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You are viewing: History & Basis - Constitution 2 - Level 3
to History & Basis - Level 1

Constitution - Historical Background
& Development

Aruvedic Doshas and Elements (circa 3200 BC)
This dates back to the early Sanskrit civilisation around the Indo Gangetic plane with its unbounded
treasures - the Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Yoga Shastras.

The Doshas were first enunciated as oral philosophical teachings in which it was believed that
Constitution could be classified into three forms of energy (Doshas) each of which were comprised of varying proportions of the five elements space, air, fire, water and earth.
Vartha Dosha (mainly air & space) is the energy form for slender underweight people
Pitha Dosha (mainly fire & water) represents those of normal size and
Kapha Dosha (mainly water & earth) which is the energy form of those who were large and

Confucian Philosophy (550- 479 BC)
A century or so before the golden age of Greek Philosophy Confucius in China held that C
onstitution was composed in varying degrees of five moral energy forces Humanity, Rectification, Loyalty, Piety and Ritual. Each moral force was present in the form of two opposing forces Ying and Yang. Thus the individual was composed of various amounts of moral energy each controlled to varying degrees of Ying and Yang. The resulting combinations would thus result in endless differences as infinitely variable as man himself.  

Hippocratic Constitutions (460-370 BC)
Scroll right for picture of Hippocrates >>>>>>
This theory of Constitution is the most widely accepted in Western civilisations and has its roots in the ancient four humors so named by the Greek Hippocrates. He believed certain human moods, emotions and behaviors were caused by body fluids which he called "humors":- blood (sanguines), yellow bile (cholerics), black bile (melancholics), and phlegm (phlegmatics).

The archetypal images of the four humours are still in use in daily use in modern English. For instance a person may also be "full of humor" or "humorless" depending on the nature of their personality or mood. Somebody depressed may be referred to as being in a "dark or melanchonic mood". The derivation of the word, melancholic, is the word "black" (melan) and the term "bile". We also say that some people have a "bitter temperament' or while others have a "sour disposition". To be bitter is defined as a state of intense antagonism or hostility whereas to be sour is being austere, morose, or peevish. These states are associated with the choleric and melancholic humour. Terms like these have their roots in the tastes of the four humours i.e., bitter (bile), sweet (blood), salty (phlegm), and sour (atrabile). To be "jaundiced" not only means to turn yellow because of excess bile but also to be prejudiced, envious and resentful. To "turn white" is a common expression associated with a state of fear. To "see red" means to be violently enraged which is related to the term "sanguinary" which means to be ready to shed blood. To feel "blue" is defined as being depressed in spirits, dejected or melancholic. These terms are closely related to the colors of the four humours, yellow (bile), white (phlegm), red (blood), and atrabile (blue-black).

Each of the four humours correspond to a specific constitution as outlined below:-

A person who is sanguine is generally light-hearted, funloving, a people person, loves to entertain, spontaneous, leader abilities, and confident. However they can be arrogant, cocky, and indulgent.They can be day-dreamy and off-task to the point of not accomplishing anything and can be impulsive, possibly acting on whims in an unpredictable fashion. The humour of Sanguine was once commonly treated with leeches in order to thin the blood.

A person who is choleric is a doer. They have a lot of ambition, energy, and passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and political figures were cholerics. On the negative side, they are easily angered or bad-tempered.

A person who is a thoughtful ponderer has a melancholic disposition. Often very kind and
considerate, melancholics can be highly creative as in poetry and art - but also can become overly pre-occupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world, thus becoming depressed. A melancholic is also often a perfectionist, being very particular about what they want and how they want it in some cases. This often results in being unsatisfied with one's own artistic or creative works and always pointing out to themselves what could and should be improved. They are often loners and most times choose to stay alone and reflect.

While phlegmatics are generally self-content and kind, their shy personality can often inhibit
enthusiasm in others and make themselves lazy and resistant to change. They are very consistent, relaxed, rational, curious, and observant, making them good administrators and diplomats. Like the sanguine personality, the phlegmatic has many friends. However the phlegmatic is more reliable and compassionate; these characteristics typically make the phlegmatic a more dependable friend.

