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in the year's report, is that of a Maternity Cottage. We trust the coming year willi see this need supplied, through the generosity of the public, which the modest and admirable little hospital so effectively serves.
Much of the report of the Middletown Hospital is given up to the protest — to which we not long ago gave editorial spaceagainst the arbitrary legislation which, altogether against the original plan and intent of the hospital, forces into it, for purely geographical reasons, patients who do not desire that system of treatment, and excludes those who do. For the rest, the report is most encouraging, clinically and financially. As usual, the superintendent has much to say that is uncommonly interesting and suggestive. For instance, he devotes several pages to the base-ball games, played by the Asylum nine, during the year, many of them with professional organizations. The record made for the Asylum was most creditable; and of the therapeutic effect of this novel, very sensible and eminently American treatment for the “mind diseased,” Dr. Talcott says:
“But of base ball in general, as a means to the great end for which State hospitals are established, it will be difficult for any one to calculate the amount of good done to our patients through this economical and available recreation. It has been one of the most powerful magnets to lure the mind out of itself, and concentrate its restless faculties for a time on something besides its own aliments. Who can estimate how many have, on such occasions, first felt life's energies again flowing in their favor? It is a wonderful study to watch the faces of over 200 of these anxious, restless, sleepless, and tired souls, as they take their places on the comfortable benches, where with the fresh and balmy air, the bright sunshine and the wonderful influence of a heated contest to dispel thoughts of their own little battle within, and see the hard lines of care soften, and the chill of the countenance melt, while the eyes of many brighten more and more as the soul feels the influence of contact with fellow souls. A wave of good nature and peace and rest and refreshment sweeps over the hospital on these fête days. The mind finds a new field of interest for the time being, and the overtaxed faculties a period of recuperation. For this reason, more than for financial and economical reasons, or even victorious achievements, we believe base ball to be the most profitable amusement for the patients of the Homeopathic hospital.”
The superintendent also has a good word for journalism, as an occupation for the patients, commenting on the favorable effects noted from active work on the staff of the hospital newspaper, “The Conglomerate.” “Newspaper work,” he says “is a popular and healthful occupation; encourages the despondent, breeds kindly and hopeful feeling."
We must, in conclusion, quote a few paragraphs from Dr. Talcott's remarks on the proper diet for the insane; as they are of much value to all those treating nervous diseases in any form :
"Milk contains fat, sugar, caseous matter, hydrochlorate of potash, acetate of of potash, and phosphate of potash. It also contains lactic acid, a trace of lactate of iron, and earthy phosphates. All these have been disolved in just so much water that, when properly heated, they form the best and most appropriate of all nerve foods. By the addition of salt - nature's best cathartic — the supposed dangers of constipation, or 'bilousness' so called, by the use of milk, are entirely eliminated.
“Blood contains water, albumen, fibrin, fatty substances, chloride of sodium, sulphate of potash, carbonate of potash, hydrochlorate of potash, carbonate of lime and magnesia, phosphate of soda, of lime, of magnesia, etc.
“Hence you may readily see, by a comparison of the constituents of milk and blood, that in the former may be found the natural means for rejuvinating the latter when it is worn by the effects of disease, or wasted by hard toil or over-use.
"Hot milk may, with almost absolute safety, form the daily diet and the midnight hypnotic of the mental invalid. Should such a food prove too rich in some individual case, then the milk may be diluted with lime water, clysmic or seltzer waters. Should the proportion of cream in good milk seem too large, then it may be reduced by a process of skimming. Thus the amount of fat to be administered to a given patient may be regulated, by experience, to meet the actual necessities of each individual case. You may also enrich milk by the addition of cream, when necessary, for the better nourishment of emaciated cases.
“After a long continued course of hot-milk treatment, it will be observed that the patient, as a rule, has increased and in some cases quite remarkably, in weight; and also the tone and elasticity of the mind are encouragingly improved. But this increase in avoirdupois consists largely of soft, non-muscular fat. The nervous system foats, in a certain sense, upon a new sea of phosphorized fat; while the mind, freed from the cares of disease, soars aloft to elysian fields of happiness like the lark in the morning. The pains and discouragements of body and mind have passed away; but while in this delectable state, and before resuming the arduous duties of life, the patient must have a new supply, or a rejuvenation of muscle tissues. This final and desirable end may be attained by the substitution of grain foods and substantial vegetables for the liquid diet; or the liquids may be added to them."
THE NEW YORK HOMEOPATHIC MATERIA MEDICA SOCIETY has started out in life with a distinguished membership, for work toward a most worthy end. But if an outside barbarian may, in all cordial respect and good fellowship, offer a word of suggestion to the Society, it would take, in the present instance, the form of an earnest plea, that these vigorous workers may, in their gleaning the field of homeopathic literature for clinical veri
fications — and it may be parenthetically hinted that it is in the swampiest corner of the field that the “verifications” grow thickest ! — arduously, keenly, unvaryingly follow their excellent rule, to glean only verifications of "reliably-proved drugs,” having demonstrable “pathogenetic symptoms." We are far from wilfully ironical in observing that of the enormous number of symptoms triumphantly reported as “verified,” amazingly few will pass this first, vital test of being the demonstrable pathogenetic effects of “reliably-proved drugs.” When a symptom has borne this test we agree with the Society, that its verification in clinical experience is of the utmost scientific value. But how few symptoms can abide this test! We commend to the most serious consideration of the Society the fact which cannot fail, in the earliest stages of their investigations, to force itself upon their attention, viz., that an amazing mass of “cures" and “verifications” most loudly exploited as such in homeopathic literature, are credited to drugs of no pathogenetic standing whatever; drugs whose so-called “provings” cannot stand the simplest scientific “verification.” To fog and confuse the atmosphere of clear truth and tested fact, in which medicine should move, by authoritatively presenting to it such “symptoms,” however noisily “verified,” would be to do homeopathy the worst of all services; but this danger can be triumphantly avoided by close adherence to, and not too lax interpretation of, the excellent rule which has been our text in this respectful little preachment.
