§ 153

In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms1 of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.

Foot-note in Fifth Edition

1 Dr. von Boenninghausen, who has already distinguished himself by his labours in connection with the new system of medicine, has lately increased our obligation to him by the publication of his important little book setting forth the characteristic symptoms, more particularly of the antipsoric medicines, entitled Uebersicht der Hauptwirkungs-Sphure der antips. Arz., Munster, bei Coppenrath, 1883, and the appendix thereto (containing the antisyphilitic and the antisycotic medicines) at the end of the second edition of his Systematisch-alphabetisches Repertorium der antipsorischen Arzneien, bei Coppenrath in Munster.

Foot-note in Sixth Edition

1 Dr. von Bonninghausen, by the publication of the characteristic symptoms of homoeopathic medicines and his repertory has rendered a great service to Homoeopathy as well as Dr. J.H.G. Jahr in his handbook of principal symptoms.

(In sixth edition, Hahnemann appreciated the work of Dr. Jahr also)


EB Nash’s Leader’s in Homoeopathic Therapeutics (1913):

Nux vomica – page 22:

In actual practice there are two kinds of cases that come to every physician. One is the case that may be prescribed for with great certainty of success on the symptoms that are styled characteristic and peculiar. (Organon, § 153. ) The other is where in all the case there are no such symptoms appearing; then there is only one way, viz., to hunt for the remedy that, in its pathogenesis, contains what is called the “tout ensemble” of the case. The majority of the cases, however, do have, standing out like beacon lights, some characteristic or keynote symptoms which guide to the study of the remedy that has the whole case in its pathogenesis.

Conium maculatum – page 176

There is a form of ophthalmia in strumous subjects which calls for Conium in preference to any other remedy, and the peculiar, prominent and uncommon (as Hahnemann says, Organon, paragraph 153 ) symptom is, photophobia intense, out of all proportion to the objective signs of inflammation in the eye. The pains are worse at night and terribly aggravated by the least ray of light, relieved in dark room and by pressure.

Origin of TOUT ENSEMBLE : French
Etymology: Loan term from French tout (all) + ensemble (together).
Meaning: the assemblage of parts or details, as in a work of art, considered as forming a whole; the ensemble.
Usage notes: Often used to refer to the overall effect of a work of art.
Synonyms: totality, whole


Outline by Julian Winston (2001): The striking, singular, uncommon, and peculiar signs and symptoms are the most important. The general symptoms are observed in every disease and from almost every drug.

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