Tissue Salts by Schussler
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Introduction to the Theory and General Sketch of the Twelve Tissue Remedies.
HISTORY OF THE TISSUE REMEDIES
SAMUEL HAHNEMANN, whose genius divined the great importance of the inorganic cell salts as remedial agents of a high order, was the first who began thorough investigation into their pathogenetic effects and therapeutic uses. It was his prbvings of Lime and Salt and Potash and Silica that prepared the way for the rest of the Tissue Remedies, that showed what vast store-houses of medicinal force these inorganic substances are, although apparently inert in their crude state. He it was who first pointed out how these forces could be unlocked and directed for therapeutic purposes. Later, in 1832, attention was called in a paper published in Stapf's Archiv to the great importance as remedies of all the "essential component parts of the human body," and again, in the same journal, in 1846: "All constituents of the human body principally act on those organs wherein they have a function. All fulfill their functions when they are the cause of symptoms." This from the pen of that remarkable genius in the field of Materia Medica—Constantine Hering.
Later still, we find Grauvogl, in his Text-Book, taking some notice of these remarks and amplifying them; but it remained for Dr. Schussler, of Oldenburg, Germany, to develop these suggestions and make the idea foreshadowed in them the basis of a "new system." In March, 1873, an article, entitled "An Abridged Homeopathic Therapeutics" from his pen, was published in a German Homeopathic journal, in which he says:
The original communication from Schussler to the German medical journal was translated into English, and published first in the Medical Investigator, May, 1873, and soon afterwards in a small work, by Dr. C. Hering, entitled the "Twelve Tissue Remedies," "recommended for investigation" by this great teacher of our school. Several editions were published in rapid succession, from which this historical sketch is mainly derived, and following these appeared the translation of the twelfth German edition, by J. T. O'Connor, M. D., and one by M. Docetti Walker, considerably enlarged by the addition of an appendix popularizing the Biochemic Method. Dr. Schussler, previous to his death, which occurred early in 1898, published the 25th German edition, in which the application of several of the remedies has been greatly enlarged and considerable new matter added, all of which is incorporated in this work. This edition has been translated into English.
Notwithstanding that Dr. Schussler denies in the later editions of his work all connection with Homeopathy, and insists that his method is not based upon the homeopathic law of cure, but upon physiologico-chemical processes that take place within the organism, it is nevertheless true that the present wide adoption of the Tissue Remedies in the treatment of disease is the fruit of the seed sown on homeopathic ground as early as 1832, although its development was slow until Schussler gave it a wonderful impetus by bringing physiological chemistry and physiological and pathological facts to bear on his therapeutic procedure.
THE THEORY OF SCHUSSLER'S BIOCHEMIC METHOD
The idea upon which Biochemic Therapeutics is based is the physiological fact that both the structure and vitality of the organs of the body are dependent upon certain necessary quantities and proper apportionment of its organic constituents. These remain after combustion of the tissues and form the ashes.
The inorganic constituents are, in a very real sense, the material basis of the organs and tissues of the body, and are absolutely essential to their integrity of structure and functional activity. According to Schussler's theory, any disturbance in the molecular motion of these cell salts in living tissues, caused by a deficiency in the requisite amount, constitutes disease, which can be rectified and the requisite equilibrium re-established by administering the same mineral salts in small quantities. This is supposed to be brought about by virtue of the operation of chemical affinity in the domain of histology; and hence this therapeutic procedure is styled by Schussler the Biochemic method, and stress is laid on the fact that it is in supposed harmony with well-known facts and laws in physiological chemistry and allied sciences.
THE CONSTITUENTS OF THE HUMAN ORGANISM
Blood consists of water, sugar, fat, albuminous substances, chloride of sodium, chloride of potash, fluoride of lime, silica, iron, lime, magnesia, soda and potash. The latter are combined with phosphoric, carbonic and sulphuric acids.
The salts of soda predominate in the blood plasma, while those of potash are found especially in the blood corpuscles. Sugar, fat, and the albuminous substances are the so-called organic components of the blood, while the above-named salts and water constitute its inorganic components. Sugar and fat are compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, while the albuminous substances contain in addition sulphur and nitrogen.
Sulphur, carbon and phosphorus are not present within the organism in a free state, but combined with organic substances.
