The inspiration for this article comes from the following statements:
‘…Homeopathy is a perfectly simple system of medicine, remaining always fixed in its principles as in its practice, which, like the doctrine whereon it is based, if rightly apprehended will be found to be complete and therefore serviceable. What is clearly pure in doctrine and practice should be self-evident, and all backward sliding to the pernicious routinism of the old school, that is as much its antithesis as night is to day, should cease to praise itself with the honorable name of Homeopathy…’
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Author’s Preface, Organon of Medicine Sixth Final Revised Edition;
English translation, Dr. William Boericke.
“…Homeopathy is now extensively disseminated over the world, but strange to say, by none are its doctrines so distorted as by many of its pretended devotees.”
Dr. James Tyler Kent, Preface to Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy
“A mutilated homeopathy is a lame and crippled thing, compelled to sustain itself by crutches, splints and braces. An emasculated homeopathy is an impotent homeopathy, without the virility necessary to maintain or reproduce itself. Some shortsighted, superficial and weak-kneed individuals, actuated by their prejudices, or through their failure to comprehend the subject as a whole, have adopted an emasculated homeopathy for themselves and attempted to support their crippled eunuch as a candidate for general acceptance. Subjects such as the life force, the single remedy, potentiation, infinitesimals, the minimum dose and totality of the symptoms as a basis for the prescription they have characterized as unessential, ‘so long as the principle of similia was maintained.’ It is this which has brought homeopathy, as an institution, down to a point where its very existence is threatened.”
Dr. Stuart Close, The Genius of Homeopathy
Those statements give me the courage to speak out against the tendency to enshroud Homeopathy in mysticism, mystery, or magic; against the opinion that no one knows how Homeopathy works, no one needs to know how it works, you only need to believe it works; the contention that everyone is automatically entitled to use homeopathically prepared substances in what ever way they wish with impunity, and anyone may represent themselves as a homeopath, and should be encouraged to do so, otherwise Homeopathy will become extinct. These views held by many within the homeopathic community are as much to blame for exposing Homeopathy to ridicule as the actions of those calling for its abolition.
As a patient seeking Homeopathy and walking into my neighborhood homeopathic clinic for the first time, it would never occur to me that the person to whom I was entrusting my health might not be practicing Homeopathy as originally taught by Hahnemann, and might be practicing their own distorted variant version without disclosing that information.
In my ignorance I would assume that anyone using the name Homeopathy to describe their work, knew that Samuel Hahnemann had carefully chosen the name Homeopathy (similar suffering) because it accurately described and represented the art of curing, founded on resemblances; the theory and its practice that disease is cured by medicines which produce on a healthy individual effects similar to the symptoms of the complaint from which the individual suffers; that the name Homeopathy accurately described the results of his lengthy scientific experiments, which validated and verified the natural therapeutic Law of Similars:
“A weaker dynamic affection is permanently extinguished in the living organism by a stronger one, if the latter (while differing in kind) is very similar to the former in its manifestations.” Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine, Sixth Final Edition, Aphorisms 25 & 26.
As a patient, student, practitioner and instructor of Homeopathy I know how wrong I would be to make such an assumption.
We all know the truth that dare not speak its name publicly. There is no agreement among the profession concerning what Homeopathy is and is not. Few practitioners know that to ensure effectiveness, Dr. Hahnemann set a high bar for knowledge and best practice of Homeopathy; that a true practitioner of Hahnemann’s healing art of Homeopathy understands each of the ten fixed fundamental principles of Homeopathy is an integral part of the whole system, and each principle as it were, represents the highest quality stones, materials that construct and underpin the homeopathic bridge from illness to recovery. If a doctrine or single principle is unknown, omitted, altered or misapplied, effectiveness of Homeopathy is in jeopardy.
The ten fixed fundamental principles Hahnemann established to govern the practice of Homeopathy, are mentioned in the Materia Medica Pura, the preface to the fourth volume of The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homeopathic Cure and the Organon of Medicine, Sixth Final Edition.
