The Organon of the Healing Art

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Organon of the Healing Art
The Organon of Medicine.jpg
Sixth edition cover
Author Samuel Hahnemann
Original title Organon der Heilkunst
Translator Charles H. Devrient (4th Edition, 1833)
Country Germany
Language English translation from German
Genre Medicine, Philosophy
Publisher W.F. Wakeman
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 272
OCLC 32732625
Preceded by 3rd Edition, 1824
Followed by 5th Edition, 1833

The Organon of the Healing Art (Organon der rationellen Heilkunde) by Samuel Hahnemann, 1810, laid the foundations of all theory and method 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).

The Book[edit]

Hahnemann wrote this book in order to document his new theory 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 observation and experiment, Hahnemann collected his new theory of homeopathy into 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[edit]

The first edition of the Organon was published in 1810 in Dresden while Hahnemann was at Torgau.[2] Titled Organon der rationellen Heilkunde nach homöopathischen Gesetzen, it contained 271 aphorisms. In 1813, it was translated to English language by C.E. Wheeler as the Organon of Rational Medical Science.

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[edit]

The second edition of the Organon was published in the year 1819 when Hahnemann was at Leipzig in Germany. Titled Organon Der Heilkunst, it had 315 aphorisms. In 1824, it was translated to French by Ernest George von Burnnon 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.

Third edition[edit]

The third edition of the Organon was published in the year 1824 when Hahnemann was at Köthen (Anhalt) in Germany. It contained 317 aphorisms.

Fourth edition[edit]

The fourth edition of the Organon was published in the year 1829 when Hahnemann was at Köthen. It contained 292 aphorisms. It was later translated to English language by Charles H. Deurient. Hahnemann's miasm theory, deriving from his two volume work, The Chronic Diseases published the previous year (1828), was alluded to many times in this edition.

Fifth edition[edit]

The fifth edition of the Organon was published in the year 1833 when Hahnemann was at Köthen. It contained 294 aphorisms. It was later translated to English language by Robert Ellias Dudgeon two times, first in 1849 and second time in 1893. The fifth edition of the book was also translated to English language by C. Wesselehoft. This fifth Organon was radically different in style and content from all four previous editions in containing numerous references to new metaphysical ideas for the first time, e.g. vital force, miasms, potency energy.[3]

Sixth edition[edit]

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[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[edit]

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 comes into presence as a method of practice in the medical profession.[7]

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[edit]

  1. The mission of Physician and Highest Ideal of cure. Aphorisms 1 & 2
  2. Requisite knowledge of a physician. Aphorisms 3 & 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 to 70

Aphorisms 71 to 294 are known as the practical part:

Practical part[edit]

  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
  2. ^ Organon der rationellen Heilkunde nach homöopathischen Gesetzen 1810
  3. ^ Jerome Whitney, The Evolution of the Organon, ARH Journal, 2010
  4. ^ Jerome Whitney, The Evolution of the Organon, ARH Journal, 2010, p.21
  5. ^ Richard Haehl, Samuel Hahnemann His Life & Work, vol 2, p.379
  6. ^ Trevor Cook, Samuel Hahnemann His Life and Times, India: B Jain, 2001, p.177
  7. ^ Ground Plan of Organon of Medicine

External links[edit]