Hahnemann’s Conception of Chronic Disease, as Caused by Parasitic Micro-organism

samuel_christian_hahnemannWe all know the joy of seeing sicknesses of definite symptoms yield, almost miraculously, to the remedy of like symptoms. We thrill to the triumphs of Homoeopathy in Cholera-in Dysentery-in Ptomaine poisonings-in Pneumonias-in Broncho-pneumonias-in hundreds of conditions, trivial and severe and then!…..we all come across cases which, after apparent yielding to the seemingly indicated remedy, recur :-do less well :-finally cease to respond. Why is this?…..

This was also Hahnemann’s experience. Bu that indomitable Pioneer did not merely shrug his shoulders, and dub them, “Old Chronics!” Neither did he accept the suggestion of his followers that “perhaps not enough remedies had been discovered and proved to cover all cases of disease”….This he says he “rejected, as a mere subterfuge.

But-he stuck to his guns! “In spite of failures in the case of some chronic non-venereal diseases, the Doctrine of Similars has been, and ever will be, founded on the unshaken pillars of truth. Facts have confirmed its excellence-year-if this may be said of human things, its infallibility.”

“Why, then”, he asks, “should the continued homoeopathic treatment of the non-venereal chronic diseases have been so unsuccessful? Why should Homoeopathy have failed in thousands of cases to cure thoroughly and forever such chronic ailments?”

For ten years he toiled night and day to discover the reason why the homoeopathic remedies, then known, did not effect a true cure of the above-named chronic diseases, before (fearing that his discoveries might die with him) he “communicated to two of his most deserving disciples, for their own benefit and that of their patients, the most important of his discoveries relative to the nature and treatment of chronic diseases.”

He tells us (Org. Par. 77) that, by Chronic Diseases, he does not mean those from constant exposure to unavoidable noxious influences;-habitual indulgence in excesses in eating and drinking :-the constant want of the necessaries of life :-unhealthy dwellings; -or those from want of fresh air and exercise; -from over-taxed mind and body; -from continued mortifications and troubles. “All these,” he says, “will vanish of their own accord under improved conditions…provided that there is no chronic miasm pervading the organism. They do not deserve the name of chronic diseases”.

For him, “True, natural Chronic Diseases are those which owe their origin to a Chronic parasitic miasm or germ” (or, as we should say, a chronic parasitic micro-organism). He says, they constantly extend; and, notwithstanding the most carefully-regulated mental and bodily habits, they never cease to torment their victim with constantly-renewed suffering to the end of his life (if left to themselves without the aid of special remedies for their relief). These are…the source of great suffering to the human race. The most robust constitution, the best of habits, and the greatest energy of unaided vital force are unable to resist them.

“Hitherto only syphilis was known to some extent as one of these chronic miasmatic diseases, which, if left uncured, will become extinct only with life.

“Sycosis (the condylomatous disease) if left to itself uncured, is likewise inextinguishable by vital force, and was not hitherto recognised as an internal, chronic, miasmatic disease of a peculiar nature as it undoubtedly is”.

I must leave to, Hahnemann meant by his sycosis. It is his second chronic venereal others, more learned in these things than myself, to determine what, exactly parasitic disease, and he seems to connect it, rightly or wrongly, with excrescences on the genitalia, and with a “kind of Gonorrhoea wherein a fluid, looking like thick pus, comes out of the urethra.”

But Hahnemann found both syphilis and gonorrhoea easily curable, provided they were not complicated, with his third chronic disease, psora.

It may be noticed that Hahnemann’s psora stands-an Ogre, at the threshold of his Chronic Diseases, and has turned away many from the Temple of Healing.

But we will strive to push past and enter!-if only tentatively and suggestively.

Of Hahnemann’s three named Chronic Diseases, his psora was for him, “the hydra-headed, most wide-reaching and difficult of all the chronic parasitic microbic diseases.” He calls it “the oldest, most universal and most pernicious chronic parasitical disease…an ancient, smouldering contagion…of incomparably greater significance than either of the above named chronic miasms” (Syphilis and Gonorrhoea).

Where Homoeopathy fails-does it? Does Homoeopathy fail us, or do we fail Homoeopathy?

Probably we, all of us, limit ourselves to half-Homoeopathy, and therefore reap only half-results.

Hahnemann tells us that, “Chronic diseases, only, are the test of the genuine healing art, because they do not of themselves pass into health.”

