| “No one man except
Hahnemann, has left so deep impression upon the literature
of Homoeopathy, or has exreted so great influence in favour
of the Homoeopathy taught, as Boenninghausen”
In this auspicious month of Hahnemann’s
birthday, if the pen could also become fatigue by enlisting
the laudable contributions of any second person besides Master
Hahnemann, then it is none other than the legendary SAGE OF
MUNSTER – Dr. Baron Clemens Maria Franz Von Boenninghausen.
This article makes a serious endeavour to focus on contributions
of this stalwart towards Homoeopathic Science thereby paying
a real tribute to our Master.
Boenninghausen was born on 12th March 1785 at Heringhaven, an
estate in Oberyssel, a province of the Netherlands in one of
the oldest families of Westphalia. He was a Baron by inheritance,
lawyer by profession, and an agriculturist by natural inclination.
He held responsible post in Dutch Civil Services. Because of
his keen interest in horticulture he was made Director of the
Botanical Gardens of Munster. But in 1827 he was diagnosed of
being suffering from Purulent Tuberculosis and was treated with
no relief. After having given up all hopes, he wrote a farewell
letter in desperation to his friend Dr. A.Weihe, ignorant of
the fact that he was a homoeopathic physician. Weihe distressed
at the news asked a detailed description of the disease, for
which he prescribed Pulsatilla. Boenninghausen was cured within
six months. He thereby not only became a staunch believer in
Homoeopathy, but also its active missionary till his last breath.
From 1830, he was in close touch with Hahnemann through regular
correspondence. In 1848, he established Homoeopathic society
of Rhineland and Westphalia. To a ripe old age he remained active.
On 24th January, 1864 he suffered from a stroke of apoplexy
and paralysis of left side and died on 26th January 1864 at
3.45 A.M. at the age of 78 years 10 months 14 days.
Now let’s discuss his splendid contributions to Homoeopathic
literature. His works in order of their appearance are listed
1. The cure of Cholera and its Preventives – 1831.
2. Repertory of the Anti – psoric Medicines, with a preface
by Hahnemann – 1832.
3. Summary view of the Chief sphere of operation of the Anti
– psoric remedies and of their characteristic peculiarities,
as an appendix to their Repertory – 1833.
4. An attempt at the Homoeopathic Therapy of Intermittent Fever
5. Contributions to knowledge of the peculiarities of Homoeopathic
Remedies – 1833.
6. Homoeopathic Diet and a complete image of a disease –
7. Homoeopathy, a Manual for the Non – medical public
8. Repertory of the Medicines which are not Anti – psoric
9. Attempt at showing the Relative kinship of Homoeopathic Medicines
10. Therapeutic Manual for the Homoeopathic Physicians, for
persons at the Sick bed and in the Study of the Materia Medica
Pura – 1846.
11. Brief Instructions for Non – Physicians as to the
prevention and cure of the Cholera – 1849.
12. The two sides of the Human body and Relationships –
13. The Homoeopathic Domestic Physician in Brief Therapeutic
Diagnosis – An Attempt – 1853.
14. The Homoeopathic Treatment of Whooping cough in its various
forms – 1860.
15. The Aphorisms of Hippocrates, with Notes by a Homoeopath
16. Attempt at a Homoeopathic Therapy of Intermittent and Other
Fevers, especially for would be homoeopaths.
Second augmented and revised edition Part – I, The Pyrexia
After the unsuccessful efforts of Dr.Gross, Ruckert and Jahr
in compiling a good Alphabetical Repertory, Boenninghausen,
the most intimate disciple of Hahnemann made a serious attempt
in this direction under the Master Hahnemann’s instruction.
His pioneering work Repertory of Antipsoric Medicines published
in 1832 was not only successful but it became a progenitor of
all later Repertories. It was based on Hahnemann’s original
works. This Repertory formed the basis of Jahr’s Repertory,
Allentown’s Manual, Lippe’s Repertory and Kent’s
Repertory. C.M.Boger’s idea of pathological generals actually
came from this book’s Generalities section. He established
Repertory as an additional, valuable and indispensable tool.
