Hahnemann classes acute diseases under two distinct heads.
The first constitutes isolated cases of sickness, and arises from some pernicious cause to which patients have been exposed, such as excess in
eating or drinking, starvation, violent physical influences, cold, heat, fatigue, etc., or violent emotions.
The second kind arises from meteoric or telluric influences; it develops itself in a number of individuals at one and the same time, in different localities, and is, on that account, termed sporadic.
Sporadic diseases are termed epidemic, when they become contagious by acting upon close and compact masses of human beings. War, inundations, and
famine, frequently give rise to these diseases, but they may likewise result from acute miasms, which always reappear under the same form ; some of them attacking man only once in his life-time, such as smallpox, measles, whooping-cough, the scarlet fever of Sydenham, mumps, etc.; whereas others may attack repeatedly, such as the plague, yellow-fever, Asiatic cholera, etc.
All chronic diseases, which properly claim this appellation, arise from three miasms, psora, syphilis, and sycosis. The characteristic sign of the syphilitic miasm is the chancre, and that of the sycosic miasm a cauliflower-shaped excrescence. The psoric miasm is the most inveterate and most universal of all chronic miasms. ”
It is not,” says Hahnemann, in Sect. 80 of the Organon, “until the whole organism is infected, that psora declares its huge internal chronic miasm by a cutaneous eruption (sometimes consisting only in a few pimples) that is peculiar to it, and accompanied by an insupportable titillation, a voluptuous itching, and a specific odor. This psora is the sole, true and fundamental cause that produces all the other countless forms of disease which, under the names of nervous debility, hysteria, hemicrania, hypochondriasis, insanity, melancholia, idiocy, madness, epilepsy, and spasms of all kinds, softening of the bones, or rickets, scoliasis and cyphosis, caries, cancer, fungus haemotodes, disorganizations and adventitious growths
of all kinds, gravel, gout, piles, jaundice and cyanosis dropsy, amenorrhoea, gastrorrhagia, epistaxis, haemoptysis, haamaturia, metrorrhagia, asthma, phthisis, impotence and sterility, deafness, cataract and amaurosis, paralysis, loss of sense, pains of every kind, etc., appear in our pathology as so many peculiar, distinct and independent diseases.”