WHY HOMOEOPATHY AND DR. HAHNEMANN FAILED TO CURE CHRONIC DISEASES FOR NEARLY 38 YEARS (1790 TO 1828) ?

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A lesson to learn from the history of Homoeopathy.

We, almost all homoeopaths come across cases which after apparent yielding the seemingly indicated medicine/remedy, recur or do less well and finally cease to respond or make progress in curing a case. Hahnemann observed that many of his patients when he cured by his new method (Homoeopathy) came back again and again for some ailments or other which clashed with his “ideal cure”. Why it is this? This has happened with Hahnemann and other homoeopaths also, the periodical “flaring up” of signs and symptoms between 1790 – 1828. WHY? It led Hahnemann to find out the solution. Firstly, he did not agree with his followers that “perhaps not enough medicines/remedies had been discovered and proved to cover or treat all the cases of diseases” and with his opponents about the failures of the Law of Similars which is founded on unshaken pillars of truth. “Then why should the continued homoeopathic treatment of the non-venereal chronic diseases have been so unsuccessful?” (Hahnemann).

The peculiar nature of the so-called chronic diseases constitutes one of the great problems of medical science. Their peculiarity consists not only in the fact that disorders and ailments remain in the human body for a long time, but also in the varying forms of the chronic disease; the symptoms sometimes remain invariable, at other times they change without a discernible rule.

If the patient at long seems to have been cured of the illness in hand, different symptoms usually arise in another part of the body, so that the patient remains ill, although his ailments have changed both in their locality and their character.

It was during the treatment of Hahnemann’s most famous patient, Prince SCHWARZENBERG, the victor of the battle of Leipzig, that Hahnemann finally began to study this problem. Schwarzenberg, anxious because of his de­teriorating health, had come to Leipzig to con­sult Hahnemann. After some success at the beginning, however, the patient’s condition be­came worse, due, in a great measure, to his way of life, which was undisciplined in the extreme.

After Schwarzenberg’s death, the physicians of Leipzig raised heavy accusations against Hahnemann. He refuted these, but afterwards left Leipzig in a state of great anger. After his return to Kothen, he re-examined the reasons for his failure. He was deeply disturbed by the fact that his hitherto practised method seemed unable to cure a disease of this kind. This was, however, not only an existential, but above all an intellectual chal­lenge that particularly appealed to him. His way of treatment had, after all, shown incontestable successes and the results of his studies on the character of diseases and drugs had become the guiding principles of a new system.

In the introduction to his book on chronic diseases, the fruit of twenty years labour and research on this question, he candidly admits that Homoeopathy, as it had hitherto been practised, could not effect a complete and lasting cure in a disease of this kind.

What were the reasons for the failures of Homoeopathy ?

Hahnemann gave the reasons, thus; “The Homoeopathic healing art, as taught in my own writings and in those of my pupils, when faith­fully followed, has hitherto shown its natural superiority over any allopathic treatment in a very decided and striking manner; and this not only to those diseases which suddenly attack men (the acute diseases), but also in epidemic diseases and in sporadic fevers.

Venereal diseases also have been radi­cally healed by Homoeopathy much more surely, with less trouble and without any sequelae; for without disturbing or destroying the local mani­festation, it heals the internal fundamental dis­ease from within only through the best specific remedy. But the number of other chronic dis­eases on this great earth has been immea­surably greater, and remains so”.1

After having described the homoeopathic way of treatment he admits that it is not able to heal a chronic disease. On page 5 he says: “Chronic disease could, despite all efforts, be but little delayed in its progress by the Homoeopathic physician and grew worse from year to year. This was and remained the quicker or slower process of such treatment in all non-venereal, severe chronic diseases, even when these were treated in exact accordance with the Homoeopathic art as hitherto known. Their beginning was promising, the continuation less favourable, the outcome hopeless”.1  

