This section is from the book "Hartmann's Theory Acute Diseases And Their Homoeopathic Treatment", by Charles J. Hempel. Also available from Amazon: Theory of acute diseases, and their homoeopathic treatment.
The derivative method is a particular branch of the palliative system, and may be advantageously resorted to in many dangerous affections. We may mention the warm oatmeal poultices, the hand and foot baths with or without salt or ashes, in congestion of the superior organs and in delirium; dry cupping at the pit of the stomach, in oppression of the chest, anguish and restlessness with an unequal and spasmodic pulse previous to an acute eruption breaking out upon the skin; the warm hand-baths in excessive secretion of milk; the application of warm vapours to the breasts of the lying-in woman in suppression of the milk; the pitch-plasters between the shoulders, which were even recommended by Hahnemann in chronic diseases arising from a suppressed eruption; the recommendation of Hahnemann to wash the external opposite side of the affected organ with the medicine which is homoeopathic to the symptoms. - What dangerous symptoms frequently arise from suppressed sweat of the feet? Is it not proper that the physician should endeavour to restore the sweat by wrapping the feet in cotton, wool, or wax-linen, or inserting them in warm sand? There is no doubt that an illness depending upon a suddenly suppressed cutaneous eruption, whether the suppression be spontaneous or the result of indiscreet treatment, will be most speedily cured by him who first succeeds in restoring a similar eruption upon the skin. Who is not acquainted with the brilliant effects of cold fomentations and the internal use of Arnica in injuries of every kind, especially those of the head?-Is not the treatment which we resort to in cases of swoons, apparent death, suffocation, hanging, freezing, burns, etc., of the palliative kind? *
* To these palliative means we may add a current from the magneto-electric machine, which frequently relieves in a moment's time the most excruciating pain in acute rheumatism, and other kinds of inflammation.- Hempel
We may here mention another method of treatment which is subordinate to the homoeopathic, and is based upon a knowledge of drugs obtained ex usu in morbis. Thus we use Antimonial wine, in drops, against accumulation of mucus in the chest, in the case of little children; Oleum jecoris aselli against scrofulous com-, plaints and tubercles; Mercurius in syphilis; the bin-iodide of Mercury in old syphilitic ulcers, and syphilitic diseases generally; Quinine in various intermittent diseases; Sulphur in scabies and haemorrhoidal affections; Iodine in mercurial herpetic eruptions and tubercles; Lichen Islandicus in pulmonary phthisis; Secale cornutum to facilitate labour-pains; the tincture of Cinnamon in metrorrhagia, etc.
We have similar specifics in the homoeopathic practice; but we have no right to reject remedies, the specific curative effects of which we only know ex usu in morbis; the use of such remedies is justified by the fact of their being specifically adapted to certain forms of disease. Not every diarrhoea from cold is relieved by Dulcamara, nor are all catarrhal diseases. Belladonna is said to be a valuable remedy against hydrophobia; but would a homoeopathic physician be willing to use it in practice without first examining its curative virtues? Colocynthis is known to be an excellent remedy in colic with dysentery, but will a discreet practitioner ever use it in such a case without inquiring whether it is specifically corresponding to it? Rhus is known ex usu in morbis to be a valuable remedy in many diseases which are aggravated in rest, and Bryonia in many others which are aggravated by motion; nevertheless we shall always have to consider whether either of those remedies is specifically adapted to the existing group of symptoms. The same remarks apply to Mercury in syphilis, Sulphur in scabies and haemorrhoids, China in intermittent fevers, Arnica in contusions, Ipecacuanha and Ignatia in spasms, etc.
* Organon of the Specific Healing Art, by Dr. G. L. Rau. Leipsic, 1898.
We ought not to omit mentioning the law of cure "aequalia aequalibus,"or the contagium of a disease may be employed against it as a curative specific. This law, which was first discovered and promulgated by the veterinary physician, M. Lutz, in a pamphlet entitled the Doctrine of Isopathic Remedies, and pub-. lished in Leipsic, 1833, has been confirmed by the experience of many acute observers. In making mention of this work in the second volume of the Homoeopathic Gazette, No. 9, page 70, Dr. Gross tells us that he had made many experiments with isopathic remedies. Since then several cures by means of isopathic remedies have been reported in the Homoeopathic Gazette; but they do not always prove what they are intended to prove, and have appeared to us rather imaginary. There is no doubt that single observations have been made the basis of the doctrine that the product of a disease is able to cure that disease, and that this erroneous conclusion has brought into use a number of remedies which do not deserve that name. We know that contagia are not only capable of subverting the normal condition of the vital forces, but also of restoring the natural play of those forces (we need but mention Psoricum, Lachesis, Vaccinin, Morbillin, Va-riolin); but those remedies have most frequently cured diseases entirely different from those from whose, names those agents have derived their own. If all diseases could be cured in this manner the business of a physician would not be difficult but very laborious, inasmuch as he would have to dynamize the product of the disease in every single case; for any other it would be without any value. Cures which are said to have been effected agreeably to the principle, "ae-qualia aequalibus," are in fact homoeopathic cures; for the patient is cured by means of a product of that disease in some other patient, which is dynamized in the usual fashion.
Inasmuch as we have made mention of the various methods of treatment of which the homoeopathic practitioner may avail himself, we shall now say a few words of some other methods occurring in allopathic practice, and comprehended in one or the other above-mentioned methods of cure.