After the discovery and application of homeopathy for 30 years (1790-1820), Hahnemann realized that although he had very good results with intense diseases, he did not have drastic results with the treatment of chronic diseases. He noticed that those diseases, after their removal with the use of homeopathic medicines, they always relapsed in a variable form and with new symptoms or reappeared on a yearly basis with an increase of the ailments.
After careful observation and study, Hahnemann reached the conclusion that there is an obstacle in the organism that cannot be fought with medicines or the healthiest diet or disappear by itself. He named this obstacle a “miasm”. The word miasm means infection, stain, dirtiness, and blotch. Hahnemann thought that the life power is infected by certain factors and that this infection creates the disease. He observed three miasms, the psoric, the sycotic and the syphilitic.
According to Hahnemann, those three miasms are the base of every disease. Any disease whatever its external symptoms are, can be “found” in a miasm or in a combination of the above miasms. Although the above miasms are the basis for any disease producing process, the combination of psora and syphilis has been described as the tubercular miasm. Therefore in the homeopathic bibliography there is differentiation. Other authors prefer only the description of the three main miasms and others prefer to describe the tubercular miasm as one of the main miasms.
I was taught the theory of miasms from Aristarchos Tsamaslides. Aristarchos had a very good knowledge of the theory of miasms and he used to apply it systematically in the practice of homeopathy. He used to tell us, in the lessons that he gave us, that if we could not understand it, we would limit our ability to the treatment of chronic diseases. Watching the examination of patients in his office, I had realized this myself many times in practice.
On the other hand it is difficult to talk about this theory in our days. Others look at you in a weird way. I remember that when I mentioned it to certain colleagues, most of them treated me as a “colorful” character. A few were benevolent and wanted to understand it. In order for this theory to be understandable it had to be enriched with modern knowledge. But such a correlation was very difficult for us at the time. Therefore the only thing we could do was to learn the theory of miasms as a method of grouping diseases, which we, homeopathy doctors, could use only among us, avoiding reffering to it in our discussions with other doctors.
At this point I must mention an author who helped a lot in the understanding of the theory of miasms. It is P.S. Ortega who in his book “Notes about miasms” provided a very nice description of the basic psycho synthesis of the three miasms.
However, the desire to find more information on the theory of miasms through modern scientific opinions was strong. I did not know how to do this. One day I was in the doctors’ office of the neurological clinic of the military hospital. A patient’s escort came in to ask for something. The way he asked for it was very characteristic. This man was very demanding, looked to be very angry and his speech had a strong tone of aggressiveness. I thought that this man was syphilitic. As soon as we helped him one of the psychiatrists present asked us: “colleagues, what do you notice about this man’s behavior? He is angry. He bites. He is orally fixed according to Freud’s theory”. This observation was very useful to me. I made the first correlation that could help in the deeper understanding of the theory of miasms. The syphilitic miasm was related with the oral fixation of the Freud’s theory.
According to the Freudian thinking, three stages play an important role in the development of a person’s personality.
The first stage is the oral which starts from the moment of birth until the age of one and a half years. The main subject of this stage is lactation and the progressive vacillation of the person from a situation of dependence from the breast to a situation of independence.
The second stage is the anal. It succeeds the oral until the age of two and a half to three. The main subject of this stage is the control of the sphincters.
The third stage is the oedipal. It succeeds the anal and starts from the age of two and a half until the end of the fifth year. Main subject of this stage is the unfulfilled love of the child to the parent of the opposite sex.
A Miasmatic Corelation with Freudian Stages:
The person that did not normally go through one of those stages has a fixation to that stage. Therefore, depending on the type of fixation, three types are observed: the oral, the anal and the oedipal.
The oral type is characterized by demanding behavior, nagging, greed, rush, insulting behavior, tendency to dependence, strong tendency to aggressiveness and disaster. These elements fit the syphilitic type of the homeopathy thinking.
The anal type is characterized by neatness, tendency to niceness, perfectionism, and exactitude. He has a tendency to miserliness, is stubborn and dogmatic. He controls all his feelings. These elements fit the sycotic type of the homeopathy thinking.
The oedipal type is characterized by the continuous search of an ideal and unfulfilled target and during the effort to find it there are many obstacles. The story of the little boy where his father is an obstacle to his erotic desire for his mother is repeated. The oedipal type corresponds to the tubercular type of homeopathy.
The psoric type of homeopathy does not have a corresponding type in the Freudian theory. This can be explained by the fact that Freud worked with patient who had a strong psychopathology. The psoric type has the minimum psychopathology. Therefore there was no apparent reason for a psoric to follow psychoanalysis.