Dr. Ardavan Shahrdar is one of the most famous homeopaths of Iran. He has been active in training more than 700 physicians in homeopathy courses in Tehran and always has tried to improve the quality of homeopathic education according to true principles of homeopathy. He has played a central role in setting the standards and syllabus for the teaching of homoeopathy and also the standards for import and distribution of homeopathic remedies for the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran. After the formation of the Iranian Homeopathic Association (IHA), he was elected President of IHA. He is also the national vice-president of LMHI of Iran. He had an important role in international recognition of IHA with his cooperation with ECCH and LMHI. He is the founder of the international Minutus e-group, now with more than 2000 members from all over the world. He teaches homeopathy in Tehran University and in his Advanced Homeopathy Courses classes. Presently he is conducting interesting research on the nature of chronic miasms according to the principles of Hahnemannian homeopathy, based on recent findings about infectious states. The current findings have greatly increased the success rate in treatment of chronic diseases.
Q1. Ardavan, welcome to the Hpathy Hot-Seat! Before we delve deeper into your research on miasms, let me begin by asking you the most basic question – What does the term ‘miasm’ mean to you?
Miasm is the psycho-neuro-endocrino-immunological image of an infection; either acute or chronic. This means that the infectious agent, as a particle, may not be present but the organism may still suffer from the dynamic pressure installed by the infectious agent.
Q2. Can you please explain this further? What is this ‘dynamic pressure’ or the ‘image of an infection’? How does it affect an individual?
Following an infection, what is experienced by the patient is actually the alteration, which happens in the immunological plane. As there is an interconnecting network between the immunological, endocrinological, neurological and psychological planes, the disturbance is experienced in all levels. As this generalized disturbance cannot be specified and described by linear means and needs a parallel-type of analysis, I prefer to use the word ‘image’ to refer to the general altered state.
Q3. How has your understanding and teaching of the concept of chronic diseases and their relation with miasm evolved over the long period of time you have been studying and practicing homeopathy?
I was greatly impressed by Hahnemann’s concepts in his magnum opus, ‘Chronic Diseases’. I always marvelled at his great intuition of linking infectious diseases to non-contagious chronic conditions. This is consistent with similar great discoveries in the last previous decades. The problem was with the outdated picture of natural diseases. I restarted defining the miasm concept in Hahnemannian terminology but with updated epidemiological data.
Q4. What are your thoughts about Hahnemann’s miasms and their validity in general? How do you relate with the concept of Psora? Is it related to Scabies or itch, or is it a hydra-headed monster, giving rise to numerous disease forms, or the ‘original sin’ of Kent, or the fundamental susceptibility of every human being, or a mistake of Hahnemann?
When I use the term ‘Miasm’, I use the Hahnemannian terminology as I defined above. I believe that poor understanding of Hahnemann’s theory of chronic diseases has led to a diversity of miasm definitions based on personal speculation. This is so far from the empiricistic scientific approach of Hahnemann. I believe that Hahnemann was on the right road. The underlying basis of his theory of chronic diseases is correct; what needs editing and updating is the epidemiological data according to modern knowledge of infectious diseases. With our new knowledge of infectious diseases we know that what Hahnemann called Psora is a mixture of different infections, which were not distinctly known at his time.
Q5. So are there as many miasms as there are infections or do you have some criteria to decide when an infection becomes miasmatic?
As I mentioned above, miasm is the image of an infection either acute or chronic. If you mean that what is the criterion for an acute miasm to become chronic, it all depends on its interaction with the organism’s immune system. Being chronic is not a property of the miasm per se.
Q6. Do you see any qualitative difference in miasms originating from viruses, bacteria and parasites?
It seems that miasms originating from viruses have much more systemic manifestations. Most cancers, autoimmune disorders and degenerative nervous disorders seem to be related to viral miasms.
Q7. How do you apply the concept of miasm clinically?
It is not easy to answer this question in an interview. Our advanced students pass a 2 year advanced course on this topic. What I can say here is that in cases where a miasm or miasms are responsible, the related Genus Epidemicus (GE) can help us to find a better simillimum for our case; especially when the picture of chronic miasm is masked and distorted by secondary defense mechanisms of the patient. Referring to GE, is especially important is cases with a paucity of valuable symptoms. This is the same approach Hahnemann used by referring to psora and considering anti-psoric remedies but in an updated mode.
Q8. How do you define the genus epidemicus for a miasm? Is it the corresponding nosode or the remedy that covers the symptoms of the original infection? What role do nosodes have in the treatment of miasms?
