What Are Miasms?
Miasms are disease-producing dynamic factors. They manifest in many ways from the subtle to the profound dependent upon individual genome (genetic) expression
Dr. Samuel HahnemannDiagnosing and treating the acute disease is much easier than properly assessing chronic disease and selecting the appropriate approach. Often a true approach in chronic disease is missed and suppressive or palliative (serving to relieve without cure) treatment is rendered.
Present symptoms in a acute episode dictate the course of treatment, whereas in chronic disease these signs and symptoms may be subtle or even absent. Attempting to discern the factors that have significantly influenced the organism to arrive at this chronic stage requires an appreciation of the individual’s predisposition, susceptibility, and personal/familial history. Therefore, an understanding of the person as the whole with specific impact by the causative organism and the disease process is required.
Currently, we look at chronic disease with the same set of filters we have developed that assist us in dealing with acute disease. We must set aside these and develop a new set of perceptual filters to fully appreciate the chronic condition. Hahnemann was ahead of his time in his understanding the effect the ’cause of disease’ has in the process of chronic disease. He also placed a large value on the individual symptoms presented; therefore he had an appreciation for genetic expression decades before the gene was discovered. Hahnemann described the idea of needing to address the various layers when treating disease. Understanding this he then had a model to appreciate the impact of inherited weaknesses or susceptibilities. He would take accurate histories of symptoms whereupon he could account for those patients who state, “I have not been well since…” or “Just like my grandmother had…” Hahnemann become frustrated by choosing an appropriate remedy only to have the patient return later showing the need for the same remedy while their degenerative condition and life force continued to decline. By appreciating the layers of a disease as he did, he understood that in treating, one must pay attention to what which is acting as a blockage to cure.
Understanding this led Hahnemann to appreciate that in order to elicit a cure, one must address the cause not the symptom. He also theorized that illness is a destabilization of the life force from forces acting upon the weaknesses of the individual. Finally, the earlier the trauma or deeper the trauma, the more impact it has on the individual and his/her ability to return to health. Thus, time is considered to play a significant role. We have all learned to take thorough histories, but we ultimately, only treat the patient in the here-and-now with little emphasis on treating the cause; i.e., the ‘strep throat’ which may have caused the cascade of poor health and lowered the vitality of the individual, thus becoming more susceptible to subsequent traumas that he/she would otherwise have been able to deal with. Hahnemann is often thought of as a vitalist but he was more accurately a dynamist as demonstrated by the methodology. Paying attention to the vital force and the various factors that impacted the afflicted person, he formed the concept of inherited or acquired miasms.
There are three main causes of disease, which must be addressed to elicit a cure:
- Acquired ‘susceptibility’ (requires use of nutrition to support the system)
- Imbalance of one’s ‘constitution’ (requires miasm or singular formulations)
- Effects of ‘specific’ or ‘abnormal’ stressors (requires use of xenobiotic, nosodes or isodes)
Types of Miasms
‘Miasms” are of two types:
First, the active or acute miasm is one that commences with an initial disease phase. It progresses through its disease process whereupon the individual either improves or dies.
There are two varieties of acute miasms:
- The recurring acute miasm where there is a repetitive attack over time, e.g., asthma, diarrhea, fever, headache.
- The non-recurring acute miasm where disorders only occur in a lifetime such as chickenpox, measles, mumps. All of these conditions have sequelae (condition resulting from the disease) and may be activated (latent miasm) by stressors. An example of this would be Chickenpox and Herpes Zoster. This could also be the “Strep throat” mentioned earlier or a “dental cavitation”. This concept in homeopathic thinking is mostly associated with the ‘Biological Terrain’. In homeopathic thought, it is one’s constitution that is of primary importance and secondarily the disease-causing organism.Microorganisms are opportunistic and will cause disease if the host’s constitution is weak. Antibiotics may be used to kill microorganisms, but the intrinsic disease factor may establish and linger. Some believe this may occur via gene alteration. In addition, the use of the antibiotic may also cause an additional component that may effect the individual’s constitution.
Second, the inherited or chronic miasm has a significant impact upon the susceptibility of the individual. These have been passed through the generations, perhaps via affecting the genome (genetic) of the original individual afflicted. A chronic miasm will establish its disease profile and continue without the dormancy of the active type of miasm. Obviously, it is this type of miasm that is more prone to create degenerative disease processes.
There are three varieties of chronic miasms:
- Psora (miasm of deficiency). Probably 80% of the population has a component of Psora affecting them. It chiefly affects the bowel and skin. It has been called the oldest of the miasms and therefore the deepest acting. Psora is an internal disorder that externalizes; e.g., asthmatics that suffer with eczema. There is a separation of ego and self and therefore many hysterias and manias have their origin here. They are often hypochondriacal and will present with different symptoms each time seen. Hypoactivity characterizes this individual in that they are anergic (sluggish) and the vital energy tends to underfunction and it fails to deal with invading pathogens. Psora types are timid, reserved, indifferent, intelligent, apprehensive, over-sensitive, restless, cold, easily fatigued or depressed, better by lying down or scratching, constantly hungry with a desire for hot foods, have an unkept appearance, dry itchy skin with burning sensations in the hands and feet. Symptoms will manifest more in the winter months. They will complain of digestive troubles, being cold, fears, defective bone development, poor self images, liver, lung, circulatory and heart problems, hyperactivity, allergies and often not finish what they start.
