This enigmatic Eclectic physician wrote a few papers for
the Los Angeles Eclectic Journal and later the California Eclectic
and the Eclectic Journal (all between 1904 and 1908)...and this
one textbook. It is a peculiar and rather exciting approach to
Eclecticism, gleefully mixing botanicals, electricity and low-potency
homeopathics. He took the approach that most herbs were best
employed for their "secondary actions", that is, not
for their toxic or heroic effects, but the subtler constitutional
and multi-systemic effects that were crucial to the Eclectic
Medical model. He then used low-potency homeopathics, for their
usual echoes of toxicity, their "primary actions".
And then he mixed them all up, along with baths, faradic, and
even light therapy. He presumed, as a sensible rural physician
(the typical Eclectic), that such a doctor should be able to
make most of his or her supplies, medicines and even diagnostic
tools. This book is as close to a basic workbook for low-tech
physicianing as I have seen, and it contains many rather unique
observations that coincide with what I have experienced and observed
but have not seen mentioned elsewhere. A peculiar and refreshing
mixture of different schools that in many ways is more "Eclectic"
than many better known works.
Although all alternative physicians were united against the
"Regular School", Homeopaths aligned together in glinty
fanatacism, digging and delving into their version of pharmaceutical
alchemy, the Physiomedicalists were Cleansing the Body of vitiating
influences, and the sturdy Eclectics were practicing medicine
(using drugs but especially botanicals) and surgery in a vitalist
make-over of Standard Practice. Homeopaths and Eclectics generally
traveled in alternative universes, with a common foe but little
or no mingling, and the Physiomedicalists or Neo-Thomsonians,
a rather anarchic bunch, were in a rather reduced state, consisting
largely of semi-professional practitioners, ageing and grumpy.
Thus it was at the beginning of the 20th century.
Bear in mind, of course, that these medical divisions were
most staunchly upheld by the various schools, national and local
organizations, publishers, allied pharmaceutical manufacturers
and periodicals...Medical Politics. At the turn of the 20th century,
a licensed physician...trained in whatever sect...often, in the
course of a practice of a few decades, began using methods and
remedies from other medical sects. A rural country doc might,
in time, end up using botanicals from Cincinnati, drugs from
New York, homeopathics from Philadelphia, and some osteopathy
picked up at a Still symposium. THESE docs didn't write books,
however...except for Dr. Petersen.
Petersen, born in 1864, graduated in 1900 from the California
Eclectic Medical College in Los Angeles, was in practice in Los
Olivos, California (NW of Santa Barbara), later moved to Lompoc,
California, and finally ended up further north in Camp Meeker,
a small village in the rolling hills south of the Russian River
and Guerneville. There, in 1913, age 50, suffering from ill health,
he took his own life with a gun. His death was noted in the Journal
of the American Medical Association, but apparently ignored by
the California Eclectic Medical Association. Peculiar.
Part I A- Introduction,
Forms of Medicine, Classes of Remedies, Poisons and their Antidotes,
Chemical incompatabilities, Contraindications, Dosology charts
and Materia Medica (Secondary Actions). 145 pages, 400K, Acrobat
Part I B - Electricity,
Light Therapy, Formulas, Baths, and Diagnostic tools (tongue,
pulse, etc.) 57 pages, 124K, Acrobat (.pdf) file.
Part II A - Doses,
Indications and Materia Medica of drugs in their Primary Form
(low-potency homeopathics) 48 pages, 188K, Acrobat (.pdf) file.
Part II B- Remedies
Acting on Certain Regions of the Body. 27 pages, 64K, Acrobat
Part II C - Basic
Indications for Drugs in their Primary Form. 41 pages, 84K, Acrobat
Part II D- Basic
Indications in Special Conditions. 55 pages, 108K, Acrobat (.pdf)