“Slight ailments that have come quickly, pass way with or without medicine-evidently by the inherent powers of the organism : tough, with medicine, acute diseases must distinctly yield more quickly and permanently than when left to themselves, if what can be called a cure is accompanied.”

“Unless the physician imitates my method he cannot expect to solve the highest problem of medical science, that of curing those important chronic diseases, which have remained uncured until I discovered their true character and proper treatment.”

Their true character, according to him, being parasitic, and-unless homoeopathically cured-a life-sentence.

Realise, that Hahnemann’s greatest discovery was the power to cure those chronic diseases, incurable till he lived on earth and studied them for some ten years before he would whisper them even to his most confidential friends.

He tells us, “All chronic diseases-even those which are left to themselves without having been made worse by wrong treatment-are so inveterate immediately after they are thoroughly cured by art they continue to increase in intensity until the moment of death.

“They never disappear of themselves, nor can they be diminished, much less conquered and extinguished, by the most vigorous constitution, or the most regular mode of life, and the strictest diet”.

Hahnemann’s chronic diseases was a big pill to swallow for our predecessors, and this most important part of his teaching has not been insisted on : -has been almost ignored. I think not one of the great teachers since his day-even Burnett, who with his Vaccinosis, came nearest to it, has grasped its true inwardness.

This is the gist of what Hahnemann has to teach us, and it can only now be fully appreciated.

“All chronic Diseases originate and are based on fixed chronic miasms, which enable their parasitical ramifications to spread through the human organism, and to grow without end.” (Ch. Dis. 1.23).

“The chronic miasms are semi-vital morbid miasms of a parasitical nature, which can only be neutralised and annihilated by a more powerful remedy producing analogous effects.” (Ch. D. 1.53.)

And he tells us that treatment must go on till the cure is complete, “for the least remains of a germ may eventually reproduce the full disease.”

Apply this to syphilis-or to gonorrhoea, and it sounds fearfully modern and up to date! Hahnemann was absolutely right about Syphilis and Gonorrhoea. Even in syphilis we are told, with Wassermann negative again and again, the organism may be found after death and aorta.

And that he is correct in stating that Gonorrhoea is “a chronic parasitic disease, based on a fixed chronic micro-organism, whose parasitical ramifications spread through the human organism and grow without end,” 1 is evidenced by a case quoted by a Dr. Moreira-South America. The patient was admitted into Hospital for gonorrhoeal orchitis : later for acute gonorrhoeal rheumatism, and a third time for endocarditis which assumed a malignant type and proved fatal. “the gonococcus was obtained in pure strain from destructive lesions on the mitral valves.”

1 Gonococcal Endocarditis- M. Moreira relates the case of a man who in the course of two years after infection with gonorrhea was under his care in hospital on three separate occasions. He was first admitted for gonococcal orchitis, afterwards for acute gonorrheal rheumatism, and the third time for endocarditis which assumed a malignant type and proved fatal. The gonococcus was obtained in pure strain for destructive lesions on the mitral valves. ( Rio de Janeiro : La Sciencia Medica)- From the Medical World, December 18 th, 1931 .

[The above report is extremely interesting as showing the progressive suppression in to deeper tissues resulting from the ordinary treatment of gonorrhea. External genitals-testicles-joints-heart and death. – Ed., Homeo, World, Janury 1, 1932]


Let us first say a few words about syphilis, of which Hahnemann writes, “It never becomes extinct in itself. It increases from year to year, and assumes new and more dangerous symptoms to the end of life.”

And yet, curiously, Hahnemann looks upon Syphilis as the most easily cured of all the chronic diseases : provided that it is cured in situ, and not cured externally, i.e. , driven in to become a “general venereal disease.”

He quotes John Hunter-and others-as to the danger of treating the original local manifestation by external applications.

Hunger says, “Not one patient in fifteen will escape syphilis, if the chancre is destroyed by external applications”,-and again, “The result of destroying the chancre ever so early (and even on the first day of its appearance, if this is effected by local applications) was always the consequent outbreak of syphilis”. And he quotes Fabre’s Venereal Diseases, “Syphilis always follows on the destruction of the chancre by local applications.”…..

And Hahnemann says, “I have never, in my practice of more than fifty years, seen any trace of the venereal disease break out, os long as the chancre remained untouched in its place, even if this were a space of several years…..But Whenever anyone is so imprudent as to destroy this vicarious local symptom, the organism is ready to cause the internal syphilis to break out into the venereal disease; since the general venereal disease dwells in the body from the first moment of infection…The miasm has already become the property of the whole organism. All wiping off and washing off, however speedy, and with whatever fluid this be done, is too late-is in vain.”