Four Humours Summary Chart


Body substance

produced by



Complexion and Body type






hot and moist

red-cheeked, corpulent

amorous, happy, generous, optimistic, irresponsible


yellow bile



hot and dry

red-haired, thin

violent, vengeful, short-tempered, ambitious





cold and moist


Sluggish, pallid, cowardly


black bile

gall bladder


cold and dry

sallow, thin

Introspective, sentimental, gluttonous

The Four Humours - Updated
Hans Eysenck (1916 - 1997) a British scientist of German extraction completely revised, updated and modernised the thinking associated with the four humours. He took two sets of opposites "Extrovert/Introvert" and "Stable/Unstable" to come up with four quadrants which could be associated with the classic four temperaments. Each quadrant is also are further divided by keywords, creating a 360 gradation as illustrated by the
Scroll right for picture of Hans Eysenck >>>>>>

Eysenck's Modified Humours Chart

(melancholic) Unstable
(phlegmatic) Introvert
Even tempered

Eysenck's Modified Humours Chart

Extrovert (choleric)

Stable (sanguine)
Easy going


Homeopathic Constitution
& Constitutional Types

Homeopathic Definitions
Constitution refers to an individual person and represents the summation of genetic traits for that person in terms of mind, personality and emotions. By definition therefore Constitution represents those traits which cannot be altered (ie inheriterd traits) as opposed to those which can be altered (ie symptoms).

Constitutional Type refers to an individual remedy and represents the summation of genetic traits homeopathically proven for that medicine in terms of mind, personality and emotions. Constitutional Type represents the constitutional summation of traits for which a remedy responds most intensely or more frequently.

Homeopathic Constitution - Background & Development
The founder of  Homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, in his Paris casebook frequently referred to the
four humours. For example Mme del a Nois was "sanguine" whilst Eugene Perry was "choleric" and Claire Christallo was "lymphatic". While it is true that Hahnemann did not give remedies because a person was "sanguine" he nevertheless used the concept to complete the patient picture.

Although in 1828 Hahnemann published his book The Chronic Disease which put forward the theory of Miasms classifying chronic disease symptomology into three categories:- Psoric, Sycotic and Syphilitic the Miasmic classification should not be confused with Constitution which as previously defined represents non symptomatic (ie genetic) traits.

Von Grauvogl's Classification (1865)
Scroll right for picture of von Grauvogl >>>>>>
He followed Hahnemann's lead of a tripartite classification, but struck out an original line of his own. Like Hahnemann himself Grauvogl was an expert chemist and could follow the chemical changes taking place in the blood and tissues. This led him to find new threads and new methods of finding the generalities amidst the particulars. He was the first to introduce the concept of Constitution into Homeopathy and his classification proved to be a cornerstone.

1. The Hydrogenoid Constitution
This is characterised by an excess of Hydrogen and consequently of water in the blood and tissues and corresponds closely with Hahnemann's Sycotic. Main remedy Natrum sulph. others include Alumen, Antimony, Aranea diadema, Arnica, Borax, Bromine, Cal-c., Carb. veg., Chlorine, Dig, Dulc, Iodine, Mag-c., Mag. phos., Nat. nitric., Nat-c., Nat. acet., Nat sulph Nitr. ac., Nux vomica, Phytolacca, Pulsatilla, Rhus-tox, Sal ammoniac, Silica, Thuja,  

 2. The Oxygenoid Constitution 
Characterised by an excess of Oxygen, or, at lest, by an
exaggerated influence of Oxygen on the organism this Constitutional type corresponds with Hahnemann's Syphilitic miasm. They are what are commonly called nervous individuals characterised by great physical and mental activity. Remedies include Benzin, Carbons, Citric ac., Ferrums. Graphites, Hydr. ac., Kali iod.,Nitr. ac. Petrol.,
3. The Carbo-nitrogenoid Constitution 
Is characterised by an excess of Carbon and Nitrogen
corresponding to Hahnemann's Psoric. Remedies include Am. mur., Arg. mur.  Arg. nit., Arsen. Bell., Cyclamen, Gratiola, Iod. Mangan. acet., Phos., Phos. ac. Sul.,

Dr Antoine Nebel's (1870 -1954) Calcic Constitutions
Nebel of Lausanne, Switzerland called his three constitutional types, which are essentially osseous
or skeletal morphological descriptions, carbonic, phosphoric and fluoric. Collectively they are referred to as the three Calcic Constitutions and are still widely used today.
Scroll right for pictures of Carbonic Constitutions >>>>>>

