Hahnemann on Homeopathic Philosophy

To-day we will leave Kent out of the question altogether, and go back to Hahnemann, and try to show that by obeying his dicta, similar results to his own can still be got by anyone, in any place….

Having said one’s say so often on homoeopathic philosophy, and having already presented a paper to the Society on the subject, it becomes somewhat difficult to present it in a new form.

But when I was told that owing to its importance it cannot be too frequently repeated, that it is what prescribers need more than anything else, one did not like to refuse.

Many people have an idea that homoeopathic philosophy originates with Kent. Kent merely restated it, in his forcible way, and made it live again. Kent said that he “had added nothing. and discovered nothing.” To-day we will leave Kent out of the question altogether, and go back to Hahnemann, and try to show that by obeying his dicta, similar results to his own can still be got by anyone, in any place, who will faithfully obey the laws of cure which he set forth after such long and patient experiment, observation, and experience. ——————

N.B.-With the exception of two short paragraphs from Hering’s Preface to the “Chronic Diseases,” all the quotations which form the bulk of this paper are from:-

Hahnemann’s “Organon,” Wesselhoeft’s Translation (“Org.”)

Hahnemann’s “Chronic Diseases” (“Chr. Dis.”)

Hahnemann’s “Materia Medica Pura.” (“M.M.P”)

In regard to old school medicine and homoeopathy, Hahnemann says:

“Do old antiquated untruths become anything better- do they become truths-by reason of their hoary antiquity?”

“Is not truth eternal, though it may have been discovered only an hour ago? Does the novelty of its discovery render it an untruth? Was there ever a discovery or a truth that was not at first novel? (M.M.P., vol. ii, p. 39.) Homoeopathy the missing link

First; wherein does homoeopathy differ from allopathy? Allopathy studies disease, and describes them with great care and minuteness. It lays its greatest stress on diagnosis and prognosis.

Allopathy also studies drugs; makes great experiments in regard to their action; notes carefully their effects on the different organs and tissues- especially on animals.

(Note, Hahnemann’s experiments are far more conclusive, since they were all made on healthy human beings.)

“The accurate knowledge of the pure, peculiar, morbific effects of individual drugs on the healthy human subject can alone teach us in an infallible manner in what morbid states, even if they have never previously been seen, a medicine, accurately selected according to similarity of symptoms, can be employed as an unfailing remedy that shall overpower and permanently extinguish them.” (M.M.P., vol. ii, p. 131.) Relation between drug and disease

But for all its studies in disease and in drugs, allopathy has nothing to guide it, as to the curative relation between the two; and it is Hahnemann only who has supplied the missing link.

As he says, “It was high time that God mercifully permitted homoeopathy to be discovered.” (Org., p.42.)

Wanting this, allopathic therapeutics have had to run on the lines of purgation, diaphoresis, salivation, stimulation, analgesia,.. until lately, when vaccine therapy came along to give new stimulus to medical ideas. And, as Dr. Bach has lately expressed it, in his brilliant little paper to the Society, “Science is now proving Hahnemann in detail,” and “to him should fall all the honour for having anticipated science by more than a century.”

Vital reaction

For Hahnemann, in his “Law of Cure,” established for ever the relation between drug and disease; and made materia medica scientific.

He recognized first of all that cure can only come by the stimulation of vital reaction against disease.

He talks of medicines “administered in simple form at long intervals, in doses so fine as to be just sufficient, without causing pain or debility, to obliterate the natural disease, through the reaction of the vital energy.” (Org., Preface.)

And says that “curative effects are speedy and certain in proportion to the energy of the vital force of the patient.” (Ibid).

He was, the first, by nearly a hundred years, to insist upon- The “like” remedy.

The single drug.

The single dose.

Initial aggravation.

Non-interference with reaction.


Law of cure

To him, “the only natural law of cure, similia similibus curantur” (Org., p. 42) was no mere “rule,” but THE GREAT LAW OF HEALING.

“Every hypothesis,” he says, “no matter how skilfully worded, will lead to the most palpable inconsistencies when it is not founded on truth.” (Org., p. 52.) The “like” remedy

“Through observation, thought, and experience, I learnt that, contrary to old allopathy, the best way to cure is to be found by following the proposition. In order to cure gently, quickly, unfailingly and permanently, select for every case of disease a medicine capable of calling forth by itself an affection to that which it is intended to cure.” (Org., p. 43.)

“Genuine, gentle cures are accomplished only by the principle of homoeopathy… This principle… furnishes the only method enabling human skill to cure diseases with great certainty, rapidity and permanency, because this curative method rests upon and eternal, infallible law of Nature. (Org., p.91.) A drug “can only cure by virtue of its symptoms being similar to those of the case of disease, and that it could not fail to cure it in accordance with the eternal homoeopathic law of nature.” (M.M.P., vol. ii, p. 638.)

