Hahnemann’s 3 Miasm Theory

Homeopathy Miasm

The Miasm theory originated in Hahnemann’s book Chronic Diseases, published in 1828, when he decided to fix approximately 30C as the standard strength for all homeopaths. He explained that the theory was the result of 12 years of the most painstaking study of difficult cases of a chronic character, together with his own historical research into human diseases.

The three miasms given in this work are considered to be responsible for all diseases of a chronic nature and to be the basis of all diseases in general. This latter part would receive considerable amplification from Kent. Kent was also able to clearly define the remedies related to each miasma.

Although now accepted unquestioningly by most homeopaths, at the time the theory was generally met with disbelief and derision by all but the most devoted followers. In part, this could be explained by the primitive nature of medical science at the time. It was not very willing to accommodate any theory for the origin of the disease, at least not such a grand and all-encompassing one.

The word miasm means a cloud or fog in existence. The theory suggests that if 100% of all diseases are miasmatic, then 85% originate from the primary and atavistic miasm, which Hahnemann called Psora. The remaining 15% of all diseases are derived from either syphilis or sycosis, suppressed syphilis or suppressed gonorrhea. Hahnemann, unlike Kent, later attached no moral dimension to the sexual nature of the last two miasms. Kent, of course, emphasized this very much. This is hardly surprising in the somewhat Puritan atmosphere of nineteenth-century small-town America.

Taking them in reverse order, we can depict the main characteristic features of each miasma.


This miasm is considered responsible for many sexual and urinary disorders and for affecting the joints and mucous membranes. In addition, these conditions are exacerbated by humid air and contact with the sea. Thus arthritis and rheumatism, asthma, catarrh, bronchitis, cystitis and warts are considered partly or mainly psychotic in character. Since the wart was held responsible for all wart excesses and growths, it came to be seen as the archetype underlying this miasma. The principal drugs are Thuja, Lycopodium, Natrum sulph, Causticum, Kali sulph, Staphysagria, Calc and Sepia.


This miasm is thought to be responsible for many diseases of the nervous system, blood and skeleton, as well as a number of psychological disorders, including alcoholism, depression, suicidal impulses, insanity, loss of smell and taste, blindness, deafness and ulcerations. It is also associated with many heart conditions, some vesicular skin rashes and diseases with a certain nocturnal periodicity. The main drugs are Arsenicum, Aurum, Mercury, Phosphorus and Lycopodium, Nitric acid and others.


The word psora is derived from the Hebrew ‘Tsorat’ and the Greek ‘Psora’ and means a groove or stigma. Hahnemann argued that all chronic non-venereal diseases are Psoric. This includes most diseases of a chronic nature, all skin diseases, most mental illnesses except syphilitic ones, allergies, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, most dysfunctional diseases of organs and systems, etc.

Others list catarrh, asthma, pleurisy, hemoptysis, hydrocephalus, stomach ulcers, scrotal swelling, jaundice, swollen glands, cataracts, diabetes, tuberculosis, epilepsy, fever and suppressed urine, among others, as all typically psoric symptoms. Plus, of course, the whole gamut of skin problems.

The main Psoric remedies he recommends include Sulphur, Natrum mur, Calc carb, Arsen alb, Lycopodium, Phosphorus, Mesereum, Graphite, Causticum, Hepar sulphur, Petrol, Silica, Zinc and Psorinum.

Hahnemann also claimed that Psora is the oldest and most insidious miasma and that in the past it was caused by various skin rashes such as scabies (itching), leprosy and psoriasis. These are related to ancestral or one’s own early childhood. The suppression of these conditions, especially through the use of ointments, was recognized as the primary cause of Psora.

‘Psora is the oldest, most universal, most destructive and yet most misunderstood chronic miasmatic disease, which has disfigured and tormented humanity for thousands of years and has become the mother of an incredible variety of thousands of chronic diseases…’ [Chronic Diseases, p9]

In his Lectures, Kent greatly expanded the theory, suggesting that Psora, without which humanity would be pure and healthy in both mind and body, as it was in the Garden of Eden. He therefore equated Psora with the ‘Fall of Man’ and original sinfulness. He portrayed Psora in this highly moralized light as also the basis for the sexual miasms that arose later.

“You cannot separate medicine and theology. Man exists all the way from his deepest spirituality to his outermost natural.’ [Small Writings, p.641]

‘A man who does not believe in God cannot be a homeopath.” [s.671]

‘The body is corrupted because the inside of man is corrupted.’ [ibid, p.681]

‘Man… becomes susceptible to disease by doing evil, by thinking wrong…’ [ibid, p.664]

“Psora is the evolution of the state of man’s will, the ultimate state of sin.” [ibid, p.654]

“This growth that comes to man from living a malicious life is Psora.” [ibid, p.654]

‘Thinking, wanting and doing are the three things in life from which chronic miasms eventually emerge.’ [ibid, p.654]

‘…if Psora had never been established as a miasma on the human race…predisposition to acute diseases would be impossible…it is the basis of all disease.’ [Lectures, p.126]

‘Psora…is the state of susceptibility to disease from voluntary evils.’ [ibid, p.135]

‘The human race walking the earth today is little better than a moral leper. This is the state of the human mind today. In other words, everyone is Psoric.’ [ibid, p.135]

‘Psora…would not be in a perfectly healthy race.’ [ibid, p.133]

“As long as man continued to think what is right and to uphold what is good for his neighbor, righteousness and justice, man remained free from disease for so long, for this was the state in which he was created.” [ibid, p.134]

‘The inner state of man precedes that which surrounds him; therefore the environment is not the cause…’ [ibid, p.136]

‘Diseases correspond to human affections, and the diseases that afflict the human race today are nothing but the outward manifestations of what is in man… man hates his neighbor, he is ready to violate any order; such is the state operating system today. This is represented in the diseases of man.’ [ibid, p.136]

‘Itching is regarded as a shameful occurrence; so is everything that has a similar correspondence; for itching has in itself a correspondence with adultery…’ [ibid, p.137]

“How long can this thing go on before the human race is wiped off the face of the earth by the consequences of the destruction of Psora?” [ibid, pp.137-8]

‘Psora is the beginning of all physical disease… it is the underlying cause and the primitive or primary disorder of the human race.’ [ibid, p.126]

‘…because it goes back to the very primitive error of the human race, the first disease of the human race, namely mental illness… which laid the foundation for other diseases. [ibid, p.126]

I think it’s very clear from these quotes that Kent took a very puritanical and moral line about the origins of diseases within the human race and apparently felt that Psora was equivalent to Original Sin or the Fall of Man.

Hahnemann also drew attention to the origins of his theory and the remedies that he decided had the power to remove the symptoms of a particular miasma.

He gave a list of miasmic homeopathic remedies on page 1406 of Kent’s Repertory.

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