Sulphur and carbon are found in the albumen, carbon in the carbo-hydrates like sugar, starch and in the products incident to metamorphosis of organic substances. Phosphorus is contained in the lecithins and in the nucleins. The sulphur of the albumen is oxidized by the oxygen of the inspired air, forming sulphuric acid which combines with the bases of the carbonates, forming sulphates and setting free carbonic acid.
Blood, containing the material for every tissue and cell of the body, furnishes nutriment for every organ, enabling it to perform its individual function; thus it supplies every possible physiological want in the animal economy.
It does this by the transudation of a portion of its plasma into the surrounding tissues through the capillary walls, by which the losses sustained by the cells on account of tissue metamorphosis are made good. According to modern biological views, this pabulum is a material sui generis, called irritable matter or protoplasm, and is the only living matter, and is universally diffused throughout the organism, of which it constitutes about one-fifth, the remaining four-fifths being organized and relatively, therefore, dead matter. In its physical character it is nitrogenous, pulpy, structureless, semi-fluid, translucent, homogeneous, similar to that of the ganglionic nerves and to the gray, nervous matter. In this transuded fluid appear fine granules, which unite to form germs, from which, again, cells develop. By the union of these cells are formed the tissues of every kind needed for the upbuilding of the whole organism. Two kinds of substances are needed in this process of tissue-building, and both are found in the blood—namely, the organic and the inorganic constituents. Among the former organic constituents are the sugar, fat and albuminous substances of the blood, serving as the physical basis of the tissues, while the water and salts—namely, potash, lime, silica, iron, magnesium and sodium—are the inorganic substances, which are believed to determine the particular kind of cell to be built up. Other salts may from time to time be found, but the foregoing, however, embrace all which are constantly present. Wherever, then, in the animal organism, new cells are to be generated and formed, there must be present, in sufficient quantity and proper relation, both these organic and inorganic substances. By their presence in the blood, all the organs, viscera and tissues in the body are formed, fixed and made permanent in their functions, and a disturbance here causes disturbed function.
INORGANIC CONSTITUENTS OF CELLS
The principal inorganic materials of nerve-cells are Magnesia phos., Kali phos., Natrum and Ferrum. Muscle-cells contain the same, with the addition of Kali mur. Connective tissue-cells have for their specific substance Silica, while that of the elastic tissue-cells is probably Calcarea fluor. In bone-cells we have Calcarea fluor. and Magnesia phos. and a large proportion of Calcarea phos. This latter is found in small quantities in the cells of muscle, nerve, brain and connective tissue. Cartilage and mucous cells have for their specific inorganic material Natrum mur., which is found also in all solid and fluid parts of the body. Hair and the crystalline lens contain, among other inorganic substances, also Ferrum. The carbonates, as such, are, according to Moleschott, without any influence in the process of cell-formation.
FORMATION OF TISSUE CELLS
The oxygen of the air, upon reaching the tissues through the blood by means of the respiration, acts upon the organic substances which are to enter in the formation of new cells. The products of this transformation are the organic materials which form the physical basis of muscle, nerve, connective tissue and mucous substance. None of these substances are present as such in the blood, but are formed within the tissues from the albumen. With them, the inorganic salts form combinations by virtue of chemical affinities, and thus new cells are formed. With the formation of new cells there occurs ai the same time a destruction of the old ones, resulting from the action of oxygen on the organic substances forming the basis of these cells. This oxidation has, as a consequence, a breaking down of the cells themselves.
The ultimate results of this combustion of the organic substances are the formation of urea, uric, sulphuric, phosphoric, lactic and carbonic acids, and also water. Some intermediate members of the series, as, for instance, hypoxanthin, acetic and butyric acids, etc., need not be mentioned with this therapeutic method, because, so far as our present knowledge of them, extends, they play a very subordinate role. Urea, uric acid and sulphuric acid are the result of the oxidation of the albuminous substances, while phosphoric acid is produced by the oxidation of lecithin contained in the nervous tissue, brain, spinal cord and blood corpuscles. Lactic acid results from the fermentation of milk-sugar, and finally breaks down into carbonic acid and water.
The final products of the oxidation of the organic substances are urea, carbonic acid and water. These, together with the salts set free, leave the tissues, and thereby give place to less fully oxidized organic bodies, which in turn finally undergo the same metamorphosis.
