Major Works of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann on Homeopathy


After the Cinchona experiment in 1790  that gave proof of the principle of Similia Similibus Curentur, Hahnemann published  his  findings  in an article  titled Essay on a New Principle for Ascertaining the Curative Powers of Drugs with a few glances at those hitherto employed  in Hufeland's journal in 1796. This was the foundation of a new system of medicine that he codified later as Homeopathy. Hahnemann continued his experiments to reaffirm the concepts of similia with more clarity and evidences.  The following are some of the articles he published through which he elaborated the concepts of Homeopathy.

  1. On the Power of Small Dose of medicine in general & of Belladona in particular, 1801 wherein he explained about the result of the infinitely small doses of medicine on the morbid state. "The nearer the disease approaches the acute character, the smaller are the doses of medicine".
  2. Aesculapius in the Balance, 1805 which questioned the then prevalent medical system about the lack of progress in the science. "In the centuries since Aesculapius lived, the art of medicine has made little or no progress other than searching for an undiscoverable source of disease".
  3. Medicine of Experience, 1805 which is considered as the forerunner of  the  medical philosophy  Dr Hahnemann later published as Organon of the Healing Art  (Organon der rationellen Heilkunde)
  4. On the value of Speculative System of Medicine especially as viewed in connexion with the usual methods of practice with which they have been associated, 1808. This work questions the efficacy of the conventional systems of medicine and their artistically compounded recipes.

The following are the major works of Dr. Hahnemann that form the basis of Homeopathic education and practice:

  • Organon of Medicine. This is the is fundamental writings on Homeopathy and is the codification of its principle, philosophy and practice. The book is written in Aphorisams, each giving one message or direction.  The first edition, published in 1810 was with the title Organon of the Healing Art (Organon der rationellen Heilkunde). This name was changed from the second edition onwards as Organon of Medicine (Organon der Heilkunst). The sixth and the last edition contain 294 Aphorisms (§).  It consists of a theoretical part and a practical part.  In the theoretical part Hahnemann, laid down the mission of Physician and Highest Ideal of cure (§ 1 & 2), requisite knowledge of a physician (§ 3 & 4), knowledge of disease (§ 5-18), knowledge of drugs (§ 19-21), application of drug knowledge to disease (§ 22-27), knowledge of choice of remedy, different modes of treatment and superiority of homoeopathic therapeutics (§ 28 to 70). In the practical part, he codified the three points, which are necessary for curing (§ 71), classification of disease (§ 72-80), case taking: recording of patient data  (§ 83-104), knowledge of medicinal power, curative power and drug proving (§s 105-145), proving of drugs : Most suitable method of employing medicine to a patient (§s 146-261), allied support during treatment, diet in acute diseases (§ 262-263), preparation of medicines  (§ 267-269), administration of medicines (§ 271-292) and mesmerism. (§ 293-294).

 

  • Materia Medica Pura is the theory of practice of Homeopathy.  Hahnemann  published  his earliest findings on the effect of remedies on human beings (Drug Proving)   in 1805 in Latin  in two volumes with the title “Fragmenta de Viribus medica mentorum Positivis sive in sano Corpore Humano  obrervatis”(Fragmentary Observations relative to the Positive Powers of Medicines on the healthy Human Body). The first volume contains the detailed symptoms caused by 27 different drugs. The second volume contains the totality of the symptoms in alphabetical order. These were "medicinal substances whose pure pathogenetic action he had ascertained by experiments on himself, his family, and a few friends. The book makes no mention of homeopathy or any theories of cure and makes no claims about their uses. However, it is widely regarded as the forerunner of his Materia Medica Pura.

In 1811, Hahnemann published the first volume in German called “Reine Arzneimittellehre (Material Medica pura) containing pure pharmacology of 12 medicines. The second volume (1816) contains pathogenesis of 8 medicines, the third volume (1817) with 8 medicines, the fourth volume (1818) contains pathogenesis of 12 medicines, fifth volume (1819) contains 11 medicines and the sixth volume (1821) contains 10 medicines. As such the first edition of Materia Medica pura consists of 6 volumes with pathogenesis of 61 drugs. These were published during the period from 1811 to 1821. The second augmented edition with the drug pathogenesis of 64 drug was (six volumes) during 1822 to 1827.  In the third edition, these six volumes were condensed into two volumes and published in 1830-33.  Dr Hempel, Dr Quin and Dr. R.E. Dudgeon translated the original work of Dr Hahnemann to English.

