Monthly Archives: July 2011

H.A. Roberts

“Homoeopathy is founded upon principles that are in turn founded on natural laws. If homoeopathy is founded on natural laws, it is as basic and eternal as the hills; more, natural laws were formulated before the hills came into being. If a man follows where homoeopathy leads, he must be able to follow those laws and hold close to them regardless of the pressure of influence.”

— The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy. pg 14 – Herbert A. Roberts, Derby, CT, USA (1868-1950)


Vera and Harold Discuss the leaving.



Priscilla Resigns

What Kind Of Repertory Does The Veterinarian Need?


If we compare veterinary work to that of the practitioners on human beings, we see that the perspective is, by necessity, different. In the work with human beings, this information is important to determine, and as completely as possible:

  • Symptom
  • Location
  • Sensation
  • Time of occurrence
  • Periodicity
  • Extension of symptom (to other parts)
  • Amelioration
  • Aggravation
  • Accompanying symptoms (concomitants)
  • Etiology
  • Emotional state
  • Mental functioning

We veterinarians work with a modified list:

  • Symptom (sometimes observable but often reported by client, therefore interpreted)
  • Location (sometimes apparent, but often not definable)
  • Sensation (occasionally can be guessed at but not reliably known)
  • Time of occurrence (limited to the waking or visiting hours of the client)
  • Periodicity (if the client observant enough)
  • Extension (subject to same limitations above)
  • Amelioration (often available though not necessarily in a useful form—as in what drugs relieve)
  • Aggravation (often available but subject to assumption and projection of the client)
  • Accompanying symptoms (usually obtainable, though limited by client’s memory)
  • Etiology (sometimes known, often speculated)
  • Emotional state (with broad interpretation, often misunderstood)
  • Mental functioning (difficult to assess unless grossly malfunctioning)

So, as veterinarians, we have very limited information which is often reduced to common symptoms and pathology, especially if the animal has been ill very long and already had extensive suppressive allopathic treatment. The mental symptoms, so important in human prescribing, are marginally useful but may not be clearly defined. A state such as “anxiety” has so many remedies in the appropriate rubric that it becomes basically useless. What we find most helpful and most reliable are physical symptoms as modified by modalities. If this is coupled with concomitants the information may be enough to find a similimum even in chronic and difficult cases. The repertories designed for human use, often emphasize those aspects which are not available to us. It is not that the information is not in the materia medica, but rather was not entered into the repertory. In this talk we will consider a few of the major repertories, how they were developed by the authors and how applicable they are to veterinary work.

What Is The Purpose Of A Repertory?

Our first question is basic. Why do we use a repertory? Let me answer this by quoting from Jahr’s preface to his book, Therapeutic Guide: The Most Important Results Of More Than Forty Years Practice. “It was in the year 1827 when I made my debut in the practice of homeopathy, at a time when the only resources at our command were the Materia Medica Pura…and a few cures reported. With these scanty means we had to get along as well as we could, and, by a diligent and attentive study of the drugs with whose pathogeneses we had become acquainted with at that time, familiarize ourselves with the characteristic symptoms of each drug and its special indications…. This was no small task, which could never have been accomplished, if the Materia Medica of that time had contained the large number of drugs that are offered at the present time to the beginner in homeopathic practice. Since the number of drugs known at that time did not exceed 60, and among these only 20 had been proved with exhaustive perseverance and correctness, we had it in our power to study them thoroughly without too much trouble…and apply them as such in accordance with their symptomatic indications. At this time such a careful study of our Materia medica is unfortunately not possible to the beginner in homeopathy. Overwhelmed by the accumulated mass of drugs and clinical observations, he scarcely knows which way to turn for at least one ray of light in the chaos spread out before him.”

Jahr’s Problem Relevant Today

Here we see the problem well described—that it is beyond our means to memorize the large mass of data available to us now. A repertory thus organizes information for us. It is a decided advantage to look up a symptom of interest and find listed the several remedies known to display this symptom in provings. In addition, Bönninghausen, in his repertory development, introduced the idea of grading remedies. This he did in 1832, with the production of his first repertory, The Repertory of the Anti-psoric Remedies, and brought a new tool into development for our use. We can often match the grading of the remedy with the intensity of the symptom in the patient, thus honing in more accurately to what the patient requires.

Thus, we have two advantages with a repertory:

  1. A rubric (symptom) lists all the remedies known to produce that symptom.
  2. The grading of remedies indicates those which have the symptom most frequently or prominently.

The Development of Repertories

Repertories have gone through an evolutionary development, along with the general progress of homeopathy as a science. With repertory use we have learned what remedies are polychrests and also which remedies are most suitable for treating chronic diseases. On the clinical side, we have correlated the repertory information with what is seen in patients. We have learned how to accurately translate the language of the proving into the language of the sick patient. We can say that over the 200 years we have been using homeopathy we have sifted out the information that is of most use to us in our work. The repertories will reflect this, as they are compilations, extractions, of the more complete, but less organized, information in the materia medica. Though the repertories were developed along certain lines, recent expansions of these works have, to some extent, changed the original purpose in their construction and use.

How Were Repertories Created?

How is a repertory constructed? We start with the information from a proving. If that information was simply listed, as a complete symptom, then the repertory becomes cumbersome and of no further use to us than a materia medica. A good example of this approach is Knerr’s Repertory of Hering’s Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica. This is a complete repertory but very difficult to use. Symptoms are kept intact as, for example:

Extremities; KNEES; abscess; small opening over patella, oozing laudable pus, later

profuse, yellow,

serous discharge, particularly early in evening: Iod.

Extremities; KNEES; pain; flexors of left, in, extending

around thigh, immediately above patella, as if

limb were severely grasped: chim. (chimophila)

Extremities; KNEES; rheumatism; inflammatory,

sore to touch, redness, followed by effusion, patella

being lifted up, with elastic swelling underneath and

around: stict. (sticta)

This is all very detailed information and of great use in clearly defining a symptom – but very slow for the process of evaluation and with much reading required.

Another Approach

The other way of processing this information is to break it up and put it in different places in the repertory. Instead of all the information in one long line, we enter each part in a different place in the repertory. When it comes time to work up a patient’s case then what we are attempting to do is to reconstruct the patient’s condition by re-assembling the information found in the repertory into a description that approximates it as much as possible.

How Complete Are The Repertories?

How well do the repertories reflect the information of the materia medica? Not as much as you would expect. Let’s look at a proving of Apis as an example. Using Allen’s Encyclopedia, General Section, which describes the provings symptoms, we can certainly find interesting and useful symptoms. Here is one.

(From effects of a sting) She was found to be in a spasm, generally tonic, but in a measure clonic; her knees were drawn up to her breast, and her hands and arms moved convulsively. Convulsions. The whole nervous system seemed most violently affected.

Now let’s see what we can find in Kent’s Repertory:

She was found to be in a spasm, generally tonic, but in a measure clonic = there is no rubric in Kent for spasms. Closest is “Convulsions, tonic” (83 remedies) in which

Apis is found in lowest grade. The rubric “Convulsions, clonic” (118 remedies) does not contain Apis.

Her knees were drawn up to her breast = not found in Kent.

In the Complete Repertory, we find these equivalent rubrics, but no Apis:

  • Generalities; LYING; Amel.; during; legs drawn up (7): bell., cocc., coloc., gent-l., Magp., stram., verat.
  • Generalities; LYING; Amel.; during; knee; chest position (2): choc., sep.

Her hands and arms moved convulsively = Kent has

“Generalities, convulsive movements” (73 remedies) with Apis in lowest grade. The rubrics “Convulsion, upper limbs” (45 remedies) and “Convulsion, hands” (31 remedies) do not contain Apis. However, we do find Apis, in lowest grade, here, in these two rubrics.

  • Extremities; MOTION.; Upper Limbs; convulsive (15)
  • Extremities; MOTION.; Hands; convulsive (7)

So we can see that Kent had to make a decision. Where to put this Apis proving information? It is indeed accurate to list it in the last two rubrics mentioned here, but why not under “Extremities, convulsions”? One could easily look there first, not see the remedy and miss it in a case. Unless you thought of the word “Motion” first instead of spams for convulsions, you could not get to it.

There are several other symptoms, ones we could recognize in animals, that are not accurately found in the repertory. Examples are:

Terrified starting during evening sleep. = only relevant rubric, though not containing Apis, is:

  • Sleep; SLEEPLESSNESS; evening; starting, from (1): puls.

A close rubric is:

  • Sleep; SLEEPLESSNESS; anxiety, from (21): arn., Ars., bell., bry., carb-an., caust., Cocc., cupr., kali-i., laur., lyss., mag-c., mag-m., merc., nat-c., nat-m., nux v., rhus-t., stram., sulph., thuj.

There is no rubric about sleep issues from fear.

Another one has to do with restlessness, a characteristic of this remedy, Apis. We see this in the proving:

Restlessness; would constantly like to go from one

place to another. An extraordinary restlessness overcomes

him in the afternoon, with as much exhaustion

as if he had done very hard, manual labor. (After smelling the bee poison, when gathering a swarm).

Nervous restlessness. Nervous restlessness, during the latter half of the night.

Kent’s Repertory, no Apis in any of these rubrics.

  • Mind; RESTLESSNESS; anxious, etc.; compelling rapid walking (5): arg-n., Ars., lil–t., sul-ac., Tarent.
  • Mind; RESTLESSNESS; pacing back and forwards (1): plan.
  • Mind; RESTLESSNESS; sitting, while (12): alum., cact., caust., ferr., iod., Lyc., mag-c., nat-m., plan., sep., sil., sulph.
  • Mind; RESTLESSNESS; walking amel. (3): dios., nat-m., nicc.
  • Generalities; MOTION; amel. (119 remedies)
  • Generalities; MOTION; continued, amel. (37 remedies).

Apis is found here:

  • Generalities; WALKING; amel. (113), Apis in lowest grade.
  • Generalities; WALKING; fast agg. (65), Apis found in second grade, which is only confusing in regard to this symptom.

As for the exhaustion as if very hard, manual labor, Kent does not have any rubric for “Exhaustion”, the closest being “Generalities, weariness”. Apis is not there.

In regard to the restlessness at night, Apis appears in this rubric, second grade:

  • Mind; RESTLESSNESS; night (169 remedies)

but not in this rubric, which is more definitive:

  • Mind; RESTLESSNESS; midnight; after (9)

General feeling of lassitude, with trembling. = no such rubric in Kent’s.

During continual diarrhoea, weakness increases, and headache diminishes. = there is no rubric for “continued diarrhea” or for “chronic diarrhea” in Kents. There is no rubric for “diarrhea with weakness”.

We do find, under Generalities, this one:

  • Generalities; WEAKNESS,; diarrhoea, from (46)

which contains Apis in second grade. What may be misleading here is the idea that the weakness is caused by the diarrhea instead of being a concomitant. There are several symptoms having to do with the serious clinical problem of prostration, the patient being so ill they are lying flat out (or must lie down) and cannot stand or walk. It is seen in very serious infectious diseases, toxic conditions, near death states.

Sudden prostration, with coldness.

Sudden prostration of the vital forces; severe vomiting; profuse diarrhoea; cold extremities; pale face; severe griping pains in the abdomen; pulse weak, scarcely perceptible at the wrist.

Heavy and prostrate in fever.

Was obliged to be led into the house; threw himself on the bed; unable to hold himself up.

Without feeling either weakness or faintness, she is yet suddenly compelled to lie down on the ground.

Sinks quite exhausted at stool.

There is no rubric for “Prostration” in Kent’s. The closest is under Generalities, “Collapse” (44 remedies) in which we find Apis as lowest grade. Apis is not in the subrubric, “Collapse, sudden”.

There are these rubrics:

  • Generalities; COLLAPSE; vomiting, during (1): ars.
  • Generalities; COLLAPSE; vomiting, after (4): Ars., lob., phys., verat.

But no Apis. Nothing about collapse with a weak pulse, or cold extremities, pale face, with abdominal pains, or with fever. No rubrics for suddenly having to lie down or exhaustion after a stool. There is

  • Generalities, weakness after stool (60 remedies)

in which Apis is the lowest grade.

So we see from this short perusal, that the repertory does not have anything like a complete listing of symptoms from provings.

Repertory Overload

Well then, why not put all this information into a more complete repertory? This is the contemporary trend, especially with Synthesis and The Complete repertories. These are expanding on Kent’s repertory and pulling in information from Bönninghausen, as well as other repertories, provings, clinical studies and many other sources. Is this what we need? These larger repertories can be extremely useful for finding unusual or detailed symptoms but they have these disadvantages:

The number of rubrics is increased. There is much more material to look through when trying to find the common symptoms. The number of remedies in each rubric has also increased (see graph below). This results in many more for consideration in our final analysis than with the previous repertories. On a practical note, as the books become larger, physically, they become unwieldy, and too difficult to use. We experience information overload—too much of a good thing.

Comparison of Rubric Number

Repertory Remedy Numbers

How The Repertories Affect Case Analysis

Here is an example analysis, a common situation for us, showing us how a large repertory can overwhelm us with possibilities.

A young cat has developed a urinary condition, going frequently to the litter box, straining, licking the penis after urinating. The urine is yellow with occasional blood. Behavior change is not marked, though not as affectionate and seems anxious. The oddest behavior is that the cat will often go into the bathtub and sit there when having this problem.