He says that, from the first moment of infection, it is not more local….

I remember that when we were students there was a case (in another hospital) of a surgeon, operating on a syphilitic patient, who wounded his finger. He had it instantly amputated, but was too late to avoid infection.

Dr. Bach used to say, “How did Hahnemann know that infection was instantaneous? It took us three months, at U.C. H., to demonstrate this during the War.” And he said, if you scarify a rabbit, and take two dabs, one in each hand, of streptococcus and of iodine, and dab on one as fast as you can after the other, you are too late to prevent infection.

But Hahnemann says that, if uncomplicated with psora, he can assert from manifold experience, that there is on earth no chronic miasm, no chronic disease springing from a miasm, which is more curable, and more easily curable than syphilis.

“In the uncomplicated first state, it needs only one little dose of the best mercurial remedy in order to cure thoroughly and forever the whole syphilis with its chancre within fourteen days. That the chancre in a few days after taking such a dose of mercury (without any external application) becomes a clean sore with a little mild pus, and heals of itself, is a convincing proof that the venereal disease is fully extinguished within; and it does not leave behind the least scar, or the least spot showing any other colour than the healthy skin.”

I can only recollect seeing two case of primary sores. I have hunted up the notes of one of them. The other, so far as I can remember, was equally dramatic.

Mrs. A. 36. No children. No miscarriages.
May 8, 1918. Complains of ulceration of 8 months duration-(on one of the labia minora).
On examination, it turned out to be a typical syphilitic ulcer, “with the characteristic induration.” Dr. Neatby identified it; and the Wassermann reaction was “distinctly positive.” She was given Nit. a. 200, one dose.
14 days later she reported “No trouble with the ulcer since being here.”
Another 14 days. “Very comfortable”, she said. An examination was made and the note is, “Ulcer completely healed. All quite soft.” She said no doctor had examined it till I did and she had had no treatment for it.
A month later she got a second dose of Nit. a. 200.
4 month later, on examining, all was found to be absolutely soft and normal, and the Wassermann examination was negative.
And (5 months after her first appearance) the Wassermann was again found negative.
Here you have a primary sore, of eight months’ duration, Wassermann positive. Four weeks after the single dose of Nit. a. 200, it is found to be “perfectly healed-all soft and normal.” While two subsequent Wassermann examinations proved negative.

Hahnemann’s great remedy for syphilis is Mercury which is, of course, absolutely homoeopathic to that disease, and which he gives in the 30th potency. But “in cases where a second or third dose (however seldom needed) should be found necessary, a lower potency may then be taken”.

He says moreover, that, where the chancre has been cured by local application, there will be left a discoloured scar. But when the patient is, thereafter, homoeopathically cured, this will disappear, leaving the skin smooth and normal in colour, so that no trace can be discerned of the spot where the chancre had stood….

Some years ago, there was an idea of establishing a V.D. Clinic in this Hospital.

An excellent idea-and could be used to demonstrate Homoeopathy-if conducted on Hahnemann’s lines. Otherwise it would be a pure waste of energy, and do us far more harm than good.

Hahnemann always talks of the best preparation of Mercury. And I have lately had a great deal of experience with the wonderful power of the cyanide, in high potencies. One spots quite a number of cases, in out-patient work, that turn out to be specific.

I will give one or two, by way of example. Of course when the disease has become chronic, (as Hahnemann says) one has to continue the treatment for a long time. Chronic syphilis will not cure up with one dose!

Large syphilitic ulcer on tongue, 40 years’ duration.

Tongue was first seen in May, 1928. There was a large indurated patch on the fore part of the tongue, ulcerated and fissured. She had had it for 40 years. She was given Merc. cy. 200 (3 doses 6-hly.). A Wassermann was done, and found to be positive.

Three weeks later, “Very much better. Feels a different woman. Tongue better, not well.” In two months the tongue was no longer painful. The Merc. cy. Was repeated at long intervals in 20, 1m, 50m; and in 6 months it was completely healed and well. She said, she had had it for 40 years, and had had treatment, but nothing had helped “till you found it out, and then it was soon well.”

Three years later, “one sees only the big scar on tongue : no ulceration.” But another three and a quarter years later, there was again some ulceration of tongue, cured in a month by a dose of Merc. cy. 1m.

Hahnemann tells us that syphilis may be complicated : but that in all his experience he had only seen two cases of the complication of his three chronic miasms.

