What’s in a name? Hahnemann’s warning to beware of disease names

By Vera Resnick

shaHahnemann’s warning to prescribers – beware of disease names…

Treating fibromyalgia? pneumonia? asthma? cancer? gingivitis? diptheria? meningitis?

In his introductions to provings, Hahnemann often gives a list of diseases where the remedy in question has been helpful. Many seem to see this as a clear therapeutic indication for the diseases named. It is noticeable that Hahnemann himself, a very prolific writer, did not write any form of therapeutic catalogue.

I took the liberty of asking Dr. Hahnemann a few questions… (Hahnemann’s “responses” are quoted from the preface to Alumina, in Chronic Diseases…bold and italic and spacing is mine…all mine…):

Q. So Dr. Hahnemann – people are using the names of diseases that you give in your introductions as a basis for prescribing – what do you think of that?

” I am sorry to say the significance of the use of medicines as given in the preface to most of the remedies, and which have often been unreliably reported, has been now and then misunderstood, having been regarded as determining the choice of remedies in the treatment of diseases (as indications) ;this they cannot and should not be ;”

Q. And why is it such a bad idea?

They are not names of diseases healed, but only of separate symptoms which, in treating a disease with the specified medicine, were either diminished or removed ab usu.

Q. What happens if they are used actually to prescribe, not just as a group of symptoms?

To use them otherwise is a deceptive procedure which we leave now, as before, to our allopathic step-brothers!

Q. So why did you put them in at all? what was your purpose? after all, it does look like you’re recommending treating named diseases…

They are, on the contrary, only to serve to furnish occasionally a little confirmation of the correct choice of the homoeopathic remedy, already found out from their pure peculiar medicinal effects, as indicated according to the similarity of the symptoms of disease of the special case under consideration.”

So first find the symptom in the proving, and only then occasionally furnish yourself with a little confirmation of your choice of remedy through looking at the introduction.

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