Herd immunity?

There is a better than even chance that if you ask someone at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) or your family physician who first discovered the poliovirus and when they did it, they would have a hard time coming up with the right answer. The answer, by the way, is Karl Landsteiner, MD and Erwin Popper, MD of Austria in 1908.

At the same time, it is unlikely many at the CDC, WHO or most medical doctors would be able to tell you the name of the person who came up with the theory of “herd immunity,” which serves as the foundational basis for justifying mandatory vaccination campaigns. The name of that person is Dr. Arthur W. Hedrich, a health officer in Chicago, Illinois. He observed that, “during 1900-1930, outbreaks of measles in Boston, MA appeared to be suppressed when 68 percent of the children contracted the virus.

Later in the 1930s, Hedrich observed that after 55 percent of the child population in Baltimore, MD contracted measles the rest of the city’s population appeared to be immune to the disease. It was these observations that led to the formulation of the herd immunity theory. But note that the theory was based on unvaccinated populations that were exposed to the disease and developed natural immunity to it. The protection came from the fact that each population was exposed to the disease and a certain percentage of the people got it.

The original theory of herd immunity had nothing to do with vaccination. The first mass vaccination campaigns for polio and measles in the United States, for example, did not occur until 1954-1955 and 1963 respectively. That’s three decades after Hedrich constructed his theory. The underlying assumption of the theory was that a community as a whole would develop a certain degree of natural protection from an infectious disease after a portion of its members actually came down with the disease, recovered from it, and became immune to it.

In other words:

The more members of the herd (community) who were exposed to an infectious disease and developed natural immunity to it, the less of a threat that disease posed to the entire herd (community).7 

Somewhere along the line between the 1930s and 1950s the theory of herd immunity was corrupted and resurrected as:

The more members of a herd (community) who were vaccinated against an infectious disease and developed immunity to it, the less of a threat that disease posed to the entire herd (community).

Notice the clever sleight of hand there. Suddenly, the importance of exposure to an infectious disease was eliminated and replaced with vaccination, and the importance of natural immunity was diminished. That’s a problem because both of those elements are key to Hedrich’s theory. Hedrich was not thinking about a vaccinated community or vaccine-induced—“temporary”—artificial immunity when he thought up his theory. He was thinking about the process of how a disease works its way through a community and how that community, eventually, naturally builds up a resistance to it as a result.

Dr Hedrich would not recognize his theory today. He would likely be the first to speak up and say, “Uh, no, that’s not at all what I had in mind. You missed the central point.”

Just about anyone with the equivalent of a high school education can answer the question, “Who developed the theory of relativity.” Einstein, of course. The theory is central to the science of physics. Although some have tried to question it, no scientist or professor of physics of any note would dare try to misrepresent or redefine it.

Yet, ask any public health official or health care professional involved in giving vaccinations to correctly explain the theory of herd immunity and who developed it, many would probably fail on both counts. Why? Because they have not made an honest effort to study the history of the theory. They have erroneously accepted as truth the relatively new myth promoted by public health officials around the world that herd immunity can only be attained through a highly vaccinated population and that every unvaccinated individual threatens the health of and weakens the herd.

Hedrich’s theory of herd immunity has been twisted by the myth that vaccine-acquired artificial immunity is identical to naturally acquired immunity, which is false. That myth serves to perpetuate the idea that only strict enforcement of mandatory vaccination laws will protect society from disease, which is also false. https://thevaccinereaction.org/2018/06/the-theory-of-herd-immunity-has-nothing-to-do-with-vaccination-2/


Vaccine induced illnesses.

I have long rationalised that vaccines can cause diseases, by virtue of live or dead cultures in the bloodstream. It is rational to expect that if a disease-producing substance is present… then it can and will produce the relevant disease.vaccine induced illness

International I.H.M. Seminar in Bangkok Thailand.


An I.H.M. case taking seminar is focused on two things.

#1 Examining the directives of Hahnemann.

#Putting them into practice with the patient.

In the 21st century, Homoeopathy as a therapy has moved away from its scientifically rooted origins, and turned into a quasi-psychological/spiritual practice. The benefits of homoeopathy have been reduced by an incorrect application of the methodology in the clinic and thus a high success rate is negated.

It is our experience that the key to a successful practice is the act of following Hahnemann’s directions precisely in ascertaining the symptoms of the disease, to match with the requisite substance that can produce a curative reaction. It is that simple and that difficult.

In the first tentative moments of using homoeopathy, for example, Arnica for bruising, we were amazed at the results, most of us thought the application of applying a remedy for a condition was so simple and truly effective, and as we applied other remedies for other acute conditions, our faith grew in the system.

Then when we entered medical school or an establishment for teaching, we found that the approach we started with suddenly became a little more difficult for chronic cases, and a Kentian overlay on Hahnemann’s directions, introduced a religious/philosophical element regarding life and viewpoints of disease.

Hmm.. gotta work at this

The I.H.M. directors, beginning in 1986, with a background in Kentian homoeopathy, decided to devote time to research, and as such delved deep into the archives of history and collated the original teaching of Hahnemann, and weighed everything that is ‘accepted’ in our therapy against Hahnemanns own words and examples to see if we strayed off the path, or indeed if we missed some key points in practice.

The teachers at the I.H.M., Antonio, Manuel, Guillermo, Vera, Arden, all are independent practitioners with their own practice and teaching faculties. Yet we all share the same core research and information distribution in individual ways. (About us)

On June 20th to the 23rd, there will be a four day special seminar aimed specifically at advanced students and practitioners. This seminar will examine the basis of case taking according to Hahnemann, and how to follow his methodology exactly, and in the process removing all the incorrect additions that have been added over the years from practitioners of his time until today.

We will cover the following.

  • Rationale and reasoning on Aphorisms §5 and §6. Eliminating the common mistakes that lose the case understanding.
  • Utilising the instruction of §153 with the completed case taken with §6 directions.
  • What is a prescribing symptom?
  • What to ignore in a case taking and why.
  • Do we treat the man or the disease?
  • Examining the theory of Miasms in the light of modern disease knowledge, and how useful are miasms in prescribing?
  • How to obtain the necessary information accurately to formulate a prescription in the shortest time possible.
  • The importance of using only well proved remedies.
  • How to read a remedy.
  • Are there keynotes in a remedy?
  • Which repertory to use?
  • How to use a repertory properly.
  • Case management.
  • Potency and how to give a remedy.
  • Repetition of remedies.
  • And much more. Much more includes questions like, how important is Herings law of cure? I’ve never seen it… How long can I keep a person on a remedy? Dry dosing vs water dosing. Why do my patients aggravate all the time? Should I use LM’s? Are they good?
  • We will be examining remedy action through cases, live and paper.

The next international Seminar will be held at:

The Acantus Wellness Centre, หมู่ที่ 3 59/323/1 ซอยแจ้งวัฒนะ-ปากเกร็ด 29 Chaeng Watthana Rd, Pak Kret District, Nonthaburi 11120, Bangkok Thailand.

 Email: acantusclinic@gmail.com   Tel: 02-9829922, 081-4982618   Line ID: Acantus

On the 20th-23rd June 2019.

Flights from Europe start at £380. Hotel accommodation is cheap, Food is very cheap.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Seminar Acantus Bangkok June 2019 (2)

Homeopathy Saved my Son’s Life


says Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who

In May, 2008, 64 year old Roger Daltrey – lead singer from rock band The Who– told The Times newspaper in England how homeopathy had saved his infant son from life threatening gastro-intestinal problems.

“I had a very, very dramatic experience with my son when he was nine months old. He had gastro difficulties, started throwing up, could not keep any food down and turned into skin and bone. At the hospital, they did every test to him, and in the end they just handed him back to me. My wife and I were in bits. My poor baby. The kid was dying. It was terrifying.”

Having heard of homeopathy, Roger searched the Yellow Pages and consulted a local homeopath who prescribed a remedy for his son.  Roger then described how within two days his son began to show improvement, and, “Within two weeks he was putting weight on, keeping the food down. The trouble recurred periodically for a couple of years, but he’s now 27, a fit and healthy young man.”

“The bizarre thing is that I’ve got a chiropractor friend in LA whose baby landed up in exactly the same state. He thought he was about to lose him. But I recommended homoeopathic remedies, and he recovered too. That’s God’s honest truth. Now I bet doctors would say, ‘Oh, they’d have got better anyway’. But I can’t believe that.”

Whilst a guest speaker in May, 2009, at The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, First Annual Conference, held in London, Daltrey once again spoke about how distressing his son’s illness had been and the relief that came with homeopathic treatment.

Daltrey praised Prince Charles’ work as a supporter of complementary health therapies, and encouraged him to continue despite those who attempted to demean and detract from his efforts. He jokingly advised: “Don’t let the b*****ds grind you down!”

Roger Daltrey is among a long and distinguished list of musicians and singers who have spoken positively about homeopathy, from Beethoven, Chopin, and Schumann to the more recent Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, Jon Faddis, Dizzy Gillespie, Shirley Verrett, Pete Townshend, Bob Weir, Paul Rodgers, Annie Lennox, Cher, Tina Turner and Axl Rose.

C. v. BÖNNINGHAUSEN.Münster, 9th September, 1831

v.      Considering the innumerable surprising cures wrought through Homœopathy, in both acute and chronic diseases, this method of healing would doubtless find many more disciples in the medical world if its practices were not subject to some difficulties far from trifling. It is not only a time-absorbing, but also a troublesome business, to investigate carefully into all the characteristic features and peculiarities, and to gain perfect information concerning the present state of mind of the patient in every individual case of sickness, whether belonging to an epidemic or to the diseases sufficiently designated by name; and then the choice of a suitable remedy, on the principle of similars, according to its pure action, offers again new difficulties, and we are often entangled in such a mass of difficulties that it is not surprising if the less experienced homœopath, not to speak of the beginner in this method of healing, is not able to extricate himself. Without doubt, on this account, and also on account of the unsuitable selection of the remedy which frequently follows therefrom, is to be seen the reason why the latter does not accomplish the desired result. Every beginner will probably at times have seen, what in the case of experienced and observant homœopaths is recurring more and more rarely, that, even with very careful selection and apparent adaptability of the remedies, success does not always come up to the expectations, and at times no action at all or even an aggravation of the patient’s troubles ensues. In such cases we may safely depend upon it, either that the remedy given has been formerly misused in allopathic doses and on that account its symptoms have become habitual and very manifest, or that, on account of the oversight of one or more symptoms of the disease which would contra-indicate the remedy, its choice was a mistake and therefore without effect. In the former case there will be, as a rule, an increase in the patient’s sufferings, in the latter no noticeable

vi.     change will be observed; in the former case there must then be made an attempt to destroy the old drug disease by homœopathically selected antidotes, and in the latter case by a careful examination of the disease image, and by a circumspect selection of the remedy, the previous mistake should be rectified. It would betray a great want of logical sequence and would denote a contradiction in itself if one, from such experiences, were to form conclusions concerning the unreliability of the homœopathic foundation principle (similia similibus). For apart from the fact that almost everyone has ultimately had the opportunity to convince himself of one or the other of the above-named causes, there would still remain to be explained away the much more frequent cases in which such rapid and lasting cures are accomplished that they frequently surpass the expectations even of the physician himself. One would be obliged to set up the contention that there existed in nature no sound therapeutic principle, a contention which probably nobody would like to defend.

         Accordingly we would expect that to all physicians, honestly seeking after the truth, every labour, be it ever so trifling, must be welcome, if it serves to advance this (as the honorable Hufeland[1]terms it) “solely direct curative method,” namely, the homœopathic, and assists in the selection of the proper remedy. The compiler of the following tables has not hesitated therefore to consent to the many requests of homœopathic physicians, and even the urgent demand of the worthy founder of this science of cure, to make them known through the press, after having been kindly revised by Hofrath Hahnemann, and after making some changes and improvements on the form in which they had already been communicated in manuscript to the nearest homœopathic friends. Without laying a great value upon the work, which contains no more than a tabulation of that which is already known, it is intended to afford an easier comprehensive survey of some peculiarities of the remedies which have hitherto been proved on healthy persons, and to facilitate the work of those homœopaths who recognize the great importance of such a compilation. We need scarcely be reminded that in several reme-

vii.    dies, and especially those only partially and imperfectly proved, many uncertainties exist, and doubtless mistakes have occurred which only by further proving can be discovered and corrected. In the meantime only that could be used which we possessed, for Homœopathy never allows of hypotheses and suppositions, and never borrows from the realm of opinions,[2] but understands the art of securing out of the realm of reality the pure truth.

