Chronic Diseases – Samuel Hahnemann

The Chronic Diseases is Hahnemann’s work that explores the cause and treatment of the chronic diseases. Earlier this work was published in five parts (volumes) and every part except the second had its own preface, discussing some questions of general interest to homoeopathy.

CKI (first ed.) dates from 1828 – 4 volumes in all – the first 3 appeared 1828, the last volume in 1830. CKII (2nd ed.) manuscript (all volumes) was completed in 1834 (by Jahr who was employed by Hahnemann for that purpose). The five volumes appeared as follows: 1835 (vol.1 + vol.2); 1837 (vol.3); 1838 (vol.4); 1839 (vol.5).

At present this work is published in two volumes.

I cannot hope that these important communications (about the discovery of chronic miasms) will fare any better than the general Homeopathy which I have published hitherto. From unbelief in the efficacy of the small doses of medicine which I made known to the medical world, as being the most efficient, men prefer to endanger their patients for years longer with large and larger dose….

Why cannot this vital force, produce any true and lasting recovery in these chronic maladies even with the aid of the Homoeopathic remedies which best cover their present symptoms; while this same force which is created for the restoration of our organism is nevertheless so successfully active in completing the recovery even in severe acute diseases? …

Preface to the third edition of the Organon of Medicine, which was published in 1824….

Preface to the fourth edition of the Organon of Medicine, which was published in 1829….

Preface to the fifth edition of the Organon of Medicine, which was published in 1833….

Preface to the sixth edition of the Organon of Medicine, which was written in 1842, but was published in 1921….

Organon’s introduction is a rich source of history of medicine on the 18th Century. Hahnemann gives a detail insight into the way medicine was practiced in his times and the reason why he became so disenchanted with the so-called modern medicine….

The first ten aphorisms of the Organon cover the physicion’s mission, ideal cure, knowledge of physician, unprejudiced observer and role of vital force in health….

Aphorisms 11 to 20 focus on the role of vital force in disease and cure. Hahnemann also stresses that the totality of symptoms is the only way to study the dynamic derangement of the vital force. He also says that the dynamic curative power of medicine cannot be ascertained by reason alone….

In these aphorisms Hahnemann discusses what happens when two similar natural disease meat in the body. He lays down the nature’s law of cure with many examples. He also explains how the similar medicine works in the same manner but is safer and more effective….

In these aphorisms Hahnemann discusses why human body is more susceptible to the action of the similar medicine as compared to the natural disease. In later aphorisms he discusses what happens when two dissimilar diseases meet in the body….

In these aphorisms of the Organon of Medicine, Hahnemann discusses what happens when the dissimilar disease is caused by allopathic medicines, the formation of complex diseases, and what happens when two similar diseases meet in the body….

In these aphorisms, Hahnemann discusses the different modes of applying medicines – antipathy, allopathy and homeopathy. He discusses the pros and cons of each approach, suggesting the superiority of the homeopathic approach….

These aphorisms focus on the primary and secondary action of the drugs. The primary action is the action of the drug on the vital force, whereas the secondary action is the reaction of the vital force to the influence of the drug….

This is the beginning of the practical part of Organon, which starts with Hahnemanns disease classification. His clinical classification was acute (indisposition, acute miasmatic) and chronic (artificial (medicinal), pseudochronic (occupational), chronic miasmatic)….

The disease classification continues till aphorism 83, after which Hahnemann starts describing the process of homeopathic case taking (84-104) in detail….

An elaborate discussion on how to take a chronic case with focus on different types of patients (eg reticent/introvert or loquacious/hysterical etc)…

The first 3 aphorisms deal with the case taking in epidemic diseases and finding the genus epidemicus. After that a discussion starts on the need for homeopathic drug provings on healthy human beings….

Discussion on drug proving continues with focus on alternating action of drugs and idiosyncratic provers or patients….

The method of preparation of homeopathy drugs for provings and the required diet and lifestyle of provers during drug proving….

The physician is the best prover but how to conduct a proving if the prover is not present in person….

From aphorism 146 begins the third part of Organon which focuses on the clinical application of the proved drugs on the sick patients….

These aphorisms elaborate the need for uncommon, rare and strange symptoms both in drug provings, as well as in the treatment of the sick person….

A close simillimum is needed for a rapid and gentle cure. In case of a partial similar remedy, the case must be reassessed afresh on each visit and the medicine may change according to the changing symptoms….

These aphorisms deal with one-sided diseases, which are apparently predominantly physical or psychical….

The imperfect selection of the medicament, serves to complete the display of the symptoms of the disease, and in this way facilitates the discovery of a second, more accurately suitable, homoeopathic medicine. These aphorisms also stress upon the internal treatment of external maladies….

In the treatment of skin diseases local application of medicines must be avoided as it leads to suppression of the disease. A homeopathic similar remedy must be given for all external local diseases….

In chronic venereal disease also the local treatment should be avoided. A detail history must be noted in all cases to ascertain the past miasmatic infections in all chronic cases….

The state of the disposition of the patient, the mental and emotional changes that come with sickness, chiefly determine the choice of the homeopathic remedy…….

In treatment of mental and emotional diseases, in acute was an acute non-miasmatic remedy be given, followed by an antipsoric remedy of choice. The need for gentle and humane treatment of psychiatric patients is also discussed….

Aphorism 231 to 240 deal with homeopathic treatment of intermittent diseases like ague (malaria). At what stage of fever the medicine should be give?…

The discussion on treatment of endemic and epidemic intermittent fever continues. It is followed by discussion on homeopathy posology, especially the repetition of dose….

A discussion about observing the action of the first dose and deciding about the second prescription. Importance of obstacles to cure and maintaining cause of diseases is also stressed. …

These aphorisms lay down the method preparing homeopathic medicines from plant, animal and mineral sources. The preparation of homeopathic medicine in 50 millecimal scale is also given….

Further discussion on posology and repetition. A remedy becomes similar not just with symptoms but also with the right dose. The dose should be as small as possible….

More discussion on homeopathy posology, homeopathic aggravation, application of medicines by rubbing and olfaction. This is followed by exploring other alternative treatments like Mesmerism and Massage….

These concluding aphorisms continue the discussion on other alternative treatments like mineral baths and Mesmerism etc….