Rademacher circumvents this difficulty by accepting a division from another side; by proceeding from empirically found curative agents or groups of agents which are suitable for affections of the total organism in various epidemic situations. The weakness of this division lies in that in actuality, leaning on a bygone primitive epoch of chemistry, it is supported only by the experiences of this single observer and a few of his students. Seen from modern chemistry and pharmacology, it is not clear in any way why sodium nitrate, iron and copper should be prototypes of such general dug action. But mentally, Rademacher’s theory of three epidemic universal remedies, that is, three agents for the entire organism, which fit the genius epidemicus, contain all the presumptions for the consideration of constitution as they exist and are essential in homoeopathy, namely:

(1) The union of the manner of reaction of the organism with the drug and the differentiation accordingly.

(2) The union with the general influences of the environment (genius epidemicus which are determinable in details as modalities).

(3) The general constancy of the manner of reaction recognizable by the type (that is, their value for the total organism).

It is striking that this analysis of constitution is a purely dynamic, functional one. The usual description of types in sound and sick days according to form, tonus, color, preponderance of organ systems, etc., is not even considered. Moreover, in homoeopathy they are used as a rough basis so far as they can be obtained, but they are still insufficiently available. The functional and therapeutic viewpoints likewise have predominant significance for the constitutional consideration.

Rademacher, just as little as Hahnemann, intended a representation of constitutional types with his three types. Vll. Grauvogl first undertook the transformation and simultaneously an amalgamation of both theories. With his conception of constitution. One need not go into details on the compulsion and arbitrariness which accompanied him in it.


Grauvogl comes to a special doctrine of constitution in that he goes back to the chemical elements of the organism, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. In principle he does the same as Paracelsus had done primitive chemistry. Indeed, it seems very logical to bring the constitution of the organism into dependence with the constituents, the chemical constituents. In this chemical foundation of constitution Grauvogl is in no way original but he proceeds in close conjunction with many predecessors and from the existing status of physiologic chemistry. Gerlach has shown this. Also the construction of three constitutional types on the basis of the relations of structural materials, H, O, C, and N, the representation of the hydrogenoid, oxygenoid and carbonitrogenous constitutions is no discovery of Grauvogl’s, nor is it the essential in his representation. Much more essential is his attempt, in conjunction with that of Hahnemann an Rademacher on the one side, to unite his three constitutions to drugs and on the other side to external circumstances, modalities, telluric -atmospheric influences and to empirically fix them.

The hydrogenoid constitution is characterized by predominance of reduction processes, through greater water content of the organism, particularly in the blood. This type is aggravated by cold and damp weather, by water in any form. One sees that a correspondence exists between the excess of water (or hydrogen) in the organism and in the external world in a Paracelsian sense. A further sign of disease on the basis of the hydrogenoid constitution should be the periodic course; and by Grauvogl this is brought into connection with nerve maladies and electric disturbances in particular. Still, this characteristic stands far behind the first. As agents for diseases which arise from the hydrogenoid constitution, according to the theories of Grauvogl, such materials serve which lessen the influence of hydrogen or water on the blood, which increase the oxidation of hydrocarbons. In the classification of these as well as in both other constitutions, Grauvogl proceeds mentally in a completely nonhomoeopathic sense according to the scheme of chemical contrasts. He perceives the cause of chronic diseases in an excess or deficiency of substances from which the organism is composed. In the case of the predominance of hydrogen and the deficiency of oxygen he would introduce drugs which will increase oxidation, leading to a sort of chemical balance. Such a chemical substitution therapy leaves the reactivity of the organism entirely out of consideration and yet Grauvogl is otherwise thoroughly familiar with the dynamic principle of drug action. Even in 1876 E. Schlegel offered to this internal contradiction of Grauvogl. But in regard to the classification of remedies to constitution he has not erred as in his theory: for the hydrogenoid constitution he advises primarily the alkali salts. The opinion that they essentially promote the influence of oxygen cannot be proven; one can say much better that the alkalis (apart from the picture of their drug effect) theoretically seem suitable for the hydrogenoid constitution because they withdraw water and indeed especially from those places in which it collects. The comparison of the Rademachian sodium nitrate state with the remaining alkalis as accessory agents to the hydrogenoid constitution is reasonable. More remarkable is the comparison to the sycosis of Hahnemann; the maintenance of this union can only lead to error. The designation hydrogenoid constitution, however, can still serve as a frame which embraces lymphatism and the tetanoid types from the side of modalities and the related medicinal substances. Precision may come, so far as is possible at present, from this conception.