1) Carbonic or brevilineal constitution
a) Short stature, tendency to obesity, development tend to be horizontal Hands short, fingers
shorter than palm. Hypolaxity of ligaments. Rigid and straight having a stiff gait. The forearm and upper arm form an obtuse angle inwardly due to inflexibility of ligaments.
b) Reaction are slow and chronic, prolonged muscular movement does not fatigue. Regular
repeated movement is a pleasure. Sudden movement is irritating. Their life is slow and regular. He has power and resistance against disease and lifes obstacles. They do not bend but break.
c) Passive and economical. Hard worker, methodological, efficient. Intentional stubbornness. Fond
of peace and order. Dress is simple but well cut, spotless, sharp creases. Consciencious and accepts responsibility. Sometimes lazy and indifferent.
d) Conditions include disorders of nutrition, toxification, gout, obesity, lithiasis. Also arthritis, chronic
excema, warts, increase lipids (cholesterol), etc. Cold sensitive but dislike heat.
e) Main remedy is Calc-carb and others include carbonates of sodium, natrum, kali, etc Hep-s,
Lyco, Sil, Sul, etc.

2) Phosphoric or longilineal constitution
Scroll right for pictures of Phosphoric Constitutions >>>>>>
a) Above average height, thin. Extremeties are long and lean as a result of which they do not have
the harmony of a Carbonic. Triangular face with high forhead. Longer fingers in relation to palms. Relative hyperlaxity of joints. Elasticity is a characteristic, they do not remain straight. Women have elegant legs. Rectangular teeth, yellowish, prone to cavities. The fore arm and legs are ram rod straight and do not form any angle.
b) Essentially an imaginative and emotive type, tires easily. Changes with the sentiments of the
occasion. Sensitive and adapts to changing circumstances. Searches for perfection. High ambition. Imagination dominant. Avoids reality. In ability to work with his hands. Not fit for manual labour. Wandering mind and cannot concentrate.
c) Hypersensitivity, fatigues easily. Lack physical and mental endurance. No patience, dislikes
regularity and order. Artistic. Works in sessions - stops and starts
d) Conditions include weight loss, demineralization, wastings, tubercular disease. hypotension. Cold
sensitive with a need for fresh air.
e) Main remedy is Calc-p with other Phosphates, Ars-a, Benz-ac, Carbons, Cit-ac, Ferums,
Graphitis, Kali-carb, Iodates, Nat-mur, Petr, Stan

3) Fluoric or dystrophic constitution
a) Asymetrical build, hyperlaxity of joints. They are without coordination. Cannot hold themselves
straight. Teeth triangular, small, and irregularly placed, gray, and of poor quality. The forearm and legs form an exterior obtuse angle with the upper arm and waist respectively.
b) Sclerosis, indurations, exostosis, varices, aneurisms, sprains, dislocations
c) Instability and out-of-character reactions. Illogical, needs change. Often tendency to perversions
d) Main remedy is Calc-f with other fluoricas, Mercuriums, Aurums, Arg-nit, Kali-bich, Platina,
Nit-ac, Bar-c, Rhus-t.
Scroll right for pictures of Fluoric Constitutions >>>>>>

Other Morphological Classifications
Dr. Leon Vannier (1880-1963) took as his model eight gods of Antiquity - Mars, Saturn, Apollo, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Luna and Terra - expressing their constitutional characteristics of mind emotion and personality in terms of Nebels carbonic, phosphoric and fluoric types.

Dr Bernard Nevreze (1877- 1951) another French Homeopathstudied Constitution from a somatic view point but again grouped his classification around Nebels Calcic typology.

Dr Felix Eugene Allenby (1889 1942) yet another French Homeopathsuggested four tonic forms of Constitution:- Atoniplastic, Toniplastic, Toniaplastic and Atoniaplastic. Although he reverted to Hippocratess four humours as the basis of his Constitutions his descriptions of each Constitution in terms of individual plasticity or tone was similar to that of Nebels morphological approach.

Claud Sigaud (1862 1921) still another Frenchman initially took the Humoural approach with his four Constitutional types of Digestive, Respirational, Cerebral and Muscular but used Nebels morphology by way of description.    

Ernst Kretschiner (1921) whilst maintaining Nebels morphological approach divided his classification into four:- Athletic, Asthenic, Pyknic and Displastic.

