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Installment 14 of a series on case analysis

© Will Taylor, MD 2001 (bio)

Provings 2

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Section 3

Langhammer's Symptoms

Langhammer was a member of Hahnemann's prover's union in Leipzig, and was involved in the provings of at least 50 remedies. The mental/emotional symptoms he contributed have come under criticism, as they are nearly universally negative and disagreeable, consistent with the general impression that he was by nature depressive and misanthropic.

Richard Hughes wrote of Langhammer,

This prover deformed in body and unfortunate in his circumstances, is represented by those who knew him as so depressed and altogether morbid in disposition, that his psychical state could at no time be fairly ascribed to the medicine he was taking. His moral symptoms are … of a very similar character under every drug he proved; and they must, I think, be held as doubtful unless confirmed - from purer sources.

Yet a careful review of Langhammer's symptoms reveals that, although he was rather universally depressive and misanthropic, he exhibited different types of depressive and misanthropic states under the influences of the varied proving. E.g., for Anacardium, we see:

Peevish mood all day; everything about him made a disagreeable impression upon him;

while for Cyclamen, we find:

Extreme sadness, as if he had committed some evil, and had not done his duty; Internal grief and anxiety of conscience, as though he had not done his duty, or had committed a crime.

Ustillago corn fungus

I suspect that Hahnemann was far too clever to either accept generic misanthropy and depression as symptoms from Langhammer; and also too clever too merely disregard Langhammer's symptoms on the basis of his chronically morbid state. Rather, Langhammer brought out a "dark side" to each of the 50 remedies he proved - he was uniquely positioned to demonstrate the unique aspects of the misanthropies and depressions of each of these remedies.

Not Even Human

In William Burt's introduction to his Monograph on Ustilago, he recorded:

The Ustilago Maydis is a parasitic fungus, found growing on maize (Indian corn), as Ergot does on rye. The medical history of Ustilago Maydis, as far as I have been able to learn, is very meager. All that is known of its effects will be found in Prof. Hale's Causes and Treatment of Miscarriages and Sterility. He says:

'In a cow-house where cows were fed on Indian corn infested with this parasite, eleven of their number aborted in eight days. After their food was changed none of the others aborted.'

Uterine symptoms from the human provings of Ustilago were limited to a curative response, with reduction of a huge uterine tumor, accompanied by aching distress at the mouth of the womb. The many clinically-confirmed uterine symptoms of Ustillago rest in pure materia medica only on Hale's report of this accidental proving in cows.

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