Homeopathy Papers

A Rethink of Psora

Written by Alastair Yarrow

Homeopath Alastair Yarrow explores Hahnemann’s chronic miasms, psora, sycosis and syphilis, using thoughts from other writers, chakra philosophy, Freudian concepts and more.

….if you take my advice you’ll care little for Socrates but much more for the truth: if I seem to you to say anything true, agree with it; but if not, resist it with every argument you can, taking care that in my zeal I don’t deceive you and myself alike” Socrates talking to his friends. Plato’s Phaedo.1.

This essay is an attempt to scratch the surface to see what Psora is.

We probably all started with the descriptions of Kent and JH Allen who described the two venereal miasms; Sycosis and Syphilis as products of sin, which were acquired or inherited. Of psora Kent said:

“the very first sickness of the human race, the spiritual sickness, from which the first state of the race progressed into what may be called true susceptibility to psora, which laid the foundation for other diseases…”2

We learn that it is highly contagious and may originate from a mite, a parasitical infestation, way back in history. It gives a terrible, voluptuous itch that we must scratch. But treat it locally and trouble begins! Trouble in the form of both physical and mental pathology, even death!

Miasms and the chronic diseases are complicated and can be difficult to explain. These are my ruminations on the subject. In particular, dare I question the homeopathic mentors on psora? To summarise Stuart close: “Why is it such a contagious, infectious, parasitical, micro-organism, with an incredible capacity to multiplication and growth?”3

In ‘Psyche and SubstanceWhitmont writes, “The chronic diseases are not underlined by clinical Syphilis, Sycosis or Psora. They are expressions of specific pre-existing disturbances of the patient’s life energy. Any influence which engrafts or increases the chronic state into an acute one, will produce the picture of clinical syphilis, sycosis or psora thereby creating locally a suitable environment for the growth of germs, which would be repelled in a non-miasmatic state.”4

After reading many books, old and new, on the miasms, I found the most enlightening to be Saxton and Gregory’s Textbook on Veterinary Homeopathy,5.followed by Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases and their Peculiar Nature.6..Their model represents the natural way the Chakra philosophy fits readily into homeopathic thinking. Simplistically, each Chakra represents an area of the body’s physical, mental and emotional development. Physical ailments will be related to the delayed or disrupted mental or emotional development  of the individual. 8:physiological processes of the body, constructed in the form of a triangle; the base represents control of physiological processes; the second side, growth; and the third, removal. In normal health, there is balance. At times the focus will be on a particular process, growth or decay and removal, and when these have completed, equilibrium returns. Throughout life there will be the constant need for growth, repair, replacement and removal. The control factor is constantly active to maintain homeostasis. The energy to maintain the balance is the Vital Force, which under sustained activity or duress can be weakened and if absent means death. The energy of the Vital Force will combine with any active miasm adding strength to its actions whether to redirect the miasmatic activity to a deeper inhibition centre or to drive it to the surface.

Hahnemann described ‘over development’ and ‘destructive, removal processes’ as sycotic-like and syphilitic-like, and psora as ‘underactivity’ which was as contagious as a tinderbox, and was acquired through the briefest of touch. Few escaped psora.

Psora in Pregnancy and birth.

Control, growth and removal processes are active throughout life. None more so than during pregnancy and birth. For the foetus, the womb, which had once been a paradise finds the benefits and comforts are withdrawn (psora phase). It then must escape from what has become hell or die (sycotic-like phase); the foetus must have the drive and the will to escape through the birth canal, a (syphilitic-like phase).7.

“The life of a man starts while he is still in the uterus where he can experience emotions both painful and pleasant which will ultimately condition his state of mind”8.When development is compromised, psora is present but could the mind-set of the foetus itself, activate psora?

Non-miasmatic chronic diseases result from stress, poor living standards, diet and work conditions and not from any inherited susceptibility. Hahnemann recognised that certain diseases could develop in people, like himself, free of psora, though in general he believed it would have been present. Could either the growth or removal processes be over-active when only psora is present?

Following birth, are not maturation and individuation the prime objectives of the healthy Vital Force in any living form? The perpetual cycles of controlled growth and removal will ensure the infant will grow healthy. When this is not so, abnormal physiological and psychological activities create or reinforce the vulnerable disposition.

