It was the first essay by Hahnemann that appeared in Hufeland's Journal.
It was during his residence at Konigslutter, in 1796, that Hahnemann first communicated to the world by means of the public print his new discovery in medicine.
In 1795 Hufeland, renowned in all Germany, began to publish in Jena, a medical journal called, Journal der practischen Arzneykunde und Wundarzneykunst.
In 1796, Hahnemann published the article entitled : "Essay on a New Principle for Ascertaining the Curative Powers of Drugs."
In this, he evaluates the condition of medicine at that time; He stresses that chemistry may help find the medicinal powers of substances, but it cannot tell anything about its functions in the human body, which is of a living nature. He argues that chemistry is not the proper exponent of the curative action of drugs. On experimentation on animals with poisons is of little use since many plants deadly to man are harmless to animals. He emphasis that the true method of experimentation with drugs is by testing them on the healthy body.
He presents his theory in the following words :
" Every powerful medicinal substance produces in the human body a kind of peculiar disease; the more powerful the medicine, the more peculiar, marked and violent the disease.We should imitate nature which sometimes cures a chronic disease by super adding another, and employ in the (especially chronic) disease we wish to cure that medicine which is able to produce another very similar artificial disease, and the former will be cured ; Similia Similibus."
In 1796, in his "Essay on a New Principle," Hahnemann mentions the following 46 remedies, of which 19 later appear in the Fragmenta as fully proven drugs.