Homeopathy Papers

Homeopathic Facial Analysis

Grant Bentley
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An article describing facial analysis, reactions to stress and miasms.

HFA started from my personal attempt to answer the question – ‘what is a miasm?’ At the time I was teaching undergraduate homoeopathy but was not using miasms in any practical way.

Miasms are given a number of different interpretations

  • An inherited disease engrafted onto the body due to mismanagement and suppressive treatments
  • This suppressed disease is then passed on to future generations – generally in a latent form

Hahnemann researched his chronic disease (miasm) theory for 12 yrs and concluded that all chronic disease is caused by three underlying chronic miasms.

The reason Hahnemann needed to research the miasms was because the similimum was not as successful in chronic disease as it had proven itself to be in acute disease

  • “Why, then, cannot this vital force, efficiently affected through Homoeopathic medicine, produce any true and lasting recovery in these chronic maladies even with the aid of the Homoeopathic remedies which best cover their present symptoms”

»         Chronic Diseases

Hahnemann believed the reason the similimum was not as effective in chronic disease was due to an underlying layer of pre-existing disease that needed to be included into the analysis.  A proper analysis of the similimum could not be achieved by repertorisation alone – only by learning and understanding the miasms .

Hahnemann sorted remedies into miasmatic classifications.  His theory was that an underlying pre-existing disease was the cause of a patient’s current chronic disease.  If the selected homeopathic remedy did not cater for this underlying causative state it could not be considered a true similimum.  Hahnemann concluded that a prior infection with one of three chronic contagions was the cause of all chronic disease.


Hahnemann believed psora was suppressed and transformed leprosy

Psora is the oldest and most altered of all the chronic diseases

Hahnemann believed psora was the cause of most chronic disease and suffering

In Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases he left no doubt as to what he believed was the original psoric disease and it was NOT scabies.  In Chronic Diseases Hahnemann makes the assumption that scabies, along with a number of other skin conditions such as tinea capitis are external manifestations of internal psora.  He concluded that leprosy has been internalised into psora. The vital force creates skin lesions such as tinea and scabies as a way of externalising the miasm.


Hahnemann believed sycosis was suppressed and transformed gonorrhoea


Hahnemann believed the syphilitic miasm was suppressed and transformed syphilis

Hahnemann concluded that infection with one of these three diseases left a pathological legacy that was transferred down each generation

According to Hahnemann the vital force is unable to eradicate these diseases

“…they are diseases of such a character that, with small, often imperceptible beginnings, dynamically derange the living organism, each in its own peculiar manner, and cause it gradually to deviate from the healthy condition, in such a way that the automatic life energy, called vital force, whose office is to preserve the health, only opposes to them at the commencement and during their progress imperfect, unsuitable, useless resistance, but is unable of itself to extinguish them, but must helplessly suffer (them to spread and) itself to be ever more and more abnormally deranged, until at length the organism is destroyed; these are termed chronic diseases. They are caused by infection with a chronic miasm”

Organon 6th Edition

“The action of the stigma is to debilitate the life force, to deform the body, to dull the intellect and to upset reason.  The miasms are destructive in every way, of both the mind and the body, and they tear at the very spirit of man”

Herbert Roberts – The Art and Cure of Homoeopathy

There is one MAJOR problem with Hahnemann’s miasm theory – it contradicts evolution, ecology and genetics.

It is not in a species best interest to pass on any destructive trait that limits health or reproduction.  Nature strives to evolve the best and most perfect species for its environment.

“Natural selection is the process by which heritable traits that make it more likely for an organism to survive and successfully reproduce become more common in a population over successive generations. It is a key mechanism of evolution”


By survival of the fittest, nature breeds out through adaptation and immunity any consistent threat that has the potential to destroy a species.  Creatures that fail to adapt to environmental change, attack by predators or biological invasion become extinct.

Three protective mechanisms

  • When a disease or stress is pushed out of the body or out on to the skin the internal organs stay protected.
  • When disease is trapped and imprisoned in a cyst, wart or tumour or captured by inflammation or mucous, the body is protected because the germ or poison is stopped from becoming systemic.
  • When energy is withdrawn into the interior the body conserves strength, which increases its ability to withstand long term stress or disease.


It is not the disease that is pushing an invader out to the surface of the skin, encapsulating a poison or conserving vital internal energy but our response to disease – this is our survival instinct

In Homoeopathic Facial Analysis miasms are not diseases but reactions to stress, disease and danger.  This different foundation means Homoeopathic Facial Analysis cannot be compared against any classical or contemporary model that uses disease rather than evolutionary protection as its base.

Evolution or devolution?

Classical miasmatic theory is based on devolution and each generation becoming progressively sicker and increasingly more immuno-compromised.  Nature’s job is to pass on traits that are beneficial and effective.

It is not psora the destructive disease that is passed down the generations – but outward motion as a stress response.   It is not sycosis the destructive disease that is passed down the generations – but circular motion as a stress response.  It is not syphilis the destructive disease that is passed down the generations – but inward motion as a stress response.

In Homoeopathic Facial Analysis a miasm is an inherited instinctive unconscious reaction to stress, disease or danger.  There are a number of different miasmatic stress responses because we have faced different dangers.

When Hahnemann used medicines according to their outward, circular or inward character, his success with chronic disease increased dramatically.

Hahnemann or Kent?

If Hahnemann was NOT removing a layer of inherited disease like he believed – why did he see such dramatic improvement using anti-miasmatic remedies?

