Story of Dr. James Lillie

I would like to share the following testimonial given by Professor James Lillie, M.D. in his lecture at the Homeopathic Medical Society of Canada, in the city of Toronto, in 1855: 

“My attention was first drawn to Homeopathy, by an article in the Edinburgh Review of 1830. After attending medical classes, I had abandoned the study of Physic, under a deep conviction that whatever truth there might be in Anatomy, Chemistry, Physiology, Pathology, or Botany, considered merely as natural sciences, still the science of healing, or Therapeutics, had no existence.

I became satisfied, if there was an art of healing at all, that the Organon of Samuel Hahnemann must be its text-book. It was not, however, till eight years after, that the subject came under my attention once more, with an interest that has been growing ever since. It was then that Whooping Cough invaded the community. I was led to test the remedy of Hahnemann.  I gave six globules of Drosera Rotundifolia, to six children. Next day I found them all distinctly better. Two of them had never coughed after taking the remedy. Struck by this apparent success, neighbours came for help. Above forty cases were thus treated satisfactorily; five or six being treated allopathically, of whom two died. I now determined to examine Hahnemann’s Materia Medica.

Drosera Rotundifolia

I was shocked to learn about the assertion on Vegetable Charcoal, that the millionth of a grain was more powerful in its action on man, than the whole grain in its crude form. Without delay I burned the wood, prepared the charcoal according to directions, and gave some of the millionths to a farmer who complained of dyspepsia. On his return he was curious to know what he had taken, as it had worked for him so well, that he had got more improvement from it than from anything he had ever tried.

The very same experiment was made with Calcarea Carbonica, or Oyster shell, with the same happy results. By experiments like these, I soon became completely convinced that Samuel Hahnemann had really discovered the true science of cure. What then is the grand principle of the system of Homeopathy? As the name implies, the principle is that a drug can only cure a disease, provided it has the power of producing symptoms similar to the disease, in a healthy man. For example, how was Hahnemann led to think of Drosera in Whooping Cough? Because on trying the juice of that plant on healthy individuals, he found it produced a cough, which struck him as a lively picture of the disease. Thus the 58th symptom is, “Cough, the shocks of which succeed each other with such rapidity, that he can scarcely breathe.”

How was I led to think of giving charcoal to the farmer? It was because I remembered especially, among other things that I found corresponding, the 249th symptom: “In the evening, pain in the pit of the stomach, which was even painful to the touch; at the same time nausea, and disgust which seizes him, even on thinking of eating.” Another dyspeptic farmer was treated with Calcarea, because the symptoms in the disease were more analogous than in Charcoal. By touching the patient’s system in the direction of the disease, the reaction of the vital force is called forth against the disease in the direction of health; and as the vital force is a permanent cause, the effect which it produces is permanent; that is, it is curative, not palliative.

If Hahnemann and his disciples are mistaken in these things it must be the easiest thing in the world to demonstrate their error. Let a medical college take the Drosera, and try it on their own persons, and in the circles which they can influence; if cough of the kind described is not provoked, if the majorities have no such affection, then Homoeopathy will reel under the blow. Let the provings be vigorously pushed, and if the results still disprove Hahnemann’s assertions, his system must expire. Or if, as is almost certain, the members of the Faculty shrink from the ordeal of Hahnemann and his band, those heroes and heroines of humanity, and have no relish for the idea of getting up mimic Whooping Coughs on themselves and families, in order to protect mankind from such miseries, let them do, as has been done hundreds and thousands of times, let them give the remedy in the similar disease, and if experience do not prove the truth of the system, it must fall.”

I conclude this article by a quote from Dr. Hahnemann: “It is infinitely easier to contradict than to investigate. If experience should show you that my method is the best, then make use of it for benefit of the humanity, and give God the glory.”

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