         The similarity which must exist between the natural disease and the pure effects of the homœopathic remedy, in order that the latter may be able to eradicate the former, must be complete in every respect. It is, therefore, not sufficient to have found a remedy which is able to excite similar sufferings to those about which the patient complains, and much less if this similarity be confined merely to general names (such as headache, toothache, bowel complaint, cramps and so forth), as some very ignorant persons indeed are not ashamed to falsely attribute to Homœopathy. If the selected remedy is to prove reliable and successful, its pure effects must be adapted to the entire group of symptoms present, the conception of the totality of the disease symptoms, and, therefore, not only the sensations and pains, but also the aggravation and amelioration of the symptoms according to time and circumstances and the mental condition of the patient must correspond to all these in the remedy with the greatest possible similarity. Only when the totality of the symptoms has been obtained with completeness and exactness and when among the proved remedies one is found which corresponds to the whole in similarity, or at least is in no way contra-indicated, may we be sure of the desired success, provided that the remedy has not been already misused in massive doses, and that now only so much is given, as, according to experience, is sufficient to accomplish the object.

         Those who are already acquainted with Homœopathy and have seen its wonderful effects in diseases of the most diverse kind need, in order to appreciate the preceding, only think of the

viii    peculiarites of the Küchenschelle (Anemone pulsatilla) and the Brechnuss (Strychnos nux vomica), the knowledge of which we must attribute to the immortal founder of the art. Out of the numerous symptoms of these two excellently proved polycrests a great number of disease images may be formed, corresponding as strongly to the one as to the other. Even that which we know as especially characteristic of both is nowhere so sharply demarcated as to prevent many symptoms from manifesting quite a similarity or even contradicting each other. If then without reference to the predominating peculiarities of each remedy a selection is made, it may not infrequently happen that the improper remedy is chosen, because according to a few fragmentary symptoms it seems to correspond more nearly to the present case of sickness. The mistake lies, not in the principle of the homœopathic method nor even in the manner of selection itself, but in beginning with an insufficient conception of the totality of the symptoms of the disease and the totality of the symptoms of the remedy. The Küchenschelle (Pulsatilla) has not a few symptoms in the morning, in the open air, and while moving, just as the Krähenaugen (Nux vom.) has several in the evening, in the room and during the rest of the body

[physical rest]

. If we then confine ourselves, unintentionally, only to these symptoms, we will find that we have selected an unsuitable remedy and cannot, therefore, see the hoped-for success. It is consequently of the utmost importance to become thoroughly acquainted with the characteristics and peculiarities of every remedy, and especially of the antipsorics. All of these possess the power to eradicate the sad conseqences of one and the same miasmatic evil foundation, and have, therefore, for the most part the same sphere of action, and there is between them a very great similarity in their effects. Notwithstanding each of them has its own peculiarities, just as the other medicines have, and never can one be used instead of another with the same favorable results. In the most surprising manner was this shown during the present year in the frequent intermittent fevers, which were for the greatest part apparently of a psoric nature, and could, therefore, in most cases be permanently and safely cured only by antipsoric remedies [3] Nearly

ix      all the antipsorics known up to the present time were then used, according to the similarity of their symptoms, without the possibility of giving a preference to one over the other, and, when a proper selection was made, especially based upon the symptoms occurring during the apyrexia, their great curative power demonstrated itself not only by the rapid disappearance of the fever and other symptoms of the disease, but also by the fact that every patient was cured, and of all those homœopathically cured not a single one suffered a relapse, a condition which most generally prevailed after the allopathic use of Peruvian bark.

         Of course to obtain a complete characteristic picture of the remedies, with the elimination of every uncertainty and half truth among the pure effects of the same, when it is often so very difficult to distinguish the primary effects from the after effects, can only be the result of united efforts and mutual communications, and, without a separate homœopathic hospital under the protection of the state, in which nothing but true facts may be gleaned and confirmed, the science can only progress slowly.[4] But until the time that the young science, which is even now rendering such great results, will see its most fervent wishes fulfilled, its disciples must not sit idle, but everyone is under obligation to contribute according to his abilities to its upbuilding, so that suffering humanity may become a partaker so much the sooner of the blessings of those discoveries which have already proven curative in manifold ways, and which promise immensely more.

         The following three tables contain a comparative survey of the action of all remedies, up to this time, proved with a certain degree

x       of perfection on healthy persons, according to the time of day, the position and circumstances and according to the conditions of mind excited by them. In all three the order of their rank is denoted by the first five letters of the alphabet, so that the letter a designates the most decided, predominating and manifest action, having nothing contradicting it; the letter cindicates that the remedy has an equal action with reversed time or circumstances, and the letter ethe last or most subordinate place. The letters b and ddenote the intermediate state, so that b approaches to the highest rank and dto the lowest. When no letter is given, it signifies that nothing has been found in the pure effects pertaining to that modality. This arrangement of the different degrees of value appeared to the author the most serviceable and comprehensive, and the number of the same entirely sufficient to denote the degrees properly.

         The compilation of the first table, which contains the aggravation or amelioration of the suflerings according to the time of day, gave us the most trouble, because the divisions of the day are not capable of being sharply defined and because there is a want of expressions in the general usage of language to define the various terms and limits. Especially is this the case in regard to the morning and the evening, whose limits are not uncommonly extended unreasonably, and then frequently a part of the night as well as fore- and afternoon is included in them. Without doubt, therefore, this table will consequently have to undergo the greatest number of improvements and corrections.

         The second table, which contains the action of the medicines in exciting (and aggravating) or ameliorating (and removing) their symptoms according to circumstances, could in the most of instances easily he arranged according to sure and clearly defined data. It was found soon after its compilation, that here, as well as in the first table, not every symptom without distinction could he taken into consideration, but that a selection had to be made among them, with the omission of that part of them which would have given incorrect results. The main rule for this selection was deduced from what the honorable founder of Homceopathy teaches in that connection in the prefaces to Kriihenaugen (Nux vomica), Ki2chensclzelle (Pulsatitla), Zaunrebe (Byronia), and Wurzelsumach (Rh us), compared with the symptoms of the remedies which con-

xi      firm. For this reason only the symptoms of the head, eyes, teeth, respiration and chest, limbs, and the general sufferings, night sufferings and fevers, were taken into account in the first two tables, and the other regions were only considered when, either on account of the small number or on account of a want of clearness, doubts remained. It is still necessary to note that under the word “Touch,” the heading of the second column of Table II., are also included scratching, rubbing, pressing, etc , and that the modality “Agg.” expressesboth the excitement [initiation] of a symptom and an aggravation, and by “Amel.” a ceasing as well as amelioration of the sufferings is meant. The rest of these two tables needs no further explanation.

         In the third table, which contains a comprehensive view of the various states of mind produced by the remedies, the first five letters of the alphabet have the same meaning as in the two preceding tables. In the rubrics the author has endeavored to observe the most suitable psychological order so as to facilitate comparison thereby as much as possible.

         In giving the names of the medicines in alphabetical order the systematic tabulation of Dr. Rückert, which probably no homœopath is without, is followed, excepting that the acids are always classified immediately according to their bases, both to denote their close relationship in therapeutic respects and because the finding of the former seemed thereby to be facilitated.

         In view of the use of these tables, it is scarcely necessary to remark that they are in nowise intended to introduce a generalizing method into homœopathic treatment. According to the almost unanimous contention of the most distinguished medical authors and practitioners much mischief has been wrought in allopathy just in this way, and consequently Homœopathy would have cause enough to avoid it even if its entire system did not already consist in the strongest individualization. Therefore, if we wish to proceed conscientiously these tables should only be consulted after the case of sickness has been carefully examined, and has been compared with the competing remedies, and then as it were to solve some still remaining difficulties, or as a test for the correctness of the choice made. The tables can in nowise

xii     give the most suitable remedy, but they will assist in the choice of the same and prevent the likelihood of an unsuitable remedy being selected.

         A diligent study of the pure effects of the remedies must ever remain the principal thing, but, as the beginner especially needs a “guiding string,” we hope he will not seek it altogether in vain in these tables. One may especially find in them, the author hopes, an aid in becoming more familiar with those medicines which vie with each other for preference in given cases, and especially the antipsorics, and to group them according to the similarity of their effects. …

         Finally, with the same intense desire after perfection that is everywhere so plainly seen in all disciples of the homœopathic healing art, it is as much to be expected as to be hoped for that the present effort may be closely examined in its details, be purified of unavoidable mistakes and errors, and thereby acquire the reliability which the subject itself deserves.

The real source of Gout

This is the missing chapter from, “Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health”, by Gary Taubes on Gout.

Disclaimer as requested by Gary:This chapter is in draft form and has not gone through the same fact-checking as the rest of Taubes’ published work, even though there are 32 citations (some incomplete). I wanted to show the writing process at its mid-point. The only deletions I’ve make are “TK”, which–for unknown reasons–is traditional shorthand in publishing for indicating that something is “to come”.

I have bolded several sections for those who would like a 2-3-minute skim of content highlights before digesting the entire piece, which is 7 pages long.

Enter Gary Taubes: –

Gout and the condition known technically as hyperuricemia, or elevated levels of uric acid, are the most recent examples of this kind of institutional neglect of the potential health effects of fructose, and how pervasive it can be.

Gout itself is an interesting example because it is a disease that has gone out of fashion in the last century and yet the latest reports suggest it is not only as prevalent as ever, but becoming more so. Recent surveys suggest that nearly 6 percent of all American men in their fifties suffer from gout, and over ten percent in their seventies. The proportion of women afflicted is considerably less at younger ages but still rises over 3 percent by age 60.(1) Moreover, the prevalence of gout seems to have doubled over the last quarter century, coincident (perhaps not coincidentally) with the reported increase in obesity, and it may have increased five- or even six-fold since the 1950s, although a large portion of that increase may be due to the aging of the population.(2)

Until the late 17th century, when the spread of gout reached almost epidemic proportions in Britain, the disease afflicted almost exclusively the nobility, the rich and the educated, and so those who could afford to indulge an excessive appetite for food and alcohol. This made gout the original example of a disease linked to diet and over-consumption, and so, in effect, the original disease of civilization.

But once gout became easily treatable, in the early 1960s, with the discovery of the drug allopuranol, clinical investigators and researchers began to lose interest. And the pathology of gout has been understood since the British physician Alfred Garrod, in the mid-19th century, identified uric acid as the causative agent; the idea being that uric acid accumulates in the circulation to the point that it falls out of solution, as a chemist would put it, and so crystallizes into needle-sharp urate crystals. These crystals then lodge in the soft tissues and in the joints of the extremities – classically, the big toe — and cause inflammation, swelling and an excruciating pain that was described memorably by the 18th century bon vivant Sydney Smith as like walking on one’s eyeballs.(3) Because uric acid itself is a breakdown product of protein compounds known as purines – the building blocks of amino acids – and because purines are at their highest concentration in meat, it has been assumed for the past 130-odd years that the primary dietary means of elevating uric acid levels in the blood, and so causing first hyperuricemia and then gout, is an excess of meat consumption.

The actual evidence, however, has always been less-than-compelling: Just as low cholesterol diets have only a trivial effect on serum cholesterol levels, for instance, and low-salt diets have a clinically insignificant effect on blood pressure, low-purine diets have a negligible effect on uric acid levels. A nearly vegetarian diet, for instance, is likely to drop serum uric acid levels by 10 to 15% percent compared to a typical American diet, but that’s rarely sufficient to return high uric acid levels to normality, and there is little evidence that such diets reliably reduce the incidence of gouty attacks in those afflicted.(4) Thus, purine-free diets are no longer prescribed for the treatment of gout, as the gout specialist Irving Fox noted in 1984, “because of their ineffectiveness” and their “minor influence” on uric acid levels.(5) Moreover, the incident of gout in vegetarians, or mostly vegetarians, has always been significant and “much higher than is generally assumed.” (One mid-century estimate, for instance, put the incidence of gout in India among “largely vegetarians and teetotalers” at 7%.)(6) Finally, there’s the repeated observation that eating more protein increases the excretion of uric acid from the kidney and, by doing so, decreases the level of uric acid in the blood.(7) This implies that the meat-gout hypothesis is at best debatable; the high protein content of meats should be beneficial, even if the purines are not.

