High potencies have produced a division, especially among German homoeopaths, which still exists and is in no way conducive to the progress of science. A war in our own camp has thus been caused, far worse and more dangerous than a war against an external foe-a war of specificists against the Hahnemannians, of the materialists against the dynamists-and in consequence the amphibians have lately arisen, who are neither fish nor fowl, neither homoeopaths nor allopaths, and who frequently sacrifice their convictions to selfish considerations. Among these latter especially we find the pretended mediators between the old and the new school, who want to please both and lose the good graces of neither, without considering that half-measures are most contemptible, and that indecision which would carry water on both shoulders will gain the confidence of neither side and must be repulsive to every independent examiner. They cannot be attacked, indeed, because they keep open a way of escape toward either side, and their campaigns are all of the kind which Frenchmen well designate battre la campagne (scouring the country). It would, therefore, be probably a vain endeavor to bring conviction to these amphibians.
Materialistic homoeopaths, or specificists (believers in specific remedies), as they choose to call themselves, who are characterized chiefly by giving low dilutions in frequent repetition, but who select their remedies correctly according to the fundamental law of homoeopathy, giving larger or smaller doses, are more amenable to reason. The greater number of them will not at least refuse to investigate the matter, and prove experimentally, as soon as we can convince them that even high potencies, yea, the highest, given in very small and infrequent doses, produce effects, and, indeed, deeply penetrating effects, entirely sufficient for cure.
Deservedly passing over the subterfuge of the cowards, who are not ashamed to proclaim as lies and perversions what honest and honorable men have communicated as the results of their carefully repeated experiments as soon as these run counter to their mole-like views, there are really only two objections which have been brought forward against the dynamists, and which give food to the skepticism of their opponents. These objections are: First, that cures are due
to a trusting confidence of the patients in their physician, the moral effect of which is rated too highly; and, secondly, to homoeopathic dieting, which brings back the patients to a natural mode of living, and is supposed to be able to restore health by dieting alone, without any medicine.
We dynamists, if we were inclined to retaliate, would be fully justified in asking the materialists why they do not labor to gain with their patients as great and mighty a confidence and prescribe the same diet with all their patients, throwing aside all medicine as entirely useless? But we have no need of such ambiguous retorsive measures, and we know as well as our opponents that there are many, especially chronic, diseases, which can never be thoroughly and permanently eradicated by the vital force alone, as also acute diseases where the regular course can only be mitigated and aborted by suitable medicines, and where a fatalissue can only be safely averted by the same.
But all these excuses and objections are at once cut off in the homoeopathic cures of animals. These cures, and only these, give us the surest and most irrefutable information what and how much medicines, and also high potencies, are able to do, quite independent of all moral faith and of all dieting, both of which are here entirely eliminated, so that not the remotest suspicion can be admitted in any of them.
Convinced of the far-reaching importance of these cures of animals of various kinds, and in order to be able to gather with the greatest ease their results for this purpose, I have kept a special journal of these cases for a year, during which the number of those seeking aid also for this purpose has very much increased. This journal already shows a great number of, in part, very remarkable cures, all of which present the most irrefutable proof not only of the great
curative power of medicines selected according to strictly homoeopathic principles, but especially also of the power of high potencies in minimal doses, since I almost exclusively employed these. The journal is not, indeed, conducted as circumstantially as in the case of the cures of men; on the other hand, I need feel no delicacy in naming the owners of the sick animals, and thus show every skeptical person how he may gain the surest conviction of the truth of my statements.
In publishing in what follows only a few of the cures in question I think I may assume that the aim of this communication has been stated with sufficient clearness, so that no one will interpret it wrongly or see a degradation of our noble science in my request that our most experienced and learned homoeopaths may enter on this hitherto untrodden path with respect to high potencies, and communicate the results of their experiments frankly and truly to those who are in doubt.
May I be permitted to put at the head of my list a brilliant case which occurred already two years ago, and excited so much attention among the lovers of horses here that it is still mentioned as memorable whenever Homoeopathy is spoken of?
