Classification of Diseases in Homeopathy
In Homeopathy, the diseases are classified into four major groups.
2. Diseases due to Mechanical or External sources (Surgical conditions)
3. Acute Diseases
4. Chronic Diseases
Indisposition is a category of illness due to some exciting cause. The common exciting causes may be continuous exposure to strong odours, presence of foreign bodies, improper hygiene, poor sanitation, living in a damp or ill ventilated house, irregular or improper diet or lack of exercise. Such causative factors may bring a feeling of un wellness in individuals and thereby one may not be comfortable to attend daily work. Examples is indisposition experienced after attending official banquets or parties a couple of nights in a row we might end up with a dull headache and a burning in the stomach. The symptoms may be trivial. There may not be anything appreciable to call as diseased, but slight alteration of the health. These problems are due to lack of sleep, too much food and abuse of alcohol and will disappear without taking drugs once we listen to the warnings of our body and live accordingly. Indisposition usually normalise if certain restrictions are adopted in the diet, take more rest or change the place. Sometimes, such discomfort is eliminated when the causative factors are removed, surgically or by modification of the life style. Usually they do not require medicinal aid except in situation where there is serious derangement of health due to prolong stimuli.
Aphorism 150 of the Organon says “If a patient complains of one or more trivial symptoms that have been only observed a short time previously, the physician should not regard this as a fully developed disease that requires serious medical aid. A slight alteration in the diet and regimen will usually suffice to dispel such an indisposition”.
2. Diseases due to Mechanical or External sources
These include fractures, strains, poisoning, and exposure to extremes of heat or cold like frostbite and sunstroke. These diseases may be caused by some mechanical means or external sources. They are mainly self-curative, or can be set right by regulating environmental or by precipitating cause. Medicines can be used to assist or hasten the process of recovery. Removal of the causative factor, if still persists, is the first procedure to be followed for cure. It may involve surgical procedure or rectifying the diet or removal of irritating substance.
3. Acute Diseases (Aphorisms 72 & 73 of Organon of Medicine)
Acute diseases are the result of rapid morbid process of the deranged vital force. Their onset is sudden, have definite course and quick expression of action . They terminate within a short time either with complete recovery or with death of the patient. Acute diseases can again be classified into four groups.
Individual diseases: These acute diseases attack human beings individually. Excessive eating, Exposures to extremes of temperature, to storms, mental emotions are usually the causes in these cases. There is transient explosion of latent Psora, which soon returns to its dormant state after the individual is relieved of his sufferings.
Sporadic diseases: These acute diseases attack several persons at same time here and there due to the climatic or telluric influences and injurious agents. In this case the susceptibility is morbidly affected in few persons at one time.
Epidemic diseases: Here many persons are attacked with very similar sufferings from the same cause. These diseases usually become infectious when they prevail among thickly populated regions. Poor sanitation at large gathering like fairs, wars and natural calamities like earthquakes and famines, calamities of war, floods excite them. Some examples are typhoid, cholera, Mumps, Measles.
Endemic diseases: Here the diseases continuously prevail in a community all the time attacking many persons with similar sufferings from the same cause. These diseases are usually infectious.
4. Chronic Diseases (Aphorisms 74 & 82 of Organon of Medicine)
Chronic diseases have a gradual onset; slow progress, derange the living organism in their own peculiar manner resulting in gradual deviation of health. There may be unlimited life long suffering with further derangement till the living organism is fully destroyed. The chronic diseases are caused by the chronic miasms Psora, Syphilis and Sycosis.
Chronic Diseases are further classified in to diseases with fully developed symptoms and diseases with few developed symptoms
Diseases with fully developed symptoms: In this type good number of symptoms is displayed to the observing physician. These are good cases to treat as there are handy symptoms to select the similimum.
These are further classified into Non maismatic and Maismatic.
Non-miasmatic diseases usually result from bad living, iatrogenic diseases or occupational diseases (working conditions). They are not caused by an inherited susceptibility but due to constantly bad external factors, e. g. asthma or pulmonary fibrosis from workers in a cement factory. Another example could be someone who has to work hard physically every day developing back problems or arthritis. There are also self-made diseases evoked by alcohol and drug abuse, or as a result of heavy smoking or junk food. The worst cases of this kind (of non-miasmatic disease) result from long term addiction to drugs, abuse of medications, hormones, sprays, laxatives or strong ointments. These are artificial diseases caused by suppressive methods and treatments.
Miasmatic chronic diseases are genuine diseases accompanying the patient his whole life if not treated appropriately. Their roots go deep, their character is destructive; they are transmitted from one generation to the other and therefore so difficult to eliminate. There are three principle miasms, namely psora, sycosis, syphilis. The maismatic diseases are again broadly categorised as simple miasmatic and complex miasmatic. The simple miasmatic diseases are due to predominance of any one of the miasma. The complex miasmatic diseases are due to predominance of two or more. The disease of this type involves characteristics of two, three or of all of the four miasms.
One-sided diseases: Diseases having few symptoms, hence less amenable to cure. They only display one or two principal symptoms, which obscure almost all others. These are most difficult diseases to treat as there is scarcity of symptoms. This further classified as Diseases with Mental symptoms one or diseases with Physical symptoms only. The principal symptom may be either and internal complaint like headache, diarrhoea of long standing, or it may be an affection more of an external kind, termed as Local Maladies wherein the changes and ailments appear on the external parts of the body (e.g. Skin diseases).
Intermittent Diseases: These diseases recur at certain intervals where a morbid state of unvarying character returns at a fixed period, whilst the patient is apparently in good health during intervals, and takes its departure at an equally fixed period.
Alternating Diseases: In these diseases morbid states alternate at uncertain intervals with morbid states of a different kind.
Artificial Chronic Diseases:
These diseases originate by prolonged use of violent and large doses of medicines wherein the vital force is weakened to a large extent producing faulty organic alterations in the body in order to prevent the body from total destruction.
Classification of diseases in Homeopathy is done to establish logical basis for the recognition of disease conditions and to know their origin and relationship. Hahnemann’s efforts to categorise diseases is unique in the sense that he used the expression of the diseases as the basis of classification of the diseases. He has not used the nosological basis, but put all the causative factors into different categories , based on the diseases expression. Thus, we have all those diseases with a sudden onset, sudden progress and sudden termination as acute diseases and those diseases with a slow onset, slow progress and slow ending as chronic diseases.