- Sycosis (miasm of excess) Conditions of excess such as drug abuse, alcoholism, greed, diabetes, and autoimmune responses all have ties to this miasm. The underlying cause has its roots from the gonorrheal organism. Growths capture how this miasm manifests itself, be it warts, condylomas (wart like growth usually seen near genitalia or anus), cysts, tumors or sclerosing of organs. This miasm covers all the “-osis” and “-itis” conditions. This type of patient will usually be well muscled in build and can suddenly die without any obvious signs or symptoms due to the suppressive nature of this miasm. Mentally, there is jealousy, selfishness, desiring of pleasure without thinking of consequence, exploitive, irritability, mistrustfulness, suspiciousness. There is desire of hot or cold foods, they have aversions to meats, tend to develop gray hair early and recover slowly. They tend to suffer from reproductive problems, peptic ulcers, colitis, warts, blood, kidney, liver, lung and heart valve problems. Complaints decrease when there is movement of fluids in the form of discharges that may be odorous.
- Syphilinum/Luetic (miasms of destruction) This miasm stems from a contagious and destructive organism which causes necrosis (death of areas of tissue or bone surrounded by health tissues), ulceration and breakdown of the immune system and tissue integrity. These patients will have difficulty following directions for cure due to their destructive behavior. Affliction of the brain, nervous system and bone are targeted by this miasm. Mentally, they are cold, ruthless and unfeeling, bear little conscience or regard for life, are spiteful, hateful, revengeful, cruel, jealous, destructive and sabotaging to relationships. Their skin can be sweaty and greasy often with an offensive smell. Alopecia (hair loss) is a common presentation of this miasm. Symptoms are often increased in the summer and winter and worse at night. They desire cold foods and are averse to meats.
There are two varieties other varieties of chronic miasms:
- Tuberculinum This miasm was known as the “antipsora” until named and has characteristics of Psora and Syphilinum. They are frail individuals sensitive to the heat; however, they may often feel chilled. They will tire with excessive activity but feel better when moving about. They are sensitive to air pollution and barometric or atmospheric changes. There is mental restlessness and dissatisfaction in these individuals. They sense a need for change and alter their present status. They can quickly change from a good-tempered mindset to being disagreeable and angry. They desire seeing new things and are adverse to mental work. Fatigue is one of the hallmarks of these individuals. There is a dislike of changes of weather and thunderstorms. Physically, look to the muscular system, bone and other areas requiring oxygen to function properly.
- Carcinosin This tends to be a combination of the Sycosis and the Syphilinum miasms. Since this entity may attack multiple organs, it has a wide presentation. Typically, there is growth (Sycosis component) and then destruction (Syphilinum component). They have difficulty thinking and make decisions. This miasm remedy may assist those with tendencies toward illnesses of pneumonia, pernicious anemia or whooping cough. Typically those with pale skin color, blue sclera of the eyes, spider nevi (veins), and numerous illnesses over a short period of time or in childhood may benefit from dosing. These indications suggest one whose constitution has been severely weakened. There is a tendency to suicide among these individuals. They can be apathetic (in different, no interest), may have sensitive gums and teeth, and have headaches before a storm and bizarre tics. Spilling of albumin would suggest need for dosing. In order to give this remedy it is important to take a familial history look for cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis, or pernicious anemia. They are ameliorated (improved) or aggravated by the seaside. Those children with learning disorders or mongolism (down syndrome)can also benefit from Carcinosin.
Causes of Disease
Fully appreciating the various causes of disease assists us in matching the appropriate level of cure. During the years when the plague and other disease such as leprosy, tuberculosis, cholera (bilious diarrhea) and syphilis were pandemic, homeopaths were quite successful in treating these diseases having lower incidence of death compared to that of the allopathic (medical) institutions of that time. Hahnemann became well acquainted with these and he treated patients not only by homeopathy but also with diet, lifestyle changes, and other modalities.
His method was termed “Heilkunst” (the art of health). From this approach he outlined the various levels of disease.
Factors In Disease
Factors in disease can be
- Nutrigenic: Poor diet and lifestyle. These factors lower or raise the level of vital force already existent. Exercise, nutrition and sanitation are principle stimulating agents. Diet and how one feels is important here. (TX – use nutritionals, glandulars, botanicals)
- Homeogenic: Physical or emotional shocks or traumas. These factors lower or raise the level of vital force already existent. This category is caused by irritant action on the individual. (TX – massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, aromatherapy, flower essences, general homeopathy, botanicals, and counseling are all agents to use to assist normalization.)
- Iatrogenic: Side effects or results of actions taken. Look at behaviors. These factors lower or raise the level of vital force already existent. Immediate effects of vaccination, allopathic or other drug effects can be causes. Isopathy (resonance of the drug) is an effective way to reverse this component. Treated conditions are important here. (TX – use first aid support along with drainage combinations and isode therapy.)
- Pathogenic: Microorganisms, natural toxins or poisons, inherited or acquired miasms. These factors influence the individual’s ability to generate more vital force. Therapy useful in treating this level is to use isopathy and nosodes (resonance of the pathogen) remedies. Many miasms exist as this level. This is ascertained by the signs that a pathogen produces: i.e, measles. (TX – use nutritional support with botanicals, drainage and nosode therapy.)
- Ideogenic: False thought, ill conceived ideas, fabricated realities. This affects the core of the being. These factors influence the individual’s ability to generate more vital force. Hahnemann believed this level was the deepest and most difficult to treat. He believed this predated disease and that all disease has it origin here. (TX – use of vibrational energies (resonance of thought/energies) are of benefit here with remedies such as high potencies, xenobiotics, seed remedies, meditation.)
*None of the statements in this information sheet have been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. None of the therapies or products mentioned are intended to replace traditional medicine, diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.