The Aphorisms of Hippocrates by von Boenninghausen - Book II

Selected Aphorisms Of Hippocrates
With Comments By Dr. von Boenninghausen

From The Homoeopathic Recorder, Vol. LVIII, No. 10, 11, 12, (April, May, June) 1943.

translated by S.W.S.


Baron von Boenninghausen, LLD, MD (1785 to 1864) was Hahnemann's most intimate friend, diligent pupil and indefatigable co-laborer, as well as Germany's greatest homeopathist next to the master. In addition to an enormous practice, from nobility to peasant, he managed to write very many classical articles and books on the art of Homoeopathy. These were always exact, trustworthy, fully endorsed by Hahnemann, and so voluminous that they alone would easily occupy the lifetime of a good man. Among the true followers of Hahnemann, von Boenninghausen is best known for his Therapeutic Pocketbook, Repertory of the Antipsorics, and his last and greatest work, Die Aphorismen des Hippokrates, which has not been translated into English, but from which the following excerpts were taken, which contain practically all the homoeopathic "gold nuggets".--S.W.S.


APHORISM 38. Slightly inferior food or drink is preferable to superior kinds, if they are more palatable.

COMMENT: Without doubt many physicians have had numerous cases in which there were aversions or cravings toward certain foods or drinks, or where things otherwise agreeing simply did not seem to be suitable to the patient. These symptoms, belonging to the sickness picture, for there usually is no good basis present, neither physiologically nor chemically, nevertheless demand recognition for the remedy choice.

Homoeopathy aims to gather always more experience along these lines, because such symptoms are often of much value, sometimes indispensable, especially where the sickness picture is poor in characteristic symptoms. At times one such peculiarity decided between several apparently indicated remedies, and rarely is a mistake in remedy selection caused thereby. We know the remedies which are called for when aversion to certain foods is present, e.g., hard-boiled eggs: Bryonia, mutton: Calcarea carbonica, sauerkraut: Helleborus; cheese: Oleander; herring: Phosphorus; beef: Mercurius, etc., and we observe these indications. So also we pay attention to certain cravings, e.g., oysters: Lachesis; smoked fish: Causticum, honey: Sabadilla; cheese: Ignatia, dry rolls: Aurum, etc. All this is important for the choice of our remedy, especially when there is aversion to or craving for sweet or sour, cold or warm food or drink.

It is not less important when certain foods, not injurious in themselves, do not agree with the patient; their number, ascertained by remedy proving or clinical observations, is by far greater than the afore-mentioned conditions. Here also we find peculiarities which have no explanation. To mention just a few examples: aggravation from buttermilk: Pulsatilla strawberries: Sepia, cucumbers: Acidum sulphuricum, odor from eggs or pork: Colchicum, odor from coffee, even more than from drinking it: Acidum sulphuricum, honey: Natrum carbonicum, herring, peaches, and melons: Acidum Fluoricum, lemonade: Selenium, etc. Such conditions gain more importance when paired with aversion to the same food or drink.

APHORISM 42. It is impossible to cure a severe attack of apoplexy, and not easy to cure a mild attack.

COMMENT: Severe apoplectic attacks are fatal in a short time. If the patient lives till the homoeopathic physician can reach him, then Opium will be the remedy; if pupils are contracted, the pulse slow and full, and the face red; or Lachesis when the pulse is weak and small, and the face purplish-pale. Other remedies may be indicated by a carefully taken anamnesis and by the symptoms present.

The smaller apoplectic attacks can neither be treated after a mold. Here in the presence of an irritable pulse Aconite must first be given, and later, according to the previously mentioned symptoms either Opium or Lachesis. The paralyses observed after consciousness returns often are overcome in a short time by Cocculus or Arnica, indicted by their respective accompanying symptoms; however, a number of other remedies may also come in question.

APHORISM 48. In every exertion of the body, to rest at once when pain begins, relieves the suffering.

COMMENT: Rest can do here no more than what nature in course of time accomplishes, hence rest is not a curative contrarium. If however such homoeopathic remedies are used, which in their proving show similar fatigue with over-exertion pains, Arnica in the first named condition, and Rhus toxicodendron in the other, then a cure will be produced much quicker than just by rest.