Note: A summary of the 10 fixed principles Hahnemann established can be found at the author’s website here:
If all practitioners knew these principles existed, understood them and used them as the basis for each homeopathic prescription, homeopathy would be easier to practice effectively. If all practitioners united and stood firm under the fixed principles, anyone could walk into a Homeopathic clinic anywhere in the world and be confident that they would receive the same universal best practice Homeopathy.
Instead patients seeking Homeopathy to restore their health are unaware of the significant difference between individuals who conscientiously follow Hahnemann’s teaching concerning Homeopathy and pretended devotees who distort Homeopathy for their own glory.
A pretended devotee of Homeopathy is an individualist who either failed to comprehend, ignored or opted to omit one or more of the fixed fundamental principles of Homeopathy. Having actively rendered Homeopathy ineffective, the pretended devotee veers away from Hahnemann’s original method of Homeopathy, and creates their own divergent distorted method. To retain an audience and following, the pretended devotee will often need to modify their variant version on an annual basis, encouraging further confusion.
Unless you have a basis of comparison between the original and new variant version, and you understand which fixed principles have been omitted or distorted, the work of pretended devotees of Homeopathy is difficult to identify. Although they do not practice authentic orthodox Homeopathy, they misuse the name Homeopathy to describe their non homeopathic practice. Usually they will say something like: I couldn’t make Homeopathy work, so I do it this way; or: I was bored by the philosophy, so I ignored it and it works better this way.
The pretended devotees insidious destruction of the integrity and purity of Homeopathy did not go unnoticed by Hahnemann. Fearing the public would mistake the false variant versions for original, orthodox Homoeopathy, Hahnemann repeatedly spoke out against the hijacking and misuse of the honorable name of Homeopathy to describe the divergences.
The individualists ignored Hahnemann’s impassioned pleas. The distortions mutate, proliferate without restraint; Hahnemann’s worst fear has come true; the public is utterly confused regarding the correct definition of Homeopathy. This confusion renders Homeopathy vulnerable to constant ridicule, and what is more serious, it renders innocent patients vulnerable to receiving something masquerading as Homeopathy without their informed consent.
This is an example of how one charismatic, influential pretended devotee successfully destroyed the purity of Hahnemann’s original Homeopathy by combining isopathy with Homeopathy and creating a variant version:
Isopathy is the treatment of diseases by their own exciting cause, aequalia aequilibus, according to the doctrine that the power of therapeutics is equal to that of the causes of disease. Isopathy is the system of medicine which undertakes to cure a disease by means of the virus of the same disease, or eating the analogous organ of a healthy animal.
Examples of Isopathic medicine would be: treatment of a scorpion bite by rubbing the dead scorpion on the wound; advising individuals bitten by a rabid animal to eat the liver of the rabid animal that bit them; those suffering from asthma would be advised to eat the lungs of foxes; those suffering roundworm would be advised to eat roasted earthworms; Galen recommended eating camel brains to cure epilepsy. Conferring artificial immunity from certain diseases by vaccinating individuals with the virus of a disease is isopathy.
It is difficult to fix the antiquity of the doctrine of isopathy; in one form or another it has existed almost as long as medicine has been practiced as an art. Ancient records of medicine contain traces of the system.
In contrast, we know that Homeopathy was originated by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in 1796, and that between 1811 and 1821 Hahnemann conducted experiments concerning the preparation of sixty natural substances and studied the pure effects of those substances on healthy humans, which he documented and published in 1830 in his monumental work: Materia Medica Pura.
Hahnemann knew about isopathy, the doctrine of signatures, and many other methods of healing. Along with allopathy he rejected them as hurtful and useless methods of healing.
Regarding the introduction of isopathy into the homeopathic school of medicine, in his Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Homeopathy, Dr. R. E. Dudgeon states:
“There is no doubt to whom belongs the honor of having introduced isopathic heresies into the homeopathic school. It was our transatlantic friend Dr. Constantine Hering,(1800-1880).
