Handbook of Homeopathy

Handbook of Homeopathy

  • Gerhard Koehler
  • A.R. Meuss - translator




Found on some schools' Suggested Reading list, this books offers a rather academic exposition on homeopathy.
240 pp pb


Preface to the Second Edition -- 7
Preface to the Fourth Edition -- 8
Preface -- 9-12

1. The Position of Homoeopathy within Medicine -- 13-17
2. The Principles of Homoeopathy: Hahnemann's Life Work -- 18-21
3. The Drug -- 22-37
4. Symptomatology -- 38-67
5. Case-Taking in Homoeopathic Practice -- 68-85
6. Different Methods of Determining the Approppriate Drug (Drug Diagnosis) -- 86-116
7. Drug Diagnosis Using a Repertory -- 117-143
8. Principles Governing Choice of Potency, Dose, Duration and Repetition of Drug Therapy -- 144-150
9. Observation of Drug Reactions -- 151-156
10. Particular Disease Categories and Their Treatment -- 157-170
11. Comments on Hahnemann's Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Homoeopathic Cure -- 171-223
12. Comments on Hahnemann's Organon of Practical Medicine -- 224-232
Index of Literature -- 233-238
Index -- 239-240


Reviewed by David Taylor Reilly

I wish I had seen this book four years ago when I started on that long shady homoeopathic road to confusion. The original title-'A Textbook of Homoeopathy'-would have given a better indication of the fact that the book is written by a doctor for doctors.

It grew out of a series of lectures for medical students at Freiburg University and the emphasis is on seeing homoeopathy as an integrated element within medical care. 'It is time to stop being arrogant and opt for co-operation' . . . to focus on 'the patient, not ... any ideology or therapeutic approach'.

It is hard not to be impressed by a homoeopathic author who is prepared to define his terms, never mind distinguish between a 'type' and a 'constitution'-'Typolology: observable characteristics of morphology, gesture, speech and demeanor.' Unfettered by materia medica the book achieves its aim of tackling the principles and practice at an accessible yet in-depth level.

It includes practical instruction in history taking and describes the different methods of drug diagnosis from the short to the long, from pattern recognition (synthesis) to analysis - without 'bible thumping' (a la Kent). It teaches you to repertorize and warns of the dangers in doing so.

There are a number of ideas which may be new to the UK reader. For instance, fellow anarchists will be pleased to see a repeat of Hahnemann's claim that the dosage of a potency (i.e. the material quantity administered) does matter. Dr Koehler's views on the treatment of mental illness merit study . . . 'with psychotic patients the drug diagnosis is based primarily on constitutional physical features'.

The references are cosmopolitan and educative; for example a study similar to Chris Day's work with Caullophyllum in pigs has been carried out in Germany.

The final chapters tackle head-on the traditional theories of chronic disease and include our old favourite-the miasms. He refuses 'to take part in the heated discussion of a theory which may be right or wrong' but points out that condemning the theory has yet to cure a patient, while taking account of some aspects of these chronic disease patterns may do so.

Overall 'the law of similars ranks above the merely theoretical psora concept.'

He finishes with a neat summary of 'the Organon of Practical Medicine'. This improved title is one of a number of excellent contributions by A. R. Meuss, who is to be congratulated on this and the many other improvements in the translation from the original German into English.

Her use of the terms drug and drug test instead of remedy and proving blends with Dr Koehler's attitude of viewing homoeopathy as an integrated aspect of contemporary medicine.

We are now recommending this book on the Glasgow courses and hope the publishers can be persuaded to translate the second volume, which covers therapeutics and materia medica.


British Homoeopathic Journal
Volume 76, Number 1, January 1987
Reprinted with permission from the Faculty of Homeopaths


Published in Germany in 1983 as Lehrbuch der Homoopathie. Translated by A.R. Meuss. A complete exposition on the principles and practice of homeopathy.

Julian Winston writes:
Although it contains a few errors (it gives the date of Kent's Repertory as 1877 instead of 1897, and has a very confused statement on the meaning of the repertory gradings) and has some advice that many homeopaths would certainly not agree with (i.e., the symptom in the patient must match the grade in the repertory; if the patient shows a symptom strongly, it must be in Bold type in the repertory), the book is, generally, very thorough in its explanations and definitions of homeopathic practice.

The Heritage of Homoeopathic Literature
copyright 2001 by Julian Winston
Reprinted with the permission of the author