The alternative hypothesis is suggested by the association between gout and the entire spectrum of diseases of civilization, and between hyperuricemia and the metabolic abnormalities of Syndrome X. In the past century, gout has manifested all of the now-familiar patterns, chronologically and geographically, of diseases of civilization, and so those diseases associated with western diets. European physicians in World War I, for instance, reported a reduced incidence of gout in countries undergoing food shortages.(8) In primitive populations eating traditional diets, gout was virtually unknown or at least went virtually unreported (with the conspicuous exception of Albert Schweitzer who says he saw it with surprising frequency.) The earliest documented cases reported in Asia and Africa were in the late 1940s.(9) And even in the 1960s, hospital records from Kenya and Uganda suggested an incidence of gout lower than one in a thousand among the native Africans. Nonetheless, by the late 1970s, uric acid levels in Africa were increasing with westernization and urbanization,(10) while the incidence of both hyperuricemia and gout among South Pacific islanders was reportedly sky-rocketing. By 1975, the New Zealand rheumatologist B.S. Rose, a colleague of Ian Prior’s, was describing the native populations of the South Pacific as “one large gouty family.”(11)

Gout has also been linked to obesity since the Hippocratic era, and this association is the origin of the assumption that high-living and excessive appetites are the cause. Gouty men have long been reported to suffer higher rates of atherosclerosis and hypertension, while stroke and coronary heart disease are common causes of death.(12) Diabetes is also commonly associated with gout. In 1951, Menard Gertler, working with Paul Dudley White’s Coronary Research Project at Harvard, reported that serum uric acid levels rose with weight, and that men who suffered heart attacks were four times as likely to be hyperuricemic as healthy controls.(13) This led to a series of studies in the 1960s, as clinical investigators first linked hyperuricemia to glucose intolerance and high triglycerides, and then later to high insulin levels and insulin resistance.(14) By the 1990s, Gerald Reaven, among others, was reporting that insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia raised uric acid levels, apparently by decreasing uric acid excretion by the kidney, just as they raised blood pressure by decreasing sodium excretion. “It appears that modulation of serum uric concentration by insulin resistance is exerted at the level of the kidney,” Reaven wrote, “the more insulin-resistant an individual, the higher the serum uric acid concentration.” (15)

These observations would suggest that anything that raised insulin levels would in turn raise uric acid levels and might cause gout, which would implicate any high carbohydrate diet with sufficient calories. But this neglects the unique contribution of fructose. The evidence arguing for sugar or fructose as the primary cause of gout is two-fold. First, the distribution of gout in western populations has paralleled the availability of sugar for centuries, and not all refined carbohydrates in this case. It was in the mid-17th century, that gout went from being exclusively a disease of the rich and the nobility to spread downward and outward through British society, reaching near epidemic proportions by the 18th century. Historians refer to this as the “gout wave,”(16) and it coincides precisely with the birth and explosive growth of the British sugar industry(17) and the transformation of sugar, in the words of the anthropologist Sydney Mintz, from “a luxury of kings into the kingly luxury of commoners.”(18) British per capita sugar consumption in the 17th century was remarkably low by modern standards, a few pounds per capita per year at the turn of the century, but the change in consumption over the next century and a half was unprecedented: between 1650 and 1800, following the British acquisition of Barbados, Jamaica and other “sugar islands”, total sugar consumption in England and Wales increased 20- to 25-fold.(19)

The second piece of evidence is much less circumstantial: simply put, fructose increases serum levels of uric acid. The “striking increase” in uric acid levels with an infusion of fructose was first reported in the Lancet in the late 1960s by clinicians from Helsinki, Finland, who referred to it as fructose-induced hyperuricemia.(20) This was followed by a series of studies through the late 1980s confirming the existence of the effect and reporting on the variety of mechanisms by which it came about. Fructose, for instance, accelerates the breakdown of a molecule known as ATP, which is the primary source of energy for cellular reactions and is loaded with purines. (ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate; adenosine is a form of adenine, and adenine is a purine.) And so this in turn increases formation of uric acid. Alcohol apparently raises uric acid levels through the same mechanism, although beer also has purines in it.(21) Fructose also stimulates the synthesis of purines directly, and the metabolism of fructose leads to the production of lactic acid, which in turn reduces the excretion of uric acid by the kidney and so raises uric acid concentrations indirectly by that mechanism.(22)

These mechanistic explanations of how fructose raises uric acid levels were then supported by a genetic connection between fructose metabolism and gout itself. Gout often runs in families, so much so that those clinicians studying gout have always assumed the disease has a strong hereditary component. In 1990, Edwin Seegmiller, one of the few veteran gout researchers in the U.S., and the British geneticist George Radda, who would go onto become director of the Medical Research Counsel, reported that the explanation for this familial association seemed to be a very specific defect in the genes that regulate fructose metabolism. Thus, individuals who inherit this defect will have trouble metabolizing fructose and so will be born with a predisposition to gout. This suggested the possibility, Seegmiller and Radda concluded, that this defect in fructose metabolism was “a fairly common cause of gout.”(23)

As these observations appeared in the literature, the relevant investigators were reasonably clear about the implications: “since serum-uric-acid levels are critical in individuals with gout, fructose might deserve consideration in their diet,” noted the Helsinki clinicians in The Lancet in 1967, and so the chronic consequences of high-fructose diets on healthy individuals required further evaluation.(24) Gouty patients should avoid high-fructose or high-sucrose diets, explained Irving Fox in 1984, because “fructose can accelerate rates of uric acid synthesis as well as lead to increased triglyceride production.”(25) Although none of these investigators seemed willing to define what precisely constituted a high-fructose or a high-sucrose diet. Was it 50 pounds of sugar a year? 100 pounds? 150 pounds? 300 pounds? And would high-fructose diets induce gout in healthy individuals or would they only exacerbate the problem in those already afflicted? In 1993, the British biochemist Peter Mayes published an article on fructose metabolism in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that is now considered the seminal article in the field. (This was in the special issue of the AJCN dedicated to the health effects of fructose.) Mayes reviewed the literature and concluded that high-fructose diets in healthy individuals were indeed likely to cause hyperuricemia, and he implied that gout could be a result, as well, but the studies to address that possibility had simply never been done. “It is clear,” Mayes concluded, “that systematic investigations in humans are needed to ascertain the precise amounts, both of fructose consumption and of its concentration in the blood, at which deleterious effects such as hyperlipidemia and hyperuricemia occur.”(26) Add to this Reaven’s research reporting that high insulin levels and insulin resistance will increase uric acid levels, and it suggests, as Mayes had remarked about triglycerides, that sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup would constitute the worst of all carbohydrates when it comes to uric acid and gout. The fructose would increase uric acid production and decrease uric acid excretion, while the glucose, though its effect on insulin, would also decrease uric acid excretion. Thus, it would be reasonable to assume or at least to speculate that sugar is a likely cause of gout, and that the patterns of sugar consumption explain the appearance and distribution of the disease.

Maybe so, but this hypothesis has never been seriously considered. Those investigators interested in gout have focused almost exclusively on alcohol and meat consumption, in part because these have historical precedents and because the implication that gouty individuals and particularly obese gouty individuals shy away from meat and alcohol fit in well with the dietary prescriptions of the 1970s onward.

More than anything, however, this sugar/fructose hypothesis was ignored, once again, because of bad timing. With the discovery and clinical application of allopurinol in the 1960s, those clinical investigators whose laboratories were devoted to studying the mechanisms of gout and purine metabolism – James Wyngaarden’s, for instance, at Duke and Edwin Seegmiller’s at NIH – began focusing their efforts either on working out the nuances of allopurinol therapy, or to applying the new techniques of molecular biology to the genetics of gout and rare disorders of hyperuricemia or purine metabolism. Nutritional studies were simply not considered worthy of their time, if for no other reason than that allopuranol allowed gout suffers to eat or drink whatever they wanted. “We didn’t care so much whether some particular food might do something,” says William Kelley, who is a co-author with Wyngaarden of the 1976 textbook, Gout and Hyperuricemia and who started his career in Seegmiller’s lab at NIH. “We could take care of the disease.”(27)

This exodus, however, coincided with the emergence of research on fructose-induced hyperuricemia. By the 1980s, when the ability of fructose and sucrose consumption to raise uric acid levels in human subjects was demonstrated repeatedly, the era of basic research on gout had come to an end. The major players had left the field and NIH funding on the subject had dwindled to a trickle. Wyngaarden published his last research paper in 1977 and spent the years 1982 to 1989 as director of the National Institutes of Health. Kelley published his last papers on the genetics of gout in 1989, when he became dean of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Irving Fox, who did much of the basic research on fructose- and alcohol-induced hyperuricemia in Kelley’s lab, went to work in the biotechnology industry in the early 1990s. Only Edwin Seegmiller remained interested in the etiology of gout, and Seegmiller says that when he applied to the NIH for funding to study the relationship between fructose and gout, after elucidating the genetic connection with Radda in 1990, his grant proposals were rejected on the basis that he was too old and, as an emeritus professor, technically retired.(28) “In the 1950s and 1960s, we had the greatest clinical scientists in the world working on this disease,” says Kelley. “By the 1980s and 1990s, there was no one left.”

Meanwhile, the medical journals would occasionally run articles on the clinical management of the gout, but these would concentrate almost exclusively on drug therapy. Discussions of diet would be short, perhaps a few sentences, and confused about the science. On those occasions when the authors would suggest that gouty individuals might benefit from low-purine diets, they would invariably include “sugars” and “sweets” as among the recommended foods with low-purine contents.(29) In a few cases – a 1996 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, for instance (30)– the articles would also note that fructose consumption would raise uric acid levels, suggesting only that the authors had been unaware of the role of fructose in “sugars” and “sweets.” Even when the New England Journal published a report from Walter Willett and his Harvard colleagues in March 2004, this same kind of nutritional illiteracy manifested itself. Willett’s article had reported that men with gout seemed to eat more meat than healthy men. But Willett, who by this time was arguably the nation’s most influential nutritional epidemiologist, later explained that they had never considered sugar consumption in their analysis because neither he nor his collaborators had been aware of the hyperuricemic effect of fructose. Willett’s co-author, Gary Curhan, a nephrologist and gout specialist with a doctorate in epidemiology, said he might have once known that fructose raised uric acid levels, but it had slipped his mind. “My memory is not what it used to be,” he said. He also acknowledged, in any case, that he never knew sucrose was half fructose.

The addenda to this fructose-induced hyperuricemia story may be even more important. When the New England Journal of Medicine published Willett’s gout study, it ran an editorial to accompany it written by the University of Florida nephrologist Richard Johnson. Over the past decade, Johnson’s research has supported the hypothesis that elevating the uric acid concentration in the circulation also damages the blood vessels leading into the kidneys in such a way as to raise blood pressure directly, and so suggests that fructose consumption will raise blood pressure.

This is another potentially harmful effect of fructose that post-dates the official reports exonerating sugar in the diet. And it is yet another mechanism by which sugar and high fructose corn syrup could be a particularly unhealthy combination. The glucose in these sugars would raise insulin levels, which in turn would raise blood pressure by inhibiting the kidney’s secretion of sodium and by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, as we discussed in an earlier chapter, and the fructose would do it independently by raising uric acid levels and so damaging the kidney directly. If this were the case, which has never been tested, it would potentially explain the common association of gout and hypertension and even of diabetes and hypertension.(31) Johnson is only now looking into this possibility, however. Unlike Willett and his colleagues, Johnson had long been aware of the ability of fructose to raise uric acid levels, and so was studying that phenomenon in his laboratory. But it was only in the summer of 2004, he explained, three months after his NEJM editorial was published, that he realized that sucrose was half fructose and that his research of the past years was even relevant to sugar.(32)

A decade later, Thomas Benedek described the epidemiology of gout in The Cambridge World History of Human Disease this way: “Worldwide the severity and prevalence of gout have changed paradoxically since the 1940s. In the highly developed countries, as a result of the advent of effective prophylactic drug therapy, the disease is now rarely disabling. Elsewhere, however, it has become more prevalent, predominantly as a result of `improved diets.’”


Footnotes and endnotes:

The economist and historian Ralph Davis estimates that the supply of sugar from the Caribbean into Britain rose from three or four thousand tons a year in the late fifteenth century to over two hundred thousand tons by the 1770s, or an increase of over fifty-fold. (davis r, the rise of the atlantic economies, cornell university press, 1973, p. 251, 255)

1 Kramer hm, curhan g, the association between gotu and nephrolithiasis: the national health and nutrition examination survey III. 1988-1994. Am J Kidney Dis 2002;40:37-42

2 Arromdee E, Michet CJ, Crowson CS, O’Fallon WM, Gabriel SE. Epidemiology of gout: is the incidence rising? J Rheumatol. 2002 Nov;29(11):2403-6.

2Interview with choi, sept 16, 2004

2Lawrence RC, Helmick CG, Arnett FC, Deyo RA, Felson DT, Giannini EH, Heyse SP, Hirsch R, Hochberg MC, Hunder GG, Liang MH, Pillemer SR, Steen VD, Wolfe F. Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and selected musculoskeletal disorders in the United States.

2Arthritis Rheum. 1998 May;41(5):778-99.

3 gout, the patrician disease, p. 3


5 hydrick and fox, p. 748-749.

