Therefore we shall purposefully select the way from the particular to the general and proceed from the diversity of the person. Yet how can we conceive the universal properties of a person, how can we gain the synthesis, the formula for the characteristics which are so diversified? Where is the super- conception for the morphologic, physiologic-chemical, vegetative and psychologic characteristics? The characterization of a person in all its details seems extended between a hypothetical unitary basis and a hypothetical unitary tendency. Neither is comprehensible as a unit. There only the comparison helps, a second comparison, an analogy, a further as if. Such a purely practical analogy is obtained through a comparison with a drug effect picture. Here we have a connection to a uniform test; a unit as-if of the basis and the tendency at the same time.

Let us take as an example perhaps a calcarea carbonica person; this is one whose entire manner of reaction seems altered in the sense of a constant calcium carbonate influence. This signifies first that all his properties are such as if they were brought about by the introduction of calcium carbonate and calcarea carbonica is the unitary basis for it. Actually the knowledge of this alteration is obtained by the observation of calcarea carbonica influence on man. At the same time the calcarea carbonica person signifies a susceptibility, a partiality, a tendency, a trend to calcarea carbonica. All true indications of the calcarea carbonica effect picture are characterized in so many fragments of a man who is sensitive to this substance, who reacts easily to it. What is here stretched between the known unitary basis and uniform tendency in signs, that we can attempt to sketch with conceptions as lymphatic, torpid, vagotonic, cold, hypotonic, hypothyroid, tetanoid, phlegmatic, hydrogenoid but the single trend remains fixed. The advantage which we have gained thereby does not only consist in that we have determined a personal type through an as -if known but we have also the advantage of possessing an image of a person represented by it, and which is reproducible through the same technique and (because of its great constancy) easily registered and can be used again as a test object. Calcarea carbonicum sensitivity can be repeatedly determined and fixed through studies on man and these observations registered and again made recognizable in other people. The characterization of a person by a medicinal substance seems at first heterogeneous but it is at least a very practical tool. It is likewise a rope thrown out which can draw itself from the water by its own fibres.


The likeness between the way of reaction of men and the drug actions leads so much better to the recognition of the endogenous constitutional factors: (1) the more general the way of reaction of the entire person is influenced and at the same time, (2) the nearer the normal, that is, without severe disease making assault, the characteristics of reaction can be determined. We seek to embrace the typical in the actions in men to all drugs. But only single organs or organ systems are altered by a number of medicinal substances. Such organ affinities at best can lead only to a determination of organ disposition. The smaller the drug stimulus is which provokes symptoms, the greater is the endogenous constitutional organ factor, the organ disposition. So moderate doses of cactus can make obvious a cardiac and aortic disposition, small doses of cantharis, a weakness of the urinary passages. But one will then speak of a cactus or cantharis case because such an organ weakness is not typical for the person as an entirety and because with somewhat greater doses of the drug, morbid reactions in these same organs can be evoked in all men.

Other substances act on an organ system, as vascular and lymphatic apparatus together with the mucous membranes and finally on all organs and all cells as perhaps mercury and lead. But the general effect is of such a nature that the disposition plays a subordinate role; in certain amounts and with certain repetitions of doses they are merely poisons. They give typical general morbid reactions but none typical for the person of typical disposition. They involve, in deed, the general basis of the living system but are too violent, too little reversible in their actions, in comparison with those which can respond with functional characteristics and reaction tendencies.

That substance will fulfill the two requirements mentioned for the recognition of constitution to the highest degree which has a vital physiologic function in the organism. Its influence on the general foundation in structure and function is established without further discussion. And the symptomatic expressions obtainable through it will always proceed out of the physiologic norm. The drug pictures of substances normal to the body will be perceived typically in constant deviations but still those standing nearest to the normal. Because for their appearance the endogenous factors play by far the most important role. If the introduction of the material occurs in not too unnatural a manner (for example, not through the injection of a non- physiologic form and amount into the blood stream), for the appearance of effect there must be presumed a special sensitivity to this substance, a special orientation. But should one simply designate such a special sensitivity to a substance as if a disturbance in the equilibrium in the economy even of this natural substance must exist? If this is obtained typically in the beginning with the assistance of chronic proving, then we secure a point with this substance where the likeness between constitution and drug picture of effectiveness is very close. Here the experimentally obtained unitary basis of a general alteration of reaction of the organism is identical with a basic substance of the organism. In other words; the line of activity of actual observations leads to a point which can be mentally fixed as a postulate, especially that the peculiar way of reaction of an organism, its special constitution must be found in the relations of its structural constituents. Constitution considered as dependent upon tension differences of the constituents will be in this way comprehended in actuality in single directions, the experiences and description made available as the function of a constituent. It is therefore not amazing that the drug picture of the substance natural to the body has furnished constitutional types and that these seem as constitutional agents of the first rank. Without the deeper basis being perceived, practical experience in homoeopathy has led distinctly to this result. One need only think of the role of sulphur, phosphorus, calcium and potassium, of sodium chloride as homoeopathic constitution agents of the first rank after which silicea, the carbon substances, then iron and iodine stand in a close position (with some slighter extent of general effect).

Between these constitutional agents of the first rank and the characteristic organ agents in the narrow sense stand a series of medicinal substances which by their effect picture stress so distinctly the endogenous factors as sensitivities in particular directions that they tend to become arranged as constitutional types. But their less fundamental secondary rank as constitutional agents (not as medicinal substances in general) can be recognized in that either the extent of their endogenous conditions is essentially narrower and perhaps only involves one organ system or that the effect picture is derived from a progressive clinical picture of disease. There are drug pictures such as those of sepia and pulsatilla which correspond more to the sensitivities of certain developmental phases, the female involution and evolution periods. Their constitutional aspect can be conceived as though it occurred through one incretory organ (here the ovary). So far as the incretory organ shapes the constitution such a drug may have an indirect influence. They are derived constitutional agents. If aurum influences the arterial system in the sense of red high blood pressure, then it enters into the apoplectic habitus only in a sense derived from the clinical picture of disease. If lycopodium and berberis are especially suitable for the lithemic-arthritic alterations so are their constitutional associations likewise derived from clinical sources. The constitutional fragment of these drug pictures is more or less extensive but never so fundamental and essential as in agents natural to the body and the constitutional aspect is always derived. Extent and intensity of the constitutional aspect in single drug types can also be graded.

If we admit thereby the physiologically necessary structural substances to a special position, then we also associate them in the sense of the old theory of elements; only science has shown us still other elementary constituents of the organism than those the Greeks or Paracelsus accepted in their time. Likewise we do not proceed hypothetically from the elementary constituents of the organism but in this theoretic method approach by the empiric method through the drug types.

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,