Samuel Hahnemann – A different story

HahnemannDr T K Harindranath

Dear doctors. This is a different Hahnemann memorial speech. As you can see the title I feel it awesome to repeat the novelized narrations of the life sketch of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. That we can have from any book on the Master. It is not that the study of his life sketch is a waste. But so much has been discussed about the subject that I suspect we may lost the real/raw human being in him. So let me limit my words to the topic ‘Hahnemann as a Homoeopathic Physician’.

I think it will be very interesting to look through the clinical life of someone who had said ” I prefer to be envied rather than pitied”.We could just recollect what were his clinical routines, case taking methods, fees, medicine administration methods, posology and the like.

His consulting time was 9 to 12, morning and 2 to 4 afternoon. It is said that his residence had a trap window, in which appeared every time the bell rang, a girls head which called out in order to report the new arrival. His office was performed by one of his daughters. His office room had two tables one for consultation and the other for reference.

Hahnemannian Case Taking. (From ‘Medicine of Experience’)
Presenting complaint:

  • The chief symptoms are those that are most constant, most striking, and most annoying to the patient.
  • The most singular, most uncommon signs furnish the characteristic, the distinctive and the peculiar features
  • History of Past Illness: Inquire what were and still are the most constant, frequent, strongest, and most troublesome of the symptoms.
  • Treatment History: Inquire what medicines, domestic remedies, or other modes of treatment have been employed in former times, and what have recently been used and especially that states or that symptoms before the use of or after the discontinuance of all medicines.
  • Accidental symptoms: Symptoms produced by the medicine last employed.
  • Aetiology of the disease

He tells us to inquire about the cause of the disease only after completing the case. Finally the physician makes general enquiries as to any exciting cause of the disease that may be known (not by suggestion). His reference material was an alphabetically arranged symptom book which was prepared by his daughter and his assistance.

He prescribed potencies ranging from Q to 30th mainly and occasionally higher potencies. He cites an example of bilious fever relieved within a couple of hours with a drop dose of Arnica Q. Usually he dispensed medicines in the form of powders. Generally six packets only are given one of which contains the medicine. He advised the patients to take these powders twice or thrice daily. For a lady who was reluctant to take homoeopathic medicines, he gave the medicine in beverages and even in broth, which may defy our concept of antidotes!

His consultation fees varied with the economic status of the patient. Consultation fee was claimed only for the first consultation and medicine charge only for the following visits. He asked for fees in advance from rich patients and gave free treatment for twelve patients each year. It is said that he will not take back his hand after giving the medicines before his fee is placed on it.

He entertained only a limited number of patients per day. He once exclaimed, “How can these gentlemen boast that they can attend 30 or 40 patients a day!” He says he need ½ to ¾ part of an hour to carefully take a case and prescribe.

Repetition of the medicine was made in such intervals that no precipitating or overcoming of the life forces may occur. For this the constitution of the patient and extent of the illness must be considered.

We know that the time taken for cure or the treatment period of each patient varies.

These are two examples from Master’s cases.
1. A case of migraine relieved in 2 months. No recurrence.
2. Gastric trouble relieved after 6th visit. No recurrence
In the first case medicinal aggravation lasted for 24 hours and in the second it even continued for full four weeks. These are the illustrations of his hard work and devotion to each case.

His Comments as a Physician.
Patients should study Organon.: Homoeopathy is based on philosophy. Unless one understands this philosophy he may not be able to comprehend homoeopathy in a better way. Easiest way to understand homoeopathy is to study Organon. Patient should be aware the principle and philosophy of homoeopathy and how it is different from other systems of treatments

Stalk Homoeopaths: Not the quacks like in present period. These are those who do not abide to the strict homoeopathic attitude towards the case. I should say that in one or the other aspect we all come to this purview.

It is to be noted that the main threat he had had during his practicing years was from the allopathic people. But unfortunately now a days we find our opponents as Homoeopathic people themselves! This is mentioned here in passing that when one fights with all the might for the development of classical Homoeopathy, the others are doing their best to dig up the foundation of the system.

Just look at these! Those talking miles and miles in the public against quacks give support to the CCH agenda of awarding condensed homoeopathic degree for allopathic graduates. Our Hon. Health Minister goes to the extend that he inaugurates ‘quack hospitals’ run by SSLC failed ‘doctors’. Dignified teachers of the system mock the young students instead of instilling in them the never ending spirit of true Homoeopathy.Doctors fight for the ugly and cheap method of backdoor uplift from clerks’ and pharmacists’ posts to ‘medical officers’ and many more such examples!

It is a sad fact that we either idolize the Master in to a godly position or do the exact opposite to his teachings and thoughts. Either way we fail to follow him faithfully, which amply explains the dire state of the system in many parts of the world. Though he wrote in his first aphorism that, our high and only ‘mission’ is to restore the sick to health, some translators use the word ‘business’ in position of ‘mission’. Whether it is a mission or a business, we, the children of Homoeopathy should stick on to the basic rules of Homoeopathy, if not to be called as a ‘Slack Homoeopath’ by the Father of our system.

I thank your patience in listening to me throughout this. I also thank the organisers of this event for giving me this opportunity to remember the Master.

Dr. T.K. Harindranath was the State President of IHMA. He is doing Homoeopathic Practice for more than 20 years now. He is in the forefront of the fight against illegal practitioners in Homeopathy. The above lecture is delivered as the “Hahnemann Memorial Speech” in the ‘Annual general Body’ of  IHMA Kozhikode Chapter at Hotel Malabar Palace, on 6th April 2003. Contact: [email protected]. Phone.0496-2610584 ®

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