The Dash in Paragraph 100 of the Organon - homeopathy360

The Dash in Paragraph 100 of the Organon

 At most congresses and in many journals and books people are always talking—would say too much so—about the totality of symptoms and individualization of the case. Contrary to this there is a remark in the history of Homoeopathy by Tischner, on page 104 of his last book Samuel Hahnemanns Leben und Lehre (Life and Doctrine of Samuel Hahnemann). Here Tischner speaks of the specific or “fixed” diseases. Unfortunately he only mentions in a general manner an observation made by Hahnemann in the Monita in 1804 and in the same year the recommendation of Belladonna for the treatment of scarlet fever. In addition Tischner refers to Hahnemann’s treatment of cholera with 1-2 drops of spirits of camphor every five minutes.

    At a congress last year I had a rather disagreeable dispute with another member because of that famous totality of symptoms. I therefore resolved to go into the question of the specific diseases. In the list of contents of the Organon, the 1921 German edition by Haehl, I found “Investigation of epidemic diseases—§ 100 to 102”. I read the 20 lines of paragraph 100 until I came to the dash which separates the last three lines and introduces a complete change. I would like to quote paragraph 100, slightly abbreviated:
“When studying the totality of symptoms of epidemic and sporadic diseases, it does not matter at all whether there has already been something similar in the world before, under this or that name … Every current disease is in many respects a unique phenomenon and on careful investigation differs considerably from all previous epidemics which have been wrongly given a certain name” and now comes that dash, followed by: “with the exception of the epidemics which are due to infectious material (Hahnemann calls it ‘tinder’) that always remain the same, such as smallpox, measles, etc.”
    If we follow up this “etcetera”, we find on p. 16 of the German edition of Hahnemann’s Medicine of Experience (Haug, 1953) the following: “We note that there are some few diseases which always arise through one and the same cause, e.g. the miasmatic diseases: hydrophobia, venereal disease, Levant fever, yellow fever, smallpox, cowpox, measles and some others, which have the distinction that they remain specific diseases, and, because they are always originated by infectious material which remains the same, will always have the same character and take the same course, except for some accidental and secondary circumstances which do not affect the primary cause.” Hahnemann then adds some further diseases, for which, he says, the miasm is not yet identified: “gout, malaria, and some other endemic diseases here and there produced by always one and the same agent”, and continues: “These few diseases, or at least the first, miasmatic ones, may therefore be called specific and if necessary given individual names. If a remedy has been found for these, it will always cure them, because such a disease will always remain the same in its symptoms (which represent its inner nature) as well as in what causes it.” A few pages farther on Hahnemann returns once more to the subject and expresses the opinion that—with the exception of those few specific ones—all diseases are dissimilar and unclassifiable. In a footnote, he gives as examples of dissimilar diseases dropsy, scrofula, consumption, hypochondriasis, cramps and—interestingly enough—rheumatism. A pretty good distinction between specific diseases and general morbid states, in spite of the fact that diagnosis was not far developed in those days. But a bit farther on he does consider it possible that “some cases do after all show so much similarity to each other in their symptoms and the way they heal, that one might consider them ‘specific’”; in this group he mentions cancer, tuberculosis of the lungs, tetanus, facial neuralgia, diabetes and croup. It is quite obvious from these examples that with a modern knowledge of bacteriology and diagnosis Hahnemann would have been able to define the specific diseases even more accurately.
Hahnemann returns once more to the specific diseases, in his last book, Chronic Diseases. On page 165 of the new German edition a footnote mentions diseases “caused by specific miasms, such as smallpox, rubella, dysentery, whooping cough, etc.”.
Though it may not belong entirely to the theme, but in order to bring out clearly the contrast to specific diseases, which are caused always by the same agents, I would like to quote some further statements in which I think we can discern the disease still popular today as influenza, though it is always produced by different viruses. Hahnemann writes: “These intermittent fevers appear almost every year in a slightly different form. Since I have learned to cure chronic diseases and conditions by homoeopathically destroying their psoric source, I have found that the epidemic intermittent fevers are almost every yearspecifically curable by another, different remedy.” Hahnemann then lists a number of remedies selected according to the genus epidemicus and-horror of horrors—he also mentions combinations of remedies: “One year with Arseni· cum, another with Belladonna, with Aconitum, with Ipecacuanha alternating with Nux vomica, Cina alone or alternating with Capsicum, or Capsicum on its own, and—omitting a few—with Pulsatilla, with Arnica alone or alternating with Ipecacuanha.” Also a routine remedy: “The safest way to start treating an epidemic intermittent fever is for the homoeopathic physician to give first of all a minute dose of Sulphur.” In short, with all his emphasis on individualization Hahnemann is in his last book once again mentioning specific or fixed diseases, specific remedies and the alternation of remedies.
    Now I come to my final point. Actual quotations from Hahnemann have shown that in addition to individual disease states he had also very accurately observed certain specific or fixed diseases which arise through infectious or otherwise unchanging causes. If he had lived today his list would presumably have been quite a bit longer, including diphtheria, typhoid fever and other diseases which differential diagnosis can now distinguish from croup in general, the different forms of paratyphoid and typhus. He might even have recommended alternating remedies for typhus, as he did for influenza. Celis in Chile at any rate has been getting good results for years with a routine therapy using Baptisia 6x, Bryonia 3x and Veratrumvir. 3x.
Hahnemann might even have found other “specific diseases of the same origin”. There is one big “cause”, for instance: pregnancy. We know that frequently disturbances appear during this time which will disappear again after birth. One of these is gingivitis.
The picture of gingivitis gravidica is a fairly clearly defined one which—like any disease—develops more strongly in some people and less in others. The dentists classify it in three stages. The Dental Faculty of the Chilean State University at Santiago has been concerned with this problem; the Hospital del Salvador, which runs a prenatal clinic for Social Security Service patients, always sends its cases of gingivitis to the Faculty. In their search for possible methods of treatment these gentlemen came across
Homoeopathy, and so they asked for literature and advice. In view of the fact that this was an outpatient clinic and for statistical purposes we decided to do no special individualization, but to treat this specific disease of pregnancy withMercurius solubilis 12x, one tablet daily for one month. Out of 138
cases with gingivitis the Faculty selected only the 42 women suffering from gingivitis gravidica. Six mild cases were left untreated as controls and these got progressively worse, whilst all the 36 women receiving Merc. sol. were either cured completely or improved considerably.
    Dinkelacker has recently written a paper on Associations of Homoeopathic Physicians. He starts with a quotation: “So far the homoeopathic doctors have failed to give medical science proof of the efficacy of their remedies.” He then says: “We are living in an age of socialization and collectivization, and as staunch individualists we homoeopaths distrust this trend. But we cannot turn back the wheel of progress. We must adapt unless we want to be run over. And perhaps it is better to try and see if there is not also something very positive in this technological age, which we can find and develop for our own speciality.” And there Hahnemann himself comes to our aid and permits us not only to handle individual disease conditions individually, but also to treat specific diseases with specific remedies, so that we can even get the co-operation of the universities in proving the efficacy of our remedies.
 Source: The British Homoeopathic Journal, 
Vol. LV No. 2, April 1966

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