“In 1830, Hering proposed treating hydrophobia with potentized saliva of a rabid dog; treating smallpox with matter from variolous pustules; psora with matter from the scabies vesicle (psorine). For treatment of cholera he recommended potentized watery excrement of cholera; for yellow fever, potentized black vomit of yellow fever; for scarlet fever potentized desquamated skin of malignant scarlet fever.
“In 1833 Dr. Hering goes further. In a long paper he asserts that all morbid (unhealthy, diseased, abnormal) products of whatever kind, exert a powerful influence on the diseases that produce them, remedies should be made from those products and individuals suffering from diseases that produce those products should receive such remedies which he called Nosodes. Hering recommends administering nosode leucorrhoeal matter to cure leucorrhoea, nosode gleet-matter to cure gleet, nosode pthisine to cure phthisis, ascaridine to cure children’s vermicular diseases.
“Hering contended that treatment of an illness with products of that illness did not deviate from Homeopathy, it was Homeopathy and was not Isopathy.”
In response to the Hering’s heresy Hahnemann stated
“To attempt to cure by means of the very same morbific potency contradicts all normal human understanding and hence all experience…certain diseases peculiar to animals may give us remedies and medicinal potencies for very similar important human diseases and happily enlarge our stock. However, to use a human morbific matter, (a psorin taken from the itch in a human), as remedy for the same human itch, or for evils arising from that itch, is —–? Nothing can result from this but trouble and aggravation of the disease.”
( Dr. S. Hahnemann Organon of Medicine, Sixth Edition, Aphorism 56, Footnote 63)
Hahnemann’s conscientious followers vigorously rejected Hering’s assertion that Isopathy was still Homeopathy, and railed against his introduction of diseased substances called nosodes into the homeopathic pharmcopeia, because it contaminated Hahnemann’s previously pure homeopathic materia medica of natural healthy substances and violated the fundamental law of Homeopathy, the therapeutic Law of Similars,
If further evidence were needed that Isopathy is not Homeopathy, let us consider why it is that although Hahnemann knew about nosodes, he excludes nosodes from his discussion of The Chronic Diseases Their Peculiar Nature and their Homeopathic Cure, (published between 1828 and 1838) and elects not to undertake Provings of nosodes.
“The antipsoric medicines treated of in what follows, contain no so-called idiopathic medicines; their pure effect even those of the potentized miasma of itch psorin have not been proved enough by far, that a safe homeopathic use might be made of it.”
It could be argued that since Hahnemann, the effects of nosodes have been documented extensively. Nevertheless treatment of the manifestations of the miasms, sycosis, syphilis, psora using potentized disease products of gonorrhea, syphilis, scabies, or treating the manifestation of breast cancer using potentized products of human cancerous breast tissue, is isopathy and not Homeopathy.
Very importantly, to mix isopathy or any other therapy with Homeopathy raises a considerable obstacle to recovery, regarding accuracy of patient response assessment and case management protocols.
Isopathy and other therapies including the divergences, differ from Homeopathy. Therefore it is unsafe, illogical, improper and dereliction of duty towards the patient to apply protocols and guidelines established specifically to evaluate and manage patients who have received homeopathic medicine alone, to patients who have received isopathy or some other divergence in combination with Homeopathy.
None of this information is disclosed to patients.
Since 1830 and Hering’s heresy, the practice of Homeopathy as originated and taught by Hahnemann has became mired in Isopathy and buried under an avalanche of individualistic divergences and distortions.
Since the mid 1990s, as dissatisfied patients marched in droves away from allopathy towards alternative medicine, allopaths had to do something to staunch the flow of money away from their clinics. Almost overnight allopaths subsumed Homeopathy and other complementary medicine into the jack of all trades master of none field of Integrative Medicine, and started administering homeopathic medicines in the same way mainstream medicines are administered: take this medicine 4 times a day and report back in 6 months. That’s a long time to wait if the remedy selected did not induce a curative response.
To make matters worse, the pretended devotees of Homeopathy multiplied and renewed their campaign of persuading the ignorant that Hahnemann’s original Homeopathy was ineffective, outmoded and obsolete. To have their cake and eat it, the pretended devotees took a leaf from the allopaths Integrative Medicine book, and granted themselves the right to debase and subsume Homeopathy into the artfully named Homeotherapy.
