It contains the characteristic and most prominent special symptoms of the best proved and most used of our Medicines.
The distinction of symptoms, as the result of provings on the healthy(pathogenetic) or as the result of clinical observations on the sick (curative,) or as belonging to both these classes, has not been retained in this work. Such distinctions belong exclusively to the complete Materia Medica, the study of which the present Text-book is intended to facilitate, not to supersede. And to a more thorough and satisfactory study and knowledge of Materia Medica than has been general of late years, it is sincerely hoped that this book may prove both an introduction and a guide.
So great is the multiplicity of symptoms, the result of provings, clinical corroborations and observations, with which our growing Materia Medica is overladen, that it seems little less than an impossibility to obtain a clear; discriminating view of each separate remedy.
The efforts previously made to overcome this difficulty, by abridging the Materia Medica, have proved but failures. Nor was it possible for them to have resulted otherwise, since they did not exhibit the essentially characteristic symptoms of the different medicines. They were attempts at mechanical sifting, weeding out, made without proper comprehension of the subject; which disappointed those who referred to them, and led them to demand a differently prepared and more reliable guide.
It is with the greatest reluctance that I have’ yielded to the requests of my professional friends and of those whom I have the pleasure of instructing, and endeavored to meet this demand. As only those who have undertaken such a work can truly realize its arduous nature, so no one can be more thoroughly conscious of its imperfections than is the author himself.
Those who have mastered the Materia Medica, the author is well aware, may be acquainted with characteristic symptoms unknown to him or overlooked by him; and he will thankfully receive and acknowledge such supplementary, characteristic and especial symptoms, for incorporation in the present work.
In presenting this Text-book to his colleagues, the author relies as well upon the intelligence as upon the charity of those most conversant with the subject; since while they will undoubtedly notice many omissions and much room for improvement, they will, at the same time, appreciate the formidable nature of the task which he has been induced to undertake.
The method and object of the work are different from those of any before published on the Homoeopathic Materia Medica; but its arrangement is simple, varying but little from that originally adopted by Hahnemann.
The first symptoms given are those of the mind, followed by those of the different parts of the body, beginning with the head, which also includes giddiness, and concluding with the feet. Then come the generalities, comprising the symptoms relating to the Nervous Systems and to the Circulation; these belonging to Sleep, Fever and the Skin; and finally, the most prominent conditions of Aggravation and Amelioration, from time, place and circumstance.
The usefulness of this book can only be determined by the practical test, to which it is respectfully submitted by
AD. LIPPE, M.D.
Philadelphia, December 30th, 1865.