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Understanding the Concept of Allergy in Homoeopathy

Allergy is an allopathic description of a condition attributed to various causes not identifiable. The Homoeopath understands “allergy” as a morbid susceptibility of the deranged Vital Force, just like any other condition ailment. The allergy is caused in the individual mainly by two types of allergens, exogenous and endogenous. Exogenous allergens are again of four varieties viz, Inhalants, Ingestants, Injectants and Contactants. In the Homoeopathic parlance, according to Hahnemann, these are termed the inimical, dynamic influence. As the name itself implies, they are dynamic and inimical to health. The inimical dynamic influences are atmospheric, thermic, telluric, and geographic

According to Master Hahnemann, individuals are susceptible to diseases because of “Idiosyncrasies”. In aphorism § 117 Hahnemann states that,  “To the latter category belong the so called idiosyncrasies by which are meant peculiar corporeal constitutions which, although otherwise healthy, possess a disposition to be brought into a more or less morbid state by certain things which seem to produce no impression and no change in many other individuals. But this inability to make an impression on everyone is only apparent. For two things are required for the production of these as well as all other morbid alterations in the health of man­‑ to wit, the inherent power of the influencing substance, and the capability of the vital force that animates the organism to be influenced by it – the obvious derangements of health in the so called idiosyncrasies cannot be laid to the account of these peculiar constitutions alone, but they must also be ascribed to these things that produce them, in which must lie the power of making the same impressions on all human bodies, yet in such a manner that but a small number of healthy constitutions have tendency to allow themselves to be brought into such an obvious morbid condition by them. That these agents do actually make this, impression on every healthy body is shown by this, that when employed as remedies they render effectual homeopathic service to all sick persons for morbid symptoms similar to those they seem to be only capable of producing in so called idiosyncratic individuals.”

Kent in his lecture states, IDIOSYNCRASIES are over sensitiveness to one thing or a few things. There may be a chronic idiosyncrasy from a chronic miasm and an acute idiosyncrasy from an acute miasm.  This over sensibility is very important and it explains in a measure the susceptibility to the remedy that will cure. If an idiosyncrasy to the remedy is not present, the patient will not be susceptible enough to be cured.

There are persons who are sensitive, not merely to one or a few things; but to all things; oversensitive to the high potencies, oversensitive in taste, oversensitive to light, and a great many other things. This is a constitutional state; the patient is born with it. There are persons on whom you will see the sensitiveness only when you go away from the plane of nutrition into the plane of dynamics.

The Hahnemannian Theory of the Miasms:  It is a well-known fact that the Master, after erecting the doctrinal monument of homoeopathy together with its corresponding curative technique, observed in his own practice (which surely followed the principles of his methods) that the results, while relatively satisfactory and clearly preferable and superior to those of old-school medicines, still left a large question mark with respect to relapses or the emergence of new diseased states in the apparently cured patient. That is, the later persisted in a condition of relatively good health but had a tendency to manifest periodic or successive syndromes or pathological states with a certain similarity or relationship with one another. In other words, the really sick patients were seen to pass through periodic or states of illness which appeared distinct to the superficial observer but in which careful examination disclosed a nexus of identity, a characteristic connecting link, thus, the apparently different illnesses presented by the same sick persons, as judged by his bio-pathology, were in fact linked by a background which constituted a predisposition to a characteristic form in respect to both dysfunctions and to the legions themselves. This predisposition, whether constitutional or merely a constant aspect of organic man which persists in the form of its expression was called by Hahnemann: MIASM OR CHRONIC DISEASE.

Hahnemann wrote ‘I observed that the non venereal chronic disease even after having been repeatedly and successfully removed by the then known homoeopathic remedies, continually reappeared in a more or less modified form, and with a yearly increase of disagreeable symptoms.  This proved to me the fact that the phenomenon which appeared to constitute the ostensible disease was a mere fragment of a much more deep seated, primitive evil, the great extent of which might be inferred from the new symptoms which continued to appear from time to time. This showed me that the homoeopathic practitioner ought not to treat diseases of this kind as separate and completely developed maladies.

