Homeopathy Tips for 11/10/09 Classification of Constitutions

One subject that gets asked about a lot is constitutional types. I find that there is a great assumption in modern homeopathy to classify certain types of individuals into “constitutional types”. Several authors have written extensively about this and painted many pictures about what Sulphur or Lycopodium or Natrum Muriaticaum “constitutional types” look like. I find this very dangerous in homepathy.

Every case before us stands on it’s own unique set of symptoms. No two cases are the same even if the same remedy is given. To create a box or group to file certain attributes of a remedy together and then fit a person to the box is not homeopathy. Learning any system that does this is very dangerous and leads to poor homeopathic prescribing.

I was studying from Kent’s Lesser Writings and he said it best;

“Why should we attempt to classify constitutions as an aid in prescribing? Every individual is a constitution, and no two sick persons can be classified as of the same class to the satisfaction of any clear, observing, and thinking homeopath. It is a fatal error to classify constitutions, as no two are sufficiently similar, when observed by a genuine homeopath to form even a common class. Human beings are a thousand times more complex than the chess-board in the hands of most skilfull players.

Every change in combination in mental and physical signs and symptoms brings a new view of the entire patient as observed collectively. Normal mental methods come to all thinkers in such diverse appearances as to justify the well-known statement that no two minds are alike. In similar manner, all abnormal minds appear to the alert physician as sick individuals. Mental abnormalities may be classified by their common manifestation by the alienist, but the classification is never useful to the homeopath when searching for the remedy. The classification is made up from common symptoms of the mental-disease symptoms for the purpose of medical diagnosis, but the peculiar symptoms in each and every morbid mental case must guide to the prescription, and these prevent classification.

Nothing leads the physician to failure so certainly as classification. The physician who prescribes on a diagnosis is a failure, except for his chance shots. Individualization is the aim of every homeopathic physician. The symptoms that represent the morbid constitution or disorder of the individual are the ones that the skillful prescriber always seeks. Symptoms that are uncommon in one constitution are common in another, because such uncommon symptoms are common to some diseases and uncommon to others.

Classification is necessary to the proper study of diseases, pathological conditions, and diagnosis, but every case of sickness in an individual is so dissimilar to another case that each and every patient must be examined and measured by the symptoms that represent his disordered economy, or prescribing will be followed by very ordinary results.”

Let the wisdom of the masters remind us of the real truth and art of homeopathy. Let each and every case stand on it’s own. When you hear someone refer to a constitutional type as a description of a person, remind them of the real work of the homeopath and that all cases are unique. Do not buy into constitutional types. It will lead to poor homeopathy.

21 comments so far

  1. K,Gopalan. on

    also go through the link ht tp://www.similima.com/repertory.htm Utility of constitution chapter in homeopathic repertory by Robin Murphy. Latest repertory .

  2. ambikapatnaik on

    in chronic cases/disease of long duration ,i have been successful by treating with constitutional medicines as prescribed by our great teachers

  3. Hello Prof. Robert
    Thnak very much for this crucial Element and pilar of homeopathy amin thing to lead to the cure the following is my share from my understanding :
    As we read there are more than 30 methods for prescribing a remedy and that depending on the whole puzzle in your patient (Depending on your present totality),and one of the very used to approch the RX is that basis on the characterstics Sxs( Stricking Sxs ( It can be mind or general) & peculiar in the case ) , I consider this is chracterstic because it lead to individulaization. ont constitution. example of some charctersitics can lead to remedy are as follows :

    Adapted to bookworms: Cocculus
    Always talks about pain: Mag-phos
    Weakness of memory for faces: Syph.
    Belching during urination: Rhus-tox
    Chorea of tongue: Cina
    Eructations tasting of apples: Agaricus
    Thank , Prof. Robert ( Homeopathy 21th pioneer )
    Mohamed el siddig , Canada

  4. raj on

    plz tell me the expiry time of homoeopathic medicines after preparation.

  5. Dr.Sarfaraz on

    In the beginnng years of homepathic system of medicine,classification of constitutions was given importance and it helped in quick diagnosis of the problem,so it was valid in those days and showed competency of homeo doctors.I think it seems true.

