The Flora Homoeopathica (Coloured Illustrations and Descriptions of the Medicinal Plants used as Homeopathic Remedies)
This book presents illustrations and descriptions of 66 medicinal plants used as homeopathic remedies. The aim of this book is to give a rational answer to opponents of the homeopathic system of medicine who believe that medicinal plants used for preparing homeopathic remedies were different from those which were used in old school and are of highly poisonous nature and therefore deleterious to the humans. Both a botany book and a materia medica, it has information about the symptomatology of poisonings and records of cases where the plant was used. The book contains magnificent hand coloured illustrations.
Borany, and more particularly Medical Botany, is of very ancient origin; the first idea of applying plants for medicinal purposes having, it is said, originated with the Chaldeans (the priests or learned men of Babylonia), who from their earliest youth devoted themselves to the examination of the laws of Nature, and who made the study of the properties of plants available for relieving the diseases of mankind. This knowledge was transmitted by them to the Egyptians, from whom it descended to the Greeks, and for a long time remained in the hands of the priests of the mythological god of medicine, Aesculapius; to them we must ascribe the first dawn of botanical science in Greece. Their doctrines, however, were most confused and absurd. They supposed that vegetable substances had sentient souls, desires, and wishes, and were capable of experiencing pleasure and pain. ‘They were followed by Pythagoras and his disciples, one of whom, Empedocles the Sicilian, even declared that he himself had been once a shrub, then a bird, then a fish, and lastly a man. But little progress was made until the increasing sufferings consequent upon the violation of the simple rules of our primitive forefathers induced many of the Greek philosophers to turn their attention to, and endeavour to increase and improve the means which had been handed down to them. A new era, however, commenced with Hippocrates, the Father of medicine, "the Homer of his profession." He first made experiments with different medicinal plants (of which he enumerates two hundred and thirty) on the human frame, which greatly tended to increase his knowledge, and by the observations deduced from them, he was supposed not only to have been able to prolong the lives of others, but his own; for he died at the age of one hundred and nine years, free from all disorders of mind and body.
To the Philosopher of Truth,* to him who killed himself rather than live when disappointed in his scientific investigations, we were first indebted to the introduction of botany as a philosophical science. His views and ideas were more fully followed out by his disciple Theophrastus, who gave a full account of all plants known in his time; in his work, he enumerates about five hundred species, all medicinal, but often applying the same name to plants totally dissimilar in their botanical and physiological characters. He paid great attention to the physiology of plants and was aware of the difference of the exogenous and endogenous, or monocotyledons and dicotyledons of the moderns. He was also aware that nutrition was conveyed to plants by the leaves. We next come to Dioscorides the Cilician, who lived in the time of Nero; he enumerated about six hundred plants, and Pliny the elder increased the number to one thousand. He, how- ever, acknowledged that there were many more undescribed, and which probably would be found useful for medicinal purposes. ‘Then came the almost complete annihilation of the sciences by the barbarian inroads into civilized Europe. All that remained sought refuge in Asia; and we find botanical writings, with others on natural history, in the works of Galen, Oribasius, Atius, Paulus Aégineta, and, later, in those of the Arabian physicians, Aben Mesne, Serapion, Rhazes, Avicenna, etc.; they are, however, chiefly transcripts from the earlier writings of Hippocrates, Theophrastus, and Dioscorides.
