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ORG ANON



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SAMUEL HAHNEMANN.



A U D E S A P E S E.



FIFTH AMERICAN EDITION,
TRANSLATED FROM THE FIFTH GERMAN EDITION,

BY

C. WESSELHOEFT, M.D.



BOERICKE & TAFEL:



NE W YORK:
145 GRAND STREET.



P II I L A D E L P II I A :
6 35 ARCH STREET.



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Bi BOERK Ki: A I \i I I..

In the ariao of Congress, it Washington, D. CL



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PKEFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION



The following remarks are intended to illustrate the old
school of medicine (allopathy) in general. In the treatment of
diseases old-school physicians are in the habit of assuming the
existence of excess of blood (plethora), or of morbific matter and
acrid humors, which in reality do not exist. In order to remove
them, the life-blood is wasted by venesections and various other
devices for the expulsion of imaginary noxious matter, or for its
derivation to. other parts. For these purposes physicians resort
to emetics, cathartics, sialagogues, sudorifics, diuretics, blisters,
fontanelles, setons, etc. All of these are applied under the delu-
sion that the disease is thereby weakened, and materially de-
stroyed, while in reality the suffering of the patient is increased
under the use of opiates, together with the waste of substance,
which seriously prevents the restoration of health. Again, it is
customary to assail the organism by repeated and massive doses
of powerful drugs, the protracted effects and violent properties
of which, are too often unknown to the prescriber ; and these
effects are frequently rendered still more incalculable by the de-
plorable habit, adhered to by the old school, of compounding in
one formula several or many unknown substances, by the pro-
longed use of which, new and often incurable drug-diseases are
added to those already present in the body. In order to beguile
the patient* by temporary suppression and alleviation, the old
school makes use of palliatives (contraria conlrariis) without
regard to subsequent extension and aggravation of the disease.

* For the same purpose the ready-witted allopathist generally makes free
use of the Greek name of the disease, in order to convince the patient that
the doctor is as familiar with the disease as with an old acquair tance with
whom it is easy to deal.

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PEEFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION.



The following remarks are intended to illustrate the old
school of medicine (allopathy) in general. In the treatment of
diseases old-school physicians arc in the habit of assuming the
existence of excess of blood (plethora), or of morbific matter and
acrid humors, which in reality do not exist. In order to remove
them, the life-blood is wasted by venesections and various other
devices for the expulsion of imaginary noxious matter, or for its
derivation to. other parts. For these purposes physicians resort
to emetics, cathartics, sialagogues, sudorifics, diuretics, blisters,
fontanelles, setons, etc. All of these are applied under the delu-
sion that the disease is thereby weakened, and materially de-
stroyed, while in reality the suffering of the patient is increased
under the use of opiates, together with the waste of substance,
which seriously prevents the restoration of health. Again, it is
customary to assail the organism by repeated and massive doses
of powerful drugs, the protracted effects and violent properties
of which, are too often unknown to the prescriber; and these
effects are frequently rendered still more incalculable by the de-
plorable habit, adhered to by the old school, of compounding in
one formula several or many unknown substances, by the pro-
longed use of which, new and often incurable drug-diseases are
added to those already present in the body. In order to beguile
the patient* by temporary suppression and alleviation, the old
school makes use of palliatives (contraria contrariis) without
regard to subsequent extension and aggravation of the disease.

* For the same purpose the ready-witted allopathist generally makes free
use of the Greek name of the disease, in order to convince the patient that
the doctor is as familiar with the disease as with an old acquair tance with
whom it is easy to deal.

( i» )



M361899



IV PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION*.

Affections appearing on external portions of the body are conve-
niently declared to be only local diseases, having no connection
with the rest of the organism; and these are said to have been
cured, when they have only been removed iron) the surface by
external applications, while the real inner disease is compelled to
fasten upon other more vital organs.

When the doctor is finally at a loss what to do with the ob-
stinate and greatly increased disease, he boldly applies the max-
ims of his school in blindly administering an alterative to pro-
duce the desired change; and so life is often undermined by
calomel, corrosive sublimate, and other mercurials in large. doses.

