Solanum tuberosum aegrotans
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This new book by Francis Treuherz (an inspired historian and homeopath who practices in London, and was, for seven years, the editor of The Homoeopath) is a very readable, informative, and sympathetic account. Its subject is the Irish potato famine of the 1840s-a period of destitution, starvation, and illness brought on by the failure of the potato crop because of blight.
It appears, from reading of the provings of Sol-t-ae that many of its symptoms are similar to symptoms of illness that appeared in the Irish people during the famine. Many famine-related factors contributed to these illnesses; it was not necessarily frank poisoning by toxins from potato blight. Solanum tuberosum aegrotans was not necessarily a remedy known or used in Ireland during the time of the famine (the proving was performed by Mure a few years later) -but it is, perhaps, a remedy that holds a picture of the suffering of the time.
Following the biographical chapter are 30 pages of narrative by Dr. Kidd, and a talk he subsequently gave to the British Homeopathic Society.
"For months previously I had read, in common with everybody else, the sickening details of the sufferings of these poor people in the English and Irish journals. I had read them until the whole thing seemed a mass of exaggeration, drawing the crowding horrors of all other centuries into one hapless period and locality. Even, however, with all this, and the glimpses of misery I had caught since my arrival in Cork, I was totally unprepared for the ghastly sights which encountered us at every step.
In a very short time I saw hundreds of cases of fever and dysentery lying in the most helpless and destitute condition. In many of the wretched huts, every inmate lay abandoned to their fate. Fever and dysentery side by side on the same scanty pile of decomposing straw, or on the cold earthen floor, without food or drink... [The greater part of my] time was spent in the most intimate contact with fever and dysentery, being frequently obliged to remain nearly half an hour in one single hovel, crowded with poor sufferers, till human nature could hold out no longer, and an instinctive and almost convulsive effort would cause me to escape from the close atmosphere of peat-smoke and fever-miasm to the open air."
(HOMOEOPATHY IN THE IRISH POTATO FAMINE
by Francis Treuherz, FSHom)