He was the 1st to :
1. Make the 1st General systematic Repertory.
2. Raised the Repertory from a mere index or dictionary to the
pedestal of a system.
3. Give Evaluation of Remedies in a particular rubric. This
gradation is based on frequency and intensity of the symptom
in the provers as well as in clinical verification.
4. Enunciate the Doctrine of Analogy / Grand Generalization.
5. Develop Relationship of Remedies also called as Concordance.
This gave a better understanding of the drug and points of contact
with other drugs with regard to specific spheres, locations,
modalities, tissues etc. He collected the principal spheres
of action of the remedies and then according to the similarities
of different remedies in these regions, placed them in different
relevant sections of the particular remedy whose relationships
have been detailed. This is the basis of his chapter on Relationship
or Concordances of remedies as given in BTPB.
Application of Concordance Chapter :
· To understand the genius of the remedy – when
we are able to compare it with other remedies in different areas
of application and also the degree of nearness or contact of
these remedies in different spheres. This is indeed a comparative
Materia Medica in nutshell.
· Helps us in selection of remedy for the case more certainly
as we are able to compare the remedy in mind with contending
· The third and most important use is the sequence of
remedies is especially in chronic cases. The next
remedy or the second prescription is thus indicated with a certainty
which no other Repertory or Materia Medica could offer.
6. See that certain drugs tend to have more and peculiar concomitants
7. First person to understand the utility of complete symptom
as given in the Organon of Medicine in Aphorism 86. He emphasized
the need of completing the symptoms in terms of Location, Sensation,
Modalities and Concomitants by which individualization becomes
8. First person to identify in each case a group of symptoms
along with and unrelated to main complaint which are quite crucial
in individualizing the case and remedy. Hahnemann had stated
the importance of the striking, singular, rare and characteristic
symptoms which Boenninghausen described as Concomitant symptoms.
He cited their importance during the treatment of the intermittent
fevers, mentioned that it was indeed very difficult to treat
such cases with Homoeopathy. But one understood the value of
these concomitant symptoms and paid more attention to the symptoms
of the patient during apyrexia than only to the symptoms of
paroxysm, one could notice that these accessories, associated
or concomitant or secondary symptoms during apyrexia become
more important and lead to the correctly indicated remedy. These
ought to be considered and even when they are contraindicated
to the symptoms of the paroxysm. He is praised by Hahnemann
for choice of suitable homoeopathic remedies for various epidemics
of fever in footnote section 235 of Organon of Medicine. The
work is elaborated in the book ‘An attempt at the Homoeopathic
Therapy of Intermittent Fever’ published in 1833
Boenninghausen was a regular contributor to magazines “Allegemeine
homoeopathische Zeitung” and “Neues Archiv fuer
homoeopathische Heilkunst”. These articles have been collected
in the Book “The Lesser Writings of C.M.F.V.Boenninghausen”
after being translated from the original journals while the
phraseology has mostly being left intact. The articles are related
to 4 major categories.
ii. Materia Medica
iii. His own Clinical Observation
iv. General direction and those for the non physician.
A few important articles are discussed below
1. Three Precautionary Rules of Hahnemann, 1844 :
This article relates to the three warning issued by Hahnemann
in treatment of Chronic diseases and the author’s extensive
explanations on these warnings: -
i. To suppose that the doses indicated in every antipsoric after
much experience, and compelled by experience, to be very small
i.e., smallness of doses,
ii. The wrong choice of medicine
iii. The excessive hurry which does not allow every dose to
finish its action.
2. Typhoid Fever and High Potencies:
Munster, November9, 1853 :
The author gives a detailed image of typhoid and his experience
in the treatment of typhoid fever with high potencies. The symptoms
being written in italics [frequent symptoms], small capitals
[more frequent symptoms] and Bold [continually recurrent]. Of
the remedies used in the treatment Bryonia is most frequently
indicated, other remedies coming in the picture were Puls, Rhus
tox, Nux v., Kali c., Ars, Bell, Hyos, Mur ac. and Tarax. Where
the reaction is defective, Sulphur and Carbo veg was used. He
mostly used 200th potency. Few hints from his prescription:-
· Ars. – Where the pulse is much accelerated in
the morning, but slower again in the evening.
