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Preface by Dr Donald MACFARLAN

Keynotes Of The Homoeopathic Materia Medica
by Dr. Adolph VON LIPPE

by Dr Donald MACFARLAN

Docteur Donald MACFARLAN

The I.H.M. will offer a comment on some of the statements presented here at a later date and compare them with Hahnemanns medical thinking for defined clarity.   

  One of the distinguishing features of homoeopathy is that the cure is accomplished by administering a medicine, the characteristic symptoms of which correspond with the characteristic symptoms of the patient. Within its distinctive sphere it is quite unfailing and immutable. Homeopathic medicines, following the analogy of nature, are all specific – definite agent with a definite purpose with power only for the fulfillment of its attainable object. Quite apart, however, from this viewpoint treatment is traditional theory and traditional practice which may be truly termed anti-pathic in application. The modus operandi may best be exemplified by example – a patient has pain, its opposite, opium is given. The malady is not cured, but stifled by stupor, only to awake with renewed violence with the wearing away of the effect of the drug and demanding augmented dosage for fugacious assuagement at each successive return. Homoeopathy, on the other hand, chooses a remedy capable of producing the same pain. It is directed solely to the part affected in minimal dose. From this action a cure results, for two similar diseases cannot exist in the same body at the same time.

          The effects of medicine can only be ascertained by provings on the healthy human and the symptoms which these medicines have produced constitute the bulk of the Homoepathic Materia Medica. In order to effectively cure, it is first necessary to ascertain the characteristic symptoms of the patient, as Hahnemann teaches in the “Organon,” and next, to find the medicine which corresponds in the characteristics with those of the patient, which is done by means of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

          Characteristics symptoms show the peculiarities and differences of medicines, and have been ascertained by repeated verifications of symptoms obtained by provings on the healthy and cures on the sick. In one case the locality may be characteristic, as, for instance, under the apis mellifica, the right ovary, and under lachesis, the left ovary; in any case the sort of pain may be characterized as the burning-stinging pain of apis mellifica, or the burning-like-coal-of-fire pain under arsenicum album, or a gnawing pain under ruta. In another instance the conditions may be characteristic, as the ameliorations by heat under arsenicum, and the amelioration by cold under iodine and vice-versa; or conditionally the time of day, as under nux vomica, in the morning, lycopodium 4 P. M., arsenicum from 11 P. M. till 2 A. M., or in another instance the concomitant symptoms as cough with stitches in the small of the back (or rectum) under nitric acid, or cough with paleness of the face under cina. In some instances the mental symptoms may be characteristic, as convulsive and maniacal deliriousness with biting rage under belladonna, extreme mental excitability in association with pronounced sleeplessness under coffea cruda, or aggravated mental apathy with comatose states under arnica. Again the cause may be quite characteristic, as the effects from getting wet while in a perspiration, which comes under the pathogenesy of the rhus toxicodendron.

          From a casual observance of these views it will be at once seen that the fundamental doctrine in homoeopathic theraputics is the doctrine of individualization. Man becomes affected primarily in his internals, and by this is solely meant his affectional and intellectual spheres of consciousness, which in point of face, make up the man himself, for it is the will and understanding which form the real individual. Sickness it its essence is a derangement proceeding from the innermost which spreads towards the outermost and it is a realization of this fact which has made homeopathy a distinct science of theraputic law. Consequently the homoeopathic physician views pathological tissues as results or ultimates and tries to perceive how the entire man has been changed from first to last, from mind to external tissue. Each person qualifies illness, as it were, by his or her distinctive personality and that coined aberration, as it were, has its simillimum in the pathogenesy of some homoeopathic medicine. From this it will be seen how a sickened individual is congnate to a sick-making substance – a thoroughly proven drug of our Materia Medica. The sickened one stamps his or her individuality upon a case of sickness, making it quite different from every other case, whilst the latter also behaves in a similar manner, for while it affects man in health through and through – from the mind to the hair and nails – it has a strange and peculiar way of doing it, quite different from any other drug in the entire materia medica. What is it but the inner nature of the drug, almost resembling the will and understanding of man, that has made it quite a distinct entity?

          As regards potency, it may be stated that the suitable dynamization is best arrived at by practical experience. There is really no law of potency in one sense. Nevertheless all causes are in the simple substance which exists only in degrees of fineness, for a quantity can barely be predicated of it and as the innermost of the patient has similarly the series in degrees, the remedy to correspond to this must also be administered in potencies of various grades or degrees.

          The requisites for homeopathic prescribing are: (1) The law of cure, (2) The single remedy, (3) The minimum dose. All of these items must enter into every correct prescription. It is interesting also to recall that the order in which the above requirements are enumerated are exactly that followed in their development. Hahnemann developed, to its most marked extent, the law of similars. His experiments to obtain the pathogeneses or sick-making powers of drugs naturally led him to apply them singly in diseases, that he might approach as closely as possible the correct correspondence. Finally the adoption and recommendation of the minimum dose was the result of the oft-verified observation, that in order to avoid exacerbation and, at the same time, to expedite cure in a direct, rapid and permanent manner the drug must be adminstered in the smallest possible amount, duly commensurate with its power of exciting similar symptoms in the healthy. In this connection, the drug, if properly chosen, exhibits the power of exerting a correspondingly strong reaction of the vital forces in the direction of health. Such a system of theraputics, embracing, as it does, the most careful individualization of the case at hand, as to its origin in hygenic, psychic or medicinal (abuse of drugs) causes, cannot be any other than the broadest, most truly scientific, and all-inclusive system of healing known to the health seeker of the future.

