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Ibn Sina and Hahnemann
Dr. Hahnemann was a physician, scholar and linguist who changed the way we look at disease, healing and understand the vital force. Fluent in 17 languages, Hahnemann made a living by translating medical books from one language to another during his arduous years earning his medical degree. I believe we can see similarities to the works of another philosopher Ibn Sina (known as Avicenna), who lived from 980-1037 during the Medieval Hellenistic Islamic tradition. A thousand years ago Avicenna documented his comprehensive theories on life, nature, being and reason; delving into the role of sense perception, the intellect, imagination, and other levels of understanding human nature and God as universal constructs. Surely, Hahnemann read many of Ibn Sina's works and integrated some of his understanding about life and nature from these principles.

  • "Materia medica is a Latin medical term for the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing. The term derives from the title of a work by the Ancient Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides in the 1st century AD, De materia medica, 'On Medical Material'. The term materia medica was used from the period of the Roman Empire until the 20th century, but has now been generally replaced in medical education contexts by the term pharmacology." — wikipedia

While translating Materia Medica, Hahnemann observed that Cinchona bark, which was used for curing malaria, could also induce malaria in healthy person. His keen observation led to that famous phrase " like cures like " or " simila similibus curentur." This was the defining moment which gave birth to what we all know today as " Homeopathy."

In his journey as founder of Homeopathy, he made many observations, which he penned in the form of his two famous treatises, "The Organon of Medicine", and "Chronic Diseases". These two are the bedrock of homeopathic wisdom. 

Hahnemann's work translating ancient texts and medical literature from physicians and authors of many countries must have helped shape and affect his thinking. Besides Latin and German, he also knew Arabic and could read directly from the original authors, including Ibn Sina and other masters like Galen.   

Ibn Sina was one of the most influential physicians in ancient Persia during the medieval period.  He wrote more than 200 books on medicine and philosophy, Avicenna followed and further expanded on the tradition of western philosophy and medicine introduced by Aristotle, Hippocrates and Galen. Therefore, we can assume that Hahnemann had read many of his medical treatises including, "The Canon Of Medicine" —  an encyclopedia of medicine in five books. The Canon presents an overview of contemporary medical knowledge, which has been largely influenced by Galen, which discusses the need for surgery at appropriate times, and how medicines, nutrition and mental/psychological status play a role in disease and cure, plus rules for clinical trials.

  • ‘Medicine is a science from which one learns the conditions of the human body with regard to health and the absence of health, the aim being to protect health when it exists and restore it when absent.’ — Ibn Sina

Canon of Medicine suggests that he had a rigorous approach to the diagnosis and management of patients disease. Rules From The Canon:

  • The drug must be free from extraneous accidental quality.

  • It must be used on a simple, not a composite disease.

  • The drug must be tested with two contrary types of diseases, because sometimes a drug cures one disease by its essential qualities and another by its accidental ones.

  • The quality of the drug must correspond to the strength of the disease. For example, there are some drugs whose heat is less than the coldness of certain diseases, so that they would have no effect on them.

  • The time of action must be observed, so that essence and action are not confused.

  • The effect of the drug must be seen to occur constantly or in many cases, for if this did not happen, it was an accidental effect.

  • The experimentation must be done with the human body, for testing a drug on a lion or a horse not prove anything about its effect on man.

The above rules are somewhat similar to quite a few Aphorism of the Organon and shows that Hahnemann while researching must have been influenced by the them to have used them while writing the Organon.

REF: Aramcoworld, wikipedia, Organon.

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