The Organon of Medicine - 5th and 6th Edition by Samuel Hahnemann and translated by R.E. Dudgeon was published in 1970. It is a combination of the revised 5th Edition by Dudgeon (1893) and 6th Edition by Boericke. Dudgeon's revision was an effort to make a more exact reproduction of the original. Dudgeon added an Appendix to this edition wherein he features the important variations of the previous editions. This presents a detailed history of the origin, growth and progress of the homeopathic system of medicine. It's an excellent learning process to see the changes in Hahnemann's thinking from the 5th to the 6th Edition. This further facilitates side-by-side comparison of the text. Some of the paragraphs were modified, some were re-written completely, and others were eliminated. As opposed to the view that the 6th edition is late in the life aberration, Dudgeon's work clearly shows the evolutionary development that occurred.
Samuel Hahnemann was the founder of homeopathy and gave its principles. He is called the Father of Experimental Pharmacology because he was the first physician to prepare medicines in a specialized way; proving them on healthy human beings to determine how the medicines act to cure diseases. He introduced the art of potentization to render poisonous and inert substances therapeutic. Dr Hahnemann espoused the law of cure known as 'Similia Similibus Curentur', or 'Like Cures Like'. Dr Hahnemann described the different aspects of 'acute' and 'chronic' diseases. Hahnemann's three major publications illumine the development of homeopathy. In the 'Organon of Medicine' (revised six times), we see the fundamentals laid out. Materia Medica Pura records the exact symptoms of the remedy proving. In his book, 'The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homoeopathic Cure', he showed us how the natural diseases become chronic in nature when suppressed by improper treatment. Dr Hahnemann treated thousands of difficult and chronic cases that defied the best care from allopath all over Europe. Thus, he became famous and had many disciples from all over the world.
The term Organon is etymologically derived from Greek word `Organum' meaning the tool or the instrument. Originally, Organum meant any musical instrument; however, the term attained its lasting sense during the middle ages, in reference to a specific polyphonic (many-voiced) instrumental setting, capable of producing, in certain specific styles, Gregorian chants.
When our revered master, Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann compiled his magnum opus work on homoeopathic philosophy, he wanted to use that particular term to set forth his medical philosophy that would best convey its essence since he was precise in his literary expressions. Hence, Hahnemann adopted the Aristolean term Organon so as to illustrate the importance of the instrument or the tool that each and every physician needs to employ for the purpose of curing and that can be used to achieve the sole mission of healing. Since the very beginning of Homoeopathy, the Organon has acted as an oracle; giving us the rules and guiding principles for rationalizing homoeopathy. It is our guiding principle that serves as the beacon light, illuminating our path that would lead us to the highest goal of human Endeavour - to restore the sick to health.
My learned Guru, Dr. Jnan Majumdar who gave me the legacy of art of healing and imbibed in me the utmost significance of perceiving Organon used to say, "If Materia Medica is a horse, then Organon is its reins that would guide it to its ultimate destination". Hence, I too wish that my professional colleagues and brethren can utilize Organon to appreciate the logical reasonableness of homoeopathy and understand the guiding principles and laws of homoeopathic practice.
In order to make `Organon of the Art of Healing' a pleasurable experience, I would hereby like to lay a ground plan for its study.
When we think of "Organon of Medicine" by Dr Samuel Hahnemann we go back to a period about one hundred and fifty years. It was the period when the intellectuals were groping in darkness. Superstition and speculation were ruling the mind of man. Traditions were followed blindly and orthodoxy was highlighted in all spheres of life. Anybody who differed or defied the authorities had to pay the price in the form of social boycott or exile. Galileo was punished because he said the World is round and not flat as the authorities believed. Martin Luther was prosecuted because he defied the preaching’s of the Roman Catholic church. Dr Hahnemann had to leave his fatherland because he dared to differ from the orthodox system of medicine. But the greatest lesson one has to learn from the history is "Satya Mayo Jayte" (Merl' iii) or "Truth is triumphant".