KERION : ILLUSTRATED BY A CASE.
BY JOHN L. COFFIN, M. D., BOSTON. The condition known as Kerion is so rarely seen that the author deems a short description of it, illustrated by the notes of the following case, may not be without interest to the readers of the GAZETTE. Kerion is a phase of trycophytosis tonsurous, in which a special acute inflammatory involvement of the hair follicles and glands of the skin, in one or more spots, limited in extent, occurs. It presents itself as a semi-soft tumor, varying in size from a pigeon's to a hen's or turkey's egg, tender to touch,
over the surface of which the hair is either absent or broken off in various lengths, and from which, through various openings and around the hairs, there exudes a sticky mucoid, or purulent fluid. The hairs over the patch are generally loose in their follicles, and the disease is liable to be followed by permanent baldness over the patch. If the inflammatory process has not been too acute the nycelia and speres of the trycophytose will be found on microscopic examination of the hairs. The tumor has a “boggy” feel to the touch, and slight pressure will cause increase in the flow of the exudate, especially around the orifices of the hair follicles. It may be mistaken for abscess, which it much resembles; but such a mistake is not for the advantage of the patient, as a free opening, such as would be demanded in abscess, is always contraindicated in Kerion where the pus is not contained in any one cavity, but is infiltrated throughout the tissues involved. This condition was first described by Celsus, and by him given its present name, from Xypiov, a honeycomb. Silbury Fox, however, in 1866, was the first to discover its parasitic nature and identify it as one of the trycophytoses.
The notes of the following will illustrate a typical case of kerion : L. J. N., girl, age 6, plump habit, light complexion, fair hair, was brought to me on May 13th for examination and treatment. She showed on the right vertex a tumor, size of a hen's egg, partially devoid of hair, what hair there was remaining showing the characteristic “gnawed off" appearance, covered with a dirty yellowish crust, beneath which, from a reddened, inflamed, sore surface, there exuded abundantly a sticky, nasty muco-purulent fluid. There were also two small scaly spots on face, and one on the face of the mother, who brought the child.
Following history was given : During the winter and spring child had had whooping cough and measles. It was during the attack of measles, in January, that this lesion of the scalp appeared. It was diagnosed as an eczema, and had been treated, among other things, with cutacura. Microscopical examination of hairs showed abundant parasites, and a diagnosis of kerion with tryeophytosis cicinata was made. Treatment consisted first in the internal administration of hepar sulph., and locally a flaxseed poultice until the acute inflammation had subsided. This was followed by epilation and the daily application of murc. bichl. 2 grs. to 3 in alcohol, followed immediately by nug. ag. rosar, and later by sodac hyposulphite 3i to loanolin Zi. By July 24th the disease was apparently cured, and the hair growing nicely over the afflicted area. Six months later the child reported as having had no further trouble.
PHYSICIANS of all schools now bleed their patients. — Med. Era.
CEPHALALGIA. BY F. W. PATCH, M. D., SOUTH FRAMINGHAM, MASS. [Read before the Worcester County Homeopathic Medical Society.] The subject of this paper is so well worn and familiar to all, that perhaps it may be thought great presumption to attempt anything further in the way of elucidation or interest. It may be understood at the outset that we do not expect to bring out any new points in diagnosis or treatment, and at best can only reiterate old and well-tried methods. The subject of headaches has been particularly brought to my mind for several reasons ; among them the frequency with which we are called to treat many trying cases in our every-day work, and the perusal of a recent monograph on the subject, by an eminent authority ofthe opposite school, and a comparison of the methods of treatment recommended by this authority with our own far more simple and efficacious modes of procedure; simple in that they are guided by a well-known law, though requiring persistence and care in the exercise. In the above-mentioned treatise we are, as usual, first introduced to a learned division of the subject into the several heads of “Congestive," “ Anæmic," “Organic,” “Toxic,” “Neuralgiac," and "Neurasthenic” headaches, followed by a labored diagnoses and explanation of each, with many subdivisions of the several classes. Then follows the most important part, treatment, consisting of a long list of variously compounded drugs to be prescribed, according to the idiosyncrasies of the physicians who may use them, rather than on account of any peculiarity that may be exhibited by the patient. Then there are many ingenious “systems” of treatment that have been devised by men with minds for novelty and desire for change, so often exhibited by these professors of the rational in medicine ; such as pricking the cavernous bodies for the relief of constriction, the use of an alkaline spray, bleeding, leeching, douching, etc., etc., a delightfully arranged needle-bath whereby a spray may be directed toward almost any spot on the body and the temperature regulated to suit, various forms of electrical and magnetic appliances, and, finally, that most barbarous of all procedures — nerve stretching. Append to this a list of the so-called “tonics," and the recent additions of new drugs of chemical manufacture, as long as the “moral law," and you have the present status of the treatment of cephalalgia in all its "scientific” aspects, as practised by members of that school. Happily we, as homeopathists, have no need of considering such heterogeneous and bungling methods, the result of which, at best, can be but palliation. Homeopathy seeks higher ends, and in order to fulfil its promise must work toward the entire