The object of this work which I have the honor of laying before the profession, is, to facilitate the study of theMateria Medica.
While engaged, as I have been for a number of years, in teaching theMateria Medica, I devised various plans to facilitate the student as much as possible in entering upon this important study, and finally adopted the present, as, according to my experience, the best suited for the purpose.
This plan is to give only the characteristic and most prominent symptoms of each remedy, and to compare them with all other medicines already proved.
We have received the first part of a similar, but more elaborate work, published by the Hahneman Publishing Society in London, entitled : ” The Hahneman Materia Medica” which we hope may be continued, as we think it will be very valuable for the Student and Practitioner.
In the present work I shall only give what I consider most essential. The description and analysis of the drugs, their history, and their preparation, I could easily have copied from larger works, but they belong to other branches of Medical Science.
By Characteristic Symptoms, I understand such symptoms, as have been repeatedly produced upon the healthy, and cured in the sick, by each respective drug ; and such symptoms especially, as assist to distinguish it from all, or most other drugs, endeavoring by stating the drugs analogous to a given symptom, to compare the one with all other drugs, as regards their similarities and differences. The more frequently a symptom has been produced and cured, the more it increases its relative value to the student of the Materia Medica ; and while these symptoms may often determine the choice of a remedy in a given case, Pathology must determine the relative value of the various symptoms presenting to us the disease to be treated. While, for instance, grinding of the teeth in Encephalitis is a very important symptom, it is much less so in disturbances of the abdominal organs, and would not occupy the same rank when selecting a remedy.
In classifying the drug symptoms, I first give the generalities, stating the kind of pains peculiar to the drug ; the organs on which it acts ; the concomitant symptoms ; and the conditions as to time and circumstances under which the symptoms are aggravated or relieved. This is followed by the prominent effects on the different parts of the body ; in sleep ; and mental emotions ; in the same order as was adopted by Hahneman.
In the selection of the characteristic symptoms I have not been guided by any previous work of that kind, such as Jahr, Possart, Boenninghausen, Altshuhl or Schneider.
The various drugs treated of in this work, will not be given in alphabetical order. I shall first give the Polychrests, as necessarily the most important, and most frequently used, and therefore, claiming the attention of the student, at the commencement of his course.
This work will serve the student likewise as a Repertory, and there will be found in it, many things that he would look for in vain in all previous works on Homoeopathy.
Being well aware that this work — a first effort of the kind — will admit of improvement, I shall very gladly and thankfully receive suggestions from any source, as to imperfections that may exist, and corrections tending to make it more useful.