Dr Vignesh Vassudev Naik
BACKGROUND: – The aim of this article is to understand the evolution through which the philosophy of the Homoeopathic system of Medicine underwent from 5th edition to 6th edition as per the clinical and experimental experience of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. This is a retrospective study done from the available textbooks of Homoeopathy and web articles.
Keywords: – Organon, Homoeopathy, editions,
A brief about the Title of the Book
- The word ORGANON is a Greek word.
- Which means a “tool or a method of scientific investigation.”
- This word is taken from the book Novum Organon (year 1620), the second part of Instauration Magna by Lord Bacon and Organon by Aristotle.
- Hahnemann used this word as a title of “ORGANON OF MEDICINE.”
- 1st edition titled– “Organon of the Rational Medical Sciences”
- 2nd edition onwards titled– “Organon of the Healing Art”
Aim and objective of this book
- Was to present to the medical field the doctrines, merits and practical instructions for the practice of Homoeopathy in a logical and elaborate way.
- Homoeopathy being an entirely new system of medicine was exposed to much criticism from the whole medical profession.
- Hahnemann stated only the facts on the basis of experience and which could be verified by any physician.
- Organon of Medicine is a book containing fundamentals on which the system of homoeopathy is based.
- Hahnemann published the revised and new editions of organon to keep the knowledge of Homoeopathy updated after every few years.
- He updated it through 6 editions – 1) 5 editions published during his lifetime. 2) 6th edition was completed before (1842) but was published after his death (1921) called as Posthumous edition.
About the textbook of Organon of Medicine
The editions of the organon may be divided into two major sections;
Section 1) Doctrinal part- Aphorism (Section) 1-71 (Includes principles, knowledge and understanding.)
Section 2) Practical part- Aphorism 72-291 (Includes practical application and methods.)
Editions and no. Of aphorisms
- 1st edition – 271 aphorisms (1810)
- 2nd edition – 315 + 3 miss numbered aphorisms =318 (1819)
- 3rd edition – 320 aphorisms (1824)
- 4th edition – 292 aphorisms (1829)
- 5th edition- 294 aphorisms (1833)
- 6th edition – 291 aphorisms (1921)
Changes about 4th edition
- The standard high potency is the 30th
- The dosage is to be with a single administration.
- Repetition is to be performed only when there is a relapse of symptoms i.e., aphm.242 of the 4th
- ‘Theory of chronic diseases’ as well as the concept of Psora.
- Technique of succussion which has already been published in 1826 in Materia Medica Pura II, 2nd
Changes in the 5th edition
- Formulation of remedy in liquid form, an approach that allows the practitioner to: –
- Repeat the remedy during improvement as per the requirement of the case.
- Tailor the repetition to the nature of the illness: frequent repetition for acutes; daily or weekly repetition for chronic.
- Provide intercurrent remedies.
- Alter the dynamization of the remedy with succussion prior to each administration.
- Alter the size of the dosage i.e., the quantity of liquid in eachadministration.
- Only utilise repetition with liquid remedies; if dry remedies are to be prescribed then the rules listed in the 4th edition apply.
- This method of prescribing and medication is outlined in paragraph 246 of 5th edition which reads: – A very fine dose of a well-selected Homoeopathic remedy, if uninterrupted in its action, will gradually accomplish all of the curative effects it is capable of providing, in a period varying from forty to one hundred days.
- But if rarely is uninterrupted, and besides, the physician, as well as the patient, usually desire to accelerate the cure by reducing this period of time, if possible, by one-half, one-quarter, or even less.
- Experience has proved in numerous instances that such a result may actually be obtained under the following three conditions:
- Firstly, by careful selection of the most appropriate Homoeopathic medicine.
- Secondly, by administering the medicine in the finest dose capable of restoring the vital force to harmonious activity, without causing a violent reaction.
- Thirdly by repeating the finest dose of an accurately selected medicine at proper intervals.
Such as are proved by experience to be the most conducive to a speedy cure, and timed as to prevent an injurious and revulsion counteraction of the vital force, whose action is to be tempered and modified in accordance with the morbific (aggravating) power of the medicine which is similar in effect to the natural disease.
- Footnote 126 to paragraph 246 begins: In former edition of the Organon Dr. Hahnemann has recommended that a single dose of a well-selected Homoeopathic remedy should be allowed to terminate its operation before the same or new remedy is repeated.
