One of the important duties of the physician is to preserve the human body from disease. This work is about how a homoeopathic physician should preserve the health with the reference from the guidelines given by our master through his writings about cure and prevention of scarlet fever.
He is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in ill health. $4.
Starting from aphorism $ 4, Dr Hahnemann enlighten us about the preventive measures (the preserver of health should have a good knowledge about the things that derange the health so that we can prevent it from deranging the healthy human body). In aphorism $ 102 he gives us idea about how to prevent diseases by selecting the Genus Epidemicus, which is the homoeopathic similimum that cured several people having similar suffering from the same cause.
DR HAHNEMANN’S VIEW
To make this point even stronger we can have a look on CURE AND PREVENTION OF SCARLET FEVER an article by our master where the explains how he managed and cured cases of scarlet fever along with preventing that epidemic and preserving the health of human.
Hahnemann’s work “cure and prevention of scarlet fever” was published at Gotha, in the year 1801. During the summer of 1799, the last year of his brief visit to Konigslutter, an epidemic of scarlet fever occurred, during which Hahnemann discovered the great value of belladonna as a prophylactic against this serious disease. In this work he deals with the nature and character of scarlet fever. He also gives us details about the preparation of his antidote, belladonna and how to apply the remedy. In the preface he has said about certain experiences which occurred when he sent belladonna extract to his followers. Sometimes it was misused when it fell into the wrong hands. Hahnemann has also emphasized the importance of administering the very smallest dose, for that he used dilution method which he used before the invention of dynamization which is one of our cardinal principle. He also gives an intimation for the present-day young doctors that they are inaccurate & in a hurry while treating an ill person.
Our master explains about the nature and how severe the disease was that it showed itself to be the most spreading and contagious of all the maladies that affect children and children get affected by it when coming in close contact with the patients or with the things that had come in contact with their exhalations. Among children under 15 years of age that may be exposed to contagion in epidemics of scarlatina, hardly one in thousand escapes the disease. From 15-20 years of age scarcely one in five hundred is spared, and from 20–30 years the spread and infection were rare.
He differentiated the suffering into two, MILD FORM that occurs with slight feeling of weariness, faint-heartedness, difficulty in swallowing, fever, red face and hot hands. Usually, the very first day itching alone appears, the spots will be of various shape, which disappeared again in from 3-4 days. BAD FORM, in this the symptoms breaks out suddenly and unexpectedly usually on the 7th day after the infection. Sudden unusual timidity and fearfulness, rigor with general coldness, violent pressive headache, pressure in hypochondria, violent vomiting (first mucus, then bile, then of water), parotid and submaxillary gland swelling. After 12 to 24 hours the body become extremely hot and swollen which lasts till the end of the disease. About the 2nd day variously shaped & sized cinnabar-colored spots that rapidly grow pale on any slight chill esp on the pit of throat and extremities accompanied by smarting, itching, burning appears. A drawing pain in the back and cutting belly ache with general or partial convulsions. The urine is lightly colored and the feces is passed involuntarily. From the 4th to 7th day the skin rises up, the pores on the reddest places becomes elevated more or less like pointed military vesicles and contain no fluid. Here the fever lasts for 9 to 14 days. Nails too fall of in some cases. Complete baldness can be seen in after month,
The remedies were selected according to the symptom similarity and he observed two different states of body in fully developed scarlatina each of which have a convolute of symptoms. So, he has mentioned its treatment in 2 different ways.
THE FIRST STATE: In this state opium was selected as the similimum (Burning heat, drowsy stupefaction, agonizing tossing about with vomiting, diarrhoea, convulsions and was subdued in a very short time at most an hour) administered either externally by means of a piece of paper moistened with strong tincture, laid upon the pit of the stomach and left there until it dries, for infants one should hold the paper near them until it dries; or if there is no vomiting a small quantity of a solution of opium is given internally.
For external use, he made a tincture formed by adding 1 part of finely pulverized crude opium to 20 parts of weak alcohol, letting it stand in a cool place for a week, and shaking it occasionally to promote the solution. For internal use, he took a drop of this tincture and mixed it intimately with 500 drops of diluted alcohol and shaking the whole well.
4-year-old child – 1 drop of the above will be sufficient; for younger child the above 1 drop is mixed with 10 tea spoon full of water and given according to their age (1,2,3 or more spoon full). 10-year-old 2 drops. Repetition every 4 to 8 hours, in some cases not more than every 24 hours.
He makes us aware about the law of simplex, that if given in larger doses it can result in raving, hiccough, unappeasable peevishness, weeping etc which subsides by itself and but also can be speedily removed by smelling solution of camphor.