The products of this retrograde tissue change are conveyed through the lymphatics, the connective tissue and the veins, to the gall-bladder, lungs, kidneys, bladder and skin, and are thereby removed from the organism with the excretions, such as the urine, perspiration, faeces, etc.
The importance and dignity of the function of the connective tissue was established after the researches of Virchow and Von Recklinghausen led to a closer study and demonstrated its fertile activity. That which formerly seemed only intended as a filling in or protective covering appears now as the matrix, in which the minute capillaries carry the plasma from the blood to the tissues and return the same to the blood vessels; at the same time it serves as one of the most important breeding places of young cells, which are capable of developing out of the embryonic latent forms to the most differentiated structure of the body.
HEALTH AND DISEASE
Health may be considered to be the state characterized by normal cell metamorphosis; thus, when by means of digestion of food and drink, recompense is made to the blood for the losses it sustains by furnishing nutritive material to the tissues, this compensation is made in requisite quantities and in proper places, and no disturbance of the motion of the molecules occurs. Under these conditions alone will the building of new cells and the destruction of old ones proceed normally, and the elimination of useless materials be furthered.
Disease is the result of a disturbance of the molecular motion of one of the inorganic tissue salts. The cure consists in the restoration of the equilibrium of the molecular motion by furnishing a minimal dose of the same inorganic substance, since the molecules of the material thus used remedially fill the gap in the chain of molecules of the affected cell or tissue salt.
Virchow says that disease is an altered state of the cell, and hence the normal state of the cell constitutes health. The constitution of the cell is determined by the composition of its nutritive environment exactly as a plant thrives according to the quality of soil around its roots.
In agricultural chemistry we add as fertilizer that element most lacking in the soil. But three essential substances used as fertilizers are required, namely, ammonia, phosphate of lime or potash. The other substances needful for plant nutrition are found in sufficient quantities in the soil. The same law of supplying a lack applies to biochemical remedies; for instance, take the following example:
A child suffering with rickets shows a lack of phosphate of lime in the bones due to a disturbed molecular motion of the molecules of this salt. The quantity of phosphate of lime intended for the bones, but failing to reach its goal, would accumulate within the blood were it not excreted by the urine, for it is the office of the kidneys to maintain the proper composition of the blood, and, therefore, to cast out every foreign substance or surplus supply of any one constituent. Now after the normal molecular motion of the phosphate of lime molecules is again established within the involved nutritive soil by administering small doses of the same salt, the surplus can again enter the general circulation and the cure of the rachitis be brought about.
Every normal cell has the faculty of absorbing or rejecting certain substances. This property is diminished or suspended when the cell has suffered a loss in one of its salts in consequence of any irritation. As soon as this deficiency is made good by a supply of a homogeneous material from the immediate nutritive soil, the equilibrium is re-established. But if the supply is not offered spontaneously, it is to be assumed that the needful salt is lacking in quantity, or, on the other hand, that the diseased cells have suffered a physical alteration besides, which precludes the entrance of the required tissue salt. In such a case the salt must be offered in a more diluted state, that is, a higher trituration or attenuation.
DOSE, OR QUANTITY OF TISSUE SALT REQUIRED TO RE-ESTABLISH NORMAL CELL EQUILIBRIUM
Biochemic remedies are administered in minimal doses corresponding in minuteness to the cellular salts in the tissues.
The curative virtue of small doses may be deduced from the following facts:
Throughout nature, atoms and groups of atoms or molecules form the basis of her operations. The growth of animals and plants is the accretion of new atoms or groups of atoms to the existing mass of molecules.
In view of the fact of the action of light, itself imponderable, causing molecule movements in living plants by which carbonic acid is decomposed into carbon and oxygen, and again the action of light on the photographic plate and retina of the eye, it seems impossible of contradiction that infinitely small imponderable particles of matter can act upon the living body. The use of small doses in biochemical treatment is a chemico-physiological necessity. For instance, it is desired to have Glauber's salt reach the blood. It cannot be done by giving it in a concentrated solution. Only the intestinal canal is affected thereby, producing a watery diarrhoea in which the salt is cast out from the organism. But a diluted solution of this salt (Natrum sulph.) will enter the blood and intercellular fluids from the mouth and oesophagus; and by virtue of its hygrometric property will induce passage of an excess of water in the tissues into the venous blood, and an increase of urinary secretion.
