His theory of medicine professed to explain the processes of life and disease, and the methods of cure, upon one simple principle - that of the property of" excitability,"in virtue of which the" exciting powers,"defined as being (1) external forces and (2) the functions of the system itself, call forth the vital phenomena" sense, motion, mental function and passion."All exciting powers are stimulant, the apparent debilitating or sedative effect of some being due to a deficiency in the degree of stimulus; so that the final conclusion is that" the whole phenomena of life, health as well as disease, consist in stimulus and nothing else."Brown recognized some diseases as sthenic, others as asthenic, the latter requiring stimulating treatment, the former the reverse; but his practical conclusion was that 97% of all diseases required a" stimulating "treatment.
In this he claimed to have made the most salutary reform because all physicians from Hippocrates had treated diseases by depletion and debilitating measures with the object of curing by elimination.
The climate of Rio de Janeiro is hot, humid and debilitating, the temperature ranging from 50 to 99.5° F.