The Nosodes of Hahnemann and Their Relation
To Modern Serums and Vaccines
A.C. Cowperthwaite, M.D.
Read before the Southern California Homeopathic Medical Society, October 11, 1917.
A few days ago the Chairman of the Bureau of Materia Medica, requested me to write a paper on this subject. It so happens that the eleventh Edition of my Materia Medica is just off the press. In this edition I have for the first time, incorporated the animal nosodes.
As no one present has had an opportunity to see the book, and perhaps never will see it, I have decided it the best and the proper thing to present you today a compilation on the subject as it there appears.
The Nosodes have in recent days become popular in the medical profession at large, owing to their exploitation as vaccines by the dominant school of medicine.
It is interesting to note in this connection that practically all of these preparations have been in use by the homeopathic school for from thirty to over one hundred years before the old school began the laboratory investigations that have confirmed their therapeutic value along the same lines already established by Hahnemann and his followers, and which are admitted homeopathic in their character.
It has long been contended by some homeopaths that nosodes being identical with the poisons they were intended to combat, were therefore the idem and not the similia and their use isopathy and not homeopathy.
This is a distinction without a difference.
When Rhus is successfully prescribed internally for Rhus poisoning it is the idem, but no one seriously contends that it is not homeopathic.
The same is true of many other homeopathic remedies. Arsenicum in high potency will overcome the long lasting effects of Arsenical poisoning, etc.
Then again it must be remembered that in the process of preparing vaccines, and to a less extent homeopathic preparations, a positive physical change takes place in the remedy, so that it is not exactly identical with the poison as it originally exists in the patient, but only presents a strong similarity.
The chief difference in the use of modern day vaccines and the nosodes of homeopathy lies in the hypodermatic administration of the former and the oral administration of the latter.
In some respects at least, the oral method has a distinct advantage.
The administration is more simple, the results are more perfect, and the danger of infecting the system with living germs is entirely absent.
Then, too, after long years of clinical experience, the homeopath is able to, in a great measure, individualize his cases, and to administer his nosodes in those cases which experience has taught him they are most efficacious.
It is true that as compared with the well proven drugs of our Materia Medica these indications are not definite or satisfactory, but they are a step in advance of the indiscriminate use of vaccines, and especially of the mixed vaccines, the latter corresponding to the so-called "shot-gun" prescribing of some homeopaths.
An important feature of the oral administration of the vaccines, that has been proved in the laboratory and clinically, is that they raise the opsonic index-meaning practically that they arouse the resistant energies of the system against disease, especially against the disease in which they are particularly indicated.
In briefly presenting to you the action of each of the nosodes, I will first speak of the one most in consonance with the subject of tuberculosis, chiefly under consideration today.
We use an alcoholic dilution made from the tubercular abscess.
Tuberculinum corresponds to the tuberculin serum of present day popularity. We only have a few unsatisfactory, fragmentary provings made with extremely high potencies, and are obliged to depend entirely upon clinical indications in the use of the remedy.
It is therefore quite impossible to individualize each case as is desirable in
We can only prescribe tuberculinum when the patient presents a picture of tuberculosis or of the tubercular constitution.
It is recommended in inherited tuberculosis, but we are told by modern scientific investigators that this disease cannot be inherited.
Probably the germs of tuberculosis are not inherited, but what amounts to the same thins, is that the predisposing constitution may be and very often is inherited.
Such patients, of tubercular parents, very often have a feeble vitality and are less able to resist the encroachment of any disease germs, especially those of tuberculosis, than are those born of healthy parents.
They take on sickness easily and have low recuperative power.
Are susceptible to changes in the weather and take cold easily.
They are usually light complected, narrow chested, emaciated, anemic, weak, and tire easily.
Motion causes fatigue and they are averse to work.
They want a constant change, to travel, go somewhere or do something different.
The above presents a picture of an incipient tuberculosis, and it is in such cases that tuberculinum is of greatest use.
Patients who present a tubercular picture, and who at the same time suffer with epilepsy, neurasthenia or great nervousness.
Skin affections, rheumatism, especially articular.
An important characteristic is that symptoms are constantly changing and well selected remedies fail to improve.
I will now briefly consider the remaining animal nosodes in their alphabetical order:
- This is the anthrax poison.
- We use an extract prepared from the spleen of cattle suffering with anthrax.
- For many years Anthracinum has proved a successful remedy in the treatment of Anthrax, in both man and beast.
