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50 Reasons For Being a Homeopath’ is a lovely little book. It consists of 50 letters from the famous homeopathic doctor J. Compton Burnett to a young skeptic ‘Dr T.A.K’ & was written around 1888. It still shines with truth today.

Part 11:

I would fain beg you to allow me to give you as my eleventh reason for being a homeopath also a most singular case of hiccough. It has already been published in my Natrum Muriaticum, whence I will transcribe it.

Case XI. A clergyman’s wife of about 50 years of age consulted me on February 20th, 1878, complaining of severe dyspepsia with other symptoms of Natrum muriaticum. My visit was a hurried one, so I did not enter very fully into the case. Nat mur. 6 trit. vj grains in water twice a day was the prescription; it cured in three days these symptoms: “Hiccough occurring morning, noon and night for at least ten years, which was brought on by quinine; it was not a hiccough that made much noise, but ‘shook the body to the ground’; it used to last about ten minutes, and was ‘very distressing.’ ”

“How do you know that the hiccough was really produced by quinine?” I enquired. She answered: “At three separate times in my life I have taken quinine for the tic of the right side of my face, and I got hiccough each time; the first and second time it gradually went off, but the third time it did not; when the late Dr. Hynde prescribed it I said, do not give me quinine as it always gives me hiccough, but he would give it to me; I took it, and it gave me the hiccoughs, which lasted until I took your powders; it is more than 10 years since I took the quinine.”

The cure of the hiccough has proved permanent. This patient is a most truthful Christian woman, and her statement is beyond question. She has been a homeopath for many years, and my patient for more than three years, during which time I have had to treat her for chronic sore throat, vertigo, palpitation, and at one time great depression of spirits.

She had previously mentioned her hiccough  incidentally, but I had forgotten all about it, and on this occasion she did not even mention it; so far as the hiccough goes the cure was… a pure fluke! But it set me a-thinking about the Hahnemannian doctrine of drug dynamization for the thousandth time, and has seriously shaken my disbelief in it. Hiccough is a known effect of Chininum sulfuricum: Allen’s Encyclopaedia, Vol. III, p226, symptoms 370 and 379.

We note from this case that.

1. The effects of quinine, given for tic in medicinal doses to a lady, may last for more than ten years.

2. That Natrum muriaticum in the sixth trituration antidotes this effect of quinine, while:

3. The same substance in it’s ordinary form, viz., common salt, does not antidote it even when taken daily in various quantities and in various forms for ten years. Insamuch, then, as the crude substance fails to do what , the triturated substance promptly effects, it follows therefore that:

4. Trituration does so alter a substance that it thereby acquires a totally new power, and consequently that:

5. The Hahnemannian doctrine of drug dynamization is no myth, but a fact in nature capable of scientific experimental proof, and, insamuch as the crude substance was taken daily for many years in almost every conceivable dose, in a kinds of solutions of the most varied strength, it results:

6. That the Hahnemannian method of preparing drugs for remedial purposes is not a mere dilution, or attenuation, but a positively powerevolving or powerproducing process, viz. a true potentization or dynamization.

This case is probably as good a one as we may ever expect to get, and it might here fitly close the subject as far as it’s simple demonstration is concerned, but I have others in my casebook, both corroborating it and presenting new features.

Before leaving this case 11 let us reflect for a moment on the certainly immense number of modifying and perturbing influences this lady has been subject to during those ten years, as well as living at the seaside, and including the daily use of salt, and yet her hiccough persisted until dynamized salt was given.

Before coming to these conclusions I exhausted all my ingenuity in trying to explain it away, and that backed by no small amount of scepsis, not to believe it than to believe it.

I am thus in a dilemma: either I must believe in the doctrine of drug dynamization, or disbelieve the most incontrovertible evidence of facts, which is the province of the demented.

Or canst thou, critical reader, being more ingenious and more skeptical than I, help me out of the dilemma? Fain would I believe thous canst, for this doctrine of drug dynamization seemns to take away firm material ground from under one’s feet, and leaves one standing in the air.

This is rather a long account of a case of hiccough, but it taught me much, and that must be my excuse for not curtailing it.