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.
In using the better quality of fish their preparation should be especially looked to; they had best be prepared by boiling and used sparingly with sauces not much spiced; but no fish dried in the air or smoked; salt fish (herrings and sardines) only rarely and sparingly.
Moderation in all things, even in harmless ones, is the chief duty of chronic patients.
In considering diet, the use of tobacco should also be carefully considered. Smoking in some cases of chronic disease may be permitted, when the patient has been accustomed to an uninterrupted use of it, and if he does not expectorate; but smoking should always be limited, and more so if the mental activity, sleep, digestion or the evacuations are defective. If evacuations regularly only take place after smoking the use of this palliative must be all the more circumscribed, and the same result must be obtained in a lasting manner through the appropriate antipsoric remedies. More objectionable yet, however, is the using of snuff, which is wont to be abused as a palliative against rheum and obstruction of the nose and insidious inflammation of the eyes, and which being a palliative, is a great hinderance in the cure of chronic diseases; it can, therefore, not be allowed with such patients, but must be diminished every day and at last stopped. An especial reason for this is also that in snuff the medicinal liquors (sauces) with which almost all snuff is medicated touches with its substance the nerves of the inner nose and injures just as if a foreign medicine were taken, which is less the case with the burning, smoking tobacco in which the strength is disintegrated by the heat.
I now pass to the other hinderances to the cure of chronic diseases which must be avoided as far as possible.
All those events in human life which can bring the Psora latent and slumbering within, which has hitherto manifested itself only by some of the signs mentioned above, wherein the patient varies from a state of health, so as to break out into open chronic diseases, these same events if they occur to a person already a chronic patient may not only augment his disease and increase the difficulty of curing it, but if they break in on him violently, may make his disease incurable, if the untoward circumstances are not suddenly changed for the better.
Such events are, however, of very various nature, and therefore of different degrees of injurious influence.
Excessive hardships, laboring in swamps, great bodily injuries and wounds, excess of cold or heat, and even the unsatisfied hunger of poverty and its unwholesome foods, etc., are not by any means very powerful in causing the fearful malady of Psora which lies in ambush, lurking in secret to break forth into serious chronic diseases, nor of great consequence in aggravating a chronic disease already present; yea, an innocent man can, with less injury to his life, pass ten years in bodily torments in the bastile or on the galleys rather than pass some months in all bodily comfort in an unhappy marriage or with a remorseful conscience. A Psora slumbering within, which still allows the favorite of a prince to live with the appearance of almost blooming health, unfolds quickly into a chronic ailment of the body, or distracts his mental organs into insanity, when by a change of fortune he is hurled from his brilliant pinnacle and is exposed to contempt and poverty. The sudden death of a son causes the tender mother, already in ill health, an incurable suppuration of the lungs or a cancer of the breast. A young, affectionate maiden, already hysterical, is thrown into melancholy by a disappointment in love.
How difficult it is, and how seldom will the best anti-psoric treatment do anything to relieve such unfortunates!
By far the most frequent excitement of the slumbering Psora into chronic disease, and the most frequent aggravation of chronic ailments already existing, are caused by grief and vexation.
Uninterrupted grief and vexation very soon increase even the smallest traces of a slumbering Psora into more severe symptoms, and they then develop these into an outbreak of all imaginable chronic sufferings more certainly and more frequently than all other injurious influences operating on the human organism in an average human life; while these two agencies just as surely and frequently augment ailments already existing.
As the good physician will be pleased when he can enliven and keep from ennui the mind of a patient, in order to advance a cure which is not encumbered with such obstructions, he will in such a case feel more than ever the duty incumbent upon him to do all within the power of his influence on the patient and on his relatives and surroundings, in order to relieve him of grief and vexation. This will and must be a chief end of his care and neighborly love.
But if the relations of the patient cannot be improved in this respect, and if he has not sufficient philosophy, religion and power over himself to bear patiently and with equanimity all the sufferings and afflictions for which he is not to blame, and which it is not in his power to change; if grief and vexation continually beat in upon him, and it is out of the power of the physician to effect a lasting removal of these most active destroyers of life, he had better give up the treatment* and leave the patient to his fate, for even the most masterly management of the case with the remedies that are the most exquisite and the best adapted to the bodily ailment will avail nothing, nothing at all, with a chronic patient thus exposed to continual sorrow and vexation, and in whom the vital economy is being destroyed by continuous assaults on the mind. The continuation of the fairest edifice is foolish, when the foundation is being daily undermined, even if but gradually, by the play of the waves. Almost as near, and often nearer yet, to incurability are the chronic diseases, especially with great and rich men, who for some years, besides the use of mineral baths, + have passed through the hands of various, often of many, allopathic physicians, who have tried on them one after another all the fashionable modes of cure, the remedies which are so boastingly lauded in England, France and Italy, - all strongly acting mixtures. By so many unsuitable medicines, which are injurious by their violence and their frequent repetition in large doses, the Psora which always lies within, even if not combined with syphilis, becomes every year more incurable, as do also the chronic ailments springing from it; and after the continuation of such irrational medical assaults on the organism for several years it becomes almost quite incurable. It cannot well be decided, since these things take place in the dark, whether these heroic unhomeopathic doses have added, as may be suspected, new ailments to the original disease, which ailments through the largeness of the doses and their frequent repetition have now become lasting and as it were chronic, or whether through abuse there has resulted a crippling of the different faculties of the organism, i. e., those of irritability, of sensation and of reproduction, and so (probably from both causes) there has arisen the monster of various ailments, fused into one another, which can no longer be rationally viewed as a simple natural ailment. In short, this many sided disharmony and perversion of parts and of forces most indispensable to life present a chaos of ailments which the homoeopathic physician should not lightly declare curable.
* Unless the patient should have little or no cause for his grief and sorrow, or hardly any incitement from without to vexation, and in consequence would need more particularly to be treated with respect to his mental disorder, by means of the anti-psoric remedies, which are at the same time suited to the rest of his chronic disease. Such cases are not only curable, but often even easily curable.
+ Every time the baths are used, even when the water is not in itself unsuitable to the ailment, they are to be considered as the use of large doses often repeated of one and the same violently acting medicine, the violent operation of which can seldom be salutary, and must often result in the aggravation of the morbid state, yea, even to the patient's utter destruction.