Samuel Hahnemann

He created the basic principles of homeopathy. The word homeopathy comes from the Greek hómoios- ὅμοιος- "like-" + páthos πάθος "suffering".

Hippocrates of Kos

Hippocrates (Kos 460 BC - Larissa 377 BC) was an ancient Greek physician and is referred to as the father of Western medicine in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. Hippocrates is credited with being the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally, not because of superstition and gods. He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the gods but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits.

 
 

 

Hippocrates of Kos

Hippocrates is not only the father of Western medicine, but also a philosopher and a humanist.

Samuel Hahnemann

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (10 April 1755 – 2 July 1843) was a German physician, best known for creating the system of alternative medicine called homeopathy.
His research led him to the principle of homeopathy, similia similibus curentur ("like cures like"), according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure that disease in sick people.
He first published an article about the homeopathic approach in a German-language medical journal in 1796.

 
 

The contribution of Homeopathic Medicine to treating psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common, chronic inflammation of the skin. Its clinical picture is characterised by skin lesions that appear as thick, red patches with scales loosely attached to their surface. (1) (2) (3) Psoriasis affects roughly 2% of the population. The most common type of psoriasis is “psoriasis vulgaris”; it mostly affects the elbows, knees, scalp as well as other regions of the body. (4) (5) Another common type is “pustular psoriasis” with lesions that resemble red spots on the torso and the limbs, while more rare types include inverse psoriasis, phlyctenular psoriasis and psoriatic erythroderma. (1) In 10-30% of patients there is also pain in the joints, inflexibility and oedema; this is called psoriatic arthritis. (6)

The etiopathogenesis of psoriasis is related to the immune system, to an incorrect piece of information that leads to the rapid maturation and overproduction of skin cells, and consequently their accumulation in the upper layers of the skin, resulting in the formation of plaques. (1) Genetic factors play a part in the disease; it is estimated that one in three patients has a family history of psoriasis (7) but the typical patterns of inheritance are missing. The presence of the gene does not, by itself, suffice to trigger the disease.

The conventional therapies available at present are classified into topical agents, phototherapy and systemic agents; each is recommended depending on the extent, the severity and the resistance of the disease in each patient. (8) (9) While the former two usually bring about a temporary suppression of the lesions and require repeating, the latter entails the oral or parenteral administration of potent drugs; as these drugs target and powefully modify the function of the immune system, they have more side effects. (10)

 

Homeopathic Medicine and psoriasis

The basic principle of Homeopathic Medicine is the holistic and individualised approach to the patient. What this principle translates to in the context of the clinical practice is that the patient is seen as a unified whole, whose parts influence each other and interact with a wide range of exogenous factors, the main purpose always being the survival of the organism. Furthermore, the patient is seen as a unique entity with unique traits at the physical, emotional and mental level; these traits require an individualised specialised treatment even if the ailment is common for many different patients. These views are not far removed from the most recent theories of medical science, which favour a neuroendocrine-immunological, and systemic, approach to disease. (11) Gene therapy also treats the patient on an individualised basis. In Homeopathic Medicine, the choice of the absolutely “similar” remedy for each patient is based on his/her total physical, emotional and mental condition at the time of the examination. In other words, it is based on his/her neuroendocrine-immunological profile.

It is rather well known that the skin is an immune organ; presently it is regarded as the outermost part of our immune system. Its three basic immunological components (keratinised epidermal cells, Langerhans epidermal cells and epidermotropic T-cells) are collectively referred to as the Skin Immune System (SIS). Furthermore, the origin of the epidermis from the embryonic exoderm signifies its relationship to the Central Nervous System, as both originate in the same germinal layer.

One of the basic laws of Homeopathic Medicine is the Law of the Direction of Healing. If we abstract the human organism as a unified whole of subsystems that interact with each other and with the world outside, we understand that the correct homeopathic treatment always follows a specific direction. Healing proceeds from those tissues who have the least capacity to regenerate (the Central Nervous System) to those who can regenerate the most easily (skin and accessories); this is also the direction along which the human organism itself directs its own therapeutic attempts. It follows that the skin frequently becomes the first area of expression of deeper disturbances. We should always keep in mind that any and all attempts of our immune and our neuroendocrine systems have one and the same purpose: the survival of the human organism. The notion of “survival” itself is understood by the human organism as the survival of the mental and emotional aspect first and foremost, the physical aspect being less important. If we use these points to understand what we see in our everyday clinical practice, they explain many common observations, such as the following two:

First, the correlation of emotional changes and the appearance of skin ailments. Neurohormonal changes that happen as a result of intense emotions seem to be able to mobilise the activation of immune reactions that frequently involve our peripheral immune system (the skin). We might symbolically say that the organism, in order to ensure its emotional and mental survival - the most important type of survival as far as the human species is concerned - prefers to sacrifice the survival of the body (see Figure 1). But again, in the context of its optimal survival, in order to protect its most sensitive and least renewable systems, the organism prefers to express any disturbance on the tissue that can most easily regenerate itself; the skin. The basic trait that sets humans apart from animals is the mental aspect, and it is the survival of the mental aspect that becomes prioritised by the organism in times of disturbance.

