Dr Arun S Raj
How to study organon of medicine and why to know about its homoeopathic philosophy
Homeopathy is not at all a theory of disease, but theory of cure explained by stuart close. Organon of Medicine is a book on medicine written by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder and father of Homeopathy. It was written in the later years of 18th century, considered a revolutionary book on medical philosophy. This book contains the guiding principles of homeopathy. Practicing homeopathy in its unique method as preached by its founder Samuel Hahneman is possible only by understanding the Organon of medicine. Practicing homeopathy without the knowledge of Organon of medicine is like going into the sea without knowing swimming.
Hence, study of Organon of medicine is mandatory for any aspiring homeopath. Homeopathy is a unique therapeutic system discovered by a German physician Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann. Etymologically the word Homeopathy means “Homeos” means “Similar” and “Pathos” means “Suffering”. Thus, homeopathy means to cure a patient with those drugs that produce similar symptoms to the sufferings of the patient”. Homeopathy = Homeos [Similar] + Pathos [Suffering]. Homeopathy can be defined as a rational therapeutic system with the aim of curing the sufferings of a person by administration of drugs which have been experimentally proved on healthy human beings to posses the power of producing similar sufferings.
It is based on the Cardinal Principles of Homoeopathy, especially the law “Similia Similibus Curentur” that means “let likes be cured by likes”. Stuart Close, the author of the book “The Genius of Homeopathy”, defines “Homeopathy or Homeotherapy as, the department of science in general medicine which has for its principle objects the observation and the study of the action of remedial agents in health, disease, treatment and cure of the disease by medication, according to a fixed law or a general principle”.
Homeopathy considers patient come for sick as a whole. “Treat the patient not the disease” says Master Hahnemann. For a beginner and for the dominant medical school it should be question mark. But study of “Organon of medicine” in its whole will understand this explanation. To a homeopathic doctor, the signs and symptoms reveal not only the name of a particular disease but also the medicine suitable to the patient. The homeopathic doctor tries to find out the individuality of the patient, uniqueness in ones sufferings of that off other individuals suffering.
Based on the symptoms of the patient homoeopath can detect the earliest manifestations of a disease process before it can damage the anatomy of the patient. It is believed that homeopathic treatment removes the infection by stimulating the natural defense mechanism of the body. Hence it does not interfere with the immunity. This system tries to cure the patient with least possible dose of medicine, sufficient enough to produce a curative reaction in the organism. In homeopathy, “The quality of the medicine is important than the quantity”. It does not employ medicines in crude or physiological doses. This medical system tries to stimulate the patient’s life energy to cure by itself. Hence chances of getting side effects in homeopathic treatment are almost none.
Homeopathy as a profession is best to those physicians who try to understand their patients as suffering individuals and not just physical bodies with some pathological tissue changes that means treat as a whole. Because of this reason homeopathy perfectly fits under the heading of “Holistic system”. The term “holistic” was first used by former South African president Jan Christiaan Smuts in 1926. This word is derived from a Greek word “holos”, which means understanding the reality in terms of its complete form.
Homeopaths follow the constitutional approach (condition of a person’s body and mind in health and strength) in treating the patients. Experienced homeopaths believe that if carefully planned and treated from the time of conception and during pregnancy, homeopathic treatment protects the child from pernicious hereditary disorders. Founder of this system Dr. Hahnemann and his followers like Dr. Boenninghausen, Dr. J.T. Kent, Dr. Hering, Dr. Allen, Dr. Clarke and Dr. Boericke etc with their tremendous painstaking efforts have brought homeopathy to an individual, independent status.
‘Organon of Medicine’ is called the ‘Bible of Homeopathy’. With all its fundamentals which have to be followed strictly to apply it practically, Hahnemann, the Medical Genius wanted the aspiring homeopaths to study Organon with a scientific, unprejudiced, artistic and inductive bent of mind. As per Hahnemannian view medical practice is an artistic expression of each individual practitioner. Reveals that Treat the Patient Individually `true individualization`.
Susceptibility is the next heading that, according to HA Roberts Ones meat is Others ones Poison., actually it is Susceptibility. Ones tolerance to external environment varies from one individual to other. Some become very much sensitive to dust particles, some very much sensitive to odour of perfumes, agarbathies etc. so it is no common among individually. According to stuart close he explained susceptibility in following headings including: Age, Sex, Occupation, Constitution, Temperament, Sleep, Severity of disease, Previous illness, Previous history of taking medicine and Nature of similia. Susceptibility varies individually from these citerias.
Totality of symptom is other heading in which homoeopathic prescription is based on evaluation of symptom including patients mental, physical and particular symptoms and construct a totality of symptoms. Hahnemann in his aphorism explained totality of symptom as External manifestation of inward essence of disease. It is enclosed in materia medica which containing the anatomical, physiological and pathological manifestation of diseases written as symptoms in systemic manner by explaining organ wise individually. But studying all is symptoms with particular medicines is practically impossible. So for solving it, repertory is constructed. Repertorial totality is constructed from totality of symptoms and make it as rubrics and then repertorise to get Repertorisation result. Hence get group of similar remedies get from it. From these similar remedies similimum is taken from it and prescribed.
Organon of Rational Therapeutics in 1810, the first edition of the Organon is widely known under the title Organon of the Rational Art of Healing, as it was under this title that it was introduced to the English speaking world by CE Wheeler in 1913. But this translation obscures the difference between the German words “Heilkunde” (knowledge of healing) and “Heilkunst” (art ofhealing). In Hahnemann’s day, the professional dispute was exactly centred on this issue, i.e. whether medicine can or should be considered an art or a science/knowledge. Consistent with modern positions in the theory of medicine, in 1819 Hahnemann revised his initial emphasis on rationality in medicine in favour of a broader concept of medicine as an art rather than an applied science. The fact that the title of the first edition of the Organon, published in 1810, is Organon of Rational Therapeutics, while all the subsequent editions bear the title Organon of the Art of Healing, gives a first hint that the development of homeopathy cannot be considered to have been complete in 1810. A comparative examination of the different editions discloses changes of concepts and theories in the development of the Organon, rather than a continuity of attitude and approach. The latter does, of course, exist, but is more difficult to unravel. Homeopaths who read the sixth and final edition, may also get a sense of this problem, if they study it in depth. Apparent contradictions arising from a critical reading can often be resolved by demonstrating that Hahnemann, when revising the Organon, was not always totally consistent in eliminating old concepts and substituting new ones.
So from all these it is clear that Organon of medicine is the background for it. Because of this, it is called BIBLE OF HOMOEOPATHY. Without Organon Homeopathic learning and practicing Hahnemannian method is impossible. So by the comprehensible way of learning by group wise for understanding the key points informed by the Master Hahnemann for Homoeopaths, its is easy to learn Organon of Medicine.
- Schmidt M Josef. Social and historical – 200 years Organon of Medicine – A comparative Review of its six editions (1810-1842). Homeopathy (2010) 99, 271-277 © 2010.
- Hahnemann Samuel. Organon of Medicine. 5th Edition. Koethen. B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd: 2002. page no. 135.
- Close Stuart. The Genius of Homoeopathic Lectures and Essay on Homoeopathic Philosophy. Reprinted edition. New Delhi. B Jain publishers. Kuldeep. 2008-09. page no: 78-79.
- Nagendra Babu. G. Comprehensive Study of Organon an Attempt to Understand the Organon of Medicine as a Scientific Treatise. B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd. First Edition: 2009.
- Allen HC. Keynotes and Characteristics with Comparisons of some of the Leading remedies of the Materia Medica with Bowel Nosodes. B. Jain Publishers; 2002.