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Aphorism #1: The physician's highest calling, his only calling, is to make sick people healthy - to heal, as it is termed. Aphorism #2: The highest ideal of therapy is to restore health rapidly, gently, permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehensible principles. One of these two aphorisms relates to one of the six principles of naturopathy. Which principle would you say fits best?

Which aphorism relates most to the first principle of naturopathic medicine "First, do no harm."?

In aphorism #3: If the physician clearly perceives what has to be cured in disease, i.e., in each individual case of disease (knowledge of the disease), if they clearly perceive what it is in medicine which heals, i.e., in each individual medicine (knowledge of medicinal powers), if they apply in accordance with well-defined principles what is curative in medicines to what they have clearly recognized to be pathological in the patient, so that cure follows, i.e., if they know in each particular case how to apply the remedy most appropriate by its character (selection of the remedy), prepare it exactly as required and give it in the right amount (the correct dose), and repeat the dose exactly when required, and lastly, if in each case they know the obstacles to cure and how to remove them, so that recovery is permanent, then they know how to treat thoroughly and efficiently, and they are a true physician. What terms can be used to describe what is being described?

To which of the 6 naturopathic principles do these aphorisms refer? Aphorism #5 In addition, it will help the physician to bring about a cure if they can determine the most probable exciting cause in an acute disease and the most significant phases in the evolution of a chronic, long-lasting disease, enabling them to discover its underlying cause, usually a chronic miasm. In this the physician should consider: the evident physical constitution of the patient (especially in chronic affections), their affective and intellectual character, their activities, their way of life, their habits, their social position, their family relationships, their age, their sexual life, etc.

In these aphorisms, Hahnemann warns that there is no need to come up with theories and explanations about an illness. It won't help bring about any healing. If there are no identifiable cause or any maintaining circumstances or "obstacles to cure" present, the only way to heal the case is to pay attention to the totality of the symptoms, not just treat a few of them in one location or those related to one function, but all the relevant symptoms of the case that will form a whole. This pattern of symptoms will indicate the need for one similar remedy.

The symptoms we can use to identify a remedy are the subjective symptoms (provided by the subject, i.e., the patient), the incidental symptoms (provided by witnesses, like family members), and objective symptoms (observed by you or obtained by lab findings). Which of these is an incidental symptom?

In aphorisms 8 and 9, Hahnemann sounds very enthusiastic in his definition of health. In part because some doctors were accusing homeopathy of eliminating symptoms, but not disease. The other reason is because...

The vital force is a “spirit-like” principle that animates the body. What does Hahnemann mean by “spirit-like”?

When Hahnemann talks about the “dynamic influence of the disease agent”, what is he trying to say?

It sounds like Hahnemann does not believe in microbes causing diseases. However, he defines disease differently than what we are familiar with, i.e., the conditions diagnosed by identifying a virus or bacteria… What he calls disease, is the whole manifestation of symptoms that appear at the physical and mental/emotional levels during an infection, say, or other types of illnesses. For example, people suffering from influenza will share similar symptoms, like a runny or congested nose, but will also be affected uniquely by the infectious disease: some will become more needy or more misanthropic or irritable… some will be congested only on the right side of the nose or will have a frontal headache while others will get a fever, fatigue, or pain in the back or the neck… Each unique set of symptom represents the disease that needs to be treated, even if all the patients test positive for the same flu virus.

What does this imply, then for the treatment, the choice of remedy?

Hahnemann is saying that the imbalanced (or untuned) vital force and the disease (i.e., its symptoms) are the same thing. The efforts of the body to produce healing (through the inflammatory process and other immune and defense mechanisms) are causing the symptoms and these are the signs of the struggling, imbalanced vital force. (Also, he was a strong believer in a God of love and mercy, so he often mentions it in his writings!)

How is this different from what was said earlier?

"Spirit-like" is used often in this aphorism!

The translators use the words “spirit-like” in most translations of the Organon, but remember, a more modern expression could be: “immaterial”, “without substance”...

So, what is Hahnemann saying, here?

The first note mentions that sometimes the cause of the problem is psychological, and that this type of problem can be dealt with in a similar fashion, with counseling or psychotherapy... "Treat the cause!"

