Origin and Growth of Homoeopathy
- Origin and Growth of Homoeopathy
ORGANON OF MEDICINE AND MATERIA MEDICA PURA
Hahnemann's three major publications enlighten 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 provings. 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 allopaths all over Europe. Thus, he became so famous that physicians from Europe and America came to him for coaching in the new science and art of healing, called Homoeopathy.
He first published an article about the homeopathic approach in a German language medical journal in 1796. Following a series of further essays, he published in 1810 "Organon of the Rational Art of Healing", followed over the years by four further editions entitled The Organon of the Healing Art, the first systematic treatise and containing all his detailed instructions on the subject.
A 6th Organon edition, unpublished during his lifetime, and dating from February 1842, was only published many years after his death in 1921. It consisted of a 5th Organon containing extensive handwritten annotations. (A reading of each edition will demonstrate the extent of the revision and experience based additions.) The Organon is widely regarded as a remodelled form of an essay he published in 1806 called "The Medicine of Experience", which had been published in Hufeland's Journal.
Of the Organon, Robert Ellis Dudgeon states it "was an amplification and extension of his "Medicine of Experience", worked up with greater care, and put into a more methodical and aphoristic form, after the model of the Hippocratic writings."
Around the start of the nineteenth century Hahnemann developed a theory, propounded in his 1803 essay On the Effects of Coffee from Original observations, that many diseases are caused by coffee. Hahnemann later abandoned the coffee theory in favour of the theory that disease is caused by psora, but it has been noted that the list of conditions Hahnemann attributed to coffee was similar to his list of conditions caused by psora.
In early 1811 Hahnemann moved his family back to Leipzig with the intention of teaching his new medical system at the University of Leipzig. As required by the university statutes, to become a faculty member he was required to submit and defend a thesis on a medical topic of his choice.
On 26 June 1812, Hahnemann presented a Latin thesis, entitled "A Medical Historical Dissertation on the Helleborism of the Ancients." His thesis very thoroughly examined the historical literature and sought to differentiate between the ancient use of Helleborus niger, or black hellebore, and the medicinal uses of the "white hellebore", botanically Veratrum album, both of which are poisonous plants.