Holistic Concept in Homoeopathy – a critical review

Dr Amala Cyriac 

This article deals with relevance and importance of holistic concept in homoeopathy. Other than going through the concept, we also discuss about the uses of this concept in present scenario. So this article will be useful for UG students as well as PG scholars in their academics and for physicians to get the guidelines to earn the germ out of homoeopathy 

The word holism comes from the Greek word holos, meaning the whole. Philosophy defines the term holistic as being characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by the reference to the whole. According to medicine it is defined by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.

Holism has always remained vital to healing and some of the history’s most gifted physicians embraced holistic beliefs. Hippocrates emphasized the environmental causes and treatment of illness and the importance of emotional factors and nutrition in health and disease.

Now a days all medical systems claim themselves to be holistic. Some may have little holism, while others may not be related to this concept at all. To claim a system to be holistic, it should have a holistic view about health, disease and therapeutics, which are the very essential criterias. Hence modern medicine cannot mold itself into the concept of holism.

Why is homoeopathy considered as a holistic medicine?

Homoeopathy holistically comprises the phenomena of disease, patient and the treatment.

The most commonly quoted definition of health according to WHO being “a complete state of physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease. Homoeopathy understands that the body, mind and emotions are not independent and distinct, but are fully integrated in health, disease and treatment.

Philosophy of homoeopathy believes that although apparently a organ is diseased, but actually the man as a whole is sick. The expression of the sickness is through the organs. Hence, when a similimum is administered which is most similar to the symptomatic totality of the patient, it creates order and automatically the peripheral organ which is suffering is also helped.

Homoeopathic system also beliefs that the body is a constitution and must be treated as a whole. The exact remedy will kick start the person into healing right from the most basic level. To attain this, he wants to know everything that is concerned with the patient right from his appearance, body language, emotions, personal interactions, work life, dreams, stress etc.

According to Stuart Close, a human being is something more than a miscellaneous assortment of eyes, ears, nose, throat, lungs etc., which if left to the ordinary physicians, usually treat as if they were independent of each other. They are only parts of a very intricate machine. They are assembled according to a wonderful plan made by the designer of the Universe for the purpose of utilizing the divine power of life. Life flows through them all and unites them into an organic whole. Each part depends upon every other parts, and all act together as one, in health or disease. When there is a disturbance of this life principle, disease originates. The cure of the disease also takes place in the same way. The curative remedy (correctly selected, properly prepared, administered in appropriate dose) through the media of nerves and blood vessels acts first upon the life principle everywhere present in the living organism, and then upon the affected parts, preferably in a natural manner. One who knows how to do these things never makes the mistake of treating a part as if it stood alone. Before his eyes is always pictured the individual patient- the case as a whole.

Homoeopathic materia medica is the embodiment of true holistic pharmacological work. This is the only holistic therapeutic tool available for treatment at present in any system of medicine. Disease in its whole aspect will be depicted in materia medica, especially in polycrests.  Hence, we have a practical tool to apply the concept of holism in treatment.

Drug proving is another evidence of true holism in homoeopathy. If drugs were not able to produce signs and symptoms in proving, then homoeopathy would not have survived. Curative potential of a homoeopathic drug is not limited to a disease or a group of diseases. This infinite possibility embodied in each drug is the real holistic superiority of homoeopathy.

Holism can be best applied when we prescribe single medicines 


In the present scenario, many homoeopathic practioners prescribe only on the basis of common symptoms or just the particulars. The word specific remedy mentioned by Hahnemann was different from what we see today. Hahnemann conveyed through Organon of medicine “it’s the patient and not the disease which is only to be cured”. So, in order to gain complete cure proper totality of the person has to be taken. No symptoms have to be left out.

Dr. J T KENT said, sick comes before the person. That is its not just the pathogens which acts as the cause. The exact cause is the miasm which has evolved in him. Miasm acts as the preliminary cause and make the person susceptible towards the pathology. Other than the symptoms revealed by patient, prior importance should be given to tracing out the miasm evolved.

The management should be based on the entire totality of the patient and not only the particular symptoms. Thus, it covers the peculiarities of the person as well as the miasm involved.

If the treatment is based on such a totality the exact complete cure can be attained. Prescriptions based only on particular symptoms gives only temporary relief i.e. suppression or palliation which can even complicate the situations. 


  1. Hahnemann S. Organon of medicine. B. Jain publishers; 2002.
  2. Close S. The genius of homoeopathy: lectures and essays on homoeopathic philosophy. Indian Books & Periodicals Publishers; 2005.
  3. Kent JT. Lectures on homoeopathic philosophy. B. Jain publishers; 2003.
  4. Rajendran ES. New Lights Lectures on Homoeopathy and Philosophy.

Dr. Amala Cyriac
PG Scholar
Dept of Organon of Medicine
Father Muller Homoeopathic Medical College
E mail: amalacyriac94@gmail.com

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