That the cat is going into the cool bathtub for relief tells us this is likely a Pulsatilla case. Let’s do a repertory workup using the Boger/Bönninghausen Repertory and compare it to that of the Complete Repertory.

Now compare this analysis, which easily suggests Pulsatilla, to one from the Complete Repertory using the same rubrics (see next page). We see that the larger repertory, with more remedies in the rubrics, will simply give us too much information. Who would really have time to consider each one of these that come up in the Complete analysis? Would it not be of more use to us to have a repertory that will suggest the most likely remedy (as opposed to striving for completeness)? This is the plan of repertories like Jahr and Boger/Bönninghausen. Instead of attempting to have every possible remedy entered in each rubric, we can limit the rubrics to just those that are most frequently (most likely) needed. This gives us much more manageable rubrics, while at the same time maximizing our chance of finding the similimum. However, to do this accurately we must use a particular strategy. Before discussing analysis strategies, let’s next look at the different repertories and how they are designed.

How Repertories Are Planned

Let’s take a look at the strategies authors have used in developing repertories. They are not all the same. For one thing we have had an accumulating body of information that tells us what are the most commonly needed remedies. From this base I identify 3 approaches used in repertory construction.

The Kent Method

From The Development and Formation of the Repertory, by James Tyler Kent. “Not so many years after I was first a homoeopath, there fell into my hands the first Bönninghausen’s Repertory, Lippe’s Repertory, Biegler’s Diary, Minton’s Diseases of Women, and Jahr’s Repertory, which in form was very good. And Lippe’s Repertory, in characteristics and form was very good. I carried Lippe’s Repertory with me for a number of years, until it was not only interleaved but doubly and trebly interleaved, the pages so closely written upon that it was impossible to find what I had written into it; so that ended in confusion. But this was the one upon which my earlier reliance rested. “Then came the time, when I began to teach Materia Medica, in 1883, when I could readily see that we ought to have more. The Symptom-Register

(Allen’s great Encyclopædia), was so limited that it lacked half of the symptoms. Jahr’s Repertory was placed next in importance because it was a repertory of the grand old remedies, It was very good for these, but our pathogenesis had increased so much that it was no longer a satisfactory work ; it did not fill the requirements of my practice. So I began taking up these works and effecting a compilation. Eventually I had a large manuscript of most of the repertory. “I talked with Lee, of Philadelphia, as Lippe’s abridged form of a new repertory was in his hands and Lippe desired me to enter upon the work of helping or uniting with Lee to produce a complete repertory. At that time I had completed a Repertory of the Urinary Organs, of Chill, Fever and Sweat, with other sections partly complete. Lee went to work and got out Mind, and later I helped him to get out Head….” From this beginning the great work that was Kent’s Repertory was developed (1897). As we see, from a compilation of many sources. Yet, it was still not complete enough. From David Warkentin, Kent Homeopathic Associates— Most homeopaths have assumed that Kent contains virtually all of the reliable symptoms. This is far from true. First of all, the task of creating a comprehensive repertory is a huge one and probably impossible. For example, even though Kent intended to add Allen’s Symptom-Register into his repertory, he was only able to add a minority of the rubrics. (Allen’s work is still larger than Kent’s.) And secondly, Kent was in competition with other repertory authors, notably Knerr and Boger, and did not share information with them.

The Kent Plan of Analysis

In Kent we have an emphasis on general and mental symptoms. We use a hierarchy of classification to organize our symptoms in order of importance. The Kent strategy is 3-fold:

  1. Start with the general condition of the patient. This is what is predicated to the patient as a whole, along with modalities that affect these symptoms.
  1. We look for and emphasize the mental condition, using this to further characterize our patient.
  1. We combine particular symptoms to create ones that are characteristic.
  1. The similimum must fit the general and mental symptoms of the patient yet may not have all the particulars of the case.

Kent decided that, besides the symptoms that are obviously general, we should emphasize also the reproductive symptoms of women and also the details of various discharges. That is, in his plan he elevates these conditions to the level of general symptoms. He bases this on his clinical experience and the conclusion that it is the individuality of the patient that determines this. Hahnemann had emphasized the importance of the mental state and Kent also brought this in as highly important whenever that information is available. He also organized information from the patient into symptoms that would be characteristic by bringing two of them together. For example, our patient could have diarrhea which is common, but having it every morning at 6 AM made it characteristic. In a way, he was reconstructing the patient’s symptoms from the repertory but in a way that made the information more useful. This was a use of Hahnemann’s advice to look for what was “unusual, rare and peculiar”. Lastly, he knew that the remedy, if it matched the essentials of the case could address particular conditions even if they had never been known before to be an expression of that remedy. It was the “general” match that was essential.

The Bönninghausen Repertory

The Repertory of the Antipsoric Remedies was created in 1833 by Bönninghausen and was the repertory that Hahnemann used in his practice. In 1846 Bönninghausen deleted and combined many of the rubrics to create a small concise pocket version: The Therapeutic Pocketbook. The Pocketbook became the standard reference work used by most American homeopaths including Stuart Close, Carroll Dunham, Guernsey, and T. F. Allen.

Bönninghausen created his repertory based on the results of his detailed and careful investigations of both provers and patients in regard to the information they reported. He found that, in both cases, most symptoms were incomplete in terms of containing all the desired information. We want, for example, the location, sensation, functional changes, conditions of aggravation and amelioration, and the concomitants. Yet very few provers or patients were able to give symptoms in this complete form.

From The Art Of The Homeopath In Taking The Case In C. Von Bönninghausen’s Work: “Noting these deficiencies in the Materia Medica, therefore, and realizing the importance of these auxiliary modifying and concomitant symptoms of disease, C. von Bönninghausen for many years diligently observed and collected all such symptoms as they appeared in the cases which came to him for treatment. Every case was examined symptomatically with this purpose always in view, to make every symptom as complete in itself as possible, covering the specific points of locality, sensation, conditions of aggravation and amelioration, and the concomitance or coexistence of other symptoms under the same circumstances.

He soon learned that symptoms which existed in an incomplete state in some part of a given case could be reliably completed by analogy, by observing the conditions of other parts of the case. If, for instance, it was not possible by questioning a patient to decide what aggravated or ameliorated a particular symptom of the case, the patient would readily express a condition of amelioration of some other symptom.

In reality the patient is not expressing many symptoms, but only parts of a very few complete symptoms, which the homeopath must bring together and complete. The perceptible symptoms of disease are often broken up and scattered through the different parts of a patient’s organism. The scattered parts must be found and brought together in harmonious relation according to the typical form.

“C. von Bönninghausen tells us in his Preface, From one point of view the indicated conditions of aggravation or amelioration have a far more significant relation to the totality of the case and to its single symptoms than is usually supposed; they are never confined exclusively to one or another symptom, but on the contrary, a correct choice of the suitable remedy depends very often chiefly upon them.

“In reality, then, they are the general characteristics. By observing them and applying this principle he was enabled to complete many symptoms from clinical observation; and experience has borne out the truth and reliability of his method.

So what Bönninghausen found was:

  1. Symptoms from provings could be completed from the observation of these same symptom fragments in patients.
  2. The modalities—conditions of aggravation or amelioration—have the status of general characteristics because they apply to all of the patient’s symptoms. (Of course, there will be exceptions.)
  3. Emphasizing the modalities and concomitants will often solve a case.

In addition, his strategy was to:

  1. Find what is characteristic of the patient by emphasizing modalities and concomitants.
  2. Generalize symptoms in the patient, even those affecting parts.
  3. Minimize use of the mental symptoms, as being difficult of accurate interpretation.

The Cyrus Maxwell Boger’s Edition Of The Bönninghausen Repertory

Thirty five years later, in 1899, Cyrus Boger made a new translation of the original Repertory of the Antipsoric Remedies into English. It was 232 pages. He continued to enlarge it until his death in 1935. He added so many additions and new rubrics that ist final size was almost five times bigger: 1040 pages. It is probably more correct to call this “Boger’s Repertory” than “Bönninghausen’s”.

David Warkentin: “This is the one of most valuable repertories ever created. Much of the information is more up to date than Kent’s and it contains many rubrics that aren’t included in Kent.”

From Rubrics In (Boger-) Bönninghausen Not In Kent, by Elizabeth Wright Hubbard, MD (Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, August, 1956. Vol. 49, No. 7, pages 203-206):

“Bönninghausen’s is most factual and classified: every symptom that refers to a part may be predicated of the whole. The interrelationship of symptoms and of remedies and the sequence of remedies are brought out. It opens a way into the wide fields of combinations. For Bönninghausen, the totality is made up of the general characteristics of the particular symptoms plus the condition, under the four general categories of locality, sensation, modality (aggravations or ameliorations) and concomitants.

“Roberts in his brilliant Principles and Practicability of Bönninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocket Book says it is based on the doctrine of concomitants, a concomitant being an attendant circumstance existing or occurring with other symptoms, having always a relation in time. The concomitant is the differentiating factor.

“Hahnemann says that ‘the characteristic symptoms represent that which is curable in each case of disease,’ in other words the common symptoms of the diagnosis do

not point the way to cure. Bönninghausen called chronic symptoms concomitants in acute ailments and often prescribed exclusively on them, although a drug should be findable covering both acute and chronic.

The Bönninghausen method shines in cases without many mental symptoms; without rare, strange and peculiar symptoms; with few particulars; in cases where modalities predominate and concomitants are marked; cases showing pathological symptoms and objective symptoms.” That is, a very useful repertory for veterinarians.

Jahr’s And Boger’s Repertories

Jahr’s work was at the same time as Bönninghausen, but he emphasized (I believe) the known remedies as confirmed by clinical experience. In his book 40 Years Practice we see his emphasis on using what he was able to confirm himself. He developed rubrics that were smaller, yet contained the chief remedies for each symptom. The idea is to limit the rubrics to a usable size, yet make the accuracy of the rubric (in terms of containing the needed remedy) as high as possible. Thus we will see rubrics that are much smaller but ones that are developed from clinical experience.

Boger took a similar approach in his Synoptic Key. For example, if we take a common symptom, like fever, we find that in the Synoptic Key is listed 27 remedies. Compare this to the Complete Repertory where there are 700 remedies listed for the same rubric. Your first reaction may be that Boger is very limited and is therefore useless. But what if fever was very prominent in your patient and there was a 99% probability that the remedy needed was in this list of 27? You can see immediately the practical advantage to keeping the rubrics small and accurate.

These are the types of decisions that determine the plan of repertory construction, which in turn influences the size of the rubrics. Boger chose to be concise, to avoid excessive information while retaining a high degree of accuracy. This approach is very useful to veterinarians.

How Cases Are Worked

Let’s look at how the various repertories will work out cases. As these repertories were designed to be used with human beings, let’s start with a human case. Then we can compare that with animal cases to see what the differences are. From Harvey Farrington, described in his book Homeopathy and Homeopathic Prescribing, 1955—

This is the authentic history of a young woman of twenty, who contracted malaria while traveling with her family in Italy. Massive doses of quinine, prescribed by an Italian physician, stopped the chills and she was able to continue her tour. Not long after her return home she required a dose of Bromine, her constitutional remedy. Later, whether from the action of the Bromine or otherwise, the chills reappeared. Arsenicum alb. was prescribed by a local homeopath without result. The symptoms became alarming, and he gave quinine in massive doses, this time with only temporary palliative effect.

In prescribing for malarial patients homeopathically, the exact similimum must be found if a cure is to be expected. Since Arsenicum had been prescribed by a man of many years’ experience, and the case presented a number of Arsenicum indications, the physician who was called at this juncture worked the case out with great care, using Kent’s Repertory.

The symptoms were as follows: Chill daily at 6 or 6: 30 p. m.; beginning between the scapulae, as though ice water were dashed down the back; preceded by faintness and yawning; accompanied by intense thirst, great restlessness with tossing about, coldness, numbness and aching of the extremities, cold buttocks, and a sensation as though a wind blew on the feet and legs. The chill was worse from drinking cold water and from the least movement under the covers.

Fever without thirst was accompanied by throbbing headache, faintness, nausea, moaning, oppression of the chest, gasping and restlessness. The face was flushed, the skin hot and dry, and there was chilliness from lifting the covers. The temperature during the heat rose to 104. 5 F. Restlessness was the most marked mental characteristic; therefore, it was given first place in the repertory study.

Farrington used Kent’s repertory with these rubrics (see below). A single dose of Rhus tox. was given. For three days there was no change. Then the chill was lighter and the fever not so high and there was less aching of the limbs. The next day there was only a slight chill in the evening, and from then on the symptoms gradually abated. The patient’s general condition improved and by the sixth day all symptoms had disappeared, and years have elapsed with no return.

Let us compare how the analysis would have gone with the Bönninghausen repertory.

We see that the analysis, using concomitants, can be much simpler, much more focused. Here is another analysis from Bönninghausen. This next analysis introduces a modality along with concomitants and with same result.

For comparison, let us look at a simple analysis using Boger’s Synoptic Key Repertory.

We see that it is possible to come to the same remedy using different approaches, yet with different degrees of efficiency.

