The Aphorisms of Hippocrates by von Boenninghausen - Book VIII

Selected Aphorisms Of Hippocrates
With Comments By Dr. von Boenninghausen

From The Homoeopathic Recorder, Vol. LVIII, No. 10, 11, 12, (April, May, June) 1943.

translated by S.W.S.


APHORISM 1. Mania after the age of forty is seldom cured.

COMMENTS: Experience confirms the statement that phrenetic diseases attacking in advanced age are difficult of cure under allopathic treatment. But it is just as true, that when cerebral fevers have been properly, homoeopathically treated from the beginning, the desired result was almost always obtained. This is especially true when the condition follows a typhoid attack. Our lists prove that all conditions called typhoid are easily cured by homoeopathy. The treatment of such is considerably facilitated by the fact that only a small number of remedies comes up for our choice: Arsenicum, Belladonna, Bryonia, Kali carb., Muriatic acid, Opium, Phosphorus, Phosphoric acid, Rhus, Sulphur and Taraxacum. This is also in favor of the young homoeopathist to give him a reputation in the treatment of typhoid epidemics.

APHORISM 3. It is bad when in quartan fevers nosebleed occurs.

COMMENT: Epistaxis in fevers is most often caused by congestions to the head and belongs to all remedies which have this symptom in their primary action, hence our attention is directed to this, but also in which fever period it occurs, during chill, heat, or perspiration. Our remedies for head congestion during the chill are: Aconitum, Arnica, Arsenicum, Belladonna, Bryonia, Calcarea carb., Chamomilla, China, Digitalis, Ferrum met., Hyoscyamus, Ipecacuanha, Lycopodium, Mercurius, Nitrum (Kali nitricum), Rhus, Sabadilla, Stramonium, Sulphur and Veratrum; during the heat: Aconitum, Belladonna, Bryonia, Carbo veg., Chamomilla, China, Ignatia, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Nux, Opium, Rhus, Sepia, Silica, Squilla, Stramonium, Sulphur and Veratrum; during perspiration only: Bryonia, Causticum, Conium, Nux, Opium, Taraxacum and Thuja.
All these remedies, some most prominently, have epistaxis. But that is not sufficient for the exacting demands of homoeopathy, the character of the bleeding must also be observed, whether light and watery: Arnica, Arsenicum, Belladonna, Calcarea carb., Carbo veg., Hyoscyamus, Ipecacuanha, Mercurius, Rhus, Sabadilla and Sulphur; or dark: Bryonia, Causticum, Chamomilla, Ignatia, Lachesis, Lycopodium Nux, Sepia, Stramonium, Sulphur; or coagulates quickly: Belladonna, Calcarea carb., Causticum, Chamomilla, China, Ferrum metallicum, Hyoscyamus, Ignatia, Ipecacuanha, Rhus, Stramonium; and other conditions of the blood must be observed. After all of this, we have here only one symptom, which is insufficient for a homoeopathic prescription. We need the patient's symptom totality.

APHORISM 4. It means danger when on critical days sweats occur repeatedly, as also sweats which are cold and stand in large drops on the forehead; such sweats can only come out with much power and over-exertion.

COMMENT: We suppose Hippocrates here refers to the so-called death sweat. This symptom is, to be sure, a bad prognostic sign, but it is not always so. It is most often found in diseases where: Carbo vegetabilis, Cina, Drosera, Ipecacuanha, Staphisagria and Veratrum are indicated. Carbo veg. will frequently save the patient's life force from ebbing away when collapse is present. Veratrum is incomparable in severe gastric diseases, and even in cholera, when this cold sweat on forehead appears, and when every drink of cold water brings new attacks. But where in such conditions drinking relieves, there Cuprum or Ignatia or Veratrum is indicated. Such apparently insignificant symptoms are the more important when the course of the sickness is rapid, and when the perhaps possible saving of life depends upon quick and correct decision. Hence homoeopathy has properly given special attention to them, and is diligently active to extend her therapeutic knowledge along these lines.

How exceedingly important an even apparently trivial remark, added to an original symptom can be, is clear in hundreds of instances, of which we shall only mention one. In Volume V of the German edition of Hahnemann's Materia Medica Pura, page 128, symptom 59, states of Thuja: "While blowing nose a pressing pain in a hollow tooth (sideways)." This "sideways" Jahr left out in his translation, and Noack and Trinks in their work copied it without comment, probably because they did not know what it signified. To be sure, one must admit that the symptom, with the addition in parenthesis, has not been stated clearly enough, because the "sideways" can refer to the pain as well as to the location of the caries. Only the following practice has shed light on the subject, teaching us that "sideways" refers to the hollow tooth, and that caries is from the side, not the crown of the tooth. That makes it a very valuable symptom, appearing almost only in chronic diseases for which Thuja is indicated. Of such real golden nuggets there are many in Hahnemann's remedy provings, but they are not considered important, and are swept out by those who "would purify" our materia medica.

APHORISM 9. A black and bloody tongue is not so bad, as long as some of the following symptoms are lacking; in that case the tongue discoloration is a sign of a milder disease.

COMMENT: We know and appreciate that this at times suspicious discoloration of the tongue can be found in different diseases which point to: Aconitum, Arsenicum, Belladonna, Bryonia, China, Cocculus, Colchicum, Cuprum, Digitalis, Lachesis, Mercur., Muriatic acid, Nitric acid, Nux, Opium, Phosphorus, Plumbum, Rhus, Sabina, Secale, Spongia, Sulphur and Veratrum, then it is easily understood that this symptom alone and in all circumstances does not signify a great danger to life.