This section is from the book "A Practitioner's Handbook Of Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Thos. S. Blair. Also available from Amazon: A Practitioner's handbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics.
Dear Doctor :
No one can realize more fully than myself the deficiencies necessarily incident in the concrete results of any attempt to mingle our rational and physiological therapeutics with the involved literature and data of sectarianism and make a harmonious union of the whole There is no doubt at all that many men will note more or less faulty statements in this book. It is my earnest desire to eliminate them from a second edition, should it be called for in course of time. Criticism is frankly solicited and will be appreciated.
Honestly believing in the principles of regular medicine, it is not to be expected that all sectarians will approve what I have endeavored to make moderate and reasonable views as to their own essential therapeutics: especially since this book is meant more as an answer than as a tribute to sectarianism. On the other hand, we regulars cannot afford to complacently ignore the earnest, painstaking work of anyone in the field of therapeutics. especially in view of its present rather unsatisfactory status. I would request that my colleagues indulge me somewhat in the rather trying position involved in the authorship of such a book as this, and that our sectarian friends will realize that no attempt is made to treat their data from their points of view.
To both regular and sectarian I would say that I will welcome definite and tangible data in criticism. but not the mere expression of prejudice. No one is qualified to condemn the usefulness of a drug, either in large or small doses, until he has personally used a thoroughly representative preparation of that drug, strictly within its indications and in a number of clinical cases.
I would appreciate the views of pharmacists and chemists. I do not favor polypharmacy and wish to explain that, while a great many unimportant drugs are noted in these pages. they appear largely as a matter of reference. I rarely employ them except in cases to which more reliable medication has been unsuccessfully directed. But disease is a strange entity. Quinine will not cure all cases of malaria. nor mercury and the iodides all cases of syphilis. These intractable cases may promptly yield to relatively unimportant vegetable drugs. In this view of the case all reasonably effective drugs are important both in their pharmacy and in their therapeutics.
I wish to say' that I have read up all the fads in therapeutics Please do not send criticism based upon them. While there is more or less substantial basis in the claims of all of them, a small work cannot undertake their consideration.
Thos. S. Blair
403 N. Second Street