Second, the reverse correlation between the appearance of skin diseases and the appearance of deeper diseases. The two following important clinical observations explain this reverse correlation. The first example is that of childhood eczema and its relationship to childhood asthma. (12) Childhood eczema responds fairly quickly to topical steroids. However, the allergic predisposition of the child cannot be healed this way; its expression will merely be suppressed, as far as the skin is concerned. However, according to Figure 1, this means that, following a steroid treatment, the allergic predisposition will find outlet in more important tissues. Indeed, when children who suffer with allergic asthma are treated homeopathically, any eczema that was there in the past but got suppressed, makes a comeback. The continuation of the homeopathic treatment leads to the final healing of the eczema as well as the asthma. This observation is particularly significant because it confirms the Law of the Direction of Healing. Yet it escapes notice of the medical community, falling victim to overspecialisation and the tendency to treat symptoms rather than causes.

Homeopathy can contribute substantially to the healing of psoriasis, as long as the patient begins treatment relatively early on when it first appears. Empirically speaking, it seems that cases that have persisted for more than five years are difficult to treat completely through Homeopathic Medicine; in these cases, treatment is usually aimed at palliating the patient and stabilising the disease at a bearable level. On the contrary, encouraging prognostic factors that render likely a complete healing through Homeopathy include a small chronicity, a lack of family history and the sure presence of a psychological factor that preceded the disease. In any case, the correct homeopathic treatment moves along the same therapeutic highways, that is, mobilises the same immunological mechanisms that are naturally summoned by the organism when striving for survival. It is exactly those mechanisms that are stimulated by homeopathic medicines, because homeopathic medicines are made from naturally occurring substances against which the organism summons the same immune mechanisms that it would mobilise against disease. As these medicines are administered in ultra-dilute doses, they cause the desired immune stimulation without causing any adverse effects.

 

 

References

 

(1) James W, Berger T, Elston D. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology (10th ed. p. 194). Saunders 2005.

 

(2) Cohen SN, Baron SE, Archer CB. British Association of Dermatologists and Royal College of General Practitioners. Guidance on the diagnosis and clinical management of psoriasis. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2012 May;37 Suppl 1:13-8.

 

(3) Zanni GR. Psoriasis: issues far more serious than cosmetic. Consult Pharm. 2012 Feb;27(2):86-8, 90, 93-6.

 

(4) Gudjonsson JE, Elder JT. Psoriasis: epidemiology. Clin Dermatol. 2007 Nov-Dec;25(6):535-46.

 

(5) Psoriasis.org statistics : http://www.psoriasis.org/learn_statistics

 

(6) Amherd-Hoekstra A, Näher H, Lorenz HM, Enk AH. Psoriatic arthritis: a review. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2010 May;8(5):332-9.

 

(7) Rahman P, Elder JT. Genetic epidemiology of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2005 Mar;64 Suppl 2:ii37-9; discussion ii40-1.

 

(8) Hendriks AG, Keijsers RR, de Jong EM, Seyger MM, van de Kerkhof PC. Combinations of classical time-honoured topicals in plaque psoriasis: a systematic review. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Jul 11.

 

(9) Bulat V, Situm M, Dediol I, Ljubicić I, Bradić L. The mechanisms of action of phototherapy in the treatment of the most common dermatoses. Coll Antropol. 2011 Sep;35 Suppl 2:147-51.

 

(10) Yeung H, Wan J, Van Voorhees AS, Callis Duffin K, Krueger GG, Kalb RE, Weisman JD, Sperber BR, Brod BA, Schleicher SM, Bebo BF Jr, Shin DB, Troxel AB, Gelfand JM. Patient-reported reasons for the discontinuation of commonly used treatments for moderate to severe psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Jul 28.

 

(11) Liu ET, Lauffenburger DA. Systems Biomedicine: concepts and perspectives. Academic Press 2009.

 

(12) von Kobyletzki LB, Bornehag CG, Hasselgren M, Larsson M, Boman Lindström C, Svensson A.

Eczema in early childhood is strongly associated with the development of asthma and rhinitis in a prospective cohort. BMC Dermatol. 2012 Jul 27;12(1):11.

 

(13) Raychaudhuri SP. Comorbidities of psoriatic arthritis -- metabolic syndrome and prevention: a report from the GRAPPA 2010 annual meeting. J Rheumatol. 2012 Feb;39(2):437-40.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pustular psoriasis treated with Homeopathic Medicine

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