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Mercury Hydrargyrum or Quicksilver

(Color plate, Figs. c and f, Page 116)

Scenes like the following are of almost daily occurrence in medical clinics. A mother enters the clinic with a child whose body is covered with skin eruptions. One professor says the disease is of a scrofulous nature, another calls it, eczema, another hereditary syphilis. The mother denies that the latter disease has ever been in the family. The professor tells the students: "You can never believe syphilitics, they always lie." "We can easily find out," he continues, "whether this eruption is of a syphilitic nature or not. Put the patient for six months under mercurial treatment and if the eruptions permanently disappear, then the case is syphilitic."

Thus hundreds and thousands of people in civilized countries are innocently subjected to the horrible suffering incidental to mercurial poisoning without ever having contracted venereal diseases.

Another large percentage of paralytic and paretic patients have accumulated the mercury in the guise of liver and bowel tonics (calomel) and antiseptics.

On page 278, Dr. Diefendorf says:

"The disease afflicts chiefly the unmarried, and among the women especially prostitutes; in our experience prostitutes are fortyfive per cent more prone to the disease than other women.

"Among the causes of the disease, syphilis is statistically the most prominent. Its prevalence varies, according to various authors, from one and six tenths per cent to ninetythree per cent, but most observers place it between thirtyfour and sixtyfive per cent. In our experience it existed in fiftytwo per cent."

On page 288, he says:

"The character of the toxin and the sources from which it arises are questions still in doubt. Syphilis cannot be the sole cause of paresis, as long as it does not exist in more than thirtyfour to sixtyfive per cent of the cases. Furthermore, paresis, anatomically, is not a simple syphilitic process. Again the late manifestations of syphilis arise within a comparatively short time after primary symptoms, while paresis does not develop until ten or more years have elapsed after the initial lesion."

No, syphilis is not the sole cause of paralytic and paretic diseases and the character of the toxin from which they arise is not in doubt--it is mercury or some other alterative.

This is exactly what I have always claimed. Syphilis is an acute infectious disease, which under right treatment runs its natural course within a comparatively short time, never to appear again unless a new infection has taken place.

On the other hand, the history of people who never had syphilis, but who were poisoned by mercury in mine or factory, proves that it takes from ten to fifteen years before the poison exhibits its worst effects.

Professor E. A. Farrington of Philadelphia, one of the most celebrated homeopathic physicians of the nineteenth century, says concerning the destructive after effects of mercury, of which homeopaths have made careful study ("Clinical Materia Medica", third edition, pages 558-559):

"The more remote symptoms of mercurial poisoning are these: You will find that the blood becomes impoverished. The albumin and fibrin of that fluid are affected. They are diminished, and you find in their place a certain fatty substance, the composition of which I do not exactly know. Consequently, as a prominent symptom, the body wastes and emaciates. The patient suffers from fever, which is rather hectic in its character. The periosteum becomes affected, and you then have a characteristic group of mercurial pains, bone pains worse in changes of the weather, worse in the warmth of the bed, and chilliness with and after stool. The skin becomes rather of a brownish hue; ulcers form, particularly on the legs; they are stubborn and will not heal. The patient is troubled with sleeplessness and ebullitions of blood at night; he is hot and cannot sleep; he is thrown quickly into a perspiration, which perspiration gives him no relief.

"The entire system suffers also, and you have here two series of symptoms. At first the patient becomes anxious and restless and cannot remain quiet; he changes his position; he moves about from place to place; he seems to have a great deal of anxiety about the heart, praecordial anguish, as it is termed, particularly at night.

"Then, in another series of symptoms, there are jerkings of the limbs, making the patient appear as though he were attacked by St. Vitus' dance. Or, you may notice what is more common yet, trembling of the hands, this tremor being altogether beyond the control of the patient and gradually spreading over the entire body, giving you a resemblance to paralysis agitans or shaking palsy.

"Finally, the patient becomes paralyzed, cannot move his limbs, his mind becomes lost, and he presents a perfect picture of imbecility. He does all sorts of queer things. He sits in the corner with an idiotic smile on his face, playing with straws; he is forgetful, cannot remember even the most ordinary events. He becomes disgustingly filthy and eats his own excrement. In fact, he is a perfect idiot.

"Be careful how you give mercury; it is a treacherous medicine. It seems often indicated. You give it and relieve; but your patient is worse again in a few weeks, and then you give it again with relief. By and by, it fails you. Now, if I want to make a permanent cure, for instance, in a scrofulous child, I will very seldom give him mercury; should I do so, it will be at least only as an intercurrent remedy."

Dr. Hermann, of Vienna, has written several books in which he proves that syphilis is not a constitutional disease, that under proper hygienic living and treatment it is self limited, that it runs its regular natural course and when properly treated never produces any tertiary symptoms.This I, myself, have proved in hundreds of cases. It is impossible to quote a better authority for these facts than Dr. Hermann. For thirty years he was superintendent of the syphilitic wards in the Hospital Wieden, near Vienna, one of the greatest institutions in the world for the treatment of luetic ailments.

