Furthermore, Hahnemann did not limit to three the number of chronic diseases, as at the end of his life he spoke of tuberculosis as another miasma (in “preface to the American translation of the Organon by Charles Hempel “). So there is no reason to idealize those famous three miasmas as a kind of homeopathic trinity that should not be touched.
On this basis it can be concluded that there are on one side, chronic diseases called psoric and we’ll see what they represent and on the other side, infectious chronic diseases, the number of which cannot of course be limited to the syphilis, genital figwarts or tuberculosis.
Having given the name of psora to the “nine-headed hydra”, we will analyze how Hahnemann describes and includes this entity since it appears that this is not what is medically meant by scabies.
We will try here to clarify the confusion that Hahnemann introduces in his writings about psora, calling it “infectious miasma” while the characteristics that he gives are anything except an infection.
Hahnemann distinguishes psora to which he attributes 7/8 of the chronic diseases of mankind, from syphilis and sycosis which share the eighth remaining ( “chronic disease”).
For the founder, psora is essentially genetic and hereditary:
“The gradual transmission and incredible development of this ancient contagion, for hundreds of generations and through many millions of human organisms, explains to some extent the countless disease forms into which it has evolved throughout the entire human race, especially when we consider the great number of extrinsic factors, and the indescribable diversity of-distinct congenital human constitutions that have contributed to the formation of this great variety of chronic diseases (secondary symptoms of psora).“. Organon § 81
If psora was caused by a mysterious infectious agent transmitted from beginningless time hereditarily, it would be necessary that it became part of the human genome as a single causative agent of almost all chronic diseases of mankind, which seems difficult to accept in the current state of scientific knowledge and from a perspective of pure logic. Psora that Hahnemann described corresponds to another reality or another level of reality.
Regarding the clinical description of psora, when we read the chronic diseases we can decently wonder what is not a symptom of psora!
“This observation taught me that not only most of the many cutaneous eruptions which Willau distinguishes with such extreme care from one another, and which have received separate names, but also almost all adventitious formations, from the common wart on the finger up to the largest sarcomatous tumor, from the malformations of the finger-nails up to the swellings of the bones and the curvature of the spine, and many other softenings and deformities of the bones, both at an early and at a more advanced age, are caused by the Psora. So, also, frequent epistaxis, the accumulation of blood in the veins of the rectum and the anus, discharges of blood from the same (blind or flowing piles), hemoptysis, hematemesis, hematuria, and deficient as well as too frequent menstrual discharges, night-sweats of several years duration, parchment-like dryness of the skin, diarrhea of many years standing, as well as permanent constipation and difficult evacuation of the bowels, long-continued erratic pains, convulsions occurring repeatedly for a number of years, chronic ulcers and inflammations, sarcomatous enlargements and tumors, emaciation, excessive sensitiveness as well as deficiencies in the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling; excessive as well as extinguished sexual desire; diseases of the mind and of the soul, from imbecility up to ecstacy, from melancholy up to raging insanity; swoons and vertigo; the so-called diseases of the heart; abdominal complaints and all that is comprehended under hysteria and hypochondria—in short, thousands of tedious ailments of humanity called by pathology’ with various names, are, with few exceptions, true descendants of this many-formed Psora alone”. (Chronic diseases, trad Tafel page 9)
Finally, while the founder describes syphilis exactly as we describe it today, and so when he speaks of syphilis it is quite the nosological infection which he speaks about, his description of the psora is sufficiently eloquent and convincing to affirm that it has nothing to do with the nosological scabies, but with something else.
So for Hahnemann, everything that is not syphilis or genital figwarts, and later tuberculosis (so anything that is not chronic infectious disease in the usual sense of the term) is psora.
Dynamic of evolution
Hahnemann particularly emphasizes the skin first stage of psora which, if suppressed, will lead to the development of all chronic non-infectious diseases. However as psora goes back to the dawn of time, the patient is seen mainly at an advanced stage called burst psora. The main characteristic of psora is firstly that it is not infectious, and secondly it has a natural tendency toward worsening, following a centripetal trajectory: from the outside to the inside, superficial to deep organs. The treatment of psoric diseases in allopathy or in level 1 homeopathy (based on local similarity) leads to suppression and to homoeopathic metastasis. Typically, a patient with eczema suppressed with cortisone or with palliative homeopathic treatments will develop asthma or migraine or mental disorders. The suppression causes an evolution toward deeper structures and a more severe pathology, that we call in homeopathic language “metastasis”.
Conversely, in a well led treatment of a chronic (non-infectious) disease, the eruption or the previously suppressed symptom should come back.
Hahnemann actually describes here one aspect of the Hering healing law: the treatment of a disease affecting a deep organ must, in order to heal, see a transfer of the pathological process onto more superficial levels such as a skin rash, a crisis of hemorrhoids or a diarrhea for example. The direction of symptoms follows a centrifugal reverse path from the inside outwards.
Psora is the name Hahnemann gives to the broad field of chronic diseases that are not infectious. The natural course of the psora follows a centripetal direction and naturally worsens until death.
The logical analysis of Hahnemann’s text leads us to deduce that psora is the name he has given to the genetic or individual constitutional susceptibility to develop a chronic disease, which is also the definition of the constitution in the Eastern and/or Hippocratic traditional medicines .
In other words, psora is the name given to the innate constitutional imbalance, and as a shortcut, we could say that psora is the constitutional ground.
Based on this understanding (psora = constitution) we develop a new constitutional model allowing, as we shall see, to apply a very specific constitutional similar and facilitate the task of the homeopathic practitioner.
Psora and Constitution
The term ground comes from traditional medicines, eastern (Chinese, Indians) or western (Hippocratic). The ground is the genetic potential of an individual (genotype), determined at the time of conception. It is expressed on a physical, energetic and psychic levels. The ground’s psychic aspect is the temperament or character, the energetic aspect is the humor or pneuma, and the physical aspect the constitution.
Character, pneuma and constitution are the three inborn and genetic components of Human being.
|The three ground’s levels|
|Mind||Character or temperament|
|Energy||Pneuma or humor|
The genetic potential (genotype) will be expressed differently (phenotype) according to the context and life story; this is what we call epigenetic. What we are today is the perfect mix between our genetic ground and our life story. I often explain to my patients that the ground is like the rice grain, and the life context like the kind of soil, the amount of sunshine, the watering. It’s the combination of a grain type with the context in which it develops who will determine the beauty and the strength, or resistance capacities to the sheaf diseases.
Ground and health
According to traditional medicines, the vital energy or pneuma is the basis of the body/mind balance. If the pneuma is balanced we are in good health, if it’s unbalanced, we begin being sick. As Greeks and oriental medicines, Hahnemann has a vitalistic conception of the human body.
“In the state of health the spirit-like vital force (dynamis) animating the material human organism reigns in supreme sovereignty. It maintaining the sensations and activities of all the parts of the living organism in a harmony that obliges wonderment. The reasoning spirit who inhabits the organism can thus freely use this healthy living instrument to reach the lofty goal of human existence.“Organon § 9
“When man falls ill it is at first only this self-sustaining spirit-like vital force (vital principle) everywhere present in the organism which is untuned by the dynamic a influence of the hostile disease agent. It is only this vital force thus untuned which brings about in the organism the disagreeable sensations and abnormal functions that we call disease. Being invisible, and recognizable solely by its effects on the organism, it can express itself and reveal its
untunement only by pathological manifestations in feeling and function (the only aspects of the organism accessible to the senses of the observer and the physician), i.e., disease symptoms.”. Organon § 11.