Samuel Swan, MD

July 4, 1814 - October 17, 1893

Swan was born in Medford, Massachusetts, to a family full of homeopathic supporters; the name "Swan" being well known in New England homeopathy. His uncle was one of the area's first homeopaths. Swan worked in the mercantile trade for most of his life, until entering medical school at 53, graduating from the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1866.

Swan began practice in New York City as an associate of Edward Bayard. Especially interested in both pharmacy and the use of morbific products as remedies, he was the first to manufacture and prove Medorrhinum (the gonorrhea nosode), Syphilinum (made from the syphilis chancre) and he discovered the value of Tuberculinum (made from tubercular tissue) 20 years before Koch.

His catalogue of remedies shows a very fertile mind that was obviously well prepared to make "large mental turns." There is Fel gryllus americana Brazillian cricket. Where the catalogue says: "Suppression of Urine with or without pain. A boy who had fever and chills swallowed a live cricket and never had a chill afterwards" and there is Seriaca barlowii, a remedy made "from a silk handkerchief eaten by a cow, and taken from the stomach in a hard ball. During the three years she never had a calf." One can only assume Swan used it as a remedy for difficulty in conception, although no written work mentioning it exists.

There are basic indications for some others: "Butyraceum: Buttermilk; valvular disease of the heart" and "Caguil columbiana: uncontrollable desire for coitus."

There are the high potency combinations: "Bellpul: Belladonna and Pulsatilla; where each is indicated but do not cure" and "Neurine: a mix mixture of Ether phos, Glonoine, Cactus grandiflorus" where no indications are given.

Then we have the "imponderables" like "Cerulea irides: (Blue ray of the spectrum)" and "Helios: the sun." While Swan wrote about how they were made the information as to how they were used is scanty.

At a time when new provings of "milks" are all the rage, we find Swan listing Elephant milk (Lac Elephas) and monkey milk (Lac Macacus) as well as the recently proven Lac Humanum.

We also find that Swan had, over 100 years ago, potentized material that we now consider "new" — such as Adamas (Diamond) and Hydrogen.

He died from complications of a poisoning he received while triturating a preparation of a Japanese varnish.