An Animal Case

Moses, a 5 year old male cat, has become recently ill. He is very lethargic and completely lost his appetite. If made to stand he cries out. He has not moved for 24 hours. There is a fever going from 103.5 F. (39.7 C) to 105 F. (40.6 C). Blood analysis shows a normal WBC count, normal neutrophil levels but very low lymphocyte and monocyte numbers—suggesting a marked migration of these cells to some extravascular site. These values are also elevated:

SGOT, CPK (very high), direct bilirubin, & blood glucose. The SGPT is normal as are BUN and Creatinine.

Bryonia 30c, one pellet, was given every 4 hours for 4 doses. He recovered over the next 2 days and was completely normal afterwards. He remained free of illness over the next 2 weeks, after which contact with him was lost. For comparison, here is the same analysis from Kent:

And from the Complete Repertory:

We see that Bryonia shows up in all the analyses, yet to me, is more easily recognized in the first Bönninghausen analysis.

Animal Case

Star is a 7 months old, female, Harlequin Great Dane. She presents with a history of poor appetite and a thin condition. She is growing quickly but at about the proper rate for this breed. She is shy, doesn’t want touch of strangers. Physically there is limping in the left front leg though no lesion can be found. The ears are excessively waxy, and there is a red, dry, patchy area at the place where the abdomen joins the rear leg, mostly on the left side. Client had already given Arnica 200c for the limp and there was some temporary improvement for 5 days at which point the limp returned.

First Prescription was Phosphorus 10M, one dose.

Three week follow-up: More friendly, not so shy. “Very friendly in society.” Client emphasizes the great increase in energy. Still thin, though appetite all right. Still some ear wax. No limping. No skin lesion at prior location but some redness between the thighs where they rub together. We wait longer.

Seven weeks after first prescription: Client gives a dose of Parvovinum 200c in lieu of vaccination. (I am not sure if this was her idea or mine.)

Eight week follow-up from Phosphorus: Greenish discharge from the inner canthus of both eyes, worse on going in the sun. Back roached. Appetite not good, only “picks” at food. Still not as shy as before. Drinks almost no water. Skin eruption gone. Second Prescription was Pulsatilla 10M, once.

One week after Pulsatilla: Has not eaten for 3 days, a gradual decrease in appetite. Now wants to go off by herself. Acting more “cowardly”. Less eye discharge. She is looking thin.

Analysis from Boger/Bönninghausen

Third Prescription was Silica 200c, one dose.

One week follow-up of Silica: She is acting normal and eating well. She became well 3 days after the remedy given. She is slowly gaining weight. All skin irritation and redness is gone. There is no eye discharge. Not very shy now but client can see “there is that tendency”.

Six weeks follow-up: “She looked fantastic.” Skin normal, temperament very good. Sold to Finland and contact with her lost.

It is interesting to compare this complicated case with analysis from a larger repertory. Here it is from the Complete Repertory:

We can see a similar remedy group with this analysis, but many more remedies to consider, thus to my eye, a more complicated workup than is necessary.


We can see that all 3 remedies used in this case came up in the first analysis that was done. This was apparently chronic disease, likely inherited, so it took more than one remedy to work through it. This is, of course, not an unusual situation for many of our cases.

What Repertory Then?

I have found the most consistent usefulness, for animal cases, is to start with the Boger/Bönninghausen repertory, at times supplemented by Kent. With unusual symptoms, when I want to search most extensively, I use the Complete Repertory or Synthesis—or just as often ReferenceWorks for a materia medica search.

The advantage of the Bönninghausen method is the emphasis on information we are most likely to obtain with our animal patients—symptoms, yes, but also modalities and concomitants. This method de-emphasizes the mental symptoms (though they are there) in favor of physical conditions as modified by these other factors. In addition, there are some very useful rubrics not found elsewhere.

I also value the repertory by Jahr, which is smaller, simpler, but often adequate. One of my projects is developing the Jahr repertory for veterinary use. I am using this smaller repertory as a base and adding in rubrics from Bönninghausen and Kent to make it a more useful reference for our work. If we streamline the repertory for veterinary use and emphasize modalities and concomitants, a lá Bönninghausen‘s method, I think we will have a very useful and unique tool for our work.


The charts for comparison of different repertory rubric numbers and remedy numbers is from Roger Van Zandvoort, and compares the Kent repertory (version not specified), the Complete Repertory 4.5 and Synthesis 9.1 (information from Archibel’s website).

Rubrics In Bönninghausen Not In Kent, by Elizabeth Wright Hubbard, MD is from the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, August, 1956. Vol. 49, No. 7, pages 203-206.

Repertories used in my analyses are the Bönninghausen repertory, the Kent repertory, and the Complete Repertory 2005, as provided by Kent Homeopathic Associates with the MacRepertory program.

Analyses shown are configured by calculating both totality and number of rubrics, so that those remedies appearing in the most rubrics and having the highest grading come up first.


Dr. Richard Pitcairn graduated from veterinary school in 1965, from the University of California at Davis, California, and worked on a PhD degree emphasizing the study of viruses, immunology and biochemistry. Working in a mixed practice he saw a wide variety of health problems, but to his disappointment, did not see the results that he expected using the treatments learned in veterinary school. He became interested in alternative medicine, nutrition and homeopathy. He found homeopathy to be intellectually complete and satisfying, and after studying and using it for some 20 plus years, has had remarkable success. Since 1992 he has taught a yearly course, The Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy, to train animal doctors in homeopathy. Dr. Pitcairn was a founding member of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy and also served as its president. With Susan Pitcairn he wrote two editions of Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, a classic in the field, which sold over 350,000 copies.

The Hypochondriac Takeover of Homoeopathy – with apologies to William the Bard.


By Vera Resnick

 The hypochondriac puts his case thus:

I am a hypochondriac. (only.. they never say this).

Hath not a hypochondriac eyes?  (which seem to burn every 10 minutes, and then feel cold, so strange…)

Hath not a hypochondriac hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions, and aches and pains in parts of the body no physician seems to have heard about?

Fed with the same food (although that’s not really true, we can’t eat meat…or dairy….or canned food…or raw food…or those funny shaped string beans that you can only get in gourmet supermarkets…), hurt with the same weapons (plus a few creative ones invented by people we once thought were our friends), subject to a whole slew of diseases that mankind never heard of but they are the same diseases as yours only different, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a normal healthy person is (except of course for Bognor Regis in the spring and Calcutta in midwinter, where we come out in an odd green-coloured rash that nobody has ever seen before)?

If you prick us do we not bleed?  Oddly tis true, sometimes in drops, sometimes in smears and sometimes in odd little puddles all over the place (well in 2mm diameter spots, we measured).

If you tickle us do we not laugh?  Especially if you tickle us on that strange spot exactly in between the second and third finger on the left hand, just above the wrinkle on the knuckle, always ticklish, that spot, must be useful for a homoeopathic prescription.

And when we laugh, well there’s that odd feeling in between the 5th and 6th rib on the right hand side, or is it the 4th and 5th rib, which extends into the large toe on the left foot.

If you poison us do we not die?  (Homoeopath:  My God he’s reading my mind…)

And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?…Why, revenge!  The homoeopathy you teach us, looking for every rare strange and peculiar symptom we can come up with, and we can come up with quite a few, believe me,  that homoeopathy we will execute through our manifold, diverse and fascinating complaints.

We will pull you away from correct prescribing and make you believe it’s only the odd symptoms that count, the stranger the better, we will take you away from orderly case analysis.  It shall go hard on the homoeopath but we will better the instruction – we will become your teachers….

Hahnemann on Hypochondria:  Aphorism 96:

Besides this, patients themselves differ so much in their dispositions, that some, especially the so-called hypochondriacs and other persons of great sensitiveness and impatient of suffering, portray their symptoms in too vivid colors and, in order to induce the physician to give them relief, describe their ailments in exaggerated expression.

Footnote: A pure fabrication of symptoms and sufferings will never be met with in hypochondriacs, even in the most impatient of them – a comparison of the sufferings they complain of at various times when the physician gives them nothing at all, or something quite unmedical, proves this plainly; – but we must deduct something from their exaggeration, at all events ascribe the strong character of their expressions to their expressions when talking of their ailments becomes of itself an important symptom in the list of features of which the portrait of the disease is composed.


Priscilla’s phone call

Hahnemann’s Mission in Relation to Modern Homeopathy.

Peter Morrell

When we look at homeopathy growing in the world today, this raises a
number of important issues, some more recent and some embedded in
Hahnemann’s own times two centuries ago. This article explores
centrally relevant issues of today that also troubled Hahnemann
himself, which derived from his own scathing analysis of Old Physick,
and upon which homeopathy was largely constructed.

Finding Definite Proofs Against Old Physick

Although Hahnemann spent over twenty years as a translator of medical
and scientific texts, he was nevertheless simultaneously using this
time to study the causes of the failure of the medical system of his
day – a puzzle his conscience refused to leave unsolved. He never gave
up searching for new medical truths. Therefore, although superficially
he appeared to have abandoned medicine completely, yet in essence he
was biding his time and actively searching for medical enlightenment.
During these “restless years of wandering,” [Haehl, vol. 1, 13] Even
during “this restless inclination for travelling,” [Haehl, vol. 1, 47]
Hahnemann was quietly developing his ideas and publishing essays based
upon his studies.

Hahnemann’s searches of the medical literature were not primarily
conducted to obtain theoretical ideas and to back-up his own evolving
medical views, but as a crucial means by which he could trawl the
medical past and present for detailed case reports concerning diseases
and drugs and their various specific effects on the human organism, as
well as interactions between them, cases of poisoning and cures of all
types. Literary work thus provided him with a precious window through
which he could view not just medical ideas, but also the practical
clinical activities of hundreds of fellow physicians scattered through
time, the cumulative experiences of whom Hahnemann could draw on to
fertilise his growing views about drugs and diseases. Through cunning
use of this approach, he was soon able to distil down a huge mass of
material into a few basic principles governing the actions of diseases
and drugs, which methods work and which do not. In brief, this was his
‘big idea,’ and was his true mission in life.


He obtained various medical positions during 1780-83, but soon after
his marriage [1782] he became increasingly disenchanted with the
imperfections of medical practice, [Haehl, vol. 1, 29, 33; Cook, 47,
52] and turned once again to translation work to enhance his modest
income and to feed his growing family. On moving to Dresden in 1784,
and by this time hugely dissatisfied with the harmfulness and
inefficacy of medicine, he gave up medical practice entirely so as to
devote himself to translation work on a full-time basis. In Dresden,
“Hahnemann…practised his profession only to obtain definite proofs
against it.” [Gumpert, 49] He already knew it was harmful and
uncurative. Now he wanted to reform it, to wrest victory from the jaws
of defeat.

He then embarked on many travels. For example, in 12 years from
1792-1804, he lived in fourteen different towns. During this important
phase of “his restless wandering life,” [Haehl, vol. 1, 23] he was a
lonely figure, thoroughly disgusted with medicine [Cook, 52; Haehl,
vol. 1, 64] and completing many translations for his sole income.
Between 1777 and 1806 he translated 24 large textbooks and numerous
articles into German, usually accompanied with extensive footnotes and
detailed corrections of his own. What we might term ‘Hahnemann’s
mission,’ formulated mostly in the ‘wandering years,’ [1783-1804] was
to find out why the medicine of his day was such a total failure and
what useful things could be gleaned from a sustained study of the
medical past, so as to piece together, hopefully, some salvaged scraps
and build something that both ‘worked and made sense;’ he craved a
medical system that did both.


After finally settling down in Torgau in 1804 he started to commit to
paper those ideas that had been troubling him during his wandering
years and the results of his many experiments. In 1804, with “this
restless inclination for travelling,” [Haehl, vol. 1, 47] finally
expended, he settled in Torgau, “for seven whole years,” [Haehl, vol.
1, 72] – 1804-1811 – and began to write a series of important essays:
all “his chief works were produced in the Torgau period,” [Haehl, vol.
1, 74] within which every detail of his new system was taking shape.
Into these essays were instilled everything he had discovered in his
restless wandering, deriving from his provings, his thinking and his
extended studies.

What he Roundly Condemned

It is quite obvious and beyond any reasonable doubt that Hahnemann had
thoroughly scoured all prior medical systems for truth. Knowing this
gives us a key to unlock many mysteries. This especially occurred
during the time when he was most fully absorbed in translation work,
roughly between 1783 and 1804. As a result, he specifically rejected,
and often roundly condemned, Galen, Paracelsus, contraries,
signatures, astrology, mixed drugs, strong doses, prayers, spells,
incantations, purging, bleeding, enemas [clysters], and the prevalent
notion of cleansing or purifying the blood or bowels of alleged ‘toxic
material.’ He “was a most passionate opponent of mixed doses that
contained a large number of ingredients.” [Gumpert, 96] He sought to
“do away with the blind chimney sweeper’s methods of dulling
symptoms,” [Gumpert, 99] then so much in vogue.