- Paragraph 288 of 5th edition introduces remedy administration of olfaction.
- This concept of administration of a drug by olfaction must have come from the report of 233 cases treated by Dr. Julius Aegidi, physician in ordinary to the Princess Frederia of Prussia, in Dusseldorf; who had sent this report to Dr. Hahnemann where it was mentioned about cures effected by double remedies.
- Julius concept was “that two medicine substances (In the smallest doses or by olfaction) should be given together only in cases where both seem homoeopathically suitable to the case, but each from a different side.
- Homoeopathic remedies act with greatest certainty and efficacy, particularly by smelling or inhaling them in the form of a vapours emanating continually from dry-pellet impregnated with a highly rarefied medicinal solution and contained in a small vial according to Dr. Hahnemann.
Changes in 6th edition
- Footnote of Aphorism 11, Hahnemann gives consideration of the important question- what is dynamic influence or dynamis.
- The term ‘Vital Force’ gives way to the term ‘Vital Principal.’ In aphorism 22 and 29 contain his last views on the life principle (the word which he used the most time in comparison to word vital force in the former editions).
- Aphorisms 52-56 are wholly rewritten.
- Aphorism 148 is entirely new and concerns itself with the origin of disease, denying a materia peccans (material cause of the disease.) as the prime aetiological factor.
- In aphorism 246-248 he has mentioned about dosage in the treatment of Chronic diseases, Repetition with ascending potency until a change is observed when introduced.
- Wholly new 50 millesimal potency; the direction for the preparation was introduced aphorism 269-272
- Hahnemann concludes the 6th edition, in paragraphs 286-291, that vital force may be stimulated to achieve cure with methodologies other than Homoeopathic remedies such as mesmeric techniques and massage and water-based therapies.
- This 6th edition has thrown light upon the connection between mind and Body,
- It shows how the living organism acts and reacts under the influence of external or internal agencies – Mental, psychical and physical.
- Dynamism, the vital force, Potentiation and the Infinitesimal Dose: – Around these 3 subjects have centered the hottest controversies and most mordant criticisms in the history of Homoeopathy, and these are the newly treated subjects in the sixth edition of “The Organon”
- The philosophy of Hahnemann makes homoeopathy differs from other systems of therapeutics, and this is solely because it recognizes Life or Mind as an entity; as the primary, spiritual power or principle which creates and sustain the physical organism and is the primary cause of all its actions and reaction.
- Its working principle is the universal law of Reciprocal Action, otherwise known as the law of balance, compensation, rhythm, polarity, vibration, or action and reaction, all of which signify a principle operative alike in the physical, mental and spiritual realms.
By detailed study of the Fifth and Sixth edition of Organon of Medicine; we can see how Dr. Hahnemann by making changes according to his practical observation help the entire humanity from the harmful after effects caused by modern medicines. Also, he made sure to clarify the misapprehended terms about Homoeopathy. By all this work of our Master Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, homoeopathy achieves its ends & accomplishes its purposes by the use of single, similar, minimum dose and deprived of their injurious properties and enhanced the curative power of substances by the pharmacodynamical processes of succussion (downward strokes of equal power), trituration, solution and dilution according to scale; in minimum or infinitesimal doses, administered by the mouth.
The remedy has been selected by comparison of the signs and symptoms of the sick individual with the symptoms of the drugs produced by tests in healthy human subjects; under the principle of symptoms- similarity, as stated in Organon of Medicine, “similia, similibus, Curentur- Let likes be cured by likes. ”
- Close S. The genius of homoeopathy: lectures and essays on homoeopathic philosophy. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers (P) ltd; 2012.
- Hahnemann S, Boericke W, Dudgeon RE. Organon of medicine: word index included. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers; 2005.
- Hughes R. The Organon. In: The Principles and Practice of Homoeopathy. First Reprint Edition ed. New Delhi: indian books and periodicals publishers; 2019. p. 12–23.
- Jerome W. The Evolution of the Organon. PDF ARH Journal. 2010;21.
Dr. Vignesh Vassudev Naik
PG scholar Part- I
Department of Organon of Medicine and Homoeopathic Pharmacy
Father Muller Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Deralakatte, Mangalore