Form of Proper Medicinal Doses
FORM OF PROPER MEDICINAL DOSES.
BY M. EDGEWORTH LAZARUS, M.D.
Homoepathy, in its form of exhibition, reveres the admonitions of those natural guardians placed by the good God at the threshold of the temple of life, namely, the five senses. It considers every medicine, however otherwise appropriate in its qualities, as contra-indicated, so long as, in its form of preparation, it is disgusting to the senses of sight, smell, and taste—given to discriminate from among all substances those which are fit to be taken into the stomach and body of man and other animals. Every medicine, before being homoeopathically administered, is so prepared as to be inoffensive to the sight and smell, and pleasing to the taste, and, as in the approach to truth, the beautiful every where combines with the useful; so it is the same process of trituration with sugar and dilution with alcohol, that removes the disgusting qualities of medicines, and that develops their electrical powers, enabling them to penetrate more readily to the nervous centres, and permeate more thoroughly the tissues diseased. A material such as sand or clay, inert in its crude form, exhibits great medical powers when thus triturated and diluted. The force and range of al-. ready powerful medicines, such as Mercury or Arsenic, is at once extended and refined, so that in the exceedingly minute dose which experience proves to be fully sufficient to cure, provided the remedy truly correspond with the disease, these and other poisons become perfectly safe even for babes at the breast.
To those who very naturally object to Homoeopathy, the impossibility of understanding how such exceedingly minute doses can have any effect, we answer that this is, in the first place, a matter settled by a large and long experience for those who have investigated the subject experimentally, and, in the second place, that they deceive themselves in expecting to derive any other information on this point from their senses, than that of the effects or results observed after exhibition of the remedies. Neither sight, smell, or taste detect the medicinal qualities of Mercury, Arsenic, Antimony, Belladonna, Stramonium, etc.; the senses only declare—I like or I dislike, any farther knowledge of remedial agents is gained only by experimental observation of their effects when taken into the body. It is only the association of ideas that makes the medicinal qualities of drugs in their crude form appear to be sensible The same association of ideas comes, by experience in Homoeopathy, to attach to the medicinal qualities of tasteless and inodorous preparations of the same drugs. Nothing can be more grossly silly than the common notion of estimating the medicinal virtue of drugs by weight and measure. Tell me—in pounds, ounces, drams, and grains—the weight of Scarlet Fever, of Cholera, of Croup, of Measles, or any other disease—tell me its measure in yards, feet, and inches—and you will then, perhaps, be rational in expecting that I should tell you, in the same terms, the weight and measure of the corresponding remedies which cure those diseases, liut if it be evident to all that diseases are not susceptible of such measurement; that they are not visible and tangible matters, but only aromas manifested like heat, light, and magnetism, by their effects in solid and fluid bodies; then we should naturally expect that medicines corresponding to these diseases, and curative of them, should, in their most perfect preparation, lose the visible and tangible qualities of crude matter, and attain like diseases the aromal state, with the extension of power and influence which belongs to this state—precisely what we find in the preparations of Homoeopathy. It is conformable to the uniform experience of mankind that the senses perceive only the lowest and feeblest order of forces in Nature. Every thing beyond mere bulk and weight belong to another field of experience. Steam, the expansive force of gases, heat, light, electricity, galvanism, magnetism, nervous power, morbific and therapeutic agents, and the still higher forms of power, such as those of passion or will, of love and intellect, rise beyond all estimation of the senses, except through their results.
During ages when brute force has ruled, it was natural that the virtue of medicines should be estimated by their material qualities, and by the convulsions and agonies their crude masses produce in the nice mechanism of the human body, which they disturb or destroy.
In an age where intellect and science attain the supremacy, it is equally natural that the higher or subtler qualities of medicines should be sought after, and that physicians, ceasing from their vain and pernicious attempts to control arbitrarily the movements of organic life, should seek to restore its equilibrium and harmony, by awakening its own reactive forces.