1. Lieutenant von Grueter, of the Eleventh Regiment of Hussars, which was then here in garrison, had a full-blooded English horse, which he had purchased at a very low price because it suffered from an affection of the larynx, coughed much, there being rattling and croaking in the throat and short breath at the slightest exertion. This morbid condition had existed for some time, and had been treated without the slightest success by a number of veterinary surgeons, both while the horse was in the possession of the former owner and of its present owner. At last, as is usually the case, Homoeopathy was tried, after all other prospects of improvement had vanished. Thus, the horse came under my treatment.
The nature of the disease and the former allopathic remedies used, of which, however, only repeated anointing with Mercury could be established with any certainty, left no doubt as to the remedy proximately indicated. I, therefore, as is my usual practice with animals, prescribed Hepar sulphuris calc. 200 (i. e., three pellets moistened with the 200th potency), to be dissolved in half a quart of pure, cold water, to be shaken until dissolved and then given the horse by means of a bottle. No change was made in the feeding, and the horse was, as before, taken out daily for a ride at a walk for one hour. In a week the beneficent action of the remedy was manifest, as the cough had entirely ceased; the rattling and croaking, however, still existed, and, though the respiration was freer, it was still oppressed. Spongia 200, given
in the same manner, now caused a further progress in the improvement, and another dose of Hepar sulph. calc., given a week later, so removed the remaining symptoms of ailment in the horse that about three weeks later at a horse-race, where several excellent thoroughbreds took part, this horse on one and the same day won both prizes. A short time afterwards is was sold at four times the price to another officer (Count von der Groeben), whose best horse it is said
to be at this day, as I have been assured by one of his acquaintances.
2. About the same time a poor farmer from the little village of Amelsbueren, five miles from here, whose name, if I remember rightly, was Roevekamp, came to me for help, dragging behind him a horse which was a mere skeleton, with rough hair standing up in every direction, and which could hardly put one foot before the other. The horse had been sick for three months, and in spite of all the remedies used by various veterinarians, on whom he had expended much money, the horse had become more and more miserable.
He said that I had helped so many people given up by the doctors, also in his neighborhood, that he was in hopes I would not be too proud to take pity also on his horse, the loss of which he would not know how to replace. On questioning him, I found out that his horse while carting ground had gotten into a perspiration, and had been overtaken by a heavy shower of rain mingled with snow, that it had taken a bad cold and been sick ever since the day
succeeding the shower. This anamnesis, together with other symptoms not written down and which I can not now remember, pointed plainly to Rhus tox. So I gave him one dose of the 200th and two doses of Sac. lac. with the direction to give the horse one powder every five days (as in case 1) shaken up with water. Three weeks later a farmer with a heavily loaded cart stopped at my house and requested me to please come down. It was the same farmer with
the same horse, which I did not recognize again, for it had been so poor and wretched and was now so well nourished, smooth and sleek, with bright eyes. The owner assured me that the improvement had set in twenty-four hours after taking the first powder, that the improvement had gone on day by day, and that the horse was now healthier and more vigorous than ever before, for which he heartily thanked me.
3. Baronet von Boeselager, in Hessen (near Hamm on the Lippe), possesses a neat lady’s horse, the pet of his second daughter, who now, as before, continually uses it for her riding-horse. This horse all at once began to limp. Several veterinary physicians in Hamm and here had in vain tried their art. The ailment remained the same, and the doctors were not even agreed as to the seat of the trouble, because there was no swelling nor pain on pressure and touch to be noticed anywhere on the lame leg. Also, in this case as a last refuge, they turned to Homoeopathy and to me. But it was difficult to at once find the right remedy, because the seat of the disease could not be discovered, nor was anything morbid to be noticed in the well- nourished and lively animal. I at once acknowledged this, and said that I was not able to promise with certainty and immediate favourable result, but, confiding in the power of my approved high potencies, I did not in the least doubt that I should be able to restore it, though perhaps it might take a few months.
