Deciphering important terminology in the organon of medicine

Deciphering important terminology in the organon of medicine

Dr Eyingthung Odyuo

Abstract:
It is a truism to say that Hahnemann’s Organon of Medicine is the bible for homoeopathician. It is not a mere script nor a sacred book to be worshipped. It is the code of principles which conduct cure according to the law of similar, a book intended to be of practical use to the physician. We come across several non-English terms, phrases or sentences even today in Latin, Greek, German, French and Hebrew in the textbook of Organon of Medicine, lesser writtings and chronic diseases. Therefore, It is essential to understand those non-English terminologies with meaning in order to comprehend fully.

Objectives:
To understand the meaning of several non English terminologies used in the Organon of Medicine. To understand the various editon of  main English translations by different authors in the Organon of Medicine.

Keywords: Different editions and main English translations of Organon, Non-English words, Organon of Medicine.

Introduction:
The word ‘Organon is derived from the Greek word and ‘Organum’ from Latin which means  ‘An instrument of thought system of logic’ or  ‘A method of scientific investigation’ or ‘An instrument for effecting in the best manner a certain end’- R. Hughes. Hahnemann got inspiration from the book ‘Novum organum’, second part of insaturatio magna by Lord Bacon and Organon by Aristotle1.

An English first translation of the Organon of Medicine appeared in the year 1833 by Charles H. Devrient, with notes by Samuel Stratten from the original 4th German edition. In 1849, the second English translation was made by R.E Dudgeon from the original German 5th edition of the book2. The third English translation was made by C. Wesselhoeft in 1876 and the last one sixth edition appeared in 1921 translated by W. Boericke thought it was completed in the year 1842 by Hahemann. In 1954, Pierre Schmidt of Geneva translated the 6th edition into French. In 1970, Kurt Hochsetter published the Organon in German and titled it as 6-B edition of Hahnemann’s Organon. He could not title it as 6th revised edition because Richard Haehl already edited and published it in German for the German readers3.

Different editions and main English translations4:

Edition 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Title Organon of the rational healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of Medicine
Publication year and place 1810, Torgau 1819, Leipzig 1824, Kothen 1829, Koethen 1833,

Koethen

1921, Paris (manuscript completed in 1842)
English translation C.E Wheeler 1917; Mahendra Singh 2003 No English translation; French translation by E.G Bunnow 1824 No English translation; French translation by E.G Bunnow 1832 and A.J.L Jourdan 1832 Charles H. Devrient 1833; Dr. Mahendra Singh 2003 R.E Dudgeon 1849; Wesselhoeft 1876;

B. Fincke

1889

William Boericke 1922; Kunzli, Naude and Pendleton 1982;

Steven Decker 1996

Edition 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Title Organon of the rational healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of Medicine
Publication year and place 1810, Torgau 1819, Leipzig 1824, Kothen 1829, Koethen 1833,

Koethen

1921, Paris (manuscript completed in 1842)
English translation C.E Wheeler 1917; Mahendra Singh 2003 No English translation; French translation by E.G Bunnow 1824 No English translation; French translation by E.G Bunnow 1832 and A.J.L Jourdan 1832 Charles H. Devrient 1833; Dr. Mahendra Singh 2003 R.E Dudgeon 1849; Wesselhoeft 1876;

B. Fincke

1889

William Boericke 1922; Kunzli, Naude and Pendleton 1982;

Steven Decker 1996

Edition 1st  2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Title Organon of the rational healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of the healing art  Organon of the healing art Organon of the healing art Organon of Medicine
Publication year and place 1810, Torgau 1819, Leipzig 1824, Kothen 1829, Koethen 1833,

Koethen

1921, Paris (manuscript completed in 1842)
English translation C.E Wheeler 1917; Mahendra Singh 2003 No English translation; French translation by E.G Bunnow 1824 No English translation; French translation by E.G Bunnow 1832 and A.J.L Jourdan 1832 Charles H. Devrient 1833; Dr. Mahendra Singh 2003 R.E Dudgeon 1849; Wesselhoeft 1876;

B. Fincke

1889

William Boericke 1922; Kunzli, Naude and Pendleton 1982;

Steven Decker 1996

Non-English terms with meaning:

Some of the important translation of non-English terms are as follows:

Latin words:

