Informed talk before the I.H.A., Bureau of Materia Medica, June. 1930.
C.M. BOGER, M.D.
These charts, which I am passing around and to which I wish you to refer while I am talking, are based on 365 cases out of my own practice and 10 others. It has taken some time to compile this list. It was done in this way. When I made a successful or striking prescription and the patient came in later and said, “Doctor, I never had anything help me as much as that in my life”, I wrote down carefully the date of the prescription. These dates were collected and located in the phase of the moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter, or new moon. The most pictorial way to show the results seemed to be to mark each case on one of the squares of this double-ruled paper. The number of squares covered here is 375, corresponding to 375 prescriptions that were striking successes.
This research was undertaken to find out whether there was anything in this question of time of remedies as related to phases of the moon. I believe this is the way we ought to go at all questions.
If you will take your Repertory and look at the remedies which are mentioned in the rubric under full moon, or new moon, or whatever phase of the moon it is, you will find almost no resemblance to this chart. it does not take very long to discover a few things from this chart, as you will see by looking at it. From the very start of the investigation I found that Phosphorus led all remedies in the number of observations. So that the accusation that Dr. Macfarlan made this morning that I am a Phosphorus fiend is perhaps true.
But there are good many homoeopaths who are Phosphorus fiends, I think. Then I discovered that Phosphorus was closely followed by Arsenic. If you will look over this chart carefully you will see that Phosphorus covers eighteen squares of the full moon. This is the highest number of squares covered. Those were eighteen successful prescriptions prescribed in the week of the full moon, and the next most prominent is in the last quarter which shows a decline.
Now if you will turn to Arsenic, you will find the highest number in the first quarter. It stops abruptly in the quarter of the full moon, and falls off then to the lowest point.
Then look at Calcarea, you see that by far the largest number of Calcarea manifestations come in the quarter of the new moon. Calcarea phos. follows closely after it. Look at Hepar Hepar. is almost equal to Calcarea phos.
Now look at Sulphur and Pulsatilla. You see that there isnt very much difference in the different phases under those two remedies. Sulphur is almost the same in all phases, and Pulsatilla is almost the same also. But look at the Sulphur iod. This remedy stands highest in the last quarter and next highest in the first quarter. Then turn to Iodine and see what that shows. Iodine is the very highest in the last quarter. This must be more than a coincidence.
If you will look through these tablets in this way, you will find that there is a connection running through the whole thing.
How are we going to apply these results in practice? That is what we are getting down to. When a new patient comes in to you you asked him, “When are you worst?” “Well, I was worst the middle of last week.” “Is that about when you are usually worst?” “Yes, about that time.”.
Open up your almanac and see what quarter the moon was in, then look down your list of remedies and see which remedies are most prominent in that quarter. It is not invariable. You may not make an absolutely accurate prescription but it will be an enormous help.
I wish all the other physician here to do this: Each one of you has some of these charts. Mark a little cross in one of these squares as I have shown you and in nine or ten months return the charts to me and I will make a further compilation on this subject. I am going to run this study up until we have three or four thousand observations. This is the scientific method. You dont start out with any preconceived opinions at all. I am going to see how it comes out. If it isnt worth anything I want to know it.
Here is another point here: Pulsatilla is looked upon as being preeminently a female remedy and as having something to do with the reproductive organs. Therefore, inferentially, Pulsatilla should manifest itself at the full moon. You see what the chart shows. Pulsatilla at full moon is very little different from Pulsatilla at any other time.
The same is true of Sepia. Sepia is the very lowest at the full moon.
If we can revamp our repertories more or less after this method then we will have something solid under our feet based on actual observations, not on somebodys opinion. When someone comes to this meeting and says, ” I had one case that was helped with Pulsatilla and this and that was the matter with it,” and you mark it down in your repertory that Pulsatilla is a wonderful remedy, such deductions are absolutely fallacious.
These things must stand the test of time and experience and that is what I am trying to do in this paper.