  • The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homoeopathic Cure (Latin name:Diechronischen Krankheiten). Dr. Hahnemann after 12 years of the most painstaking work on difficult cases of a chronic in nature combined with his own historical research into the diseases of man study and experiments with his new found system based on the principle of similia found that instead of his best efforts several of cases were not responding the well selected medicines. He deduced the reasons as either as inadequacy of the number of medicines or due to some unforeseen causes.  On a deeper analysis of the cases that were not responding to his treatment he found certain pattern in the personal or family history.  He collected  more details  and arrived   on conclusions  that  there exist a fundamental cause  that  inhibits  the action of well selected medicines. He called these fundamental causes as miasm- a supposed predisposition to a particular disease, either inherited or acquired, that is transmitted down the generations. Hahnemann identified three such miasm’s as the fundamental cause that persist in human beings with chronic ailments. These are Psoric miasm, Sycotic miasm and Syphilitic miasm.  Hahnemann also  found anti- miasmatic medicines  that would help to clear up the suppressions, clear up the presenting symptoms from their root of origin, clear up the susceptibility to get infection and thereby strengthening the constitution.

Psoric miasm

The word Psora is derived from the Hebrew 'Tsorat' and Greek 'Psora' and means a groove or stigma. Hahnemann held that 85% of all chronic diseases are due to Psora. Irritability, hypersensitivity and hyper reactivity are its   main expression. All non venereal diseases  that are chronic in nature, all skin diseases, most mental illness, allergies, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, most dysfunctional diseases of organs and systems, etc. He lists among others, catarrhs, asthma, pleurisy, haemoptysis, hydrocephalus, stomach ulcers, scrotal swelling, jaundice, swollen glands, cataract, diabetes, tuberculosis, epilepsy, fevers and suppressed urine as all being typically psoric manifestations. Plus, of course, the whole gamut of skin problems.

Sycotic miasm

This miasm is held to be responsible for many sexual and urinary disorders, and affections of the joints and the mucous membranes. Inertia of the system with inability to responses are its main expression. Conditions worsened by damp weather and by contact with the sea. Thus arthritis and rheumatism, asthma, catarrhs, bronchitis, cystitis and warts are all regarded as partly or mainly sycotic in character. The wart came to be seen as the underlying archetype of this miasm as it is also held to be responsible for all warty excrescences and growths.

Syphilitic miasm

This miasm is held to be responsible for many diseases of the nervous system, the blood and skeleton as well as a range of psychological disorders, including alcoholism, depression, suicidal impulses, insanity, loss of smell and taste, blindness, deafness and ulcerations. It is also associated with many heart conditions, some vesicular skin eruptions and diseases that have a definite nocturnal periodicity. Reactivity leading to destruction are its main expressions.

The first edition of Chronic diseases was published by Hahnemann in 1828- 1830 in four volumes consisting of Materia medica part in three volumes consisting of 22 drugs and the philosophy part on the fourth volume. The second edition, published during 1835 to 1839 consist of five volumes consisting of 48 drugs. (25 from 1st Edition of Ch.Diseases) Total No. of Drugs proved by Dr. Hahemann (M.P. + C.D) = 99 Translation of Chronic Diseases-• Dr. Hempel, Dr Luis H. Tofel

During the life time of Hahnemann itself several stalwarts got attracted to his new principles. These stalwarts and many others after the death of Hahnemann, contributed further development of homoeopathy.  Some of the early contributors are Dr. John Henry Clarke, Dr James Tyler Kent, Dr Constantine Hering, Dr E A Farrington, Dr. Charles Julius Hempel, Dr. Henry C. Allen, Clemens Maria Franz Von Bönninghausen, Dr. Timothy Field Allen, Cyrus Maxwell Boger, Dr J C Burnett, Carol Dunhum, Stuart Close etc.

  • Lesser Writings Lesser writing is a compilation of the writings of Hahnemann, collected and translated by R E Dudgeon and published in 1852.  It contains articles, papers, letters and other correspondence by Hahnemann starting from the period several years prior to his discovery of Homeopathy till towards the fag end of his life. It gives a fair idea on original thoughts and an insight into the staggering achievements of this multi- talented medical reformer. Dr Hahnemann had written on wide verity of subjects such as chemistry, public health, hygiene and a verity of medical subjects. He was an inventor, a medical rebel, father of modern psychiatry, experimental pharmacologist, great literary expert and a profound thinker of his time. The writings in lesser writings are original in character, un edited and therefore, many call it greater than his greater writings.

  • PUBLISHED DATE : May 07, 2015
  • PUBLISHED BY : NHP CC DC
  • CREATED / VALIDATED BY : NHP Admin
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Jul 08, 2015

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