Homeopathy Tips for 2/02/10 Aphorism 83

What does it take to be a homeopathic physician? Hahnemann tells us in Aphorism 83 of the Organon of Medicine. Let’s take a look at this brief yet thorough description of what the practitioner must possess to examine a case of disease.

Aphorism 83

“This individaulizing examination of a case of disease, for which I shall only give in this place general directions, of which the practitioner will bear in mind only what is applicable for each individual case, demands of the physician nothing but freedom from prejudice and sound senses, attention in observing and fidelity in tracing the picture of disease.”

Let’s break down what Hahnemann is really saying here. In the individual examination of disease he is not talking about disease as a whole but in each and every individual case. There are no two cases ever the same. Some are alike but they are individual to each person. He is saying that we must examine each case individually.

He says these instructions he is giving are general in nature. That there are more specific ways to understand this but he is asking us to grasp the whole of what he is sharing. These are a general introduction to the idea in Aphorism 83.

The practitioner shall bear in mind only what is applicable for each individual case. This is the greatest challenge for homeopaths. We must be able to discern disease from health. If we do not know how the derangement of the vital force expresses itself through each individual it will be very difficult to ever find the medicine that is most homeopathic for the individual. We must be able to see the case. See the disease clearly.

This demands nothing but freedom from prejudice. This is the key to seeing the case clearly. If we have any prejudice then we might as well be giving the remedy to ourselves. Our pre-judgments about diseases, other cases we have seem before that are similar, judgments about the individual or their lifestyle etc. must be dismissed during the case receiving, and analysis.

Sounds senses are a must for the homeopath. His/her powers of observation must be very clear. We need to be able see all of the behaviors and descriptions of the patients disease. We must hear their words. We must be able to feel the case without taking the case on. This empathy versus sympathy. Our senses are a collection of all of our sentient faculties and we must constantly work to refine them in ourselves.

Attention in observing and fidelity in tracing the picture of the disease. The fidelity in tracing the picture requires us to be very diligent. We must not be half way in our attempts to see the picture of the disease. We must ask open ended questions we don’t lead the case. We must investigate the roots of this disease. By asking about family history or questioning family members we can gain more clarity about the disease.  This diligence is something that gets refined each and every case that we work on. We are not just tracing the picture of any disease, we are tracing the picture of this one individuals disease.

When we break down what Hahnemann is saying we can see that there is much to be considered in even a general description of a very small Aphorism. He did not make mistakes with his words or the meaning. Every good homeopath must study the Organon. We have a very good guideline that is applicable in every case we see as a homeopath. We must follow these instructions. They will be what will improve our skills and our lives as we help the lives of others.

15 comments so far

  1. celes on

    Dear Sir,

    I have got a case where the patient does not have much expression nor much gestures but keeps on repeating even after asking the questions on Urniary affection. Sometimes it becomes difficult if the patient cannot understand the English language well or vice versa.

    In such a situation how do we note the symptoms of the paient.

    Secondly our Aunty was keeping hale and hearty but some years back she use to take allopathy and then switched on to homeopathy because she taught it worked the best. To our surprise she is on wheelchair and cannot move. Because she stopped allopathy. She use to have pressure problems.

    • Yvonne Siblini on

      I always say its good to keep an open mind. In my opinion, your aunt should not have stopped allopathy. I know that even though it can be a block for homeopathy, but, a repeatition is needed in cases where there is a maintaining cause. Eventually after investigations and blood work reports on a case show everything is in order, one must stop allopathy.

    • celes on


      Thanks for the response but now aunty is more than 8 years on the wheel chair. She is undergoing physiotherapy as some time her fingers get numb but other personal things like sitting, walking and other things, she needs constant assistance. Is there any way she can recover as she is more than 80 years old but very sorry to see her confined on the wheel chair.



  2. S K Kalra on

    1 case among about every 5-6 cases appearing to be exactly same defy routine medication. This by taking case history carefully and prescription according to “similia” gives into. So Homeopath should always be alert in each case, its progress and its response to remedy.