Miasmsand Chakra Philosophy

I believe the Chakra philosophy fits readily into homeopathic thinking. Simplistically, each Chakra represents an area of the body’s physical, mental and emotional development. Physical ailments will be related to the delayed or disrupted mental or emotional development of the individual.10If we look solely at the ‘Unconscious Development’ stages of Chakra Philosophy, with its logical progression in development, it is my contention that when psora is activated then natural processes are undermined. To clarify this I use the first three chakras 11,and Freud’s psycho-social development, their relationship to positive development and the possibilities when they are compromised,the Base Chakra, ‘in utero’4 months to Birth and to 12 months., and Freud’s oral stagem meeting basic physiological and psychological needs, Maslow’s needs, and concludes with successful potty training. When these needs are not met it becomes a basis for insecurity, stress, and compromised development; under performance or under functioning and Psora is activated! No need for any contamination.

At approximately, 6 months to 2 years the second, sacral chakra and Freud’s anal stage develops. The infant having control of sphincter muscles finds the opportunity for psychological and social growth through exploration. The infant learns to manage himselfand others, his environment, cause and effect and his emotionsm, combined with Freud’s Phallic stage, gender identity and roles. The Miasmatic stage, sycosis-like is naturally activated with increased activity and expansion of body and mind.

At approximately, 18 months to 4 years the third, solar-plexus chakra and Freud’s Oedipus stage commences. Constant experimentation and testing of early experiences and learnings leads to challenges in the home-life. If not successful, the infant, unable to separate his individuality from parents or home, fails to develop the will power, belief or trust in himself. The potential is destructive… for self and to others and subsequently for syphilitic behaviours to emerge.

It is difficult to envisage Psora not being present in the child growing in poverty or stressful circumstances. Furthermore, delayed or interrupted development is likely to create physical and psychological weaknesses which will compromise development in the higher chakras.

Now, introduce the venereal component, gonorrhoea and syphilis, inherited or acquired and the natural processes are intrinsically vulnerable from an early age creating susceptibility. Add to this the suppression of external symptoms or behaviours that were possibly natural processes, along with Psora, and here is the potential for pathology.

The state of parental health, past and present, is necessary to ascertain which miasms are inherited or acquired, active or latent. Evidence of the presence of the sycoticmiasm in particular is necessary, as it is regarded as the perfect ‘soil’ for many pathologies! The stage of the sycoticmiasm in the mother may be transferred to the foetus who will develop symptoms of that stage.11

“There are people coming to see me and I can often tell them a lot about the diseases in their family” .  This is the speciality of homeopathy and no other specialist knows about it.But thanks to Hahnemann’s observations homeopaths do know what it is all about.”12

Pathology is the result of suppression and it can occur at any age as we see the increasing number of serious illnesses in the very young. These can appear out of the blue, but as homeopaths, we know something has triggered these abnormal and destructive pathologies.

Hahnemann states:

“uninterrupted grief and vexation will trigger the smallest traces of slumbering Psora into more severe symptoms. ..this will then escalate into an outbreak of all imaginable chronic sufferings. They will also augment existing ailments”13. We know from the NBWS stories that much pathology was initiated by a trauma. My question is: Is pathology initiated by the loss of the control axis of the triangle, resulting in under functioning, aka Psora? The healthy process, driven by the Vital Force, has been compromised, and the combining of Psora with another miasm, the Vital Force, to protect life, directs this new force to a deeper level and the only means to rectify this is to remove the psoric involvement through an anti-psoric remedy.

Hahnemann gives an example of a gonorrhoeal infection. The body has been infiltrated and the Vital Force directs the toxic matter out through the skin as the characteristic figwart. The Vital Force, on its own, is unable to expel all the matter from the interior. This is a psoric (under-functioning) action. Left untreated it will remain relatively harmless, but treated locally, it is forced in and becomes sycotic.

.In his book Vaccines, a Reappraisal, Richard Moskowitz  states that “vaccinations bypass the usual points of entry, mouth and nose so the natural defence mechanisms are not activated. Chemical adjuvants, aluminium, thimerosal or mercury and foreign proteins are engrafted into cells already burdened with miasmatic taints, and chronic vulnerability is established. We believe, as homeopaths, through the experience of the childhood diseases, that inherited miasmatic influences are reduced or eradicated and also the defence mechanism, while the immune system is developing its strategies for dealing with infection.”14

Three Stages of a Chronic Miasm

There are three stages of activity in a chronic miasm and according to Allen15[i], this process is true for all miasms.

