Dr. Samuel Christian Frederic Hahnemann – Founder of Homeopathy

(1755-1843)

Samuel Hahnemann

Samuel Hahnemann was the founder of Homoeopathy. He established the fundamental principles of the science and art of Homoeopathy.

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 acted to cure diseases. Before Hahnemann, medicines were given on speculative indications, mainly on the basis of authority without experimental verification.

Hahnemann discovered the remedial powers of drugs and inert substances such as gold, platinum, silica, vegetable charcoal, lycopodium, etc. By preparing the medicines through potentization, these inert and insoluble substances became soluble in alcohol or water and were charged with medicinal force.

Dr. Hahnemann espoused the law of cure known as "Similia Similibus Curentur", or "Like Cures Like". This means that a remedy that produces symptoms in a healthy person will cure those same symptoms when manifested by a person in a diseased state. This law of cure has been verified by millions of homoeopaths all over the world since the time of Hahnemann.

Hahnemann discovered the primary and secondary actions of remedies. The primary action results from the first encounter between the vital force and the external agent, and the secondary action is a result of the vital force's reaction to the symptoms of that primary encounter. This discovery led him to the curative powers of poisonous substances.

Dr. Hahnemann described the different aspects of 'acute' and 'chronic' diseases. Acute diseases are transitory; they have a beginning and an end, whereas the chronic diseases are co-existent with life. Either they are present in a manifest or a latent state. From this work came the chronic miasms of Psora, Syphilis, and Sycosis.

Dr. Hahnemann was the progenitor of several modern medical approaches. Deeming the treatment of insane patients to be cruel and harmful, he advised a humane treatment for the insane. He cured many insane patients with homeopathy, and became famous for this success.

Dr. Hahnemann was quick to recognize poor hygiene as a contributory cause to the spread of disease. His success with cholera and typhoid fever was in part due to this recognition. Hahnemann also emphasized the importance of nursing, diet, bed rest, and isolation of patients during epidemic diseases. Hahnemann described 'Noxious' principles as the precursors of certain disease states.

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 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..

 

Most important works:
Essay on a New Principle [1796]
Are the Obstacles to Medical Practice Insurmountable? [1797]
Cure & Prevention of Scarlet Fever [1801]
On the Power of Small Doses [1801]
Aesculapius in the Balance [1805]
Fragmenta de viribus medicamentorum positivis [1805]
The Medicine of Experience [1805]
On the Value of the Speculative Systems of Medicine [1808]
Observations on the Three Modes of Medical Practice [1809]
Hellebore thesis [1812]
Sources of the Materia Medica [1817]
Contrast of Old and New Medical Systems [1825]
Four essays on Cholera [1831]

Organon Materia Medica Pura
1st edition 1810 Volume 1 1811
2nd edition 1819 Volume 2 1816
3rd edition 1824 Volume 3 1817
4th edition 1829 Volume 4 1818
5th edition 1833 Volume 5 1819
6th edition 1842 Volume 6 1821
Further editions released
1816-1833

 

Significant dates in his life:
1755 10 April - birth
1775 to Leipzig University
1777 Spring - to Vienna
1777 October - to Hermannstadt
1779 Spring - leaves Hermanstadt for Erlangen University
1779 August - MD Erlangen
1782 Dec - marries Johanna Kuchler
1783 Henrietta born
1786 Frederick born
1788 Wilhelmina born
1789-1804 unhappy wandering in Saxony
1790 his mother dies; first proving with Cinchona
1791 Caroline born
1795 Frederika born
1798 Ernst born
1803 Eleonore born
1804 settles in Torgau for 7 years
1805 Charlotte born
1806 Louisa born
1811 Spring - moves to Leipzig
1820 loses legal battle in Leipzig to dispense his own drugs
1821 June - moves to Coethen
1830 30th March - Johanna dies in Coethen
1834 8th October - Melanie arrives in Coethn
1835 18th January - 2nd marriage
1835 7th June - leaves Coethen for Paris
1835 21st June - arrives in Paris
1842 Feb - composes the final 6th Organon
1843 2nd July - death

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