The word “fundamentals” is used in Homepathy to refer to the cardinal principles upon which the whole science of homeopathy rests, i.e. its purpose, principles, and method. Homeopathic fundamental principles are quite distinct & different from those of other schools of medical science. These fundas were described by Hahnemann in different sections of “Organon Of Medicine & Philosophy“.
There are eight set in stone principles in homeopathy & are as follows :
1. Law of Similia
2. Law of Simplex
3. Law of Minimum
4. Doctrine of Drug Proving
5. Theory of Chronic Diseases
6. Theory of Vital Force
7. Doctrine of Drug Dynamization
8. The 8th cardinal principle (Homeopathy can not be completed without it)
1. Law of Similia :
It is the very basic foundation stone upon which all other Principles, observation & the whole theory & practice of homeopathy rest & known as “similia similibus curentur” means let likes be cured by likes..
“There remains, therefore, no other mode of employing medicines in diseases that promises to be of service besides the homoeopathic, by means of which we seek, for the totality of the symptoms of the case of disease, a medicine which among all medicines (whose pathogenetic effects are known from having been tested in healthy individuals) has the power and the tendency to produce an artificial morbid state most similar to that of the case of disease in question.”
& the law of similia, laid in § 26 & stated as :
“This depends on the following homoeopathic law of nature which was sometimes, indeed, vaguely surmised but not hitherto fully recognized, and to which is due every real cure that has ever taken place: A weaker dynamic affection is permanently extinguished in the living organism by a stronger one, if the latter (whilst differing in kind) is very similar to the former in its manifestations.”
“How is it that in the early dawn the brilliant Jupiter vanishes from the gaze of the beholder? By a stronger very similar power acting on his optic nerve, the brightness of approaching day! – In situations replete with foetid odours, wherewith is it usual to soothe effectually the offended olfactory nerves? With snuff, that affects the sense of smell in a similar but stronger manner! No music, no sugared cake, which act on the nerves of other senses, can cure this olfactory disgust. How does the soldier cunningly stifle the piteous cries of him who runs the gauntlet from the ears of the compassionate bystanders? By the shrill notes of the fife commingled with the roll of the noisy drum! And the distant roar of the enemy’s cannon that inspires his army with fear? By the loud boom of the big drum! For neither the one nor the other would the distribution of a brilliant piece of uniform nor a reprimand to the regiment suffice. In like manner, mourning and sorrow will be effaced from the mind by the account of another and still greater cause for sorrow happening to another, even though it be a mere fiction. The injurious consequences of too great joy will be removed by drinking coffee, which produces an excessive joyous state of mind.” are some examples given by Hahnemann which are unchangeable till the end of reckoning & are no-doubt the law of nature.
2. Law of Minimum :
Dr.Samuel Hahnemann(M.D), after getting disappointment from the result & harshness of old medical practises of the day (which included blood-letting, purging and the use of poisons such as arsenic,mercury in large amount), he looked for a way to reduce the damaging effects associated with medical treatment. He began experimenting on himself and a group of healthy volunteers, giving smaller and smaller medicinal doses, and found that as well as reducing toxicity, the medicines actually appeared to be more effective the lower the dose. Hence you can see why it is one of the cardinal principle of homeopathy, the motto is rapid, radical cure without any adverse effect. The quantity of minimum dose leads to the discovery of a practical process called potentization.
In “Organon of Medicine” :
§ 275 : “The suitableness of a medicine for any given case of disease does not depend on its accurate homoeopathic selection alone, but likewise on the proper size, or rather smallness, of the dose. If we give too strong a dose of a medicine which may have been even quite homoeopathically chosen for the morbid state before us, it must, notwithstanding the inherent beneficial character of its nature, prove injurious by its mere magnitude, and by the unnecessary, too strong impression which, by virtue of its homoeopathic similarity of action, it makes upon the vital force which it attacks and, through the vital force, upon those parts of the organism which are the most sensitive, and are already most affected by the natural disease.”
Thus we see how important it is to realise the importance of minimum dose.
No injurious effect !
No unwanted aggravation !
No risk of drug addiction & side-effects !
Full advantage of curative property of the medicine can be taken !
The process can be controlled !
Progress can be observed accurately !
3. Law of Simplex :
Homeopathy medicines act on the same plane i.e “VITAL FORCE”, according to the “VITAL PRINCIPLE”. You can understand why two tigers can not live in one place, the same applied when two or more homeopathic medicines administered at a given time to a patient.
“he will, mindful of the wise maxim that “it is wrong to attempt to employ complex means when simple means suffice,” never think of giving as a remedy any but a single, simple medicinal substance; for these reasons also, because even though the simple medicines were thoroughly proved with respect to their pure peculiar effects on the unimpaired healthy state of man, it is yet impossible to foresee how two and more medicinal substances might, when compounded, hinder and alter each other’s actions on the human body”
In “Organon of Medicine” :
§ 272 Fifth Edition : In no case is it requisite to administer more than one single, simple medicinal substance at one time.
§ 272 Sixth Edition : Such a globule,1 placed dry upon the tongue, is one of the smallest doses for a moderate recent case of illness. Here but few nerves are touched by the medicine. A similar globule, crushed with some sugar of milk and dissolved in a good deal of water (§ 247) and stirred well before every administration will produce a far more powerful medicine for the use of several days. Every dose, no matter how minute, touches, on the contrary, many nerves.