6 Duncan’s diseases of metabolism, p. 632.

7 Hydrick cr and fox ih, nutrition and gout, in present knowledge in nutrition, fifth edition, the nutrition foundation, Washington dc, 1984, p. 743

8 duncans diseases of metabolism, p. 638

9 Traut ef, rheumatic diseases, diagnosis and treatment, the C.V. Mosby Company, St. Louis, 1952 p. 303.

9benedek, in Cambridge history of diseases

9Trowel hc, a case of gout in a ruanda African, the east African medical journal, oct. 1947, p. 346-348

10 Beighton p et al, 1977, rheumatic disorders in th south African negro, part IV. Gout and hyperuricemia. South Af Med J. 51(26):969-72

11 Gout in the Maoris, B.S. Rose, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. Vol. 5, no. 2, (November) 1975, pg. 121-145.

12 duncan’s diseases of metabolism, 1947, p. 631

13 gertler mm, et al, erum uric acid in relation to age and physique in health andin coronary ehart disease, Ann Intern Med. 1951 Jun;34(6):1421-31. Reiser S, Uric Acid and Lactic Acid, in REISER S AND HALLFRISCH J, METABOLIC EFFECTS OF FRUCTOSE, crc press, boca raton fl, 1987 p. 113-134


14 duncan’s diseases of metabolism, p. 631

14 reaven gm, The Kidney: An Unwilling Accomplice in Syndrome X, Am J Kid Dis, Vol. 30, n0 6, December, 1997: pp. 928-931.

15 Facchini F et al, Relationship Between Resistance to Insulin-Mediated Glucose Uptake, Urinary Uric Acid Clearance, and Plasma Uric Acid Concentration, JAMA, December 4, 1991, vol. 266, no. 21, 3008-3011

16 Wyngaarden and Kelley p. ix

17 mintz

18 Sydney Mintz, Sweetness and Power, The Place of Sugar in Modern History, penguin books, ny 1985 p. 96.

19 mintz p. 64, 66

20 perheentupa j raivio k, fructose-induced hyperuricaemia, lancet, September 9, 1967, p.528531

21 emmerson bt, getting rid of gout

22 mayes pa, metabolism of fructose, ajcn, 1993

22hydrick c fox i, nutrition and gout, in modern reviews of nutrition

23 Seegmiller JE, Dixon RM, Kemp GJ, Angus PW, McAlindon TE, Dieppe P, Rajagopalan B, Radda GK. Fructose-induced aberration of metabolism in familial gout identified by 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

23Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Nov;87(21):8326-30

24 peerheentupa ibid

25 hydrick and fox, p. 748-749.

26 Mayes pa, metabolism of fructose, ajcn 1993

27 Kelley interview

28 seegmiller interview

29 See for instance, fam ag, gout, diet and the insulin resistance syndrome, j. rheum. 2002;29, 1350-55

30 Emmerson BT. The management of gout.

30N Engl J Med. 1996 Feb 15;334(7):445-51

31 get citation from Richard Johnson articles on uric acid and hypertension.

32 Johnson interview, june 3, 2004

Herings law….. A lamentable falsehood.

Hering’s Law: Law, Rule or Dogma?
by Dr. André Saine, D.C., N.D., F.C.A.H.

Presented at the Second Annual Session of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians in Seattle, Washington, April 16-17, 1988.

In homeopathy today, Hering’s law is widely recognized as the second law of cure, the first law of cure being similia similibus curantur, or like cures like. Hering’s law pertains to the direction in which the symptoms of the patient will disappear during a cure under homeopathic treatment.

In his second lecture on homeopathic philosophy given in 1900 to the Post-Graduate School of Homœopathics, Kent said:

  • “The cure must proceed from centre to circumference. From centre to circumference is from above downward, from within outwards, from more important to less important organs, from the head to the hands and feet.”
  • “Every homœopathic practitioner who understands the art of healing, knows that the symptoms which go off in these directions remain away permanently. Moreover, he knows that symptoms which disappear in the reverse order of their coming are removed permanently. It is thus he knows that the patient did not merely get well in spite of the treatment, but that he was cured by the action of the remedy. If a homœopathic physician goes to the bedside of a patient and, upon observing the onset of the symptoms and the course of the disease, sees that the symptoms do not follow this order after his remedy, he knows that he has had but little to do with the course of things.” (1)

Here Kent does not differentiate between acute and chronic disease in the application of the law. It is reasonable to assume, because of the lack of precision, that he meant all diseases, acute and chronic of venereal and non-venereal origin, would disappear in the direction described above.

When first studying homeopathy, I listened to the teachers and read the “classic” modern works, and assumed, like my fellow colleagues, that Hering’s law had been an irrefutable fact recognized by Hering and the many succeeding generations of homeopaths, and that all patients, (All italics used throughout this paper indicate my own emphasis of pertinent points.) acute and chronic, without an exception, would, at all times, be cured in the afore-mentioned direction under careful homeopathic treatment.

Later as a practitioner, I carefully applied myself to put the general homeopathic training I had received to the test. Since then, I have been able to substantiate most but not all of the rules, principles and laws contained in the homeopathic doctrine promulgated by several generations of homeopaths.

So far, however, I have been unable to substantiate Hering’s law. Indeed, very rarely do I see, for instance, in a patient with chronic polyarthritis, the symptoms disappearing from the head first and then to the hands and feet. More often, the pain and other joint symptoms disappear in the reverse order of their appearance, even if it is from below upwards. In other words, if the arthritis manifested itself, as it happens at times, first in the knees and then in the ankles, the ankles would get better before the knees.

Or in a patient affected by a complex of essentially functional complaints such as fatigue, anxiety, irritability, difficult digestion, joint pain and acne, rarely would I see the disappearance of the emotional disturbance first, then the poor digestion followed by the joint pain and lastly the acne. With the simillimum most symptoms begin to improve simultaneously and disappear in the reverse order of their appearance, and not necessarily from above downwards and from inside outwards. In fact it is not uncommon that in such cases the acne, the last to have appeared, would disappear readily and the emotional state (the oldest symptom) would be the last to completely disappear.

While treating a patient with an acute febrile disease that had progressed in the first stage from chills to fever, then to perspiration and lastly to weakness, I would observe a rapid and gentle recovery but without the patient re-experiencing the perspiration, then the fever and lastly the chills. While recovering from acute diseases under homeopathic treatment, the patient does not re-experience the original symptoms one by one in the reverse order of their appearance. Many more troublesome exceptions similar to the above could be cited.

What was wrong with Hering’s law as quoted above from Kent’s Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy? Had I misunderstood the law?
According to Webster’s dictionary, a law is defined as a sequence of events that occurs with unvarying uniformity whereas a rule permits exceptions, and a dogma rests on opinion. Was this lack of confirmation of the said law due to “suppressive” homeopathic treatment as suggested by a number of theoretical and perhaps dogmatic homeopaths? If so, why have these so called “purists” not stood up and proven that all their cured cases followed the said law? To my knowledge this proof has not been forthcoming.

Was I the only practitioner in this position?
I questioned teachers and colleagues, some with many years of experience. Few could answer my questions and none has been able to substantiate from their own experience without the shadow of a doubt that Hering’s law was a true law of nature. It seems that most were in the same situation as me, even the supposed authorities would discuss the matter but in private with the author. It seems that we all had classic cases of cure from above downwards, from within outwards, from more to less important organs and in the reverse order of appearance of symptoms. But these absolutely “perfect” cases were only occasional. The majority of cured cases did not fulfill all the four citedcriteria.

So I decided to go back to the sources.
On one hand, neither Kent, in his Lectures on Homœopathic Philosophy of 1900, nor Stuart Close, in The Genius of Homœopathy of 1924, nor Herbert Roberts, in The Principles and Art of Cure by Homœopathy of 1936 while discussing the above law, refer to it as Hering’s law. (1-3) None of these three authors makes any reference to Hering in their lectures on the law of direction of cure. On the other hand, Garth Boericke, in A Compendium of the Principles of Homœopathy of 1929, refers to it as Hering’s rule but not as a law. (4) Confusing, isn’t it? Did Hering ever formulate a law on the direction of cure? If he did, why was his name not clearly associated with the law and was it as a law or a rule? Why was the literature so ambiguous?

At this point, I realized that the sources had to be explored further. The answers would all have to be within the literature of the nineteenth century. After a thorough examination of this literature I have so far been unable to find any of Hering’s famous contemporaries and close colleagues discussing or making any reference to a law of direction of cure. Writings of Boenninghausen, Jahr, Joslin, P.P. Wells, Lippe, H.N.Guernsey, Dunham, E.A. Farrington, H.C. Allen, Nash, etc, were all silent.

When Hering died in 1880, colleagues all over the world assembled to pay tribute to the great homeopath. His many accomplishments were recalled. Strangely, none made any mention of a law of direction of cure promulgated by Hering. (5) Arthur Eastman, a student who was close to Hering during the last three years of the venerable homeopath, published in 1917 Life and Reminiscences of Dr. Constantine Hering also without mentioning a law pertaining to direction of cure. (6) Calvin Knerr, Hering’s son-in-law, published in 1940, 60 years after Hering’s death, the Life of Hering, a compilation of biographical notes. (7) Again no mention is made of the famous law. Not only confusing, but also puzzling.

Obviously, the sources had to be further explored. Here are the fruits of this exploration.


  1. Hahnemann – 1811
    With the first publication of his Materia Medica Pura in 1811, Hahnemann inaugurated a new arrangement of the symptoms: from above downwards, from inside outwards, but also from the parts to the generals.
  2. Hahnemann – 1828
    In 1828, Hahnemann published his first observations and theories on chronic diseases. (8) I summarize here the points most pertinent to the present discussion:

    • “All diseases, acute and chronic of non-venereal origin, come from the original malady, called psora. (page 7)
    • “A skin eruption is the first manifestation of psora. (page 38)
    • “The skin eruption acts as a substitute for the internal psora (page 11) and prevents the breaking out of the internal disease. (page 13)
    • “The more the skin eruption spreads the more it keeps the internal manifestations of psora latent. (page 40)
    • “But when the skin eruption is suppressed with an external application or other influences the latent psora goes unnoticed and its internal manifestation increases. Then “it originates a legion of chronic diseases.” (page 12) Incidently, for Hahnemann, a suppressed skin eruption is not driven into the body as it was popularly thought in his time, and even today by most homeopaths, but rather the vital force is compelled “to effect a transference of a worse form of morbid action to other and more important parts.” (Introduction of the Organon of Medicine page 62) (9)
    • “Latent psora, an abnormal susceptibility to disease, will manifest itself as severe diseases after exposure to stress (or as he calls it, unfavorable conditions of life) acute infections, trauma and injuries, exhaustion from overworking, lack of fresh air or exercise, frustration, grief, poor nutrition, etc, and by “incorrect and weakening allopathic treatment”. (page 48)
    • “During the treatment of chronic diseases of non-venereal origin with antipsoric remedies, the last symptoms are always the first to disappear, “but the oldest ailments and those which have been most constant and unchanged, among which are the local ailments, are the last to give way.” (page 135)
    • If old symptoms return during an antipsoric treatment, it means that the remedy is affecting psora at its roots and will do much for its thorough cure (page 135). If a skin eruption appears during the treatment while all other symptoms have so far improved the end of the treatment is close.”
  3. Hahnemann – 1833-43
    In paragraphs 161 and 248 of the fifth and sixth edition of the Organon of Medicine of 1833 and 1843 respectively, Hahnemann says that in the treatment of old and very old chronic disease, aggravation of the original disease does not appear if the remedy is accurately chosen and given in the appropriate small doses, which are only gradually increased. “When this is done, these exacerbations of the original symptoms of the chronic disease can appear only at the end of the treatment, when the cure is complete or nearly complete.” The original symptoms of a chronic disease should be the last to aggravate or become more prominent before disappearing. (10)
    In paragraph 253 of the same work, the author states that in all diseases, especially in quickly arising (acute) ones, of all the signs that indicate a small beginning of improvement (or aggravation) that is not visible to everybody, the psychic condition of the patient and his general demeanor are the most certain and revealing.

    In paragraph 225, Hahnemann states that some psychic diseases are not the extension of physical disease but, “instead, with only slight physical illness, they arise and proceed from the psyche, from persistent grief, resentment, anger, humiliation and repeated exposure to fear and fright. In time such psychic diseases often greatly harm the physical health.” In other words, Hahnemann had recognized the existence of psychosomatic diseases, those diseases which progress from within outwards and from above downwards.

    This is the background that now leads us to Hering, who, among all Hahnemann’s students, was most similar to him. Like Hahnemann, Hering was a true scientist who totally adopted the inductive method in his scientific pursuits.