He claims that during the thirty years of his incumbency he treated sixty thousand cases of syphilitic diseases without the use of mercury and that not in a single case thus treated and cured did he observe a spontaneous recurrence, an exhibition of tertiary symptoms or hereditary transmission. His work was done in a municipal institution to which the doctors and students of Vienna had free access, and thus was constantly under the closest scrutiny of the great medical schools of Vienna.

I take the liberty of translating some interesting passages from his book. "Es giebt keine constitutionelle syphilis"--"Syphilis is not a constitutional disease."

"Syphilis is as old as humanity. Its peculiar symptoms are described in the Third Book of Moses; the disease was well known to Hippocrates and Celsus and is minutely described by Tremelius and Beza as well as by many other writers of subsequent centuries.

"After the discovery of America, diseases of this type were found, in exactly the same form as we know them today, among the Indians. At the end of the fifteenth century they appeared as discharge or ulcer, with or without following figwarts (Condyloma), inflammation of the glands and skin eruptions. These always appear in direct organic connection with one of the original lesions.

"Until then, syphilis was looked upon as a simple local disease which ran its natural course without affecting the organism as a whole. It was thoroughly cured by hygienic, natural methods of treatment. There were no tertiary symptoms nor transmission to offspring. All the old physicians held this opinion; this is proved by the fact that up to the end of the fifteenth century constitutional syphilis is nowhere mentioned or described.

"In 1786 Hunter first spoke of its local and constitutional forms. He described the hard chancre as a symptom of the malignant form and originated the idea of constitutional syphilis.

"Ulcers of the mucous membranes, skin eruptions, inflammations of the iris and of the bones were classed by him as secondary symptoms. The later affections of the inner organs, of the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, nerves and blood vessels, hair and nails were looked upon as tertiary and quaternary forms.

"In view of these teachings of the regular school, the question arises: is the syphilis of former centuries another disease than the one we know? Is modern syphilis a new disease, unknown to the ancients, or were they lacking in diagnostic ability, since they did not suspect the existence of the constitutional disease?

"The ancient physicians were right. Syphilis, originating in the human organism, is undoubtedly the same disease now as then. It has not changed its origin and has always run its natural course without transgressing natural limits.

"The physicians of antiquity observed conscientiously and with understanding the course of the disease and treated it rationally, as a local ailment which never affected the organism as a whole."

These expositions of Dr. Hermann I can fully confirm. Of the hundreds of cases of syphilis and gonorrhea which have been treated by us from their inception (before any form of suppressive treatment had been applied), not a single one has developed constitutional symptoms or hereditary tendencies. Our natural methods of treatment purify the system from within, allow the disease to run its natural course, unhindered and unchecked. When under such treatment discharges, ulcers, inflammations and eruptions disappear, the organism is as pure as before infection, if not more pure. We say this advisedly; the natural process of elimination removes not only the disease virus but other hereditary and acquired taints as well.

On page 47 of his book, Dr. Hermann continues: "The disease conditions usually diagnosed as constitutional syphilis are the results of mercurial treatment or of other disease taints in the body.

"This I prove, first by clinical observation of the natural course of the disease, and second by the positive chemical proof of the presence of mercury in the system."

We have found the mercury in the ashes of the bones of mercurial patients. A patient is coming to us now who went through a course of mercurial treatment two years ago. The gold rings on his fingers turn black under the effect of the mercury which his system is now eliminating.

Page 48: "Among the thousands of luetics whom for thirty years I observed in the Hospital Wieden in Vienna and who were treated without mercury, not a single one developed symptoms of constitutional syphilis.

"Cases of so called constitutional syphilis that came to us suffering with ulcerations of the palate, mouth and nose, with bone pains, gummata of the brain and inflammations of the nerves, all had histories of mercurial treatment. Hundreds of electrolytical analyses of urine, sputum, perspiration, blood and other body materials revealed the presence of mercury, while a comparatively small percentage exhibited scrofulous or tuberculous symptoms.

"Thus it became clear to me that the entire chain of symptoms which are commonly diagnosed as constitutional syphilis are nothing but the effects of mercury in the human body.

"Workers salivated in the mercury mines in Idria, who never suffered with syphilis, exhibit all the symptoms of so called secondary and tertiary syphilis. In the blood and urine of these patients I also found mercury. In fact, the various forms of mcrcurialism everywhere occur among people who continually come in contact with mercury and thus absorb it; no age, no sex is immune. This is verified by physicians practicing among quick-silver miners, mirror, thermometer and barometer makers, etc.

"For these reasons chronic mercurialism is always prevalent in localities where, by physicians and laymen, syphilis is treated by mercury. Mercurialism is very common on the coast of the Adriatic, the Ost and North Sea and the Mediterranean, because in these countries quicksilver in its various forms is in common use as a universal home remedy.

"In large inland cities and sea ports, chronic mercurialism is much more prevalent than in country districts, because, in the former, syphilis and its mercurial treatment are much more common than in the latter. . . .