- It has also proven useful in the treatment of septic inflammations, carbuncles and malignant ulcers.
- Also in boils and in all inflammation of connective tissue in which a purulent focus is present.
- Hemorrhages, black, thick, tar-like, rapidly decomposing, from any orifice.
- Glands swollen, cellular tissues oedmatous and indurated.
- Ulceration, sloughing, and intolerable burning.
- Black and blue blisters.
- Dissecting wounds.
- Insect stings.
- Bad effects from inhaling foul odors.
- Gangrenous parotitis.
- We use an alcoholic tincture made from the saliva of a rabid dog.
- Hydrophobinum was introduced and proved by Hering in 1833, fifty years before Pasteur's experiments with the serum.
- It might not be amiss to remark here that Hering was the first to anticipate the probability of being able to prevent hydrophobia and variola by the use of their respective morbific poisons, and to
- treat the same after their development by the same poisons.
- He thus anticipated and laid the foundation for the popular vaccine therapy of the present day, which is universally recognized to be homeopathic in its principle if not in its administration.
- In Pasteur's method of administration of the saliva of a mad dog to prevent and cure hydrophobia, he is working along homeopathic lines in seeking to neutralize a virus in the system by the introduction of the same virus in modified form.
- The same is true of all serum treatments which are essentially homeopathic in their nature.
- The action of hydrophobium is principally upon the nervous system, producing phenomena similar to those produced by the direct introduction of the poison by the infected animal.
- The chief symptoms are convulsions, headaches, headaches, and other troubles brought on by dazzling light or the sight of running water.
- This is the gonorrheal virus from which we make alcoholic dilutions.
- Medorrhinum corresponds to the Gonococcus serum of present-day popularity.
- All provings and cures were made with high potencies.
- Its chief use has been in the treatment of chronic ailments due to suppressed gonorrhoea; or where there is a sycotic history.
- It will often restore a gonorrhoeal discharge.
- Chronic pelvic disorders in women.
- Chronic gonorrheal rheumatism.
- Dwarfed and stunted children of gonorrheal parents.
- Glandular enlargements.
- State of collapse and subjective trembling are said to be very characteristic.
- We use triturations and dilutions made from the itch vesicle.
- Psorinum is probably the most popular and oftenest used nosode in homeopathic practice. It corresponds to the various staphylococcus and streptoccus vaccines.
- It is especially indicated in individuals presenting the psoric diathesis as
- designated by Hahnemann, and is closely allied to Sulphur.
- The patient presents a dirty appearance, even though he has been thoroughly washed. The body gives off an extremely offensive, carrion-like odor, as do also all the secretions and excretions.
- Useful in chronic diseases when well selected remedies fail to relieve or permanently improve (in acute disease, Sulph.).
- Great debility remaining after a cute diseases or loss of animal fluids (in non-psoric cases, Cinchona)
- Skin symptoms prominent.
- Ailments from suppressed itch or other skin diseases (Sulph.).
- All functions slow in action-paretic weakness.
- Useful in all chronic diseases occurring in psoric patients.
- Commonly known as Pyrogen.
- We use alcoholic dilutions made from the pus taken from a septic abscess.
- Pyrogen corresponds to the streptococcus and other anti-febrile vaccines.
- It is efficacious for sapraemia or septicaemia; puerperal or surgical; ptomaine or sewer gas poisoning; blood poisoning, from all causes; dissecting wounds and pricks or scratches by infected sharp instruments.
- Typhoid conditions.
- Septic fevers.
- We use alcoholic dilutions made from the syphilitic virus.
- This nosode is used in Syphilitic affections.
- Throat, skin and other troubles due to bad treatment of syphilis years before.
- Syphilitic dyscrasia, either hereditary or acquired.
- Chronic eruptions and rheumatism.
- Hereditary tendency to alcoholism.
- We use alcoholic dilutions of the lymph from the smallpox pustule.
- The chief use of Variolinum is to protect against, modify and cure smallpox.
- It has also been used successfully in the treatment of herpes zoster and the subsequent neuralgia. It has been successfully proved that the oral administration of Variolinum is just as efficient protection against smallpox as the old-time scarification method, and many homeopaths now employ this method exclusively.
- The State of Iowa has legalized "internal vaccination."
- It is certainly a safer plan, as it avoids the possibility of infecting the system
- with live disease germs and producing in the innocent victim lockjaw, paralysis and other serious conditions, such as sometimes follow the use of impure virus.