The answer is found NOT in Hahnemann’s philosophy, but in Kent’s philosophy.  Constitutional treatment improves resistance and vitality. It does not work like an anti-biotic by killing or eradicating disease.

“If we believe an organ is sick and alone constitutes the disease, we must feel that if we could remove the organ we would cure the patient”

“It is a man that is sick and to be restored to health, not his body, not the tissues”

“Unless people lead an orderly life they will not be cured of their chronic diseases”


Hahnemann saw chronic disease as an infection.  Kent saw chronic disease as a constitutional weakness. Hahnemann’s treatment plan was based on removing infection. Kent’s treatment plan was based on building up the internal strength of the body.

If each approach is opposite then which one is right?  The answer is Kent.

The origin of life onset chronic disease

Life onset chronic disease encompasses all chronic disease that is not congenital or a genetic disorder present from birth.  All symptoms irrespective of disease are worse when stressed or when tired because energy in the patient is at its lowest. Symptoms return when patients become stressed or over tired for an extended period.  The more tired or stressed a person becomes – the worse their signs and symptoms. Life onset chronic disease generally has an energy drain preceding it such as

  • Emotional upset
  • Childbirth
  • Overwork
  • Worry
  • Financial loss

The survival instinct

In Homoeopathic Facial Analysis miasms are understood as a survival instinct. The survival instinct uses force to either repel or trap stress – or to conserve its own internal energy.  These three forces form the basis of psora, sycosis and syphilis.

When our system is stressed it is important to select a remedy that has the same response as our patient’s survival instinct. If a person is yellow (psora) and their survival instinct is designed to push stress out there is no use giving a remedy like Thuja that tells the body to encapsulate.

Internal force – external structure

The internal force of every creature and substance is reflected in its external appearance and structure.  When we select a remedy based on facial structure, the remedy we are choosing shares the same internal force as our patient. By selecting a medicine that has the same internal force as our patient, we increase available constitutional energy.

Chronic disease is an outcome – not an infection.  It results from the survival instinct being dominant too long.  Chronic disease is chronic stress or chronic exhaustion due to energy depletion.

About the author

Grant Bentley

Grant Bentley

Grant Bentley - Grant"™s qualifications include Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Clinical Hypnosis and a Post Graduate Diploma in Eriksonian Psychotherapy. Grant is the current Principal and senior lecturer of the Victorian College of Classical Homeopathy, a position he has held since 1995.His book, Appearance and Circumstance (2003) details the nature of miasms and how facial analysis can be used to determine the patient"™s dominant miasm. Homeopathic Facial Analysis (2006) gives detailed descriptions and examples of facial analysis. Soul & Survival (2008) defines how miasms influence us in our daily lives and define our individuality.

Leave a Comment


  • Fascinating article. I find the implications for inherited psychological
    behavior disorders relevant to survival instincts passed on energetically based on family allegiance: “Human beings can only survive by living in groups. Our survival instinct is specifically designed to keep us important to the group. Traditional roles are how we contribute to the group”

  • Dear Sir, read with interest your new concept of classifying personalities with the help of the shape of the face. I am sure you have done lot of work to come to this conclusion which i expect to help sort out the case initially with much confidence. I thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. Regards

  • Sir,
    Your study is peculiar and fascinating. It may be termed as a wonderful approach in diagnosis, which can make Homeopathy more effective tool.

    It is, however, unfortunate that the hundred or so homeopaths whom I have seen/tried were never found making use of MIASMS.

    R C Nigam

  • As a past student of Grant Bentley’s I have been fortunate to begin my career as a homeopath with a sound working knowledge of HFA. I have used facial analysis in every consultation where the issue has been one of chronic disease. I have been practicing for 4 years and have witnessed many times the remarkable healing effect of homeopathy when a remedy is chosen from the correct colour group. Having facial analysis as a tool made my job as a beginning homeopath so much easier and I approach each new case with confidence regardless of the patient’s age or the complaint. The whole philosophy of HFA has made homeopathy so much easier for me to understand and apply.

  • sir,
    as still a student, i found your article interesting and i feel its a praiseworthy work. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  • Dear sir,
    Thank you for presenting such an important and new direction of miasmatic diagnostic tool. I hope, the homeopathic world would be benifitted more from your research works.
    Lt. col Md. Azizur Rahman(Retd).

  • Very interesting article, thank you. It is mentioned though that the miasm theory contradicts evolution, as creatures/species that fail to adapt to environmental change become extinct. Well, that is EXACTLY what is going to happen to the human species. WE have only been around for about 50,000 years and we are rapidly destroying ourselves and the planet. This ABSOLUTELY confirms Hahnemann’s miasm theory 😉

  • I like the way and the reasoning behind the idea that the miasm is the instinctive survival instinct to an external circumstance. It is exactly the idea behind Sankaran’s Sensations method, and I like it. Sankaran’s ten miasms can be summarized by key words:
    Acute – Sudden, instinctive reaction
    Typhoid – Crisis
    Psora – Deficiency
    Malaria – Intermittent, unfortunate
    Ringworm – Struggle, trying
    Sycotic – Fixed ideas, cover-up
    Tubercular – Hectic, trapped
    Cancer – Control, chaos
    Leprosy – Isolated, displaced
    Syphilis – Destruction, despair

  • A very interesting article. Thought provoking too.

    If used correctly, it could be a valuable tool in finding a good remedy for the patient.