Category Archives: Organon

The Institute for Homoeopathic Medicine.

In 1810, Hahnemann presented his groundbreaking new medicine and therapy via the book the Organon of the Medical Art. He presented his method in carefully structured detail. He compiled a database of medical substance proving’s which were listed in the Fragmenta, the Materia Medica Pura and Chronic Diseases. Hahnemann taught his methods to many students and colleagues, but only put his trust in a small number of practitioners, of whom Clemens Maria Franz (Friedrich) Freiherr (Baron) von Bönninghausen was perhaps the most prominent.

Bönninghausen’s projects of reportorial works culminating in the Therapeutic Pocket Book, was approved by Hahnemann as being an accurate representation of the proving’s database and clinical experience. (The T.P.B. actually is an amazing synthetic approach of how Hahnemann’s mind worked in case analysis.)

Although Hahnemann revised the Organon six times before his death and constantly examined possible changes to the methodology, he never made changes to the central prescribing principle of like cures like, without which homoeopathy (the therapy) cannot exist as a separate modality. If the principle of “like cures like”, with its required database of provings, is abandoned, as has been the case with modern approaches and methods, the certainty offered by prescribing to principle is lost, the path obliterated.

At the IHM we look no further than Hahnemann’s circle of trust. We work with Hahnemann’s structure of method and database, Organon and proving’s. We explore the writings of those whom Hahnemann commended, and study and apply the work of Boenninghausen in great depth.

We do not do this slavishly. In order to validate the method, the works and writings of others claiming to be homoeopaths are examined for similarities and differences in approach to the therapy. Sadly, the decline in homoeopathic integrity began with one of its most able practitioners who was politically naïve.

On the political level, Carroll Dunham was a peacemaker. It was said of him that he had no enemies. His liberal and generous mind made it easier for him to accept compromise. Unfortunately, compromise on the search for the truth leads to error. In 1870 he made a notable presentation before the American Institute of Homœopathy (AIH) called ‘Freedom of Medical Opinion and Action: a Vital Necessity and a Great Responsibility’. He believed, contrary to his predecessors, that liberty of opinion and practice should prevail within the AIH. He said that he was sure that “perfect liberty will sooner bring knowledge of the truth and that purity of practice which we all desire.” His speech provided license to the pseudo-homoeopaths to practice as they wanted and be still identified as homoeopaths. Subsequent to his address knowledge of homoeopathy was removed in 1874 as a requirement for membership in the AIH. Dunham died in 1877 and did not witness the disastrous effect his noble but naïve vision eventually had on the course of homoeopathy in the U.S.A. as most of our institutions disappeared after its members had adopted practices at variance with the teachings of Hahnemann.

(Our Noble and Beloved Carroll Dunham by Dr André Saine, D.C., N.D., F.C.A.H.)

We work with great care and certainty because we value our integrity as homoeopathic practitioners, and we owe it to our patients to treat based on a tried and true principle, to avoid speculation, theorizing, and invented systems whether based on sensation, the periodic table, kabala, shamanism, kingdoms, families and the like.

Hahnemann’s homoeopathy is the modality which achieved tremendous successes in the cholera epidemic of the early 1830s, leading to its acceptance in medical faculties in Europe at the time as a discipline for study. The original works are filled with discussions and cases demonstrating the efficiency of the method across the spectrum of diseases afflicting mankind.

Today homoeopathy is either being outlawed or relegated to treatment of the most minor problems. Its vast ability as a medical modality is being lost. Poor training, poor understanding of the medical science behind its development and a search for novelty in case analysis all have contributed to its demise as a valid therapy and is thought of as an intuitive healing method rather than the effective treatment it really is.

The IHM puts all its efforts into teaching from original materials, working with practitioners to achieve greater certainty and effectiveness in prescribing through a full understanding of the central principle of homoeopathy and the best ways to apply it in homoeopathic practice.

We do not wish to add more novel ideas to the world of homoeopathy. We do see it as part of our professional duty, to keep the standards high and teach the real methodology to all who desire to practice proper medicine in the prescribed manner. We lay no claim to being ‘better’ prescribers. We do however concede that our results based on the instructions of Hahnemann give better resolution to medical problems than other interpretive methods of prescribing. There is great latitude in applying the therapy, however, deviating from its central core or adding a false overlay of psychological analysis and emphasizing or interpreting physical symptoms as delusional states are not the answer.


What has changed, or constitution? Aphorisms 5 and 6 revisited

By Vera Resnick

James Tyler Kent

So what should it be – Aphorism 5 or Aphorism 6? Let’s look at them… (text taken from 6th edition)

Aphorism 5:

Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its fundamental cause, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration.

Aphorism 6:

The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.

So – which one is it? If the information described in Aphorism 5 is what is needed to make an accurate homoeopathic prescription, we can understand the Kentian-style intake, lasting hours and sometimes even days. We can also understand how Kent – with a little push from Swedenborg, ok, a hefty shove – came to the concept of the constitutional remedy. A remedy which encompasses the patient’s entire soul and psyche, in this life and – depending on your beliefs – in all those that came before and will come after…

Since Kent’s time, homeopaths have worshipped at the altar of the Constitutional Remedy, the simple substance – a Swedenborgian, not Hahnemannian concept – and this is what most non-homoeopaths and homoeopaths alike believe Classical Homoeopathy to be.

But then what do we do about Aphorism 6? This Aphorism and its instructions have been swept under the constitutional carpets of so-called Classical Homoeopathy for so long that the simple clarity of focus and objective has been lost to many.

Hahnemann’s language in Aphorism 6 is very clear. “Take note of nothing but the changes in the health of the body and the mind”. How on earth is it possible to ignore that? But it is ignored.

The thing is – this is not an “either/or” situation. Both Aphorisms are essential, but they serve different purposes. We cannot take what has changed (Aphorism 6), if we don’t know what was before (Aphorism 5). We cannot assess those changes and prioritize them if we don’t know whether there is an exciting cause, a maintaining cause, a miasmatic origin (or something that is harming the patient’s health and can be removed – see Aphorism 4) – if we don’t do the work set out in Aphorism 5.

But the central focus, the torch that has to guide us through the often labyrinthine nature of a complex case has to be Aphorism 6. So many patients today are subjected to never-ending sessions where they are asked to disclose their most intimate thoughts, dreams and fantasies, their sexual urges, their emotional relationships past present and future, their failed expectations and unexpected successes. The process is usually emotionally draining, hugely time-consuming, potentially harmful in terms of the patient-practitioner relationship, and without the context set out in Aphorism 6, of no use whatsoever and potentially hinders us from finding the best homoeopathic prescription for the patient.