Blog (D)
Books - Bücher
Hering preface

Samuel Hahnemann's



Homœopathic Medicine
Aude sapere
Fourth American edition,
with improvements and additions from the last German edition,
Dr.C. Hering's introductory remarks

New York:
published by WM. Radde, 550 Pearl-Street;
Philadelphia : F.E. Boericke, 635 Arch-Street;
London: Turner &Co., and James Epps.



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, by
In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District
of New-York
Henry Ludwig,
Printer and Stereotyper,
39 Centre-st.

Some remarks

for the fourth american edition of Hahnemann's organon

It is now twenty-three years since the first edition of the Organon of Medicine appeared in this country. Since that period, the number of homœopathic physicians in the United States has more than doubled every four years. This increase has been gradual, sometimes more, and others less rapid, but always without interruption; and at no time, neither in this country nor in Europe, has there been any retrogression from the ground gained. However, there have never been wanting those who asserted that homœopathy was on the decline, and indeed was dead; which reminds us of the old adage, that when a man is said to be dead, he has usually the promise of a long life. Other opponents have entertained great hopes, when they have learned that the adherents of our school are divided into different parties. This is like the friends of royalty in Europe, predicting the downfall of republican institutions in this country, because there are here various political parties. Among so large a number of physicians, it is quite natural that different opinions should be entertained and promulgated, and even that partizan conflicts should arise. But against the stubborn adherents of the old-school doctrines, these various parties stand united as the varied wings of one common army.

All homœopathic physicians are united under the banner of the great law of cure, similia similibus curantur, however they may differ in regard to the theoretical explanation of that law, or the extent to which it may be applied. All homœopathic physicians also acknowledge that provings upon the healthy are indispensable in ascertaining the unknown curative powers of drugs. And, finally, all homœopaths concur in giving but one medicine at a time, never mixing different drugs together, under the absurd expectation that each will act according to their dictum. This is the glorious tri-color of our school, which will make the circuit of the world and in these we are as the heart of one man.

It is not a little gratifying to find that all the recent discoveries in chemistry and physiology serve to confirm and establish the principles of our system, while they contradict the usual pathological opinions of the day. The wonderful discoveries in pathological anatomy, in ascertaining the material and chemical changes produced by disease and medicines, while they are a valuable addition to our knowledge, serve only to engender in the old school such doctrines as "young physic", according to which the patient is scientifically informed of the nature of his disorder, and gravely left to the efforts of nature. Even the water-cure is only the servant of the doctrine of Hahnemann, cleansing and renovating the house to be occupied by us.

While the various dissensions among the old school are favoring the extension of homœopathy, the varied diversities among ourselves serve only to develop and advance our principles. What important influence can it exert whether a homœopath adopt the theoretical opinions of Hahnemann or not, so long as he holds fast the practical rule of the master, and the materia medica of our school? What influence can it have whether a physician adopt or reject the psora-theory, so long as he always selects the most similar medicine possible? Even in the larger and smaller doses, the masses or the potences, allowing that there is a great difference between them according to the testimony of the friends of each, yet all this difference dwindles into insignificance when we compare the results of homœopathic with that of common allopathic practice. Hence we may console ourselves, leaving to farther researches to confirm or rectify Hahnemann's theory of potences, and to establish a rule without exceptions, according to which the lower or the higher potences shall be the most appropriate in each individual case. There will always be a larger number of physicians who either do not understand, or will not learn how to select for each particular case the one only proper medicine, and such will always find it more comfortable to employ massive doses. There will always be, perhaps, as large a number on the other hand, who will, by-and-by, know how to hit the nail upon the head, and they well learn to prefer the high potences. Even Hahnemann himself required more than a score of years to learn this. As through war we come to the possession of peace, so in the world of science, through conflict and trial we come to the possession of truth. It was an old motto of Luther's:

"Lass die Geister auf einander platzen."

Constantine Hering



Copyright Gaby Rottler, 2014

Last update:  July,  2014