Despite this, he never doubted the homoeopathic doctrine, when he said: “Nev­ertheless this teaching was founded upon the steadfast pillar of truth and will evermore be so1 …………To find out then the reason why all the medicines known to Homoeopathy failed to bring a real cure in the above mentioned dis­eases and to gain an insight more nearly cor­rect and, if possible, quite correct, into the true nature of the thousands of chronic diseases which still remain uncured, despite the incon­testable truth of the Homoeopathic Law of Cure, this very serious task has occupied me since the years 1816 and 1817, night and day; and behold!  the Giver of all good things permitted me within this space of time to gradually solve this sublime problem through unremitting thought, indefatigable inquiry, faithful obser­vation, and the most accurate experiments made for the welfare of humanity.”1 

 How Hahnemann started to do further research in homoeopathy?

He further devoted twelve years after 1816 proving medicines/remedies, amazing facts from his observations on patients prescribed for before he discovered the nature and cause of all human sickness in the world (Para. 80, 81 and their footnotes). He divided and tabulated all sicknesses into two followed by three division, thus;

He studied the medical literature dealing with observations of many eminent physicians on the subject of chronic diseases. He quotes many such cases in his book; Chronic diseases and their peculiar nature. Then he perceived the inimical influence of diseases were not cured but suppressed by strong medicines was the fundamental cause of chronic diseases. The most common disease which he and others found to be treated in this manner in his and physicians experience was itchy and pustular eruptions named as psoric malady. The other two venereal diseases of syphilis and sycosis were also treated with strong medicines and were suppressed which brought about a chronic state of illness dependent on each disease. Hahnemann who understood the true nature of these chronic diseases and gave away the signs and symptoms of each miasmatic disease in the book; Chronic diseases, their Peculiar nature and their Homoeopathic cure in1828.

In 1828, when he finally published the results of his researches, it became obvious that his conclusions constituted a complete and ba­sic reform of Homoeopathic medicine. He him­self was doubtful whether he would be able to convince his colleagues, or even other Homoeopathic physicians, of the soundness of his statements:

“But in communicating to the world this great discovery, I am sorry that I must doubt whether my contemporaries will comprehend the logical sequence of these teachings of mine, and will follow them carefully and gain thereby the infinite benefits for suffering humanity which must inevitably spring from a faithful and accurate observance of the same; or,  whether frightened away by the unheard of nature of many of these disclosures, they will not rather leave them untried and uninitiated and therefore useless.

                  At least I cannot hope that these important communications will fare any better than the general Homoeopathy which I have published hitherto.” 1    

                  As he had foreseen, the book on chronic diseases led not only to a further division of supporters and opponents of Homoeopathy, but also to a rupture among the Homoeopathic physicians. Many consid­ered it as a lapse into speculation on Hahnemann’s part and refused to follow him. The division of Homoeopathic physicians in Germany and other countries including India into loyal followers of the master and a group of critical scientists originated in this con­troversy. The attacks against Hahnemann and Homoeopathy increased.

“That the original malady that I was looking for had to be of a miasmic-chronic na­ture, was obvious to me, because it was never conquered by the force of a robust constitution, never beaten by the healthiest diet or regimen of life, never died down of its own accord, but, with the passing of the years, becomes worse and shows more and more alarming symptoms, till the end of life, as in every chronic, miasmatic disease.” 1  (How truthful observation in the present day).

It is open to anybody to conduct experiments on similar lines to observe his and draw his own inference to deny a fact, simply because one cannot understand it is bad enough, and to ridicule it is worse still. So if by trial in practical field the theory of chronic diseases is demonstrated, it does not matter much, if a satisfactory explanation is not possible in the present state of our knowledge. Genetic study of the present day may give answers to Hahnemann’s theory of chronic diseases when he wrote “heredity” transmission in the family members. (In cancer cases which I have treated nearly 40,000 and found that nearly 80% had/have family history of cancer. I have followed and treated cases according to Hahnemann’s suggestions given in Footnotes to Para.40, and 205, 206, 209 and 279 for cancer cases. (Many such cases I have published and we are publishing).

