What is Simple Substance in Homeopathy?

Simple Substance is the idea given by Dr. Kent which is, however more noteworthy than the idea of Vital Force given by Hahnemann. The simple substance provides for all that its own kind of life, gives it differentiation, gives it character whereby it contrasts from any remaining thing.

The healthy state is nothing but the harmonious state of body, mind, and soul. This harmony is maintained by an immaterial vital principle. Kent asks

“What is vital force? What is its character? Is it true that man only has this vital force? Is it possessed by no animal or no mineral?”

It is difficult to identify this immaterial substance as it not tangible and cannot be seen either, unlike the material substances which can be seen, measured and weighed etc. Material and the immaterial substances in this world are interdependent. The true holding together of the material world is performed by the simple substance. The order from the time of eternity of each material thing in this world is because of simple substance.

Simple Substance in Homeopathy

The world is functioning (see the stars, see the growth of the baby into an adult and into an old man, see the molecular moments in the solid, liquid, and gaseous states) and working in a planned and orderly manner because of simple substance.

Kent called the immaterial substance the fourth state of matter, the other three states being the solid, liquid, and gaseous states.

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Qualities of Simple Substance

  1.  The simple substance is endowed with formative intelligence. The simple substance is present in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdom. It gives every substance its own distinction and gives its identity. Every material substance follows a typical fixed pattern from their formation to full growth till its end. Every substance can create a similar look-alike in the process of procreation. This cyclic functioning is because of simple substance.
  2. Simple substance is subjective to changes. The cyclic procedure in nature need not be always in order, in some instances, it might lead to disorder also. Because of this changeability of the simple substance, the healthy man becomes sick and again by proper treatment becomes healthy.
  3. Simple substance may pervade the entire material substance without disturbing or replacing it. Simple substances possess the power of occupying the material substance without causing any damage either to itself or the body into which it occupies.
  4. When the simple substance is active, it dominates and controls the body it occupies. “The material body does not move, think or act unless it has simple substance. The energy derived from the simple substance keeps all the things in order. Without this, all the matter is dead and cannot be used for the higher purpose of existence”. Examine the universe and behold the stars, the sun, and the moon, they do not interfere with each other; they are kept in continuous order. Everything is kept in harmony by the simple substance.
  5. Simple substance is not subject to restitution. Matter is a substance to reduction. It can be continuously reduced until it is in the form of a simpler substance. But the simple substance cannot be reduced.
  6. The simple substance may exist as simple, compound, or complex. When two chemical substances react in a test tube, the simple substance of each reagent mix together, beautifully without disturbing each other. The result is a complex simple substance, which is altogether a new simple substance.
  7. Quantity cannot be predicted of simple substance, only quality in degrees of fineness can be predicted. The simple substance cannot be timed or spaced. The simple substance cannot be measured by the existing scientific instruments. It is impossible to measure simple substance with quantitative criteria because it is an immaterial one.
  8. Simple substance also has adaptive character. A dead body cannot adapt itself to the surrounding environment. It gets spoiled or reduced to ashes. On the contrary, a living organism possessing a simple substance adapts itself to the environment. Living individuals can protect to some extent, themselves from cold, heat, wet, dampness, and all circumstances.
  9. Simple substance is constructive. It keeps the body continuously constructed and reconstructed. But the moment a simple substance moves out of it, forces within the body that were constructive start behaving like destructive. The protoplasm of the cell functions as the protoplasm, only as long as the simple substance is inside it.
  10. Simple substances can occur in material substances in varying degrees. This is because it is an energy or force or dynamis. Example: the degree of simple substance in the dynamized drug substance “Silicea” varies in potencies 30th, 200th, and 1000th potencies.


So, Dr. Kent concludes

“All disease causes are simple substances. We study simple substances in order to arrive at the nature of sick making substance. We also potentize our medicines to arrive at simple substance”.

The simple substance of Kent can be considered as the expanded, widened, and universal allocation and understanding of Hahnemann’s “Theory of vital principle”.

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