REPORT ON MUSTARD GAS EXPERIMENTS

The subtended report on Mustard Gas Experiments, Glasgow and London, was condensed by Dr. R.B. LAWRENCE, (2811 Grove Avenue, Richmond 20, Va.) Chairman Public Relations Committee, American Institute of Homoeopathy, from a paper of this title received in this country on February 1, 1944.

(Glasgow and London).

 

BY THE SPECIAL SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE BRITISH HOMOEOPATHIC SOCIETY TO THE MINISTRY OF HOME SECURITY, JANUARY 25, 1943.

ORIGIN OF THE RESEARCH:

The question of the probable action of “potentized” gases in the treatment of casualties caused by contact with “war gases” such as mustard gas having been raised, the Council of the British Homoeopathic Society decided to present a memorandum on the subject to the Ministry of Home Security.

REPLY BY MINISTRY OF HOME SECURITY:

“I should be glad to have the British Homoeopathic Society undertake experiments of this kind.”

BRITISH HOMOEOPATHIC SOCIETY / MINISTRY OF HOME SECURITY REPORT (GLASGOW AREA).

OBJECT:

(A) Observe results obtained in CONTROL and TREATED burns by the application of a standardized dose of 2 mm. drops of 10 per cent solution of mustard gas.

(B) To determine the natural time of healing by treating the forearm of a subject with a 2 mm. drop and subsequently to treat the same person with a similar size drop under exactly similar conditions and on this occasion to apply the proposed remedial treatment. TECHNIQUE:

Method of application: A glass rod, after heating, was tapered by being stretched so as to deliver a drop 2mm. diameter. The rod was dipped into a bottle containing 10 per cent solution and then withdrawn, and the surface of the drop allowed to touch the skin. (N.B. The point of the rod must not touch the skin.).

Area affected: Eccentric spread of the solution was confined to an area approximately 2 inch in diameter.

Temperature of the room: This was adjusted to the same degree for each set of experiments.

Preparation of the arm: Previous washing with soap and water and shaving was carried out by the volunteer at his own home, at least one hour before the experiment.

Dressing of the arm: No dressing was applied until the blister was evident, and then ONLY NON-MEDICATED protective dressing.

Age, sex, physique: In the first series, care was taken to match volunteers according to age and physique.

Photographic record: Lesions were photographed by photoflood light on the seventh day by the Medical Officer. FIRST EXPERIMENTS (12 Cases)-Glasgow.

Medication: The potency known as 30c. was used throughout. (This is 1 to 99 dilution carried out according to the centesimal scale to the 30th time.).

For the benefit of those not familiar with the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia, the 30c. is arrived at by the following method. The 1c. is made by adding 1 drop of 10 per cent mustard gas to 99 drops of 87 per cent grain alcohol. This procedure is carried out 30 times. This was used to impregnate absorbent pills, the alcohol allowed to evaporate and the potency 30c. mustard gas remained. The actual solution of mustard gas was potentized by the London Homoeopathic Laboratories.

Doses: First dose of potentized mustard gas in form of a pill was taken immediately before application of mustard gas, and the volunteer was asked to take one pill every two hours for six doses, and then one pill three times a day for seven days.

RECORDS MADE BY MEDICAL OFFICER

Lesion Drug Control Total

Description Medicated Pill Un-medicated pill

Superficial 6 0 6

Medium or deep 0 6 6

REMARKS:

There were 12 cases in this series. It is noted that of those volunteers who received the drug (Potentized Mustard Gas) all burns were superficial. Of those acting as control (who received no drug) all burns were medium or deep.

SECOND EXPERIMENT: (28 cases)-Glasgow.

Lesion Drug Control Total

Description Medicated Pill Un-medicated pill

Superficial 12 2 14

Medium or deep 2 12 14

REMARKS: The same contrast appears in this experiment as in the first experiment.

REPORT FROM THE LONDON AREA: (240 cases).

Lesion Drug Control Total

Description Medicated Pill Un-medicated pill

Superficial 53 29 82

Medium 51 41 92

Deep 23 43 66

CONCLUSIONS:

From the analysis of the tables, from both the Glasgow and the London areas, it is shown that in 290 volunteers, the effect of the potentized mustard gas showed beneficial results. In a decided percentage the burns caused by the gas were superficial when the volunteer took the drug as against a higher percentage of medium or deep burns in the controls.

This action of Mustard Gas potency is also seen in a series of Glasgow cases, where a second application of mustard gas solution was made to the same individual.

In the first group (7 cases), after a first application without treatment and an interval varying from 4 weeks or more, each case was given a second application of the mustard gas solution to the other forearm, but this time treatment with Mustard Gas potency was given. In all the cases the degree of the second lesion was less severe than the first and all were recorded as “Superficial”.

In the second group (3 only) Mustard Gas potency was given at the first application but NO TREATMENT at the second application. In all the cases, despite the fact that no treatment had been given on this second occasion of application, the lesions resulting were remarkable because of the superficial character.

In the third group (2 only) Mustard Gas potency was given both on the first and second application and the type of lesion noted after the second application was such that it was found very difficult to make photographic record because of the slight and superficial nature on the seventh day.

These Glasgow cases, although small in number, are in accord with the findings of the statistical analysis of the greater number of the London area-that Mustard Gas potency increases the number of SUPERFICIAL lesions resulting from the application of mustard gas (10 percent solution) to the skin.

It should also be noted that in the Glasgow cases, Mustard Gas potency 30c. was used in all treated and that the first dose was administered BEFORE THE APPLICATION of the mustard gas solution and the second dose was taken in 2 hours time.

In the London cases the first dose was given immediately AFTER the application, and the second dose in 4 hours time.

This could account for the more superficial type of lesions noted in the Glasgow cases.

Sensitization: None of the volunteers who received two applications with treatment either on the first or second occasion, showed any degree of dermatitis, while in a marked contrast, a single case who received no treatment on either of the two applications developed an extensive dermatitis which called for treatment.

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