Stage 1. The time the infection took place.

Stage 2. Hahnemann was very clear that the internal miasmatic infection would be fully developed before any eruption appeared on the skin.

Stage 3. The Vital Force relieves the internal stress by creating a ‘safety valve,’ possibly a tumour (constructive), sycosis or an abscess (destructive), syphilitic and a comparative equilibrium is established. The appearance of the external expressions, indicate the complete development of the disease.

Thisthird stage is frequently brought about as a result of suppressive treatment.

Homeopathic treatment aims to bring about secondary expressions but, as Hahnemann states:

“cure does not happen when a secondary eruption occurs, which was produced by use of a local treatment. Secondary eruptions are far more varied and changeable and can disappear then reappear in a variety of other chronic diseases. The Hydra headed monster of psoric involvement! Complete cure is difficult and must be directed against this internal psora.”16. [ii] The best and probably the only evidence that change is taking place will be the improved mental state even when there can be an apparent physical deterioration.

Hahnemann’s theory of Chronic Diseases was confirmed through the clinical records, of notable physicians , dating from 1741, who observed that local treatment of skin problems was suppressive and lead to serious health problems including death.

Which Miasm should beTreated First?

Hahnemann insisted that psora be treated first,17, the control factor. Psora on its own affects function by under activity, not pathology. Pathology is the product of the combination of psora with another miasm. With suppression, psora becomes the mother of all diseases. The ‘combination’ of psora and syphilis became pseudo-psora and later the tubercular miasm (named by Allen J.H.)18.which is highly destructive, especially on a soil of sycosis. The Cancer miasm involves all three in a multitude of combinations.

Remedies regarded as archetypes of specific miasms often do possess characteristic features of other miasms as do most remedies. An easy reference for miasmatic loading is Banerjea’sMiasmatic Prescribing19. An archetypicalanti-psoric remedy such as Sulphur, will also have sycotic, syphilitic or tubercular elements which are helpful in covering the patient’s symptom picture.

Every pathological symptom is a normal physiological process taken to its extreme.Pain, inflammation, suppuration, oedema, tumours, decay, gangrene, skin eruptions, perspiration, catarrh and diarrhoeas, destroy and release waste products.(Pachero in Louis Detinis.)20.Only an anti-psoric remedy will make it possible to reinstate some normality, to re-establish control and then other miasmatic remedies can follow.

We learned that the psoric influence is very contagious, it can spread by contact by just a touch, or through an energetic transfer. It can be transmitted through negative verbal or non-verbal messages etc., sent to us that can induce unpleasant sensations, fear and anxiety, within…so that we experience the inability to sleep, to eat, to communicate etc., and then our bodies and minds will under function. Traumatic experiences are classic inhibitors of natural bodily processes and can be instantaneous. Can this be viewed as an example of psora’sspontaneous action?  Would this be why restoration of health is primarily through an anti-psoric remedy?

Today the public is perpetually bombarded by claims through the media, of medical advances and research that instils a fear of disease. Hope and optimism are replaced by the thought of inevitable ill health, disability or even death. The activation of psora through fear!

Hahnemann believed that neither a strict diet or improved life style would cure the chronic patient fromthe progression of chronic disease, that could not be halted; the nature of all chronic miasmatic diseases is ultimately to destroy unless arrested by action of the homeopathic, potentised remedy. Perhaps a better understanding of psora would be to regard it as the loss of control of the normal healthy function and when the body is tainted with gonorrhoea or syphilis, the growth or removal processes simply act without restraint.

Not all non-verbal contact is negative. Larry Dossey,21. psychiatrist, reported his most profound healing event: On waking, following anaesthesia he was anxious, alone, and in pain when a nurse’s lingering touch conveyed to him, silently, powerfully, unequivocally that everything was going to be alright. Touch can be positive, helpful and healing, and anti-psoric.

Optimism is a superb anti-psoric support inspiring belief and hope that things will turn out well. The optimist out lives the pessimist, but beware of the Optimism Merchants and do not forget the Will of the Absolute or the Divine! 22

Hering23 confirmed Hahneman’s statement that the consequence of grief and sorrow, if held onto for long, is worse than any other affectations and without a proper moral remedy, medicines are useless. So, what inhibits or interferes with the body’s ability to control its own healthy, physical, mental and spiritual activities? Prolonged fear, grief, abuse etc., and material deprivations which cause our physiology to under function.

