Chronic Diseases—Psora

Kent believes that Psora is the beginning of all physical sickness. Had psora never been established as a miasm upon the human race, the other two chronic diseases would have been impossible, and susceptibility to acute diseases would have been impossible. …

Psora is the beginning of all physical sickness. Had psora never been established as a miasm upon the human race, the other two chronic diseases would have been impossible, and susceptibility to acute diseases would have been impossible. All the diseases of man are built upon psora; hence it is the foundation of sickness; all other sickness came afterwards.

Psora is the underlying cause, and is the primitive or primary disorder of the human race. It is a disordered state of the internal economy of the human race. This state expresses itself in the forms of the varying chronic diseases, or chronic manifestations. If the human race had remained in a state of perfect order, psora could not have existed. The susceptibility to psora opens out a question altogether too broad to study among the sciences in a medical college.

It is altogether too extensive, for it goes to the very primitive wrong of the human race, the very first sickness of the human race, that is the spiritual sickness, from which first state the race progressed into what may be called the true susceptibility to psora, which in turn laid the foundation for other diseases.

If we regard psora as synonymous with itch, we fail to understand, and fail to express thereby, anything like the original intention of Hahnemann. The itch is commonly supposed to be a limited thing, something superficial, caused by a little tiny bit of a mite that is supposed to have life, and when the little itch mite is destroyed the cause of itch is said to have been removed. What a folly!

From a small beginning with wonderful progress, psora spreads out into its underlying states and manifests itself in the large portion of the chronic diseases upon the human race. It embraces epilepsy, insanity, the malignant diseases, tumors, ulcers, catarrhs, and a great proportion of the eruptions. It progresses from simple states to the very highest degree of complexity, not always alone and by itself, but often by the villainous aid of drugging during generation after generation; for the physician has endeavored with all his power to drive it from the surface, and has thereby caused it to root itself deeper, to become more dense and invisible, until the human race is almost threatened with extinction.

Look at the number of the population upon the face of the earth, and notice how few arrive at the age of maturity. It is appalling to think of the number of infants that die, and these largely from the outgrowths, or out-coming of psora. We see little ones born who have not sufficient vitality to live. The congenital debility, and marasmus, and varying diseases of a chronic character that carry off the little ones have for their underlying cause the chronic miasms. The principal underlying cause is psora, next syphilis and next sycosis.

It required twelve years for Hahnemann to discover and gather together the evidence upon which he came to his conclusions. When a patient came to him who manifested chronic disease in any way he took pains to write down carefully in detail all the symptoms, from beginning to end, with the history of the father and mother, until he had collected a great number of appearances of disease, not knowing yet what the outcome would be; but after this careful writing out of the symptoms of hundreds of patients, little and great, and comparing them and then gathering them together in one grand group, there appeared in the totality of this collection a picture of psora in all of its forms.

Up to this time the world had been looking upon each one of these varying forms as distinct in itself, e.g., all the striking features of epilepsy would be gathered together, and epilepsy was then called a disease; but epilepsy is only one of the results of disease, and never appears twice alike. Every person who has epilepsy differs from every other epileptic on earth. But epilepsy, insanity, diabetes, cancer, Bright’s disease, and every other case of so-called disease have all had a beginning and one beginning.

They are not distinct, but operate in each person in accordance with that individual. Hahnemann says that before he began that collection of symptoms he was struck somewhat with wonder that Nux Vomica and Ignatia and such short acting medicines were able to cure only a single manifestation of disease, a group of symptoms, or they would relieve for a time and then the symptoms would come back, although he had followed up the treatment to the best of his knowledge. At the end of a case, he could discover that there had been a continuous progress in spite of the fact that he had relieved his patient of suffering a good many times.

So it is, while acute acting remedies are used, and you will use them if you do not know the psoric doctrine. The short acting medicines are the ones that contain the counterparts of the acute manifestations of psora, and hence when these acute manifestations appear in groups of symptoms you will naturally select acute remedies, and you will palliate them from time to time, but at the end of years you will look upon every individual case, and will notice that the case has been steadily progressing. You will find that you have not struck at the root of the trouble, that there is an underlying something present and prevailing and that the disease is steadily growing worse.

Hahnemann saw this and it was a mystery to him because he had acquired a perfect mastery over the acute diseases with the acute remedies. Such psorics had been at this time very well proved, Belladonna, Aconite, Bryonia, Arnica, China, Nux Vomica, etc., etc., and these had been found to be perfectly suitable for the acute manifestations of psora and for the acute miasms. Hahnemann had not yet learned that the acute miasms were utterly and strictly acute miasms; and could not, therefore, compare acute miasms with chronic miasms, or vice versa. He had not seen them yet as miasms.

One will not understand the acute miasms clearly until able to compare them with chronic miasms. They side up one with another, and make it wonderfully manifest. The acute miasms come on either with sufficient violence to cause death to patients, or with less violence, wherein there is a period of progress and a tendency to recover. They cannot be prolonged in the patient, and must subside.

The acute miasms are not governed in accordance with fixed time in order to be acute miasms, because they have times of their own. Neither is there a time after the lapse of which the chronic miasm is said to be chronic. According to the old school, diseases have been divided into acute, sub-acute and chronic. If any sickness ran longer than six weeks, it would be placed among the sub-acute; if it ran on indefinitely, it was called chronic. But a chronic miasm is chronic from its beginning, and an acute miasm is acute from its beginning. It is from its nature, from its capabilities, from what it will do to the human race, that we must name the miasm.

So Hahnemann tells us frankly that he was astonished to find at the end of a certain length of time no progress had been made with his remedies in chronic diseases. The symptoms appeared with their own regularity, much stronger than before, which showed they were progressing. Hahnemann enters not only a difficult study, but with all sorts of difficulties, and after studying for twelve years he developed the fact that in all cases observed there was an underlying chronic disease, a chronic miasm, which had a tendency to progress and to end only with the life of the patient. Then he bent himself to the provings of medicines, in order to discover from them a likeness to the chronic miasms. Had he never come to this conclusion, he would not have noticed such things.

When he had brought all the symptoms before the mind in one grand collective view, he began to observe and reflect as to what was the first, and what was the second, and later appearances in the line of progress in this deep-seated chronic miasm. Thus it was that he observed amongst those who were dying with phthisis that in their younger days they had a vesicular disease between the fingers and upon the body, which had been suppressed by the ointments in vogue at that time.

Then the question naturally arose, what had this suppression to do with that which came after wards? As to how Hahnemann figured out the answer to that question you can read in his “Chronic Diseases,” but he does not tell it all; although he gives many pages of experiences and observations. You will more clearly understand and be better prepared to take up Hahnemann’s line of thinking, if you enter into the use of appropriate medicines and apply principle to the progress of disease–that is, you will see a demonstration of his teaching in the curative treatment of a very large number of cases of sickness by applying principles; that diseases get well in the reverse order of their coming, that the latest symptoms will be the first to go away, and that the older symptoms will come and go in reverse order in which they appeared; old symptoms, in the form of eruptions, come back, old chills, which have been suppressed, come back, and many other chronic manifestations come back again in a sort of successive order.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.