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.
The homoeopathic physician who is a master of his art, and God be praised! there is now a not inconsiderable number of such masters in Homoeopathy, never allows a drop of blood to be drawn from his patient; he never needs any such or similar means of weakening the body, for such a course evermore remains the negation of curing. Only journeymen, half homoeopaths still, I am sorry to say, use such a contradictio in adjecto (weakening while desiring to cure).*
Only in the one case, where, as in many chronic diseases, the delay in passing evacuations causes great trouble, he will permit (in the beginning of the treatment before the antipsoric medicine has had the time [in its after-effects] to produce improvement in this point) if the stool is not passed for three or four days, a clyster of clean, lukewarm water without the least admixture, also perhaps a second, if an evacuation does not result within a quarter of an hour. Rarely a third injection will be needed, after waiting a third quarter of an hour. This help which acts chiefly mechanically by expanding the rectum, is harmless when repeated after three or four days if it is necessary, and, as before mentioned, only at the beginning of the treatment - for the antipsoric medicines, among which, in this respect, Lycopodium next to Sulphur has the pre-eminence, usually soon remove this difficulty.
* This may well be pardoned with journeymen and beginners; but when they assume to boast of this noviceship and declare in public journals and books that the incidental use of blood-letting and leeches is indispensable, yea, that it is more essentially homoeopathic, they become ridiculous and are to be pitied as tyros and as laboring under delusion; and their patients also are to be pitied. Is it laziness or a haughty preference for their old (although ruinous) allopathic routine, or is it lack of love for their fellowmen which prevents a deeper entering into true, beneficent Homoeopathy and an elevation into the troublesome but correct and useful selection of the remedy homoeopathically specific in every case, and into that mastery of Homoeopathy now no more rare?
The inexcusable wasting fontanels the homoeopathic physician must not at once suppress, if the patient has had them for some time (often for many years), nor before the antipsoric treatment has already made perceptible progress, but if they can be diminished without totally stopping them, this may safely be done even in the beginning of the treatment.
So also the physician should not at once discontinue the woolen underclothing, which is said to prevent the taking of cold and the recommendation of which is carried very far by the ordinary physicians in default of any real assistance. Though they are a burden to the patient, we should wait until there is a visible improvement effected by the antipsorics which remove the tendency to taking cold, and until the warmer season comes. With patients who are very weakly, he should in the beginning change to cotton shirts which rub and heat the skin less, before requiring the patients to put linen underclothing on their skin.
For many easily perceived reasons, but especially in order that his delicate doses of medicine may not be interfered with in their action, the homoeopathic physician cannot in his antipsoric treatment allow the intermediate use of any hitherto customary domestic remedy, no perfumery of any kind, no fragrant extracts, no smelling-salts, no Baldwin tea, or any other herb teas, no peppermint confection, no spiced confections or anise-sugar or stomach drops, or liquors, no Iceland-moss, or spiced chocolate, no spice-drops, tooth-tinctures or tooth-powders of the ordinary kinds, nor any of the other articles of luxury.
So-called warm and hot baths for the sake of cleanliness, to which spoiled patients are usually very much attached, are not to be allowed, as they never fail to disturb the health; nor are they needed, as a quick washing of a part or of the whole of the body with lukewarm soap-water fully serves the purpose without doing any injury.
At the end of these directions for treating chronic diseases, I recommended, in the first edition, the lightest electric sparks as an adjuvant for quickening parts that have been for a long time paralyzed and without sensation, these to be used besides antipsoric treatment. I am sorry for this advice, and take it back, as experience has taught me that this prescription has nowhere been followed strictly, but that larger electric sparks have always been used to the detriment of patients; and yet these larger sparks have been asserted to be very small. I, therefore, now advise against this so easily abused remedy, especially, as we can easily remove this appearance of enantiopathic assistance; for there is an efficient homoeopathic local assistance for paralyzed parts or such as are without sensation. This is found in cold water* locally applied (at 54° Fahrenheit) from mountain-springs and deep wells; either by pouring on these parts for one, two or three minutes, or by douche-baths over the whole body of one to five minutes duration, more rarely or more frequently, even daily or oftener according to the circumstances, together with the appropriate, internal, antipsoric treatment, sufficient exercise in the open air, and judicious diet.
* Water of this and a lower temperature has the primary power of depriving the parts of the living body partly of sensation and partly of motion, in such cases it therefore gives local homoeopathic assistance.