  4. Hering – 1845
    In 1845, Hering published in the preface of the first American edition of Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases an extract of an essay which was never published elsewhere, called “Guide to the Progressive Development of Homœopathy”.
    In this essay, Hering writes:

    • “Every homœopathic physician must have observed that the improvement in pain takes place from above downward; and in diseases, from within outward. This is the reason why chronic diseases, if they are thoroughly cured, always terminate in some cutaneous eruption, which differs according to the different constitutions of the patients.
    • “The thorough cure of a widely ramified chronic disease in the organism is indicated by the most important organs being first relieved; the affection passes off in the order in which the organs had been affected, the more important being relieved first, the less important next, and the skin last. (page 7)
    • “Even the superficial observer will not fail in recognising this law of order.
    • “This law of order which we have pointed out above, accounts for numerous cutaneous eruptions consequent upon homœopathic treatment, even where they never had been seen before; it accounts for the obstinacy with which many kinds of herpes and ulcers remain upon the skin, whereas others are dissipated like snow. Those which remain, do remain because the internal disease is yet existing… It lastly accounts for one cutaneous affection being substituted for another.” (11) (page 8)

    Here Hering assumes that all chronic diseases (it is likely that he is referring here to diseases of psoric origin, i.e., non-venereal) progress from less to more important organs and disappear in the reverse order. This is compatible with Hahnemann’s theory that all chronic diseases of non-venereal origin manifest themselves first on the skin then internally. (Concerning the theories of Hahnemann, Hering wrote in 1836 in the first American edition of the Organon of Medicine: Whether the theories of Hahnemann are destined to endure a longer or a shorter space, whether they be the best or not, time only can determine; be it as it may however, it is a matter of minor importance. For myself, I am generally considered as a disciple and adherent of Hahnemann, and I do indeed declare, that I am one among the most enthusiastic in doing homage to his greatness; but nevertheless I declare also, that since my first acquaintance with homeopathy, (in the year 1821), down to the present day, I hve never yet accepted a single theory in the Organon as it is promulgated. I feel no aversion to acknowledge this even to the venerable sage himself. It is the genuine Hahnemannean spirit totally to disregard all theories, even those of one’s own fabrication, when they are in opposition to the results of pure experience. All thoeries and hypotheses have no positive weight whatever, only so far as they lead to new experiments, and afford a better survey of the results of those already made. (page 17) (12)

  5. Hering – 1865
    It seems that Hering did not further elaborate on this subject, at least in the American literature, until 20 years later. In 1865, he published an article in the first volume of The Hahnemannian Monthly called “Hahnemann’s three rules concerning the rank of symptoms”. Hering states in this article that:

    • “The quintessence of Hahnemann’s doctrine is, to give in all chronic diseases, i.e., such as progress from without inwardly, from the less essential parts of our body to the more essential, from the periphery to the central organs, generally from below upwards – to give in all such cases, by preference, such drugs as are opposite in their direction, or way of action, such as act from within outward, from up downward, from the most essential organs to the less essential, from the brain and the nerves outward and down to the most outward and the lowest of all organs, to the skin… All the antipsoric drugs of Hahnemann have this peculiarity as the most characteristic; the evolution of their effects from within towards without. (page 6-7)
    • “Hahnemann states, in his treatise on Chronic Diseases, American translation p.171: Symptoms recently developed are the first to yield. Older symptoms disappear last. Here we have one of Hahnemann’s general observations, which like all of them, is of endless value, a plain, practical rule and of immense importance.
    • “The above rule might also be expressed in the following words: In diseases of long standing, where the symptoms or groups of symptoms have befallen the sick in a certain order, succeeding each other, more and more being added from time to time to those already existing, in such cases this order should be reversed during the cure; the last ought to disappear first and the first last.” (page 7-8) (13)

    It is very clear here that Hering makes no mention of a law but rather of a rule, that the symptoms ought to disappear in the reverse order of their appearance during the homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic disease of psoric origin, the ones that progress from without inwardly, from less important to more important organs and generally from below upwards.

  6. Hering – 1875
    In 1875, Hering published the first volume of Analytical Therapeutics of the Mind in which he stated that “only such patients remain well and are really cured, who have been rid of their symptoms in the reverse order of their development”. (page 24) (14) Here Hering makes no mention of the three other propositions regarding the direction of cure: from above downwards, from within outwards and from the more important to the less important organs. Why? Were they not considered as important to evaluate the direction of cure as stated in previous years?
    In the same work, Hering also explains that he adopted Hahnemann’s arrangement of the materia medica: “First inner symptoms, then outer ones. This order we have now uniformly preserved throughout the whole work.” (page 21) In explaining why he adopted this arrangement he says: “The arrangement as well as the style of printing, has the one object especially in view, viz.: to make it as easy as possible for the eye, and through the eye, for the mind to find what is looked for.” He makes no mention of this arrangement corresponding to a direction of cure, as it has been suggested by some well wishing homeopaths.

    The origin of the term “Hering’s law”
    Where does the term “Hering’s law” come from as it seems never to have been mentioned in the literature during Hering’s time? The earliest mention I have been able to find in the homeopathic literature dates from 1911, in an article published by Kent in the first volume of the Transactions of the Society of Homœopathicians called “Correspondence of Organs, and the Direction of Cure”. Kent writes:

    • “Hering first introduced the law of direction of symptoms: from within out, from above downward, in reverse order of their appearance. It does not occur in Hahnemann’s writings. It is spoken of as Hering’s law. There is scarcely anything of this law in the literature of homœopathy, except the observation of symptoms going from above to the extremities, eruptions appearing on the skin and discharges from the mucous membranes or ulcers appearing upon the legs as internal symptoms disappear.
    • “There is non-specific assertion in the literature except as given in the lectures on philosophy at the Post- Graduate School.” (15)

    It is reasonable to assume that Kent was the one that officialized the term “Hering’s law” and so inadvertently popularized the concept of the existence of a clear and precise law of direction of cure. (At least up till 1899, at Kent’s Post-Graduate School of Homeopathics, the directions of cure were still called “the Three Directions of cure [given by Hahnemann].) (16) By using the name of Hering it is reasonable to say that Kent thus created false and misleading historical assumptions. Since H.C. Allen had died two years previously (1909), the profession, at least in North America, had no other leaders capable to refute Kent and defend the classic Hahnemannian tradition. (It is to be remembered that in 1908 H.C. Allen had severely criticized the materia medica of the new synthetic remedies that Kent had been publishing since 1904 in The Critique. Kent was at the time the associate editor of this journal in which, almost monthly, he had been publishing the materia medica of a new synthetic remedy, each of very questionable value. During an open session at the annual meeting of the International Hahnemannian Association, Allen and G.P. Waring accused Kent of publishing materia medica that was “without proving or any clinical experience”, which would have been completely contrary to the strict inductive method intrinsic to homeopathy. (17)

    Kent then stopped permanently the publication of these synthetic remedies, even the ones that he had previously promised for upcoming publication in The Critique(18) Although Kent continued to publish regularly in The Critique until 1911 he restricted his articles to reporting clinical cases rather than materia medica. Never was a synthetic remedy ever published by Kent after the initial criticism of Allen even in his own journal, The Homœopathician, that he founded in 1912. Furthermore, when Kent published the second edition of his Lectures on Homœopathic Materia Medica in 1912 [the first edition was in 1904], all the synthetic remedies published between 1904 and 1908 were omitted.)

    In this same article, Kent says that in the course of treatment of a patient suffering with a psychic disease of the will (problems of affections, grief, anger, jealousy, etc), the heart or liver will be affected as the treatment progresses.

    While in a patient suffering from a mental disease (problems of the intellect), the stomach or the kidney will be affected during appropriate homeopathic treatment. Were these comments on the direction of cure and correspondence of organs based on Kent’s impeccable and meticulous observations or was he rather formulating hypotheses? He does not explain further but he does mention later in the same paper that “through familiarity with Swedenborg, I have found the correspondences wrought out from the Word of God harmonious with all I have learned in the past thirty years. Familiarity with them aids in determining the effect of prescriptions.” (15)

    Nowhere was I able to find in the writings of Kent, including in a collection of not yet republished lesser writings, any other mention of Hering’s law as to the direction of cure.

    Discussion and Conclusion
    First let us briefly review the highlights of what has been so far demonstrated:

    • Between 1828 and 1843, Hahnemann enunciated his theories of chronic diseases and described his observations and rules about the progression and resolution of these chronic diseases. One key point of his theory is that a skin eruption is the first manifestation of psora, which is the source of all chronic diseases of non-venereal origin. In chronic disease the presenting symptoms of the patient (“those ailments which have been most constant and unchanged”) may aggravate and will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance with the correct antipsoric remedies in the correct posology. Possibly, old symptoms may return during an antipsoric treatment. In all diseases, if after a homeopathic remedy the psychic symptoms are the first to improve or aggravate it is a most certain sign of curative change. For Hahnemann this inside outward improvement was not a law but rather a most certain sign of curative change. Finally not all diseases progress from outside inwards but certain diseases (psychosomatic diseases) can progress from within outwards.
    • In 1845, Hering enunciated the original observations of Hahnemann as a law of order in a work never to be published. In this law he mentions essentially four points, that “the improvement in pain takes place from above downward; and in diseases, from within outward… Chronic diseases if thoroughly cured, always terminate in some cutaneous eruption” and lastly “the thorough cure of a widely ramified chronic disease in the organism is indicated by the most important organs being first relieved; the affection passes off in the order in which the organs had been affected, the most important being relieved first, the less important next, and the skin last”. As a reader I do not clearly sense that Hering is officially proclaiming the original observations of Hahnemann as an absolute law but rather that there is a “law of order” during a curative process. Also I was unable to find Hering or any of his contemporaries referring further to this unpublished work or to a law of direction of cure.
    • In 1865, Hering described these observations not as a law but as Hahnemann’s general observations or as plain practical rules. Essentially he emphasizes the proposition that the symptoms should disappear in the reverse order of their appearance during the treatment of patients with chronic psoric diseases.
    • In 1875, Hering now discussed only one proposition, that the symptoms will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance. The three other propositions are now not mentioned at all.
    • All the illustrious contemporaries of Hering seems to remain silent on this point, at least from my review of the literature.
    • In 1911, Kent, almost arbitrarily, calls the original observations of Hahnemann “Hering’s law”.

    Now, with Kent’s powerful influence, most modern works and presentations on homeopathy began to declare Hering’s law as an established fact and seemingly assumed that it has been thoroughly verified since the beginning of homeopathy, although no author, to my knowledge, has so far been able to substantiate what each is repeating from the other. Here is one clear sign which indicates how profoundly the homeopathic profession of today has been cut off from its original and most essential sources. During the years of its decline in the U.S. the profession experienced a gradual discontinuity from its original foundation and started to rely more and more on a neo-foundation dating back to the turn of the present century. Each new generation of homeopaths has readily accepted Hering’s law as a perfect law of cure and so unintentionally perpetuated a misleading assumption. For students it is an attractive concept but we clinicians must stand up and report our observations even if they are contrary to the teaching we have received.

    From reviewing the literature, it seems unlikely that the law formulated by Kent in 1911 is a fair represention of Hering’s overall understanding of a direction of cure and that neither Kent nor anyone else has been able thus far to clinically demonstrate that the original observations of Hahnemann constituted in fact a perfect law of nature. But if we assume, for a moment, that the law formulated by Kent is true, would all symptoms then have to disappear, not only in the reverse order of their appearance, but also from above downwards, from within outwards and from more important to less important organs?

    To comply with this law it would mean that all diseases to be curable must proceed from outside inwards, from below upwards and from less important to more important organs. Many acute diseases and a whole list of chronic diseases such as psychosomatic diseases and others that develop from within outwards (for example cases of arthritis followed by psoriasis), or diseases that develop from above downwards, as in certain cases of polyarthritis, would then be theoritically incurable. Or (since we know this not to be the case) they are curable, but represent notable exceptions to Kent’s formulation of a law of direction of cure.

    In many cases of chronic disease the direction of disappearance of symptoms will contradict at least one of the four propositions. I assume that we all agree that the enunciation of a law must be based on impeccable observations. A law, if it is to be called a law, must explain all observable phenomena of direction of cure. It is unacceptable to use limited or even selected clinical phenomena to confirm a supposed law.

    This situation appears to exist when certain homeopaths in their attempts to defend “pure” homeopathy subscribe to the position that what is observed as contrary to Hering’s law, as formulated by Kent, is only due to poor prescribing, suppressive at times, palliative at best but surely not curative. For them what is wrong, is not the law but the prescription: “the simillimum was not given.”

