Pathological basis of Homoeopathy


A study of predisposing causes of disease is necessary for the physician, both for enabling him to prevent the occurrence of malady, and also for the removal of disease when it does occur….


Imperfections of the art of medicine-Importance of physiology and pathology-Necessity of a pathological foundation for homoeopathy- Hahnemann’s rejection of the current pathology-Outline of general pathology -Definition of life-Stimuli of the organism- Predisposing causes of disease-Age-Sex-Temperament-Idiosyncrasy- Remarkable cases of idiosyncrasy-Habit of body-Climate-Season- Diet-Regimen, etc., Adaptability of the human being to different conditions-Exciting causes of disease-Temperature-Effects of over-stimulation-Phenomena of inflammation -Sympathy-Passions – Emotions-Miasms- Parasitical animals-Origin of parasites-Nature of the morbid process-Rationale of the curative process-Curative agents are direct or indirect irritants-John Brown’s general debility and general stimuli-Broussais’ central inflammation and antiphlogistics- Fletcher’s specific irritabilities and specific stimuli-The discovery of specific stimuli- Cures effected by direct stimulation-These views lead to homoeopathy-Hahnemann’s steps in the discovery of homoeopathy-His experiments with bark- His enunciation of the homoeopathy-His experiments with bark-His enunciation of the homoeopathic law-Confines it at first to chronic diseases only-Subsequently extends it to acute diseases- Essence of the homoeopathic system.


THE art of medicine professes to restore the sick to health, to ward off disease from the healthy and those who have a tendency to disease, and, in cases of disease where cure is no longer possible, to palliate suffering and prolong the term of life.

Were medicine a perfect art, there should be no disease among those immediately subject to its supervision and those in other circumstances who might happen to become the subjects of disease, should be speedily and effectually restored by its means.

That medicine is not a perfect art, is evident from the melancholy fact, that those under the immediate supervision of its professors do not escape disease, and those whom disease attacks frequently die, or remain uncured. That medicine should become a perfect art, we should require to know perfectly the vital processes in health,. the causes of disease, the exact nature of the changes produced in the organism by disease, and the agents in nature capable of altering the morbid operations of the organism into health. It were also requisite that there were agent sin nature capable of producing such alternations in every case, i.e., remedies for all diseases.

But when we look to the facts of the case, we find that we possess only a partial knowledge of the vital processes in health: that we know but imperfectly the exciting causes of disease; that we know little or nothing of their proximate causes; that our knowledge of remedies is very limited; and that thee are some diseases respecting which we have no evidence that they have ever been cured either designedly or accidentally; consequently, we have not proof that thee exist in nature end remedies for them.

Such being the case, medicine must necessarily be an imperfect art, and its progress towards perfection will advance pari passu with our increasing knowledge of the vital operations in health and disease, and of the powers and modus operandi of remedial agents.

This would seem to be a controvertible statement; for it may be said, that while the sciences of physiology and pathology have advanced greatly in recent times, the therapeutics of the so- called physiological and pathological school have remained pretty much as they were in point of success some centuries back, it they have not absolutely retrograded.

Still, it is so obvious that a correct physiology and pathology must greatly assist therapeutics, that we must suspect the existence of some fallacy in the physiology and pathology as hitherto taught if they have not contributed to this desired end.

And, indeed, we shall find that, until a very recent period, the theories and hypothetical views of which these branches of medical science mainly consisted, were utterly inadequate to explain the phenomena they professed to elucidate, and were mostly mere learned verbiage and ingenious sophists; while, of late years, physiologists and pathologists, have with few exceptions, been more occupied with pursing the brilliant fields of research opened up by the scalp. The microscope, and the improved means of chemical analysis, that with cultivating he apparently hopeless barren fields of speculative pathology and physiology.

Thus it is rather physiological and pathological anatomy and histology and organic chemistry that have been cultivated, than pathology and physiology.

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.