Hahnemann frequently condemned many aspects of ancient medicine, such
as speculative metaphysics: astrology and theology, and their medieval
supernatural garb, with which he had only limited patience:
“…metaphysical, mystical, and supernatural speculations, which idle
and self-sufficient visionaries have devised;” [Dudgeon, The Lesser
Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, 491] “…now the influence of the stars,
now that of evil spirits and witchcraft…” [Lesser Writings, 1805,
421] In an especially contemptuous blast, Hahnemann even questions how
“old astrology was to explain what puzzled modern natural
philosophy.” [Lesser Writings, 490] And, “…we were fooled by the
natural philosophers….their whole conception – so unintelligible, so
hollow and unmeaning, that no clear sense could be drawn from
it.” [Lesser Writings, 1808, 494]

Medieval medicine regarded disease and cure as God’s work and an
aspect of His plan for each person. Cure would come through
purification, abstinence, repentance and doing good works, as well as
the deployment of herbal simples: “…above all, sickness was regarded
as the finger of Providence. God used illness for a multitude of
higher purposes…as a punishment…” [Porter, 1987, 27] Although
medieval medicine portrayed itself as ‘Christian healing’, yet it
still retained, even towards 1700, many of its more ancient magical
ideas and practices: “…in the world in which the ancestors of modern
medicine practised…religion and medicine can scarcely be teased
apart.” [see Lawrence]

Disease was therefore seen as “a supernatural phenomenon governed by a
hierarchy of vital powers…disharmony in these vital powers can cause
illness. Thus, ancestral spirits can make a person ill. Ingredients
obtained from animals, plants, and other objects can restore the
decreased power in a sick person and therefore have medicinal
properties.” [Kale, BMJ 1995]

There is no doubt that “throughout the Middle Ages and into the 16th
and 17th centuries…disease [was] associated with the work of Satan and
with demonic possession. Plagues and pestilences were believed to be
visitations from God, to punish or try sinful people. Protestants long
continued to see disease as the finger of Providence.”[Porter, 1987,
14] In terms of the nature of pathology and the real causes of human
sickness: “God heals and the doctor takes the fee,” [Benjamin
Franklin] or “God heals and the physician hath the thanks.” [George
Herbert] These topics are just as alive today as they were in
Hahnemann’s time.

Goethe “rejected mechanistic views of life in favour of a philosophy
of holism.”[Porter, 1998, 249] Paracelsus “saw the essence of disease
as spiritual;”[Porter, 1998, 203] according to him, “living processes…
depended upon what he called ‘archei’, the internal living properties
controlling processes like digestion…and ‘semina’, or seeds deriving
from God…who orchestrated nature.”[Porter, 1998, 202] He saw the
causes of disease in “poisonous emanations from the stars or minerals
from the earth, especially salts.”[Porter, 1998, 203] The medieval
physician had always felt that “he had dressed the wound but God had
healed the patient.”[Porter, 1998, 188] Ancient physicians generally
adhered to the view of medicine as one of “supporting the patient and
trusting the healing power of nature.”[Porter, 1998, 260]

Lest we forget, “Hahnemann took ten years to test his general rule
[similia] before he used potencies at all…the infinitesimal dose…is
not laid down on theoretical grounds…[he] developed it…from experiment
alone…[which was] Hahnemann’s doctrine and practice throughout his
life,” [Dr Charles Wheeler, 1944, 169]. As late as “the 1650s, doctors
still spoke largely of the sick man’s humors rather than of any
particular entity from which he suffered.” [Shryock, 12] And even in
Hahnemann’s time, the continued domination of medicine by the Greek
theory of humours also gave some sanction to the strong purificatory
measures preferred by all physicians, even extending down to the

Rather Sweeping Condemnations

He therefore rejected outright the tenets of medieval Galenism and
most of its underpinning theoretical support structures [what we might
term ‘medical theology’]. He specifically condemned them not only as
antiquated, outdated and useless therapeutic measures, but also as
unhelpful, inaccurate, ineffective, misleading and endangering to
patient health.

We need to ask how valid his condemnations actually were. Some of
these objections were theoretical and some were based in his own
dismal medical practice, his own first-hand clinical experience. Added
to these were also the combined experiences of many other physicians
he knew and those whose medical casenotes he had read about in the
vast medical literature to which his translation work had given him
such detailed access. As a result, he denounced the medicine of his
day as useless, uncurative, dangerous and at best only palliative.

Hahnemann did not believe in the entrenched and unquestioned ‘impurity
theory’ of disease, upon which medieval medicine was very largely
based, because medical practice had very painfully taught him that its
methods were useless and dangerous. Thus he probably felt wholly
justified in condemning, just as forcefully, the theories upon which
those methods rested. He could see that behind those methods and
theories there existed a subtle and mysterious internal ‘genotype’ of
disease cause from which chronic disease still inevitably springs even
after the use of palliative drugs have improved symptoms or subdued a
condition. He could see that strong drugs never actually cure sickness
or remove this deeper, innate tendency to sickness. They may delay
things or modify them, but they do not stop disease from arising.

It is likely that 1782-85 he only conceived of himself as a translator
of medical texts and a disgruntled critic of orthodox medicine – he
unleashed “uncontrolled and abusive attacks on contemporary
medicine.” [Cook, 105] We need to understand why. It is doubtful that
he could at that stage see beyond such a role. Apart from being an
open critic of medicine, or that he was soon to become a great pioneer
of a new system and a medical prophet. He saw drugs as at best only
palliative because they could not stop disease arising from its deeper
hidden source, from which it seems to spring relentlessly in each one
of us sooner or later. He maintained a constant dialogue between the
theory and practice of medicine and saw them both as fertile sources
always interlocked and influencing each other. Ideally for him, they
had to reflect each other; he was an intensely pragmatic man, rarely
allured solely by a theory. In this respect, he was genuinely quite
scientific in believing that something worked because it was the right
theory, and that useless methods were useless because the theory they
rested on was wrong.

Of course, he was right to condemn what he knew to be bogus – mostly
18th century ideas and methods – but was he right to condemn what he
could not know for sure if he so obviously did not fully appreciate
the theories it was based upon? At times he seems to have impatiently
condemned some practices and theories automatically, in broad brush
terms, when a theory or method that applied well to one case may not
have applied quite so well to another. Such was the nature of medieval
Physick. Thus, at times he may have committed an unworthy averaging
process in some of his more sweeping condemnations. He probably
condemned such body-purifying measures as clysters, purging, bleeding
and emesis, more on principle rather than because he had personally
investigated each of them very thoroughly through first-hand use and
found them wanting.

It is unlikely that he had tried and tested them all. He was perhaps
too sweeping in this than he could have been and so some things were
probably wrongly condemned by him in haste as useless that plainly
aren’t. As he spoke so often in such absolute terms, we are entitled
to conclude that is how he predominantly thought. Hahnemann reasoned
that because crude drugs were mainly palliative, then that was all
they could ever achieve. His reasoning was that being used habitually
in complex mixtures and in strong doses, on the basis of the invalid
principle of contraries, meant that they were utterly doomed in every
respect. If the theories were wrong, then all methods based on them
were also wrong. This is flawed reasoning, however, as some methods
might have worked but for very different reasons. Furthermore, their
true healing properties were largely obscured or unknown by their
improper mode of use and thus any healing properties single drugs
really did possess should be ascertained beforehand by provings on
healthy volunteers. His view that they should only be used singly and
in moderate doses on the basis of similars also follows from the same
line of argument: Hahnemann had noticed that “a drug imposes its own
disease on the patient and wipes out the natural disease.” [Charles
Wheeler, 170]

However, in medieval medicine the composition of mixtures of drugs
were constantly rotated by physicians to fit each individual case and
not always fixed by rote as Hahnemann implied in his harsh judgement.

Yet, in Hahnemann’s day the fine-tune technique of ancient medicine
had been abandoned in favour of more brutal methods and a heavy-handed
reliance on Greek-driven measures like purging, cupping, leeches and
opening a vein. Increasingly, these generalised and brutal methods of
treatment were used on an unquestioning, rote basis for every case, in
ignorance of individual symptom totality; fine-tuning was abandoned.
The idea of specifics came to dominate the concept of ‘disease’ and
the idea of ‘matching drug’ such that the previous medieval fine-
tuning approach became eclipsed by crude application of the same
brutal techniques to every case and a medical practice dominated by
treatment of small symptom groups conceived of as ‘diseases’ using any
drug that could subdue them.

The upshot of all this was chaos – the dangerous inefficacy of medical
practice and a deplorable explosion of theoretical nonsense.
Speculation was allowed to dominate medical theory at the same time as
barbarity dominated its technique, and for the same reasons – medicine
meandered like a rudderless ship. It was this gradual meltdown of all
common sense and gentle methods that made raised Hahnemann’s blood to
boiling point.

Experiments of his own and direct clinical experience, always his most
reliable and enduring beacons, had led Hahnemann to entirely validate
his own approach and to condemn the ancient methods: he ranted and
raved like “a raging hurricane against the old methods.” [Haehl, vol.
1, 98] Through further experiment, he refined his views towards single
drugs in minute dose, used as per similars and based upon provings,
these becoming in turn the core axioms of the homeopathic system. Such
is certainly how homeopathy came into being. It was not dreamed up
overnight or all in one piece; by contrast, it emerged in pieces over
a long period: Homeopathy, therefore, had a somewhat protracted
‘birth,’ emerging in pieces: between “1790 and 1805…homeopathy was
slowly coming to birth.” [Haehl, vol. 1, 48]

The maxim of “everything that can hurt is something that can
heal,” [Anon, Jan 1932, 135] though Hahnemann was mindful of the
nature of poisonings, [Examples of his interest in poisons include his
publications: On Poisoning by Arsenic, 1786, Directions for the
Preparation of Soluble Mercury, 1790 and What Are Poisons? What Are
Medicines?, 1806] for the same reason Shakespeare once observed: “in
the infant rind of this small flower, poison hath residence and
medicine power,” [Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 3] and
although it is self-evident that “drugs, in crude form…[do] have the
power to make even well people sick,” [Close, 54]

Mere Palliation

Hahnemann’s denunciation of crude drugs in strong doses and mixtures
as only doomed palliative measures, needs greater scrutiny. Drugs were
palliative in the sense that the most they could achieve was to subdue
symptoms and shift them around the organism, rather than eliciting
true and gentle cure by their safe removal. Even if they ‘cured’ in
the short term or in the ordinary sense of improving sickness,
Hahnemann saw later sickness episodes, of predictable types, to always
make their subsequent appearance and thus that such allopathic ‘cures’
often in truth meant only the temporary suppression of symptoms, not
the true cure he envisaged, which would involve removal of the root
cause. As ‘cures,’ they were inevitably always somewhat temporary and

Hahnemann’s conception of true cure involved the gentle removal of the
most subtle, invisible and intangible causes of sickness at the
ultimate and most fundamental level of organism functioning, not just
the removal of the main symptoms, the gross molecular and
physiological dysfunctions that preoccupied most ordinary medical
practitioners. This at least was implicit to his line of reasoning.

It is a clear and peculiar fact that Hahnemann was innately very
disinclined to accept purely chemical or physiological factors as root
causes of sickness, as most physicians still do, and he always tended
to look beyond and behind them to a more rarefied, subtle, spiritual
and non-physical realm of disease causation resident not within the
tissues but within the vital force and the case totality. This
tendency cannot have come from Vienna, Erlangen or Leipzig, but more
likely from Brukenthal and Freemasonry. For example, it became
encapsulated in Aphorism 9 of Hahnemann’s Organon, where he speaks of
the material organism being governed by a “spiritual principle…that
rules with unbounded sway.” [Organon of Medicine, 1922, Aph. 9]

The vital force literally ‘runs the show’ and elicits every change in
the case. Hahnemann’s central axiom in homeopathy is that the organism
is controlled by the vital force, which ‘rules with unbounded sway and
dominates the organism in sickness and in health’ [Organon of
Medicine, Aph. 9]. Kent then elaborates this further: “We do not take
disease through our bodies but through the Vital Force; likewise with
a true cure;” and “the law of similars is the law of similars, whether
produced by drug or disease. It is the law of Influx;” and “one who
thinks from the material, thinks disease is drawn in from without, but
it is drawn out from within.” [Kent, 1926] Hence, homeopathic
treatment always aims to strengthen the innate healing power or vital
force. [Haehl, 1922; I, 64, 284, 289]

Because the vital force ‘runs the whole show,’ so it is also that
which cures disease, not the homeopath and not the remedy – it truly
is the ‘innate healing power’. We should always “remember that it is
our duty to help nature as far as possible do her job.” [Bodman, Sir
John Weir Obituary, 1971, 225] Medicine involves an attempt “to
restore health…an attempt to restore balance,” [Dr Charles Wheeler
Obituary, 1947, 1] for true “health is simply the balanced
life.” [ibid; 4]

Such innate self-healing powers, “the self-rectifying powers of the
vis medicatrix;”[Simpson, 82] the “natural sanative powers of the
constitution,”[Simpson, 81] “the curative powers of nature,”[Simpson,
88] and “the vital dynamism,”[Simpson, 23] are valid forces at work in
every one of us and the enhancement of those powers is the primary
task of all natural healing. Homeopathic remedies do not heal
directly, but, like other natural healing modalities, act indirectly
by stimulating these innate healing powers of the organism: “remember
that it is our duty to help nature as far as possible do her
job,”[Bodman, op cit, 225] Yet, allopathy is saddled with a ‘quick
fix’ mentality, what Maizes and Caspi call “the fixing paradigm,” that
blithely ignores the innate healing powers.