The old or allopathic treatment of disease is often followed by
the deplorable result that by far the greatest proportion of all
diseases are made incurable, or hastened to a fiital termination, by
means of prolonged debilitating treatment of patients already
weakened by disease, and by complicating their complaints with
new and destructive affections resulting from the use of imper-
fectly known remedial agents. Such results are far too easily
occasioned by a certain levity of conscience which soon leads to
thoughtless routine.

]S*o doubt old-school physicians of the common kind are readv
to defend these injurious modes of practice by arguments bor-
rowed from prejudiced books and professors, or based on the au-
thority of some other old-school physician. The mosi absurd
and unreasonable methods of treatment have their defenders,
notwithstanding the testimony of most painful results. Only
the old physician who has at length quietly arrived at the con-
viction of the injurionsness of such practice, wisely prescribes
harmless plantain-leaf tea and raspberry syrup for the most
serious dise;i~e§ 64, the word
" morbid," should be morbific In § 115, "sufficient " should
be insufficient. These are a few out of many inaccuracies which
disturb and often entirely destroy the sense of the text. Another
important instance is contained in § 129, where the words "still
higher doses," should be translated in accordance with the text,
to mean larger and stronger doses.

The present translation, I hope, may be found to be an entirely
new and independent one of the whole work. A careful com-
parison with Dr. Dudgeon's, and with the American editions,
has greatly facilitated the avoidance of old errors, as well as of
new ones.

Each paragraph of the Organon generally consists of a single
uninterrupted sentence which, like a ponderous block of stone,
hewn and sculptured by the skill of an artisan, seems to have
been lifted with Titan power to fill its place and purpose in the
structure. It was impossible always to reproduce these sentences
in English. Plain English expressions, and simplicity of style,
were needed to render the work accessible to the student. How
far the translator has succeeded in this, he submits to the deci-
sion of the generous reader.

The Organon is divisible into two parts. ' The first is a vig-
orous and masterly description and criticism, of the practice of
medicine as it was during the end of the last, and the first
quarter of the present, century. The second part teaches the prin-
ciples and practice of homoeopathy, and thus frequent reference is
made to the then existing methods of the old school. Things
have changed since that time. If nearly half a century ago, the
old school held the principles which Hahnemann censured, they






X PREFACE BY THE TRANSLATOR.

are now unanimously repudiated. The old school now has no
principles in its application of drugs; it Deglects these in favor
of numerous surgical specialties, in the midst of which, real
medical practice is threatened with destruction, like a plant sur-
rounded by exuberant word-. Those disavowed principles are
now replaced by highly scientific experiment, such as vivisec-
tions, curarization, galvanization, measurement of blood-pressure
of moribund animals, etc., hut we see n favorable clinical results
to prove the value of such one-sided investigation. In strong
contrast with this scientific zealotism, we observe the most un-
scientific empiricism in the use of medicines; this arises from the
absence of a guiding rule, like that which inaugurated the emi-
nently practical method of testing drugs upon the healthy living
organism, which permits a direct inference as to the amount of
benefit to be derived from the use of medicines in disease. To
this state of things, Hahnemann's Organon needs readaptation.

Although the Organon has been and is our principal text-hook
for the present, it has not been republished under the impression
that all it- doctrines and principles are to be accepted literally
and unconditionally. As each one has a style of his own, the
details in the application of the principles of the Off/anon must
necessarily vary with different individuals. While admitting
these, we should also allow a certain latitude in the interpretation
of various dogmas advanced in the Organon. Indeed, our best
authors, and among them Hahnemann's earliest disciples, have
always exercised absolute liberty of personal judgment in these
matters.

We have not the space to dwell upon many details here, and
therefore only allude briefly to some of the main points. The
Organon still contains it< chapters on the psora-theory. Few
beginners would comprehend this subject without explanation
on the part of the instructor. Many ignore the psora-theory
altogether; some still adhere to its literal meaning; most physi-
cians, however, will not adopt it unconditionally, but will prob-
ably agree to allow it to remain in its place as one of the monu-
ments of a new era in science. The age of Cuvier, Lamarck,
Oken, and St. Hilaire, culminated in simplifying the complicated
classification of organic nature introduced by Linne. In the






PREFACE BY THE TRANSLATOR. XI

place of very numerous classes and orders, Cuvier established
four grand types, embracing the entire animal world.

