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these two professorships are absolutely necessary—one conditions the other, one completes the other. These are the workshops in which the young physicians of the modern school must be taught the ideas that represent our school by the facts obtained from nature's scientific experiments.
Now-a-days the young physician can no longer be converted into a believing therapeuticist by the cut-and-dried post hoc ergo propter hoc; only in the way just indicated is it possible to procure for homoeopathy numerous firmly-convinced adherents, and to develop homoeopathy in a strictly scientific sense, and to conquer a place of honour for it amongst the natural sciences. (Cheers.)
With us in Hungary, where, under the direction of Professor Ilausmann, the Institute for Materia Medica is for the experimentation in artificial drug-diseases; where, under the direction of Professor Bakody, the homoeopathic hospital exists as adjunct to the artificial diseases; where, therefore, the demands of modern science are satisfied in the lectures of these two professors, there has arisen such a lively interest for homoeopathy that we can already speak of a considerable increase in the number of new homoeopathic physicians.
Wherever homoeopathy has established itself our endeavour must be to advance in like manner; we may not put up with a little dispensary, or with some clinical wards, or with a professorship for everything; no, we must have homoeopathy in its entirety, for then victory is certain and the future ours. (Great cheering.)
PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTION OF ACETATE OF COPPER.*
Through the kindness of Professor Joseph Buchner, of Munich, we have received a valuable inaugural dissertation by Adolf Carl Kock, delivered at Munich in 1872, containing very precious information, which we wish to com*
* Neue Zeitachriftfiir Bom. Klinik, 13d. 17, Nos. 20 & 21.
municate to our readers in an extract; though compressed in form yet substantially complete.
I. Poisoning Cases.
a. Scheuchzer gives an account of a Swiss monastery where the monks suffered from constant colic, retching, bilious vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, flatulence, heartburn, pain in the limbs, tightness of the chest, and even paralysis. He found that the kitchen utensils were of copper, badly or not at all tinned, and some of brass, were very dirty; and in these all sorts of food, acids included, were boiled.
b. Schodius saw in the case of a gardener, who had eaten fish cooked with salt and oil in a copper vessel, vomiting, bloody stools, and death. Lanzoni observed, after eating rice out of a copper vessel, vomiting, colic, and delirium.
c. Strack saw in four children, who ate beans cooked in a copper vessel, retching followed by vomiting, continued diarrhoea, pale face, swooning, and colic.
d. Fabas relates that a family of six were ill after eggs cooked with sorrel and butter in a copper vessel. All six had constant vomiting and diarrhoea, convulsive movements, cramp and violent pain in the abdomen, and were benefited by taking oil and mucilaginous remedies.
e. A boy fell into violent convulsions after eating, on board ship, some peas which had stuck to the bottom and sides of a large copper. Soon after a serious disease broke out in the whole crew, with colic, vomiting, purging, and swooning. The ship surgeon took it for cholera, but it passed off when the dirt in the copper was discovered and removed. Thus says Ramsay.
/. Two men died after eating food prepared in a copper vessel imperfectly tinned; for an hour they suffered the most violent pains in the stomach, with vomiting and tenesmus. The intestines, says Portal, were swollen, with erosions in several places, especially in the small-guts; the pylorus and duodenum were even gangrenous; the rectum perforated in two places.
g. In Fahner's Beitrage zur prahtischen und gerichtlichen Medizin we read as follows :—" A girl, aet. 18, who ate beans boiled in a copper vessel, soon after experienced nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, convulsions, and loss of consciousness. Six hours after, oil and milk, with oyster-shell powder, were prescribed internally, with emollient poultices. The pain and vomiting ceased; yet the girl complained of an unusual paralytic sensation in the arms and legs. Bloodletting was ordered, with Spirit of Hartshorn, afterwards Nitre and Opium. Her face was hippocratic; the abdomen painful and tumid; soon after she died. The skin was yellow, the mouth fast closed, eyes half open, nails blue; the stomach inside was green and much inflamed, especially at the pylorus: it contained green mucous masses; several gangrenous specks in the cardiac portion; the mesentery was tender and much inflamed; the intestines contained green fluid and green faeces in several places; the liver inflamed on its sharp rim; bladder empty, almost inflamed; gall bladder also rather inflamed; lungs and heart full of thick blood; oesophagus much inflamed. There are very full symptoms of men who had swallowed verdigris; in some cases inadvertently, in others from despondency or for the purpose of suicide.