Dr Hahnemann was a believer and lover of truth. He was bold enough to speak the truth, because he had the courage of conviction. He wanted to know "How the drugs act and cure diseases"? He wanted to know "What is to be cured and how cure occurs"? He wanted to know "Why diseases become chronic and what are the obstructions to cure"? These fundamental questions of medicine were the problems for him to solve. His whole life was devoted to solve these problems. The net result was discovery of Homoeopathy. It is practical and based on truth. Every medicine was proved by trustworthy people. The remedies were selected according to the Law known as "Similia similibus curenter." The potency of the remedy was selected on the susceptibility of the sick individual. Thus Homoeopathy becomes most natural and competent system of medicine to cure diseases.
We must give full credit to Hahnemann for the discovery of another truth viz. the Vital Dynamis. According to Modern Medical Science Vital Dynamis may be explained by the existence of the phenomenon of reactions of the body. Some Homoeopathy, it appears, have been misled by Newtonian conception of action and reaction, namely that reaction is equal and opposite to action. This is generally adopted by writers on Homoeopathy. Even the latest writer on the subject, Dr H. A. Roberts says in "The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy". "Another law equally appli-cable throughout the universe is that mutual action and reaction are equal and opposite" (page 60). This law is no doubt true in mechanics. But to apply it to the actions going on in the animate world is a fallacy. Because each sick individual's Vital Dynamis differs from others on account of a number of factors.
If reaction were equal to action even in the animate beings, no disease would be able to kill any living being, for in that case the disease would be met by equal and opposite synchronous reactions by the body and consequently would not even be allowed to take hold of the body. But this is not what we see. We have, therefore to conclude that reaction is less than action on those occasions on which the body gets diseased. The reaction of the body against inimical influences and agents is called the Immunity mechanism or Resistance. On account of the discovery of this truth patients constitutions may be divided into two varieties 1. The Dynamic Constitutions-Patients who possess power of resistance and well developed immunity mechanism. They are curable type of patients. In such cases Homoeopathic remedies stimulate their power of resistance by stimulating the production of Immune body by similar antigen. The Adynamic Constitutions-Patients who suffer from fatal diseases and chronic diseases. They react poorly, their power of resistance is impotent and the immunity mechanism fails to respond to the dynamic remedies. Adynamic state may also result from highly poisonous substances and toxic infections because their action is very powerful and rapid in destroying the power of resistance and immunity mechanism.
Another discovery of Dr Hahnemann was of Conceptual Force. The specific susceptibility to infections found in patients. He illustrated this property by comparing it to the property of the magnate of attracting iron filings and not the copper filings. Conceptual force of Hahnemann is a truth accepted by the modern m° ical science top. We know that susceptibility of the person and tissue affinity play the most important role in the phenomena of disease. Unless a person is susceptible to an infection he is immune from the disease. For example we find some members from the same family do not suffer from the epidemic disease although other members of the family are infected. They escape because they are not susceptible to the specific infection. In the same way certain people are susceptible to drugs. If they are susceptible to a drug they are found to be good proverbs of the drug but if they are not, they fail to bring out the characteristic symptoms of the drug. The similar or the Homoeopathic remedy is therefore also the remedy which has susceptibility for the sick individual and affinity for the tissues involved in the disease.
Another wonderful discovery of truth was the medicinal force. The medicinal properties develop in substances (which were considered inert in the crude form) when they were poetized. For example Natrum mur, the common salt, Silica, Aurum metalicum, Lycopodium, vegetable and animal charcoal which have no medicinal virtues when used in crude form are found to be wonderful remedies when given in poetized form according to Homoeopathic principles. The use of infinitely diluted and potentised drugs has been greatly criticized by the Allopath and people who have not studied Homoeopathy or have no experience of the medicinal force. These poetized drugs have a benefit action on the sick individuals who are highly sensitive and susceptible to all kinds of influences. In such allergic persons the crude drugs may produce strong reactions and even death. Iatric diseases are becoming more and more common these days due to faulty selection of drugs given in crude form in highly sensitive and susceptible patients. Dr Boyd the renowned pathologist of our times has aptly said "What is powerful for good can be potent for evil" Whereas Dr Hahnemann has shown abundantly that even the most powerful poison when given in potentised form according to the principles of Homoeopathy stimulates our vital dynamis and brings about cure in even dangerously ill patients. For example I have found Naja, the cobra venom very effective in cardiac asthma when given according to Homoeopathic indications. Lachesis the most virulent snake poison is found very useful in carbuncles and malignant pustules. Hydrocyanic Acid, one of the most toxic agents known, is useful in collapse with cyanosis.
