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The Origin, Use and Preparation of Nosodes

Dr. Indu Vaid

A nosode is simply a homeopathic remedy that is made from a disease product. It was Hering's idea to use these miasmic agents as a potentised remedy. These nosodes can be used as intercurrent remedies, as homoeoprophylactics or vaccines. A definite set of rules have been given for the preparation of these nosodes in the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India. Here, we reproduce the same from the Pharmacopoeia.


The nosodes are some homoeopathic preparations obtained from microbe cultures, viruses, pathological secretions and excretions. Simply stated: a nosode is a homeopathic remedy prepared from a pathological specimen. The only difference between a nosode and any other remedy, is the starting material. It could be blood, pus, any other body secretion or excretion, or even a diseased fragment of tissue, such as a growth. Rabies nosode, for example, starts with the saliva of a rabid dog and is then "potentized".

A nosode could be described as an "oral vaccine" in the sense that its purpose is to "immunize" the body against a specific disease. The major difference between a nosode and an "orthodox" vaccine is of course the extremely small (if any) quantity of physical substance in a nosode. Remember, it is the "energy" pattern not the "substance" that does the job in a homeopathic remedy.

The nosodes are prepared in two ways according as they come from cultured of microbes (simple nosodes) or from complex organic products. The simple nosodes prepared from viruses and bacteria, which are not cultivable, are assimilated for their preparations to complex nosodes.

De Medicina Futura
‘It is the duty of all of us to go farther in the theory and practice of Homoeopathy than Hahnemann has done. We ought to seek the truth which is before us and forsake the errors of the past.” - Constantine Hering

The Origin of the Nosodes
Shortly after Hahnemann published his chronic disease theory in 1828, Hering performed the first proving of Psorinum on himself. It was Hering's idea to use miasmic agents as a potentised remedy. The Greek word Noso is a prefix, which is added to give the idea of a disease indicating its morbid root. This term is also connected with the Latin word "noxa", the root of the term noxious or damaged. This implies the use of potentially dangerous noxious materials as a basis for a potentised remedy. That is why Hering called these remedies "nosodes".

Hering is responsible for greatly expanding the materia medica of homoeopathy and adding seven new categories of potentised remedies.

Hering's 7 uses of idem in homoeopathy include:

  • The use of poisons taken from insects, snakes and other venomous creatures (animal poisons).
  • The use of remedies from Miasmas (nosodes).
  • The introduction of potentised miasmas and morbid secretions taken directly from the patient's body (auto-nosodes).
  • The use of homologous organs, tissues and secretions (sarcodes).
  • The use of potentised miasmic products nosodes for the prevention of infectious diseases (nosode homoeoprophylaxis)
  • The use of chemical and nutritional elements innate to the human organism (chemical and elemental relationships).
  • The use of potentised genus groups as curative and preventive remedies for individuals, groups and habitats. Hering suggests potentised seed of weeds or dangerous plants and potentised insects or animals to remove and prevent infestations of dangerous species (isodes).
Hering continued to experiment with nosodes of acute and chronic miasms and invited others to conduct proving. He recommended the use of potentised watery experiments of cholera, the black vomit of yellow fever, the desquamated skin of malignant scarlet fever to bind bags of milk sugar in contact with skin of typhus patients, the use of leucorrhoeal matter etc. as well as psorine (psorinum) gleet matter (Medorrhinum), pthisine (Tuberculinum) and Syphiline (Syphilinum).

Hering was the first to propose that the nosodes could be used for the prevention of infectious diseases (homoeoprophylaxis). This research was further confirmed by the work of Baron Von Boenninghaussen who used Variolinum for the prevention of small pox. Hering also opined that various disease vectors could be removed by the use of idem in potency. He suggested that potentised weed seeds should be used for weed control and the potentised insects could help remove infestations.

Hering shared his information with Hahnemann and sent a sample of Psorinum, which the Old Master proved on three individuals. This research into the acute and chronic miasms and their nosodes expanded slowly but surely under Hering's guidance.

"One could in reality admit a fourth manner of using medicine against disease, that is to say the isopathic method, to treat a disease by the same miasm which has caused the disease. But supposing even that the things were possible and it would certainly be a valuable discovery, as the miasm is administered to the disease only after having modified it up to a certain point by the preparation to which it is submitted, the cure will take place in such a case only opposing the "Simillimum simillimo".

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