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The Organon of the Healing Art

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Organon of the Art of Healing Organon der rationellen Heilkunde by Samuel Hahnemann, 1810, laid out the doctrine of his ideas of homeopathy The work was repeatedly revised by Hahnemann and published in six editions, with the name changed from the second onwards to Organon of Medicine Organon der Heilkunst


  • 1 The Book
    • 11 Editions
      • 111 First edition
      • 112 Second edition
      • 113 Third edition
      • 114 Fourth edition
      • 115 Fifth edition
      • 116 Sixth edition
  • 2 Outline of the Organon of Medicine
    • 21 Theoretical part
    • 22 Practical part
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links

The Book

Hahnemann wrote this book in order to document his new system of medicine, "Homeopathy" In 1796, some six years after Hahnemann first experienced the effect of Peruvian Bark Cinchona in 1790 he published an article under the title "Essay on a New Principle"

After conducting personal observations and experiments, Hahnemann published his new account of homeopathy in book form in 1810 The original title of the book was Organon of Rational Art of Healing In 1819, the second edition was published, with the revised title Organon of Healing Art The third edition 1824 and fourth edition 1829 kept this new title, while the latter introduced Hahnemann's "Theory of Chronic Diseases"

The fifth edition was published in 1833, and included the doctrine of vital force and drug-dynamization The sixth edition, written in 1842, a year before his death, was retitled Organon of Medicine and not published until 1921



First edition

The first edition of the Organon was published in 1810 in Dresden while Hahnemann was residing in Torgau[2] Titled Organon der rationellen Heilkunde nach homöopathischen Gesetzen, it contained 271 aphorisms In 1913, an English translation by CE Wheeler appeared called the Organon of the Rational Art of Healing, published in the Everyman's Library series by J M Dent in London

Below the title of the Book was written a small couplet from Gallert's poem -

The truth we mortals need

Us blest to make and keep,

The All-wise slightly covered over

But did not bury deep

Second edition

The second edition of the Organon was published in the year 1819 when Hahnemann was living in Leipzig in Germany Titled Organon Der Heilkunst, it had 315 aphorisms In 1824, it was translated to French by Erneste George de Brunnow and was named Organon of the Healing Art The couplet from Gallert's poem was replaced by the words Aude Sapere which mean Dare to be Wise No English translation of this edition has ever been made

Third edition

The third edition of the Organon was published in the year 1824 when Hahnemann was resident in Köthen Anhalt in Germany It contained 317 aphorisms Though French and Italian translations exist, this edition has never been translated into English On page 3 of the Italian translation of Organon 3, the following quotation from Seneca appears:

"Non enim cuiquam mancipavi, nullius nomen fero: multum magnorum judicio credo, aliquid et meo vindico" Seneca, Epistle 454 Moral Letters to Lucilius

"For I have sold myself to no-one; I bear the name of no master I give much credit to the judgment of great men; but I claim something for myself"

This quotation does not appear in any of the other Organon editions or translations, and was probably therefore added by the translator of the Italian edition

Fourth edition

The fourth edition of the Organon was published in the year 1829 when Hahnemann was living in Köthen It contained 292 aphorisms An English translation by Charles H Devrient was published in Dublin in 1833 Hahnemann's miasm theory, deriving from his two volume work, The Chronic Diseases published the previous year 1828, was first alluded to in this edition Likewise, the 'vital force' theory makes its first significant appearance in this edition

Fifth edition

The fifth edition of the Organon was published in the year 1833 when Hahnemann was living in Köthen It contained 294 aphorisms It was later twice translated into English by Robert Ellis Dudgeon, first in 1849 and again in 1893 The fifth edition of the book was also translated to English by C Wesselehoft This fifth Organon departed significantly in style and content from the four previous editions by making numerous references to metaphysical notions like the vital force, miasms and potency energy[3]

Sixth edition

The sixth edition of the Organon was not a full edition in the usual sense but merely a copy of the 5th Organon which Hahnemann had annotated in February 1842 with numerous revisions[4] before his death in 1843 in Paris

In a letter from Paris dated June 1, 1841 he states, "I am preparing the sixth edition of the Organon, to which I can only devote a few hours on Thursdays and Sundays"[5] However, in a letter to his publisher in Düsseldorf, dated 20 Feb 1842, he wrote, "I have now, after eighteen months of work, finished my sixth edition of my Organon, the most nearly perfect of all"[6]

The Sixth Organon was not published until long after his death, in 1921 It contains 291 aphorisms and was named Organon der Medizin It was later translated into the English language by William Boericke and given the title, Organon of Medicine It contained several new additions and alterations including the change of "Vital Force" to "Vital Principle", the introduction of the 50 Millesimal Scale of Potentisation, and changes in the preparation, administration and repetition of drugs

Outline of the Organon of Medicine

The book begins with a preface by the author on the subject, with table of contents and a vast introduction to the subject, the philosophy and the presentation of how Homeopathy became a method of practice in the medical profession

The fifth edition of the Organon of Medicine is split into "Aphorisms", numbered 1 to 294 The doctrine of Homoeopathy is discussed in the first seventy aphorisms, often referred to as the theoretical part: The sub-division of the philosophy of Homoeopathy is below:

Theoretical part

  1. The mission of Physician and Highest Ideal of cure Aphorisms 1 and 2
  2. Requisite knowledge of a physician Aphorisms 3 and 4
  3. Knowledge of disease Aphorisms 5–18
  4. Knowledge of drugs Aphorisms 19–21
  5. Application of drug knowledge to disease Aphorisms 22–27
  6. Knowledge of choice of remedy, different modes of treatment, superiority of homoeopathic therapeutics Aphorisms 28–70

Aphorisms 71–294 are known as the practical part:

Practical part

  1. Three points, which are necessary for curing Aphorism 71
  2. Classification of disease Aphorisms 72–80
  3. Case Taking: recording of patient data Aphorisms 83–104
  4. Knowledge of medicinal power, curative power and drug proving Aphorisms 105–145
  5. Proving of drugs
  6. Most suitable method of employing medicine to a patient Aphorisms 146–261
  7. Allied support during treatment, diet in acute diseases Aphorisms 262–263
  8. Preparation of medicines Aphorisms 267–269
  9. Administration of medicines Aphorisms 271–292
  10. Mesmerism Aphorisms 293–294


  1. ^ "History and Development of Organon of Medicine" Hpathycom 
  2. ^ "Organon der rationellen Heilkunde nach homöopathischen Gesetzen, 1810" 
  3. ^ Jerome Whitney, The Evolution of the Organon, ARH Journal, 2010
  4. ^ Whitney, Jerome 2010 "The Evolution of the Organon" PDF ARH Journal: 21 
  5. ^ Richard Haehl, Samuel Hahnemann His Life & Work, vol 2, p379
  6. ^ Trevor Cook, Samuel Hahnemann His Life and Times, India: B Jain, 2001, p177

External links

  • Hahnemann, Samuel; Devrient, Charles H tr; Stratten, Samuel notes 1833 The Homœopathic Medical Doctrine, or Organon of the Healing Art Dublin: WF Wakeman OCLC 32732625 OL 6983421M  – Full text in PDF and DjVu formats
  • Hahnemann, Samuel; Dudgeon, RE tr 1849 Organon of Medicine from the Fifth German ed London: Headland OCLC 679303968 
  • Hahnemann, Samuel; Hering, Constantine; Matlack, Charles F; North American Academy of the Homoeopathic Healing Art 1836 Organon of homoeopathic medicine First American, from the British translation of the German fourth ed Allentown, Pennsylvania: Academical Bookstore OCLC 173514027 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link

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