The innate self-healing powers are discussed at length in The Organon:
“it is only this spiritual, self acting (automatic) vital force,
everywhere present in his organism, that is primarily deranged by the
dynamic influence upon it of a morbific agent inimical to
life,”[Organon of Medicine, Aph. 11] for it is “the morbidly affected
vital force alone that produces disease,”[ibid; Aph. 12] and cure must
remove, “all such morbid derangements (diseases)…by the spirit-like
(dynamic, virtual) alterative powers of the serviceable medicines
acting upon our spirit-like vital force,”[ibid; Aph. 15] for, “it is
only by their dynamic action on the vital force that remedies are able
to re-establish and do actually re-establish health and vital
harmony.”[ibid; Aph. 16]

There is thus a strange ambiguity in his mentality, an inconsistency
in his approach to medicine, that strongly condemn signatures,
astrology and life-meaning theology, incantations, etc on one side [as
did most of his contemporaries], but on the other side resist the
enchantment of the materialistic philosophy of chemical and
mechanistic ‘machine patter’ of the iatrochemists and the pneumatists
[unlike his contemporaries]. He therefore reveals an ambivalence,
giving homeopathy firm roots in both camps of medical thought, but not
wholly committed to either. He wished to render homeopathy into a
truly curative system that gently subdued disease, but that also went
straight to the root of disease causes and removed them. Experience
had robbed him of what little faith he once had that chemical drugs
could ever achieve such a noble aim.

The Subtle Realm of Disease Cause

In his slow and quiet way, Hahnemann made some startling discoveries,
which are still perfectly valid today. Apart from finally confirming
the superiority of similars, single drugs, moderate doses and
provings, by the 1790s his single most important discovery might well
have been that all ordinary medical treatments could only ever
palliate, alleviate or suppress symptoms and never truly cure at the
deeper, fundamental level. This revelation suggested to him that no
previous medical system had ever gotten to the bottom of disease, or
reached the true, deeper, innate causes of disease, let alone ever
removed them. He saw that sickness just keeps coming back over and
over often in new mutated forms [the hydra-headed?]. The source from
which it springs had thus never been severed.

They have always regarded drug-induced changes in cases as
fundamentally uncurative acts: any “removal of the tangible products
of disease…does not cure the disease, but does the patient a positive
injury.” [Close, 73] As Close then adds, “the suppressed case always
goes bad,” [Close, 75] to which Kent adds: “all prescriptions that
change the image of a case cause suppression.” [Kent, Lesser Writings,
661] For Van Helmont too, “every disease had a vital principle of its
own [archeus] which could be treated by a specific medico-spiritual
response.”[Porter, 1998, 208] He believed that “all objects, minerals
included, were alive…matter was charged with a specific disposition
[archeus], which created life.” [Porter, 1998, 208] He also
“postulated the existence of ‘blas’…the heart of the human body…[a]
life-force dominated all corporeal processes…a health-defending
property.”[Porter, 1998, 208] All these views can be seen as the
conceptual precursors to homeopathy, ground already laid out for the
foundation of another building – vital force and miasms.

Hahnemann describes the development of diseases in the ongoing life of
the person [or family, or race, or humanity] mutating through time
[“the hydra-headed miasm”] and able periodically to throw to the
surface very different ‘disease events’ springing forth from the same
hidden root cause in the invisible and intangible realm of the non-
molecular. This describes very clearly his depiction of the true
nature of the miasms: a hidden realm of disease cause, and a genotype
from which the expressed and visible symptoms, the phenotype of
disease, periodically erupt at the surface and which we tend to see
before us as separate ‘diseases’. From “frequent observations,
Hahnemann had discovered that chronic maladies…had some connection
with a previous outbreak of Psora.” [Haehl, vol. 1, 138] To Hahnemann,
Psora was “a disease or disposition to disease, hereditary from
generation to generation for thousands of years, and…the fostering
soil for every possible diseased condition.” [Haehl, vol. 1, 144]

It seems natural for homeopaths to be suspicious of and unsatisfied
with the solely molecular, mechanistic and tangible explanation or
technique of crude drugging for specifics [allopathy]. Being daily
used to seeing into the realm of the subtle and intangible, with their
more subtle form of vision, it is only natural for them to seek out
deeper root causes in such a realm that lies behind and beyond the
solely molecular realm, which seems so satisfying to allopaths and
scientists. By employing intangible and non-molecular remedies and
seeing their often spectacular effects in the clinical sphere, it is
not so surprising that they have come to develop such deep respect for
non-molecular theories of life, disease causation and cure.

For “what we cannot see directly with the corporeal eye, we may yet be
able to perceive indirectly, by the eye of reason,” [King, 1963; 23]
It is similarly true in homeopathy that “the distinction between
observation and inference, between empiricism and rationalism, is
basically artificial, since neither can exist without a substantial
share of the other…in almost every statement, some observation and
some inference are involved…the further we get from direct
observation, the more we depend on inference and reasoning,” [ibid;

Hahnemann basically agrees with van Helmont and Paracelsus that the
root causes of sickness do not reside in the outer, tangible and
visible aspects of disease manifestations, the phenotype, but rather
in the deeper essence or genotype. Symptoms are not seen by homeopaths
as the disease, but as the results, the end-products, of deeper
dynamic disease processes: “tissue changes…are but the results of
disease;” [Kent, 1926, 672; Pagel, 1972, 419-454; see also Pagel,
1944, 44 pages] “a cure is not a cure unless it destroys the internal
or dynamic cause of disease.” [Kent, 1926, 673]

Homeopaths have generally, interpreted the phenomena of life, disease
and cure through essentialist eyes: “the outer world is the world of
results.” [Kent, 657; see also Coulter, iii, 334 re essence; also
Mayr, 1982, 38, 87, 304-5; Bullock & Trombley, 1999, 282-3]

Close states that “the gross, tangible, lesions and products in which
disease ultimates are not the primary object of the homeopathic
prescription.” [Close, 38] Close goes right to the heart of the matter
in stating that it is not symptoms that need correction, but function.
“Function creates the organs…function reveals the condition of the
organs,” [Close, 38] and he further reveals that “the totality of the
functional symptoms of the patient is the disease.” [Close, 38] This
somewhat flies in the face of the Hughes/Dudgeon claim that disease is
a localised affair, a material affair that must be treated with
material doses – tinctures, 1x and 3x. But, seizing his quarry firmly,
Close deepens the real focus of homeopathy not upon the tissues, but
into “the realm of pure dynamics;” [Close, 39] what he calls the
“sphere of homeopathy is limited primarily to the functional changes
from which the phenomena of disease arise.” [Close, 40-41]

Symptoms have never been seen by homeopaths as the disease, but as the
results, the end-products, of deeper dynamic disease processes:
“tissue changes…are but the results of disease;” [Kent, Lesser
Writings, 672] “a cure is not a cure unless it destroys the internal
or dynamic cause of disease.” [Kent, Lesser Writings, 673] When Close
states that the “real cure…takes place solely in the functional and
dynamical sphere,” [Close, 42] we can see that his emphasis has
shifted away from any visible pathology resident in the organs,
tissues and cells, to the underlying vital and dynamic processes that
underpin and derange the cells and tissues.

Close validates this view by tracing it back to its true source:
“Hahnemann introduces us into the realm of dynamics, the science…of
motion. In medicine dynamical commonly refers to functional as opposed
to organic disease.” [Close, 59] Power does not reside in the body, in
the tissues or the cells themselves, it “resides at the
centre;” [Close, 61] disease “is the suffering of the
dynamis.” [Close, 72] Close devotes considerable energy to clearly
defining disease; an effort which repays close study. For example, he
says that “homeopathy does not treat disease; it treats
patients.” [Close, 51] Disease, he claims, is “an abnormal vital
process;” [Close, 60] “a dynamic aberration of our spirit-like
life;” [Close, 67] “a perverted vital action;” [Close, 70] it is “not
a thing, but only the condition of a thing;” [Close, 70] that in the
last analysis disease is “primarily only an altered state of life and
mind.” [Close, 71] This is akin to Kent’s likening of cure to a
qualitative re-tuning of a piano, [Kent, Lesser Writings, 664-5] and
is all a very far cry from using remedies in material doses [1x or 3x]
for named conditions.

Close lays bare its deeper nature when he says disease is “primarily a
morbid disturbance or disorderly action of the vital powers and
functions,” [Close, 74] or “purely a dynamical disturbance of the
vital principle.” [Close, 74] Furthermore, he logically pronounces
that because “disease is always primarily a morbid dynamical or
functional disturbance of the vital principle,” [Close, 88] so in turn
it is clear that “functional or dynamic change always precedes tissue
changes,” [Close, 71] and that cure has been established only “when
every perceptible sign of suffering of the dynamis has been
removed.” [Close, 73] For Close, it is precisely upon such reasons and
definitions that “the entire edifice of therapeutic medication
governed by the law of Similia,” [Close, 88] has been conceived and
constructed. All these insightful statements elaborated by Close might
be said to derive from Kent, but, as he insists, they also flow
naturally from Hahnemann’s own sentiments in the Organon: [Hahnemann,
Organon, Aphorisms 11 [9, 10], 15 and 16] “let it be granted
now…that no disease…is caused by any material substance, but that
every one is only and always a peculiar, virtual, dynamic derangement
of the health.” [Organon, Introduction, 10]

As Close says, disease cause therefore also exists solely in “the
realm of pure dynamics;” [Stuart Close, The Genius of Homeopathy,
Lectures and Essays on Homeopathic Philosophy, New York, 1924; 39]
what he calls the “sphere of homeopathy is limited primarily to the
functional changes from which the phenomena of disease arise,” [ibid;
40-41] Therefore, the removal [correction might be a better word] of
the internal damage [miasm] is the removal of the cause; which is not
the same as removing the symptoms: “In faithful treatment, it is
sought to accomplish an end far more subtle than the mechanical
removal of bacilli.” [Nichols, 1891, 233-234]

Why Modern Medicine Does not Cure

These same observations Hahnemann made even apply today. Modern drugs
manifestly do not really cure, they only palliate for a time. They
create merely an illusion of cure. There is just as much disease in
the world today as ever there was, if not more. The medicine of today
has indeed “reduced the patient’s autonomy to a therapeutic choice of
drugs or surgery,”[Diamond, 2001; 11] which stands as a chilling
indictment of its claim to cure disease, which is nothing other than a
sorry state of medical dependency masquerading as true cure. This
woeful situation obviously flies in the face of Kent’s insistence that
cure should: “leave the patient in freedom always.”[Kent, 1900, 160-1]
Aphorism 1 of The Organon states the mission of the physician to heal
gently and safely, to place the patient in greater freedom: “to
establish freedom should be the aim of the physician, and if a
physician’s work does not result in placing his patient in freedom he
cannot heal the sick,”[ibid, 79]

Medicine, in spite of the entire scientific advance of two centuries,
is still not curing disease, nor is it reaching behind the molecular
level to remove the innate tendency towards sickness. The deeper
causes of sickness that Hahnemann identified as non-molecular are
still not being tackled two centuries later. His theory of miasms was
a good attempt to explain where sickness originates. He satisfied
himself further that only potentised drugs could reach deeper into
this non-molecular realm of disease cause. Modern medicine is
evidently just as incapable of doing so as its 18th century

When the bullets stop coming, you are entitled to believe the guns
have been silenced or even gone altogether. Thus, when disease stops
appearing, the causes can be assumed to have been removed. This was
his line of reasoning. Hahnemann’s observations of medical practice,
combined with his prolonged analytical studies, convinced him of a
range of new medical truths even before he embarked on a path of
continued original experimentation. What he clearly observed two
hundred years ago is still true today – people show an innate tendency
towards sickness, to sickness episodes that tend to recur, to
conditions that mutate through time, to chronic and serious disease
and this tendency is not in decline, but on the increase, or at least
as active as it ever was. This clearly observable aspect of modern
disease is seemingly unaffected by drug-based treatments and is not
diminishing. Chemical drugs today manifestly do not reach the heart of
the matter; they do not cure.

If medicine were truly working, then we would see a very different
picture. We would see these tendencies on the decline, disease in
retreat, with the mass of disease declining. We would see sickness
going into reverse, being pushed back by medical advance. This is
precisely what we do not see in the world today. Therefore, it seems
safe to conclude, that the innate, deeper, genotypic causes of disease
are just as alive today, just as active in the organism, as they were
two centuries ago. Although the nature of sickness has changed, and
the old infectious conditions have largely disappeared, yet the
overall burden of disease is the same if not even greater than it was.
Who is to say that the removal of the one has been obtained at the
expense of the other?

Yet, there is a contrast when we look at adults and children who are
treated with homeopathy for any length of time. This is especially
apparent when you look at whole families who use homeopathy. They do
not show the same general tendency towards sickness, to simple
recurrent diseases or to chronic or relapsing conditions that are so
evident in the main population who are treated allopathically. Nor do
they show the same tendency towards chronic and serious diseases. They
show less disease, less recurrent disease, less serious disorders,
greater resistance to infections, than their peers, and a general
level of good health and well-being that is considerably higher than
the average population. This is especially apparent in children and
young adults.

