By Vera Resnick
In his preface to the proving of Arsenicum Album in Chronic Diseases, Hahnemann really nails many of the arguments we face in our own, modern allopathically brainwashed societies today. Rather than comment, here is Hahnemann in his own pithy, erudite, and very sharp words. I’ve highlighted some words in bold. This is only an excerpt. There’s more. Go read.
“As I write down the word Arsenic, momentous memories seize upon my soul.
“When the All-merciful One created iron, He granted to mankind, indeed, to fashion from it either the murderous dagger or the mild ploughshare, and either to kill or to nourish their brethren therewith. How much happier, however, would they be, did they employ His gifts only to benefit one another! This should be the aim of their life; this was His will.
“So also it is not to Him, the All-loving One, we must impute the wickedness practiced by men, who have dared to misemploy the wonderfully powerful medicinal substances in diseases for which they were not suitable, and besides this in doses so enormous, guided only by frivolous ideas or some paltry authorities, without having subjected them to any careful trial, and without a well-grounded selection.
“If now a careful prover of the effects of medicines arise, they inveigh against him as an enemy to their comfort, and do not refrain from the most dishonest calumnies.
“The ordinary medical art has hitherto employed in large and frequently repeated doses the most powerful medicines, such as arsenic, nitrate of silver, corrosive sublimate, aconitum napellus, belladonna, iodine, digitalis, opium, hyoscyamus, etc. Homoeopathy cannot employ stronger substances, for there are none stronger. Now, when ordinary physicians employ them, they evidently vie with one another who shall prescribe the largest possible doses of these drugs, and even make a great boast of their mounting to such enormous doses. This practice they laud and approve in their fellow practitioners. But if the Homoeopathic medical art employ the same drugs, not at random, like the ordinary method, but after careful investigation, only in suitable cases and in the smallest possible doses, it is denounced as a practice of poisoning. How partisan, how unjust, how calumnious is such a charge made by men who make pretensions to honesty and uprightness!
“If Homoeopathy now make a fuller explanation, if she condemn (as from conviction she must) the enormous doses of these drugs given in ordinary practice, and if she, relying on careful trials, insists that very much less of them should be given for a dose, that where ordinary physicians give a tenth, a half, a whole grain, and even several grains, often only a quadrillionth, a sextillionth, a decillionth of a grain is required and sufficient, then the adherents of the ordinary school, who denounce the Homoeopathic healing art as a system of poisoning, laugh aloud, abuse it as childishness, and declare themselves convinced (convinced without trial ?) that such a small quantity can do nothing at all, and can have no effect whatever, is, indeed, just the same as nothing. They are not ashamed thus to blow hot and cold from the same mouth, and to pronounce the very same thing to be inert and ludicrously small, which they had just accused of being a system of poisoning, whilst they justify and praise their own enormous and murderous doses of the same remedies. Is not this the grossest and most wretched inconsistency that can be imagined, invented for the very purpose of being shamelessly unjust toward a doctrine which, they cannot deny, possesses truth, consistence and agreement with experience, and which practices the most delicate cautiousness and the most unwearied circumspection in the selection and administration of its remedies?
Not very long ago a highly celebrated physician [Marcus of Bamberg] spoke of pounds of opium being eaten every month in his hospital, where even the nurses were allowed to give it to the patients according to their fancy. Opium, mind! a drug that has sent several thousands of men to their graves in ordinary practice! Yet this man continued to be held in honor, for he belonged to the dominant clique to which everything is lawful even if it be of the most destructive and absurd character.
And when, a few years since, in one of the most enlightened cities of Europe almost every practitioner, from the physician of lofty title down to the barber’s apprentice, prescribed arsenic as a fashionable remedy in almost every disease, and that in such frequent and large doses in close succession, that the detriment to the health of the people must have been quite palpable, yet this was held to be an honorable practice, though not one of them was acquainted with the peculiar effects of the semi-oxide of this metal (and consequently knew not what cases of disease it was suited for). And yet all prescribed it in repeated doses, a single one of which, sufficiently attenuated and potentized, would have sufficed to cure all the diseases in the whole habitable world for which this drug is the suitable remedy.
Which of these two opposite modes of employing medicines best deserves the flattering appellation of a “system of poisoning” -the ordinary method just alluded to, which attacks with tenths of grains the poor patients (who often require some quite different remedy), or Homoeopathy, which does not even give a little drop of tincture or rhubarb without having first ascertained whether rhubarb is the most suitable, the only appropriate remedy for the case? Homoeopathy which, by unwearied, multiplied experiments, discovered that it is only in rare cases that more than a decillionth of a grain of arsenic should be given, and that only in cases where careful proving shows this medicine to be the only one perfectly suitable ? To which of these two modes of practice does then the honorary title of “thoughtless, rash system of poisoning” properly apply ?
There is yet another sect of practitioners who may be called hypocritical purists. If they are practical physicians, they, indeed, prescribe all sorts of substances that are injurious when misused, but before the world they wish to pose as patterns of innocence and caution. From their professional chairs and in their writings they give us the most alarming definition of poison; to listen to their declarations it would appear unadvisable to treat any imaginable disease with anything stronger than quick-grass, dandelion, oxymel and raspberry juice.
According to their definition, poisons are absolutely (i. e., under all circumstances, in all doses, in all cases) prejudicial to human life, and in this category they include (in order to prejudice against Homoeopathy), as suits their humor, a lot of substances which in all ages have been extensively employed by physicians for the cure of diseases. (sounds familiar? vr)But the employment of these substances would be a criminal offence had not every one of them occasionally proved of use. If, however, each of them had only proved itself curative on only one occasion -and it cannot be denied that this sometimes happened- then this blasphemous definition is at the same time a palpable absurdity. Absolutely and under all circumstances injurious and destructive, and yet at the same time salutary, is a contradiction in itself, is utter nonsense. If they would wriggle out of this contradiction, they allege, as a subterfuge, that these substances have more frequently proved injurious than useful.
“But did the more frequent injury caused by these substances come from these substances themselves, or from their improper employment, i. e., from those who made an unskillful use of them in diseases for which they were not suitable ? These medicines do not administer themselves in diseases, they must be administered by men ; and if they were beneficial at any time, it was because they were at one time appropriately administered by somebody ; it was because they might always be beneficial, if men never made any other than a suitable use of them. Hence it follows that whenever these substances were hurtful and destructive they were so merely on account of having been inappropriately employed. Therefore all the injury is attributable to the unskillfulness of their employers…”.