It also reinforces his argument that any influence on the vital force (even through the thought process), can produce physical symptoms, just like an infectious disease or an illness could produce.

In the second note, he argues that physicians only need to follow the symptom picture to identify what to treat and how to treat it (if we have a similar remedy that we know has the same set of symptoms). In his days, they did not have lab tests to identify what type of infectious agent or pathological process was involved in the illness. And still, he could treat and cure patients.

The question, is, then: do naturopaths need to perform lab tests and physical exams to treat a patient with homeopathy?

In this aphorism, Hahnemann is saying that the totality of the symptoms, plus all information about their etiology (cause) and other circumstances (triggers and all factors that aggravate or ameliorate the patient) are what we need to identify to know what needs to be treated in the case. It also reveals what remedy to use (how to treat it).

Choose the best interpretation for the meaning of Aphorisms 19 and 20:

What is the main difference between acute and chronic diseases, as described in Aphorism 72?

TRUE or FALSE? The list of "exciting causes" that Hahnemann gives of fevers/acutes is similar to the six "External Pernicious Influences" talked about in Chinese Medicine and, to this, he adds the stressors of an unhealthy lifestyle (well-known in Naturopathic Medicine), physical traumas, and psychological traumas (including shocks, emotional upsets, "toxic" relationships, etc.).

Why does Hahnemann make a distinction between epidemics and acute miasms (recurrent or not), since they are all acute infectious diseases anyway?

In Aphorism 82, Hahnemann gives us another difference between acute and chronic diseases: it's easier to heal from an acute disease than from a chronic disease.

Choose if each of these statements regarding Aphorism 98 is TRUE, or FALSE.

Aphorism 99 is reiterating what he said he aphorism 82

What is aphorism 186 about?

What point is Hahnemann trying to make in aphorism 192?

In aphorism 193, Hahnemann is making three points: he justifies why we do what he recommended in Aphorism 192, he links this to the presence of an ever present chronic miasm, and he tells us to expect a relatively rapid response to the correct remedy.

In aphorism 21, Hahnemann says to not worry about finding how remedies act the way they do. This was before we saw the developments in chemistry and biochemistry of the 20th century, but still, he is correct that even if we can identify active ingredients like anti-inflammatory compounds in a herb, the effects in the human body are not just purely anti-inflammatory, since we have the primary action and the secondary reaction of the body that both produce symptoms. As well, we have the individuality of the person who may have deficiencies or imbalances that can affect the type of response one will have to that herb.

So, trying to predict the response to a substance just by its ingredients is bound to be imperfect and fail.

What does Hahnemann suggest, instead?

Hahnemann tells us to only pay attention to the CHARACTERISTIC symptoms a substance elicits in the healthy, not the generic ones (like vague fatigue or mild nausea). Why?

These aphorisms summarize the last ones and bring home the answer to the big question: should we use remedies that oppose or are similar to the symptoms of the patient? Those that oppose are called antipathic, enantiopathic (something that causes an opposite or palliative effect), and palliative (that which compensates for, or temporarily improves the condition but does not eliminate it). Those that are similar, are called homeopathic. According to experience and research, Hahnemann concluded that similar remedies worked, while opposites only palliated (helped temporarily). Choose which of the following are examples of opposites.

Once you eliminate the cause and any obstacle to cure, if any are known, you have to treat any "natural" disease with an "artificial" disease (the one caused by the remedy). We now understand the need to choose a remedy whose effects are similar to the pathology, but why does Hahnemann calls these effects an "artificial" disease?

Aphorisms 25 + 26, summarize most of what you have read so far and #26 enunciates the Law of Similars which should be used in healing practices. (And we should all frame that Law and put it up in our clinics!)

If our medicines or remedies have to be stronger than the disease to work, how should we achieve this?

True or False? Knowing that substances create effects and countereffects in the body, which can be called "artificial diseases", one should be aware of any substance that they ingest or expose themselves to, in case it affects their health.


Test your knowledge on aphorisms related to naturopathic principles and their application in medicine. Explore concepts such as the highest ideals of therapy, principles of naturopathy, and identifying symptoms for remedy selection.

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