Unknown to the public, pretended devotees of Homeopathy reign supreme. Instead of Hahnemann’s original principle-based Homeopathy being at the core of Homeopathy, it has been pushed to the periphery, marginalized. At conferences supposed to discuss Homeopathy, it is almost invisible.
So who cares? For the sake of patients, Hahnemann cared and I care.
If I entrust my most precious possession, the maintenance or restoration of my health, to someone professing to be a practitioner of Homeopathy, I am entitled to expect to receive genuine orthodox Homeopathy, practiced as it was taught by Hahnemann and his faithful, conscientious followers. I should not have something else foisted upon me without my permission. I assert that innocent members of the public should be similarly entitled.
In the midst of suffering, lacking adequate information regarding the existence of all the modifications, variations of Homeopathy, and lacking full knowledge of the possible risks and benefits pertaining to a particular variant form, how may I avoid falling foul of a pretended devotees of Homeopathy?
As an untutored patient, how am I to know that according to Dr. James Tyler Kent (Kent’s Minor Writings on Homeopathy):
“As the practitioner’s view of illness varies, so varies the success. Some practitioners view cases from the pathological aspect; others view the patient’s temperament, color of eyes, hair or what star he was born under. Another will view it from keynote symptoms he can find in it. Another usually takes the set phrases of the patient with the opinions and wordings of tradition, or the opinion of some previous physician. In such a manner, a distorted view of the whole case is formed.”
In my ignorance, if I don’t what they are and how I might be affected, how can I give my informed consent to receive ‘eclectic’ or ‘resonance’ versus ‘revolutionary’ or ‘classical’ homeopathy; polypharmacy, ‘constitutional’ prescribing, ‘layers’ or ‘miasmatic’ prescribing; antihomotoxic therapy, homotoxicology; or other so called homeotherapies such as spagiric therapy, gemmotherapy, lithotherapy, tautopathy, etc.
Pretended devotees of Homeopathy demand the right and freedom to use homeopathically prepared substances in violation of the laws and doctrine and principles pertaining to Homeopathy. I contend they be required to disclose the truth and stop hiding their activities behind the name of Homeopathy.
That will not happen. It is so much easier to market Henriques Therapy to the ignorant, if it is called Homeopathy, because the name Homeopathy is well known worldwide and Henriques Therapy is completely unknown.
If a divergent method is founded on validation and verification of a hypothesis through experiment, why doesn’t its originator proudly and honestly proclaim it as a distinct form of healing, separate from Homeopathy. Why must it be recognized and accepted as Homeopathy if it diverges from Homeopathy?
For the sake of suffering human and animal kind, it’s time for each of us claiming to serve the sick as practitioners of Homeopathy, to examine our conscience regarding how we administer homeopathic medicines.
Can every professional health care provider using homeopathically prepared substances, hand on heart, truthfully declare to the public that we faithfully practice orthodox Homeopathy according to the fixed fundamental principles governing the practice of Homeopathy established by Hahnemann, or are we pretended devotees, practicing something else and masquerading as homeopaths?
To heal crippled Homeopathy, will we have the courage to accept Hahemann’s invitation: Aude Sapere – Dare to Know? Will pretended devotees of Homeopathy dare to stop misidentifying their activities with the name Homeopathy? Will we all dare to tell the public what is orthodox Homeopathy and what is not? To preserve Homeopathy for generations to come, will we all dare to unite under Hahnemann’s fixed fundamental principles governing the practice of Homeopathy?
Experience indicates that I am whistling in the wind, and I shouldn’t hold my breath. If I do not collude with the pretended devotees fallacies, I can go to my grave knowing I had the courage to speak up in defense of Hahnemann and his masterpiece, Homeopathy; and when our spirits meet after my death I will be able to say: hand on heart, “Dr. Hahnemann, I always did it your way Sir”.
©Copyright Nicola Henriques June 2012 – All rights reserved