N. 1st Q. F. L. N. 1st.Q. F. L.
Acon. 0 1 2 0 Bur-p. 0 1 0 2
Aesc. 0 1 2 0 Cad-s. 0 1 3 0
Agar. 3 0 2 1 Calc-c. 10 10 6 7
Aloe. 0 1 0 1 Calc-io. 0 0 1 0
Am-c. 0 0 1 0 Calc-p. 5 4 4 1
Am-m 0 0 0 1 Calc -pic. 1 1 0 0
Ang. 0 1 0 1 Cam. 1 1 0 0
Ant-c. 0 0 0 1 Canth. 1 0 0 0
Ant-t. 1 0 0 0 Caps. 0 0 1 0
Apis. 6 1 1 4 Carb-a 0 0 2 1
Arg-n. 2 2 0 1 Carb-v. 3 0 3 0
Arn. 0 0 0 1 Caus. 0 0 1 1
Ars. 13 15 10 4 Chel. 0 0 1 1
Ars-io. 3 0 2 0 Chin. 2 0 1 1
Asc-t. 0 0 0 1 Chion. 1 0 0 0
Bapt. 0 0 0 1 Cimi 0 1 0 2
Bar-c. 1 0 0 0 Cina 1 0 0 0
Bell. 1 2 0 0 Clem. 0 1 0 1
Bism. 0 0 0 1 Colch 1 0 0 0
Bov. 0 0 1 0 Coloc 2 2 0 1
Bry. 4 9 2 3 Con. 2 0 0 0
Cor-r. 0 0 0 1 Mez. 1 1 1 0
Cupr. 1 0 2 0 Mur-ac. 0 0 1 1
Dios. 1 2 1 0 Nat-m. 2 5 3 2
Dros. 0 1 0 0 Nat-p. 0 0 1 0
Dulc. 1 0 0 0 Nat-s. 1 1 1 1
Eup-per. 0 1 1 0 Nit-ac. 0 0 2 2
Fer-p. 1 0 0 2 Nux-v. 8 1 3 3
Frax. 0 0 0 1 Pall. 0 0 2 0
Gels. 1 0 3 0 Phos. 9 10 22 11
Grat. 2 4 0 2 Phos-ac 0 1 1 4
Guai. 0 0 1 0 Phyt. 2 0 2 4
Ham. 0 1 3 0 Plat. 0 0 0 3
Hep. 6 0 2 1 Plumb. 0 3 1 0
Hura. 0 0 0 1 Populus. 0 1 0 0
Hydr. 1 0 0 0 Psor. 0 1 1 0
Ign. 2 2 4 1 Puls 4 8 5 8
Iod. 0 0 0 3 Pyrog. 0 0 1 0
Kali-bi. 2 1 3 1 Radium 0 1 0 2
Kali-c. 1 1 2 2 Rhus-t. 8 4 3 2
Kali-p. 0 0 0 1 Rumex. 0 1 0 0
Kobalt 0 0 1 0 Sabad. 1 1 0 1
Lac-c. 0 0 0 2 Sabal. 2 0 0 0
Lac-d. 0 0 1 0 Sang. 0 3 2 2
Lach. 5 1 4 2 Sars. 0 0 0 1
Lapp. 1 1 0 0 Scroph. 0 0 0 1
Latrod 1 0 0 0 Senecio 1 0 0 0
Ledum. 0 0 1 0 Sepia 6 7 2 12
Lil-tig. 0 1 0 0 Silica. 1 4 3 0
Lyc. 4 5 7 9 Solidago 2 0 0 0
Mag-c. 1 1 1 0 Spig 1 0 0 0
Mag-m. 0 0 2 0 Spongia 1 0 0 0
Marum-v. 0 0 1 0 Stan. 1 2 0 0
Medor. 2 2 0 1 Staph 0 0 2 1
Merc. 3 1 4 5 Stram. 1 0 1 0
Merc-cy 0 0 1 0 Stront. 0 1 2 0
Merc-i-f. 2 2 0 0 Sulfur. 5 6 8 9
Merc-i-r. 0 0 0 1 Sul-io. 1 4 5 7
Symphy. 1 0 0 0 Vibur. 0 0 1 0
Syphilin 0 1 1 0 Tellur. 0 0 1 0
Tabac. 0 0 0 2 Xanth. 0 0 1 0
Thuj. 3 3 1 1 Zinc-pic. 0 0 0 1
Tuberc. 1 1 0 1 Zinc-sul. 0 1 1
Ver-a. 0 0 1 0.