I began my treatment with Sulphur 200 and Caust. 200, on the 4th and 13th of August, without the least result. Of as little avail were Bryonia on the 20th or Rhus tox. on the 27th of the same month, given in the same dose. Thence it appeared that the lameness had its seat merely in the hoof, and I accordingly gave Arsenicum 200, with a decided improvement, which was not, however, permanent, wherefore I repeated the same remedy on the 17th and
the 24th. Since no trace of the ailment now remained I concluded the treatment on October 1st with a dose of Sulphur 200. These remedies, as all the others, were dissolved in the manner described in case 1. The horse has been well ever since, as I heard from the mouth of the owner himself a few days ago. The Baronet is just enough to give a full acknowledgment to the little powders, though he has no suspicion of the actual minimal nature of their medical
4. The pointer of Baronet von Wendt-Crassenstein was seized with the so-called dog epidemic, and under allopathic veterinary treatment he was so far gone by January 20, 1849, that his death was expected every hour; but before the final conclusion I was called in to help his master’s pet. Without any hope, and protesting against any ill-fame that might accrue from my failure, I at once gave him Rhus tox. 200, which was immediately followed by an apparent
relief. Next day I followed with Kali carb. 200, with such a decided and rapid improvement that on January 22d he ate with considerable appetite, and could be dismissed as cured on January 23d. With equally rapid and complete success I afterwards treated several other dogs, also my own. Only with two of them I had first to give Bryonia instead of Rhus, but all the remedies in the high potency already mentioned.
5. In September, 1848, I lost a cow on my country-place, Darup, from tympany, or wind dropsy, from eating green clover. It was strange that this quickly fatal disease within two days became so unusually common, that in these forty-eight hours more cattle were lost than else in a whole year. As soon as the news of my loss was brought to me in Münster I at once sent out a bottle of pellets of Colchicum 30, directing that as soon as another case should appear
three or four pellets should be shaken in half a tumblerful of water until dissolved. About a week later a second case actually appeared among my cows; my men did exactly as I had ordered, and the effect was almost immediately visible, and in an hour the attack had passed off.
The neighbours, surprised by this wonderful success, transferred the confidence in the little pellets, which they had before felt only as to men, now also to their cattle. Since then the trocar has disappeared and my bottle of Colchicum has been repeatedly used with the same good effect. If I had then been in possession of Colchicum 200, I would not have had the slightest hesitation in using that.
6. In cows whose afterbirth did not follow quickly I affected cures last spring in seven cases in this neighborhood (near Nickotter, Ricke, Vennemann, Froerd, Maykotter, Wappendrups and Wilhelmers) within twelve hours by administering two doses of Secale corn. 30 and an intermediate dose of Sabina 30, one dose every three hours, shaken up with water.
I have read the assertion somewhere, I do not remember where, that high dilutions and small doses would be least effective with swine. The following case may prove that my experience does not coincide with that statement.
7. On the 22d of April, 1849, Colon Bredeweg, of Amelsbueren, five miles from here, invoked my help for a litter of eight little pigs, which were all suddenly seized with an eruption which had also, in a short time, killed many swine in that neighborhood, and resembled the well-known so-called Antony’s fire. I at once gave him (1) Sulphur, (2) Sepia and (3) Arsenicum, each in the 200th potency. Each powder was to be dissolved in half a quart of water by vigorous shaking, and each pig was to receive a tablespoonful. No. 1 was to be given at once, No. 2 in six hours and No. 3 in twelve hours. When the man got home one pig was already dead, but the other seven he treated as I had told him, and next day all seven were well. On April 29, 1849, a hog was taken sick in the same manner and Bredeweg hurried to me for help. The same remedies given at the same intervals and in the same potency, but only two pellets of each, helped just as quickly and completely. These two results show conclusively also in animals the same observation made with men, that the shorter or longer duration of the action of a remedy depends as much on the nature of the disease as on the peculiarity of the remedy, and that, also, the high potencies may be used in the most acute disease without any fear that the curative action may set in too late.
If these few true and actual facts, which I might multiply ten-fold from my one year’s journal, shall contribute to put into true light the advantages of Homoeopathy in general, and especially the advantages of high potencies, and if they encourage others to imitate my action, I shall consider myself very happy.
Dr. C. v. Boenninghausen.
Münster, March 4, 1850.