4. Doctrine of Drug Proving :
Going to war without knowing what your fully automatic weapons can do! We prescribe only those medicine whose medicinal properties are known through ‘drug proving’ which was started by Hahnemann & had been done to know the action of drug upon the human organism. Drug proving is a systematic investigation of pathogenetic power of the medicine on healthy human being of different ages both sexes. These records of drug proving is the only reliable knowledge of medicine, which are very much essential to cure diseases with “LAW OF SIMILAR”.
Hahnemann describe the whole process & procedure in organon from § 105 to § 145, starting the section with “The second point of the business of a true physician related to acquiring a knowledge of the instruments intended for the cure of the natural diseases, investigating the pathogenetic power of the medicines, in order, when called on to cure, to be able to select from among them one, from the list of whose symptoms an artificial disease may be constructed, as similar as possible to the totality of the principal symptoms of the natural disease sought to be cured.”
5. Theory of Chronic Diseases :
During the early life age of practice Hahnemann observed that inspite of the best homoeopathic treatment, the chronic cases would relapse with recurrence of symptoms at intervals, while the acute diseases did not relapse. This led him to investigate thoroughly a large no. of chronic diseases & after 12 yrs of experiment & observations, he reached to the conclusion that the chronic diseases are caused by chronic miasms. He named them PSORA & SYCOSIS & SYPHILIS.
The description can be found in § 78 – § 81 in “organon of medicine” & in the dedicated book “Chronic diseases: their peculiar nature & homeopathic treatment“
6. Theory of Vital Force :
Vital force is the invisible vital energy that animates each organism and is the most intimate spark, the essence of the individual. The material organism (body), without the vital force is capable of no sensation, no function, no self-preservation; it derives all sensations and performs all the functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being (vital force), which animates the material organism in health and in disease. In health it is this spirit-like force that governs the life and maintains all the bodily sensations and functions in equilibrium.
When a person falls ill it is only this spiritual, self-acting (automatic) vital force, everywhere present in his organism, which is primarily deranged by the dynamic influence upon it of a morbific (disease-causing) agent inimical to life. It is only the vital force, deranged to such an abnormal state, which can furnish the organism with its disagreeable sensations and incline it to the irregular processes, which we call disease.
§ 9 : In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the material body (organism), rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.
§ 10 : The material organism, without the vital force, is capable of no sensation, no function, no self-preservation, it derives all sensation and performs all the functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being (the vital principle) which animates the material organism in health and in disease.
Footnote: It is dead, and only subject to the power of the external physical world; it decays, and is again resolved into its chemical constituents.
7. Doctrine of Drug Dynamization :
Hahnemann began the experiments of the application of proven drugs for the cure of the sick upon the basis of the law of similars, by using drugs in their full strength but many a times, he observed aggravation of the ailments in patients. He reasoned that the dose was too large and hence started diluting the drug on a definite scale .He found to his surprise that the results obtained were much better. He continued this process of dilution until he discovered that the curative power of drugs bore no proportionate relationship to the crude quantity, but by this peculiar and systematic method of dilution based on a regular scale, the concealed curative powers of otherwise inert substances were extracted. He named this process of drug dynamization as ‘Potentization‘. Potentization is a process by which all the medicinal properties, which are latent in a substance, are extracted from their crude form for the curative purpose.
Drugs are potentized by two methods:
Trituration – in case of insoluble substances.
Succussion – in case of soluble substances.
The objectives of potentization in Homeopathy are:
To reduce the medicinal substance which helps to avoid unwanted medicinal aggravations and side effects.
Homeopathy believes that vital force is dynamic in nature and that is affected by disease, can only be cured by the dynamic power of serviceable medicine, not by its material quantity.
By this process the most virulent and deadly poisons are not only rendered harmless, but are transformed into beneficial healing remedies.
Substances which are medicinally inert in their crude natural state are thus rendered active and effective for healing the sick.
The medicinal qualities of other drugs which are more or less active in their natural state are enhanced and their sphere of action is broadened by this process.
The action of potentized medicines is deeper, longer and more wide-spread.
8. Theory of individualization
One of the most important & die hard principle of homeopathy. When it comes to practical homeopathy or ur practice life it is the one that decides ur success & failure. You may use repertory to fill up ur materia medica weakness but without knowledge of individualization all ur hard work will end in a frustration.
“Although, by the discovery of that great source of chronic diseases, as also by the discovery of the specific homoeopathic remedies for the psora, medicine has advanced some steps nearer to a knowledge of the nature of the majority of diseases it has to cure, yet, for settling the indication in each case of chronic (psoric) disease he is called on to cure, the duty of a careful apprehension of its ascertainable symptoms and characteristics is as indispensable for the homoeopathic physician as it was before that discovery, as no real cure of this or of other diseases can take place without a strict particular treatment (individualization) of each case of disease – only that in this investigation some difference is to be made when the affection is an acute and rapidly developed disease, and when it is a chronic one; seeing that, in acute disease, the chief symptoms strike us and become evident to the senses more quickly, and hence much less time is requisite for tracing the picture of the disease and much fewer questions are required to be asked, as almost everything is self-evident, than in a chronic disease which has been gradually progressing for several years, in which the symptoms are much more difficult to be ascertained.”
I will soon describe all these principles in old voice, And how these principles can help you to understand the most difficult parts of homeopathic theory & practice.
1. Samuel Hahnemann – “Organon of Medicine”, 6Th Edition Translated By William Boericke. Includes All The Changes.
2. Asok Kumar Das – “A Treatise on Organon of Medicine”,Part 1. Souvik Homoeo Publications, 2002.