"It is melancholy to look back upon the state of Europe during the period which has been justly denominated the dark ages. A dismal gloom enveloped the whole of the civilized world; ignorance, superstition, and barbarism tyrannized over learning and genius ; knowledge of any kind was to be acquired only by searching among the rubbish of schools and monasteries; fabulous legends supplied the place of truth, and the deceptions of a crafty priesthood debased, at the same time they enslaved, ‘the minds of men. During this long and melancholy course of years, the few scattered writings that appeared on natural history were the productions of the monks, and compiled from the old authors, but even these were cloaked in an almost unintelligible jargon, and it was not till the middle of the sixteenth century that the sun of science again burst this thick cloud, and shed its rays upon the north of Europe. At this period, botany, which was ex- actly in the same state as the ancients left it, could not be considered anything more than a catalogue or list of names of about one thousand plants; for although the ancients were great observers, they did not make much use of their observations. They looked at nature rather with the eye of the poet than the philosopher; and on giving the reins to imagination, were too powerfully charmed with her more
In undertaking the publication of the present work, the Author is actuated by a double motive. In the first place, he considers that the actual position of the cause he advocates renders it most desirable that those interested in homeopathy should be in possession of some regular account or history of the medicines employed; and, in the second place, because a great number of persons entertain a mistaken notion that homoeopathic medicines vary from those used in the allopathic school, both as being different in kind, of a highly poisonous nature, and therefore most deleterious to the human frame.
This unfounded prejudice, the Author regrets to find, is frequently promulgated and held in terrorism over timid persons by many medical opponents, who thus endeavour to discourage and suppress a system of practice contrary to their own opinions, by intimidation rather than by argument. It is hoped that the error of these conclusions will be made apparent, and that it will be proved that the medicines are precisely the same as those adopted by the opponents of homeopathy, and gathered either from the surface of the earth, or extracted from its interior recesses ; but with this great difference, that in homoeopathy they are so prepared, that no mistake can render them dangerous in their action, when, through want of coincidence with the disease, they fail to produce benefit; while, in the practice of allopathy, the carelessness of a chemical preparation, the ignorance or thoughtlessness of an assistant, may produce consequences the most lamentable and dangerous. And let it be remembered, that a medicines, in large doses, act poisonously upon the human system, modified by idiosyncrasy and other causes, from common irritation of the membranes, to ulceration, paralysis, and death.
In arranging the notices of each plant under different heads, the Author has given: 1st, its botanical characteristics. 2nd, its history, as well as the uses of the plant in allopathic practice, for the purpose of comparison. 3rd, a botanical and general description to identify the species. 4th, the geographical distribution and localities, as far as they are known, according to the latest authors. 5th, the physiological effects on man and animals; a most important study in connection with our investigation of the pathogenetic effects of medicine on the human organism. 6th, the parts of the plant used, and the mode of preparation. 7th, the general uses of the plant, homoeopathically considered ; and from Hahnemann’s useful and instructive remarks much valuable knowledge may be gained. Noack and Trinks’s clinical observations will be found interesting, in comparing the various diseases for which each drug has been given under the different systems of medicine.
The Author gladly seizes this occasion to offer his cordial thanks to those kind friends who have assisted him in the illustrations of his work, both as regards the original drawings and the lithographic execution. ‘lo Mr. Kippist, the librarian of the Linnean Society, his thanks are especially due, for the kind and efficient aid he has given towards the necessary investigations.
In committing his work to the press, the Author is sensible that he has to ask indulgence for frequent errors and omissions, arising from the many interruptions and conflicting interests of an arduous profession, and which he hopes will be admitted in his excuse. He has aimed, with what degree of success others can best determine, to introduce to the public, and especially the professional mind, his views on this most interesting and instructive subject, in connection with the study of homoeopathy; while he is very diffident as to his capabilities of doing justice to the theme.
The Author is anxious to attract the attention of every philosophical inquirer after Science and Truth, who will discover in the pursuit of this branch of study unbounded suggestiveness, and ever-expanding views of Creative Wisdom, which has thus concealed in the unassuming and often unattractive forms of the plants beneath our feet, many of its divinest secrets. These can be developed only by patient and laborious research. let us then continue, with unabated ardour, to penetrate more and more deeply into the beneficent arcana of Nature. The reward is certain; for what consciousness can be so gratifying as that of success, in adding to our treasury new means of en- countering the Demon of Disease, and bringing back the Angel of Health?
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAS265 Author: Edward Hamilton Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 2010 Publisher: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd ISBN: 9788131909362 Language: English Size: 9.00 X 6.00 inch Pages: 550 (Throughout Color Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.88 Kg