BY DR. DOROTHY SHEPHERD.
A VARIETY of remedies have been mentioned which cure different forms of rheumatism; but there are many more medicines, which cure this disease homoeopathically. Their number indeed is very extensive: Kents Repertory gives 118 different names under the rubric “Rheumatism” so you see homoeopathic doctors are well supplied with drugs which can and do cure this painful disease under its various manifestations.
Ask an allopathic doctor what is his standby in rheumatism whether it is acute muscular rheumatism or rheumatic fever or even rheumatoid arthritis, he will tell you without hesitating a moment that Salicylic Acid or one of its salts are absolutely specific: they are Salicylate of soda, Salicium, Aspirin which is Acetyl-Salicylic acid – Salol or Phenol Salicylate – all are used more or less without discrimination. Some favour one medicine, some another. Salicylic acid is found in the bark and leaves of willows; and it only became known round about 1876 in Europe that South African natives used infusion of willow-tips for clearing up rheumatic disorders.
Medical science does not like infusions but prefers to extract what is called the active principles, which are too concentrated in their actions and too violent. One cannot deny that the Salicylates frequently remove the pains, but as such enormous doses are used, they are followed by all kinds of after results: dizziness, giddiness, delirium and gastric upsets and prostration.
But the medico is pleased, the pains have gone and the patient is most times so weak, he cant object; and then he is dosed up with noxious bitter tonics and it takes him weeks to get over the combined effects of the disease and the overdosing.
One remembers one such tiresome case of rheumatic fever which occurred in the early days of ones medical career, while acting as an assistant to a very good general practitioner. One had to treat the patients allopathically and this particular case gave one many anxious hours; even though one had the moral support of ones chief and several specialists. This good lady developed acute rheumatic fever during the war as a result of exposure during a snowy wintery spell.
She was a very headstrong selfwilled party and liked to order her own treatment, and thought she knew all about how to cure herself. She ruled the whole house from her bedside with an iron hand, maids, nurses, specialist, and poor me had no chance to stand up against her.
The acute rheumatic fever was followed by pericarditis, endocarditis, double pleurisy with effusion; the temperature became swinging going up to between 103 and 104 every night and dropping down to 99 every morning. So it went on, week after week, month after month; several times she nearly died, but still she hung on to life with a grim persistence.
In the end, after a nine months illness she was a pathetic sight, sans teeth, sans hair, it had all fallen out; so weak she could not even raise a finger to fasten a button, she was nothing but a skeleton, the skin was just hanging lose over her bones, and there was an enormous collection of fluid in her abdomen, a tubercular peritonitis. One has often noticed since that tuberculosis is closely related to rheumatism; and tubercular families produce more cases of rheumatism than other families who are not tubercular.
The specialists shrugged their shoulders, nothing more could be done. She had had all the different varieties of Salicylates in small and ever-increasing dosages and official medicine was stumped. She received the last rites of her faith and awaited the end quite indomitable, even to the last.
She had no longer got sufficient strength to question the treatment she was receiving, so Tuberculinum 30 one dose was given, the next day the temperature only went up to 101.8 instead of 104; one was on the right track, one thought at last.
Then the Repertory was made use of and after much searching a remedy was found which corresponded to her symptoms, mind you not her physiological or pathological state, no notice was taken of diagnosis, her rheumatic fever, her past rheumatic-tubercular condition, the tubercular peritonitis; but only considered and looked up her little idiosyncrasies, the extreme weakness following prolonged fever, the great and excessive general emaciation, the withering of the limbs, the falling out of the hair, her inability to take lemonade and any stimulants such as wines and alcohol in any form, which was followed by diarrhoea; also diarrhoea after any fruit, diarrhoea after tea, so weak even after first waking up after a long sleep, extreme sensitiveness to the slightest draught even to a current of warm air.
All this was found in the repertory and pointed to Selenium. One had not got Selenium, one had not even heard of it before; but according to the tenets of the Homoeopathic laws, Selenium was indicated, and therefore a hurried visit was made to the chemist and Selen. 30 was obtained as a last resource.