  1. Ab usu in morbis – knowledge obtained from the use of medicines in diseases5
  2. Adjuvantia – Assiting medicine to principle medicine5
  3. Aequalia aequalibus curantur – Treat equals by equals; Identicals by identicals2; Same by same6
  4. Aude Sapere – ‘Dare to know’- P. Schmidt2
  5. ‘Have courage of your own convictions; dare to be wise’- R. Haehl1,2
  6. Basis – The principle (main) medicine effective5
  7. Beruf- It means ‘vocation’ or ‘profession’ used by Hahnemann3,6
  8. Berufung- Historically, Beruf is derived from Berufung which means a ‘calling’ or ‘mission’3
  9. Causa chronicorum morborum  – Causes of chronic diseases2,6
  10. Causa effectus chronicorum non venorium – Cause of non-venereal chronic diseases5
  11. Causa occassionalis – Manifest exciting and maintaining cause5
  12. Cessat effectus cessat causa – If the effects (diseases) cease then cause ceases too2,5
  13. Cito, toto et jucunde – Quickly, safely and pleasantly5,7
  14. Confortantia- Stimulating or Strengthening medicine2,6
  15. Contraria contrariis curentur- Let opposites be cured by opposites6
  16. Corrigens – Corrective remedy5
  17. Darup treasure- Sixth edition of Organon of Medicine was termed as Darup treasure5
  18. De morborum epidemicorum – On the epidemic diseases2
  19. Disease perse- Morbid process of functioning of the life principle5
  20. Diseases sui generic- Different kind of diseases2
  21. Duce natura – ‘Follow the nature’ or ‘guided by nature’5,6
  22. Echte helbig – Real path of healing1
  23. Excitantia and Roborantia- Exciting and stimulating medicine2,6
  24. Fragmenta deviribus medica mentorum positivis sivi insano corpora humano observatis – ‘Fragmentary observation relative to positive power of medicine on human body’. It is the first book published by Hahnemann in 1805. It has two parts; pars prima- first material medica and pars secunda- first repertory or index1,2.
  25. Genus epidemicus – Specific medicine which becomes indicated in a particular epidemic at least for most of the cases.2
  26. Lege artis – According to the rule of art2,5,6
  27. Materia pecans – Material cause of disease5
  28. Minister naturae- ‘Helpers of nature’ or ‘Servant of crude power of nature1,2,6
  29. Nervina- ‘Stimulating medicines’ or ‘tonica’2
  30. Non inutilis vixi – Not lived in vain
  31. Non plus ultra – There is nothing more beyond, than to imitate nature1,5
  32. Nota bena- Note well
  33. O tempora! O mores! – O the time! O the way2,8
  34. Placer – To please1
  35. Prima causa morbi- Primary cause of disease5,6
  36. Psora agria – Psora
  37. Secundum artem – According to rule2,5
  38. Similia similibus curantur – Treat similar by similar2
  39. Similia similibus curentur – let similar be treated by similar2
  40. Si modo essent – If only they were or if existed1,2,6
  41. Status morbi – The diseases state2
  42. Supporters- Supporting medicine5
  43. Surrogatus or surrogate- ‘One medicine in place of other’ or Substitute. In footnote of aphorism 119 Hahnemann says that medicine cannot be used as substitute in curing diseases (i.e., no surrogates)2,9
  44. Tolle causam – Remove the cause5,6
  45. Ungueta nervina – Strengthening medicine5
  46. Vis medicatrix – Instead of medicine1
  47. Vis medicatrix naturae – Depend on nature instead of medicine5

Greek words:

  1. Anamnesis (Gk)- ‘Cause of diseases’- Hippocrates2
  2. ‘Past history of a disease’- Gould’s medical dictionary2
  3. Dynamis – Vital principle2
  4. Epidemion- Epidemic2
  5. Gnothi seauton- know thyself2
  6. Homoeo pathos – Homoeo meaning ‘similar’ or like’ and pathos means ‘sufferings’1,2,5,9
  7. Idiosyncrasy- An individual’s constitutional peculiarity2,9
  8. Miasm- Rut or furrow, the implication being that the person becomes stuck to a rut grooved into present time by past action. Literally means many things like polluting exhalations, malarial poison, etc upto Hahnemann’s time8,10
  9. Psora- Groove or stigma9
  10. Sycosis- Fig9,10

German words:

  1. Die Chronische Krankheiten – The chronic diseases1
  2. Die wirkuugen des kaffee’s- The effects of coffee7
  3. Medicaments a la goutte – centesimal scale1
  4. Medicaments au globule – 50 millesimal scale1
  5. Mongrel sects – Cross breed dogs9
  6. Organon der heilkunst- Organon of healing art4
  7. Organon der rationellen heilkunde- Organon of the rational of healing art, first edition of Hahnemann’s Organon published by Arnoldischen Buchhandlung4
  8. Reine arzneimittellehra – Materia medica pura1

French words:

  1. Drogue – A dry herb1
  2. Ague- Fever, usually malarial8
  3. Medicine electrisitat- Electricity as medicine2

Hebrew word:

  • Tsorat- Psora5

References:

  1. kumar T.Y, kumar D.D. Focus on destination. First edition. Kolkata: Medical book suppliers; 2015.
  2. Joardar R. R. Translation of all the non-English texts in the Organon of Medicine. Howrah: 2012 october 06; equation.pdf]. Available from: http://www.scribd.com/document/109182076/
  3. Krishnamurthy P.S. Homoeopathy at its best. Hyderabad: Salimashraf publishers; 2002
  4. Whitney J. The evolution of the Organon. Homoeopathy in practice spring. 2010: 18-23.
  5. Mishra A, kesarwani P.K. Turning point: Homoeopathy MCQ’s. First reprint edition. New Delhi: Indian books and periodicals publishers; 2016.
  6. Arya M.P. A study of Hahnemann’s Organon of Medicine. 2nd edition. New Delhi: B. Jain publishers (P) Ltd; 2010.
  7. Hahnemann S. The chronic diseases their peculiar nature and their homoeopathic cure. 39th impression. Noida: B Jain publishers (P) Ltd; 2018.
  8. Hahnemann S. The lesser writtings. New Delhi: B Jain Publishers; 1984.
  9. Das A.K. A treatise on Organon of Medicine. Reprint(with additions). Kolkata: Souvik homoeo publication;2015.
  10. Norland M. Signatures miasms aids: Spiritual aspects of homeopathy. 1st Impression. New Delhi: B.Jain Publishers (P) Ltd; 2011.
  11. Olivetti E. Dictionary Latin-English. Philippines: Olivetti media communication; 2013 [cited 2018 Nov 05]. Available from: https://www.online-latin-dictionary.com

Dr. Eyingthung Odyuo
PG Scholar
Govt HMC&H,Bangalore

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