When did Hering first mention his ‘Law’?
29 December 2017 (online)
The article by Oberbaum et al’[ 1 ] on the ‘colour’ of homeopathic improvement in the last issue of Homeopathy cites Hering's article ‘Hahnemann's three rules concerning the rank of symptoms’, Hahnemannian Monthly 1865;1:5–12 as a reference to Hering's ‘Law of Cure’. This is often considered to be the authoritative statement of Hering's Law and is faithfully reproduced by many authors as a footnote, often without the availability of the original for perusal. I have never seen it.
Some years ago I located a much earlier version. It is part of ‘Dr Hering's Preface’ to Hahnemann's Chronic Diseases (1828) translated by Charles Hempel and published in 1845 by William Radde of New York. When the 1833 edition of Chronic Diseases was translated by Louis Tafel in 1896 (Boericke and Tafel, Philadelphia, and Indian reprints) this preface was omitted, and so Hering's Law was lost until recently. It was published in The Homeopath 1987; 7:1, and in an edition by Homoeopathic Book Service of Sittingbourne 1998; I have recently made it available at http://www.homeoint.org/cazalet/hering/chronicdiseases.htm.
The main issue is, that not only is the direction of cure from the centre to the circumference, but also that there must to be a skin eruption for cure to be achieved. Oberbaum et al here refer to Hering's Law without mentioning that the diligent homeopath should observe a skin eruption to be certain of cure. I have never been able to conceive of a clinical test for the veracity of Hering's Law. I will donate a copy of Hahnemann's 1810 Organon translated by Charles Wheeler (Dent 1913) to anyone who succeeds!
- 1 Oberbaum M., Singer S.R., Vithoulkas G. The colour of the homeopathic improvement: the multidimensional nature of the response to homeopathic therapy, Homp 94;3: 196–199