The idea upon which Biochemic Therapeutics is based is the physiological fact that both the structure and vitality of the organs of the body are dependent upon certain necessary quantities and proper apportionment of its organic constituents. These remain after combustion of the tissues and form the ashes.
The inorganic constituents are, in a very real sense, the material basis of the organs and tissues of the body, and are absolutely essential to their integrity of structure and functional activity. According to Schussler’s theory, any disturbance in the molecular motion of these salts in living issus, caused by a defeciency in the requesite amount, constitutes disease, which can be rectified and the requisite equilibrium re-estabiished by administering the same mineral salts in small quantities. This is supposed to be brought about by virtue of the operation of chemical affinity in the domain of histology; and hence this therapeutic procedure is styled by Schussler the Biochemic method, and stress is laid on the fact that it is in supposed harmony with well-known facts and laws in physiological chemistry and allied sciences.
THE CONSTITUENTS OF THE HUMAN ORGANISM.
Blood consiss of water, sugar, fat, albuminous substances, chloride of sodium, chloride of potash, fluoride of lime, silica, iron, lime, magnesia, soda and potash. The latter are combined with phosphoric, carbonic and sulphuric acids.
The salts of soda predominate in the blood plasma, while those of potash are found especially in the blood corpuscles. Sugar, fat, and the albuminous substances are the so-called organic components of the blood, while the above-named salts and water constitute its inorganic components. Sugar and fat are compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, while the albuminous substances contain in addition sulphur and nitrogen.
Sulphnr, carbon and phosphorus are not present within the organism in a free state, but combined with organic substances. Sulphur and carbon are found in the albumen, carbon in the carbo-hydrates like sugar, starch and in the products incident to metamorphosis of organicnic substances. Phosphorus is contained in the lecithins and in the nucleins. The sulphnr of the albumen is oxidised by the oxygen of the inspired air, forming sulphuric acid which combine, with the bases of the carbonates, forming sulphates and setting free carbonic acid.
Blood, containing the material for every tissue and cell of the body, furnishes nutriment for every organ, enabling it to perform its individual function; thus it supplies every possible physiological want in the animal economy.
It does this by the transudation of a portion of its plasma into the surrounding tissues through the capillary walls, by which the losses sustained by the cells on account of tissue metamorphosis are made good. According to modem biological views, this pabulum is a material sui generis, catled irritable matter or protoplasm, and is the only living matter, and is universally diffused throughout the organism, of which it constitutes about one-fifth, the remaining four-fifths being organized and relatively, thefore, dead matter, In its physical charachter, it is nitrogenous, pulpy, structureless, semi-fluid, translucent, homogeneous, similar to that of the ganglionic nerves and to the gray, nervous matter. In this transuded fluid appear, fine granules, which unite to form germs from which, again, cells develop. By the union of these cells are formed the tissues of every kind needed for the upbuilding of the whole organism. Two kinds of substances are needed in this process of tissue-building, and both are found in the blood-namely, the organic and the inorganic constituents. Among the former organic constituents are the sugar, fat and albuminous substances of the blood, serving as the physical basis of the tissues, while the water and salts — namely, potash, lime, silica, iron, magnesium and sodium – are the inorganic substances, which are believed to determine the particular kind of cell to be built up other salts may from time to time be found, but the foregoing, however embrace all which are constantly present. Wherever then, in the animal organism, new cells are to be generated and formed, there must be present, in sufficient quantity and proper relation, both these organic and inorganic substances. By their presence in the blood, all the organs, viscera and tissues in the body are formed, fixed and made permanent in their functions, and a disturbance here causes disturbed function.
INORGANIC CONSTITUENTS OF CELLS.
The principal inorganic materials of nerve-cells are Magnesia phos, Kali phos, Natrum and Ferrum. Muscle cells contain the same, with addition of Kali-mur. Connective tissue cells have for their specific substance Silica, while that of the etastic tissue-cells is probably Calcarea flour. In bone cells We have Calcarea fluor, and Magnesia phos and a large proportion of Calcarea phos. This latter is found in small quantities in the cells of muscle, nerve, brain and connective tissue. Cartilage and mucous cells have for their specific inorganic material Natrum mur. which is found also in all solid and fluid parts of the body. Hair and the crystalline lens contain among other inorganic substances, also Ferrum. The carbonates, as’ such, are, according to Moleschott, without any influence in the process of cell-formation.
HEALTH AND DISEASE
Health may be considered to be the state characterized by the normal cell metamorphosis; thus, when by means of digestion of food and drink, recompense is made to the blood for the losses it sustains by furnishing nutritive material to the tissues, this compensation is made in requisite quantities and in proper places, and no disturbance to the motion of the molecules occurs. Under these conditions alone will the building of new cells and the destruction of old ones proceed normally, and the elimination of useless materials be futhered.
Disease is the result of a disturbance of the molecular motion of one of the inorganic tissue salts. The cure consists in the restoration of the equilibrium of the molecular motion by furnishing a minimal dose of the same inorganic substance, since the molecules of the material thus used remedially fill the gap in the chain of molecules of the affected cell or tissue salt.
Virchow says that disease is an altered state of the cell, and hence the normal state of the cell constitutes health. The constitution of the cell is determined by the composition of its nutritive environment exactly as a plant thrives according to the quality of soil around its roots.
In agricultnrat chemistry we add as fertilizer that element most lacking in the soil. Bnt three essential substances used as fertilizers are required, namely, ammonia, phosphate of lime or potash. The other substances needful for plant nutrition are found in sufficient quantities in the soil. The same law of supplying a lack applies to biochemical remedies; for instance, take the following example:
A child suffering from rickets shows a lack of phosphate of lime in bones due to the disturbed molecular motion of the molecules of this salt. The quantity of phosphate of lime intended for the bones, but failing to reach its goal, would accumulate within the blood were it not excreted by the urine, for it is the office of the kidneys to maintain the proper composition of the blood, and, therefore, to cast out every foreign substance or surplus supply of any one constituent. Now after the normal molecular motion of the phosphate of lime molecules is again established within the involved nutritive soil by -administering small doses of the same salt, the surplus can again enter the general circulation and the cure of the rachitis be brought about.
Every normal cell has the faculty of absorbing or rejecting certain substances. This property is diminished or suspended when the cell has suffered a loss in one of its salts in consequece of any irritation. As soon as this deficiency is made good by a supply of a homogeneous material from the immediate nutritive soil, the equilibrium is re-established. But if the supply is not offered spontaneously, it is to be assumed that the needful salt is lacking in quantity, or, on the other hand, that the diseased cell, have suffered a physical alteration besides which precludes the entrance of the required tissue salt. In such a case the salt must be offered in a more diluted state, that is, a higher trituration or attenuation.
If the altered cells regain their integrity by recovering their loss, they can again perform their normal functions, and bring about the removal by chemical processes of morbid products, exudations, etc. The biochemical therapeutics aids nature in her efforts to cure by supplying the natura remedies lacking in certain parts, that is, the inorganic cell salts, and in this way corrects abnormal states of physiological chemistry.
The aim of biochemistry is to cover a deficiency directly. All other methods of cure reach this goal indirectly, when they make use of remedial agents heterogeneous to the constituents of the human organism.