This is not simply my own observation. Such observations are common to
all families who use homeopathy regularly and all homeopaths confirm
this same pattern. This applies as much to mental health as to
physical. Therefore, one feels entitled to conclude from this that, as
in Hahnemann’s day, human beings today still react positively to
homeopathic treatment and that it does indeed successfully subdue and
progressively eliminate sickness and above all the hidden, genotypic
predisposition towards recurrent disease. It removes the causes of
sickness that lie buried deep within the organism: the gun is

Origins of Homeopathy

All this modern material ties in very neatly with the main concerns
that Hahnemann immersed himself in two centuries ago. What Hahnemann
was primarily appalled and disgusted by and which he most vigorously
and passionately opposed were strong doses of drugs, bloodletting and
compound drug mixtures conceived and employed along the Galenic lines
of contraries. These were the biggest objections he made against the
medicine of his day. He was implacably opposed to them because he
could see from first-hand daily experience that they were dismally
ineffective measures to be employed against sickness, and they were
also harmful and damaging to patients as well; they caused more
suffering. Thus, he stood alone in having the courage and intellectual
honesty to abandon in disgust such a medical practice, and to commit
himself instead to a search for more gentle, benign and effective
therapeutic measures. Who could possibly stand up and condemn him for
doing that?

His starting point obviously suggested that he use single drugs in
moderate doses and not contraries. We should not forget that his
search was rooted in the sombre and very despondent basis of his deep
dissatisfaction with his chosen profession. It commenced 1781-2 in a
fairly lacklustre and haphazard manner, into the medical past for any
evidence of true cures attributable to using single drugs on the basis
of similars and in moderate doses. He found evidence for all these
principles and also some for the curative effects of one similar
disease upon another, but not for dissimilar diseases. Together with
the records of poisonings, he soon amassed considerable evidence not
only for using moderate doses of single drugs, but that they should be
employed on the basis of similars rather than contraries. He also
accrued abundant evidence of the health damaging effects of contraries
and high doses.

This mass of evidence gradually convinced him to use similar drugs in
moderate doses and to commence provings [1790] to ascertain more
precisely [than signatures] the real therapeutic properties of drugs.
This was his attempt to cast aside and move beyond the entrenched and
centuries-old ‘doctrine of signatures,’ which was, to his mind, a
ridiculous, hit-and-miss method that was vague and often thoroughly

He was also disparaging about the doctrine of signatures. [Hobhouse,
137-8; Hahnemann’s Lesser Writings, 502-3, 670; Haehl, 1, 23; & 2,
10-11] In his Materia Medica Pura we read under Chelidonium: ‘The
ancients imagined that the yellow colour of the juice of this plant
was an indication (signature) of its utility in bilious diseases…the
importance of human health does not admit of any such uncertain
directions for the employment of medicines. It would be criminal
frivolity to rest contented with such guesswork at the bedside of the
sick.” [Hobhouse, 138] Hence we behold his fundamental ambivalence.

Even when the Organon insists that “the…virtues of medicines cannot
be apprehended by…smell, taste, or appearance…or from chemical
analysis, or by treating disease with one or more of them in a
mixture…” [Organon; v.110].

The only sane and rational means to discover the actual, pure and real
[repeatable] i.e. scientific properties of drugs was to initiate mild
medical poisonings [provings] and to record in detail their manifold
effects on the organism – their ability to derange health. By proving
drugs on the healthy, he could more clearly establish an area of
compatibility between the health-deranging effects of real diseases on
the one side, and the health-deranging effects of such artificial
diseases [provings] caused by drugs, on the other side. Detailed
comparisons between these two datasets might then yield greater
therapeutic success than continued adherence to the old-fashioned,
haphazard and in his view doomed method of signatures – a battered and
rusty old lamp that seemed to obscure in shadows as many medical
truths as it illuminated. Likewise, he could compare contraries and
similars, strong doses versus small and mixed drugs versus single
drugs. By proceeding precisely in this systematic manner, Hahnemann
uncovered the core truths of his new system.

Hahnemann had actually embarked single-handed upon a radical programme
of medical reform: to clear away the dusty, centuries-old methods, the
outdated dead wood of useless practices that were manifestly
uncurative and harmful and which blocked progress, and replace them
with new methods that were simpler, more effective and thus superior.

When Cooper declares that “all great improvements in science are made
by men who throw off the trammels of previous teachings and begin by a
complete and radical overhauling of the entire subject,” [Cooper,
1894, 389], then he certainly encapsulates Hahnemann’s bold,
freethinking spirit of inquiry. Hahnemann’s original and gargantuan
task had been to “break through the orthodoxy…[and] sweep away the
painstaking edifices of their honourable but limited predecessors who…
tend to imprison thought within their own tidy but fatally
misconceived constructions.” [Berlin, 1986; 72]

His research showed that the whole edifice of official, Galenic
medicine had been founded on entirely wrong premises – upon
contraries, strong doses of compound drug mixtures, instead of
similars, single drugs in moderate doses; upon the shifting sands of
signatures rather than the hard factual rocks of provings. All this
inevitably brought him into conflict with orthodoxy.

Protest against homeopathy

To some extent, the storm of protest that greeted the birth of
homeopathy and which was unleashed on Hahnemann personally, was a
storm of indignation by the mainstream against a single physician who
had the breathtaking audacity to step forward and challenge
officialdom and say its was entirely wrong. Such a damburst of protest
can be seen as the natural and instinctive reaction of orthodox and
well-established vested interest whenever official orthodoxy is
prickled or challenged: something of a David and Goliath situation?

It needs to be made clear that in no sense whatsoever did such a
reaction stem from anything approaching a calm and rational appraisal
of the true merits of homeopathy, or from people who were remotely
intent on conducting a sober and sympathetic investigation of it,
giving it a try and then filing a balanced and neutral report. Quite
the contrary, it signalled a mass emotional response of a slightly
paranoid, defensive profession with a mass closing of ranks against an
obvious enemy, a traitor, which had to be both publicly repulsed and
publicly defeated. The chief method employed to achieve this objective
was a sustained and vigorous campaign of ridicule and condemnation
against homeopathy: attacks upon him and upon homeopathy became
increasingly coordinated, amounting to a “vicious campaign of
persecution,” [Cook, 124].

Such has been the official attitude towards homeopathy ever since
those early days and it must be viewed exactly for what it is. It
never has been and is still not a carefully researched and reasoned
response to the claims of homeopathy, nor an impartial assessment of
Hahnemann’s case, his clinical track record or the mass of detailed
evidence he had accrued over many years against the methods and
theories of Old Physick.


To really understand Hahnemann, we must look in the first phase at
that which he condemned in allopathy and why. For in those
condemnations hides his anger and his passion against the betrayal he
felt at being trained in a medicine that was so useless. It was an
embarrassment. The anger he felt simmered like a volcano until it
exploded in rage at what nonsense his colleagues believed in and the
dangerous and injurious medical treatments they dished out to the poor
patient every day. Hahnemann refused to be part of such a blind,
corrupt and murderous form of medicine. Study what he condemned and
what he attacked and you can begin to see the puzzle unfold as it did
for him haphazardly over twenty years. By examining what he condemned
and asking why, we gain great insights into his approach and the
situation he found himself in.

The core principles of homeopathy, each is a shadow of something in
Old Physick or allopathy.

Similars is the shadow of contraries, a dominant concept in allopathy
since the time of Galen [2nd century]

Using single drugs is the shadow of the mixed drugs used in allopathy.

Using small doses forms the shadow of the large doses of allopathy.

Provings are the shadow of poisonings accumulated over many centuries;
a proving is a mild form of poisoning. Provings also displace
signatures as a source of reliable drug information.

Case totality is a product of close observation of cases and also
derives from provings; it is the shadow of specific named diseases, a
concept Hahnemann rejected. Case totality is also a monument to
Hahnemann’s superior observational skills.

The drug picture is a result of case totality and the proving but is
also a distant shadow of the doctrine of signatures.

Hahnemann had great interest in poisons: because of their very great
power to derange health; in the first phase of his research he sought
to find ways of taming these prodigious weapons and so convert them
into gentle healing tools. In this was the maxim that what causes can
also cure.

The contents of the old materia medica were entirely the products of
folk medicine, old wives tales and the doctrine of signatures. These
had been authorised and validated only by a succession of eminent
doctors down the ages, who tended to repeat what their forebears had
said. Hahnemann rebelled both against the drugs selected on such a
ridiculous basis as well as the authorities who had validated them. He
held such authorities in contempt and he blamed them alone for the
appalling state of medicine in his day.

He condemned whatever was ineffective and uncurative; he condemned
whatever was harmful; yet he had in the beginning no alternatives and
simply had to give up medical practice. Most things he saw as both
harmful and uncurative like emesis, purgation, bleeding and sweating.
These core practices of allopathy he regarded as having no value
whatever because they did not achieve cures and they harmed patients.
Or in some cases, they only palliated symptoms without curing them.

His opposition was instinctive; he had no reasons and no alternatives
but he simply felt in his heart that medicine was too dangerous for
him to give his patients. He knew that it was damaging and uncurative
on instinct and this describes his mentality very well. It is an
insight that only comes to us now through prolonged reflection on the
details of his life and conduct; it cannot be seen directly in the
evidence. It is normally hidden. It is a good example of how history
can enrich our understanding of homeopathy.

There are in homeopathy no specific named diseases that affect whole
populations; there is just each case that must be assessed on its own
peculiar merits.

There are no mass treatments that can be given to everyone or to a
disease label; each case must be treated individually.

There are no single disease entities, just the whole person, body and
mind in which diseases and remedies enter and perform like actors on a

The law of similars began innocently enough with examples like Mercury
and Syphilis or Belladonna and Scarlet fever. Hahnemann soon realised
that very close similarity and case totality were required for it to
work best. Each case must be carefully individualised to the single
drug for success. Similars alone was not enough.

Homeopathy was created by Hahnemann in the light of its predecessor,
allopathy, and the main elements of homeopathy are like ghosts or
shadows of the main elements in allopathy.

As we have seen, these shadows or ghosts are in every case the
opposite of the corresponding idea or method in allopathy. Hahnemann
deliberately chose the opposite of things in the useless allopathic
system in order to obtain something better than it.


Isaiah Berlin, The Sense of Reality – Studies in Ideas and Their
History, London: Pimlico, 1986; 72

Frank Bodman, Sir John Weir Obituary, Brit. Homeo. Jnl 60.1, 1971,

A Bullock & S Trombley, The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought,
London: Harper-Collins, 3rd Edition, 1999

Thomas L Bradford, Life and Letters of Hahnemann, 1895

Charles Burford, Dr Clarke Memorial Meeting [Obituaries], Brit. Homeo.
Jnl Jan 1932, 135

George Burford, Dr Charles Wheeler Obituary, Brit. Homeo. Jnl 37.1,
April 1947, 1-11

Trevor Cook, Samuel Hahnemann, the Founder of Homeopathy, UK:
Thorsons, 1981

Robert T Cooper, Some Results of Single Doses, Homeopathic World, Sept
1 1894, 389-393

Harris L Coulter, Divided Legacy – A study of the Schism in Medical
Thought, 3 vols, Washington: Wehawken Books, 1973

W John Diamond, The Clinical Practice of Complementary, Alternative
and Western Medicine, Washington: CRC Press, 2001

R E Dudgeon, The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, London: Leith &
Ross, 1895,

Benjamin Franklin, [1706-1790] Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1744

Martin Gumpert, Hahnemann – the Adventurous Career of a Medical Rebel,
New York: Fischer, 1945

Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine, combined 5th/6th editions,
translated and edited by Boericke and Dudgeon, 1922,

Richard Haehl, Samuel Hahnemann: His Life and Works, 2 volumes, 1922

George Herbert, [1593-1633] Jacula Prudentum, 1620

Rosa W Hobhouse, Life of Hahnemann, India: Harjeet Co, 1933

Rajendra Kale, Education and Debate, South African Health: Traditional
healers in South Africa: a parallel health care system, BMJ 1995; 310:
1182-85 (6 May 1995)

James T Kent, Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy, California: N
Atlantic Books, 1980, originally published, Chicago: Ehrhart & Karl,

James T Kent, Lesser Writings, New Remedies, Aphorisms and Precepts,

Lester S King, The Growth of Medical Thought, Chicago: Univ. Chicago
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Ernst Mayr, The Growth of Biological Thought, Cambridge, Mass: Belknap
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C F Nichols, Homeopathy in Relation to the Koch Controversy, Science,
17: 429, April 24, 1891, 233-234

Walter Pagel, Van Helmont’s Concept of Disease, Bull Hist Med 46.5,
Sept 1972, 419-454

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Was Kent a Hahnemannian?

This article voices concern at the trend among influential numbers of homeopaths the world over, to jettison Hahnemann’s similimum principle, and replace it with Kent’s almost exclusive concentration on mental and psychic symptoms.

Was Kent a Hahnemannian? This question has engaged the minds of many thinking homeopaths since the time of Kent.

Over the years, there have been two distinct trends of thought on this controversy. One critical school argued that Hahnemann’s theories were scientific and that Kent’s views were ‘metaphysical’.

The second school of thought accused Hahnemann himself of being metaphysical but only in his later period. This school held that Hahnemann increasingly lost his way into metaphysical homeopathy as he grew older. Anthony Campbell, representing this school, charged that Kent was a follower of this later Hahnemann but went much further incorporating into homeopathy many of the mystical concepts of Swedenborg.

In order to discuss these two schools of thought, I propose to investigate two fundamental aspects of Hahnemann’s theory, leaving the third one, the theory of Miasm for future discussion. These two are: Vitalism and Dynamization (also known as Potentization).

