Homoeopathic Principle in Medicine before Hahnemann

Homoeopathic Principle in Medicine before Hahnemann. Galen himself, the father of allopathic physic, the champion of the motto contraria contrariis curantur, may be impressed into the service of homoeopathy from many a phrase in his writings, where he gives his testimony…

Great discoveries foreshadowed

-Planetary motions

-The New World

– Gravitation

-Circulation of the blood

-The steam-engine

– Vaccination

-Anticipations of homoeopathy



– Empirical school

-Erasistratos, Heraclides, Mithridates, Attalos, Nicander, Xenocrates, Vero, Quintus Serenus, Celsus–Galen

– Fallopius

-Basil Valentine


-Many points of resemblance in the doctrines of Paracelsus and of Hahnemann

-Paracelsus’s ridicule of ordinary practice

– (Anecdote of Sylvius)

-His classification of physicians

-His hatred of the apothecaries

-His horror of hypothesis

-His ridicule of complex prescriptions

-His abhorrence of nosology

-His attacks on contraria contrariis. His defence of similia similibus

-His system a rude homoeopathy

-His partiality for small doses

-His employment of olfaction

-His belief in the separation of the medicinal spirit from the material drug

– Did Hahnemann borrow from Paracelsus?

Croll-Agricola-Tycho Brahe- Arndt-Ancient homoeopathic these-Milton

-Doctrine of signatures

– Partial acknowledgment of homoeopathy by Hahnemann’s immediate predecessors


– French peasants-Sainte Marie

-Religious homoeopathy

-Leadam- Buchner

-Poetic homoeopathy


GREAT truths, universal laws of nature, important facts that must effect mighty revolutions in the arts or sciences, and exercise a powerful influence on man’s destinies, have generally foreshadowed their discovery by some more or less obscure hints or beliefs among the generations who were not destined to derive the full benefit of their revelation, but who now and then, by vague or distinct utterances, betrayed a semi-consciousness of their existence, and whose instincts perceived what their reason failed to discover.

The ancient king to whom the Ptolemaic system of the planetary movements was being explained, and who impatiently, and somewhat blasphemously as has been thought, exclaimed that the Maker was a bungler to produce such confusion, and that he would have arranged their motions much better, thereby showed his instinctive repugnance to the explanation offered and his shadowy conviction of a better.

The philosophic Seneca scouted the idea of the motions of any of the heavenly bodies being irregular, and he predicted that the day would come when the laws that guided the motions of the comets would be proved to be identical with those that regulated the course of the planets – prediction that was verified many centuries later by the by the discoveries of Newton; though event he sagacious Bacon accepted the common notion of the eccentric and irregular movements of comets (Nov. Org., lib. ii. 35).

A passage of Seneca is often quoted to prove that the ancients had a vague idea of the existence of a great continent beyond the Pillars of Hercules, that were commonly believed to mark the boundaries of the world; and it is thought that Christopher Columbus first imbibed the notion of his great discovery form the traditions of the Icelandic mariners whose shores he visited.

A suspicion of the laws of gravitation, the full revelation of which we owe to Newton, is observable in the writings of Bacon. “If there be”, says he, “any magnetic force which acts by sympathy between the globe of the earth and heavy bodies, or between that of the moon and the waters of the sea (as seems most probable from the particular floods and ebbs which occur twice in the month), or between the starry sphere and the planets, by which they are summoned and raised to their apologies, these must all operate at very great distances.” (Nov. Org., lib. ii. 45).

Many anatomists before Harvey’s time had inklings of the true character of the circulation of the blood; some indeed gave expositions remarkably near to the truth, especially the anatomist Realdus Columbus, who wrote twenty years before Harvey’s birth. In proof of this assertion, I may just quote what he says. “The blood,” he writes, “once it has entered the right ventricle form the vena cava, can in no way again get back; for the tricuspid valves are so place, that whilst they give a ready passage to the steam inwards they effectually oppose its return. The blood continuing to advance from the right ventricle into the vena arteriosa, or pulmonary artery, once there cannot flow back upon the ventricle, for it is opposed by the sigmoid valves situated at the root of the vessel.

The blood therefore, agitated and mixed with air in the lungs, and having thus in some sort acquired the nature of spirit, is carried by the arteria venosa, or pulmonary vein, into the left ventricle, from whence being received into the aorta, it is, by the ramifications of this vessel, transmitted to all parts of the body.” So far his explanation is correct; but in his further explanation, Columbus gets into a maze of confusion, which shows us that his notions on the subject were not quite clear. Andreas Caesalpinus of Arezzo also, who wrote ten years after Columbus, gives a similar explanation of the circulation. Shakespeare himself has been quoted to show the popular idea of the circulation of the blood before Harvey’s time. Thus he makes Brutus say to Portia –

R.E. Dudgeon
Robert Ellis Dudgeon 1820 – 1904 Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1839, Robert Ellis Dudgeon studied in Paris and Vienna before graduating as a doctor. Robert Ellis Dudgeon then became the editor of the British Journal of Homeopathy and he held this post for forty years.
Robert Ellis Dudgeon practiced at the London Homeopathic Hospital and specialised in Optics.
Robert Ellis Dudgeon wrote Pathogenetic Cyclopaedia 1839, Cure of Pannus by Innoculation, London and Edinburgh Journal of Medical Science 1844, Hahnemann’s Organon, 1849, Lectures on the Theory & Practice of Homeopathy, 1853, Homeopathic Treatment and Prevention of Asiatic Cholera 1847, Hahnemann’s Therapeutic Hints 1847, On Subaqueous Vision, Philosophical Magazine, 1871, The Influence of Homeopathy on General Medical Practice Since the Death of Hahnemann 1874, Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica, 2 vols 1878-81, The Human Eye Its Optical Construction, 1878, Hahnemann’s Materia Medica Pura, 1880, The Sphygmograph, 1882, Materia Medica: Physiological and Applied 1884, Hahnemann the Founder of Scientific Therapeutics 1882, Hahnemann’s Organon 1893 5th Edition, Prolongation of Life 1900, Hahnemann’s Lesser Writing.