Every science has got first theoretical, and then the practical aspect and only that science can advance, where theory and practice go side by side, each implementing or modifying the other, as need arises. Hahnemann’s discovery of the nature of chronic diseases is evidence that his mind was not closed to further progress of Homoeopathy, as it might have been, by the transcendent importance of his discovery of the homoeopathic law. “A man of lesser faith and courage would have ceased to struggle against such unpromising odds as faced by him after years of pains-taking effort, but Hahnemann had caught a glimpse of truth in the newly discovered or revised, Law of Similars (Dr. A.H.Grimmer)”.

Hahnemann explained and named the basis of chronic diseases as due fundamentally to the presence of an underlying Miasms capable of being inherited and superficial recurring symptoms (mimic sickness or symptoms) were manifestation of a deep acting miasmatic cause. These MIASMS are destructive in every way of both the mind and the body and they tear at the very spirit of man and woman.

Hahnemann named THREE MIASMS; Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis and out of which Psora ,the most misunderstood and controversial was and for him “The hydraheaded, most wide-reaching and difficult of all the chronic diseases”. He calls it “the most ancient, most universal, most destructive”.

For Syphilis he writes,”Hitherto Syphilis alone has been to some extent known as such a chronic miasmatic disease, which when uncured ceases only with the termination of life”. And “Sycosis (the condylomatous disease) equally ineradicable by the vital force without proper medical treatment was resigned as chronic miasmatic disease of a peculiar character which it nevertheless undoubtedly is, and physicians imagined they had cured it, when they had destroyed the growths upon the skin, but the persisting dyscrasia occasioned by it escaped their observation (Para.79). Having discovered the existence of chronically operating miasmatic state in the essential character of certain diseases, it was necessary for Hahnemann to find medicines/remedies which had corresponding chronic action in order to obtain complete similarity. These he found in the medicines and named by him as anti-psoric, anti-sycotic and anti-syphilitic.

This division of medicines is a convenience for narrowing down the choice of the medicine as the “Chronicity” is the most important feature to be matched by the individual symptoms of the case.

Why anti-Psoric or anti-Syphilitic or anti-Sycotic medicines?

Many homoeopaths in the past and now also objected to use Anti-: against medicines. Hahnemann had given the answer to them, thus; “Now since, addition, the other remedies although, also selected according to the Law of similarity of their symptoms, do not by far yield so durable and thorough cure in such chronic diseases, as those which are recognized as anti-psoric and which are selected in as homoeopathic manner, because these more than the others are adequate to the whole extent of the endless number of symptoms of the great Psoric malady: I do not see why men will deny to the latter the title of the especially anti-Psoric remedies, unless this springs from dogmatism.”

Then, why MIASMS for you and the patients?

  1. It is the cornerstone of Homoeopathy. (Lesser Writings)
  2. Their existence explains why acute and local treatments are not always effective?
  3. Why people get sick more often and more severely after certain kinds of medical treatment?
  4. How vital Force (Principle) becomes susceptible to disorder(s) and                illness(es)?
  5. Why disease(s) and death(s) exist at all?
  6. How awareness of the miasms affects the practice of Homoeopathy?
  7. How to understand acute prescribing (Acute of chronic) and the treatment         of chronic illness (Patient with the disease)?
  8. How from partial ailment(s) to generalise patient-beyond Allopathy?               e.g. Cancer, pathological conditions etc.
  9. Understanding chronic miasms is understanding Homoeopathy to     create real and lasting improvements in your patient’s overall health.
  10. Miasm is an inimical dynamic force within a person or an animal creating predisposition to certain kinds of illness.
  11. It confirms the following scientific criteria or conditions for scientific investigation.
  12. It must be based on clearly observed data, facts and phenomena.
  13. It must be repeatedly confirmed by future observations and                                   experiences under similar conditions.
  14. It must give clear and correct guidance on anticipating the future                          events.

                        (Our Cancer series gives sufficient proof of Chronic Miasms).