Thus from whatever vantage point one sets out to classify Constitution it became customary to express typology in terms of Nebels Calcic morphology. 

  Calcic Morphology of Arms & Legs

Calcic morphology of arms & legs

Scroll right for picture of Dr Antoine Nebel >>>>>>

Calcic Morphology of Arms
Calcic morphology of arms

Calcic Morphology of Hands
Carbonic morphology of hand Phosphoric morphology of hand Fluoric hand





Constitutional Types - Homeopathic Background & Development
As previously defined Consitutional Type refers to a remedy rather than an individual whereas the single word Constitution is more properly applied to an individual. Sometimes however an individual may be referred to as a Sulphur or Arg-nit Constitution which means that the person exhibits the characteristics most associated with the named remedy.

Here are 15 main Constitutional Types shown according to Nebel's Calcic classification.







For a fuller description of each Constitutional Type click More below. 
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Constitutional Life Cycles

Criteria Carbonic Phosphoric Fluoric


Rigid fibres, fleshy shortlimbed, vigourous, hyperfunction of glands,
Reliable, methodical, person of habit & routine. Dislikes change

Elastic fibres, tall, thin, elegant
Artistic, imaginative, expressive, changeable, disorderly. Requires constant change to avoid boredom

Small, lax fibres, osseous distrophy, asymmetric face. Rapid understanding & reaction but lacks mental coordination, discipline, & method. Requires immediate gratification to avoid boredom.

Main remedy




Remedies that Follow

Bell, Borax, Bism, Carb-v, Dulc, Graph, Ipec, Kali-c, Lach, Lyco, Nux-v, Pet, Psor, Rhus-t, Sil, Sul, Tub

Ars, Fer, Ign, Iod,
Kali-c, Nat-m, Phos, Puls, Sep, Stan
Arg-n, Aur, Caust,
Bar-c, Kali-b, Mer,
Nit-ac, Plat, Plumb
General Desires

Chalk, carbon, lead pencil chewing, earth

Meat, smoked food, wine

Sweets, sour food, salt

General Conditions

Toxin retention
Skin & joints

Mineral depletion

Mineral depletion

Main organ affected



No specific organ

Baby (birth to 2 yrs)



1. Big, fat, soft, chilly, chalky face, frequent sweats
2. Lean, white, pale anemic, big head and belly
Digestive, constipation

Triangular & long face, pointed chin, developed forehead, neck thin, abdomen flask.


 Digestive, diarrhoea

Main characteristic is transparent skin through which the veins can be clearly seen.


Condition may be difficult to detect.

Infant (to 12 yrs)


Late, indolent, lack of tone, & calcification
Eczema, ringworm, milk crusts, impetigo

Early, bright, nervous, supple in tone


Slow & backward
Acrobatic suppleness


Puberty (to16 yrs)


Slow development
Grows in width
Glandular, thyroid

Early development

Grows in height
Glandular, adenoides, tonsils, appendix

Grows in thickness
Ptosis of organs with emaciation

Adolescence (to 20 yrs)



Promiscuous, dysmenorrhoea

Youth (to 35 yrs)

Advancement of above conditions

Advancement of above conditions

Glands & fibromas
Varicose veins

Adult (to 50 yrs)

Renal complications, hypercalcification, arteriosclerosis, hypertension

Chronic fatigue, depression, migrane


Mature (to 65 yrs)

Skin complaints, psoriasis

Osteoporosis & skeletal complications

Sciatica, scoliosis, spondylosis

Retired (over 65 yrs)

Hypercalcification, ankylosis (joints fused together), arthritis,  

Advancement of above conditions

Depression, suicide

















460 - 377 BC
The father of modern medicine
































Hans Eysenck
Hans Eysenck





















von Grauvogl
Von Grauvogl









Pic Brian Cowan
Brian Cowan
Taoisech 2008 to date

Pic Mary Harney
Mary Harney
Tanaiste 1997 - 2006

Phosphoric Constitutions
Pic Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy
Late Late Host 2009

Pic Miriam O'Callaghan
Miriam O'Callaghan
The ever popular

Pic Michael Flatley
Michael Flatley
River Dance 1994

Pic Michael Flatley's hand
(Note bent finger on Michael's hand)

Pic Irish Ballerina
from Ballet Ireland

Creator of Calcic Constitutions
Dr A Nebel
Dr Antone Nebel
1870 - 1954


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