· Tarax. – An indispensable remedy where pains
are only in the legs not in the arms.
· Kali carb – very useful after the fever has been
removed as a winding remedy.
· Sour taste of food points to Nux v. and bitter points
3. Traumatic Ailments and High Potencies :
This article again relates to the effectiveness of high potencies
in traumatic ailments and ends with Dr. Stapf quotation, “that
he owes his finest cures to the high potencies!”
4. Concerning the Relative value of Symptoms and something
In this article the author speaks of Dr. C.Hering suggestions
“the proving symptoms appearing last are the most important.”
And then adds that the verification of the statement can be
done without much difficulty – all that the Homoeopath
has to do is to compare the symptoms observed last, with the
brief hints given by Hahnemann and correlate them to their own
experience in practice, which incidentally are the characteristic
symptoms of the remedy. He uses the same technique in the study
of Borax and to confirm the peculiar and particular symptoms.
5. A Contribution to the Judgement concerning the Characteristic
value of symptoms:
In this article Boenninghausen describes the attributes of the
“characteristic symptoms” as mentioned by the Master
in Aphorism 153 of the Organon of Medicine [5th edition]. He
classifies the Characteristic symptom into seven categories.
1. QUIS [the personality, the individuality of the patient]
2. QUID [the nature and peculiarity of the disease]
3. UBI [Seat of the disease]
4. QUIBUS AUXULIS [Accompanying symptoms]
5. CUR [Cause of the disease]
6. QUOMODO [Modification, Agg., and Amel.]
7. QUANDO [time and circumstances].
These 7 points contain all the essential aspects
required to get a complete image of a disease. The author takes
each point individually and gives a detailed and exhaustive
6. Concerning Philoposia :
The article discusses about Philoposia [Greek – mania
for drinking]. He proceeds to give few valuable tips for quickest
and surest relief from intoxication like
· When caused by beer – abundant Chinese tea and
afterwards either Rhus or Nux.
· When caused by drinking brandy – drinking salt
water and later Puls.
· Drunken persons with red face, staring eyes and twitching
in facial muscles – Opium and Bell. in alteration
· To induce a sort of repugnance to liquors – 2-3
drops of Opium Q in morning coffee or a few doses of Ignatia.
· Dietetic remedy is milk which when continued
for a length of time continually increases the aversion to spirituous
liquors, without injuring the health.
7. Clinical Observations :
Boenninghausen states – the more chronic the affection,
the longer must be the interval between the administration of
In subjects where the remedies does not seem to act ascertain
the cause :
a. Psora – a dose of Psorinum before giving the remedy
corresponding to totality
b. Want of Susceptibility – Opium especially in plethoric
c. In weak and emaciated patients with small pulse – Carbo
d. Nervous excitement – Lauroceracus
e. Successive administration of a large number of homoeopathic
remedies, which without curing them have only altered symptoms
– a single dose of Psorinum is to be given a few days
before the indicated medicines.
1. Merc sol for bone diseases
2. Coloc. For Diabetes
3. Paralysis of tongue – Mez. Etc
The list of articles to be detailed is quite extensive. Time,
pages will fall short to elaborate the works of this legendary
figure to Homoeopathic literature and the profession will remain
indebted forever for his efforts towards perfection and progress
of Homoeopathy by establishing the credentiality before all
till his last breath. So rightly on his death the orbituary
in Allgemeine Homoeopathische Zeitung wrote:
“Our Science has lost in him one of its first leaders,
our journal one of its best co-laboreres, the society of physicians
of the Rhineland and Westphalia its head and its pillar or central
society a much honoured member and we personally a faithful
friend and loving teacher.”