Homeopathy Papers

Homeopathy: More Than Three Miasms?

Homeopathy: More Than Three Miasms?

First of all, the definition of miasms. It is a hereditary predisposition, a defect as you can say, that predisposes the person to be vulnerable to a host of diseases when the trigger is right! Indeed, without the trigger on the diseased terrain, the illness will not occur! As I mention in the case of ASD, the hereditary background will be syphilitic but without a trigger (emotions, food, environment, traumas, vaccinations, etc.) ASD will NOT occur. The definition of hereditary factors as used in homeopathy is much broader and more correct than we have in allopathy! In allopathy, when hereditary factors are found to be the cause of a disease, the same name disease appears in the family history…so ASD is not hereditary when not another case of ASD is present. For the homeopath, ASD is only one of the possible expressions of the syphilitic miasms. Mental disease, drug and alcohol addiction, suicide, and any destructive disease such as Parkinson, Alzheimer, Multiple sclerosis, etc., are expressions of the same syphilitic miasmatic background.

How many miasms do we have? Homeopaths again do well to follow Hahnemann instead of some neo-gurus who invent one miasm after another. Here is an extract (short) about this topic from my new book, “A Clinical Guide to the Professional Practice” due this summer.

A Closer Study of the Basic Miasms

Nowadays, the homeopath seems to invent more and more miasms with new names as if homeopathy was not difficult enough to comprehend and practice. In Hahnemann Revisited, I also talked about 5 different miasms (tubercular and cancer besides the three other ones) but if anything, I wanted to see if this miasmatic theory could not be simplified and translated into such form, that it is easier to apply in the practice. Since the choice of a deep working remedy will depend on the homeopath’s miasmatic knowledge, a fine tuned definition and practical theory might be appropriate and I am not beyond correcting myself when necessary.

It is always good to define exactly what we are dealing with in order to understand further analysis of miasms. Let’s see what miasms Hahnemann referred to in CD (Hahnemann, 1997, p34-36) and how he defined them:

He talked about acute miasms: He speaks about the smallpox vaccination and tells us that there is no such case, “where any miasm in the world when it has infected from without, will not make first the whole organism sick before the signs of it externally manifest themselves.” The latter is also expressed by A201-202. He talked about it in the same fashion when the skin of the man is infected with the blood of cattle affected with anthrax.

CD, “If, as is frequently the case, the anthrax has infected and caught on, all removal of skin is in vain: the black or gangrenous blister, nearly always fatal, nevertheless always comes out 4 days later, i.e., as soon as the whole living organism has transformed itself to this terrible disease. This is the same with diseases like measles: after the contagion from without, the malady connected with it in the interiors of the whole man must be developed; the whole interior man must first have become thoroughly sick of measles (scarlet fever, small pox, etc.) before these various eruptions may appear on the skin (Hahnemann, 1997, p24).”

In modern times we refer to this as the incubation time, but often the exterior relief of the internal generalized disease (A201-202) is still treated in allopathy as if it were a localized disease, often suppressed by dermatologists and gynecologists.

He says further,

CD, “It is just so with the infection of half acute miasms without eruptions. Among many persons bitten by a mad dog, only a few are infected; often as I myself have observed only one out of twenty or thirty persons bitten. The others even if ever so badly mangled by the mad dog, usually all recover, even if they are not treated by a physician.” (And we give those painful shots in allopathy once the virus is found in the biting dog-Author’s note!). But with whomsoever the poison acts, it has taken effect in the moment when the person was bitten and the poison has then communicated itself to the nearest nerves and therefore, without contradiction, to the whole system of the nerves, and as soon as the malady has developed in the whole organism (which requires several days if not weeks), the madness breaks out as an acute quickly fatal disease. Immediate amputation or excision of the infected part does not protect from the progression of the disease within…”

The hydrophobia miasm is termed half acute because it takes a long time for this miasm to completely develop in the system before the symptoms manifest. But once these symptoms manifest, the patient suffers like an acute disease.

The acute miasms of whooping cough, small pox, measles, etc. have been termed as fixed miasms by Hahnemann, because whenever these diseases occur, they show their same old clinical fixtures (our childhood diseases).

Now About the Chronic Miasms!

“How many different miasms are really possible?” I went to the source, the Organon, and studied carefully where Hahnemann starts discussing miasms.

In A74 Hahnemann starts talking about the miasms. This aphorism also provided me with new insight and the true definition of the miasms and led me to correct some wrong conclusions I drew before. In this aphorism, Hahnemann talks about how chronic diseases get artificially created by allopathic treatment by the prolonged use of violent, heroic drugs, etc…(iatrogenic diseases) All these “measures” he says, …

A74, …weaken the VF and if they do not completely exhaust it, progressively untune it, to such an extent that it has to bring about a revolution (author’s emphasis) in the organism to maintain life against these hostile and destructive attacks.”

