The book begins with a preface, table of contents, and introduction. Organon of Medicine consists of 291 aphorisms in the 6th edition, whereas the fifth edition contained 294 aphorisms. The book can be divided in two parts –
A. The Doctrinal Part (§ 1-71)
B The Practical Part (§ 72 – 291)
The doctrinal part deals with the following concepts –
1. § 1-4: deal with physician’s mission, work, duties and responsibilities. Also the concept of cure is discussed here.
2. § 5 – 18: deal with the knowledge of disease and vital force.
3. § 19 – 27: deal with the knowledge of medicine.
4. § 28 – 69: deals with the knowledge of how to choose and administer a remedy. What are the different methods for this (allopathic, antipathic, homeopathic)? What happens when two dynamic diseases meet in a body? etc.
Section 1 to 70 deal with Hahnmeann’s attitude towards disease, drug-action and the selection and administration of remdeies. The first part basically probes into 3 questions –
- What is curable in disease?
- What is curative in medicine?
- How to apply the knowledge of medicine to the knowledge of disease?
The Practical Part of the book deals with the following concepts:
1. § 72 – 104: How is the physician to ascertain what is necessary to be known in order to cure the disease? Here Dr. Hahnemann gives the justification for dividing diseases into acute and chronic disease and outlines the method of case-taking for an individualistic outlook.
2. § 105 – 145: How the physician can gain the knowledge of pathogenic powers of the medicine? Here he gives the rules for proving the medicine upon the healthy human beings.
3. § 146 – 285: What is the most suitable method of employing these artificial morbific agents (medicines) for the cure of natural disease?
3a. § 164 – 263: deal with selection and mode of administration of remedies.
3b. § 264 – 285: In these aphorisms, homeopathic pharmacy and theory of drug dynamization is discussed. Here Dr. Hahnemann gives the rules for finding the similarity between the drugs and the disease; the choice and the repetition of the dose; the preparation of drugs; the diet and regimen to be followed.
4. § 280 – 291: Here Dr. Hahnemann discusses the utility of the therapeutic agents other than drugs.
- § 286-287 – Magnetism and Electricity
- § 288-289 – Mesmerism
- § 290 – Massage
- § 291 – Bath
Thus we see that Hahnemann wanted to cover the whole field of medicine, all its variances and methods of application. The logical sequence of the aphorisms is unmistakable and the ladder like fashion in which the reader is taken from one logical answer to another in the successive aphorisms is remarkable. The aphoristic style of the Organon limits the scope for detailed discussion of many points but it has been amply made up by the judicious use of the footnotes in relation to the various aphorisms.