What is Organon of Medicine ?

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Organon Of Medicine

The What is Organon of Medicine ?:

What is organon of Medicine ?

Organon  of Medicine is a book written  by Master  Samuel Hahnemann containing the principles of Homoeopathy along with the critical analysis of the different other modes of treatment prevalent dur­ing his time.

The Organon of Medicine is also popular as “Organon by Hahnemann” or “Hahnemann’s Organon” or “Organon Medicine” or “Homeopathy Organon” or “Organon of homeopathic medicine”. This is “the homeopathic Geeta”.

The Organon of Medicine was written by Samuel Hahnemann in 1810.

This book is written in aphoristic style (paragraphs with numbering) but there is continuity and logical sequence of thoughts underlying the sections. The book went through 6 editions in all. Five editions were published during the author’s life. The 6th edition was completed by Dr. Hahnmeann in 1842 but he passed away on July 2nd, 1843 before the 6th edition could be published. The last edition was finally published in 1921 due to the efforts of William Boericke.

“Organon” Word meaning

The word Organon’ is a Greek derivation of the word Organum.

which has the following  types of meaning i.e.:

  1. Firstly, Literary work
  2. Secondly, A method of scientific investigation
  3. Thirdly, Instrument of thought, system of logic :
  4. Fourthly, According to R. Hughes: “An instrument for effecting in best manner a certain end .”

Historical sources of word “Organon”

This word was at first used by great Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-312 B’,C.). His vanous treatises on logic were summed up under the common title ‘Organon’.

Further Lord Francis Becan (1561-1626  A. D.) wrote a book on logic In Latin name : ‘Novum Organum’ ( New Organon) which is the second volume of his Instauratio  Magna’.

These two must have influenced  Hahnemann  to name his book as Organon.

Aim and object

The aim and object of Hahnemann  for writing Organon of Medicine was to present to the medical profession the doctrines, merits and the practical instructions for the practice of Homoeopathy in a logical and elaborate way. He also criticised the other prevailing systems of medicine and established  the superiority of Homoeopathy.

Editions  of Organon  of Medicine

Published editions of homoeopathy books on organon of medicine and homoeopathic philosophy:
Year     Edition
1810 –Organon of medicine 1st edition
1819 -Organon of medicine 2nd edition
1824 -Organon of medicine 3rd edition
1829 -Organon of medicine 4th edition
1833 –Organon of medicine 5th edition
1920 – Organon of medicine 6th edition



First edition

The first edition of the Organon was published in 1810 in Dresden while Hahnemann was residing in Torgau. Titled Organon der rationellen Heilkunde nach homöopathischen Gesetzen, it contained 271 aphorisms. In 1913, an English translation by C.E. 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 write a small couplet from Gallert’s poem i.e.-

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 publish in the year 1819 when Hahnemann was living in Leipzig in Germany. Titled Organon Der Heilkunst, it had 315 aphorisms. In 1824, it translated to French by Erneste George de Brunnow and named Organon of the Healing Art. The couplet from Gallert’s poem replace by the words Aude Sapere which mean Dare to be Wise. No English translation of this edition has ever made. There is also an Italian translation of 1824 by Bernardo Quaranta “L’Organo della Medicina del dottor Samuel Hahnemann” printed in Naples.

Third edition

The third edition of the Organon publish 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 translated into English. On page 3 of the Italian translation of Organon 3, the following quotation from Seneca appears i.e.:

“Non enim cuiquam mancipavi, nullius nomen fero: multum magnorum judicio credo, aliquid et meo vindico.” (Seneca, Epistle 45.4 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 probably therefore add by the translator of the Italian edition.

Fourth edition

The fourth edition of the Organon published in the year 1829 when Hahnemann was living in Köthen. It contained 292 aphorisms. An English translation by Charles H. Devrient published in Dublin in 1833. Hahnemann’s miasm theory, deriving from his two volume work, The Chronic Diseases published the previous year (1828), 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 later twice translated into English by Robert Ellis Dudgeon, first in 1849 and again in 1893. The fifth edition of the book 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.

Sixth edition

Basically, 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 before his death in 1843 in Paris.

Additionally, 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.” 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.”

The Sixth Organon was not publish until long after his death, in 1921. It contains 291 aphorisms also named Organon der Medizin. It was later translated into the English language by William Boericke also given the title, Organon of Medicine. In detail, That 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 Homoeopathy became a method of practice in the medical profession.

The fifth edition of the Organon of Medicine split into “Aphorisms”, numbered 1 to 294. Doctrine of Homoeopathy discuss in the first seventy aphorisms, often referred to as the theoretical part: The sub-division of the philosophy of Homoeopathy is below i.e.:

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 known as the practical part i.e.:

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


Table of Contents

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