  6. Michelle on

    Perhaps another issue related to this is the concept of making a distinction between chronic and constitutional. There can be many “layers” of chronic disturbance overlaying the true constitution so we won’t even see the constitution until that is gone. Perhaps the problem you mention is further compounded by trying to determine the constitutional remedy prematurely before all the chronic disturbance is removed.
    I look forward to reading your newsletter every week.
    Thank you for taking the time to write it.

    • Robert Field on

      Hi Michelle,

      Yes I agree. Sometimes it is hard to see the underlying disturbance in a case, especially with all of the suppression from drugs. Very good observation.

  7. dr naseermuhammad on

    dear sir

    Homeopathic system beleived on constitution.Other system

    of medicine no constitution. constituional of children

    and adult male and female with indidivulization of medicine.. sepia and puls are constituional of female.

    nux lyco are constituation of male. calc phos and calc phos

    and sil are constitutional of children. chammilla is consitutional and temparment of children. Indivisulazation and constitutional of medicine like sul calc lyco ect.

    • Robert Field on

      Hello Dr Naseermuhammad,
      I think your general classification is what Kent was refering to. It is dangerous to hold these systems in place because you will be inclined to prescribe to the constitutional type rather than to the individual.
      Robert Field

  8. Iyke on

    dear Robert,
    Homeopathy holds sway in my contry Nigeria and after you have gone to failed experiments,the last hope is Homeopathy.

    We are the greatest beacause we treat symptoms and not disease taking into consideration individual constitution and the miasm.

    Keep up your good work

  9. Philip Joseph on

    Dr Robert: Thanks for pointing out that each case is unique and not to be labeled for life with a certain constitutional remedy. This is even more true when a miasm block occurs during the course of treatment and a appropriate miasmatic remedy has to be given (eg Tub Bov or Medhorrinum etc) As layers are unpeeled the underlying miasm shows it’s true nature and has to be dealt with. Sticking to a ‘constitutional remedy’ at this juncture will not be successful.

    I also wanted to quote an article by Jahr presented by Dr Granier in in 1835 in a Liege conference. (to highlight remedy choice based on unique symptoms) A rich old man in Germany with an ailment had consulted via letter with 477 mostly allopathic doctors. Hahneman was #301 in that list – the only homeopath. The old man did not take any of the prescriptions as he could not find uniformity among the replies. He had received 832 prescriptions with 1897 different medicines in combinations by the doctors. Jahr asked him to then send the original symptoms to 33 homeopaths and compare the reply to Hahneman’s original prescription. Among the homeopathic replies 22 out of 33 agreed with Hahneman’s original prescription. The old man’s health was restored by taking the remedy suggested uniformly by 23 doctors. Excerpt from Hom Heritage Sept 1995 issue. Just a thought to always base your remedy choice on the symptoms observed and narrated, family history etc. In fact it is better to be ignorant of the previous homeopathic doctor’s remedy suggestion till you made your own choice.
    Thanks, Philip

  10. naseermuhammad on

    dear sir

    it is great pleasure to me explain the constitutional

    of kent from Kent’s Lesser Writings in details to understand. I am basis the teacher of materia medica not
    knowledge of philosphy.

  11. R.N.Gupta on

    dear sir,
    i have seen the changes in patient on getting affected by a disease . the symptoms of disease and individual characteristics of patient is taken in consideration for prescription of medicine.

  12. R.N.Gupta on

    dear sir,
    the changes in individual characteristics after affected by adisease is constitutional change.the same is taken in consideration for prescribing the suitable medicine.

  13. k.p.varghese on

    Dear sir,

  14. k.p.varghese on

    Dear sir ,

    Your lecture on constitutional types really helped me a lot to do away with my own worry of not prescribing on constitutional types. I always prescribed on pure symptoms and got wonderful results. But I would be a worried person on all the times having not prescribed on the basis of constitution. Your learned words cleared my confusion . thank you sir.

  15. Dr.Muhammad Ali on

    Dear sir
    I have learned a lot from your lecture on constitutional types and agreed to prescribe on pure symptoms. thanks

  16. Dr. kirti on

    it was really good thing to know.
    where can i see the answers to queries asked to you by above people

  17. MONALISA on


  18. weeworld on

    Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my
    facebook group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

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