Hahnemann's Guidelines on Poly Pharmacy

Dr. Abhishek Udani

Few homeopaths are aware of the use by Hahnemann of dual remedies, that is two remedies at time. It has been either ignored or presented in a distorted fashion by those who write about homeopathic history and philosophy. The use by Hahnemann over an extended period of dual remedy prescribing is completely consistent with his principles right from the start of his writing around 1790 to his death in 1843.

Hahnemann’s view about dual remedy:
The dual remedy method originated with Dr Agidi, One of Hahnemann’s disciples, who forwarded the founder 233 cases about his new method. Hahnemann himself under took in using two remedies in short intervals. Agidi and Boenninghausen based on the evidence of correspondence between them likely used such methods in difficult cases for at least a year prior to 1833 with Hahnemann’s knowledge and tacit support.

In case where he could not find a single remedy, which matched the complete symptoms, he combined two homeopathic remedies that fit the symptoms.

There is no evidence that the issue was one of lack of a single remedy that covered the complete symptom picture, as is supposed here. Agidi, quoted in Hahnemann’s reply, stated that he gave the “two medicinal substance…, only in a case where both seem homeopathically suitable, but each from different side. “Hahnemann calls the practice a “discovery.” If both remedies are homeopathically indicated, they must both correspond to a disease (the different sides here are no partial symptom picture of one disease). This can’t be the same situation covered by Hahnemann’s section in the organon, which had been there since the beginning, dealing with cases where there is no one remedy homeopathic to the disease (Aph 162-170). If it were, Hahnemann would not have greeted it as a new “discovery”

There are several cases of disease in which the administration of a double remedy is perfectly Homeopathic and truly rational: Where for instance each of the medicines appears suited for the case of disease, but each from a different side: or where the case of disease depends on more than one of three radical causes of the chronic disease discovered by me, as when addition to psora we have syphilis or sycosis also. Just as in very rapid acute disease, Hahnemann give two or three of the most appropriate remedies in alteration; i.e. In cholera Cuprum and Veratum; or in croup-Aconite, Hepar sulph and Spongia; so in chronic disease Hahnemann give together two well indicated Homeopathic remedies acting from different sides in the smallest dose. Here we must consider that all thoughtless mixtures or frivolous choice of two medicines, which would be equivalent to allopathic polyphramcy.”

Hahnemann had done several months of trials before making his formal decision to include the new practice in the organon. Of course we see later, when he decides to remove the new paragraph on dual remedies from manuscript of 5th edition of organon, that Hahnemann does not feel that this clinical evidence of his yet sufficient to base a new rule .

On in the face of political concerns and according to master it others will misuse the new insight. Hahnemann experiments with the dual remedies proved a failure because they did not work as well as his single remedies. Thus he is convinced of the truth of dual remedy prescribing, including in mixtures, but is not yet in a position to defend it against opposition because his clinical work has not yet allowed him to fully grasp the principle behind the practice so as to explain it in a manner to protect against misuse.

Haehl writes that Hahnemann was easily convinced because he only made a few experiments, and considered them of only limited use in the clinic. Hahnemann clearly writes that out of the many attempts only one or two were successful and he was going to write in the organon that this seems to be a very difficult and doubtful method.

In aphorism 272, 5th edition of organon of medicine our master told “In no case is it requisite to administer more than one simple medicinal substance at one time.”

In the foot note of 272 of 6th edition of organon master mention that: “Some homoeopathists have made the experiment, in cases where the deemed one remedy homeopathically suitable for one portion of the symptoms of a case of disease, and a second for anther portion of the symptoms of a case of disease, and a second for another portion, of administering both remedies at the same time; but I earnestly deprecate such a hazardous experiment, which can never but necessary, though it sometimes may be of use.”

But after failure of dual medicine experiment Hahnemann was given more importance of single medicine in aphorism 273 of the 6th edition.

“In no case of cure is it necessary to employ more than a SINGLE SIMPLE medicinal substance at one time with a patient. For this reason alone, it is inadmissible to do so. It is inconceivable that there could be the slightest doubt about whether it is more in accordance with nature and more reasonable to prescribe only a single simple well known medicinal substance at one time in a disease or a mixture of several different ones. In homeopathy the only true and simple, the only natural medical art it is absolutely prohibited to administer to the patient, at one time, two medicinal substances.”

There are those who have not mastered
a return to polyphramcy with potentised remedies as a short cut.

Some of them become the biggest critics of classical homeopathy only because they did not learn correctly.

On the other hand, there are some who are working towards master in classical homeopathy who use a double remedy or combination on occasions.

We would suggest that they experiment with alternations, intercurrents, or series of remedies rather then mixing remedies together. In this way they will grow beyond this stage of practice. If this is done carefully, they will soon see better results then mixtures.

The four cardinal principles of homeopathy are the similar cures similar, the single remedy, the minimum dose, and the potentised remedy. These principles are the checks and the balance that makes homeopathy a safe and effective healing art without them the use of similars can be quite dangerous.


1 Organon of Medicine by Samuel Hahnemann
2 Life and works of Samuel Hahnemann by Richard Haehl
3 Organon of Medicine by B.K.Sarkar
4 Principles and Practice of Homeopathy by M.L.Dhawale.

Dr. Abhishek Udani MD (Homeopathy) (G –5596)
Lecturer, Dept of Repertory
Dr V.H.Dave Homeopathic College.Anand. (Gujarat)
Email : [email protected]

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