Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/169

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MEDICAL QUACKS AND QUACKERIES.

with. Hahnemann, and no one now wishes to detract from the laurels he may have won by thus simplifying the etiology of diseases which hitherto have been so obscure in their origin.

Unfortunately for his theory, since the discovery of the sarcoptis hominis, or itch-insect, the dogma about the psora being such a powerful factor in the causation of disease has fallen to the ground, and homoeopaths are not fond of referring to it. Like Paracelsus, Hahnemann paid no attention to the pathology[1] or cause of disease, but only sought for symptoms. For instance, in a case of dropsy, the cause, whether it be from the heart, the kidneys, or the liver, is not inquired into, but the symptom dropsy is treated. Dr. Black, in his "Practice of Homœopathy," tells us: "If the cause of the disease be an inflammation of the brain, a remedy has to be chosen which produces this pathological condition; and, if the exciting cause can be traced to the abuse of alcoholic liquors, a remedy should be selected which is nearest akin to alcohol in its action." This is what is called "a proving."

The dilutions are directed to be prepared by Hahnemann with as much mystery and jugglery as the "sympathetic powder." The following directions are taken from Hahnemann's "Organon": "A grain of the substance, if it is solid, and a drop, if liquid, is to be added to about a third part of 100 grains of sugar of milk in an unglazed porcelain capsule, which has had the polish removed from the lower part of its cavity by rubbing with wet sand; they are to be mingled for an instant with a bone or horn spatula, and then rubbed together for six minutes; then the mass is to be scraped together from the mortar and pestle, which is to take four minutes, then to be again rubbed for six minutes with equal force. Four minutes are then to be devoted to scraping the powder into a heap, and the second third of the 100 grains of sugar of milk to be added. Then they are to be stirred an instant and rubbed six minutes, again to be scraped together for four, and forcibly rubbed for six, once more scraped together for four minutes and rubbed down for six. Then the last third of the 100 grains of sugar of milk is to be added and mingled by stirring with a spatula. Six minutes of forcible rubbing, four of scraping together, six more of rubbing, finish the process. Now to one grain of the powder so manufactured is to be added a third part of 100 grains of sugar of milk, and the whole mixed in a mortar, and having triturated each third portion for six minutes, and scraped for four minutes, the whole powder is placed in a corked bottle and marked with its degree of attenuation, which will be the 110000 or second dilution. The same method is observed for this powder as was detailed for the last for making any attenuation up to a decillionth and quintillionth."

  1. A new school, which has arisen within the last few years, also pays no attention to pathology. The members of this school do not wait for symptoms even, but endeavor to "jugulate" the disease at once. They call themselves the "Dosimetric School," because they treat disease by granules containing alkaloids and metallic salts in fixed doses.