Homeopathy 2018; 107(03): 218-222
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1649499
The Faculty of Homeopathy

Symptom Similarity versus Disease Similarity: Revisiting the Application of the Law of Similars and Challenging the Symptom-Centric Approach in Homeopathy

Rajesh Shah
1   Department of Research, Life Force, Chembur, Mumbai, India
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

29 December 2017

29 March 2018

Publication Date:
16 May 2018 (online)


The system of homeopathic medicine is based on the Law of Similars. It is often implied by students and practitioners of homeopathy that the fundamental principle suggests that if the substance is capable of producing certain ‘symptoms’, it can also remove, treat, or ‘annihilate’ similar symptoms if the same substance is administered in a small dose. Hahnemann clearly highlights the importance of pathogenesis or ‘disease-producing power’, and not just the symptoms-producing power, as a part of the ‘totality of the disease’. The author perceives the need for a rectification in the symptom-centric approach in homeopathy. The pathogenesis of disease includes the mechanisms and the cause, which are more complete than the consideration of mere symptoms. Thus, the fundamental approach needs to be extended beyond the symptoms' similarity to the disease-pathogenesis similarity. Several clinical examples are given based on the imaginary expansion that is constructed on the ‘mind’ symptoms without the inclusion of the pathogenesis of the medicinal substance, suggesting the limitations and the risks to homeopathy of a purely symptom-centric approach.


• The pathogenesis of disease includes mechanisms and cause, which is more complete than the consideration of symptoms alone.

• The homeopathic prescribing approach should be extended beyond similarity of symptoms to include similarity of disease.