Selected writings of John M. Scudder.
Prof. Scudder did not scatter. He taught that indications should be few and direct. A lesson could be taken from him at the present time when the tendency to add many irrelevant symptoms as specific indications has gained force, whereas fewer and more direct symptoms showing decided pathologic conditions only should figure in indications. Herein he shows one difference from Homeopathy which multiplies symptoms, while both Homeopathy and Eclecticism agree that "there is a direct relationship between disease expression and drug action." Restorative medication was not a part of pure Homeopathy, but now some Homeopathists approach this form of medication in the administration of the tissue remedies.—Ed. Gleaner.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE.—Speaking of Homeopathy, it may be well to note some points of similarity and difference. The common idea with uninformed persons is, that my dose is Homeopathic, but the fact is that but few Homeopaths use tinctures; they employ dilutions, from the 3d to the 30th, of even up to hundreds and thousands. My ten drops to four ounces would furnish a Homeopath medicine for a year—there is some similarity, but the difference is still very great. I do not agree that the law of similia similibus is the only law of cure, and claim that remedies cure because their action is opposed to the condition of disease— which they are inclined to admit as a truism.
Take up a work on Homeopathy, and you will be astonished at the multitude of symptoms given with each remedy. Thus in Allen's new work we find that Aconite is credited with 1,640, Belladonna with 2,540, and other remedies in like proportion. Now my Homeopathic friend and I will agree "that there is a direct relation between disease expression and drug action," and that if this is rightly determined once, it is determined for all time and all cases. He says the symptoms produced by a drug in health, will be cured by the same drug if found in disease. According to this theory, the drug Aconite will be curative to each of the 1,640 Aconite symptoms, and the Belladonna to each of the 2,540 symptoms. But this is too much even for a Homeopath, and he employs the drug that covers the most symptoms, or he prescribes from one or more characteristic symptoms which he calls a "key-note." Whilst in theory there is a very great difference between Homeopathy and Specific Medication, there is much less difference in practice.
I believe that we have greater certainty if we associate our remedy with one, or at farthest, three or four symptoms. Thus for Aconite I should say, a frequent, small pulse, having strength, with (in the majority of cases) increased temperature. For Belladonna I should say, dullness of intellect, somnolence, and tendency to coma, or capillary congestion, as shown by the redness of the skin, which effaced by pressure returns slowly. Whilst the Homeopathic symptomatology is wonderfully profuse, and is being added to every year, I prefer mine very brief, and diminished yearly, until we have but one or two characteristic symptoms calling for the remedy.
I believe firmly in restorative medication, the Homeopath does not. Commencing with foods, I employ everything that enters into the composition of the human body, and I use it to add a lacking material. We find many persons sick from want of food, or want of proper food; we supply the want and they get well. We find persons sick from want of Iron, Phosphorus, Sulphur, a bitter principle, Soda, Potash, Lime, or an acid; we give them and they get well. In this we are surely outside of the Homeopathic law of cure, for beefsteak and bread and butter will not produce defective nutrition or marasmus, cod-liver oil will not cause low albuminoid deposits, iron will not destroy the red globules, an acid will not give the tongue a deep red color, nor an alkali blanch it.
These are but a few of the differences, and I name them that the reader may think them over, and probably secure some Homeopathic works and read up. I am not afraid of investigation, and I advise every one to read and think for himself. If we fail to present you a practice of medicine, that for simplicity and success will compare favorably with Homeopathy or any other pathy, the sooner you are converted and leave us the better. But do not go back to the old and dull routine of cathartics, emetics, diaphoretics, and alteratives, with a shake down of Quinine and Morphine a la regular.—SCUDDER, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1855.
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.