  1. The annual report of World Health Organisation in 1997 has become a source of great concern and debate. It stated, “Dramatic increases in life       expectancy combined with profound changes in lifestyle, will lead to global epidemics of cancer and other chronic diseases in the next two decades,             like heart diseases and strokes, mental disorders including dementia, chronic    lung conditions and musculo-skeletal problems such as arthritis.” So you see   how chronic miasms (acquired or Inherited) are being unfolded slowly in               humanity. This is circumstantial evidence of the miasmatic theory of           Dr. Hahnemann. (Para. 80, 81 and their footnotes).
  2. We, Homoeopaths can prevent, improve, palliate and even cure diseases by antimiasmatic Homoeopathic treatment during pregnancy, motherhood      and childhood. (Footnote 164 to Para. 284).
  3. If we do not understand Homoeopathy through miasms, then;WE WILL BE SAILORS NAVIGATING IN AN UNFAMILIAR SEA WITHOUT A          COMPASS. WE WILL BE NOWHERE IN HOMOEOPATHY!

 

It is true today. How many Homoeopathic physicians are following Dr. Hahnemann’s guidelines for chronic diseases – ailments, ill­nesses which are recurring again and again in different forms? Let us change our attitude and aptitude for the method to do research in Homoeopathy. 

Bibliography/ References

  1. Dr. Hahnemann Samuel – The Chronic Diseases. Their peculiar nature and their Homoeopathic Cure. (Theoretical Part). 1828.
  2. Dr. Hahnemann Samuel – Organon of Medicine. Sixth Edition 1952. B&T. U.S.A.
  3. Dr. Ramanlal P. Patel – My Experiments with 50 Millesimal Scale potencies . Sixth Edition.

Author:

Dr. Ramanlal P. Patel, D.M.S. (Cal.), D.F.HOM (London), L.M. (Dublin), etc.

Director, Dr. R.P.Patel Institute of Homoeopathy, Subhanpura, Vadodara 390023, Gujarat. India.

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About Author

Born on 1st August, 1926 in a small village, named Subhanpura, Baroda, Gujarat State, India. He had an early education in village school and then in high school at Baroda. Took active part in “Quit India” movement. Passed Matriculation with distinction in Mathematics in 1945. Joined Baroda Science College in 1945. He joined Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College in 1947. As a student he took active part for improvement of the college and the hospital. Passed D. M. S. of General Council and State Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine, Calcutta in 1951 with Hon’s in Pathology and went to U. K. in October, 1951 to attend Post- Graduate course at Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital, London, England. He worked in Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital, Glasgow; under Dr. T. D. Ross, Dr. Boyd and Dr. Paterson. Attended children Homoeopathic Hospital under the care of Dr. Hactor Machwill, Dr. H. E. Boyd and Dr. Thomas Ferguson Stewart. Also attended Post-graduate course, in Glasgow, in 1952. Went to Stuttgart, Germany, to attend Post-graduate course in Homoeopathy at Robert Bosch Hospital, Stuttgart, 1952-53. Studied under late Dr. Otto Lesser for 9 months and afterwards visited Homoeopathic institutions in Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and returned to India in 1954. He also attended Post-graduate course in Homoeopathy conducted by the American Institute of Homoeopathy, and American Foundation of Homoeopathy; U.S.A. in 1962. He was appointed as Chief Homoeopathic Physician to Fr. Muller’s Homoeopathic Hospital, Mangalore in 1954. Resigned and started practice at Baroda. Was called to serve the cause of Homoeopathy in Kerala by Late Dr. A. R. Menon, Health Minister of Kerala. Took charge of the Athurasramam Homoeopathic Medical College in 1958 as Principal in its infancy when the Late Dr. A. R. Menon, then the Health Minister promised 100 beds Homoeopathic Hospital attached to the College. He now resides in Baroda and continues to work at the R. P. Patel Institute of Homeopathy for research and education. His grandson Dr. Gopal Patel is a homeopath too and focuses mostly on Cancer cases.

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