Every biochemic remedy must be sufficiently diluted to avoid destroying the function of healthy cells, and to restore disturbed function wherever present.
In the healthy organism, animal or vegetable, the salts are found in solution, corresponding to the third, fourth and fifth decimal dilution of medicines.
The following table of analysis of blood cells in relation to the human organism will show this:
In 1,000 grammes of blood cells the amount of inorganic substances are, according to Bunge's "Text-book of Physiological and Pathological Chemistry," as follows:
In 1,000 grammes of intercellular fluid (plasma) the proportion of inorganic substances is the following:
Compare with these analyses that of milk. Of this 1 litre or 1,000 grammes, contains
One litre (a little over a quart) suffices for the daily food of an infant weighing about 6 kilogrammes (13^4 pounds).
Now if 6 centigrammes (3.5 of a grain) of magnesia are sufficient to cover the needful daily supply of magnesia for an infant, how minute must be the dose of magnesia to be given for a neuralgia which is caused by an inconceivably small deficiency of this salt in a minute portion of the nerve tissue.
The mineral contents of one cell are infinitely small. According to the calculations of C. Schmidt, the physiologist, each blood corpuscle contains about one-billionth part of a gramme of Kali mur. This corresponds to the twelfth decimal trituration.
Similarly active in very small doses are some of the remedies used by the old school; for instance, corrosive sublimate, of which Prof. Hugo Schulz says that a solution of 1-600,000 to 1-800,000 brings about quite powerful fermentation, one far above the normal, in a grape sugar solution to which yeast has been added. (See Berliner Klinische Wochenschrift, Nov. 4, 1889.)
The inorganic substances which serve plants for nutrition are taken up by them only in minimal quantities. Liebig, in his chemical letters, observes that the strongest manure of earthy phosphates in a coarse powder cannot be compared in its action with a much smaller quantity finely divided, which by its sub-division can be diffused throughout the soil. Each rootlet requires but a small quantity of nourishment where it is in contact with the soil, but for its functional activity and existence it is requisite that this minimum be present just at that spot. The insoluble mineral substances found in the soil must be dissolved by the acid juices of the fibres of the root before they'can reach the vegetable organism.
A mineral, when it reaches the human stomach, is acted upon by the muriatic acid contained in the gastric juice. If this is a salt of iron, the chloride will be formed. Now if it is desirable to administer the phosphate of iron for therapeutic purposes, it must be kept out of the stomach. For this purpose a minimal dose is required—the medicine must be diluted to such a degree that its molecules may penetrate the epithelium of the mouth, pharynx, oesophagus and reach the blood through the capillary walls. Those substances that are insoluble in water must be triturated to the sixth decimal potency at least; those soluble in water may penetrate the epithelial cells in lower dilutions.
In some of the mineral waters, the mineral salts are present only in quantities corresponding to the 6th and 8th decimal dilutions; thus in the waters of Rilchingen Magnesia phosph. is present only in the 8th, Kali mur. in the 5th and Silica in the 6th dilution.
Dr. Behneke, in his balneological letters, correctly observes that the relative proportion and the degree of concentration in which the salt is present in the mineral water is of great importance. Many of the most famous springs owe their good results to the fact that the curative constituents are present only in greatly diluted states, and that the best results are frequently obtained from doses usually considered very minute.
The adaptability of minimal doses to the end in view is in entire harmony with physiological and chemical facts, as may be seen from the following words of Professor Valentine, the well-known physiologist:
"Nature works everywhere with an infinite number of small magnitudes, which, whether in homogeneous or heterogeneous aggregations, can only be perceived by our relatively obtuse organs of sense when in definite masses. The smallest picture which our eyes perceive proceeds from millions of waves of light; a granule of salt that we are hardly able to taste contains myriads of groups of atoms which no sentient eye will ever view."
This fact is also illustrated by the well-known experiments of Professors Kirchoff and Bunsen with common salt by taking three milligrammes (less than 1/20 of a grain), which are blown into a room containing 60 cubic metres of air. In a few minutes sodium lines appear in a flame standing at a considerable distance, which can be distinguished by the unaided eye.