          ‘I became convinced that the first condition of finding out one or more homoeopathic medicines which should cover all the symptoms characterizing the whole disturbance was to discover all the aliments and symptoms inherent in the unknown primitive malady’.

‘This primitive disease evidently owed its existence to SOME CHRONIC MIASM.  For as soon as it had reached a certain height, it never yielded to the simple acting of robust constitution, or to the best regulated diet or mode of life; on the contrary, it grew worse form year to year, to the end of life, gradually assuming different and more dangerous symptoms.  This is the case with every chronic miasmatic disease.

This internal enemy I shall designate by the general term psora (Hahnemann 2000)

In most of the patients observed, Hahnemann verified a past history of psora.  Psora, he says, is the common well spring of many chronic diseases which seem to differ in essence but ultimately are one and the same.  ‘In Europe, as well as in the other continents, we have been able to discover but three chronic miasms which cause diseases manifesting themselves by local symptoms, and in which most chronic ailments originate.  These miasms are syphilis (which I have also termed the veneral chancre,) Sycosis, and then Psora, which forms the basis of the itch’

‘Though this psora is the oldest, most universal, and most pernicious chronic miasmatic disease, yet it has been misapprehended more than another.  For thousands of years it has disfigured and tortured mankind; and during the last centuries it has become the cause of those thousands of incredibly different, acute as well as chronic, non venereal diseases with which the civilized portion of mankind becomes more and more infected upon the whole inhabited globe psora is just as tedious as syphilis and Sycosis…unless it is thoroughly cured, it lasts until the last breath of the longest life, not even the robustness constitution, but its own unaided efforts, is able to annihilate and to extinguish psora.

Review of characteristics of miasm:

Psoric Miasm

Primary Psora:

Primary Psora expresses itself in locations like skin, mucus membrane and mind. It throws up characteristic, classical eruptions and discharges.

Secondary Psora:

When peripheral expression of primary Psora is blocked through suppressive measure, there is internalization of trouble with increasing involvement of more vital organs in secondary Psora:

Locations in secondary Psora are:

  1. Metabolism and nutrition
  2. Glands
  3. Reticuloendothelial System
  4. Cardio Vascular System and Central Nervous System

Cardinal Features  of Psora:

  1. “HYPERSENSITIVITY”
  2. “HYPERREACTIVITY”
  3. There are mainly FUNCTIONAL changes with minimal structural changes
  4. There is NO IRREVERSIBLE structural alteration
  5. Activity runs at high pitch at all levels
  6. Psycho Neuro-Endocrine mechanisms are alert, active and responsive to challenges.
  7. There is quick response at all levels, which are acute, sharp intense and changeable.
  8. There is increased sensitivity to pain3
  9. Simple inflammatory processes resolve rapidly without suppuration and residue.
  10. Qualitative alteration of susceptibility is evidenced by:

Defective recognition which leads to auto immune and collagen disease

Non recognition of self and non – self leads to proliferation of tumour cells

Sympathetic system is Hyperactive and hence endocrines are activated.

Example: Thyrotoxicosis without goitre

  1. Labile hypertension under stress etc.

Sycotic Miasm:

An over stimulated, hypersensitive and responsive system (in Psora) under continuous bombardment of adverse environmental input is driven into disorientation. Since activity has failed to arrest the disturbance, the biological intelligence tries to swing in the opposite direction.  This leads to inactivity which further leads to inappropriate, inefficient, aberrant immune response.

Cardinal Feature of Sycosis:

  1. Anaemia: Severe refractory to hematinic
  2. Weakness: Disproportional to cause < Suppression of discharge.
  3. Fatigue: Slowness and dullness
  4. Dullness of perception, slow registration of input.
  5. Physical level

<3 Suppression of eruption and discharges                                                  ↓

Chronic inflammation at local and remote area (example: Non specific chronic, urethritis)

Local inflammation à Suppuration à Scarring which leads to sterility in the female.