h. Pyl tells us of a girl, aet. 24, that had swallowed four ounces of verdigris, who died in sixty hours with frequent vomiting, colic, diarrhoea, and convulsions. The post-mortem showed yellow skin, the body stiff, mouth fast closed, eyes half open, nails blue, mesentery soft and inflamed; intestines stained green, inflamed, here and there gangrenous; pylorus green, inflamed, gangrenous, contracted like cartilage in some places of the size of a crown; faeces green; intestines here and there inflamed, and gangrenous all the way to the rectum; liver inflamed on the sharp rim; gall bladder somewhat inflamed; heart and blood-vessels distended with blood not in a fluid state.
i. Duval describes a similar case, with the same symptoms, of a soldier, who swallowed li oz. of verdigris in 4 oz. of water from despondency. Vomiting, colic, and purging; convulsions, tetanic contraction of all the limbs, &c.
k. Orfila describes a case of copper poisoning with 4 drachms, by a man. Violent pain in the abdomen, copious stool and vomiting. Mucilage, milk, and emollient clysters prescribed. In three hours his countenance was sad, with deep-sunken eyes, moist tongue, and clammy mouth. Hawking, coppery eructation, violent thirst, loss of appetite. Next, vomiting of green masses; and shortly after jaundice set in. Three, stools brought alleviation and sleep. The day after, countenance calm, tongue greyish, mouth clammy, with coppery taste, yellow skin; the vomiting stopped; abdomen very sensitive to pressure, pulse regular, head heavy, with slight deafness. After Vichy water with whey, and emollient clysters, four greyish stools. The day after, felt unwell, with thirst and dark-red urine. Next day jaundice disappeared, appetite returned; weakness alone remained.
It would lead us too far to specify all the cases which presented the characteristic action of this salt. It is, however, well seen from the individual instances here selected out of all that Drouard, Orfila, and Smith tell us in abundance, we may infer that this poison causes death within twenty-four hours, if the dose amounted to 1 to 1^ gramme; that, on the contrary, death ensued in two hours if it was a larger dose; further, that if the verdigris was taken in a solid form, or dissolved in water, the first symptoms appeared in ten minutes.
II. Experiments On Animals.
a. Having tied the oesophagus of a healthy pigeon, I injected 0"1 gramme of neutral Acetate of Copper into the crop, dissolved in 2 grammes of water. In a few minutes began violent oft-repeated retchings, shivering all over the body; soon after, greenish-grey faeces passed, next, straining to vomit, then more green faeces; quick respiration, growing constantly louder; violent shivering and wavering of the whole body; till, in a few minutes more, the bird collapsed; continued opening and shutting of the bill with very laborious breathing; then death.
Post-mortem.—The crop, which contained some grains of barley, exhibited a blue fluid; a thin membrane of a greenish-blue was easily drawn off from the underlying muscular coat; oesophagus coloured blue outside; in the glandular stomach was a bluish-green greasy mass; intestines much reddened, the vessels strongly injected, showing themselves dichotomous; on some spots the red is dark; the lower intestines filled up with white greasy mass; kidneys distended with blood; liver brownish-red, very full of blood, as also the lungs; the spinal cord seems to be affected; at least, hyperaemia of its sheath is unmistakable.
b. Having tied the oesophagus of a perfectly healthy and very lively pigeon, I injected 05 gramme of neutral Acetate of Copper into the crop, dissolved in 2 grm. of water. This bird was as lively as ever, just as if nothing had happened. In about half an hour there came on retching, but with no effect; soon after, it lost its equilibrium, and tumbled about, but got up again; at last shivering set in, and the bird collapsed and flapped out its wings constantly, as if trying in vain to raise itself, and so continued for half an hour; breathing was now quick, but not so distressing as iu the first case; the eyelids opened and shut by turns; the respiration became a mechanical catching at the air, and she let her head fall to the ground and died.
Post-mortem.—The crop as in the previous case; the mucous membrane of the upper intestines thrown off easily, a greenish greasy coat, in the middle third, strongly injected; the lower, of the normal colour. Kidneys and liver as in Case 1. The veins leading from the intestines contain dark blood in abundance; heart full of liquid dark red blood, lungs hyperaemic, yet the trachea uninjured.