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.
This excuse, as above said, amounts to nothing. For, first of all, no cutaneous eruption, of whatever kind it may be, ought to be expelled through external means by any physician who wishes to act conscientiously and rationally.* The human skin does not evolve of itself, without the co-operation of the rest of the living whole, any eruption, nor does it become sick in any way, without being induced and compelled to it by the general diseased state, by the lack of normality in the whole organism. In every case there is at the bottom a disorderly state of the whole internal living organism, which state must first be considered; and therefore the eruption is only to be removed by internal healing and curative remedies which change the state of the whole; then also the eruption which is based on the internal disease will be cured and healed of itself, without the help of any external remedy, and frequently more quickly than it could be done by external remedies.
Secondly, even if the physician should not have presented to him the original, undestroyed form of the eruption, - i. e., the pustule of itch which in the beginning is transparent, then quickly filled with pus, with a narrow red margin all around it, - even if the eruption should consist only of small granules like the miliary eruption, or appear like scattered little pimples or little scabs, still he cannot for a moment be in doubt as to whether the eruption is itch, if the child or even the suckling only a few days old, uninterruptedly rubs and scratches the spot, or if it is an adult,when he complains of the titillation of a voluptuously itching eruption (or even only a few pimples) which is unbearable without scratching, especially in the evening and at night, and when this is followed by a burning pain. In such a case we can never doubt as to the infection with itch, though in genteel and wealthy families we can seldom secure the information and the certainty as to how, where and from whom the infection has been derived; for there are innumerable imperceptible occasions whereby this infection may be received, as taught above.
*See "Organon of the Healing Art," fifth edition, § 187-203.
Now when the family physician notices this in time, then without any internal application, the simple dose of one or two pills as large as poppy-seeds, moistened with the potentized sulphur in alcohol, as described below, will fully and abundantly suffice to cure a child and to deliver it from the entire disease of itch, both the eruption and the internal itch malady (Psora).
The homoeopathic physician in his private practice seldom gets to see and to treat an eruption of itch spread over a considerable part of the skin and coming from a fresh infection. The patients on account of the intolerable itching either apply to some old woman, or to the druggist or the barber, who, one and all, come to their aid with a remedy which, as they suppose, is immediately effective (e. g., lard mixed with flowers of sulphur). Only in the practice of the barracks, of prisons, hospitals, penitentiaries and orphan asylums those infected have to apply to the resident physician, if the surgeon of the house does not anticipate him.
Even in the most ancient times when itch occurred, for it did not everywhere degenerate into leprosy, it was acknowledged that there was a sort of specific virtue against itch in sulphur; but they knew of no other way of applying it, but to destroy the itch through an external application of it, even as is done now by the greater part of the modern physicians of the old school. A. C. Celsus has several ointments and salves (V. 28), some of which consist merely of sulphur mixed with tar, while others contain also compounds of copper and other substances; these he prescribes for the expulsion of itch, and this he supposes to be its cure. So also the most ancient physicians, like the moderns, prescribed for their itch patients baths of warm sulphurous mineral water. Such patients are usually also delivered from their eruption by these external sulphur remedies. But that their patients were not really cured thereby, became manifest, even to them, from the more severe ailments that followed, such as general dropsy, with which an Athenian was afflicted when he drove out his severe eruption of itch by bathing in the warm sulphur baths of the island of Melos (now called Milo), and of which he died. This is recorded by the author of Book V., Epidemion, which has been received among the writings of Hippocrates (some three hundred years before Celsus).
Internally the ancient physicians gave no Sulphur in itch, because they, like the moderns, did not see that this miasmatic disease was, at the same time and especially, an internal disease.
Modern physicians have never given Sulphur only, and internally, to cure the itch, because they have never recognized the itch disease as being also an internal and, indeed, chiefly internal disease. They only gave it in connection with the external means of driving away the itch, and, indeed, in doses which would act as purgatives, - ten, twenty and thirty grains at a dose, frequently repeated, - so that it never became manifest how useful or how injurious this internal application of such large doses, in connection with the external application, had been; at least the whole itch disease . (Psora) could never be thoroughly healed thereby. The external driving out of the eruption was simply advanced by it as by any other purgative, and with the same injurious effects as if no Sulphur at all had been used internally. For even if Sulphur is used only internally, but in the above described large doses, without any external destructive means, it can never thoroughly heal Psora; partly because in order to cure as an antipsoric and homoeopathic medicine, it must be given only in the smallest doses of a potentized preparation, while in larger and more frequent doses the crude Sulphur* in some cases increases the malady or at least adds a new malady; partly because the vital force expels it as a violently aggressive remedy through purging stools or by means of vomiting, without having put its healing power to any use.
*Here it is proper to subjoin the words of an impartial and even practical connoisseur of Homoeopathy, the deep-thinking, many-sided scholar and indefatigable investigator of truth, Count Buquoy, in his Anregnngen fur ph. w. Forschungen (Leipzig, 1825, p. 386 sgg.). After assuming that a drug, which in a normal state of health causes the symptoms a,b, g, - in analogy with other physiological phenomena, produces the symptoms x, y, z, which appear in an abnormal state of health - can act upon this abnormal state in such a way that the disease symptoms x, y, z, are transformed into the drug symptoms a, b, g, which latter have the peculiar characteristic of temporariness or transitoriness; he then continues: "This transitory character belongs to the group of patients by the first treatment at the baths seem to get rid for some time of the symptoms of their disease (therefore we see an incredible throng of many thousands, suffering from innumerable different chronic ailments at Teplitz, Baden, Aix-la-Chapelle, Neun-dorf, Warmbrunn, etc.); yet they are not on that account restored to health, but instead of the original chronic (psoric) disease, they have for a time come under the dominion of a Sulphur disease (another, perhaps more bearable, malady). This in time passes away, when the Psora again lifts its head, either with the same morbid symptoms as before, or with others similar but gradually more troublesome than the first, or with symptoms developing in nobler parts of the organism. Ignorant persons will rejoice in the latter case, that their former disease at least has passed away, and they hope that the new disease also may be removed by another journey to the same baths. They do not know, that their changed morbid state is merely a transformation of the same Psora; but they always find out by experience, that their second tour to the baths causes even less alleviation, or, indeed, if the Sulphur baths are used in still greater number, that the second trial causes aggravation.