Modern science gives numerous illustrations of the power of infinitesimal quantities. We will refer only to very few: one is by that most excellent observer, Darwin. In his work on Insectivorous Plants he says: "It is an astonishing fact that so inconceivably minute a quantity as 1-20,-000,000 of a grain" (a much smaller quantity than the 6th decimal trituration, the usually prescribed strength of the Tissue Remedies) of ammonia phosphate should induce changes in a gland, sufficient to cause a motor impulse to be sent down the whole length of the tentacle, this impulse exciting movements through an angle of about 180°."
Now, although the presence of common salt can be perceived by the nerves of taste, even if the crude salt touch the peripheral ends of these nerves, still in such a crude and undiluted form it is questionable whether the salt can enter and be taken up by the ducts of the neurilemma. For this purpose it seems much more reasonable to suppose that the degree of attenuation attained by the triturations is more appropriate to meet the want of the required molecules of salts.
Atropin, even when diluted more than a million-fold, produces, according to Reuter, dilatation of the pupil in man and the lower warm-blooded animals.
A litre (a little more than a quart) of milk contains about four milligrammes of iron, and a child nourished upon milk only receives therewith less than one milligramme or 1/65 of a grain of iron at a dose. If four milligrammes represent the daily supply of iron contributed to the nourishment and growth of the child (for it is distributed to all the iron-bearing cells of the organism), how small should be the dose, therapeutically considered, of a salt of iron given to allay a molecular disturbance occurring in a small cell territory, such a disturbance, for instance, as determines the hyperemia of irritation ?
The amount of fluorine contained in milk has, as yet, not been quantitatively determined; the amount of it in the organism is much less than that of iron. It may be assumed that the amount of fluorine contained in milk is represented by a tenth of a milligramme; therefore, one milligramme of calcium fluoride, pro dosi, if prescribed as a remedy, would be a large dose.
The evolution from the crystalline inorganic to the cellular organic appears to be accomplished by means of refinement of particles and increase of vibratory activity (Hermann Hille, Ph. D.). Do not the pharmaceutical procedures of Homeopathy do this very thing?
The dose of a remedy prescribed according to chemical therapeutics had better be too small than too large; for if too small a repetition of it will attain the desired end, but if too large it will fail to accomplish the purpose in view.
Large doses of iron, given to cure chlorosis, disorder the stomach, pass off unused with the faeces, and in most cases leave the disease unaffected.
Hydrochloric acid, when diluted a thousand-fold with water, dissolves with ease at the temperature of the body fibrin and gluten, and this solvent powder does not increase, but diminishes, if the proportion of acid in the dilution be increased (Liebig's Chemical Letters.)
PREPARATION AND DOSE
The Tissue Remedies are prepared for therapeutic purposes, like all homeopathic remedies, according to the decimal or centesimal scale in trituration or dilution. The crude, chemically pure article is taken and triturated with sugar of milk, one part of the drug to nine parts of sugar of milk, for at least two hours. This gives the first decimal trituration, each grain containing one-tenth of a grain of the cell salt triturated.
One part of this first decimal trituration is then used, and other nine parts of sugar of milk added and again triturated two hours, which gives the second decimal trituration, and is equivalent to the first centesimal trituration, each grain containing one-hundredth' of the triturated cell salt. But experience has shown, as may be seen, too, from the illustrations above that even this minute subdivision is too gross for many purposes in the animal economy, and so this triturating and subdividing process has been kept up to the sixth, twelfth and even higher preparations.
SCHUSSLER'S OWN PROCEDURE
At first Schussler began with the sixth centesimal or twelfth decimal trituration; but he, very early in his practice, adopted the sixth decimal preparation as the one most generally useful. Lately the lower triturations of Potassium and Sodium salts, the third decimal, of others the fourth and fifth, have been productive of equally good results. In the last edition of his "AbgekUrste Therapie" he says on this point: "In my practice I employ the sixth decimal trituration generally. Ferrum phos., Silicea and Calcarea fiuor. I usually give in the 12th trituration. In acute diseases, a dose consisting of a powder, size of a pea, should be given every hour or two; in chronic diseases 3 or 4 times daily. The powder may be given dry on the tongue, or dissolved in a spoonful of water."