One hardly dared to hope for any results, the patient was really too far gone. The next day arrived, one almost hesitated to ring the bell, the nurse opened the door.
“Doctor, what was in that powder you gave her yesterday morning, the temperature went down to normal and remained normal during the last twenty-four hours, the first time for nine months?”.
And from that moment everything changed with a dramatic suddenness, the temperature never went up again, the hectic flush disappeared from her face, the white smooth hairless scalp began to cover itself with hair again, the limbs filled out, the fluid in the abdomen became gradually less and less; the diarrhoea disappeared.
The single dose of Selenium 30 remained active for eight weeks, then three more doses were given in quick succession and no further medicine was required; no tonics-nothing-three months after the first dose was given, she started to walk again and five months afterwards her weight was up again to 8 stones and she was discharged as cured and sent to the seaside. Ten years later she was still alive and active; no recurrence of her disease, heart and lungs and abdomen were sound.
That was the effect of a very few powders of the indicated homoeopathic remedy prescribed according to the law that like cures like – and such unexpected cures any good homoeopath who follows closely in the footsteps of the great master Hahnemann, can produce by the score.
These cures are not accidental, one can explain the reason. There is no need to boast. The same thing has been done ever since Hahnemann discovered the laws of homoeopathy, the books are full of such cures and they happen every day in the practices of the many thousands of homoeopathic practitioners all over the world. These cures are not happy flukes, but hard facts.
A very similar case, though not so extreme, occurred during this last year. An elderly lady developed a mysterious illness after exposure to wet, and the temperature would not go down for weeks. She was sent into hospital and there all kinds of tests were made: blood tests, serum tests, bismuth meals, X-rays, etc., and no cause could be found for this mysterious pyrexia. There was no T.B., no cancer, but the temperature remained up for five months and the patient became weaker and weaker, and emaciated more and more.
There was diarrhoea, pain after drinking tea, inability to take fruit; so once more Selenium 30 was prescribed, with the same happy effects; it had to be repeated more frequently and was then followed by Sulphur. The temperature dropped and the mysterious nameless disease cleared up.
On closer inquiry one discovered she had had many rheumatic pains in the arms, shoulders and neck for several months in the beginning; but nobody had paid much attention to this, so one can only presume that this was a kind of low rheumatic fever, which cleared up after the appropriate remedies.
Now we shall leave the acute type of rheumatic fever and go back to the more chronic kind of muscular rheumatism. One recalls to mind an old age pensioner who brought her little grandchild to the dispensary for heart trouble. The old granny herself was very feeble and for two weeks she did not turn up, then she made another visit and arrived in a very pitiable condition.
She came crawling again, holding on to chairs and tables, her body bent double like the letter Z; the pain was all in the sacrum and went into the hips and was agonizing when she walked, almost impossible for her to rise after sitting. One recognized the remedy, and the old lady received Aesculus hippocastanum – horse chestnut in the 6th potency four-hourly. The next week she came in full of smiles, her poor old back had straightened itself, she walked erect, pains and stiffness practically gone. Isnt it worth while to get results like this, and that in a lady of over seventy years of age!.
“Have I proved my case, my Lord? that rheumatism in its various forms is curable by homoeopathy”; and I have only mentioned a few cases, picked out at random. Intricate law cases are argued before the judge in chambers; and the various counsels produce many tomes, many books to prove the various points that are raised; the homoeopaths also have many learned books, many learned authorities from whom they quote, who for nearly 200 years now have shown how to cure rheumatism and many other diseases.
There is Professor Kent who has written many big books, there is old Dr. John Clarke who gives many examples in his writings of how to set about to cure rheumatism, and gives case after case of cures. There is Carrol Dunham, there is Professor Farrington, there is Boenninghausen, there are American and German and French and British writers, old and long dead authorities, who still live in their books. There are men who are alive to-day and daily reproduce the same cures in rheumatism as the old masters: “My lord, homoeopathy is alive, very much alive, and it can cure rheumatism,” and it has cured it in the past, cures it now and will cure it in the future.