The opposite to the hydrogenoid constitution is the oxygenoid. It is characterized by increased oxidation processes, by a lessened resistance of the organic compounds to the influence of oxygen. It was not unknown to Grauvogl that organic materials are first prepared through fermentative splitting. He also desired to designate the increased fermentative-oxidative splitting as oxygenoid. Consumption and hypersthesia, defects in albuminates and fat, energetic utilization of oxidizable materials, lessened storage imply this constitution. Since it was not conceivable that the increased destruction was traceable to an excess of oxygen, Grauvogl considered the defect in the organism to be in dysoxidizable materials, particularly carbon and nitrogen. In this obviously false deficiency theory stands a contradiction since according to Grauvogl the oxygenoid constitution has an aversion to meats, which they need most but cannot utilize. Then again the character of the modalities and the nature of the adapted drugs was led into bypaths by this theory. Because this type should feel better air-rich in carbon and nitrogen. Obviously better supported by observation is the report that these irritable, hypertonic, thin men feel especially bad in great tensions of the atmosphere, before a storm, tempest, and rain, that they have the so-called almanac pains, while they feel better after the rain and also during fog. To see therein an influence or air electricity, the charges in clouds and fogs has, at any rate, something in it. One only wonders why dry heat is not included as an aggravating factor for this constitution.

The classification of remedies in the oxygenoid constitution again is untenable, so far as it follows the theory of an equalization of a deficit. The carbonaceous materials, according to their effect picture, are certainly not oxidizing agents as Grauvogl would imply. That Rademacher’s universal iron belongs here is in correspondence with homoeopathic thoughts. The most perfect example of an oxygenoid manner of action, iodine, is not cited by Grauvogl in this series, although potassium iodide is (with a mistaken basis).

One can place the oxygenoid constitution in contrast to the hydrogenoid or torpid lymphatic, tetanoid and call it erethistic- arterial, basedowoid.

The third constitutional type of Grauvogl, the carbonitrogenous is characterized through accumulation and retention of carbohydrates and nitrogen in the organism and indeed insufficient oxidation.

The first signs of such a condition are increased respiratory frequency which not rarely is associated with a lessened pulmonary capacity and slight expansion of the thorax. Corresponding to the respiratory rate is increased pulse frequency. The patients feel best in open air (cold and damp do not aggravate in this state). A definite sign of the retention process is the pale urine which tends to be poor in chlorides and phosphates. In the blood picture one notes early unusual turbidity, the so-called melanotic blood cells. The blood is richer in them because of the suppressed progressive metamorphosis which is possible only as the result of an insufficient influence of oxygen and in the organic fluids and tissues. Thereby Grauvogl gives the physiologic-chemical and symptomatologic characteristics of a disposition which we designate today as arthritism or as bradytrophism. He has also correctly seen or foreseen that in this state fermentative destruction, fermentation prevails in contrast to oxidative processes, as we know today in carcinoma.

Otto Leeser
Otto Leeser 1888 – 1964 MD, PHd was a German Jewish homeopath who had to leave Germany due to Nazi persecution during World War II, and he escaped to England via Holland.
Leeser, a Consultant Physician at the Stuttgart Homeopathic Hospital and a member of the German Central Society of Homeopathic Physicians, fled Germany in 1933 after being expelled by the German Medical Association. In England Otto Leeser joined the staff of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. He returned to Germany in the 1950s to run the Robert Bosch Homeopathic Hospital in Stuttgart, but died shortly after.
Otto Leeser wrote Textbook of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Leesers Lehrbuch der Homöopathie, Actionsand Medicinal use of Snake Venoms, Solanaceae, The Contribution of Homeopathy to the Development of Medicine, Homeopathy and chemotherapy, and many articles submitted to The British Homeopathic Journal,