We, ourselves, have had the most satisfactory results from the sixth decimal trituration, rarely going higher, at times lower, and generally we prefer to give the selected remedy in solution by dissolving a good-sized powder in a tumbler, half full of water, and administering teaspoonful doses every hour or two.
These triturations may be moulded into tablets usually of one grain each; the dose being two or three taken dry on tongue or dissolved in water.
If liquid solutions are used, a few drops may be dissolved in water, or pellets or disks may be saturated and given in that way. The latter is especially to be recommended with children.
FREQUENCY OF DOSES
In acute cases, a dose every hour or two; in severe, painful affections, a dose every ten to fifteen minutes; in chronic affections, one to four doses daily.
In suitable cases the external use of the remedies is indicated and has been found useful. For this purpose the lower triturations may be used.
In determining the dose of a biochemic remedy, the amount of the morbid product involved is no important factor. For instance, a very small deficiency of Natrum mur. in the cells of the epithelial layer of a serous sac may give rise to a massive serous exudation; and as minute a supply of Natrum mur. corresponding to the deficiency may bring about a complete resorption of the exudation.
Guided by the relative quantities of the cell salts, each practitioner can select the proper dose of the indicated biochemic remedy.
One milligramme (1-100 grain = to the 2d decimal trituration) of a substance is estimated to contain 16 trillions of molecules. According to this estimate, the 6th decimal trituration of it would contain about 16 billions; this quantity is more than sufficient to restore disturbed molecular motions to the normal.
It may be urged as an objection that the molecules of a given salt administered as a medicine would unite with their like contained in the blood, and thus render illusory any curative attempt. But this combination cannot take place simply because the carbonic acid present in the blood forms an isolating medium of the salts.
RELATION OF THE BIOCHEMIC TO THE HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT
Often the question has been asked, "Is Schusslerism Homeopathy?" and it has as often been answered in the affirmative as in the negative. Schussler himself claimed that it is not in any way related to Homeopathy, claiming for it a separate system of therapeutics.
He claims with others that the Tissue Remedies act by supplying deficiencies. This idea, taken literally, seems erroneous; for example, in a disturbance of the molecules of Natr. mur. there is not necessarily a deficiency in the amount of Natr. mur. in the body, but rather a lack of continuity in the arrangement of the existing molecules in the body. This salt given as a remedy does not supply a lack or deficiency of salt, as the quantity given is usually too infinitesimal for the purpose, and were this the case it might be given in quantity with food and drink with the desired effect. The deficiency that it does supply in minimal doses is in the arrangement of the equilibrium of the chain of Natr. mur. molecules in the affected tissues as before explained, thus causing them to perform their function properly; for, since the deficit is a molecular one, the supply must also be molecular.
This idea of the action of remedies is not new, as any one who has carefully perused the works of that astute observer, Von Grauvogl, can testify. Many of Schussler's ideas are foreshadowed in Grauvogl and Hering.
It has always been a matter of dispute as to how our homeopathic remedies act. The question, embracing as it does that of infinitesimal doses, is one of the most interesting for Homeopathy and therapeutics generally.
The following table shows, so far as analyses have been made, that the twelve tissue salts are constituents of many of our well known and proved remedies of the vegetable kingdom:
This table is a very incomplete one, as analyses have only been made of comparatively few of the remedies of the animal and vegetable kingdoms that we use; and many of these analyses have been made so crudely as only to note the presence of these salts in them, not giving their proportions. To do this accurately would entail much time and expense. Of course, this, to the allopath, is a question of no moment whatever ; but to us, as homeopaths, who deal with infinitesimals, such an enormous quantity as 18.2 per cent, of Silicea occurring in Equisetum; 6 per cent, of potash and sodium salts occurring in Hamam.; 4 per cent, of Silicea in Cimicif.; 3 per cent, of Magnes. phos. in Coloc, as well as other inorganic constituents in varying quantities, becomes a matter of vital importance. Could we have an exact quantitative and proportionate analysis of any one drug from the animal or vegetable kingdom, we could then dissect its symptoms and tell which belonged to one tissue salt and which to another; and it is highly probable that we, by this means, could easily explain why the symptoms of one drug are so often found under the pathogenesis of another, why one is characteristic in one drug and only generic in another, when, indeed, it may not rightly belong to either, but to an inorganic tissue salt, a constituent of each drug.