  1. Remote inflammatory response
  2. Rheumatic Fever
  3. Glomerulonephritis
  4. Rheumatoid arthritis
  5. Increased parasympathetic activity leads to decreased endocrine function, which then leads to obesity and thickening of skin.
  6. Hypertrophy of tissue and organ
  7. Accumulation of oxalate, phosphates, calcium à stone formation and gouty condition.
  8. Deposition of cholesterol in blood vessels
  9. Hypertension from damaged blood vessels in kidneys.
  10. Vascular damage leading to Ischemic Heart Disease.
  11. Loss of fibro muscular tone à displacement of organs, prolapse, varicose veins etc.
  12. Spasms

Tubercular Miasm (Pseudo – Psora): 

An indolent system with its aberrant, allergic, hypertrophy and spasmodic response makes a last ditch effort to survive and return to normalcy in the presence of continued adverse factors in the environment.

Increased activity at all levels

Mental and physical debility at all levels leads to “Heightened Psora”

Cardinal Feature of Tubercular Miasm:

  1. Hyper dynamic
  2. Changeable
  3. Alternating
  4. Changes at physical level include over stimulation of sympathetic system which leads to increased catabolism and decreased anabolism resulting in poor assimilation
  5. Emaciation with ravenous appetite
  6. Cracks, Ulcerations and fissures
  7. Premature graying of hair
  8. Tardy convalescences and protracted recovery from acute and chronic infection
  9. Easy suppuration and delayed healing
  10. Healing through fibrosis and scarring
  11. Decreased Resistance to tubercular infection

Syphilitic Miasm:       

Destruction all over and at all levels is the hallmark of the syphilitic miasm.

Predisposition

The following data in the past history or family history is suggestive of Syphilis:

  1. Past history of clinical syphilis
  2. Repeated abortions / Miscarriage
  3. Stillbirth, neonatal death.
  4. Fetal malformation
  5. Placenta previa
  6. Vesicular mole
  7. Toxemia of pregnancy
  8. Cancer
  9. Ectopic organs or tissue.

The over stimulated and exhausted system under continued adverse environmental inputs leads to total loss of control.

↓ Inadequacy of functioning at all levels

Cardinal Feature of Syphilis:

  1. Violent response which is disproportionate and progresses relentlessly towards destruction both mentally and physically.
  2. Violence and destruction at physical levels expressed in all tissues
  3. Skin: Pustules, cracks and fissure with bloody foul discharge
  4. Deformed Nails
  5. Alopecia
  6. Easily graying of hair
  7. Caries of mastoid
  8. Gangrene and ulcer formation with acute sudden onset with marked toxemia and malignant spread
  9. Deformity of joints – Osteoarthritis
  10. Dental caries even before teeth erupt.
  11. Bone pains < Night,      > Cold,                 > Movement
  12. Ulcer heal by fibrosis leading to puckered scar
  13. Corneal opacities
  14. Degeneration and atrophy of tissue due to
  15. Direct Cellular damage
  16. Vascular obliteration leads to Ischemia infarct which leads to Infarct
  17. Degeneration and atrophy of neuronal cells
  18. Premature degeneration and senility
  19. Neoplasia

In addition to these miasms, some circumstantial factors may also tend to produce or maintain or to aggravate the disease, especially the chronic ones. The question of susceptible constitutions (diathesis) and miasms is of great importance in  chronic cases.

This study will help in understanding which are the common clinical   presentations to look out for in a case of allergy.  It also helps understand the disease process with respect to its evolution in a person and how miasm plays a role in the process and the clinical symptoms.

Bibliography

“Hahnemann Concept of Chronic diseases

Hahnemann, Samuel (2001) Chronic disease their peculiar nature and their homoeopathic cure

Kent. J.T (1990), Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy, A – Chapter XIV Susceptibility

Ortega Proceso (1980), “Notes on the miasm or Hahnemann’s chronic diseases,

Ibid: C – Chapter – IV, What some of the great Homoeopaths have thought about the miasms, pg: 41, Pub: National Homoeopathic Pharmacy, New Delhi