So far what Hahnemann says, is that the VF being attacked and mistuned so relentlessly, creates a defense mechanism (he calls it a revolution) in order to survive these hostile attacks. In the next paragraph of this Aphorism, Hahnemann tells us clearly that there are only three major chronic miasms, simply because there are only three major defense mechanisms in any organism, starting with the individual cell. All other modern miasms are pseudo or mixed miasms! Miasms are defensive responses of the cell. Let’s see what he says and explain,

A74 continued, “It has to inhibit or exaggerate the excitability or sensitivity of a part of the organism, dilate or contract, soften or harden, or even completely destroy certain parts in order to protect the organism against complete destruction of life from the ever renewed hostile attacks of such ruinous forces (emphasis by author).”

And in this same aphorism, speaking of iatrogenic diseases, he cites especially bloodletting and starvation diet as the two major ruinous forces in his time to destroy the organism. Unfortunately we have many more today.

Looking at A74, we see that Hahnemann describes three possible different defense mechanisms:

1. Inhibition or deprivation (loss of function) or exaggeration of the excitability (which translates into irritation or acute inflammation) or sensitivity (hypersensitivity) of a part of the organism. This is called psora, a physiological defense: it shuts down or increases the organism’s reactivity. In TCM it would be called general Qi deficiency.

2. Dilatation (cysts) or contraction, softening (relaxed tendons and ligaments leading to prolapse of the organs or collapse in general) or hardening (induration). This represents sycosis or constructive defense. According to Hahnemann, there are two sycotic forms: one of over construction (induration, hardening, contraction), one of under construction (collapse, dilatation, softening, relaxing). The latter would be called in TCM Yang Excess Qi.

3. Complete destruction is expressed by the syphilitic miasm or: destructive defense. In TCM, it would be called Yin excess Qi.

According to this definition, only the last two miasms bring structural changes while psora only produces physiologically changes. A living being has only three defense types. As a defense response to invasion of a micro organism, every cell will inflame, indurate or is destroyed for the wellbeing of the person as a whole!

Much more than I quote here will be in my book. The Cancer miasm and Tubercular miasm are mixed miasms! Always one of the three major miasms will be dominant so we can have a case where we see syphilis dominant with psora secondary (named before syphilitic): we would indicate it as capital L (for Lues or syphilis) and small p. Some modern homeopaths invent many more miasms but they would do well to study again the real source of classical homeopathy, the Organon! There are many more problems that the present homeopath faces. We must not make our task more difficult by inventing new things that only bolster the ego for the one who proposes them!

About the author

Luc De Schepper

Luc De Schepper, M.D., Ph.D., Lic.Ac., C.Hom., is a licensed physician and acupuncturist in Europe (since 1971) and the US. (since 1982). He studied and practiced homeopathy extensively for many years, wrote 15 textbooks of homeopathy, alternative medicine and acupuncture and has the largest school of homeopathy in the US. He spends part of his time helping the poor in South Africa, Kenya and Sri Lanka and teaches all around the world, lately bringing homeopathy to China. For more information visit www.drluc.com


  • Why is it more correct to accept ‘mixed miasms’ than it is to accept those combinations of qualities are actually a separate miasm? Why is it more likely you have two miasms than you have one that partakes of qualities of both? Isn’t the system one of classification so that a remedy choice can be arrived at? Wouldn’t any system that specificies remedies sitting in all classifications be of little use for finding a remedy? Who would be able to use such a system of classifying remedies to narrow down the choice? As a system of classification, shouldn’t it be judged on its utility rather than on some inherent ‘rightness’ that comes from the person who invented it?

    Hahnemann also thought that the remedies that had been proven in his lifetime would be enough to cure all disease, that there would never be any need for more. Was he right about that too? Why then was he right about the number of miasms. Miasms are patterns, and patterns become more visible the more phenomenae you observe. Add 150 years of observation on top of what Hahnemann observed – is it not possible more patterns would appear?

    If you look at it from the other side, one can just as easily say all mixed miasms are actually separate miasms, where the practitioner cannot decide on one or the other. Classifying remedies more accurately and precisely makes homoeopathy easier, not harder. What seems strange to me, is that is is considered ‘easier’ when everyone has all miasms and every remedy is in every miasm! Would it be easier if every remedy was in every rubric?

    Personally I find it much easier to narrow my remedy choice using the current 10 catagories where remedies are placed in just 1, than 3 catagories where remedies are included in 2 or all 3 of them. That seems impractical and any system I use to choose a remedy must be practical.

  • Sir, Every homoeopathic doctor have different opinions about the application of the theory of
    Miasms. In real the theory of miasms explains the origin of the chronic diseases . As defined
    by Samuel Hannemann , Psora spreads its action largely on the nervous system and the nerve
    centres, producing functional disturbances. Syphilis spreads its action on the meninges of the
    brain and affects the larynx and throat in general, the eyes, the bones and the periosteum. Sycosis
    attacks the internal organs, especially the pelvic and sexual organs. It is recognised by the
    inflammation of tissues, causing abscesses, infilterations, hypertrophies, cystic degenerations when thrown back by suppressions, it causes Dishonesty, moral degeneracy and mania which we
    can see maximum throughout the world.

Leave a Comment