Homoeopathic therapeutics of diarrhea by James Bell

Review by Dr Achamma Lenu Thomas. BHMS,MD(Hom)
Medical Officer,Dept. of Homoeopathy, Govt. of Kerala

The homoeopathic therapeutics of diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, cholera morbus, cholera infantum and all other loose evacuation of the bowels
Introduction – published by James.B.Bell
B.Jain Publishers
Contains 310.
Editions I – 1869
II – 1881
III – 1888
IV – 1896
This book costs 40 Rs/-

This book has 2 parts – I – Homoeopathic therapeutic
II – Repertory

This book is the 13th edition and is a reprint edition. On the first page, the title has been shortened to The Homoeopathic Therapeutics of Diarrhea. While the next page gives the full title The Homeopathic Therapeutics of Diarrhea, Dysentery, Cholera, Cholera morhus, Cholera infantum and all other loose evacuations of the Bowels by James.B.Bell, M.D.

A beautiful quotation of Sir William Hamilton is given “Science is a complement of knowledge, having in point of form, the character of logical perfection and in point of matter, the character of real truth”.

In the coming pages, we can see an acknowledgement to Dr.Padiar for making available the original book for printing followed by preface to 4 editions & editors preface.

Preface to the first edition
Author says that this work was prepared for him, but Mr.Tafel desired to print it.
His friends also wanted to have a copy of it. This motivated him to have this book in print, so that it may be useful to others as well.
James Bell discloses that he keenly felt a need for possessing such a work, while dealing with the frequently occurring and obstinate diarrheas of infants. So he worked at odd moments and little remnants of time he redeemed from his busy schedule, the labor of which he was able to present as this beautiful monograph. This is a carefully collated experience of 10 years, coupled with gleaning from others & other periodicals.

Preface to second edition
Second edition was the result of kind persuasion by author’s friend W.T.Laird, who added to it his own collections of data. W.T.Laird also helped in entirely remodeling the repertory so as to do away with the inadequacies of the first one. Author  expresses his gratitude to DR.T.M.Dillinghain who made a partial revision of this work and to Ad.Lippe for his valuable suggestions.

In editors preface W.L.Larid says that 32 new remedies were added and old ones were thoroughly revised. The drugs are grouped into 4.

  1. Thoroughly proved and repeatedly verified.
  2. Well proved but lacks clinical confirmation.
  3. Suggestive remedies – remedies having fragmentary or imperfect pathogenesis.
  4. Having no basis except empiriscm.

He acknowledges the help extended by Wesselhoelf, Lippe Farrington and Laird, the preparation of this work.

Preface to third edition
This edition is a thoroughly revised one. 4 remedies are omitted via. Cactus, Euphoshium, Opuntia, Castoreum. To it 5 remedies are added Acetic acid, Crotalus, Angustura, Carbolic acid & Valeiriaria.

Preface to 4th edition
The fourth edition has undergone re-revision and renewed comparison with all material medica. No new remedies were added or omitted.
There is an introduction given to the main text, which includes character and object of the work, the selection of the remedy and the administration of the remedy.
In the character & object of the work author says that the work is intended to apply to all loose evacuations of the bowels and to describe them, their aggravations and ameliorations with their accompaniment and general accompanying symptoms. He says that it is the self appointed task of every physician to confirm, define and add the fruits of their observations so that they can be gladly incorporated in the future editions.
He says there are two schools of thought in the selection of remedy. One class thinks that the similitude should be found to the pathological state. Another school believes that those who stop here will never comprehend the time genius of homeopathy.

Those who follow in this direction will find out 2 similar via. one corresponding to the pathological state and another corresponding to special, characteristic individual symptoms.

Thus we find out the distinguishing symptoms of all kinds & qualities from the most purely objective and pathological symptoms to the most subjective and delicate complaints. To the former belongs green forthy stool of Mag Carb, dark acid urine of Benzoic acid and to the latter aggravation from hearing water of hydrophobia, from sudden depressing emotions of Gels. He says that even thought if we find a remedy that corresponding to peculiar and individualizing symptoms but at the same time never been known to cause the pathological state, then we can safely infer that the remedy will also possess the organic symptoms of the case and is able to remove them. Author says that he has seen podophyllum curing true pneumonia when selected by characteristic symptoms, although it has never been known to produce that condition. In the section on administration of remedy writer says that he began his practice with a strongly fixed idea that while 30th potency is useful for c/c and nervous affections, the lower and even cruder preparation is required for a/c affections especially diseases of the bowels. But he says hard experience has taught him the contrary and that strength of the dose can never make up the want of due knowledge in selection. He tells that he has used 12th, 15th.30th, 200th or higher potencies administered in water and repeated every one to six hours and found it to be most satisfactory. Age, sex, habits, color, race or order does not form any element in the choice of the dose. All classes respond favorably to higher potencies.

The book is divided into two parts .The first part contains homoeopathic therapeutics and the second part contains the remedies and their indication .

Homoeopathic therapeutic part
141 remedies are given according to the alphabetical order. Under each remedy stool, aggravation, ameliaration, before stool during stool, after stool and accompaniments are given.
Before the accompaniments notes from authors experience are given.

Repertorial part
A) Pathological names – Cholera

B) Character of the stools
C) Conditions of the stool and of the accompanying symptoms
A – aggravations
B – ameliarations

D) Accompaniments of the evacuations
A – Before stool
B – During stool
C – After stool
E) General accompaniments

1. Mind and mood 11. Nausea and vomiting
2. Head 12. Stomach
3. Eyes & Ears 13. Abdomen
4. Nose 14. Anus
5. Face 15. Urine
6. Mouth 16. Sexual organs
7. Throat 17. Chest
8. Esophagus 18. Back & neck
9. Appetite 19. Extremities
10. Ercutations 20. Sleep
21. Fever 22. Skin
a. Chill
b. Heat
c. Sweat
d. Pulse
23. General symptoms

Special features
1) Symptoms are given in 3 formats.
In bold – characteristic symptoms.
In italics – most frequently observed & distinguishing symptoms.
In ordinary – common symptoms

2) Rubrics are arranged in alphabetical order. Format adopted in arrangement of rubrics is of Boeninghausen.
3) The book has towards its end a list of authors and additional works consulted in the preparation of the second and fourth edition.
4) There is also an index for therapeutic and repertory part given in the back.
5) 141 remedies are given

1) Clinical experience of 10 years and notes taken from all authentic works.
2) Handy, cost effective.
3) Cursory glance itself helps us to familiarize with this work, for as in case of  KENT Repertory, its usefulness is limited if one fails to grasp its philosophical background.
4) A quick reference to the therapeutic part makes it all the more useful for prescribing.

1) Relationship of remedies not given,We are unable to find a follow up.
2) Newly proved remedies are to be added  E.g. Bowel nosoifes
3) Under aggravation is given
– Children in
– Nervous persons in

4) In the editor’s preface it is said that the remedies can be conveniently divided into four class . In the first, those which are thoroughly proved and verified. In the second place those well proved but lacks clinical confirmation . In the third place those with fragmentary and imperfect pathogenesis . The fourth division consists of remedies whose indications are derived solely ab us in morbis . Even though four classes of remedies are mentioned we have no way of knowing to which class the remedies in this repertory belong .

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