          For valuable considerations given me in the compilation of this little work I wish to thank Dr. Wm. H Yaeger and Dr. Wm B. Griggs for proof-reading and suggestions germane to the form of presentation of the notes themselves and to Dr. E. P. Anshutz and John A. Borneman, Ph. D., for valuable suggestions. To my friend, Dr. G. Harlan Wells, I wish to extend many thanks for his kindness in publishing many of these characteristics in our state organ The Hahnemannian Monthly.

Donald Macfarlan.
1805 Chestnut St.

Adolph Lippe

The history of Homoeopathy will only be complete if proper and honest assessment is made and imbibed, of the glorious past of our fore-bearers, whose dedication and contribution have enriched our science. There are innumerable stories and numberless life histories of our forbearers, which are of extreme value to us in the present day. Dr. Adolph Von Lippes life deserves special mention because he was a staunch and uncompromising bearer of the torch of strict Hahnemannian Homoeopathy.

Birth: Lippe was born on 11th of May, 1812 in Goerlitz
Family: Lippe was a young member of a very aristocratic old and illustrious family of Goerlitz of Prussia. Count Ludwig was his father and Countess Augusta zur Lippe was his mother. His fathers estate was situated near Georlitz town.
Education: His parents wanted him to study law, but Lippe was very much impressed by the new method of the healing art and made up his mind to become a homoeopathic physician.

After his school study he went to Berlin for his medical education and graduated in 1837.

Then, Lippe decided to go to America to study Homoeopathy. During that time the only existing homoeopathic college was Allentown Academy of Hering. Lippe took admission and studied for four years in this college and completed his homoeopathic education. Lippe was very fortunate to receive his diploma on 27th July 1841 from the hand of Dr. Constantine Hering, the founder of Allentown Academy.

Homoeopathic Practice: Lippe started his practice as a homoeopathic physician in Pottville, P.A. though he practised here for a very short time. From Pottsville he moved to Carlisle where he distinguished himself by successful cure of the sick people in an epidemic prevailing in the Cumberland valley.

Finally he moved to Philadelphia where he established himself and practised till the last day of his life.

Lippe was a steadfast, loyal devotee of Hahnemannian homoeopathy. Throughout his life he followed Hahnemanns instructions in letter and in spirit. He was an ardent supporter of Hahnemanns Organon of Medicine and to him Organon was the last word in the science and art of healing. Lippe considered Homoeopathy as the only and sole means of cure for both acute and chronic diseases. He said that other systems of medicines were palliative and harmful.

Although Lippe was the author of few books, the number of his contributions to Homoeopathic literature remains unexcelled. Many of his papers were elucidations of homoeopathic philosophy, many to the methods and rules of correct homoeopathic practice. Many of Lippes papers enlighten us about the finer points of the Material Medica and enhance our ability to prescribe correctly. Lippe published a series of writings named Fatal Errors in the American Homoeopathic Observer, in which he vigorously opposed and criticized the vitiation of Homoeopathy; he considered this to be the cause of gradual downfall of the system. Dr. Adolph von Lippe is one of the few master guides who endeavored to perfect themselves in the art of prescribing according to the law of similars, for, probably this remarkable man was one of the most accomplished prescribers in the history of Homoeopathy. His style was clear and forceful, his arguments logical. Among the important contribution of Dr. Lippe in Homoeopathy should be considered his reports of “Clinical Cases.”

Lippe possessed a deep knowledge of Materia Medica. He was a keen observer and with uncanny accuracy he used to pick up the essential indications of the case, frequently making use of symptoms which seem trivial or having no evident connections with the patients ailment. He was a master in the art of presenting, the essential indications and unlike other writers, always told why he gave the remedy that cured the case.

Today we are often unsuccessful in our practice because of many reasons, the most common being an improper understanding of rules and time for repetition of the dose. Dr. Lippe was a master in this field and a devoted believer and practitioner of single remedy and single dose.

About Lippe, Dr. Harvey Farrington wrote- “Dr. Lippe once made a statement that I thought the most audacious that I had ever heard. He said that if he could visit a case of Diphtheria the first time before anybody had a chance to spoil it, he would generally cure the case with one remedy and often with one dose.”

His literary Contributions:

Adolph Lippe was co-editor of Homoeopathic News from 1854 to 1855 and of Hahnemannian monthly from 1865 to 1868.

1854– Key to the Materia Medica of Comparative Pharmacodynamics (This is the first and only number of a series which were to contain a characteristic Materia Medica).

1865– Who is a Homoeopathician? (A lecture delivered before the Hahnemannian Institute and published by order of the same).
1865– Cactus Grandiflorus (Translated from the original, with preface and notes of Dr. Russell.)
1866– Valedictory Address delivered at the 18th Annual Commencement of the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania.
1866– Text book of Materia Medica.
1870– Liberty of Medical Opinion and Action (Read before the Central New York Homoeopathic Medical Society).
1876– Diphtheria (Printed by the American Institute of Homoeopathy for use at World Homoeopathic Convention, Philadelphia).
1877– A reply to professor William is Peppers Insult to Homoeopathic School of Medicine in his Opening Address delivered at the University of Pennsylvania.
1878– The Genius of the Homoeopathic Healing Art. (Preface to the second volume of Materia Medica Pura by S. Hahnemann. Translated by Adolph Von Lippe.)
1885– Cholera: Its Treatment by Homoeopathy.
1886– What is Homoeopathy? A lecture delivered on 10th May 1886 before the Womens Homoeopathic Association of Pennsylvania at the Medical Surgical and Maternal Hospital, North 20th Street and Susquehanna Avenue.

Demise: After a long successful practice and exemplary service to Homoeopathy for 46 years. Lippe died on 24th of January 1888 in Philadelphia.