The above is a record of the time of giving 624 prescriptions that were eminently successful. They are all taken from my records except twenty-five. In quite a few of the remedies there is shown quite a trend toward certain periods in the month; many others, for lack of observation enough are not in the least conclusive, but can be used only as possible hints. This record shows the beginning of quite a few unexpected relationships. In the future I hope to extend the tabulation much further, in order to either clear up or disprove what seems now in determinate.
CHAIRMAN J. HUTCHINSON: I take it from what you say that this is purely for the purpose of seeing how things are. We do not do much studying of the moon phases and I think it will be an interesting experience to follow out what you have said.
Shall we have discussion on Dr. Bogers suggestions?.
DR. I.L. FARR: This subject is rather too new to discuss. Personally, I would like to ask the doctor a question from this angle: We hear a good deal about the reading of horoscopes. In your examination with this did you take into consideration anything at all as to your own horoscope, under what constellation you were born, or under what constellations your patients were born? Or does this purely concern the moon phase at that time-at the time the patient comes into the office?.
DR.C.M. BOGER: That is all. I dont know what my horoscope is. It concerns the action of the remedy at that time. I think it opens the door to a wonderful development.
DR. J.W. KRICHBAUM: In the first year or the second year of my practice I had perhaps as satisfactory a cure as I have ever made. It was a cancer of the stomach, diagnosed by the best pathologist the only symptom I could obtain was aggravation at the moons waning. The man had been losing weight for three years; he was short, and heavy-set, and had gone from something like 200 pounds down to 98. He had hiccoughed during the entire period and that was what he complained about. We washed out his stomach and found mucous scabs. At the beginning, I doubted the cancer part of it. He had been at three institutions. He came back from Cincinnati to me with a letter stating that he was in the last stages of cancer, and the only thing I could do was give him morphine and make him easy until he died.
While talking with his wife she said to me, ” It is a funny thing about Johns hiccoughs. They follow the moon.” She brought out the almanacs covering those three years and with one exception that man had hiccoughed constantly day and night for two weeks and then had had a two weeks intermission. At that time he went without hiccoughs for sixteen days and only had twelve days of hiccoughs. In the Repertory under “moon is waning”, I found but one remedy which I sent down the next morning. Four hours later the man stopped hiccoughing. Three days after that it returned and lasted for about two hours. In two weeks I gave him more Dulcamara. An old conjunctivitis returned. He asked for Hepar and I gave it to him.
I always regretted that I did because I am satisfied now that he didnt need Hepar at all. I should have left him alone. he cleared up in due time- regained his usual weight. He went along for five years without a hiccough or any other trouble and then it returned and Dulcamara again stopped it promptly. The next time it occurred was about three years later. In the meantime I had moved to New Jersey. The daughter telegraphed me one day that her father was hiccoughing and I sent them Dulcamara I received a letter from her that it had done no good, that he was still hiccoughing, and he had a lot of symptoms. I sent him Arsenic, but he died hiccoughing.
CHAIRMAN J. HUTCHINSON: What was the moon doing when it wasnt waning? It doesnt wane but one week, does it?.
DR. J.W. KRICHBAUM: Two weeks; from the full point of the complete change is two weeks, not one week. The moon I have always gazed at has a four weeks cycle.
DR. A. H. GRIMMER: I think Dr. Boger has opened up something that is really worthwhile. We have heard this question of the relation of moon phases to drugs almost ever since homoeopathy began, and there have been many bitter controversies over it without really knowing the truth about it one way or the other. Dr. Boger has given us an opportunity now to prove it scientifically. The way he is taking it up it is quite unique. We will be able to tell what a drug is doing during these lunar phases. There is no question that the moon governs a great deal of natural phenomenon in nature. That has been proven from time immemorial. The tides are notorious examples.
DR. J.W. WAFFENSMITH: Occasionally I get a case that is very much the same as Dr. Krichbaums case, influenced by some particular phase of the moon, possibly the full moon, and after making a careful analysis of the case and carefully selecting the remedy that condition is considerably modified or disappears, with a general improvement in the patient. But subsequently I will find an increasing aggravation at another phase of the moon.
