In compiling this work, I do not wish the reader to think that it is wholly the product of my brain, but rather wish it to be understood that I am acting in the capacity of compiler. I have taken many thoughts from such men as Dr. Thomson, the founder of the system, and from Drs. Comfort, Greer, Lyle and others, and have clothed them in a new dress so as to make one complete and harmonious whole, always standing by such things as I know to be absolute facts, and never allowing anything of a theoretical nature to enter. I have proven all things by my own extensive practice and know that what I give to the reader are facts.
In many places I give the system just as it was taught by Dr. Thomson, without adding anything to it, as nothing could be added that would add to the value of it and my only excuse is, that I do not wish the work started by Dr. Thomson to pass unnoticed. In nearly every case when I quote another author I give full credit and, therefore, I cannot be accused of stealing.
Poisons as medicine, is partly from the writings of the well-known Prof. Kirk, of Edinburg, Scotland, as great a reformer in his own country as was Dr. Thomson in America, and whom all Europe should honor and follow. Should this be done, we could then say that medicine was fast becoming a science instead of being an Art and simply experiments. The Thomsonian or Physio-Medical system of practice is no longer an Art, but is really a science, as the true Physio - Medicalist does know what effects on the system his medicines will have in nearly every given case.
Poisons should not be used as medicines and it is absolutely unnecessary to do so. We have non-poisonous and innocent agents that will give better results in the treatment of disease without there being any danger of killing the patients with the medicine that is given.
The philosophy and principles of the Thomsonian system is that which was taught by Dr. Thomson himself and later formulated by the well-known Dr. Comfort. Every true Herbalist, and Physio-Medicalist subscribes and holds to this philosophy, as it is the only true philosophy and the only one in which no flaw can be found. It is a philosophy of life and one that it would be well if all men, physicians or laymen, would understand thoroughly. A great deal of life would be saved and much suffering avoided. Although this philosophy was first taught nearly a hundred years ago, no change has been found necessary, it is therefore such a philosophy as no other school of medicine or healing has ever been able to give to the world. This alone proves that the Physio-Medical system is founded on truth and that sooner or later, all schools must subscribe to it.
Emetics are not employed as universally to-day as they were in former days. The reason for this is not because they will not do all that is claimed for them, but on account of the wrong philosophy that has been taught to the people, by the so-called Regular Schools, for many hundreds of years, and as I have said in the body of the book people seem to think that a medicine that causes them to vomit, is not the right medicine for their case. They forget that in childhood stomach trouble, medicine is very seldom necessary, as the stomach of the child unloads itself through vomiting and the child is as before and does not suffer the slightest bit on account of the vomiting.
In my practice, I do not use the herb with a tea as the people will not take to it, as the call is for "pills" and nothing but pills. I therefore use the one grain tablet, give them the amount necessary and have them to drink warm water on them. This does exactly the same work as does the tea, and it is, according to the judgment of the people, the right way to give medicine. At the same time, it is very easy for the Physician to give the pills. I never give enough of the Lobelia to cause too much vomiting. Simply enough to cause the stomach to unload itself and then immediately give Capsicum.
In other cases, I give the injection and add the Lobelia, this acts in the same way as giving it into the stomach and is just as good. In many cases, vomiting is really not absolutely necessary as it is only desirable to relax the system. I have found that this can be done by giving the Lobelia tablets, but not enough to cause vomiting. I then start with the Capsicum and such other remedies as are indicated in the disease.
Injections were condemned years ago when Dr. Thomson first taught the use of them. However, to-day we have large Sanitariums where nothing is given but the injections, or "Internal Baths" as they are now called.
In giving an Emetic, the physician should always be sure and add a small amount of Capsicum as then the relaxation will not be so severe and the patient will have more strength.
Of the Steam or Vapor Bath nothing need be said as they are too well and favorably known throughout the world. Dr. Thomson and his followers are to be thanked for this, but very little thanks is given to them. They are of the utmost importance in a great many cases and should be given whenever it is found necessary.
In such cases where the physician finds that his patient should perspire and when the patient will not take a vapor bath, he should give 15 minim. doses of "Pleurisy Root" in hot water every fifteen minutes and he will find that the patient will sweat almost as much as though a vapor bath were given. A few grains of Capsicum should be added to each dose. There is always a way of handling stubborn patients if the physician only knew it and it is only practice that teaches us what to do in each given case. Obstacles must be overcome and the physician must expect to meet them in nearly every case.
In giving a course of medicine, I no longer make use of the tea for any of the remedies used. I use the tinctures and have them handy at all times. These can be had from any first-class Pharmacy and in this way, they are always ready, and all that is needed is to have warm water and add the medicines and give to the patient. The same instructions should be followed as though the tea were given. All remedies should be mixed and given in the same way. The only difference is that a tincture of each remedy is used instead of the crude drug. In the Materia Medica the dosage is given of the tincture of each remedy used.
In giving a list of medicines used, I have been very careful to mention only such as I have found to be of the greatest importance by a long term of practice. I have tried, and fairly succeeded, to give credit to the one who did the most in getting the remedy before the people, as I think that this is no more than right. All men should have due credit for work done and as soon as this is done in everything, we will find that the world will be the better for it.
In no Materia Medica is the dosage given or the remedy described. I have overcome that point, which is really a vital one, and have given the dose of each remedy described. In the old Thomsonian works, we also find only the English name, or the name given to the herb by the people. I have given both that name and the name of said drug as known to the Regular Medical Faculty in order to make it easier to the beginner and save the trouble of hunting through other works in order to find out what such a remedy is really known by.
In describing some agents, I have found it necessary to hunt for hours, through many volumes in order to learn by what name certain remedies are now known. For instance, the herb now known as Feverfew, Chrysanthemum Parthenium, was known and described by Dr. Thomson as Featherfew. In other cases, I have found it necessary to quote from three different authors in order to give the reader a full description of the article, and in such cases, I have given full credit to all from whom I quoted.
The Physio-Medical Physician is often placed in such a position in which the patient, who may have pain, either forces him to give Morphine to stop the pain for the time being or give up the case. I know that I have been placed in such a position. This is now overcome and the physician can turn to the preparation known as "Sorbilin," stop the pain and know that he has used nothing that can in any way hurt his patient. This advance in medicine is of the greatest importance and every liberal should take advantage of such discoveries.
With these remarks I will close, and trust that this small work will be of immense value to the Herbalist and Physio-Medical Physician in his practice. In the near future, I shall hope to place a complete Materia Medica before the people, and that in doing so, it may help to bring about a new area in medical science.
The Author. Allentown, Pa., May 18, 1905.