Positive thinking, meditation and mindfulness

Finally, this brings me to the question of talk therapies, positive thinking, meditation, mindfulness and placebo etc., which all appear to act in an anti-psoric way helping theindividual take control of his or her health and destiny. Epigenetics, 24, tells us we can mindfully control and change the blueprint of the genes. We know from the writings of the late Michael Corry, 25 and Aine Tubridy,26, along with many others, about the essential need for changing the mind frame, our frame of reference, to bring about cure for many serious physical and mind related ailments. In many instances this is undoubtedly successful, especially in the short term, and yet homeopaths have numerous anti-psoric remedies, that will work deeper into cellular memory and ultimately bring about change, rapidly, gently and permanently, in the shortest, most reliable and least disadvantageous way, according to clearly realizable principles, to eliminate Psora.

  1. Phaedo,  Plato p 44
  2. Genius of Homoeopathy,Close.S..B. Jain New delhi.1993. p 89
  3. Miasmatic Prescribing, Banerjea Dr S.K.Published. Allen College of Homoeopathy.
  4. Psyche and substance. WhitmontJ..North Atlantic Press.p. 233
  5. Textbook of Veterinary  Homoeopathy, Saxton and Gregory, 2005. Beaconsfield Publications , UK
  6. The Chronic Miasms and their Peculiar Nature. Hahnemannn.
  7. Miasms in Labour, Van de Zee 1st ed.2000.Stiching Alonnissos, Netherlands p.23.
  8. The State of Mind that Affects the Foetus, Master F.j. .ist ed. 1999. B Jain.New Delhi.p.4.
  9. Anodea Judith. , Eastern Body Western Mind, revised edition, 2004, Celestial Arts, Berkley, USA.
  10. ibid p.3
  11. The State of Mind that Affects the Foetus, Master F.j. .ist ed. 1999. B Jain.New Delhi.p.4.
  12. The Journey of a disease, Jus MS. B. Jain. New Delhi. English edition.2010, p.111.
  13. The Chronic Diseases and their Peculiar Nature. Hahnemann.p.131.
  14. Vaccines, a Reappraisal, Moskowitz, Skyhorse Publications New York, 2017, p.79
  15. The Chronic Miasms Vol 1 and 2, Allen J.H. P 90.
  16.  The Chronic Diseases and their Peculiar Nature and Homeopathic cure, Hahnemann.p.115.
  1. the chronic Diseases and their Peculiar Nature, p 11
  2. The Chronic Miasms, Allen JH, Vol 1 and 2. P 78.
  3. Miasmatic Prescribing, BanerjeaDr. SK p 243.
  4. 20 .Mental Symptoms in Homoeopathy,Detinis.L,  English translation, 1990,Beaconsfield press, UK
  5. The Extra-ordinary healing power of Ordinary Things. Dossey L. 2006 Three rivers Press New York. P. 5
  6. ibid p. 13.
  7. Domestic Physician ,Hering C. 13edition, 1989. B.Jain. New Delhi.
  8. The Biology of Belief. Lipton B. Revised copy 2008. Hay House Inc. New York
  9. Going Mad, Corry M. Tubridy A. 2001,NewLeaf Publications, Dublin.
  10. Depression is an emotion not a disease.  Corry M., Tubridy A, Mercia press, Cork. 2005
  1. Allen, J.H. p. 90 The Chronic Miasms Vol 1 and 2, P 90.
  2. Hahnemann, The Chronic Diseases and their Peculiar Nature and Homeopathic cure p.115.

About the author

Alastair Yarrow

Alastair Yarrow has been in Homoeopathic practice since 1998. This came about after 20 years working with the refuseniks, children and young people who did not fit in with home, school and society. Alastair redeveloped an educational assessment programme that was not dependent upon academic intelligence and could be used to promote a productive educational programme incorporating essential academic skills that could make learning fun and empowering. He continues this line of work to support those who were condemned because they had apparently failed in early life. His hobbies include mountains, climbing and skiing and photography. Currently he’s also involved in promoting men’s health using Homoeopathy.


  • Hi, i find it difficult with all the different interpretations in the literature out there. i have read many of his books and will continue; as i wrote i am working on developing my understanding; thanks for your response, it does not deter me from asking questions, alastair yarrow

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