Relationship of Homoeopathic Materia Medica with Organon


Dr S Praveen Kumar

Hahnemann, a true scientist, did not get satisfied by the then medical practice and made a remarkable statement in a letter to his friend that he had being putting drugs of which he knew little into bodies of which he knew less. Then he renounced the medical practice and turned his attention to the study of chemistry, philosophy, pharmacy and medicine. For his livelihood he understood the translator work and in this process, like any scientist who is curious a bout obvious, he came across the statement about febrifugal properties of Cinchona which was not appealing.

May be influenced by the processed ideas of Albert Von Hailer about experiencing on healthy human being to get pure effects of medicinal substances and also by the works of his contemporary German Philosopher, GWF Hegel, Samuel Hahnemann has undertaken the experiment with Cinchona Nark on himself. He was upraised to know that the similarity of the symptoms of ague with that produced b Cinchona bark on himself. Then he formed a tentative hypothesis that the specific curative power of a drug lies in its power of producing similar symptoms in healthy individual.

For six years Hahnemann continued his research and experiments on himself and other family members and friends with about 50 drugs. Thence he formulated the principle, which was hitherto recited in Vedas and pronounced by Hippocrates and Paracelsus, “similia similibus curentur” as the basic nature’s law to cure the ailing humanity. There a new therapeutic science took birth.

Then on he formulated various other principles among which four are fundamentals of Homoeopathy viz.

  1. The proving of substances to be used as medicines, on the healthy human beings.
  2. Law of similars as the basis for selection and prescription of these remedies.
  3. The single remedy
  4. The minimum dose

Hahnemann has incorporated all these instructions and principles in the book titled “Organon of Medicine”. This is the Bible or Gita of Homoeoapthy.

Homoeopathic philosophy book, the organon may be divided into three sections. Viz.
a. The theoretical, dealing with how and why remedies act b. The didactic, meaning the rules and tenets and The practical, which comprises the art of applying the rules in prescribing for the actual patient, understanding the results,, and following through the subsequent prescriptions to cure.

In the first and last sections mentioned above the whole text deals with the description of remedies in one way or the other. So, it means that Organon’s 213 portion is directly connected to Materia Medica.

At the same time the Materia medica pura, written by Hahnemann, has got a direct reference to Organon in the preface itself. He mentions that he taught is this truth in Organon of Medicine, that, dynamically acting medicines extinguish diseases only in accordance with the similarity of their symptoms. So he asks the reader to understand the Organon first and alter match the symptoms in materia medica with the symptoms of the .sick individual. Hahnemann clearly writes in material medica pura that his instruction to use these medicines are given in organon.

As mentioned in 3 aphorism in organon that the physician must have the knowledge of diseases, knowledge of medicine and also the knowledge of how to apply the latter to the former. This essential application knowledge comes from the organon whereas the knowledge of medicines can be acquired from the materia rnedica.

The mere knowledge of medicines and their drug properties would not be sufficient as form their drug proving to the selection, administration and second prescription one needs the thorough understanding of the organon of medicine.

 Even the profile of each drug is understood on the basis of its general characteristics, peculiar symptoms and particular symptoms. The drug proving gives us the raw data which has to be processed according to the principles laid down in the organon, so that we will have a material medica in the systematic manner. Organon helps us to place each symptom in the drug at its right position according to its value basing on the knowledge of classification of symptoms.

Even the clinical symptoms, incorporated in source books and other material medicas, are the fruits of great homoeopaths’ efforts in treating the sick. They are arrived at by the knowledge acquired from the clinical medicine and organon as the new symptoms appeared or old symptoms disappeared after the administration of the remedy belong to this category.

So, to understand a drug in toto we need to have the knowledge if organon and at the same time organon alone could not be useful without the knowledge of material medica as mere principles can’t cure the sick.

Materia medica is the beautiful building built on the strong edifice of organon.
At the same time one must not forget the other branch that is, Repertory.
As it is rightly mentioned that Homoeopathy is compared with a bird with its body represented by the materia medica, wings by organon and the tail, which gives the correct direction, by the Repertory. So it is easily inferred that these three important branches of Homoeopathy are inseparable.