"The question naturally arises why, in spite of strictly scientific proof and of extraordinary practical results, these very teachings are not generally accepted and why the regular school has not examined officially my theory and treatment. The answer is evident. Ancient systems of medicine with all their errors, assumptions, superstitions and prejudices, are deeply rooted in medical science. The schools, blindly worshipping authority, have strenuously opposed strictly scientific investigations. The natural treatment of syphilis brings light into the dark labyrinth of the old system, destroys the nimbus of old school wisdom and the idol worship of quicksilver treatment.

"The world resents nothing so deeply and punishes nothing so harshly as the uprooting of dear old superstitions ; therefore the bitter opposition of the regular school to my teaching and my practice.

"What wonder that my enemies, in fanatical zeal, tried to oust me from my stronghold in the Hospital Wieden, when Dr. Hebra, according to his own confession, wished: 'That the hospital might be blown into the air.'

"In 1867, by means of unjust accusations, my enemies succeeded in procuring a government investigation of my work and my institution. In 1868, however, their machinations met with miserable defeat, for Dr. Hebra, the head of the commission appointed to investigate my methods, had to admit in his official report: 'That the government could sustain no objection against the anti-mercurial treatment of syphilis in the Hospital Wieden.' In justification of their own methods he added: 'Syphilis is curable without mercury but we give it because it cures the disease quicker and because it is harmless.'

On page 83, Dr. Hermann continues: "Finally I retired, firmly hoping that for some time at least my methods of treatment, eminently successful for thirty years, would be maintained. But this last and fervent desire of my declining days was not to be fulfilled. In the holy place where, for a life time, I battled bravely against the abuses of mercurialism are now restored the altars devoted to the fetich quicksilver. . . .

. . . "The quacks and charlatans will again exploit the blind, foolish and superstitious masses and will again endanger and destroy the public health; syphilis will reappear in the horrible forms so common thirty years ago.

"The people themselves, realizing the terrible effects of mercurialism, must energetically oppose the false teachings of the schools, must bear witness to the truth and protect their bodies against contamination with the vile poison. In recognition of the fact that the mercurial treatment practiced by the schools endangers not only the individual but society at large, through its weakening and degenerating influences on our people, and especially on the younger generation, it is the duty of the government, legally to exclude mercury from medical practice."

Thus wrote Dr. Hermann, a graduate of the great medical schools in Vienna, but the work of mercurial poisoning goes merrily on until the insane asylums and homes for incurables can no longer take care of the harvest.

Poisonous drugs destroy brain and nerve matter and alcohol is made the scapegoat. Look closer, gentlemen, and you will find that in many cases alcoholism is an effect rather than a cause.

The diagnosis from the eye fully confirms our estimate of the true nature of the different stages of syphilis.

If syphilis in itself were a chronic constitutional disease, like scrofula or psora, it would exhibit its presence in the body by a special sign, but it appears in the iris only under the common signs of acute and chronic catarrhal conditions.

On the other hand, cases diagnosed and treated by the regular profession as secondary or tertiary syphilis exhibit the signs of mercury, iodin, potassium and arsenic (salvarsan).

A few years ago salvarsan was heralded as a positive cure for syphilis. Now, already (1918), medical authorities admit that the poison is not coming up to expectations, for everywhere they now combine the ancient mercurial and potassium iodid treatment with the salvarsan. The principal difference between salvarsan and mercury is that the former is more quickly destructive. Neither is curative.

A Typical Case

A few years ago a man about forty years of age came to us in a pitiable condition afflicted with locomotor ataxia. Every doctor he had consulted was positive that he was suffering from tertiary syphilis. The Wasserman and Noguchi tests always proved "positive". Still the patient, as well as his mother and wife, denied strenuously that he was ever infected with venereal disease. The doctors of course were convinced that it was another case of "syphilitic liar". (Color plate, fig. f, p. 116.)

On examination I found in the iris well defined signs of mercury and I tried to find where and in what form Mr. K. had absorbed the poison. The mother admitted that she had been in the habit of giving calomel to her children, but I could hardly believe that this alone accounted for his terrible condition. Several months after I had made my first examination the wife of the patient came to me and said:

"Doctor, we know now where my husband got the mercury. When he was fourteen years of age his mother put him to work in the Pullman car shops. He was given employment in the mirror department and there he silvered mirrors for two years."

The "silver" on mirrors consists largely of quicksilver. The lad undoubtedly absorbed the mercury through the skin and through inhalation. The poison began to show its destructive effects when he was about twenty five years of age. At forty he was in the advanced stages of loco-motor ataxia.

This case, like many others, also proves that the Wasserman and Noguchi tests show "positive" in mercurial and other forms of mineral poisoning as well as in syphilis. Many patients are thus wrongly accused of being syphilitics because the doctors do not know how to differentiate between venereal diseases and drug poisoning. Such unjust accusations have frequently caused great humiliation, domestic troubles and divorce proceedings. The unfortunate victim of medical malpractice is thus robbed not only of his health but also of his moral reputation.


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