    Personally I use and can daily confirm the original observations of Hahnemann concerning the direction of cure and have found them extremely helpful to evaluate the evolution of diseases or of cure but I have not been able to substantiate these observations as a law and have not yet found a colleague with such substantiation. I use them as plain practical rules.

    Probably by the end of my career, homeopathy will have become widely accepted. I would then resent it if a group of objective scientists clinically investigate the principles of homeopathy, and find numerous exceptions not abiding to our idealistic or dogmatic conception of Hering’s law; thus renderiing it only “a plain, practical rule“. I would similarly resent having a group of scientists saying that for the last hundred or more years the homeopathic profession has been blindly erring in assuming that Hering’s law was an irrefutable fact.

    Five of the many plagues that have hindered the growth of homeopathy are ignorance, egotism, dogmatism, idolatry and the diversion from the inductive method. In his last address to the profession in an article published in the August 1880 (Hering died on July 23, 1880.) issue of the North American Journal of Homœopathy, Hering warned us that “if our school ever gives up the strict inductive method of Hahnemann we are lost, and deserve to be mentioned only as a caricature in the history of medicine.” (19) Indeed, since its early beginning, the tendency to rationalize the practice of medicine has also constantly threatened homeopathy. Hahnemann, who had a thorough understanding of the history of medicine, knew that the only sure way was based on the experimental method. Hering demonstrated the same rigor. Unfortunatively, we can not say the same of Kent. Let us now start carefully observing and reporting any facts that would help to perfect Hahnemann’s original observations. If a direction of cure can be expressed within the context of a law, then so be it. But until demonstrated otherwise, it should remain “a plain, practical rule”. The law that we suspect still needs to be rightly formulated.

    At present it seems appropriate to refer to these observations as the rules of the direction of cure. To refer to these as Hahnemann’s or Hering’s rules may further prolong the confusion. From my personal experience, it appears that the four rules are not applicable to all cases and that there is a hierarchy among them, i.e., they do not have equal value. The first indication that a disease is being cured under homeopathic treatment is that the presenting and reversible (Many symptoms related to irreversible lesions can not be expected to totally disappear; consequently the more a symptom is related to organic changes, the less likely, or more slowly it will disappear. The greater the irreversibility of the pathology the greater the symptoms will linger. The practitioner can easily be confused by these important exceptions, which are often not well perceived. Therefore this rule [of symptoms disappearing in the reverse order of appearance] is generally less applicable to symptoms deriving from organic lesions.) symptoms of the disease will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance.

    This confirms the observations as pointed out originally and plainly by Hahnemann in The Chronic Diseases and later by Hering in 1865 and 1875. This means that during the treatment of patients suffering with chronic diseases of non-venereal origin and also at times with acute diseases, the presenting symptoms of the patient’s chronic dynamic disease (as opposed to the symptoms resulting essentially from gross error of living) will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance. So the presenting symptoms that have developed in the order of A B C D E seem to consistently disappear in the order of E D C B A. This rule seems to have supremacy over the other three rules: from more important to the less important organs, from within outwards and from above downwards.

    The word “presenting” is here emphasized in order to state perfectly clearly that the symptoms that will disappear in the reverse order of the their appearance are only the presenting symptoms, and that it is not at all expected that every ailment experienced by the patient in his past will again be re-experienced under homeopathic treatment. In fact only a few of these old symptoms and conditions will reappear during a homeopathic treatment, usually the ones that have unmistakably been suppressed by whatever influences. Beside antipathic treatment that will suppress symptoms and normal functions of the organism (perspiration or menses) there are other measures which will cause suppression of symptoms, first, dissimilar diseases, natural or artificial; second, external influences such as exposure to cold temperature, (i.e., suppressed menses from getting the feet wet); and lastly, internal influences that cause the person to suppress emotions such as anger or grief. This rule concerning cure in the reverse order of appearance of the presenting and reversible symptoms of the disease is the most important of the four as it is observable in almost all cases. The importance of this rule is well emphasized by Hering in 1865 when he mentioned:

    • “This rule enables the Hahnemannian artist not only to cure the most obstinate chronic diseases, but also to make a certain prognosis when discharging a cases, whether the patient will remain cured or whether the disease will return, like a half-paid creditor, at the first opportunity.” (12)

    The second most important (applicable) rule in the hierarchy is that cure will proceed from more important to less important organs. Third in importance is the rule that cure will proceed from within outwards. Fourth, least important and least often observable, the cure will proceed from above downwards. Hahnemann’s observation thatof all the signs that indicate a small beginning of improvement, the psychic condition of the patient and his general demeanor are the most certain and revealing is seen as the source of the last three rules. “The very beginning of improvement is indicated by a sense of greater ease, composure, mental freedom, higher spirits, and returning naturalness.” (paragraph 253) 10 This original observation of Hahnemann, which is verified daily, does not contradict the first rule in any case because the first sign of improvement can be and is often different than the symptom that would first disappear.

    Consequent to Hahnemann’s theory, (that all diseases, acute and chronic of non-venereal origin, come from the original malady called psora and its first manifestation is a skin eruption) all cases of chronic disease of dynamic origin must develop a skin eruption to be totally cured. As it seems unfeasible to demonstrate, it should at best be used as a working hypothesis and not as a law. For a law to exist it must be demonstrable without exception. Hahnemann had a clear opinion about the role of the physician as theorist when he wrote in the preface to the fourth volume of The Chronic Diseases:

    • “I furnished, indeed, a conjecture about it [on how the cure of diseases is effected], but I did not desire tocall it an explanation, i.e., a definite explanation of the modus operandi. Nor was this at all necessary, for it is only incumbent upon us to cure similar symptoms correctly and successfully, according to a law of nature [similia similibus curantur] which is being constantly confirmed; but not to boast with abstract explanations, while we leave the patients uncured; for that is all which so-called physicians have hitherto accomplished.” (8)

    To end this thesis, I would like to leave you with the spirit of some pertinent thoughts of Constantine Hering. In 1879, in the last two paragraphs to the preface of his last work, The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica, he writes:

    • “It has been my rule through life never to accept anything as true, unless it came as near mathematical proof as possible in its domain of science; and, in the other hand, never to reject anything as false, unless there was stronger proof of its falsity.
    • “Some will say, “but so many things – a majority of all observations – will thus remain between the two undecided.” So they will; and can it be helped? It can, but only by accumulating most careful observations and contributing them to the general fund of knowledge.” (20)

    And finally he wrote in 1845 in the preface of Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases:

    • “It is the duty of all of us to go farther in the theory and practice of Homœopathy than Hahnemann has done. We ought to seek the truth which is before us and forsake the errors of the past.” (page 9) (11)


    1. Kent JT. Lectures on Homœopathic Philosophy. 2nd Ed. Chicago: Ehrhart & Karl, 1929.
    2. Close S. The Genius of Homœopathy. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1924.
    3. Roberts HA. The Principles and Art of Cure by Homœopathy. 2nd Revised Edition. Rustington: Health Science Press, 1942.
    4. Boericke G. A compend of the Principles of Homœopathy for Students in Medicine. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1929.
    5. Raue CG, Knerr CB, Mohr C, eds. A Memorial of Constantine Hering. Philadelphia: Press of Globe Printing House, 1884.
    6. Eastman AM. Life and Reminiscences of Dr. Constantine Hering. Philadelphia: Published by the family for private circulation, 1917.
    7. Knerr CB. Life of Hering. Philadelphia: The Magee Press, 1940.
    8. Hahnemann SC. The Chronic Diseases. Trans. by LF Tafel. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1896.
    9. Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Trans. by W Boericke. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1920
    10. Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Trans. by J Kunzli. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1982.
    11. Hering C. Preface. In Hahnemann SC. The Chronic Diseases. Trans. by CJ Hempel. New-York: William Radde, 1845.
    12. Hering C. Preface to the first American edition. In the Organon of Homœopathic Medicine. New-York: William Radde, 1836.
    13. Hering C. Hahnemann’s Three Rules Concerning the Rank of Symptoms. Hahnemannian Monthly 1865;1:5-12.
    14. Hering C. Analytical Therapeutics of the Mind. Vol 1. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1875.
    15. Kent JT. Correspondence of Organs, and Direction of Cure. Trans Soc. Homœopathicians 1911;1:31-33.
    16. Loos JC. Homœopathic Catechism. Journal of Homœopathics 1898-1899;2:480-488.
    17. Mastin JM. Editorial. Critique 1908;15:277-278.
    18. Mastin JM. Editorial. Critique 1907;14:228-229.
    19. Hering C. Apis. North American Journal of Homœopathy 1880;29:29-35.
    20. Hering C. The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica. Vol 1. Philadelphia: The American Publishing Society, 1879.

When you can’t find a proving (or can’t find it in English)…

Why view remedies through the P&W repertory?

I have written on the importance of source material, especially of provings, in working to principle. As Hahnemann specified in Aphorism 3, in order to do homoeopathy we need to know what’s wrong with the patient, what the remedies can do and how to match a remedy to a complaint – with the proviso regarding appropriate potency and dosing.

How do we know what remedies can do? Through provings, first and foremost – the symptoms can a substance cause in a healthy person.

Hahnemann’s lesser writings include an essential article published in 1796, among his writings leading up to the Organon published in 1810. It is entitled “Essay on a New Principle for Ascertaining the Curative Powers of Drugs.” In this article, Hahnemann tackles existing methods one by one, and demonstrates their problematic nature. One after the other, with reasoned arguments and logical discussion, he knocks over chemistry as partial, nixes mixing unknown drugs with newly drawn blood, and more. He counsels against the doctrine of signatures, botanical affinity and families, stating categorically that the hints of the natural system “can only help to confirm and serve as a commentary to facts already known… or in the case of untried plants they may give rise to hypothetical conjectures which are, however, far from approaching even to probability.” He discusses experiments on the sick and how many discoveries were made by chance – and then laments “how humiliating for proud humanity did his very preservation depend on chance alone…”

Through step-by-step argument, Hahnemann comes to the conclusion that “nothing then remains but to test the medicines we wish to investigate on the human body itself,” which he states has so far been done “empirically and capriciously in diseases.” A standard human response to medicines, “some natural normal standard,” he states “can only be derived from the effects that a given medicinal substance has, by itself in this and that dose developed in the healthy human body.”

The body of provings which is easiest for us to access nowadays is in the Materia Medica Pura and Chronic Diseases. All the symptoms were carefully sifted through by Hahnemann, so if we see Hahnemann as a reliable source of information, that reliability extends to the provings he collated – and to his decisions to include some symptoms not taken from provings, rather from clinical work. We have less knowledge regarding the provings of other remedies noted in Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocket Book, although here again, if we see Boenninghausen as a reliable source, information about these remedies will be important in our work. There is information in Hughes Cyclopaedia, and many other materia medica refer to provings, but all too often provings information is intermixed with symptoms derived from therapeutic clinical work and poisonings, or separate as in Hughes, but not organized.

But we have another source of information for those remedies whose provings were not collated or overseen by Hahnemann – the Therapeutic Pocketbook itself. Boenninghausen examined and brought together all the remedies in use in his time. Some were proven by Hahnemann but not published by him. Some were proven by Hartlaub and Trinks and others. Furthermore, Boenninghausen was kind enough to give us a grading system, indicating where a symptom derives from a proving of a remedy with grades 1 and 2, and strengthening the relevance of that symptom for that remedy from his clinical work with grades 3 and 4.

This means that if we take a remedy through the Reversed Materia Medica in the P&W software, we can actually gain a picture of the proving through grades 1 and 2, together with reliable clinical expansion on that remedy through grades 3 and 4. This in itself is information from early and primary sources, with Boenninghausen and Hahnemann’s stamp of approval. Furthermore, thanks to P&W, this information is available in English, Spanish, and Hebrew in addition to the original German. And there are other languages on the way. This means that those who have difficulty accessing the Materia Medica Pura in their own languages and use the P&W reversed to shed more light on these primary sources.

How can we begin to analyze this mass of information? The TPB was developed to help repertorize, guide the practitioner towards remedies to read up on more intensively. But the computerized version has given us the ability to access the material in different ways, including using the Reversed Materia Medica as a “back door” into gaining reliable knowledge of remedies where the provings are not accessible.

For example, on a very basic level, we can see a remedy’s position in any rubric. We can see if it’s there because it’s in the proving, graded 1 or 2, or because Boenninghausen emphasized its clinical use with grades 3 and 4. A remedy may appear in a symptom with very few other remedies, giving it additional importance in that symptom regardless of its grade. A remedy may appear in a large rubric, with over a hundred remedies, and there we may want to see if it’s in a higher grade than other remedies, if that symptom is very strongly connected to the remedy we’re examining. The relationship between remedy grade and rubric size may have relevance in the case we’re working on. All this while keeping in mind that the appearance of a remedy in proving is the basis for prescribing, and Boenninghausen’s clinical use of that remedy is an added bonus.

