Basic Principles

In the introduction of Elements of Homeopathy, D.M.Gibson explained the Basic Principles of Homeopathy given by Hahnemann and wrote that Homoeopathic treatment is a much more specific and personal matter than mere routine prescribing by label….


PERHAPS the most important fact about homoeopathy is that it is based on a conception of sickness and disease that is essentially rational, because it is in accord with natural law.

Sickness is not a local affair but involves the whole man-his psychological as well as his physical make-up. A man is not sick because he has this or that local disease. The local disease is there because the man is sick. He is sick because his cells and tissues are not healthy and because, in consequence, there is a state of disorder and lack of efficiency in vital function.

The sick state of the tissues, ultimately manifested in a local or organic lesion, is often widespread, thus making the whole man sick. It may indeed have been present for a long time, though perhaps undetected.

Sickness is a highly individual matter. What counts in every case is not only the nature of the causal factor but also, and perhaps even more poignantly, the personal, particular and pertinent reactions of the cells and tissue fluids of the individual. Moreover, individuals differ significantly in their reactive capacities.

Grave, prolonged, or chronic disease is the result of a failure on the part of the body’s defences to withstand hostile forces. There is failure to resist infection, to neutralise and eliminate toxins, to repair damage and to restore the normal balance and rhythm of physiological function.

One factor in the prolongation of chronic disease is thus a state of widespread toxicosis, often a residual intoxication from a previous infection, possibly antenatal.

Inasmuch as disease is a deviation from the normal, a disturbance of the balance and rhythm of metabolic processes essential to health, it is the living body itself that must undertake the task of reversing the disease process, repairing the damage and restoring normal function.

This being so, it should be the aim of the physician to stimulate, strengthen and enhance the natural curative powers of the body.

The may seem obvious to the enlightened twentieth century mind, but it must be remembered that when Samuel Hahnemann, who was born at Meissen in Saxony in 1755, put forward such concepts some 150 years ago the scientific world was ignorant of much that is common knowledge today.

The young physician Hahnemann was deeply dissatisfied with and disillusioned by the state of affairs prevailing at that time, and even contemplated changing his profession. But having the urge to heal, he set himself to study available medical literature in many languages. He read voraciously and translated much of what he read into his own tongue.

Hahnemann’s Conclusions

Thus he found himself arriving at such conclusions as the following :

“The physician’s first duty is to enquire into the whole condition of the patient-the cause of the disease, his mode of life, the nature of his mind, the tone and character of his sentiments, his physical constitution, and especially the symptoms of his disease.”

“The division of diseases into general and local seems to have been commonly observed. But the human body is in its living state a unity, a complete and rounded whole.”

“Every sensation, every manifestation of force, every interrelation of the material of one part is intimately concerned with the sensations, force-manifestations and inter-relations of all the other parts. No part can suffer without involving all the rest in suffering, greater or less, and in alteration.”

“No real cure of disease can take place without a strict particular individualisation of each case of disease.”

“The remedy specifically fitted for the general disease, of which the local manifestation is always but a part or symptom, relieves also the local affection which is far removed and apparently isolated.”

Robert Gibson-Miller
He was born in 1862, and was educated at Blair Lodge and the University of Glasgow, where he graduated in medicine in 1884. Early in his career he was attracted to the study of Homoeopathy, and with the object of testing the claims made for this system of medicine he undertook a visit to America. As a result of his investigations there Dr. Miller was convinced of the soundness of the homoeopathic theory. Dr. Miller did not write much, but we owe him also his Synopsis of Homoeopathic Philosophy and his small book, always at hand for reference, on Relation ship of Remedies.