Campbell condemned all these three theories of Hahnemann and to a much greater extent, of Kent, as metaphysical. By ‘metaphysical’ Campbell closely followed Karl Popper’s renowned definition of the criterion of scientific status. This was that all theories or concepts that were inherently incapable of falsification were metaphysical. At the same time, Campbell enlisted a mechanistic 18th century criterion for his metaphysical definition. “By definition”, he wrote, “the vital force cannot be seen or weighed; it cannot be detected by the senses or with instruments. It remains a mere theoretical construct and is no more accessible to scientific investigation than is the soul or the ether.” (1) Nietzsche, the great German secular philosopher of the late 19th century was a fierce opponent of such mechanistic interpretation. He wrote that such a view “that permits counting, calculating, weighing, seeing and touching and nothing more, is a crudity and naiveté, assuming that it is not a mental illness or idiocy.”(2)

Moreover, Hahnemann was following the ideas of Leibniz and Wolffe, thinkers of impeccable philosophical credentials. According to Leibniz the world is fully alive with beings animated by live forces he named as ‘monads’. Hahnemann used this concept of Leibniz and others to develop his theory of Vitalism in homeopathic medicine. Like the ‘monads’, vital force was alive but not amenable to Campbell’s crudely mechanistic interpretation.
Hahnemann’s theory of Vitalism
For the purpose of our present discussion, vitalism and dynamization are being considered together because it was the process of dynamization, which, according to Hahnemann, released the spirit-like vital force of the remedies.

It is important to note that Hahnemann arrived at the theory of vitalism not as the result of any predilection for such a concept, but in order to explain the results of his experiments with smaller and smaller doses of medicines. He originally reduced the dose in order to reduce the toxic effects or aggravations caused by these medicines used in more concentrated form. But besides reducing the toxic side effects, he soon noticed that greater benefits were obtained when the indicated medicine was used in a diluted form. It was only after Hahnemann had observed this enhanced therapeutic effect with increasing dilution and succussion that the connection between dynamization and vitalism began to take shape in his mind.

Hahnemann started to use gradually increasing dilutions of up to 30C. But he was against the use of any higher potency beyond 30C until 1833. However, since there is not a single molecule of medicine left after 12c, we were already in the realm of Campbell’s ‘metaphysics’ as early as 1814-16 rather than 1821 as claimed by him. Moreover, it also shows that there was no break in Hahnemann’s thinking but a gradual evolution of his thinking based on practice and experience. Even at the time of the publication of his Chronic Diseases in 1828, and indeed as late as 1833, Hahnemann was not in favour of the use of potencies above 30C.

Hahnemann then went on to suggest that every human organism, whatever its state of health, was ruled by its vital force. A similar vital force was lying dormant in each natural substance, which was then released by the process of dilution and succussion. When the released vital force of the medicine was applied to the cause of the disease in the prescribed manner, healing resulted. The concept of vital force even in an inanimate substance being released by dynamization – that is, by serial dilution and succussion – was a far cry from the religious or esoteric concept of spiritualism. It was the crude empiricism of critics like Campbell, which rejected everything which could not be seen or weighed or measured or detected by senses as ‘metaphysical’ which was in fact out of line with the advancing knowledge.

Hahnemann realized over years of practice and experience that factors initiating disease were dynamic and were not capable of being recognized or diagnosed by physical, chemical or laboratory analysis.
Kent’s theory of vitalism

This leads us directly to Kent and his role. Kent mainly, but also Hering, brought the seminal formulations of Hahnemann into disrepute by turning his ‘vital force’ into a god-like spiritual force. For Hahnemann, the vital force was an unconscious force without the capacity for reflection, and moreover, it was present in both animate and inanimate things.

The resemblance between Hahnemann’s ‘vital force’ and the concept of Qi (Chi) in tradition Chinese medical philosophy is extremely close. The Qi like vital force is believed to be present both in animate and inanimate substances and was the source of all change.

Kent moved away from this Hahnemannian concept of the vital force. In its place, he substituted his own concept of ‘simple substance’. For him, this ‘simple substance’ was endowed with formative intelligence. In this he followed the Swedish mystic, Emanuel Swedenborg. For Swedenborg, the idea that there was a mystical correspondence between the spirit world and our own, was fundamental. Whatever happened in the spirit world must have its correspondence here on earth. It was natural for a Swedenborgian like Kent to regard this correspondence as a divinely ordained Law of Nature. This, in effect, meant that for Kent the process of discovery and advance in knowledge in any field of human endeavor through research and experiment was irrelevant. What one needed was the knowledge of the Divine Laws and this was for him the foundation of homeopathy.

Contrast between two views highlighted
There could be no greater contrast between these views of Kent and those of his supposed mentor. For Hahnemann, the true healing art is only discovered “by due attention to nature by means of our senses, by careful honest observations and experiments conducted with all possible purity and in no other way”.

Kent’s position was diametrically opposite to those who would discover facts by due attention to nature, by means of the senses, by careful honest observations and experiments, as well as interpreting the results of experiments with medicines with rational insight, as advocated by Christopher Peacocke in the Times Literary Supplement (3). Spinoza said: “So the way to understanding nature or anything of whatever kind, must always be the same, viz through the universal laws and rules of nature” (4). Hahnemann wrote in another context, “I demand no faith at all, and do not demand that anybody should comprehend it: it is enough that it is a fact and nothing else. Experience alone declares it and I believe more in experience than in my own intelligence” (5).
Kentian irrationalism
Kent was responsible for importing into Hahnemannian classical homeopathy his own dogmatic and moralistic prejudices. For him and his followers, disease was seen as “as the blight of the corrupted spirit”. It was a moral as well as physical problem and the treatment of the mind and the soul an integral aspect of the therapeutic endeavors. “For Hahnemann, the miasms had been acquired ‘infections’, but for the Swedenborgians (like Kent), they were moral taints passing from generation to generation, and psora in particular took on some of the characteristics of ‘Original Sin’ (my emphasis). (1) Thus according to Kent, all diseases were built on psora.

It was “the very primitive wrong and the spiritual weakness of the human race”. (my emphasis) (5) His main ‘philosophical’ project was to try and reconcile homeopathy with his interpretation of Christian theology, that theology and homeopathy ‘cannot be divorced’, that ‘divine providence must be recognized’

It was the association of psora to the very primitive wrong and the spiritual weakness of the human race that was the basis of the exclusive prominence given to the mental symptoms in Kent’s repertory. On the other hand, Hahnemann’s homeopathy was matching a set of symptoms with a drug picture and especially the matching of uncommon and peculiar symptoms of the patient with similar symptoms recorded during drug provings. For classical homeopathy could literally be defined as a therapeutic method which clinically applied the law of similars.
Hahnemann’s similimum principle jettisoned

This brings me to the main reason for my article. The full version of it was published in 1999. But the problem still remains. In fact during the last few years, the esoteric school – some of its exponents claiming to represent classical homeopathy of Hahnemann whereas others claiming to go beyond him- had a free rein in Homeopathic Link incurring the full wrath of Vithoulkas. This subject – with the consent of the editors – I propose to discuss in my next article.

It is to voice serious concern and even dismay at the almost unstoppable trend within a very significant and influential section of homeopaths – both lay and medically trained – to jettison Hahnemann’s similimum principle that formed the backbone of classical homeopathy, and replace it with Kent’s almost exclusive concentration on the mental symptoms.

I will illustrate with just one case I described in my original article in 1999, presented by one Dr. R. Latha Iyer in the Asian edition of Homeopathic Links. (6)

In case 2, Dr. Latha Iyer described a case in which all the ten rubrics taken were mentals. What was even worse, those taken were based on the homeopath’s own personal interpretation of patient’s history which seemed highly suspect to say the least.

The patient had no one to look after her and she therefore felt lonely. “So she also thought of committing suicide.” The rubric taken for this mild expression was ‘Loathing for life’. This sounded to me as simply incredible. ‘I was religious right from childhood’ the patient had reported. How many Indian women – and coming to that, also Indian men – were not religious from childhood? Notwithstanding, the rubric taken was ‘religious’! Another rubric was ‘Caring’ without the least evidence produced for it. Most Indian women as indeed all mothers are indeed caring for their children, especially – in the case of Indian mothers – when they also happen to be boys. ‘Caring’ might have meant something if it were shown that she was generally caring towards outsiders as well. There was nothing in her story or hobbies (watching cricket; playing carom) to indicate her ‘caring’ nature. On the contrary. Her two sons were married in her absence, presumably due to her objection to ‘intercaste’ marriages: ‘My two daughters-in law were already known to me but I still have hatred towards them’ (my emphasis) Why? Was it because her two sons’ wives came from different castes? That seems to be the most plausible explanation. Whatever the reason, one surely needed an opposite rubric to ‘caring’ if one was to be used at all. The same applied to the rubric ‘sympathetic’, which was also used.

The only mental ‘change’ (see Dr Jacques Jouanny below) reported by the patient was that she had become irritable during her illness. But that was ignored, in line with, one supposes, the attitude of Kent and his spiritualists school which went so far to say that ‘pathognomonic’ signs of the disease have no importance in the selection of the homeopathic drug. (5)

In his book entitled Essentials of Homeopathy (7) the eminent French homeopath Jacques Jouanny categorically states the opposite: “Only changes in general behaviour during the course of illness should be taken into account….” “It should never be forgotten that for Hahnemann the only reactional symptom to be considered was change in the way of feeling or acting” (my emphasis). “The character of the patient is only important if the change in the nervous behaviour occurred at the same time as the chronic disease…” As for psychic symptoms, “they are, however, too unsure for homeopathic physicians to base reactional therapy on them.”

Similar advice in a different context was given by Edward Whitmont (I hope to discuss my disagreement with other aspects of his philosophy in another article) in his seminar Opening Doors. “As soon as we enter into psychological or psychoanalytical field, we are no longer observing, we are interpreting.” Information in this field is less reliable because psychological characteristics have necessarily been based on the interpretive subjectivity of both the therapist and the patient.

Yet despite using only the mental rubrics (and even those used by Dr. Latha Iyer were, as explained in detail above, the results of a dubious interpretive subjectivity of the therapist), the remedy selected by her – namely Aurum muriaticum 200C – according to her case report, apparently worked! All one can say is that it was still not homeopathy. It might be that this and the “Essence’ school have discovered an irrational and unproven therapy based on mystical and subjective predilections of the therapist in collusion with the gullibility of the patient.

Unproven because apart from such therapists’ inevitably subjective assessments of the positive outcomes (at least, in all reported cases) from their prescriptions, there were no objective criteria available to the readers for independently evaluating the results.


1. Campbell A. Two Faces of Homeopathy Robert Hale, London, 1984
2. Nietzsche The Gay Science, p.373 – quoted by Brian Leiter in the Times Literary Supplement, p.31 October 1998
3. Peacocke C. Insights, truth and hope Times Literary Supplement p.34 – 11 September 1998
4. Leiter B. One health, one earth, one sun Times Literary Supplement p.30-31 October 2, 1998
5. Hehr G.S. Was Kent a Hahnemannian? Br Hom J 1984 – p. 71-74
6. Iyer R.L. The same but different – Homeopathic Links 1997 – p.38-39
7. Jouanny J. The Essentials of Homeopathic Materia Medica1984 – France: Boiron, p.78

Mr. Cassam was qualified as a dental surgeon at the Royal Dental Hospital in London and studied acupuncture and homeopathy in the UK. He is currently retired.


Crunch time for Priscilla

Another response to the letter posted in J.A.I.H. 2002 from Morrison et al.



Saturday 25 May 2002

Dr. George Guess


Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy


Dear Sir,

It seems remarkable that the repeated observations of Hahnemann regarding particular medicinal effects leading to his induction of a general healing principle of similarity, are themselves not sufficient to teach our profession that scientific method is itself paramount and forms the consistent basis for discovery. Hahnemann was clear in detailing the need for a rational and methodical approach to determining the curative properties of medicines,[1] based not upon some ‘essential’ quality inferred through a greater or lesser knowledge of their physical, chemical, or imagined properties,[2] but solely upon methodical experiment and observation on the healthy organism.[3]

Have homœopaths learnt nothing of this very method, spoken of by Francis Bacon,[4] and consistently applied by Hahnemann? It is on pure observation[5] alone that Homœopathy continues to exist (despite much opposition), since simple “logic” cannot explain why a substance capable of producing symptoms is equally capable of removing similar symptoms (Similia), just as logic cannot explain the reason why two bodies, each with a mass, exert a force of attraction towards each other (gravity). Yet these phenomena are measurable, and their theories useful in generating specific predictions, which may then be verified (or refuted) through careful testing. It is this purely scientific method[6] of applied Homœopathy which remains unsurpassed by any other therapeutic approach, and which method gave rise to Hahnemann’s observations of OMOION[7] (Lat. Similia), and from which it derives its very name. The observance of this Similia principle is central to a ‘homœopathic’ application of medicines,[8] but what must be impressed here is the method which revealed this principle, which method also forms the mechanism of its continued application and proper evolution.