Pathology was at that time struggling for deliverance from a
similar chaotic state; and, though the history of medicine points
to various vague attempts at classification of diseases, according
to common characteristics of type or origin, no attempt bears
the mark of genius in scientific generalization so clearly as the
effort of Hahnemann to classify diseases, and to embrace chronic
diseases in few typical forms. Although he may have erred in
some of the details of his structure, the principle and funda-
mental idea underlying the attempt, was as grand and portentious
as that upon which Cuvier proceeded to construct his system of
classification.

As for the rule similia similibus curantur, physicians agree that
it is the most practical guide to aid us in the selection of most,
perhaps of all, medicines. We accept it as an empirical fact, not
as a theory or hypothesis, as our opponents quite erroneously term
it. The explanations of its workings are as numerous and
varied as they are unsatisfactory, from Hahnemann to the latest
expounder. Yet the rule is a good and safe one, and though
imperfectly explained, we may continue to apply it in practice,
till at some future time we may enjoy the privilege, not only of
contemplating what we have cured, but also how it was done.

Near these ancient landmarks, around whose rugged shores
the ocean of strife has surged and rolled for nearly a century,
there stands another, called "the question of the dose." Of all
the problems involved in the development of the new method
of curing by medicines, this has led to the greatest degree of
partisan contention, rather than scientific investigation. Not
only physicians of experience, but laymen, and especially be-
ginners, whose judgment on medical matters is in its period of
incubation, and whose experience is entirely a matter of the
future, are divided by relentless partisan spirit upon the question
of the dose into "high dilutionists" and "low dilutionists."

Hahnemann suggested that the thirtieth potency is probably
the limit of divisibility and effectiveness of drugs in general
(§ 270); and, though he also held that medicines can scarcely
be attenuated too far, in the same paragraph, and many other



Xll PREFACE BY TUE TRANSLATOR.

place-, lie is careful to add the condition: " Provided it is still
capable of producing an aggravation which proves it tobe stronger
than the natural disease." (§§ 160, 249, 279; etc.).

S »me practitioners use only strong tinctures or crude drugs,
or, at most, only low dilutions, and deny the advantages of greater
attenuation ; others depend entirely on the so-called high poten-
cies. There is a decided tendency to diverge into extremes;
while a number follow a middle course, the advocates of high
potencies transcend I Iahnemann's propositions regarding the dose,
as far as the defenders of low dilutions fall short of it.

These extremes have created a sectarian spirit among the
public, and its drift is forcibly reflected in the views of the laity.
This may, in future, cause us some difficulty, because people
attach far more importance to divisions among the doctors than
these do.

Although the Organon was translated in a spirit of reverence
for its author, the chief motive was to afford our students an
opportunity to become acquainted with the sources and the prin-
ciples of the new school of medicine. In proportion as thes<
are actually mastered, and in proportion to their isolation, and
abstraction from the adoration of the personality of their origi-
nator, their general and thorough adoption will be rapid or slow.

Finally, and in conformity with the purpose of the Organon
as a text-book of the principles of homoeopathy, the translator
has transferred the last paragraphs (293-4) and their foot-notes,
treating of mesmerism, to an appendix. Whatever individuals
may think of the subject of these paragraphs, it has no bearing
on the principles of homoeopathy. Though mature minds arc
in no danger of being disturbed by it, in these days abounding
in displays of jugglery and superstition, mingled with natural,
though unfathomed phenomena, beginners might he led astray,
and to misjudge the book upon which they should repose con-
fidence.

C. Wesselhcept, M.D.

Boston, August 21st, 1875.



CONTENTS.



PAGE

Preface by the Author, 3-6


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Online LibrarySamuel HahnemannOrganon of the art of healing → online text (page 1 of 22)