This week we are exploring Miasmatic theory, what Hahnemann called our predisposition to disease, which covers inherited patterns of illness.
Let’s start at the beginning. Hahnemann believed that 85% of disease originated with Psora, and is the foundation of human suffering. In fact that all disease that was not sexually transmitted had its roots in Psora. Psora, or “the itch” is the scabies mite and the nosode name is Psorinum. The scabies he refers to is also not what we would think of in these times as scabies, but probably closer to the animal disease of mange.
This is not to say that if you are in a psoric miasmatic state that you have or have had scabies. It can be your genetic inheritance that an ancestor of yours had scabies (and that is quite likely for most if not all of us!)
Modern understanding has changed things a little too. Not only do we have two other widely accepted miasms (and even more smaller ones), but we also have a different understanding of disease, and the development of germ theory with the knowledge of viruses and bacteria.
These days, instead of just seeing Psora as the itch, and Hahnemann’s other two miasms as Gonorrhoea and Syphilis, we look at the themes that are tying them together, and then relate that to what we are seeing in front of us.
Psora is about underfunctioning. It is the very building blocks of life – digestion of nutrients, our skin barrier, and the ability or inability to cope with life. Other key words are deficiency, lack or slowing down.
Psora is also tied up with suppression of disease, and Hahnemann described it like the many headed Hydra- suppress one form of disease and something else will come up. By suppressing the initial skin disease many other possibilities come up, and their expression depends on the individual.
Ian Watson discusses Psora as challenges around survival on planet earth. There are themes around temperature – either too hot (Sulphur) or too cold (Psorinum), being unable to adapt to temperature and climate. Hunger is another one, with psoric remedies having excessive hunger (both Psorinum and Sulphur) or being hungry again soon after eating (Lycopodium and Sulphur). Another aspect of this is the inability to assimilate the nutrients from the food they eat (Silica), or very slow metabolism (Calc Carb). Digestion and gut function is also impacted with diarrhoea or constipation.
Peter Fraser compares Psora to the development of tools, language, and speech. While this development changed humans and enabled creativity, new ideas and the growth of society, it also brought awareness and stress. Disease was no longer a thing of the moment, but could now be expressed as a concept, and with that anxiety, apprehension, and a struggle for health. He also likens it to the story of Adam and Eve, eating the apple of the tree of knowledge led to awareness and also the struggle with chronic disease.
The skin is of course a key part of Psora, as it is our outermost organ and first level of protection. The theme of under-functioning can be seen here with dry skin, eczema and rashes, as well as slow healing. The hair can be dry and split, the scalp dry, even the ear canal can be dry and scaly.
Mentally and emotionally they can be timid, lack confidence and feel inferior, or like an imposter. They can lack motivation or initiative, and appear to be lazy. Psora are introspective and can be deep thinkers or philosophers, but this can mean they over think things, have a lot of anxiety, and can be quite apprehensive. With the underfunctioning and slowing down of Psora, it may mean that their ability to think is dulled and sluggish.
Psora feels like struggling. Everything is slower, it takes longer and is harder to do everyday things. Despite this there can be optimism, as even though things may take longer and leave them tired and exhausted, they will get there in the end. Peter Fraser discusses their reaction as one of perseverance, adapted state as awareness, and their instinct is to surrender.
Conditions which may indicate a psoric miasm uppermost are around function, and include gastrointestinal problems with bloating, slow peristalsis causing constipation, functional problems with the heart and bradycardia (slow heart rate), late starting of periods, and then irregular, short and scanty periods. This is by no means an exhaustive list, because it is the themes of underfunctioning, slowness, struggle and functional problems that will indicate a psoric state.
While all this may sound dire, and having Psora responsible for such a huge amount of human suffering seems like a huge weight to be caring around miasmatically, it is not all doom and gloom. The negatives of a psoric inheritance and this challenge for survival can be a blessing if we are aware of them and choose to use them. The Aesop’s fable of the Tortoise and the Hare is a perfect example of the triumph of Psora- while slow and methodical the tortoise was, it was perseverance that won the race.
Psora will not suddenly kill you, there are no sudden heart attacks, but slower functional diseases that give you the time to investigate and treat them. Psora is a struggle, and life seems hard, but there is hope, and the will to keep going, stay positive, and get there in the end. The phrase “hang in there”, or one of the many variations on “one step at a time” are the catchphrases for Psora.
Tomorrow we will be talking about Sycosis, so make sure you check in to read about Hahnemann’s second miasm.