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Quiz: What if Most of What You Were Taught About Homeopathy Was Wrong?

[from Dynamic Legacy: From Homeopathy to Heilkunst,by Verspoor and Decker]

True or False?:

1. Homeopathy is the name of the system of restoration to health that Dr. Samuel Hahnemann created over 200 years ago.

2. Hahnemann was a vitalist, teaching about the vital force.

3. Hahnemann taught that a remedy must be selected on the basis of the totality of symptoms.

4. In each case of disease, the symptoms used to choose the remedy are the presenting symptoms of the patient.

5. Hahnemann never used more than one remedy at a time.

6. The use of more than one remedy at a time per patient is forbidden in the Organon.

7. Homeopathy treats the patient, not the disease.

8. The goal of homeopathy is to find the one remedy ("simillimum") that will cure the whole case.

9. Nosodes should only be used on the basis of the presenting symptoms or when the well-indicated remedy has failed.

10. Hahnemann condemned the use of isopathic remedies.

11. The basis of Hahnemann's system is constitutional prescribing.

12. Constitutional prescribing will cure the patient, including the chronic miasms.

13. Cure is the removal of the patient's symptoms.

14. Information on the medicinal action of medicines is derived solely from provings.

15. The only classification of diseases taught by Hahnemann is acute and chronic.

Answer: All the above statements are FALSE!

And yet, they are commonly taught as being the basis of homeopathy and of Hahnemann's system of remediation. To unravel the history of confusion and misunderstanding regarding the genius of Samuel Hahnemann will take some effort on your, the reader's, part.

First, we will quickly examine each of the statements and then we will undertake a more detailed exploration of the evidence for our conclusions.

1. Homeopathy is the name of the system of restoration to health that Dr. Samuel Hahnemann created over 200 years ago.

Dr. Hahnemann named his system of cure and healing Heilkunst, or the art of making a person whole (remedial art). His main work is called the Organon der Heilkunst. The true physician, or Heilkunstler, is one who can apply the principles of this system against disease in order to restore the sick to health. Homeopathy is the medical part of his remedial art, directed against natural disease, but this system also involves diet and regimen, iatrogenic diseases, psychotherapy, hydrotherapy, and energy work (mesmerism).

2. Hahnemann was a vitalist, teaching about the vital force.

Vitalism is the opposite pole of materialism. Each tends to reject the other. This is a false dualism from which Western philosophy has long suffered. Hahnemann was a functionalist and dynamist. His system is built on dynamic dualities, such as body and soul, Geist and Wesen, pathic and tonic, which are dynamically interacting opposites creating living functions. Hahnemann spoke of the Life Force (Lebenskraft), which itself is the executive power in the organism of the more primordial Living Principle or Dynamis. This is not an abstract notion, as is the vital force, but a power that can be discerned by the Heilkunstler, measured and applied very concretely. A Dynamist is one who uses his own Life Force in order to "know." Vitalism, in contrast, is a philosophical system based on postulation, not participation.

3. Hahnemann taught that a remedy must be selected on the basis of the totality of symptoms.

Hahnemann taught that a remedy with a pathic relation to the case must be selected on the basis of the totality of characteristic symptoms of a given natural disease.

4. In each case of disease, the symptoms used to choose the remedy are the presenting symptoms of the patient.

The symptoms used to choose the remedy for the disease are the presenting symptoms of the disease. Only if one is choosing a constitutional remedy does one take the characteristic features of the patient into account.

5. Hahnemann never used more than one remedy at a time.

The historical record shows that Hahnemann did use two remedies at one time and did alternate remedies in quick succession, giving one before the action of the other had been completed.

6. The use of more than one remedy at a time per patient is forbidden in the Organon.

Hahnemann's writings on this matter show that there is to be only one remedy at a time per disease. A person can have more than one disease at a time. The single remedy must be understood in the context of Hahnemann's conception of disease. It is the disease that determines the remedy.

7. Homeopathy treats the patient, not the disease.

The remedy is given to destroy the disease. It is true that the patient suffers the disease, but it is the disease to which the remedy is directed, not the patient. The disease entity (Wesen) engenders itself within the Living Power of the human Wesen and it is the resultant "issue," or offspring that must be aborted by the remedy on the basis of the law of similar resonance.
8. The goal of homeopathy is to find the one remedy ("simillimum") that will cure the whole case.

The goal of the application of the law of similar resonance is to find the right remedy for a given disease. If one has more than one disease (concurrently or successively), this will necessitate more than one remedy.

9. Nosodes should only be used on the basis of the presenting symptoms or when the well-indicated remedy has failed.

Nosodes are remedies that relate to the pathogenic dimension of disease (acute and chronic miasms) and can be given on the basis of a proven relationship to a given pathogen. They can also be given on the basis of the presenting symptoms (pathic dimension) in acute situations.

10. Hahnemann condemned the use of isopathic remedies.

Hahnemann condemned the material application of the isopathic relationship because of its dangers. He did not condemn the use of isopathic remedies, that is, remedies made from diseased matter or drugs, himself having used a form of Psorinum.

11. The basis of Hahnemann's system is constitutional prescribing.

The constitution is the organism in a state of health. Hahnemann was concerned with the treatment of disease. He did not prescribe on the basis of the constitution, but took the constitution into account in terms of assessing the vitality of the patient for dosage. It was Kent who introduced and popularized the concept of constitutional prescribing based on a confused equation of the disease to the patient.

12. Constitutional prescribing will cure the patient, including the chronic miasms.

A remedy given on the basis of a person's constitution cannot cure anything. The constitution is the person in a state of health. There can be greater or lesser deviations from this state producing symptoms, but this is not disease. A remedy chosen on the basis of one's constitution can only re-balance the constitution or reinforce a person's resistance to disease. It may cause symptoms to disappear, but it cannot address disease that has already engendered itself within the Living Power. Health and disease involve different aspects of the Life Force and remedies given on the basis of health cannot affect that aspect of the Life Force involved in the engenderment of disease.

13. Cure is the removal of the patient's symptoms.

Cure is the removal of the totality of the symptoms of the disease being treated in the sense of the sufferings of the patient, those around him, plus all occurrents, behaviour and circumstances, along with the removal of the underlying disease process itself.

14. Information on the medicinal action of medicines is derived solely from provings.

Information can come legitimately from both clinical experience and from provings on healthy persons.

15. The only classification of diseases taught by Hahnemann is acute and chronic.

Hahnemann had a much more complex conception of disease than their temporal classifications. He categorized them with respect to origin (genesis) as well as to duration, among other factors.