§ 288 Fifth Edition
The action of medicines in the liquid from1 upon the living human body takes place in such a penetrating manner, spreads out from the point of the sensitive fibers provided with nerves whereto the medicine is first applied with such inconceivable rapidity and so universally through all parts of the living body, that this action of the medicine must be denominated a spirit-like (a dynamic, virtual) action.
1 It is especially in the form of vapour, by olfaction and inhalation of the medicinal aura that is always emanating from a globule impregnated with a medicinal fluid in a high development of power, and placed, dry, in a small phial, that the homoeopathic remedies act most surely and most powerfully. The homoeopathic physician allows the patient to hold the open mouth of the phial first in one nostril, and in the act of inspiration draw the air out of it into himself and then if he wished to give a stronger dose, smell in the same manner with the other nostril, more or less strongly, according to the strength it is intended the dose should be, he then corks up the phial and replaces it in his pocket case to prevent any misuse of it, and unless he wishes it he has no occasion for an apothecary’s assistance in his practice. A globule of which ten, twenty or one hundred weigh one grain, impregnated with the thirtieth potentized dilution, and then dried, retains for this purpose all its power undiminished for at least eighteen or twenty years (my experience extends this length of time), even though the phial be opened a thousand times during that period, if it be but protected from heat and the sun’s light. Should both nostrils be stopped up by coryza or polypus, the patient should inhale by the mouth, holding the orifice of the phial betwixt his lips. In little children it may be applied close to their nostrils whilst they are asleep with the certainty of producing an effect. The medicinal aura thus inhaled comes in contact with the nerves in the walls of the spacious cavities it traverses without obstruction, and thus produces a salutary influence on the vital force, in the mildest yet most powerful manner, and this is much preferable to every other mode of administering the medicament in substance by the mouth. All that homoeopathy is capable of curing (and what can it not cure beyond the domain of mere manual surgery affections?) among the most severe chronic diseases that have not been quite ruined by allopathy, as also among acute disease, will be most safely and certainly cured by this olfaction. I can scarcely name one in a hundred out of the many patients that have sought the advice of myself and my assistant during the past year, whose chronic or acute disease we have not treated with the most happy results, solely by means of this olfaction; during the latter half of this year, moreover, I have become convinced (of what I never could previously have believed) that by this olfaction the power of the medicines is exercised upon the patient in, at least, the same degree of strength, and that more quietly and yet just as long as when the dose of medicine is taken by the mouth, and that, consequently, the intervals at which the olfaction should be repeated should not be shorter than in the ingestion of the material dose by the mouth.
§ 288 Sixth Edition
I find it yet necessary to allude here to animal magnetism, as it is termed, or rather Mesmerism (as it should be called in deference to Mesmer, its first founder) which differs so much in its nature from all other therapeutic agents. This curative force, often so stupidly denied and disdained for a century, acts in different ways. It is a marvellous, priceless gift of God to mankind by means of which the strong will of a well intentioned person upon a sick one by contact and even without this and even at some distance, can bring the vital energy of the healthy mesmerizer endowed with this power into another person dynamically (just as one of the poles of a powerful magnetic rod upon a bar of steel).
It acts in part by replacing in the sick whose vital force within the organism is deficient here and there, in part also in other parts where the vital force has accumulated too much and keeps up irritating nervous disorders it turns it aside, diminishes and distributes it equally and in general extinguishes the morbid condition of the life principle of the patient and substitutes in its place the normal of the mesmerist acting powerfully upon him, for instance, old ulcers, amaurosis, paralysis of single organs and so forth. Many rapid apparent cures performed in all ages, by mesmerizers endowed with great natural power, belong to this class. The effect of communicated human power upon the whole human organism was most brilliantly shown, in the resuscitation of persons who had lain some time apparently dead, by the most powerful sympathetic will of a man in full vigor of vital energy,1 and of this kind of resurrection history records many undeniable examples.
If the mesmerizing person of either sex capable at the same time of a good-natured enthusiasm (even its degeneration into bigotry, fanaticism, mysticism or philanthropic dreaming) will be empowered all the more with this philanthropic self-sacrificing performance to direct exclusively the power of his commanding good will to the recipient requiring his help and at the same time to concentrate these, he may at times perform apparent miracles.
1 Especially of one of such persons, of whom there are not many, who, along with great kindness of disposition and perfect bodily powers, possesses but a very moderate desire for sexual intercourse, which it would give him very little trouble wholly to suppress, in whom, consequently, all the fine vital spirits that would otherwise be employed in the production of the semen, are ready to be communicated to others, by touching them and powerfully exerting the will. Some powerful mesmerisers, with whom I have become aquatinted, had all this peculiar character.