Large white clouds in the areas of skin, kidneys or lungs. They may efface the peripheral border of the iris. (Color plate, areas 18-20-28.)
Ergot is a parasite or "smut" of rye; it was sometimes found in rye flour of poor quality. Improved grain cleaning machinery has made cases of poisoning from this cause of rare occurrence.
This poison is sometimes used by women in attempts to induce criminal abortion. (Color plate, c, areas 14-20)
Acute and Chronic Symptoms of
The drug causes spasmodic contraction of the arteries and sclerosis of the posterior columns of the spinal cord.
The early symptoms are those of digestive derangement; later symptoms are gangrene of the fingers and toes, or painful spasmodic clinching of the hands and hyperextension of the feet.
Signs in the Iris:
Rust brown spots in various parts of the body. (Color plate, fig. c, areas 14-18)
A few days ago an allopathic physician who is a good friend of mine told me about a lady whom he was treating for a fibroid tumor on the womb. He remarked that he was getting good results by the administration of ergot, that it was "starving the tumor" by constricting the blood vessels and cutting off the blood supply. Since I knew that he was not open to the philosophy of Natural Therapeutics I refrained from disputing his argument. Being a trained scientist, how could he overlook the fact that the ergot surely would not confine its constricting and starving effects to the tumor, but that it would have the same effects upon the normal tissues and organs of the body.
Opiates and Narcotics
Every time these drugs are used they weaken, benumb and paralyze brain and nerve matter and thereby interfere with and suppress Nature's acute healing processes and produce or aggravate chronic conditions. Recovery . in many critical cases is made impossible through the depressive and paralyzing effects of these poisons.
Opium is the oldest and most widely used anodyn and hypnotic. It is prepared from the juice of the white poppy. The drug is used in the pure form, and from it are prepared several alkaloids of which the principal ones are morphin and codein. Opium shows in the iris in pure white, straight lines radiating in the form of a star from the pupil, or from the sympathetic wreath, especially to the upper part of the iris. (Color plate, figs, b, d and e.)
In allopathic doses opium acts at first as a stimulant, then as a sedative, diaphoretic (i. e., sweat-producer), anodyn and hypnotic. It belongs to the most popular remedies of the old school of medicine. Therefore we frequently see the sign of the drug in the iris. When taken in sufficient quantities it creates around the pupil, in the area of the stomach and intestines, a grayish white star. The poison seems to have a special and permanent affinity for the stomach and bowels and sympathetic nervous system, and is one of the causes of chronic constipation in children who have been dosed with paregoric. Many cases of lifelong chronic constipation and indigestion we have traced back to paregoric and other baby soothers used in infancy and early childhood.
Laudanum is a tincture of opium. It contains 44 grains of opium per ounce. It shows in the iris similar to opium.
Paregoric is a mixture of opium, camphor, glycerin, annis seed, benzoic acid and alcohol. One half ounce of paregoric contains one grain of opium.* (*A prominent Chicago physician uses this preparation to kill defective babies. He induces the mothers of the babes to administer the deadly poison.)
Morphin is the principal alkaloid of opium, and its action is similar to that of the mother drug. It is used frequently as a sedative in heart disease, nervous disorders, asthma, coughs, catarrhs and mental diseases. It acts more promptly when injected subcutaneously.
Helpless indeed would be the modern physician without the morphin syringe. How often must it serve as a deceptive substitute for real relief and cure! How grateful are the patient and his friends for the prompt relief from pain! But they do not realize the destructive after effects. They do not realize that momentary relief has been bought at the expense of the fighting power of the organism and that only too often the seductive and exalting effect of the poison makes a "dope fiend" for life.
Though morphin is closely related to opium, its signs in the iris differ somewhat from those of the latter. It creates in the iris fine white lines, which seem to lie on the surface and radiate from the pupil outward, especially into the upper part of the iris, or brain region. The signs, according to the severity of the chronic poisoning, vary from a few white lines to a thick white covering radiating from the pupil towards the upper rim of the iris. (Color plate, figs, b and e, page 116.)
Cocain is an alkaloid obtained from coca leaves. The signs of this drug in the iris are very similar to those of morphin. Cocain produces local anesthesia and anemia by paralyzing the sensory nerves and contracting the blood vessels.
When given internally in allopathic doses, cocain acts at first as a stimulant, tonic and restorative. It enables persons who chew the leaf to undergo great muscular exertion with little or no fatigue. If the use of the drug and its various preparations is continued, it has by the law of action and reaction, a paralyzing effect upon the brain and spinal cord.
I need not dilate further upon the subject of narcotics. Probably everyone of my readers has come in contact with victims of these dreadful poisons, which destroy not only the body but mind and soul as well.
Anodyns and Analgesics (Pain Killers)
Anodyns are medicines that give relief from pain. The chief anodyn is opium, or its alkaloid, morphin. Others are cannabis indica, belladonna, hyoscyamus, stramonium, conium, potassium bromid, chloral hydrate, chloroform, ether, camphor, cocain and coal tar products.