  3. Kumar, Malaysia on

    Dear Robert Ji, I agreed of what you have written. The Aphorism 83 clearly mention individualism. The Homeopath should free from any prejudice thought and sympathy. We oblige through empathy, able to see the case, see the disease clearly, hear, attention in observing ,analysis the whole picture. Thank you to remind us.

    Kumar, Malaysia.

  4. dr.wali khan sarhadi on

    dear sir,
    i agree with what u have written about case taking.i get much more about asthma from ur side.i m a homoeopath and practice since july 2004.but sir tell me that how i can know the stander of homoeo medicines.i.e that which company medicines are standared?
    with warm regards
    Dr.wali khan

  5. Michelle on

    The concept of being free of prejudice towards the individual is easy enough to understand, but the concept of being free of prejudice regarding the rx or disorder is more difficult for me to grasp. It seems to me we do not learn rx in isolation. We learn the sx and see cases that are cured by these rx and this is instructive. How can we then view each case in isolation without reference to any other similar case. I don’t see how we can use information from other cases and treat every case individually as if there has never been another similar case at the same time. They seem to be mutually exclusive. Perhaps I am missing something here.

    Hi Michelle,

    I understand your quandary. How is it we obtain any information about a remedy and not form a prejudice? It is not that the information itself is prejudiced but how we use it. There is a point when our judgment must come into play. It is our ability to see the case clearly (without judgment) and select good rubrics (based on clear symptoms) that we are able to form a picture of disease. Then with information from provings and our knowledge of Materia Medica we are able to prescribe accordingly. It is when we classify the disease or put a label on it that we run into trouble. If we try to prescribe to the disease name and fail to see the individual expression then we have prejudiced the case. And likewise we will also have prejudiced the case if we prescribe remedies based on similar classifications (Apis for swelling, Lyc for liver, etc.) These are narrow interpretations of the remedies so we must use our discretion and judgment but not allow a pre-judgment to happen. I hope this helps explain for you. Thanks for your comment.

    Robert Field

  6. K.Rajagopala Kurup. on

    If we avoid prejudice, I think the rest will follow as a consequence?

  7. mah-jabeen on

    Robert thanks again for your lot of efforts this knowladge

  8. naseermuhammad on

    dear sir

    this topic is learn more knowledge. Inidivulazation

    of mind. hOmoeoapthic believed individucation of sytmptom

    as well as diesease symptom. we have medicine clear Pathology like hard and indurated tumour calc flour
    grief Ign trauma arnica juindance childoiium anaemia china
    headach sanganaria headach with spigelia is indiviuzation
    of symptom.

  9. Dr. Fazal Khaliq on

    individulization is the amongest the basic principles of homoeopathy, there are millions of people in this world each having his own constitution, temperament with a unique body texture.
    case taking in homoeopathy is utmost important in this way of treatment if a physician succeeded in case taking his 70% WORK HAS BEEN DONE NOW BY giving selected remedy the remaining 30% achievement would be sure.
    Dr. Fazal Khaliq
    0312 3322336

  10. Dr M Azizur Rahman on

    Dear Dr Robert
    Thanks for the article. It will helps us in selecting and diagnosing patients. selection of medicine should be on the basis of symptoms. If more than one we should find out why these are happening and should select most appropriate remedy.

  11. Monina on

    Thank you Robert for your always interesting topics!

    • STELLA on

      Thank you for the article and also the comments.
      I am new to this way of life, and just need some
      clarification on – what is the differance between
      homeopath, and allopathy?

      I have been thinking and praying about studying this further. I’m not sure between the medical hospitals, vs, the natural way of treating, please give some advise on this matter too.

      Look foward to hearing from you soon.


  12. Dr.Rashid Akhtar on

    explanation of the aph.83 is misleading.
    for eg. the first paragraph you have explained is not so rather he wants to say—- ;the process of individualization requires individualization.;…

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