Dr. Constantine Hering was popularly known as the father of American homeopathy. Homeopathy is greatly indebted to this pioneer for its growth. He was born at Oschath in Saxony on January 1 st 1800, in apart of eastern Germany. He grew up in a religious environment.
At the age of 17, with great interest in medicine he joined the University of Leipzig. There he became the favorite student of Dr. Henrich Robbi. Dr. Robbi was a critic of Hahnemann and he ridiculed Hahnemann and his homeopathy. Hering started his medical practice in the year of 1817 in the surgical academy of Dresden.
Conversion to Homeopathy
In the year 1821 C.Baumgartner, a publisher wanted to publish a book against homeopathy. Because of want of time Dr.Robbi recommended Dr. Constantine Hering as his assistant to write such a book. Dr. Constantine Hering happily took up this task and wanted to prove that homeopathy is quackery. He collected literature on homeopathy including the original writings of Hahnemann. The drug proving methodologies, the practical aspects mentioned in the materia medica pura, etc influenced Hering very much. As a true scientific personality, Hering wanted to confirm the truth. He repeated cinchona bark experiment on himself; further studies and experimentations confirmed the scientific basis of homeopathy.
During the year of 1824, Dr. Constantine Hering sustained a dissection wound on the fore-finger, which refused to heal with the orthodox system of medicine. The wound rapidly became gangrenous. He was advised to undergo amputation of the wounded hand. Then, he tried homeopathic treatment for the same from Dr. Kummer, a disciple of Hahnemann. Dr. Kummer treated Hering with Arsenicum album which relieved him totally.
This strengthened Hering’s belief in homeopathy further. He rejected the offer of writing a book against homeopathy. In the year 1826, he wrote a book the name “The medicine of the Future”. This was the thesis of his M.D degree. Hering left Germany for West Indies and finally arrived at Philadelphia in the year 1833. He established a town in the Allen town Pennsylvania commonly known as Allen’s town academy.
It seems that shortly after Hahnemann published his chronic disease theory, Hering performed the first proving of a nosode on himself. It was Hering’s idea to use miasmic agents as potentized remedies. The Greek word “Noso” is a prefix which is added to give the idea of a disease indicating its morbid root. This term is also connected with the Latin word “Noxa”, the root of the term noxious. This implies the use of potentially dangerous noxious materials as a basis for a potentized remedy. That is why Hering called these remedies “nosodes”.
By their very nature, these remedies must be used correctly. Hering is responsible for greatly expanding the Homeopathic materia medica as well as adding seven new categories of potentized remedies. Hering continued to experiment with nosodes of acute and chronic miasms and invited others to conduct provings. He was the first to recommend the use of potentized psorine (Psorinum) gleet-matter (Medorrhinum), pthisine (Tuberculinum) and syphiline (Syphilinum) as intercurrent remedies in chronic diseases. In 1830, Hering proposed the use of hydrophobinum for the prevention of rabies, Variolinum for prevention of smallpox and Psorine for the prevention of the itch miasm.
Read also about other Pioneer of Homeopathy
- Biography of Dr. L. D. Dhawale (1884-1960)
- Biography of Dr. Carroll Dunham (Homeopath)
- Samuel Hahnemann Biography(1755-1843)
Contributions of Dr. Constantine Hering
1. Hering has authored number of books; important ones are:
i. Domestic physician
ii. The guiding symptoms of materia medical The “Guiding symptom of materia medica” is presented in 10 volumes. This book is considered as the greatest contribution to homeopathic world. This book was published in the year of 1879, an year before his death.
iii. Analytic repertory (1881)
iv. Consisted view on the rise and progress of homeopathic medicine.
v. Hahnemann’s three rules concerning the rank of symptoms.
2. Dr. Constantine Hering as a prover:
i. Dr. Constantine Hering was the most adventurous homeopath. He proved most dangerous drugs like Lachesis, Lyssin etc. He was known as a daring homeopath.
ii. He also proved drugs like Calc.os, Calc.sulph, Crotalus horridus, glonoine, Lithium Carb, Lithium mur, Iodum, Merc.sulph, Tellurium, Theridium, Colchicum, Mezereum, Sabadilla, Sabina, Psorinum, Nux moschata, Apis mellifica, Phytolacca, Platina, Fluoric acid, Phosphoric acid etc. He proved around 72 drugs altogether.
iii. The idea of using poisons taken from insects, snakes, and other venomous creature (animal poisons).
iv. The use of remedies made from miasmas (nosodes).
v. The introduction of potentized miasmas taken directly from the patient’s body (auto-nosodes).
vi. The use of potentized miasmic products nosodes for the prevention of infectious diseases (homeoprophylaxis by nosodes).
vii. The use of homologous organs, tissue and secretions (sarcodes).
viii. The use of the chemical and nutritional elements innate to the organism (chemical and elemental relationships)
ix. The use of potentized disease vectors to remove infestation, e.g. potentized weed seeds to get rid of weeds and insects to remove infestations. (isodes)
x. Hering’s studies on minerals and salts paved the way for Schusslers’s bio-chemical salts.
xi. Hering directed the use of diluted and dynamized homologous organs as medicines which is called as the “iso-organo therapy”. According to this therapy, the diseased organs can be cured with the dynamized derivatives of the homologous healthy organs.
3. He enunciated the law of direction of cure, which is famously known as the “Hering’s law of cure”. “The cure must take place from above downwards, within outwards, from more important organ to less important organ and in the reverse order of the appearance of the symptoms”.
4. Hering contribute his service for the development of homeopathy world wide. He was the chief editor of “North American homeopathic journal”, “the homeopathic news”, “the American journal of homeopathic materia medica” etc.
5. He was the founder of “Dr. Hahnemann medical college of Pennsylvania of U.S.A. On 23rd June of 1880, Hering died of heart attack. His works are still guiding the homeopaths all over the world like bacon light in the journey of homeopathy.