Let us now see "What are the merits of Homoeopathy.
1. The foremost merit of Homoeopathy is that while curing one disease it does not create another as found mostly in Allopathic treatment.
2. The second merit of Homoeopathy is that the potentised drugs stimulate the power of resistance of the sick person to destroy the inimical action of natural diseases thus "producing cure in the most natural way.
3. "if he third merit of Homoeopathy is that when the diagnosis is doubtful even then drugs can be selected on the basis of totality of characteristic symptoms and successful treatment is possible.
4. The fourth merit of Homoeopathy is that in many surgical conditions like enlarged tonsils, Fistula, Cataract, Piles, Adenoids, hydrocele, nasal polypus etc. Homoeopathy makes surgery unnecessary.
5. The fifth merit of Homoeopathy is that even a new or un-known disease can be correctly and successfully treated when the symptoms of the disease are known. This happened in case of Asiatic Cholera. Hahnemann, with-out having seen or treated a single case of cholera mentioned the remedies that would be useful and his statements were subsequently verified.
6. The sixth merit of Homoeopathy is that it cures diseases mildly, quickly and permanently. Whereas other systems of medicine leave a long convalescent period even after the cure of acute diseases. For example after Typhoid fever is cured the patient remains weak and emaciated for a long time under Allopathic treatment. This does not happen under Homoeopathic treatment.
7. The seventh merit of Homoeopathy is that the drugs are given in the form of sweet pills or powders. They are liked by children and women. Moreover the drugs can be administered easily either by mouth or through nose by olfaction.
The beauty of Homoeopathic treatment is that reactions of remedy at once guide the physician for further treatment. The selection of the second remedy depends on the responses of the first remedy. These reactions also reveal the nature of the disease, whether the disease is curable or not, because the reactions to curable disease differ from reaction to Homoeopathic remedies in incurable cases.
Hahnemann says in his Materia Medica Pura "This doctrine appeals solely to the verdict of experience. Repeat the experiments, it cries aloud, repeat them carefully and accurately, and you will find the doctrine confirmed at every step; and it does what no medical doctrine, no system of physic, no so-called therapeutics ever did or could do-it insists upon being judged by results.
" Messrs B. Jain Publishers are doing a lot to popularise Homoeopathy all over India. They have recently published "the Directory & Who's Who of Homoeopathic Practitioners." They have also published many books for the students of Homoeopathy. They requested me to write this Foreword for this edition of Organon which is specially meant for the coming generation of students of Homoeopathy. I hope it will be appreciated and will suit their pockets too.
ACCORDING to the testimony of all ages, no occupation is more unanimously declared to be a conjectural art than medicine; consequently none has less right to refuse a searching enquiry as to whether it is well founded than it, on which man's health, his most precious possession on earth, depends.
I consider that it redounds to my honour that I am the only one in recent times who has subjected it to a serious honest investigation, and has communicated to the world the results of his convictions in writings published, some with, some without my name.
In this investigation I found the way to the truth, but I had to tread it alone, very far from the common highway of medical routine. The farther I advanced from truth to truth, the more my conclusions (none of which I accepted unless confirmed by experience) led me away from the old edifice, which, being built up of opinions, was only maintained by opinions.
The results of my convictions are set forth in this book.
It remains to be seen whether physicians, who mean to act honestly by their 'conscience and by their fellow-creatures, will continue to stick to the us tissue of conjectures and caprice, or can open their eyes to the truth warn the reader that indolence, love of ease and obstinacy preclude effective service at the altar of truth, and only freedom from prejudice and untiring zeal qualify for the most sacred of all human occupations, the practice of the true system of medicine. The physician who enters on his work in this spirit becomes directly assimilated to the Divine Creator of the world, whose human creatures he helps to preserve, and whose approval renders him thrice blessed.
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