This may be perplexing, and if there is any question as to whether there has been an improvement or whether there is a return of an aggravation of a group symptom it may lead one to the conclusion that the remedy has not been properly selected. If the remedy is a near-similimum it would be better to leave that case alone, because the probabilities are that after awhile the new condition will also become modified as the improvement of the patient goes along. This explanation is from a miasmatic standpoint.
The patient has a complex miasm. The particular miasmatic activity at the time may produce an aggravation under a certain phase of the moon, which is a part of the totality of the case, not necessarily very important, but a part of the totality of the case, the same as any other symptom. There may be a symptom running through that case which may not be affected by the first dose or the second dose of the remedy that is given, but that case is improving.
If we change that remedy we will further complicate the case because the second phase of the evolvement of this curative condition represents an other angle of a complicated miasmatic case. It represents another phase which possibly has lain dormant and through the improvement of another angle this latent angle comes into the picture and produces a group of symptoms which are highly beneficial to the curing of that case. Therefore it brings us back to the proposition that when we have (and I will reiterate) a near-similimum and there is a shifting of symptom groups it behoves us, I believe, to wait and be patient and the reward will come in the further improvement of the case.
DR. H. FARRINGTON: In looking over the list I notice that Natrum carb. is not included.
DR. C.M. BOGER: I cant put in everything out of my own experience.
DR. H. FARRINGTON: I was in hope that I would find it. Many years ago I cured and enormous goitre in a boy of seventeen and practically the only indication which was peculiar was that the goitre enlarged at some phase of the moon- I have forgotten whether it was the waning moon or the full moon. I think it was worst in the full moon.
DR. C.M. BOGER: Look it up, doctor. I want that for my chart.
DR. C.A. DIXON: I am connected with the courts, in making commitments to the asylum of lunacy cases. We find that we always have more commitment cases at the full moon that at any other time. We have checked it up for years.
DR. G.B. STEARNS: In our clinic we had two cases that were definitely worse at moon phases. One was a case with symptoms of gastric ulcer which was always worse once a month- always at the new moon. The other one was a case of epilepsy in a woman who always had her case at the full moon. Bufo was her remedy. The remedy in the first case was Lycopodium.
That you may know you are not dealing purely with moonshine as it is traditionally known moonshine is polarized light, not ordinary light. And if your mind is a bit twisted on what polarized light is, it is as though the light came through a set of bars and only the vibrations in one direction get through. All the others are suppressed.
DR. J.W. KRICHBAUM: I was talking to the doctor who had charge of the womans department of the Kentucky Asylum and she told me that seventy per cent of her epileptic cases were aggravated at the full moon. She didnt have the percentages at the other phases of the moon.
DR. D.PULFORD: May I confirm both what Dr. Dixon and Dr. Krichbaum have said. At the Middletown State Hospital we count on patients “blowing up”, which is the term they use for it, more at that phase of the moon than at any other time.
PRESIDENT G. STEVENS: I have had several cases where the patients were definitely sleepless at the full moon, and who were sleepless even when the moon was clouded or the room darkened. So that it wasnt merely a matter of light. The sleeplessness was intense.
DR. C.M. BOGER: Do you remember the remedies?
PRESIDENT G. STEVENS: Sulphur was used in one case.
DR.C.M. BOGER: There is one thing here to which I want to draw your attention. Much to my surprise, Gelsemium has three squares. It is entitled to another one, making it four squares. Gelsemium is worse at the full moon. There are many surprises in this thing, and it surprised me just a little that Gelsemium is worse at the full moon.
Dr. Waffensmith is entirely borne out by what Dr. Kent says. I read the article not long ago in which he speaks of this peculiar unfoldment of cases. He says there is only one thing to do and that is to wait and let them unfold and give your remedy very rarely, one or twice a year may be, at the most three times a year. I think this study is going to help to bear that thing out also, and, as I said before, it opens a great door which we may enter if we will. Now, are you willing? That is the next thing. In order to be willing, you must do the work.