“There is no agent, no power in nature capable of morbidly affecting the healthy individual, which does not at the same time possess the faculty of curing certain morbid states.” (M.M.P. vol. i, p. 9.)

“Medicinal substances in producing morbid changes of the healthy human body, act in obedience to fixed and eternal laws of laws of nature, by virtue of which laws they generate certain definite morbid symptoms; and each drug produces particular symptoms, according to its peculiarity.” (Org., p. 122.)

Again he says, “Homoeopathy is a simple art of healing, unvarying in its principles and in its methods of applying them.” (Org., Preface.)

“Since this natural law of cure has been verified… by every pure experiment and genuine experience, and has thus become an established a scientific explanation of its mode of action is of little importance.” (Org., p. 74.)

The need for the “like” remedy is proved even in vaccines. As Dr. Bach puts it: “In vaccine therapy, as in homoeopathy, the remedy must be `like’ It would be useless to use a streptococcus to cure typhoid, or a staphylococcus for dysentery. ”

As Hahnemann puts it, “In the permanent cure of disease… Nature seems never to act otherwise than in accordance with these her manifest laws, and then indeed she acts- if we may use the expression- with mathematical certainly.” (M.M.P., vol. i, p. 17.)

“… by the homoeopathic method… we select a drug which should possess the power… in a higher degree than any other… of producing an artificial morbid condition most similar to that of the natural disease.” (Org., p. 73.)

“The morbid disturbances, called forth by drugs in the healthy body must be accepted as the only possible revelation of their inherent curative power. Through them only we are able to discover what capacity of producing disease -and hence what capacity of curing disease – is possessed by each individual drug.” (Org., p.71.)

“We only require a series of pure experiments to decide what medical symptoms will always rapidly and permanently cure and remove certain symptoms of disease, in order to know beforehand, which of all the different medicines, known and thoroughly tested as to their peculiar symptoms, must be the most certain remedy in every case of disease.” (M.M.P., vol. i, p. 9.)

“Drugs manifest no other curative power except their tendency to produce morbid symptoms in healthy persons, and to remove them from the sick.” (Org., p. 72.)

As to the range of homoeopathic drugs… “There is no agent, no power in Nature capable of morbidly affecting the healthy individual, which does not at the same time possess the faculty of curing morbid states.” (M.M.P., vol., p. 9.) The single drug

“The day will dawn, when physicians will employ for the extinction and cure of disease, whose symptoms they have investigated, one single medicinal substance, whose positive effects they have ascertained, which can show among these effects a group of symptoms very similar to those presented by the case of disease.” (M.M.P., vol. i, p.2.) Provings

“Medicines should be distinguished from each other with scrupulous accuracy, and proved by pure and careful experiments with regard to their powers and true effects upon the healthy body. For upon the accuracy of this proving depend life and death, sickness and health of human being… for the unerring selection of remedies is the only condition for the speedy and permanent return of health of body and soul, the highest gift bestowed on man.” (Org., p. 125.)

Potencies for provings.

“…..Crude medicinal substances, if taken by an experimenter for the purpose of ascertaining their peculiar effects, will not disclose the same wealth of latent powers, as when they are taken in a highly attenuated state, potentiated by means of trituration and succussion. Through this simple process the powers hidden and dormant, as it were, in the crude drug are developed and called into activity in an incredible degree.” (Org., p. 128.)

John Weir
Sir John Weir (1879 – 1971), FFHom 1943. John Weir was the first modern homeopath by Royal appointment, from 1918 onwards. John Weir was Consultant Physician at the London Homeopathic Hospital in 1910, and he was appointed the Compton Burnett Professor of Materia Medica in 1911. He was President of the Faculty of Homeopathy in 1923.
Weir received his medical education first at Glasgow University MB ChB 1907, and then on a sabbatical year in Chicago under the tutelage of Dr James Tyler Kent of Hering Medical College during 1908-9. Weir reputedly first learned of homeopathy through his contact with Dr Robert Gibson Miller.
John Weir wrote- Some of the Outstanding Homeopathic Remedies for Acute Conditions with Margaret Tyler, Homeopathy and its Importance in Treatment of Chronic Disease, The Trend of Modern Medicine, The Science and Art of Homeopathy, Brit Homeo Jnl, The Present Day Attitude of the Medical Profession Towards Homeopathy, Brit Homeo Jnl XVI, 1926, p.212ff, Homeopathy: a System of Therapeutics, The Hahnemann Convalescent Home, Bournemouth, Brit Homeo Jnl 20, 1931, 200-201, Homeopathy an Explanation of its Principles, British Homeopathy During the Last 100 Years, Brit Homeo Jnl 23, 1932: etc