TO THE BRAZILIAN PEOPLEThough the precious metals hidden in the Brazilian soil, may be never so abundant; though the splendor of its precious stones, may be never so brilliant; though the crops which the soil yields to the farmer, may be never so rich: yet there are, in the Brazilian empire, treasures of a far greater importance, and infinitely more necessary to human happiness. They are the powerful means which this vast country furnishes for the cure of disease.
Previous to Hahnemann's discovery, we were ignorant of a positive method of determining the use of drugs. We knew that they existed, but we did not know how to use them; and popular experience, more successful than the wisdom of the School, had alone picked up a few stray fragments from the rich harvest which had been abandoned proper for want of the proper means of gathering. Providence at last permitted Hahnemann and his disciples to discover the method of applying remedies to diseases in a positive and efficacious manner. Tho dominion of mere palliatives is at an end. Homoeopathy, by attacking, the cause of disease, destroys the chronic miasms, which are transmitted from generation to generation; dries up the fountain-heads of epidemic and contagious diseases; enables the infant-body, by a positive hygiene, to resist the deleterious influences to which it might be exposed in the course of its existence; and, by preserving human life, which is the most precious capital of nations and the first element of their greatness, Homoeopathy will insure their prosperity, provided they adopt it without reserve.
We admire the bold hunter who skims the sharp points of the rocks, for the purpose of snatching the down from the little ones of the eider; the indefatigable diver, who, by dint of patient toil, succeeds in bringing up the diamond from the sands of the river, or the pearl from the bosom of the sea. Should not the people of Brazil sympathize with the patient and courageous experimenters, who, under the auspices of Hahnemann, discover a world of wonderful uses in the neglected products of this country?
The work which we here offer to the Brazilian people, is not a work of fiction intended to amuse, but a serious work detailing a series of painful sensations voluntarily endured by a few devoted men, who were desirous of finding out the therapeutic uses of the poisonous animals and plants, the pathogenetic symptoms of which will be found described in this volume. We shall be amply compensated for tho patience and devotedness which the composition of such a work requires, by the consciousness that it will do its share in diminishing the sufferings of mankind.
B. Mean, Rio Janeiro.
NOTE TO THE READER: The symptoms in the following work, are arranged in groups of five; the figures in the text indicate the numerical order of those groups. ED.