A review on predisposition by Dr John Henry Allen

Dr Nandini S M

A review on predisposition by Dr John Henry Allen

Predisposition is a ability or tendency to suffer from a particular condition, hold a particular attitude, or act in a particular way. To be predisposed to a thing is to have a weakness in that direction or in other words sort of attribute or weakness that predisposes us to certain diseases or conditions of life which we have within us.

Predisposition is a tendency to a condition or quality, usually based on the combined effects of genetic and environmental factors. It is the state of being likely to behave in a particular way or to suffer from a particular disease


Predisposition is very closely related to idiosyncrasy which is the well-known state of mind or body. They are so closely allied to each other that we can scarcely separate them-the one becomes the prefix, very often, of the other.

Again, these two conditions of predisposition and idiosyncrasy can be associated with another condition which, has gained popularity with several of our contemporary therapeutic teachers in recent years, and that is temperament. When compiling our anamnesis, temperament cannot be completely excluded since, when we closely examine temperament, we find that certain types of disease are more likely to affect people with particular temperaments. In this we see a fixed law, or principle involved.

Example: the bilious temperament so characteristic of a Nux vomica patient. We know, with a positive certainty, the diseases to which he is predisposed. They are hepatic, gastro-intestinal, directly or indirectly, the result of an abuse or excesses peculiar to his mental make-up, and moral weakness, peculiar to himself

It is a difficult matter to say just where idiosyncrasy ends and predisposition begins. Quite often they are so intimately associated that we cannot separate them, or they commingle and become a complement of each other. The removal of one is very apt to cause the disappearance of the other.

EXAMPLE: A patient may be predisposed to orbital neuralgia, who has an intense craving for salt, the removal of which may take away the predisposition to the orbital pain and the desire for salt. This usually seem to disappear by a high potency of Nat. mur

Patients who are so sensitively predisposed to every disease that comes along, which is of a contagious nature, are usually of the tubercular type or the miasm, psora, and syphilis (latent) is firmly implanted in that organism.

Psora alone rarely predisposes us to any serious excesses or extremes in anything. However, the combination of psora and syphilis, which is the parent of the tubercular diathesis, gives us all kinds of excesses. These patients are either too large or too small, too thin or too fleshy, too tall or too short, they develop too slowly or too fast, they are mentally too dull or too bright; the teeth come slowly, are painful, and at long intervals, or they come in groups of halfa dozen or more at a time, with spasms or convulsions often, or with febrile states, gastric disturbances, etc. These children are predisposed, of course, to all (if in a marked case) the sequences due to the combination of these two elements syphilis and psora, which is one of the most destructive of all the miasmatic bonds with the life force.

We occasionally encounter patients who are not inclined to natural disease states, but   particularly sensitive to and predisposed to artificial diseases, such as plant poisons, of which the Rhus family is a good example,

Many cases from the effects of Rhus tox.; with face and hands presenting that erysipelatous inflammation peculiar to that poison. The first thing these patients would mention is that they are supersensitive to its influence, so much so that it might be called an idiosyncrasy. Thus we often have an idiosyncrasy behind the predisposition which intensifies the action of the poison.

Experience and careful examination of the history of numerous cases have taught us that neither the idiosyncratic nor the predisposed patients are healthy individuals. By any means, all of them have a deep psoric or some miasmatic taint from which these conditions arise, and it is obvious that some special cause lies behind the effect. No matter how dormant these miasms appear to be in the organism, we are always able to point fairly clearly to their presence through idiosyncrasy or predisposition.

A child of 9 years old, who appears to be healthy and strong is actually prone to get every acute infectious or contagious disease that occurs, and within a few years, she has experienced every pediatric disease known to man, which, when it is properly treated by a single homoeopathic remedy, comes forth free from any sequelae and the general system is greatly renovated of its existing miasm but If not treated properly, we may experience chronic miasmatic stasis, which could either last forever or eventually lead to the death of the person.

The physician should have deeper understanding of these latent miasms. so that he can choose a deep-acting miasmatic remedy that helps not only to eliminate idiosyncrasies and predispositions but end the suffering and hazards to young life.

Many physicians only scratch upon the surface of this miasmatic soil, removing a few of the weeds of disease, when ought to be preparing the soil so that it will bring forth only the fruit of health and strength, and magnify life and perpetuate youth.  Physicians’ inability to accomplish this is the source of idiosyncrasy and predisposition. Many times, physicians give the true anti-miasmatic remedy, according to the law of similia, the potency too low to get the full breadth and depth of its action. It may abort the existing acute disease, but leaves the deeper pre-existing miasmatic symptoms that is the predisposition and idiosyncrasy are still present to threaten the patient with new disorders. while the highest potency removes all the phenomena that disturb that life.

an idiosyncrasy or predisposition is a negative habit or inhibitive state that has developed in a life force that has been subjected to some subversive force over time—often over generations—as a result of miasmatic action and the alterations that are typical of its subversion.

often  it is seen that the effects of predisposition in climatic influences as in malarial districts, removed by the potentized remedy that cures the chills, never to return, although the patients may remain in the same location and under the same miasmatic influences and climatic conditions, simply because some anti-miasmatic remedy was given that either modified or removed the effects of the chronic miasm to which, not only the predisposition was due, but that which the acute malaria disturbed.

This phase of physiological perversion may be carried into the moral sphere, as it is seen manifested in the desire to steal, to the use of alcoholic or other stimulants, tobacco, etc to many phases of degeneracy which can be traced back, quite often, to some miasmatic taint, such as sycosis, or to syphilis, or to both.

Sometimes we see this condition of things fall upon some one child or member of a family, and a long history of hereditary perversions is the result.

Predisposition of an individual will be because of some underlying miasm in the background. Most of the time the latent or dormant state of these miasms are pointed out through the exhibition of predisposition or idiosyncrasy which guides the homoeopathic physician for selecting the proper similimum according to the laws of homoeopathy that helps not only to remove the tendency of a person to a particular disease or condition but also reduces the sufferings of an individual. If predisposition is not treated properly with anti-miasmatic remedies in accordance it has all the ways to develop as hereditary tendency or attribute for generation to generation.

Allen John Henry. The chronic miasms with repertory.Rearranged and Augmented edition, B Jain publishers(P)Ltd,New delhi, 2007;114-118

Dr Nandini S M
PG Scholar, Department of Organon of Medicine with Homoeopathic Philosophy
Government Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Bengaluru.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.