When Hahnemann discovered the basic natural law Similia Similibus Curentur in the year 1796 he created a starting point for a revolutionary medical system which he named homeopathy and which kept him occupied for the rest of his life.
From the starting point of discovery onward Hahnemann had to defend his new medical system against all kind of adversaries be it allopaths or even homeopaths.
It seemed that everyone was entitled to have an opinion about the new homeopathic method and had the right to create and practice his own kind of homeopathy, almost as if homeopathy does not obey natural law. This was quite the opposite to Hahnemann’s call to copy his line of work exactly, “Mach es nach aber mach es genau nach”, and so homeopathy has eventually developed along quite a diversity of different lines. Nowadays there are so many different ways of practicing homeopathy that Hahnemann’s way may be considered nearly totally forgotten or subdued.
We homeopaths have to know our own history, we have to know our sources and study not only The Organon but also the Chronic Diseases very thoroughly to create a clear overview of the working field and the way of practicing homeopathy as it is scientifically founded by Hahnemann. The foundation on which Hahnemann based his homeopathy is like solid rock.
When we are discussing homeopathy, we are discussing the polarity of health versus disease and how to cure scientifically.
In the beginning of Hahnemann’s homeopathic practice every disease was treated as an entity within itself, as a matter of fact, as an acute disease. Acute diseases are characterised by the fact that they are just a temporary disturbance of the health of the patient.
During the early years of homeopathy these diseases were only treated with remedies from the plant and animal kingdom.
After the year in which the law of similars was discovered, 1796, it took Hahnemann 14 years to publish the first edition of The Organon (1810). In the following years he tried to explore and develop homeopathy further, although he eventually became disappointed with the limited results of his new homeopathic method.
He found limitation, mainly in the treatment of chronic diseases, and it bothered him very much.
Chronic diseases page 4
This was, and remained, the quicker or slower process in such treatments in all non-venereal, severe chronic diseases, even when these were treated in exact accordance with the Homeopathic art as hitherto known. Their beginning was promising, the continuation less favorable, the outcome hopeless.
According to Hahnemann, according to his experience the acute diseases caused by exogenous causes are, with a few exceptions which he mentions, to be treated by plant and animal remedies.
The acute disease forms according to Hahnemann are primarily : Incidents, epidemics, and the acute miasmatic diseases. They are primarily caused or triggered by the life circumstances of the patient.
Chronic diseases page 112-113
I now pass to the other hindrances to the cure of chronic diseases which must be avoided as far as possible.
All those events in human life which can bring the psora latent and slumbering within, which has hitherto manifested itself only by some of the signs mentioned above, wherein the patient varies from a state of health, so as to break out into open chronic diseases, these same events if they occur to an already chronic patient may not only augment his disease and increase the difficulty of curing it, but, if they break in on him violently, may make his disease incurable, if the untoward circumstances are not suddenly changed for the better.
Such events are, however, of very various nature, and therefore of different degrees of injurious influence.
Excessive hardships, laboring in swamps, great bodily injuries and wounds, excess of cold or heat, and even the unsatisfied hunger of poverty and its unwholesome foods, etc., are not by any means very powerful in causing the fearful malady of psora which lies in ambush, lurking in secret to break forth into serious chronic diseases, nor of great consequence in aggravating a chronic disease already present; yea, an innocent man can, with less injury to his life, pass ten years in bodily torments in the bastille or on the galleys rather than pass some months in all bodily comfort in an unhappy marriage or with a remorseful conscience. A psora slumbering within, which still allows the favorite of a prince to live with the appearance of almost blooming health unfolds quickly into a chronic ailment of the body, or distracts his mental organs into insanity, when by a change of fortune he is hurled from his brilliant pinnacle and is exposed to contempt and poverty. The sudden death of a son causes the tender mother, already in ill health an incurable suppuration of the lungs or a cancer of the breast. A young, affectionate maiden, already hysterical, is thrown into melancholy by a disappointment in love.
How difficult it is, and how seldom will the best antipsoric treatment do anything to relieve such unfortunates!
In the Chronic Diseases on page 131 Hahnemann mentions about 25 plant remedies and their indications to cure these so called ‘mishaps’ or incidents. He only mentions two mineral remedies as exceptions. These plant remedies should be prescribed as soon as possible during the incident to neutralize its pathological effect in order not to disturb or slow down the treatment of the underlying chronic disease. So Hahnemann makes a definite distinction or classification between the different remedy groups also. Plant and animal remedies for the acute, and the mineral remedies for the treatment of chronic diseases. Quite different disease forms obviously indicate quite different remedy groups. This is a further subtle distinction in the application of the law of similars in accordance with different disease forms.