That the practice of Homœopathy[9] necessitates the application (in disease) of a remedy which is (most) similar in its observed (health) effects, should not need iteration.[10] But what seems unclear to a significant number of prescribers who have voiced their opinions within the annals of our profession, is the requirement for a factual basis upon which such similarity may indeed be established.[11] By this is meant uninterpreted data obtained through careful observation of effects in methodical[12],[13] proving trials.[14] Whosoever prescribes according to an imagined or a priori similarity which is unsupported by the evidence of proving data,[15] whilst showing their interest in the idea of a homœopathic approach, cannot claim to effect such an application since there is no proving data upon which to verify that the requirements of similars has been satisfied.[16] An example of this is seen with Rajan Sankaran,[17] who himself told me without reservation (during his 1994 Sydney visit), that provings are unnecessary in Homœopathy – that the essential qualities of a substance or thing may be inferred, and matched to those of a patient (similarly inferred).[18] Whilst postulates such as these may be intriguing,[19] they nonetheless cannot be placed within the boundaries of Homœopathy, pure or applied.[20]

We do accept that each practitioner has a right to think and practice the way they wish, and there is nothing wrong with imaginings, ideas, postulates, hypotheses, theoretical constructs, insights, etc. – as long as they are taught as being simply that – indeed, they are vital for our future development, since, when properly treated, they are truly the mother of invention. The real problem comes when such ideas begin to be built upon, further and further gathering momentum, until their lack of substance is forgotten, and they assume a position of “fact”.[21]

I would only add my concern that solid factual research does not receive the same degree of attention as the recent commotion on this present topic. I myself wish more homœopaths would focus on even the most basic of topics; as understanding the development of repertory, from Hahnemann through Bönninghausen, to Kent, etc.; on extracting and translating many of the valuable provings scattered throughout the homœopathic periodicals of the last century which have yet to find their way into our materia medica texts; on understanding precisely the criteria used in the grading of remedies within our repertories, and how these must be considered towards a more effective use of such tools in the clinical situation; or perhaps on correcting the many many translation errors which are clearly evident within our most basic and fundamental works on philosophy, materia medica, and repertory.[22]

Let us spend less time theorising[23] on the possible effects of a substance, or preparing subjects (provers) for anticipated or pre-conceived effects on one or other functional system, and instead, let us use our time in conducting and recording clear and properly conducted provings,[24] which must be offered openly and without interpretation in a pure, organised record (a Materia Medica Pura[25]), and from which an image may then be forged by individual homœopaths who can study these effects at their leisure. This is the way forward. For myself, and for my colleagues at the Hahnemann Institute in Sydney, such basic research topics are always in mind, and our work steadily continues with constant and repeated reference to our slowly increasing library of (copies of) original sources in the German and the English language – which work I must say has proven most rewarding in terms of its application to practice.

Yours in Homœopathy,


George Dimitriadis



[1]     Hahnemann states (Essay on a New Principle…, HLW263) “In order to ascertain the actions of remedial agents, for the purpose of applying them to the relief of human suffering, we should trust as little as possible to chance; but go to work as rationally and as methodically as possible.”

[2]     This is the doctrine of signatures which Hahnemann condemned. I should herein set the record straight – Roger Morrison, in his letter Against Divisiveness, was incorrect to state that the “doctrine of signatures” in the days of Hahnemann referred “simply and only” to the outward shape of a substance being used to infer its healing qualities. Both in his Essays on a New Principle… (Hahnemann’s Lesser Writings [HLW] 249-303), and Examination of the Sources of the Common Materia Medica (HLW664-694), Hahnemann is clear in denouncing not only the use of physical appearances as an inference of healing properties, but also the chemistry (HLW250-252; 673-677), the taste (HLW254; 671), the odour (HLW672), even the simple physiological action (HLW254) of a substance, all of which were commonly used to infer their medicinal action. But I was more surprised to read Roger Morrison’s assertion: “But nowhere does Hahnemann criticize the idea that the source of the remedy has a bearing on the symptoms it produces.”, since this could not have been made had the writings of Hahnemann been first consulted. I again quote from Hahnemann in the same essay (HLW257­8):

“… yet my conviction compels me to give this warning, that, be the number of genera ever so many whose species resemble each other very much in their effects, the lesser number of very differently acting species should make us distrustful of this mode of drawing inferences …*

*   Conclusions relative to similarity of action betwixt species of a genus become still more hazardous, when we consider that one and the same species, one and the same plant, frequently shows very varied medicinal powers in its different parts. How different the poppy head from the poppy seed; the manna that distils from the leaves of the larch from the turpentine of the same tree; the cooling camphor in the root of the cinnamon laurel, from the burning cinnamon oil; the astringent juice in the fruit of several of the mimosæ, from the tasteless gum that exudes from their stem; the corrosive stalk of the ranunculus from its mild root.

[3]     Refer Essay on a New Principle… “Nothing remains for us but to experiment on the human body” (HLW258); “Nothing then remains but to test the medicines we wish to investigate on the human body itself.” (HLW263).

[4]     Francis Bacon (1561-1626) clearly wrote (refer Advancement of Learning, Second book, and Novum Organum, First book, esp. §§14,19,20,105,106) that the process of induction upon repeated observation of particulars must be put to the test of an attempt to find instances which are contradictory, prior to drawing any definite general conclusions – not, as was the custom of “logicians” in his day, to draw conclusions or models based upon unobserved, imagined principles which are existing and general.

[5]     I refer the reader to The Medical Observer (HLW724-8), wherein Hahnemann describes with great clarity, the process of pure observation.

[6]     The “Scientificity of Homœopathy” has been dealt with in my 1989 essay of that title, but the four basic conditions to be satisfied in a modern scientific method may be here repeated as: observability, reproducibility, predictability, testability. If a postulate or hypothesis is untestable for verification or refutation, then it is neither sustainable nor scientific, even though it may be appealing.

[7]     This is precisely the capitalised Greek form of the perhaps more familiar “omoion” (omoion, pronounced “omeon” with emphasis on the first ‘o’ [the “oi” combine to form a single sound – diphthong), used by Hahnemann to generate the composite term of Homœopathy (“omoion paqoV” as given by Hahnemann himself [refer Nota Bene for my Reviewers, HLW660, footnote]), and which forms the sole basis of everything homœopathic. This holds true to such an extent that Hahnemann subsequently coined the term “allopathy” (Gr. alloV [allos] = other than) to refer to all (medicinal) practices which rely on a therapeutic approach other than the homœopathic (similar) one.

[8]     That is, according to the single fundamental principle of applying the principle of Similia (Gr. omoion) as determined by experiment and observation, upon both the healthy (provings) and the sick (patients), in each and every case.

[9]     I would here point out to our American colleagues, that the spelling of Homœopathy is improperly rendered “Homeopathy” even if it be done for the sake of phonetic consistency with the rest of their language, for in this special case, the diphthong (œ) is significant in that it indicates the source of the term from the Greek “omoion” (omoion; Latinicised as omœon or omœo as a prefix = similar [Similia in the Latin]). To replace the prefix homœo with homeo removes its etymological connection to the foundation stone of it existence, the “Law of Similars.” We must retain the diphthong within the term Homœopathy – how would it be for psychiatry to be written as syciatry (which would similarly remove any connection to its etymology from the Greek “yuch” (psychy [=soul])); or physics (Gr. fusikh [physics, physical]) where the “ph” informs the scholar of its Greek root, as “Fisics” (itself suggesting a Latin root); taxonomy (Gr. taxiV [class] as tacsonomy, etc. These few familiar examples should serve as ample evidence that the roots of specific terms must not be removed if we are to retain their fullest meaning and therefore a sense of connection, especially for future generations, to our inheritance.

[10]    The reader who cannot accept this single point is ignorant of Hahnemann’s defining moment giving rise to the birth of Homœopathy as a system of medicinal therapeutics, and must be considered in no position to argue on matters ‘homœopathic’.

[11]    Hahnemann states (Essay on a New Principle…[HLW263]) “In order to ascertain the actions of remedial agents, for the purpose of applying them to the relief of human suffering, we should trust as little as possible to chance; but go to work as rationally and as methodically as possible. We have seen, that for this object the aid of chemistry is still imperfect, and must only be resorted to with caution; that the similarity of genera of plants in the natural system; as also the similarity of species of one genus, give but obscure hints; that the sensible properties of drugs teach us mere generalities, and these invalidated by many exceptions; that the changes that take place in the blood from the admixture of medicines teach nothing; and that the injection of the latter into the bloodvessels of animals, as also the effects on animals to which medicines have been administered, is much too rude a mode of proceeding, to enable us therefrom to judge of the finer actions of remedies. Nothing then remains but to test the medicines we wish to investigate on the human body itself.”

[12]    Hahnemann states (Contrast of the Old and New Systems of Medicine, HLW723) “Now it is not merely one single observation, but all experiments and observations carefully conduced demonstrate in the most convincing manner (to every sensible individual who will be convinced) that among medicines tested as to their pure effects, that one alone, which can produce in the healthy individual a similar morbid state, is capable of transforming a given case of disease, rapidly, gently, and permanently into health, indeed, that such a medicine will never fail to cure the disease.”

[13]    Accidental provings or other poisonings, if accurately recorded may also yield a useful record for the homœopath, but the methodical and carefully conducted proving trial is by far the most effective and consistent method of observing the effects of a substance.

[14]    For provings to be objective and determinate, provers must not be aware of the medication or its preparation/potency, nor must they be told in advance the area or function of their normal state of health they should observe. To prepare an observer in this way is to add a possible bias, influencing the actual reporting of phenomena – a prover “primed” to look for effects on a particular region or function (dreams, emotions, desires/aversions to food & drink, digestive or sexual functions, menstruation, etc.), will be more likely to infer such effects in their eagerness to actively participate. Moreover, the “breaking of the code”, whereby the symptoms are related to the referee, must be done in isolation of other provers, such that no interpretation is available or influence exerted between the provers. The referee themselves should have no knowledge of the remedy or potency/preparation being proved, in that way, their own influence shall not weigh in at the point of collection of data. There are other reasonable safeguards which must be built in to a properly conducted proving if it is to provide an accurate and certain record of pure (uninterpreted) effects, which record may later be studied to generate an interpretative image by each and every homœopath who wishes to do so. The record thus remains pure forevermore, yet the image may be subject to change according to experience (coupled with a review of the original record). It is quite surprising and at the same time disappointing to learn that such safeguards are not even considered in many of the (so-called) provings in recent times, and this probably stems from a lack of a basic understanding of (I prefer to think not from a disinterest in) the need for proper methodology in such important endeavour.

[15]    Even the most beautifully constructed and intricate models, which are still in abundance today, can never be acceptable until their actual similarity is demonstrated through provings.

[16]    The success of a prescription in any given case of illness is itself no proof of its homœopathicity, since almost every other (i.e. allopathic) therapy can claim and even show individual successes.

[17]    I cannot comment on others with whose practices I am not personally familiar, but I can offer my observations on the practice of Rajan Sankaran, having spent a number of weeks in Rajan’s clinics in Bombay (both at his private clinic and at the teaching hospital) during 1987 & 1989. These comments are given without disrespect of Rajan as a person, whom I acknowledge as a great thinker (it was I who organised his Sydney Seminar in October of 1994), but as a statement of fact which the doubtful reader may confirm with Rajan himself.

[18]    Rajan Sankaran often seeks to apply remedies by virtue of his “perception” that their essential “nature” matches that of the patient’s illness. During his Sydney seminar for example, he simply inferred the similarity between one patient and the essential qualities of humanity (as he understood it) – suggesting that Lac humanum (completely unproven at that time), would have been the appropriate homœopathic remedy should a medicine have been required.

[19]    Francis Bacon eloquently discusses this subject in his Novum Organum (First Book, §20) “…for the mind is fond of starting off to generalities, that it may avoid labour, and after dwelling a little on a subject is fatigued by experiment.”

[20]    Whilst the “homœopathicity” of a therapeutic agent (medicine) is determined solely upon the (observation-based, untestable-theory free) similarity of its symptoms with those of the presenting illness, the test of a homœopath is less rigorous, being determined only on their intent to give the most similar remedy in each case (with the proviso that such intent is pivoted upon solid observational provings phenomena). All of us must admit of occasional (though diminishing with experience) mistakes in our homœopathic diagnosis, i.e. in selecting the most homœopathic remedy to the case at hand, but this does not mean that we were not homœopaths in that case – so long as our intent to give the most similar remedy was clear and always in mind.

[21]    That this also happens too frequently within the mainstream scientific community is confirmation that such tendencies are fairly commonplace, even amongst people of the most rigorous training which seeks to avoid such occurrences.

[22]    This in itself is a significant problem, and our own research has revealed our English language literature has frequent and significant errors of typography and translation, omissions, arrangement (repertories) etc. Who amongst us will add to the development and perfection of Homœopathy through their efforts at rectifying some of these deficiencies?

[23]    This situation is not new to the endeavour of learning, as can be seen in the statement of Francis Bacon (Novum Organum, First book, §112) “For men have hitherto dwelt but little, or rather only slightly touched upon experience, whilst they have wasted much time on theories and the fictions of the imagination.”

[24]    Hahnemann, on the problem of the physician ascertaining the curative effects of drugs, states (Contrast of the Old and New Systems of Medicine, HLW723) “This problem he cannot solve by any speculative a priori research, nor by any fantastic reveries – no! he can only solve this problem also, by experiments, observation, and experience.”

[25]    Hahnemann again emphasises (Organon, §144): “From such a materia medica everything that is conjectural, all that is mere assertion or imaginary should be strictly excluded;…”