BIOGRAPHY OF HAHNEMANN– Part 3
Hahnemann tried a remedy for milk scab (crusta lactea).
2nd son was born but died in an accident in the same year on journey to Muhlhausen
During all these years of travel he faced many hardships. There was much anxiety to earn daily bread and butter. He earned his living by literary works; used to treat patients by correspondence. He even accepted mental patients into his house and treated them.
Despite all the worries of sustenance, Hahnemann’s insight and desire for learning and experimenting, his dissatisfaction with the old teachings, compelled him to travel and it was this time that great ideas were taking birth.
Second part of Friend of Health was published.
‘Handbook for Mothers or principles for education of infant’ was translated by Hahnemann. Now, Hahnemann had become very popular and started receiving letters from far off places from patients. He did not charge for medicines, which he produced himself, by- passing apothecaries. Campaign was launched against this and Hahnemann was forbidden to prepare his own medicines and once again he had to charge patients for medicines produced by corrupt apothecaries.
‘Essay on a new principle for ascertaining the curative powers of drugs and some examinations of previous principles’ was published in Hufeland’s Journal in 1796- First public announcement of the new principle of homoeopathy
In this essay, he outlined 3 existing methods of healing-
- Remove the cause, i.e., preventive
- Contraria contraris, i.e., palliative
- Cure by specific means, i.e., similia
From 1793 to 1805, Hahnemann had been wandering restlessly.
Published various writings.
1801- essay on ‘A New Alkaline salt, Alkali Pneum’- published in Allegemeine Literalurzeitung & 2 other journals- in this, he announced that he discovered a chemical compound which could be of medicinal value and it could be obtained from an address in Leipsic for a certain amount of money. The Society of Friends of Natural Science of Berlin purchased one sample (10 ounce) and tested it (alka-pneam). They reported that it was a neutral salt, with preponderance of sodium. It was common Borax. Hahnemann was therefore criticised for his misleading announcement of such a well-known and common substance as Borax under heading of new discovery & selling it at such a price when it could be obtained from chemist for a few pence.
Hahnemann wrote in its defence in Scherer’s Journal of Chemistry and gave a detailed account of how he isolated the compound and how error might have been caused. He gave the money of sample to charity in Leipsic. Thus, he readily admitted his mistake and did his best to rectify it.
1799- discovered great value of Belladonna as a prophylactic and curative for scarlatina
1801- Cure and prevention of scarlet fever– Hahnemann narrated the nature of Scarlet fever and his experience with treatment of the disease during an outbreak.
1803, Leipsic- Coffee and its effects
Torgau (1805)- remained here for nearly 7 years
Personal life- Henriette- married; Friedrich- left home to study medicine at Leipsic; Wilhelmina and Amalie helped mother in domestic work; Caroline and Frederika were enrolled in local schools.
Charlotte- 7th daughter was born
Louise- was born
Hahnemann here bought his own house with a garden
Now, he had discovered his new remedial axiom and made it public. He now tested it on the patients, defended it against all attacks and elaborated it with scientifically accurate details.
He now became a practicing physician and soon had an extensive practice.
Throughout this time, he continued to be attacked by his colleagues and he defended his doctrine against all attacks. He kept up his researches and further elaboration of his therapeutic principles.
1806- completed his last translation- “Albrecht von Haller’s Materia Medica of German plants, together with their economic and technical use” from French to German.
His financial condition improved, so he concentrated on his own original works. During this time (1805-1811), 19 books and essays were published
- 1805- Aesculapius in the Balance
Aesculapius- “God of medicine”
- Displayed his discontentment & indignation on the excessive mixing of medicines
- Against apothecaries- Let doctor have freedom to make his own medicine and administer to patients
- 1805- Fragmenta de viribus, medicamentorum positivus sive insano corpore humano observatis (Leipsic)- In Latin- first collection of Proving on Healthy
- Part I- Symptoms of drugs; Part II- 27 remedies
- 1806- Medicine of Experience (in Hufeland’s Journal)
- Remedies must be tested on healthy persons
- They show their nature clearly and and their effect on healthy human body if taken alone and unmixed
- Gave importance to the experiments carried out by man on himself & passing on of the experience by which we know a little of most medicnes
- 1806- What are poisons? What are medicines? (in Hufeland’s Journal) (last words of this writing were “Aude Sapere”)
- 1807- Indications of Homoeopathic employment of medicines in ordinary practice (Hufeland’s Journal). First work where ‘Homoeopathy’ was used in the title. Formed the basis of ‘Introduction’ to the Organon of Medicine
- 1808- On the value of speculative systems of medicine esp. in connection with various systems of practice
- 1808- His statement in the ‘Extract from a letter to a physician of high standing on the great necessity for a regeneration in Medicine.’
(This was addressed to Hufeland)
During all these times, Hahnemann had been experimenting, collecting plant specimens from nearby fields and distant mountains with his wife and daughters and friends; collecting sufficient data to test his hypothesis- ‘Let likes be cured by likes’ clinically. Methodically, he tested alcoholic extracts of plants on himself, carefully noting the symptoms they produced (as he did with China) on healthy persons. These tests became known as PROVINGS. Finally, he brought all his convictions, experimental provings and investigations to completion with the work on rational healing. The principle of Similia Similibus enunciated in ‘Essay on a new Principle’ now expanded to Similia Similibus Curentur, ‘Let likes be treated by likes’.
- 1810- Organon der Rationellen Heilkunde– published by Arnold of Dresden
(Organon of the Rational Healing Art)- Magnum Opus of Hahnemann
(published upto 6 editions, henceforth)
Publication of Organon was followed by violent warfare against Hahnemann. He was called a quack and there was very little positive reaction. Criticism was largely based on the size of dose too small to be effective. One especially bitter attack was made by Dr. Hecker to which Hahnemann refuted back.
- 1811- Materia Medica Pura– Part 1
Upto 1821- 6 volumes of Materia Medica Pura
Now, during this time, state of war weighed heavily upon the country. So, Hahnemann left Torgau and moved to Leipsic.
To be continued…
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