The genus epidemicus is defined by the epidemiological study of patients affected by an infection. This can be obtained from textbooks and articles related to infectious diseases. Using nosodes is considered an isopathic action and is not based on empricistic approaches. In my view nosodes can be used in homeopathic treatments but just like other remedies when the picture agrees.
Q9. How do you obtain nosodes for the new miasms?
I do not use ‘nosode therapy’. I use the normal remedies of our material medica. New miasmatic analysis is not introducing new remedies. It is introducing new methods for case analysis.
Q10. Can a person have more than one miasm? If yes, how are they treated?
Yes, there can be several latent miasms. But usually one or max two miasms are active at a time. The active miasm, which is responsible for the current presentation, is treated first. When the treatment of the supervening miasm is ended, the next miasm, shows up and points to further intervention.
Q11. Can a person re-acquire a miasm once it has been treated homeopathically?
Probably not. As there should be a kind of immunity induced in the organism. But it is not easy to talk about it just rationally in a generalized manner as it requires experimental data regarding different miasms, which is not available now.
Q12. Many viral infections have the propensity to remain latent in the human body for very long (eg herpes), often without any overt symptoms. How do you differentiate between a latent infection and an image or dynamic pressure (as described by you in answer 1) that could be present?
Latency in chronic infections, as usually meant in conventional medicine, is the phase in which the characteristic features of the infection are not present (like herpetic eruptions in Herpes Simplex Virus [HSV] latency). But in the miasmatic sense, there are always indicators, not necessarily the landmarks that can point to the underlying infection. Knowledge of the holistic picture of infections helps us to determine the miasmatic type. Repertorium Virosum, the software we have worked on since about 6 years ago is a great tool for this type of unmasking.
Q.13 Tell me more about Repertorisum virosum. What does it do and how does it differ from other repertorization software?
You can see a demo version at It is not a repertorization tool like the common repertorization softwares. Still we need those valuable softwares for normal repertorization. Repertorium Virosum (RV) is the repertory for miasms. The result of analysis is the miasms. Then you can refer to the remedies of the related Genus Epidemicus to find the best remedy in combination with the normal individualization.
I’ll be offering this software for free from December 2011.
Q14. Do miasms get transmitted from one generation to another without the actual transmission of infection taking place?
About 9% of our genome comprises of sequences related to ancient infections by HERVs (Human Endogenous Retro-Viruses). This goes back to infections happening since primates due to phylogenetics. So there is no doubt about the possibility of transmissions of miasms. They are not contagious in the latent form and play a significant role in pathogenesis of chronic diseases and also in evolutionary developmental issues.
Q15. Can you give any examples from your clinic where you have observed that a miasmatic state has been transferred to the future generations and how it has affected them?
Clinical experience shows such a link between the parents and children. But the possibility of the links of non-HERV transmission of viral infections is due to phenomenological studies and further research should be done to show its genetics mechanisms. The possibility of ‘state’ transmission may also be possible theoretically, but no concrete research is available now.
Q16. What is your direction of work in the near future regarding the miasms?
I am working on improving the miasmatic analysis according to new epidemiological data and also finding the accurate miasmatic links of different chronic conditions to infectious states.
Q17. What is the future of Hahnemann’s theory of chronic miasms in general? It has been interpreted in many ways and is still taught and used in different ways. Is there any unifying point where we can all come together and work on a common ground regarding miasms?
Hahnemann was a real genius. With limited epidemiological data he was aware of the link between hidden infectious states and chronic conditions. I believe that his theory of chronic diseases will be merged with the current scientific researches and will be appreciated by the scientific community. It seems that Hahnemann somehow knew about what will probably happen in the future. I like to quote a paragraph from his preface in his great book ‘Chronic diseases’.
“May they do better with the great discovery herewith presented to them! And if they should not treat this discovery any better – well, then a more conscientious and intelligent posterity will alone have the advantage to be obtained by a faithful, punctual observance of the teachings here laid down, of being able to deliver mankind from the numberless torments which have rested upon the poor sick, owing to the numberless, tedious diseases, even as far back as history extends. This great boon had not been put within their reach by what Homoeopathy had taught hitherto.”
Ardavan, this was a very fascinating discussion. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and work on chronic diseases and miasms with us in such detail. I am sure many would find this interview thought provoking and may it serve to start a greater discussion on Hahnemann’s theory of chronic diseases.