Dr. A. H. Arndt, Cleveland, Ohio.
The Homeopathician, 1912.
What it is not:
1. Homœopathy is not a new thing. Hippocrates, Galen, Haller, Stork, and many other great teachers in medicine, were familiar with the homœopathic law of cure. Samuel Hahnemann (German physician and scientist) first recognized its full value and made its application general.
2. Homœopathy is not a fad, like the succession of great discoveries constantly hailed as wonderful advances in scientific medicine, to drop out of sight and memory in a short time. Homœopathy has been daily tested for more than a century, and its hold upon the intelligent in every community is stronger today than ever before.
3. Homœopathy is not a complicated proposition beyond the comprehension of intelligent lay people. It rests upon a simple, demonstrable law of nature; that drugs in small doses will cure, in the sick, ailments whose symptoms closely resemble those that are caused when the same drug is taken in larger doses by a person in normal health.
4. Homœopathy is not guess-work nor a fine-spun theory. Each one of the hundreds of drugs employed by homœopaths has been « proved » or tested upon the healthy human organism, showing what organs, functions or structures it affects. Mark that these experiments are not made upon cats, rings, or guinea pigs, but upon hundreds of earnest men and women, who subjected themselves to pain and inconvenience for the purpose of helping the sick. Homœopaths experiment upon themselves, not upon their patients, to find out what drugs can do.
5. Homœopathy does not seek merely to palliate nor suppress pain. It goes to the root of the trouble, and for that very reason is likely permanently to overcome pain when opiates and other palliatives afford only temporary relief. But homœopathic physicians may and do use any agent to relieve pain when to do this is a matter of common-sense or when imperative.
6. Homœopathy does not suppress symptoms nor give temporary relief at the expense of future comfort and safety. It aims, by the remedy given, to reach the cause of the disturbance and thus make the sick well.
7. Homœopathy does not injure the human system. Its effect is gentle. Its methods do not make the patient first worse, nor do they exhaust his vitality so that recovery is retarded. It rather coaxes back health, and allows the carefully husbanded vital energy to make convalescence a rapid and safe process. It does not make the sick sicker; it woos them back into well-being.
8. Homœopathy does not claim to be a universal panacea, but in more than a century’s trial in every part of the civilized world it has demonstrated its curative power in all disease conditions known, at any time of life. It acts as promptly in the vigorous man and woman as in childhood. It does not take the place of the surgeon’s knife, but when skillfully used often does away with the necessity of operating. By its subtle constitutional effects its action reaches far and deep, and the surgeon, accoucheur or gynæcologist, who is familiar with the use of homœopathically indicated remedy can achieve results far greater than those attained without it.
9. Homœopathy is not behind the times; the homœopath is educated just as other physicians are, meets the same requirements in college and passes the same examinations. He knows all that other physicians do, and in addition must have a complete understanding of the principles of Homœopathy, and a full knowledge of homœopathic materia medica and of homœopathic practice.
What is it:
1. Homœopathy represents the application of a natural law (similia similibus curantur, similars may be cured by similars) to the treatment of disease. If a drug, in a non-fatal dose, is taken into the human system, it causes a temporary illness. Experience shows that the same drug, in comparatively small doses, will cure a similar condition when found as a natural disease. This law was recognized by as old an authority as Hippocrates, but remained buried until somewhat more than a century ago under a lot of fanciful and useless speculations.
2. Homœopathy is based upon the law of similarity, not of « sameness. » When a person is poisoned by opium, a little more opium, no matter in what form, will not help him. But when a person, sick from some other cause, presents symptoms which are similar to those of opium-poisoning, it is very probable that opium will be of benefit.
3. Homœopathy has for a century been at work on the task of finding out, for the purpose of curing the sick, just what in the action of the many drugs upon the human organism. Aware of the fact that drugs often do not act upon animals as they do on human beings, all the experiments have been made upon human beings, preferably strong, healthy and intelligent men and women, often physicians, and these effects have been carefully recorded, compared and analyzed (« provings »). In the case of very many of these drugs, hundreds of such « provings » have been made in every civilized country in the world.
4. Homœopathy, in making these provings, has been able to test, and to demonstrate the soundness of the law of similars in every civilized country and among all civilized nations. By prescribing in the sick-room the drug capable of causing similar effects upon provers (see 3), undeniable curative results have invariably followed in curable cases of illness.
5. Homœopathy thus has the advantage of resting upon a tangible, demonstrable basis which is not affected by the everchanging views concerning the causes and nature of diseases. It is a therapeutic certainty, and its lessons will be as reliable and full of meaning in a thousand years as they are today. Dr. S. Hahnemann, long before he had ever seen a case of Asiatic cholera, from a study of the symptoms of cholera and from his knowledge of the drugs capable of producing in the healthy human being symptoms which are similar to those of cholera, was able to point out the drugs which, in fact, when Asiatic cholera appeared in Europe, proved of startling efficiency.
6. Homœopathy, by its uniformly satisfactory results when intelligently employed, gives to its practitioners a confidence in the value of drugs homœopathically prescribed, and a directness of action in the sick-room, so far as the use of drugs is concerned, which is characteristic of the homœopathic physician. The majority of physicians of other schools gradually grow less and less confident of the reliability of drugs; the homœopathic prescriber, though he understands and uses other auxiliary agents as demanded by special conditions, uses his remedies with ever-increasing confidence, and would not consent to practice without them. Is not this assurance a comfort to the sick?
7. Homœopathy stands for liberality. The reliance it places upon the indicated remedy does not stand in the way of its utilizing every advance made in every department of medicine. In fact, since homœopathy refers only to the use of drugs in the treatment of the sick, and does not claim to be a universal law, it stands to reason that homœopathic physicians must keep abreast of every advance made in the general field of medicine and surgery. Any other course would be suicidal.
8. Homœopathy is the « therapeutics of the future. » Much of its teaching, bitterly assailed in the past, has been tentatively accepted by all advanced practitioners of medicine, though rarely properly credited. Complicated and crude methods of prescribing drugs are no longer fashionable. Salivation has long been a thing of the part. Copious bleeding for every form of disease in no longer tolerated. Even the old-time monstrous doses of quinine have become the exception, when a few years ago they were the rule. Homœopathy has been the great factor in bringing about all these changes. Not only this; recent laboratory work of the highest type has shown why the efficiency of matter is vastly increased by almost infinite subdivision (high attenuations of homœopathy), and the latent therapeutics of the dominant school can be justified only upon the homœopathic law. (v. Behring.)
9. Homœopathy is in demand. Calls for homœopathic physicians come from private and public hospitals and from communities in every part of the country. Not over ten per cent of these demands are met, because they outstrip the sources of supply. Study homœopathy; rely upon it; it will not disappoint you !
H. R. ARNDT.