The Two Types of Disease

Did you know…

That there are two fundamental types of disease?

There are primary diseases that have a constant nature, such that they are easy to recognize when they re-appear, such as measles, chickenpox, yellow fever, cholera.

These primary, constant nature diseases can give rise to one or more variants, or secondary diseases. Which ones will arise in a given person, once affected by the primary disease depends on a number of factors, including one’s constitution, typology, etc. Thus, we say that these secondary diseases are of a variable nature.

Primary, Constant Diseases

The constant diseases are readily identified, and can be sub-divided into specific jurisdictions according to the operative principle. The main ones are:

- homogenic – they arise from the principle of irritant action

- pathogenic – they arise from the principle of infectious action

- iatrogenic - they arise from the principle of improper drug action

There are also diseases that fall into the realm of mind as well as the soul-spirit, which we term ideogenic diseases; the principle here is that of ignorance which leads to belief, illusion and delusion, distorting our ability to perceive and apperceive reality.

Because of the constant nature of the primary disease, only one (constant) medicine is required to treat a given primary disease. The same remedy is used for the given primary disease regardless of the variety of outward manifestations, signs and symptoms in different individuals. The matching between a primary disease with its curative medicine or remedy is relatively easy.

The homogenic diseases are either physical (such as toxins, poisons, accidents, physical injuries) or emotional (unresolved grief, fear, anger or guilt). The specific remedies for each of these have been worked out clinically over time, such as Natrum muriaticum for unresolved grief, and Arnica montana for a bruise, or Apis mellifica for a bee sting.

The pathogenic disease remedies are determined by identifying the microbe or pathogen and making an energetic medicine from them, either as a pure strain (isode) or by means of a characteristic disease exudate or discharge (nosode). For example, treating the chronic disease pattern tuberculosis is done by the nosode Tuberculinum; treating measles is done through the nosode Morbillinum.

The iatrogenic diseases are determined by the drug prescribed. Treating a disease engendered by a given drug is done via the isode made from that drug, such as treating ‘side-effects’ of the antibiotic Amoxicillin by means of the isode Amoxicillin. Or we could remove the disease effects of a vaccination by using the energized isode of the vaccine injected, such as MMR for the MMR vaccination.

Secondary, Variable Diseases

These diseases are more difficult to identify as this must be done by means of the specific symptoms of the patient. This is the basis for homeopathic prescribing proper (prescribing for the constant diseases is more properly termed ‘homotonic’ prescribing’). However, since the secondary, variable diseases are derived from the primary, constant diseases, treating the primary diseases often removes certain secondary diseases at the same time. The homeopathic prescribing based on the symptoms, disease expressions of the patient, is mostly used in acute situations when it is relatively easy to ascertain the secondary disease being expressed.

To aid the process of homeopathic prescribing, homeopaths have undertaken many clinical trials, which are called ‘provings’,of a given substance (in a safe dose) and then noted the symptoms that arise. These symptom pictures are catalogued in a resource called a Materia Medica, and in a tool for sifting through all the symptoms, termed a repertory. Some well-known and traditional works include: Boericke’s Repertory and Materia Medica, Clark’s Dictionary of Materia Medica, and Kent’s Repertory. There are many more, and modern ones have been updated with the more recent provings.

Thus putting the two types of diseases and their treatment together, if a person had chickenpox, he would be given Varicella, the specific for that disease, and the remaining acute symptoms would be examined to see which possible secondary disease picture existed, and once this symptom picture was matched to the symptom picture of a medicine in the Materia Medica, this particular medicine or remedy would also be given to the chickenpox patient.

Hahnemann laid down a rule that the primary, constant diseases should be treated first, and then if there are any remaining secondary diseases, these are to be treated.

Next week, we’ll take a closer look at the different jurisdictions of the primary diseases. Stay tuned!

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