For those interested in working to principle, which means using provings-based materia medica, the reversed MM offers a treasure trove of information about provings which are harder to access, which is definitely worth while exploring.

Homoeopathy and haute couture… and ducks…

Vera Resnick

Don’t you find it frustrating when you try something on which is labelled One Size – and it’s not Your Size?  But really, why should you expect One Size to fit everyone? or to suit everyone – an entirely different matter.

You could call homeopathy the “haute couture” of the alternative medicine world.  There is really only one time when one size possibly fits all, and that’s in the use of oral Arnica as a first remedy in accidents, falls, bumps, breaks, etc.  (oral Arnica, not the creams, gels, potions and their ilk, as I have explained here).

I recently started working with a patient.  His first response to the remedy I gave was quite good, and it looked as if we could move ahead.  But then he wrote he was feeling much worse.

What happened? I asked, concerned.

Oh, I felt like I was coming down with flu and started taking Oscillococcinum. (It’s an over-the-counter Boiron flu remedy, a highly diluted preparation based on duck liver extract, well you did want to know).

Ahuh, I responded, grimacing at the Whatsapp screen

I put a few grains in a bottle of water, he continued enthusiastically, and sip it throughout the day.

Brace yourselves, I’m about to go into capitals.  PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS.  NOT AT HOME.  NOT IN THE OFFICE.  NOT ANYWHERE…

Please stop the Oscillo, I requested gently.

Of course, came the response, I’ll just finish this bottle.


Many people are helped by lemon tea with honey for a sore throat or a cold, by coffee when they need a pick-me-up, by chicken soup if they aren’t vegetarian.  But apart from use of Arnica in injuries, as a rule homoeopathic remedies must be tailored to the needs of the patient.  This was particularly true for this young man, who was already taking a remedy.  The symptoms he was experiencing may have been part of his ongoing treatment process.

Several years ago, I was teaching in a program for pensioners, and one of the students came up to me with a question.

My doctor told me to take a homeopathic medicine for my menopause symptoms, she said, a worried look on her face.  Since I started taking it, I’ve been getting the most terrible headaches.

I looked at the package.  Homoeopathic remedies are very much the dual-edged sword as they can cause symptoms as well as heal symptoms.  The symptoms caused by remedies usually go away within a day or two of stopping, but that doesn’t make them less uncomfortable when you’re going through them.  Sure enough, one of the remedies listed on the package was a superb headache producer – and a remedy that is wonderful for a particular kind of headache, which this lady had not been suffering from before she took the remedy.   She stopped taking the remedy and the headache went away.

Most people buy over-the-counter homoeopathy remedies at some point or other.  Just be aware that any new symptom you may be having is very possibly because of the remedy you used.  And never use another homoeopathic remedy when you’re in treatment with a homoeopath without discussing it first with your practitioner.

Hahnemann by Ameke: a Sound and Reliable Witness.

by Peter Morrell


Dream of Egypt, 1995 – Peter Morrell


Dr Wilhelm AMEKE (1847-1886)This short piece brings to the attention of others the useful work of Wilhelm Ameke from his little known book ‘A History of Homeopathy.’ Being out of print for over a century and hard to obtain, this useful text illuminates Hahnemann’s life in a fresh and masterful way. This is an interim piece I compiled recently for some lectures, and which will be extended as time permits. In due course, it is hoped that the full text of Ameke might be placed online where all can admire its many gems. This selection mostly focuses upon Ameke’s description of Hahnemann’s views on many clinical matters and snippets regarding the origin of homeopathy. It also highlights what is unusual, important and remarkable in his character as a physician.


Dr Joseph Von QUARIN (1733-1814)Although Hahnemann retained enormous affection and respect for his teacher at Vienna, Dr von Quarin, it remains certain that von Quarin “was an advocate of bleeding till the day of his death,” [Ameke, 59] in 1812. Hahnemann stated, “I owe to him whatever there is of physician in me.” [Ameke, 58] Although Hahnemann “employed bleeding…but he always applied it cautiously.” [Ameke, 67] Though as early “as 1784 he contended…against bleeding,” [Ameke, 67] yet “he still bled in 1797…and [even as late as] 1800 he was not an absolute opponent of it.” [Ameke, 67] But he always felt it was abused and used to excess by most physicians. He “was a great enemy of coffee, but a great advocate of exercise and open air…change of climate and residence at the seaside.” [Ameke, 60] On the therapeutic use of cold water “Hahnemann writes at length…and gives exact instructions.” [Ameke, 62] He always gave “only one remedy at a time, and carefully watched its effects.” [Ameke, 74] For every addition of a “second or a third [remedy] only deranges the object we have in view.” [Ameke, 86] Giving only one drug, we must “wait till its action is exhausted before giving another.” [Ameke, 87] Once he was convinced of something “he enunciated it with the greatest precision, and did not easily allow himself to be turned from it.” [Ameke, 63]

Even as a young physician, Hahnemann seems to “have been unaffected by the prevalent belief in authority,” [Ameke, 59] preferring instead to formulate his own medical views, very largely based upon his powers of reflection and his very keen observational powers.

Tendencies Hahnemann condemned

Dr Samuel HAHNEMANN (1755-1843)In 1808 Hahnemann sharply condemned the main method of “treating most diseases by scouring out the stomach and bowels.” [Ameke, 94] This is also the “method which regards the diseased body as a mere chemically decomposed mass,” [Ameke, 94] and which regards diseases as having “no other originating cause but mucosities…[inspiring treatments that seek the] combat of putridity.” [Ameke, 94] Such a view also pretends that only by “the strength of the doses of most powerful and costly medicines,” [Ameke, 94] can such disease ever be subdued or cured. Hahnemann bemoans the “search into the internal essence of diseases,” [Ameke, 95] which he regards as an utterly futile endeavour. He also condemns this system as one that respects only “the mechanical origin of diseases…[and] which derives diseases from the original form of the parts.” [Ameke, 95] Such a view he regards as too simplistic, too mechanistic and not sufficiently holistic in its perception of the living organism.

Hahnemann condemned those medical systems that claimed “most diseases were produced by impure and acid humours which were to be expelled from the body,” [Ameke, 42] or which claimed that “most illnesses resulted from gastric impurities, especially bile,” [Ameke, 43] and which therefore believed that “the removal of these matters by emetics and purgatives was the principal means resorted to.” [Ameke, 43] As far as Hahnemann was concerned, such medical systems incorrectly concluded, “purgatives and emetics demonstrated the truth of these theories.” [Ameke, 43] One such idea was “infarcts…an unnatural condition of the blood vessels…distended in various places by ill-concocted, variously degenerated, fluid-bereft, inspissated, viscid, bilious, polypous and coagulated blood…” [Ameke, 43] Hahnemann had nothing but contempt for such theories and regarded them as entirely imaginary concepts and dangerous fantasies with no reality whatever. Therefore, he was equally dismissive of the methods employed such as “clysters…to which various appropriate drugs were added…employed to disperse these infarctus.” [Ameke, 44] This treatment with clysters [enemas] “was much in vogue among physicians, patients and even healthy persons, for many years.” [Ameke, 45]

Hahnemann was as dismissive of clysters and the theories of infarcts as he was of the strong mixed drugs also in vogue at the same time. Such remedies as “senna, spirits of wine, dandelion, rhubarb, sal-ammoniac, mercury, dog’s grass and antimony…which were supposed to cleanse the tubes and passages of the human body from their foul accumulations.” [Ameke, 45] Hahnemann simply did not believe the monstrous theory that every patient had these mythical obstructions and poisons. He was therefore wholly opposed to the idea that they must all be “sweated and purged, puked, bled and salivated,” [Ameke, 45] back to health by these heroic measures.

It is no surprise therefore that he roundly condemned and dismissed on instinct “bleeding, cold, emetics, purgatives, diaphoretics.” [Ameke, 46] He denounced the “vomiting, purging and sweating,” [Ameke, 46] view that “inflammatory matters, impure fermenting substances, acridities and degenerated bile,” [Ameke, 91] were the causes of disease or that they should be “energetically evacuated,” [Ameke, 91] in order to cure the patient. All such talk he depicts as merely a “euphemism for emetics and purgatives,” [Ameke, 92] and indeed, for “the lancet, tepid drinks, miserable diet, emetics, purgatives…[which] threatened to destroy our generation.” [Ameke, 96]

He denounced the use of “blisters, baths, fomentations, anodynes, and repeated enemata,” [Ameke, 68] just as he maintained that “refrigerating and laxative salts, watery drinks, and bleeding act as poisons. Emetics and blisters do harm.” [Ameke, 68] To most practitioners it must have been “very tempting to utilise the great chemical discoveries in the treatment of disease,” [Ameke, 50] but Hahnemann [almost alone] successfully resisted this temptation. Most physicians were “too impatient to utilise,” [Ameke, 50] new discoveries, too eager “to reap when they had barely finished sowing.” [Ameke, 50] They dismally failed to “observe how the functions of their patients were carried on.” [Ameke, 53] Even at this early stage, one can see that Hahnemann was cautiously and judiciously trying to work out precisely why the medicine he had been taught did not work and one can detect his endeavour to find a harmless yet efficacious therapeutic method.

In the early 1790s, he “gave one remedy at a time, and carefully watched its effects.” [Ameke, 74] This sums up his approach very accurately. He also “succeeded in achieving many splendid cures by his simple method of treatment…[soon having] the reputation of a careful and successful practitioner.” [Ameke, 74-5] His basic powers of patient observation were truly remarkable. Not only did he want to know “what is hurtful or irrational,” [Ameke, 87] in the medicine of his day but why and how one can proceed to escape from such a useless muddle. In medicine, he despised whatever was harmful and what did not make sense, usually both together. “That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.” [Jacob Bronowski (1908–1974), The Ascent of Man, ch. 4 (1973)] Hahnemann had the immense audacity and conviction to “prescribe one single, simple medicament and nothing more,” [Ameke, 97] and then simply wait and observe. This was the essence of his approach for the reform of medicine.

Other influences were also at work in their impact on medicine. One problem that reared its head was “the whirligig of natural philosophy” [Ameke, 48] which had taken hold of many people, most of whom were “suffering from the spirit of the age.” [Ameke, 48] None of this brought any benefit to medicine, according to Hahnemann. It just gave the signal and increased the tendency to invent more wild theories. Yet, in therapeutics, disease was increasingly regarded as a “departure from normal form and composition, that is, anatomical and chemical change.” [Ameke, 49] Consequently, “one theory was superseded by another,” [Ameke, 53] and people frequently switched sides many times. As a result, “dogmatism and a persecuting spirit,” [Ameke, 57] became the dominant spirit, just as if religious sectarianism were breaking out in medicine and inspiring many unnecessarily “embittered disputes.” [Ameke, 58] Eighteenth century medicine was crisis-torn, with rival theories pitched against each other in an unseemly battle for supremacy.

As early as 1784, he “speaks contemptuously of fashionable physicians.” [Ameke, 76] He also tried to “direct the attention of his fellow-practitioners to the many absurdities of the day.” [Ameke, 77] Why? because he wanted them to be more critical. A good example is when he says, “we must forcibly sever ourselves from these deified oracles if we wish to shake off the yoke of ignorance and credulity.” [Ameke, 77] He rebelled against any deference to medical authority [because so and so says this] as a means of validating a method or concept. He insisted on thinking for himself and experiment as a superior path. He infinitely preferred consulting “nature and experience,” [Ameke, 126] to any medical theory.

Hahnemann was taught the medicine of mixed strong drugs, which he confessed, “clung to him more obstinately than the miasma of any disease.” [Ameke, 78] Although in the first few years of his practice he adhered to this approach, “he was gradually emancipating himself from this bad system.” [Ameke, 78] It did not work, in spite of his best efforts. As early as 1784, “he advocates a simple method…instead of the farrago of contradictory prescriptions.” [Ameke, 78] In the year 1798, “he inveighs against the physicians who love prescriptions containing many ingredients…[regarding it as] the height of empiricism…the employment of mixtures of strong medicines.” [Ameke, 81] He was realising that the chief problems were mixed drugs, strong doses and damaging methods like blood-letting, purges and enemas. Nothing in the medicine of his day was either curative or gentle.

