific nature, the role of the body proteins being to produce the antibody, while the drug or chemical contributes to the power of specificity. It is gratifying to read that many of the old school, including such great names as Kolmer, Wesselhoeft and Hooker, write of the homoeopathic evidence to substantiate these facts, noting especially the immunologic relations of calcium sulphide to staphylococci, baptisia to typhoid, and veratrum viride to the pneumococcus.
Even though one may have reason to doubt that the homoeopathic remedy cures by antigenic action alone, nevertheless to prove that this one method of “stimulating the vital force” is true, is to make a great advance forward in proving the validity of our school of thought.
Another crucial consideration is that antigens can be introduced orally as well as parenterally. Since homoeopathic medication is almost always administered through the oral channel and rarely by olfaction, this factor of necessity becomes paramount.
The process of immunity, by which the animal body resists invasion and injury by bacteria, are merely specific instances of the operation of general biologic laws applicable to a field far wider than that of infectious diseases alone.
It is true that the proof of any system is the result. It is likewise true that homoeopathy can almost, if not quite, rest on the laurels it has built up for itself since the time of Hahnemann. Yet this is known and recognized by only a relative few within our own school. To gain in numbers and convince the skeptical in the so-called “scientific” world, we must demonstrate the “how” or the modus operandi, for that is the trend and attitude of modern science.
To have shown the analogy between the antigenic action of the homoeopathic drug and that of bacterial vaccines, sera, toxins or other nonhomoeopathic substances that have not the basis of true homoeopathic similarity, does not mean that one must be in full accord with the administration of vaccines, sera and so forth. However, one must adopt a basis or standard for comparison.
Let me quote from Dr. Roberts book where he quotes from Stuart Close, who in turn chooses the words of Professor James Ewing of Cornell Medical College.
The effort to produce passive immunity against the various infections by means of sera may fail in spite of the destruction of all the bacteria present in the body, by reason of the endotoxins, thrown out in the process of bacteriolysis resulting from the serum injections.
The action of endotoxins of all kinds is similar: there is a reduction of temperature but an active degeneration of the organs — a status infectious. Thus sterile death is produced where cultures from the organs and tissues show that the bacteria in question have all been destroyed; but still the animal dies.
This problem of endotoxins is at present the stone wall of serum therapy.
An animal whose serum is normally bacteriolytic may, on immunization, lose this power, the bacteria living in the serum, but not producing symptoms. Thus a rabbits serum is normally bacteriolytic to the typhoid bacillus, but the animal is susceptible to infection. If, however, the rabbit is highly immunized, the serum is no longer bactericidal, the typhoid bacilli living in the serum of the rabbit, but the animal not being susceptible of infection. The animal dies.
It seems therefore that the effort must be made in the future to enable the tissues and the bacteria to live together in peace, rather than to produce a state where the serum is destructive to the bacteria.
In these illustrations we see clearly pointed out the danger of destroying the normal susceptibility or the reactivity of the human or even the lower animal organism, for to destroy or even to interfere with this function if to interfere with and even to destroy life itself. The homoeopathic remedy will establish immunity, but will not destroy or diminish the state of susceptibility. This method whereby susceptibility is interfered with or totally destroyed in establishing immunity is the modus operandi of toxins, vaccines, and sera.
This is isopathy; it is treating a disease by its identity. Between this method and homoeopathy lies a great world of difference. Apparently near and related, they are yet so infinitely remote– these two– the one of which depends on identity, the other being based on the selection of the nearest similar.
One can agree that the homoeopathic remedy, through its antigenic action, stimulates the formation of antibodies in an organism already sensitized by diseases, just as do sera and vaccines, but here the parallelism must end.
Isopathic therapy carries with it dangers, the depth and intensity of which we are as yet unable to thoroughly understand. Biologic changes, and protoplasmic alterations, initiated by vaccines, are believed by one “old school” authority, at least, to be the hitherto hidden link in the chain of causes of carcinomatous degeneration of tissues.
Sera and vaccines are suppressive or centripetal, always driving inward; homoeopathic medication being centrifugal in action allows full expression and freedom to the suppressed and silent forces of disease, so that the vital energy, stirred from within, can drive the diseased states from the innermost parts of man outward until complete cure has been established and maintained.
NEW HAVEN, CONN.