Relevance of Diathesis in Homeopathy

Dr. Ambreesh Pandey

DIATHESIS – Derived from a greek word……….. DIATITHENANI meaning … to dispose. Constitutional predisposition to certain disease condition.

‘’ A constitution or condition of the body which make the tissue react the special way to certain extensive stimuli and thus tends to make the person more susceptible to certain disease.’’

COMPTON J. BURNETT …. was the first person to describe this state to homoeopaths. He called it CONSUMPTIVENESS and he write a book ‘ New cures for consumption by its own virus’.

He explain the word Diathesis….. as a borderline state between disposition and expression. He define as——-

‘’A borderline state between normal susceptibility and expression of the disease…….is DIATHESIS.’

He classify it into two

  • Tubercular diathesis
  • Scrophulous diathesis

 According to DR. M. L. DHAWALE
‘’Diathesis represents certain deviations in susceptibility which are not sufficiently marked to merit the label disease and in which the responses to environmental stimuli tend to be exaggerated or erratic.’’

Diathesis is a state or condition of the body or a combination of attributes in an individual causing a susceptibility to disease. For eg.  sycosis or sycosis diathesis is a tendency to retain water in tissues to produce small cutaneous fig like tumors, chronic catarrh of mucous membranes and the slow insidious progressive development of these and other symptoms. 

DORCSI’S Defines
Diathesis means the inherited or acquired organic weakness and systemic inferiority which leads to the morbid disposition and specific pathological process in the evolution of disease.

The morbid disposition arising from the constitution is referred to as – Diathesis. Each of the basic chronic diseases related to specific diathesis. Equating chronic disease and diathesis eg. By saying psora equals to lymphatic diathesis would be an over simplification. Hahnemann’s chronic diseases are more comprehensive, while diathesis is more limited.

Diathesis is a phase of precarious balance in which a slight push is sufficient to topple down the system in to the slippery inclined plane of disease with assured and smooth progress to final distruction. It is a borderline between normality and abnormality.

Types of diathesis
Many types are described by different stalwarts, some of them are..

Tubercular diathesis :-
The French call it ’’ELAT TUBERCULINIQUE’’.

It is the diathesis of Tuberculinum. This diathesis is found in offspring of those who had suffered from tuberculosis. It may also be observed in some individual who do not respind to ATT.

Lymphatic diathesis :-
Psoric factors lead to development of a lymphatic diathesis in childhood. This is identical with lymphatics and exudative diathesis. It develops the way that Hahnemann described, involving first the skin then the mucosa and finally internal organs and system. Lymphoid tissues even normally very active in childhood grow hypertrophic and prone to disease.

Scrophulous diathesis:-
It is similar to tubercular lymphangitis. There is induration leading to sinus or fistula formation with subsequent healing with scar formation.

Dyscratic diathesis :-
The dyscratic diathesis belongs the syphilitic range of constitutional disorders. In human pathology the term DYSCRASIA  was used to define  a depraved state  of the humours, A state of Imbalance.

It relates the end state of processes arising through psoric, sycotic, and tuberculinic taint. It provides the background for the development of carcinomas and other malignant tumors and malignant blood diseases. Degenerative diseases of the nervous system also include in it.

Uric- acid Diathesis :-
It is also known as Lithaemic, Rheumatic, or gouty diathesis and it is Hydogenoid diathesis of VON-GRAUVOGL. Sycotic range of constitutional disorders comes under this.  the term gouty diathesis describes the formation of urinary stones in persons with primary gout.

Haemorrhagic diathesis :-
An inherited predisposition to any one of a number of abnormalities characterized by excessive bleeding. It  is an unusual susceptibility to bleeding (hemorrhage) mostly due to hypocoagulability, in turn caused by a coagulopathy (a defect in the system of coagulation). It comes in the syphilitic range of diseases, where there is ulceration and bleeding tendencies are well marked. 

Dr. Hahnemann never used the term Diathesis. He use predisposing factor rather than diathesis. He also use the term Accessary circumstances in aphorism 7 in Organon of Medicine.

In the aphorism 76 of Organon of Medicine  Dr. Hahnemann considers iatrogenic diseases or patient who develop chronic side effect of drugging, we called as Drug miasm. Hahnemann clearly perceived the diathesis development due to the long continued ever increasing dose of non – conventional medicine which should be eradicated—must be remedied or by the vital force itself.

The primary expression of miasm exhibits preferable manifestations on the skin ; when this preferred manifestation has been suppressed or has been taken place then whole is gradually poisoned and the whole patient get polluted.

When these manifestations of psora,  syphilis, and sycosis, incidiously make a rich ground to produce a susceptible HOLO-BIO- PATHOLOGICAL ground it produce- Diathesis. Where the disease manifestations have a fertile soil to grow and manifest particular disease. That soil is irrigated and grown up by miasma. Basically diathesis is not a miasm.

Hahnemann called miasmatic disease as a process of development from an acute manifestation as a localized skin area after the infection of patient as a whole followed by any natural or non- rational treatment either external or internal, internalizing it and producing holo-bio-pathological soil in dormant or latent state. This dormant and latent causative soil is the basis of producing the diathesis.

This effect is an outcome of a mutual understanding and sequence of the causes interacting or related and dependable with the accessory circumstances as a contribution and trigger and make a fertile soil to develop a morbid dynamic susceptible tendencies towards a particular disease  like – tuberculosis, tendency to form stone , in gall bladder , in kidney, uric acid formation to produce diseases in joints, altered lipid metabolism and many other metabolic disorders due to faulty assimilation of hormones, proteins, and enzymes etc. Then it will be very clear that soil which produce diseases like tuberculosis, gout, diabetes, is not a miasm but originated from miasm and make a diathesis. 

Diathesis andSusceptibility
The predisposition of certain somato- types to the development of certain disease attracted the attention even of the ancients. They considerd and impressed by the association of certain temperaments with certain type of illness. From these observations the doctrine of susceptible constituents or diathesis arises.

It will be obvious that diathesis represents certain deviations in susceptibility which are not sufficiently marked to merit the lable disease and in which the responses to environmental stimuli tend to be exaggerated or erratic.

Diathesis and stress
The diathesis concept has a long history in medical terminology. The word diathesis derives from the ancient Greek idea of disposition here. This word was related to the humor (body fluids) theory of temperament and disease. The peculiar terminology diathesis-stress was used by psychologists Manfred Bleuler and David Rosenthal in the 1960s with the development of new theories about schizophrenia.

Utility of Diathesis
The  DIATHESIS makes a medicine Therapeutic similimum.

This is also important from the stand point of preventive medicine. In certain attributes  (psycho-somatic) we correlate to the development of certain disease by knowing the pathogenesis of these diseases we could anticipate nature and could device suitable protective measures to prevent the development  of these diseases in the predisposed individual.

It also help to the individualisation of the disease.

The detailed psychosomatic attributs  of diathesis of psora , sycosis, tubercle, and syphilis, enable us to group the individual diathesis in to four broad classes with well-defined characteristics . This in some extent simplifies the process of individualisation.


  • Organon of medicine 5th & 6th edition – Dr. Hahnemann
  • Sprit of organon part 1 – Dr. T. C. Mondal
  • Principles & Practice of Homoeopathy Part 1-  Dr. M. L. Dhawle
  • National journal of Homoeopathy vol. 4th no. 3, 63 issue, may –june 2002.
  • www. Google
  • www. Wikepedia

Dr. Ambreesh Pandey B.H.M.S.(HONS),M.D. (PSYCHIATRY)
Bakson  Homoeopathic  Medical College Gr. Noida G.B. Nagar U.P.
E.MAIL: [email protected]

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