Instead of mixed drugs he would increasingly “give only one simple remedy at a time…[Ameke, and so] in these simplest maladies he gave single simple remedies out of the store of existing drugs which was then small.” [Ameke, 80] His careful and methodical approach reveals just “how earnest was his striving after truth and how great his anxiety for the improvement of therapeutics.” [Ameke, 85] He especially “surpassed his mixture-loving contemporaries in the gifts of observation and investigation.” [Ameke, 85] Hahnemann confidently declares that, “using several drugs at once…is the true sign of charlatanism. Quackery always goes hand in hand with complicated mixtures…[which is] so far removed from the simple ways and laws of nature.” [Ameke, 86]

In 1805, he states “a single simple remedy is always…the most beneficial…it is never necessary to give two at once.” [Ameke, 86] He denounces “drugs…which must fight against diseases,” [Ameke, 87] as deriving from a misunderstanding of sickness with such doctors viewing patients “through glasses tinged with ideal systems,” [Ameke, 87] which are utterly useless means to cure sickness. They did this rather than investigate matters for themselves, as he was doing. They obstinately clung to theory and eschewed the spirit of empiricism Hahnemann loved and which was the guiding beacon of his life. No physicians other than Hahnemann “preached this important truth with such energy and such conviction.” [Ameke, 87] He “attacked deference to authority in therapeutics as early as 1786 and 1790.” [Ameke, 87]

Dr Samuel HAHNEMANN (1755-1843)It is perfectly true that “no physician since Paracelsus had dared to expose with such frankness and boldness the miserable condition of the medical treatment of the period…[and] that requires a thorough reform from top to bottom.” [Ameke, 98] Is modern medicine really any better? Is it less harmful, more logical or more curative? Which, if any?

In therapeutics, Hahnemann regarded the many who became “involved in gossamer subtleties,” [Ameke, 97] as fools, because such was “a misdirection of mental energy,” [Ameke, 97] that might be much better employed for the more serious task of observing patients and using single drugs in small doses. Rather than do that, they foolishly preferred to use “sweetening, diluting, purifying, loosening, thickening, cooling and evacuating measures,” [Ameke, 95] that would not cure the patient anyway. Therefore, in his view, patients faced “the wretched and hopeless choice of one of the numerous methods, almost all equally impotent…[with] no fixed therapeutic principles of acknowledged value.” [Ameke, 99] In medicine, such was the outrageous state of affairs in the early years of the 19th century.

Good Reputation

Hahnemann “acquired a great reputation for his improvements in the practice of medicine, in pharmacology, and especially in hygiene.” [Ameke, iv] Hufeland, for example, “never lost respect for Hahnemann’s genius and services to medicine.” [Ameke, iv] As a translator Hahnemann always “intercalates various improvements and inventions.” [Ameke, 12] He was widely regarded as “a writer who has improved and perfected,” [Ameke, 14] any text translation he undertook. This was no chance comment. Numerous examples exist of this observation. Numerous honours and accomplishments in chemistry and pharmacy preceded his discovery of homeopathy, what Ameke calls “his pre-homeopathic labours.” [Ameke, x] Various writers refer to “Hahnemann’s superiority,” [Ameke, 18] or to this “very valuable book by my esteemed friend, Dr Samuel Hahnemann.” [Ameke, 18]

These comments mostly allude to his innumerable minor discoveries and embellishments to the art of chemistry, or to the value of his translation footnotes all completed before the emergence of homeopathy. For example, “in 1788, Hahnemann discovered the solubility of metallic sulphates in boiling nitric acid.” [Ameke, 28] Another is “the test for wine invented by Dr Hahnemann [which] has especially pleased me.” [Ameke, 29] Or “Hahnemann’s mercury, an excellent and mild preparation, the usefulness of which has been proved.” [Ameke, 32] He is variously described as “a capable physician,” [Ameke, 75] and “one of the most distinguished physicians of Germany…of matured experience and reflection…a man rendered famous by his writings.” [Ameke, 75]

In 1799 one writer alludes to Hahnemann by calling him “a man who has made himself a name in Germany both as a chemist and a practitioner [who] deserves especial recommendation,” [Ameke, 37] and adds that “every article gives evidence of having been written with the greatest care.” [Ameke, 37] Another critic expresses his admiration for “a man who has conferred so many benefits on science…by his valuable translations…that are faithful and successful…[who has] added precious notes which expand and elucidate [the original]” [Ameke, 40] such that “he has thus enhanced the value of the work.” [Ameke, 40] So highly regarded were Hahnemann’s translations “which he has enriched with his own notes.” [Ameke, 40] These “great many explanatory and supplementary remarks…give the translation a great advantage over the original.” [Ameke, 40]

Such writers could clearly appreciate the “thoroughness of his emendations…his short notes…[which] serve to explain the text…and which is enhanced by the translator’s notes.” [Ameke, 40-41] Such comments reveal the clear and unambiguous recognition which he received for his “thorough pharmaceutical knowledge and industry…this celebrated chemist…this meritorious physician…the meritorious Hahnemann…whom chemistry has to thank for many important discoveries.” [Ameke, 41] He is unanimously applauded as one who “has won for himself unfading laurels,” [Ameke, 42] for his contributions to science. Hahnemann was “so much respected and renowned for his valuable services,” [Ameke, 90] that he did not require to “to make himself more popular with the German public.” [Ameke, 90]

Dr Samuel HAHNEMANN (1755-1843)When Hahnemann correctly stated that “Arsenic does not contain muriatic acid…[this showed] Hahnemann’s superiority,” [Ameke, 18] in points of chemistry. In all his translations, “accuracy prevails everywhere,” [Ameke, 22] and reflects the “extreme care he employed in his labours.” [Ameke, 22] As early as 1784, “Hahnemann advocated the crystallisation of tartar emetic.” [Ameke, 24] It was in the fine details of his corrections and footnote additions that he earned his reputation as a meticulous, highly knowledgeable, diligent and thus reliable scientific translator. In time, he garnered a similar reputation for his work reforming pharmacy, for example, “the regulation and sale of poisons,” [Ameke, 34] the “preservation of odoriferous substances,” [Ameke, 34] and the “evaporation of extracts over water baths.” [Ameke, 34] Ameke also lists many pages of examples of his contributions to pharmacy and examples of his recommended small doses for drugs of all types.

In such innumerable ways Hahnemann was considered to have “enriched our therapeutic thesaurus.” [Ameke, 35] In every case, they all prove “how thoroughly Hahnemann had studied the subject,” [Ameke, 34] in question, whether it was botany, pharmacy or chemistry. It meant that when he made a statement “every page shows that the well informed author speaks from experience,” [Ameke, 37] it shows his great diligence, that he composed work of more than “an ordinary character,” [Ameke, 37] that he always produced “useful work,” [Ameke, 38] and that “he surpassed most of them in knowledge of the subjects,” [Ameke, 38] on which he expounded. Such factors considerably enhanced his scientific credentials.

Dose Reduction

Hahnemann “even wished to see the names of diseases abolished.” [Ameke, 116] Though he recognised the obvious convenience of disease classification schemes, he “always advocated individualisation and taught it systematically.” [Ameke, 116] He felt that giving diseases names was a highly misleading habit that inevitably led to disreputable rote prescribing, and to viewing a sickness as an actual thing. Though he did use crude drugs throughout the 1790s, he developed a peculiar method of administering the drug “in very small but continually increasing doses, till some severe symptoms manifest themselves.” [Ameke, 119] He later called this the ‘primary toxic action’ of a drug. Then the dose was abruptly stopped and beneficial results awaited. He later called this the ‘curative secondary reaction’ of the vital force elicited by a drug [see Organon §57, 59, 63, 64-6, 69, 112, 114-5, 130, 133, 137-8, 161 for primary and secondary effects of drugs]. He gradually diminished the doses he used throughout that decade. He always used smaller doses than his contemporaries, and experimented a great deal in achieving good results from the tiniest doses. These trials obviously flowed from his conviction that large doses were intrinsically harmful and felt it was his duty to find a saner, more rational and less damaging approach to the whole question of dosage of drugs. He soon saw the reform of drug dosage as absolutely crucial for any reform of medicine itself.

Mercury in syphilis is probably “the only instance after 1799 in which he recommends stronger doses.” [Ameke, 121] His method “began with small ones and gradually increased them up to the point of slight toxic action.” [Ameke, 121] In this manner he aimed to transform himself into “the zealous, careful observer, the conscientious physician.” [Ameke, 121] Though he had not as yet “raised the smallness of the dose to a general therapeutic principle,” [Ameke, 121] yet this practice of unrelenting dose experimentation “was peculiar to him, and distinguished him from all his colleagues.” [Ameke, 121] He also “noted accurately the duration of action,” [Ameke, 121] of drugs that he used. No-one else was doing this. And all the while these experiments formed an essential part of “his laudable endeavours to attain to simplicity of treatment.” [Ameke, 121]

In recommending smaller doses for numerous drugs, Hahnemann was basing his view on direct observations of the actions of drugs on the body. Repeatedly, he grounds his medical views not in high-faluting theories but through consulting “nature and experience,” [Ameke, 126] as his chief guides in all that he says. In the footnotes to Cullen [1790], Monro [1791] and the Edinburgh Dispensatorium [1797], he disagrees with almost every dosage listed by the original author, concluding always that “large doses…must do harm.” [Ameke, 126] Instinctively, he rebelled against large doses as harmful.

In every case, therefore, he recommends “an incredibly small quantity,” [Ameke, 127] of the drugs he discusses, because the large doses “multiplied experience will not allow me to advise.” [Ameke, 127] The results “of the zealous and careful researches of our genial investigator forced upon him…the conviction that the doses…accepted as normal, were much too large.” [Ameke, 127] History records “no instance…of a physician ever having attempted to determine the question of the suitable dose with such zealous endeavour as the clear-sighted, indefatigable and thoughtful Hahnemann.” [Ameke, 127]

Dr Samuel HAHNEMANN (1755-1843)Severing his link with tradition, and basing his views solely upon direct observation and experience, he “proceeded still further in the diminution of the dose.” [Ameke, 128] Nor did he recommend drugs on the old basis. He did not aim “to produce emesis, purgation, or narcosis; neither did he employ them to cleanse the blood of acridities…cutting the phlegm, softening of indurations, or destroying parasites.” [Ameke, 128-9] What such low dose preparations he used did, was to “favourably influence the curative process.” [Ameke, 129] This means they assist the natural healing powers. This was a radically new therapeutic concept.

Furthermore, he found that small doses of the best remedy would create “as great an impression as if they were infants at the breast.” [Ameke, 129] By this he meant, “the sensitiveness of the human body to medicines…transcends all belief.” [Ameke, 129] He especially means sensitivity to similar medicines. He himself was “astounded at his discovery.” [Ameke, 129] He too regarded as incredible “the results obtained by a millionth, a billionth, etc, part of a grain of medicine.” [Ameke, 129] As is now well known, he soon went on to obtain “results which could not be obtained with the crude substances.” [Ameke, 131] Drugs, which obviously contained no detectable substance, still “possessed great healing power.” [Ameke, 131] They heal by their similarity to the case totality and by stimulating the innate self-healing powers.

This breakthrough in dose reduction and medicine preparation also meant that many previously “highly poisonous substances,” [Ameke, 131] could now be brought into harmless use as healing agents. They could indeed be “converted into…powerful remedial agents in the hands of a skilful physician.” [Ameke, 131] Dismissing the views of his “dogmatical and credulous predecessors,” [Ameke, 133] whose theories and “deductions ran counter to the maxims of experience,” [Ameke, 133] Hahnemann, as “a practical physician,” [Ameke, 133] grounded his medical views solely in the “science of experience.” [Ameke, 133] He roundly condemned the “imaginings of physicians,” [Ameke, 133] which he felt to have no place in any rational healing art. What he also called “speculative refinements, arbitrary axioms…dogmatic assumptions…[and the] magnificent conjuring games of so-called theoretical medicine.” [Ameke, 134] Instead, Hahnemann had respect solely for “a science of pure experience…knowledge of the disease to be treated and the actions of drugs.” [Ameke, 134] These, he insists can only be deduced “from pure experience and observation,” [Ameke, 134] rather than from signatures or ‘old wives tales,’ which he despised.


Dr Robert Ellis DUDGEON (1820-1904)In his own house “he liked to wear a brightly-flowered dressing-gown, yellow slippers and black velvet cap.” [Ameke, 157] His long pipe “was seldom out of his hand, and this indulgence in tobacco was the only relaxation from his abstemious mode of life…his food extremely frugal.” [Ameke, 157] When seeing patients, instead of a bureau, “he used a large plain square table on which three or four huge folios lay, in which he had entered the histories of the maladies of his patients…[and] in which he wrote down their cases…with the exactness which he recommends in his Organon.” [Ameke, 157]


Wilhelm Ameke, History of Homœopathy, with an appendix on the present state of University medicine, translated by A. E. Drysdale, edited by R. E. Dudgeon, London: E. Gould & Son, 1885.