Perhaps the drug of which as complete an analysis has been made as of any is Phytolacca decandra. After evaporation and incineration, which remove the organic constituents, there remain 8.4 per cent, of the inorganic; of these, 6.8 per cent, are soluble and consist mostly of the salts of potash, while the insoluble remainder, 1.6 per cent., consists of calcium, iron and silica. If we compare the pathogenesis of Phytol. with the biochemical application of these salts, we shall see a striking and significant analogy. As the largest quantity of the inorganic salts therein contained is potash, we shall find that more symptoms of Phytol. correspond to the Kalis, while fewer symptoms correspond to the calcium, iron and silica. The following table illustrates this:
Were the analysis quantitatively correct, we should probably find some Natr. mur., as one of the promin&nt symptoms of Phytol. is acrid, watery discharge from the nose, just as it is more than likely that the well known characteristic nasal symptom of Arum triphyllum—the acrid, excoriating discharge—may be due to the large amount of Natrum mur. this plant contains.
This would explain why we have different sets of symptoms under one homeopathic drug, appearing to antagonize each other—each is produced by a different tissue salt.
This much for the vegetable and animal kingdom, substances that can be reduced by analysis to elementary bodies. In the mineral kingdom the action is somewhat different. Nothing need be said of such remedies as are compounds of sulphur and phosphorus, as they derive their medicinal power by combinations which form tissue salts. The carbonates become transformed into the phosphates; this disposes of such drugs as Kali carb., Calc. carb., Magnes. carb., etc.
There only remain the minerals, such as Aurum, Platinum, Argentum, etc. These in a crude state are acknowledged inert, and we triturate them to develop their power. In the crude state they do not appear to be materially changed by any of the organic acids of the body. When we finally divide these they still remain the same, but a new power has been developed in them, a catalytic power.
Examples of catalytic power are, unfortunately, very few. Of the known ones is the following:
Platinum in mass produces no change—no combination of oxygen and hydrogen—as it will do, as chemistry teaches us, when it is finely divided, without being changed itself.
This is catalysis, wherein one body produces changes in another without itself being changed. The wherefore of this action is not known, but it still remains a fact. Catalysis is contact action, and by this contact action, mineral drugs act inert in the crude state, by trituration a contact action is developed, which causes changes, and when given to the healthy produces symptoms.
This rationally explains how inert substances acquire by subdivision (trituration) medicinal properties. This has long been a stumbling-block to many in studying Homeopathy.
Do we not when we prove a drug—that is, administer it to the healthy to produce symptoms—and nearly all our homeopathic provings are made, more or less, with the potentized drug, which process also potentizes the inorganic salts therein contained—do we not produce a disturbance in the molecular equilibrium of the tissue salts contained in the drug given? For example: When we give Phytol. to prove it, do we not, by virtue of 6.8 per cent, of potash salts it contains, cause a molecular disturbance of these salts, which would not occur were they given in so crude a form as not to be taken up by the ducts of the neurilemma of the nerves of taste, etc. ?
This disturbance is only to be corrected when arising from disease by giving Phytol. in potency, the potash salts in it being the part which gives it its curative power.
This view by no means takes away the fact that each drug is an entity, to be proved as a whole.
But these very salts in certain proportions are its essential substratum, whose presence is necessary to fix, determine and embody the inner essence of the drug; and it is a question to be decided whether we could obtain the same results by giving the inorganic salt constituents of a drug as by giving the drug itself. It seems to us, were it possible, that the former would be a more elementary Homeopathy, and this an indirect Biochemistry.
But the salts in plants may have acquired vital properties that their corresponding salts in the mineral kingdom do not possess. They are prepared by and in organization, and may thus act peculiarly on animal organization. This thought was suggested by the brilliant Dr. J. J. Garth Wilkinson in a letter to the authors, and he mentioned his use of Silica prepared from the large bamboos in India that seemed especially serviceable in acute rather than in chronic cases.
Schussler, in several of his editions, admits this and says that disturbed molecular motion of inorganic cell salts showing itself as disease is rectified by Biochemistry directly by the administration of homogeneous substances, whereas it is rectified by Homeopathy indirectly by the administration of heterogeneous substances