This section is from the book "The Chronic Diseases, Their Specific Nature And Their Homeopathic Treatment", by Samuel Hahnemann. Also available from Amazon: The chronic diseases, their specific nature and their homeopathic treatment.
Does it not take three, four or five days after vaccination is effected, before the vaccinated spot becomes inflamed? Does not the sort of fever developed - the sign of the completion of the disease - appear even later, when the protecting pock has been fully formed; i. e., on the seventh or eighth day?
Does it not take ten to twelve days after infection with smallpox, before the inflammatory fever and the outbreak of the smallpox on the skin take place?
What has nature been doing with the infection received in these ten or twelve days? Was it not necessary to first embody the disease in the whole organism before nature was enabled to kindle the fever, and to bring out the eruption on the skin?
Measles also require ten or twelve days after infection or inoculation before this eruption with its fever appears. After infection with scarlet fever seven days usually pass before the scarlet fever, with the redness of the skin, breaks out.
What then did nature do with the received miasma during the intervening days? What else but to incorporate the whole disease of measles or scarlet fever in the entire living organism before she had completed the work, so as to be enabled to produce the measles and the scarlet fever with their eruption.
* We are indebted especially to the careful English and American physicians for these comforting experiences - to Hunter and Houlston (in London Med. Journal, Vol. I.), and to Vaughan, Shadwell and Percivai,, whose observations are recorded in Jam. Mease's "On the Hydrophobia, Philadelphia, 1793."
+ An eight-year-old girl, in Glasgow, was bitten by a mad dog on the 21st of March, 1792. A surgeon immediately exsected the wound altogether, kept it suppurating and gave Mercury until it produced a mild salivation, which was kept up for two weeks; nevertheless hydrophobia broke out on the 27th of April and the patient died on the 29th of April. M. Duncan's Med. Comment, Dec. II., Vol. VII., Edinb., 1793, and The New London Med. Journ., II.
From the progress of all these miasmatic diseases we may plainly see that, after the contagion from without, the malady connected with it in the interiors of the whole man must first be developed; i. e., the whole interior man must first have become thoroughly sick of small-pox, measles or scarlet fever, before these various eruptions can appear on the skin.
For all these acute miasmatic diseases the human constitution possesses that process, which, as a rule, is so beneficent: to wipe them out (i. e., the specific fever together with the specific eruption) in the course of from two to three weeks, and of itself to extinguish them again, through a kind of decision (crisis), from the organism, so that man then is wont to be entirely healed of them and, indeed, in a short time, unless he be killed by them.*
*Or have these various, acute, half-spiritual miasms the peculiar characteristic that - after they have penetrated the vital force in the first moment of the contagion (and each one in its own way has produced disease) and then, like parasites, have quickly grown up within it and have usually developed themselves by their peculiar fever after producing their fruit (the mature cutaneous eruption which is again capable of producing its miasma) - they again die out and leave the living organism again free to recover?
On the other hand, are not the chronic miasmas disease-parasites, which continue to live as long as the man seized by them is alive, and which have their fruit in the eruption originally produced by them (the itch-pustule, the chancre and the fig-wart, which in turn are capable of infecting others), and which do not die off of themselves like the acute miasmas, but can only be exterminated and annihilated by a counter-infection, by means of the potency of a medicinal disease quite similar to it and stronger than it (the anti-psoric), so that the patient is delivered from them and recovers his health?
In the chronic miasmatic diseases nature observes the same course with respect to the mode of contagion and the antecedent formation of the internal disease, before the external declarative symptoms of its internal completion manifests itself on the surface of the body, but then that great remarkable difference from the acute diseases shows itself, that in the chronic miasmata the entire internal disease, as we have mentioned before, remains in the organism during the whole life, yea, it increases with every year, if it is not exterminated and thoroughly cured by art.
Of these chronic miasmata I shall for this purpose only adduce those two which we know somewhat more exactly, namely, the venereal chancre and the itch.
In impure coition there arises, most probably at the very moment in the spot which is touched and rubbed, the specific contagion.
If this contagion has taken effect, then the whole living body is in consequence seized with it. Immediately after the moment of contagion the formation of the venereal disease in the whole of the interior begins.
In that part of the sexual organs where the infection has taken place nothing unnatural is noticed in the first days, nothing diseased, inflamed or corroded; so also all washing and cleansing of the parts immediately after the impure coition is in vain. The spot remains healthy according to appearance, only the internal organism is called into activity by the infection (which occurs usually in a moment), so as to incorporate the venereal miasma and to become thoroughly diseased with the venereal malady.
Only when this penetration of all the organs by the disease caught has been effected, only when the whole being has been changed into a man entirely venereal, i. e., when the development of the venereal disease has been completed, only then diseased nature endeavors to mitigate the internal evil and to soothe it by producing a local symptom, which first shows itself as a vesicle (usually in the spot originally infected), and later breaks out into a painful ulcer called the chancre; this does not appear before five, seven or fourteen days, sometimes, though rarely, not before three, four or five weeks after the infection. This is, therefore, manifestly a chancre ulcer, which acts vicariously for the internal malady, and which has been produced from within by the organism after it has become venereal through and through, and is able through its touch to communicate also to other men the same miasma, i. e., the venereal disease.