Analgesics are remedies that relieve pain, either by direct depression of the centers of perception and sensation in the cerebrum, or by impairing the conductivity of the sensory nerve fibres. Antipyrin, antifebrin, phenacetin, exalgin and cocain are powerful analgesics.
Hypnotics are medicines which produce sleep. The chief remedies of this group are bromids, paraldehyd, sulphonal, trional, tetranol, chloral hydrate, opium, morphin, cocain, hyoscyamus, hyoscin, ether, chloroform and alcohol.
All of these agents reduce pain and produce sleep because they are poisonous paralyzers. They do not contribute anything toward removing the causes of the pains and insomnia; they merely benumb and paralyze the brain and spinal centers of perception and sensation and reduce the sensitiveness and conductivity of the nerve fibres.
Natural Methods Versus "Dope"
The advocates of poisonous pain killers, nerve soothers and sleep (?) producers have not even the excuse of lessening human suffering. Natural methods, where it is impossible to save life, insure at least an easy decline and painless transition. This we have proved in hundreds of cases that came to us in the last stages of cancer and of other diseases that are usually accompanied by great suffering.
Though we have taken care of a great many cases of cancer of the breast, stomach, liver, intestines, etc., that came as "lost hopes" and passed away under our care, we have administered only a few doses of opiates to such patients within the last seventeen years.
While ordinarily under regular treatment such sufferers are kept constantly under the influence of opiates, and in spite of these have to endure excruciating pain, those whom we have treated passed through the last stages of decline without great suffering. They all reported that their pains were easily bearable, and, with two exceptions, none ever asked for an opiate.
The pain killers only temporarily paralyze the sensory nerves, then the pains return with increased force. We cannot cheat nature in that or any other way. Pains suppressed are but pains deferred. This is proved by the reactions that are sure to come after the administration of pain killers and by the terrible tortures of the drug fiend when the "dope" is withheld from him.
Do those who administer these agents realize that they are making drug fiends of their patients before they pass from this life? We have good reason to believe that the destructive effects of these poisons continue after death. Everything in the physical world has its counterpart in the spiritual. Is it not possible that the spiritual counterpart of the drug affects the spiritual counterpart of the physical body--that which St. Paul calls the "spiritual body"? Therefore, the sufferings of the drug fiend may not be ended with physical death. Every physician knows that the "dope" affects not only the physical body, but also the mental, emotional and moral characteristics; they know that the dope fiend is invariably a liar, irresponsible and unmoral.
Why should a patient be exposed to such mental and psychical destruction which may be of infinitely greater detriment to the permanent personality, the spiritual man, than mere physical disease, when the natural methods of treatment render the suffering easily bearable even in the most dreadful forms of chronic, destructive diseases?
In view of the fact that these poisons undoubtedly shorten the course of human life, there is another question of grave import connected with the giving of opiates. In many instances where all available vital force is needed to battle the disease, a dose of morphin or chloral may be sufficient to suppress Nature's healing efforts and to bring about a, fatal termination, thus robbing the patient of his last chance of recovery. Only too often the patient succumbs, not to the disease, but to the morphin syringe and other deadening hypnotics and sedatives, administered through impatience on the part of attendants and sometimes through worse motives.
The last days, or even the last hours of one ready to depart may be the most important of his life. Have we the right to deprive him of his last opportunity for retrospection and for balancing his account with the higher law? The following incident brought this home to me very forcibly:
Several years ago, in one of the palatial homes of the lake shore front, I treated an old man who had amassed a great fortune, possibly not in ways exactly in harmony with the Golden Rule. He was slowly dying with cancer of the liver. His wife, forty-five years his junior, had been his faithful and sympathetic nurse for several years. When the end was near she consulted a lawyer as to the advisability of having the husband make a will in her favor. She was informed by the legal adviser that she would be better off if no will were made, since she was entitled to a liberal share of the fortune as her widow's dower, and that a will might only cause trouble and complications with the many children of the testator.
From that moment on, her patience and seeming sympathy vanished. Every word and action betrayed eagerness to see him go. When the patient groaned with pain--or seeming pain--she insisted that opiates be administered. Being convinced that under the natural treatment his physical suffering was not great and that an opiate would shorten his life, I informed her that I had entered upon my life work not to take life, but to preserve life, and that if morphin injections were to be given some other physician must do it. The more I objected the more strongly she insisted. The patient in the meantime kept on groaning and calling for help at the top of his voice. For hours he yelled, "I am suffering terribly; something must be done for me".
Finally, at her behest, I called in a physician who professed to be willing to administer the drug. The patient was informed to this effect, and the doctor, ready to apply the needle, remained within call. From that time on until he passed away, twenty-four hours later, the patient never uttered another word of complaint or a groan. He knew it would mean the morphin syringe, and that this would shorten his life. Life was so precious to him, or possibly the dread of the future so great, that he preferred to endure what pain there was rather than take chances on the opiate. His behavior proved, as I had surmised, that his suffering was more of a mental and spiritual than of a physical nature.
Is it not possible that the last twenty-four hours were of greater importance to this man, as far as his spiritual welfare was concerned, than many years of selfish grabbing and hoarding?