THE SECOND STATE : For the second state the remedy selected was ipecacuanha, (increase of fever towards evening, the sleeplessness, the total loss of appetite, the nausea, the intolerable lachrymose peevishness, the groaning) in this state opium does not work and may do harm, but can cure in a few quarters of an hour. The preparation given by him was, its either prepared in substance in the dose of a tenth to half a grain in fine powder or the tincture prepared by digesting in the cold for some days 1 part of the powder with 20 parts of alcohol, of this one drop was mixed with 100 drops of weak alcohol. Children 1 drop and elder 10 drops of the above were given for a dose.
THE DISCOVERY OF SPECIFIC PRESERVATIVE REMEDY(PROPHYLAXIS)
Our master gives us a clear explanation on how he discovered the genus epidemicus for the scarlet fever that was prevalent in the year 1779 through his direct experience in treating the people.
A family comprising 7 children, in that 2 children and mother was affected by scarlet fever and Dr Hahnemann observed the 10-year-old daughter from the same family with the following symptoms, severe pressing pain in the abdomen, with biting itching on the body and head, rigor over the head and arms, with paralytic stiffness of the joints. She slept very restlessly during the night, with frightful dreams & perspiration all over the body, except head. Hahnemann found her in the morning with pressive headache, dimness of vision, slimy tongue, some ptyalism, the submaxillary glands hard, swollen, painful to touch, shooting pains in the throat on swallowing. Her pulse was quick and small, breathing hurried and anxious. Though she was very pale, she felt hot to touch. She sat leaning somewhat forwards in order to avoid the shooting in the abdomen which she felt most acutely when stretching or bending back the body. After studying the case in detail, he worked hard to find out a remedy which was able to produce in the healthy body most of the morbid symptoms which he observed in this disease and he selected belladonna as a similimum. He gave a dose of belladonna to the girl. She remained quietly seated all day, without lying down, she slept pretty quietly during the night, and the following morning, 20 hours after taking the medicine, most of the symptoms had disappeared without any crisis. After that he gave smaller dose of belladonna every 3 or 4 days and she remained in perfect health. After that he desired whether he could preserve the other 5 children of the family free from infection. Their removal was impossible and would have been too late. He thus reasoned, “A remedy that is capable of quickly checking a disease in its onset, must be its best preventive”. And the following example proved his thoughts. Some weeks previously, three children of another family lay ill of a very bad scarlet-fever; the eldest daughter who had been taking belladonna internally for an affection on the joints of her fingers did not catch the fever. This made him to administer the other 5 children with belladonna, as a preservative, in very small doses repeated every 72 hours, and they all remained perfectly well throughout the whole course of the epidemic. This was how Dr Hahnemann discovered and verified belladonna as a preventive for scarlet fever on those days. He adds that the after sufferings of scarlet fever also can be managed by belladonna, but in few violent cases instead of belladonna chamomilla will do the need.
To the evidence above we can add some more evidences of other stalwarts who successfully prevented epidemic diseases with Genus Epidemicus, such as Dr Boenninghausen found Variolinum and Thuja useful in preventing small pox. Camphor, Veratrum album and Cuprum met in cholera epidemic of Europe. Dr Fransisco prevented polio epidemic using Lathyrus sativus.
We can explain the mode of action of the preventive remedy (Genes Epidemicus) as the administration of the remedy in desired interval of time creates an artificial disease in a healthy person. So that epidemic disease force cannot take over the organism and produce symptom.
In the present scenario we homoeopath should also be aware of the mental state of the people when people are going through a situation of epidemic and pandemic diseases because nowadays due to the excessive hype and fake news spread through the media (social, conventional), the fear factor about the diseases is vastly exaggerated out of proportion and so individuals are driven to stress, fear and anxiety which acts as the main causes of getting sick. In such cases administering the preventive will make individuals feel comfortable thus making them less prone to disease.
- Dudgeon R E, the lesser writings of Samuel Hahnemann. 13th ed. B Jain publishers (p) ltd; 2017.
- Arya M, Boericke W. A study of Hahnemann’s organon of medicine. New Delhi, India: B. Jain Publishers; 2008.
UNDER THE GUIDENCE OF:
DR JACINTHA MONTEIRO
Professor, Department of Organon of Medicine and Homoeopathic Philosophy
Father Muller Homoeopathic Medical College,
Dr Soorya Hencifa Cleetus ( PG Scholar)
Department of Organon of Medicine
Father Muller Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Deralakatte, Mangalore.