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Miasms in Classical Homoeopathy

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David Little 1996-2007, all rights reserved.

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This article was first published in "Homoeopathy Online". It deals with most of the
core issues related
to miasms and|
background information.
19962007, all rights reserved.
In Search of the Fundamental Cause
In contemporary Homoeopathy there has been a great advancement of the
psychological aspects of the materia medica as well as in our understanding of how to
use the mental rubrics of the repertory. The origin of this tradition stems from
aphorism 211 of The Organon of Medicine in which Samuel Hahnemann discusses
the importance of the mental disposition.
"This holds good to such an extent, that the state of the disposition of the patient
often chiefly determines the selection of the homoeopathic remedy, as being a
decidedly characteristic symptom which can least of all remain concealed from the
accurately observing physician".
With such an emphasis on the mental symptoms is there any reason to study the
nature of disease, causation or the classical theory of the miasms? In contrast to this,
Hahnemann points out in aphorism 5 and 206 the necessity of understanding the
miasms when treating complex chronic diseases. Can the homoeopath construct a
complete picture of an individual without knowing how the chronic miasms form
layers of disease within the constitution? Can we really manage a complex chronic
case without paying any attention to the primary, latent and secondary states of the
fundamental miasms? In this presentation I will attempt to approach this rather
controversial subject with the help of historical documents combined with the
practical experience found in the writings of the masters of our science. Our purpose
is to show that what Hahnemann taught in The Organon and The Chronic Diseases is
a careful balance between pure vitalism and a deep understanding of the pathogenesis
of miasmic diseases. This middle path approach helps transcends the apparent
dichotomy between the psychological and physiological aspects of our art and gives
the homoeopath the tools necessary to respond to a great variety of situations.
In Search of the Fundamental Cause
From the early days of his career Samuel Hahnemann experienced great success in
the treatment of acute diseases but as early as 1816 he was becoming concerned
because the constitutional health of his patients seemed to be slowly declining. As he
pondered the nature of this continual deterioration in his patients he began to search
for a deeper understanding of the processes that lie behind chronic disease. Of these
chronic cases he lamented "their beginning was promising, the continuation less
favorable, the outcome hopeless." Hahnemann began to wonder about the cause of
these complicated chronic diseases that were resisting his treatment. As he continued
to administer his remedies he noticed that certain chronic patients, who responded
well at first, either relapsed or slowly became more ill. Of this experience he said:
"The remedy which was serviceable the first time would prove less useful, and when
repeated again it would help still less". As Hahnemann watched these patients closely
he noticed that new symptoms would be added to the old ones that could be removed
only "inadequately and imperfectly". Again he would give the most appropriate