In such, cases, he says, first annihilate the psoric miasm by the indicated 1 antipsoric, then use the indicated anti-sycotic, and lastly the best mercurial preparation against syphilis.

These three different orders of remedies may be alternately employed, if necessary, until cure is completed; only, “each medicine, in turn, must be allowed the necessary time to complete its action.” And how are we to know when that is? Why-when symptoms return, modified, yet the same, to ask for a repetition of one or other remedy.

Mrs. F., a patient with chronic stomach trouble with vomiting, had also a big, apparently syphilitic ulceration of left side of tongue. Here Merc. cy. 1m, 10m., etc., in single infrequent doses, healed the tongue and improved the stomach condition. When a Wassermann was done a couple of years later, it was found to be negative. This tells nothing, as one does not know whether it had ever been positive. But, clinically, the tongue was a syphilitic one : and Merc. cy. Put it right.

In January, 1931, a tall lean man, all drawn down on left side, was sent from the wards, to see if manipulation could help his sciatica.

X-ray showed definite subluxations, especially lumbar; but he was so rigid that one could make little impression on him. However, a few days later, he again appeared, when manipulative ardour got a bad slap in the face, for he was now drawn down as badly on the other side!

He was too rigid, and was discharged from the Hospital : but came back, like bad penny, to my out-patients. I tried again and again : he was better, but that was all. Then he was readmitted, this time to Hahnemann : and again came down for attempts at manipulation : always hopelessly baulked by his extra-ordinary rigidity.

He was again discharged, and now brought a letter from his panel doctor, saying that the confessed to syphilis, and might it not be a syphilitic condition of spine?

Whereupon be got a dose of Merc. cy. 1m and came back next time with a perfectly supple spine, easy to manipulate. He is now upright and painless; and has gone back to work : though he still comes up from time to time. Once his panel doctor started treating him with what he considers necessary for such cases, with the result” a return of the pain”. He has been told, no more of that : and realizes it.

Mucous colitis. ten years duration

(Case shown at Clinical afternoon during Congress, and published in October number of our Journal).

Mrs. H., 48.
May 26, 1931.

Complains of diarrhoea on and off for 10 years. Much ‘forcing” : has to hurry, or stool drops out. “As if anus opened, and stool falls out.” Stools, “jelly” : black at times like tar, has passed long bits of skin : -“like a tube 7 inches long”. This started 10 years ago, when she was 14 days pregnant with her second child, and “she has been like this ever since.”

Twice vaccinated; second time a very bad arm.

Syphilis was suspected, and a Wassermann done; meanwhile she got one dose of Lueticum 1m.

14 days later, June 9. “Wassermann negative” : but patient very much better already.

Diarrhoea better; pain better. Feeling better; sleeping better. Ate meat for the first time, and was all right. Stool not black now. Says this medicine has done her more good than any she has ever had. Placebo.

In a month, reports, “bowels open daily, and only once.” Placebo.

Two months later. Quite well. Able to eat things.

Has gained 4 lb. In weight. But tender over transverse and descending colon. Merc. cy. 1m.

4 months later. Putting on weight (3 lb. in a month). Better than has felt for 10 years.

Menstruation twice and no colitis. No diarrhoea : B.O. after breakfast, once.

“Has been in hospitals and out-pt. depts. but no one has done her any good before.

“Is now normal! Can’t believe it herself, so well!

“Every one wants to know where she attends. It used to be a misery to live!” Placebo.

N.B. –In all these 5 months only one dose of Luet. 1m and one dose of Merc. cy. 1m.

“has never felt so well.” And, later, Panel doctor asked her mother, “How’s that daughter of yours?-I haven’t seen her lately.” “No! she’s going to the hospital.” “Which?” “The Homoeopathic.” “Oh! They’ll never do her any good!” (This was a grand joke!)

Jan. 12, 1932. Has bad diarrhoea and pain one night, but is better again. Merc. cy. 1m one dose.

March. A slight recurrence of diarrhoea, soon well. Placebo.

May 31. “Never so well since 16 years old. Placebo.

Here patient had been very ill for 10 years, and got only one dose of Luet. In potency, and 3 doses of Merc. cy. 1m, at long intervals, in 14 months. But she was practically well since the first dose. (here the reaction lasted 3 months each time.)

When Wassermann is positive, that should mean something.

When it is negative, well! But the effect of the remedies is more convincing. That first tentative prescription was a fortunate one. One thought of several remedies, from her symptoms : but they were not needed!

Margaret Tyler.

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