Organon §117

Belonging to this latter category are the so-called idiosyncracies. These are [cases] in which a given individual bodily constitution, although otherwise healthy, has a tendency to be displaced into a more or less diseased state by certain things which seem to make absolutely no impression or alteration in many other people. 155 However this lack of impression on some persons is only apparent. Two things are required for a substance to be able to bring forth these and all other human condition-alterations:

1. the indwelling power of the impinging substance, and

2. the ability of the spirit-like dynamis that enlivens the organism to be aroused by this impinging substance.

Therefore, the conspicuous illnesses in the so-called idiosyncrasies cannot be attributed solely to these particular bodily constitutions but must, at the same time, be derived from these occasioning things in which must lie the power to make the same impression on all human bodies. It is just that few among the healthy bodily constitutions are inclined to let themselves be displaced by these things into a so conspicuous disease state. That these potences really make this impression on each body can be seen from the fact that they afford aid as homeopathic remedies to all sick persons for disease symptoms similar to the ones which they themselves can arouse, although apparently only in so-called idiosyncratic persons. 156

Comment

155 A few persons can faint from the smell of roses, or get into various other morbid, occasionally dangerous states from partaking of mussels, crab or barbel roe, by touching the foliage of some kinds of sumach, etc.

156 In this way, Princess Maria Porphyrogeneta helped her brother, Emperor Alexius, who suffered from faintings, by sprinkling him with rosewater-to twn rodwn stalagma [the liquid drop of roses]-in the presence of his aunt Eudoxia (Hist. byz. Alexius, lib. XV, p. 503, ed. PoЯer). Also, Horstius considered rose vinegar to be helpful in cases of faintings (Opera, III, p. 59).

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