Barbara Roberts, Homeopath

World Homeopathy Awareness Week 2024

Homeopathy Awareness week started on Wednesday, which was Samuel Hahnemann’s birthday. I have a lot on my plate so I’m a couple of days late but this is your reminder to be out there and proud, share your love for and success with homeopathy this week in particular to raise awareness with everyone.

It is over 200 years since the organon was originally published, and over 100 years since the 6th edition, Hahnemann’s final version was published nearly 80 years after his death. The insights that Hahnemann had though are timeless, and still apply today, which is why we use this as our text even in the 21st century.

Today I want to pick out a couple of rubrics that I find invaluable and highlight them with a modern lens. I’ll come back to others at different times this year.

Aphorism 2:

The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health; that is, the lifting and annihilation of the disease in its entire extent in the shortest, most reliable, and least disadvantageous way, according to clearly realisable principles.

This is what we all want, right? To heal and stay well, and to do this in a way that does not cause further damage or have undue side effects. We want to get better and not be stuck ok maintaining our health by having to take something all the time- whether that is pharmaceutical, herbal or otherwise. Of course sometimes it’s not that straightforward, and in homeopathy we cannot claim to cure or heal, but this is what we are working on, even if it is a slow peeling back of layers.

Aphorism 8:

It is not conceivable, nor can it be shown through any experience in the world that, after the lifting of all the symptoms of the disease and of the entire complex of perceptible befallments, anything else besides health remains or could remain such that the diseases alteration in the interior would be left unexpunged.

This aphorism refers to the game of Whack-a-mole that sometimes happens with health, one thing goes wrong, you take a drug, that gets better, but the something else happens. We see this in homeopathy all the time, particularly when there is a strong trauma, or a physical or emotional cause that has disturbed you as a whole. Because homeopathy does not look just at the symptoms, but also takes into account your history, and your mental emotional state, it is getting to the root cause, not just removing one set of symptoms for another to pop up.

Aphorism 27:

The curative capacity of medicines therefore rests upon their symptoms being similar to the disease but with power that outweighs it (§22-§26). Each single case of disease is most surely, thoroughly, rapidly and permanently annihilated and lifted only by a medicine that can engender, in the human condition, a totality of symptoms that is the most complete and the most similar to the case of disease but that, at the same time, exceeds the disease in strength.

Here Hahnemann talks about the law of similars – it is not necessary to use the exact substance, instead one with similar symptoms that fits the whole person best. This is classical homeopathy, and the true meaning of the word homœopathy – like treats like. While the last 150+ years have had changes in homeopathic practice, when we look back at the organon Hahnemann does not state that it needs to be the same substance, instead we use look at the whole picture and choose a remedy, whether related or not, that matches closely.

Finally today I want to mention aphorism 211:

This preeminent importance of the emotional state holds good to such an extent that the patient’s emotional state often tips the scales in the selection of the homeopathic remedy. This is a decidedly peculiar sign which, among all the signs of disease, can least remain hidden from the exactly observing physician.

This is really important, especially for a home prescriber, trying to figure out what is best for a member of your family. It can sometimes be difficult to figure out which remedy to give, as the physical symptoms seem pretty close, but when you look at their mental emotional symptoms suddenly it is obvious. For example, comparing Belladonna and Chamomilla for an earache with fever. A small child may not be able to describe the pain- throbbing for Belladonna vs sharp and cutting for Chamomilla, but you will certainly see the difference in their behaviour- Belladonna can be delirious or hallucinate and have rages, but Chamomilla will be generally discontent, needing to be carried, wanting something but when given it losing interest, and oversensitive in general.

There are many more aphorisms – from those looking at chronic disease, to different types of disease and their treatment, as well as case taking and case management – 291 in total. If you want to learn more about the Organon but struggle to translate the 19th century language, I highly recommend Wendy Thacher Jensen’s Organon Reflections, where she discusses each aphorism and then relates it to cases and experience in her practice as a Homeopathic Vet.

Please take some time this week to reflect on your use of homeopathy, and if there is opportunity, share that with the people around you, even if it is just recommending your favourite remedy.

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