Homeopathy

What is it?

The story of homeopathy
 
Homeopathy was developed in the 1790’s by Dr Samuel Hahnemann, who qualified as a doctor and a chemist, and who supplemented his income by writing articles and books on medicine and chemistry.
In his writings he protested about the harsh medical practices of blood letting and massive doses of medicine which were administered to patients with terrible side effects.  He argued for better hygiene, sensible eating, fresh air, exercise and less cramped housing conditions.

As the industrial revolution progressed there were a great many new scientific discoveries, especially in the ability to identify and extract the active ingredients of herbs and other plants.

He became disillusioned with medicine and gave up to become a translator.  In 1790 while translating “ A Treatise on Materia Medica" by Dr William Cullen, he came across a passage in the book where Cullen stated that Peruvian bark, or cinchona, when purified from the bark (quinine) was a good treatment for malaria because of its astringent properties.   Hahnemann could not understand this.  Being a chemist, he was aware of much more powerful astringents which had no effect on malaria what so ever.  He decided to investigate further.  For a few days he dosed himself up with quinine and recorded his reactions.  To his astonishment he began to develop the symptoms of malaria, despite the fact he did not have the actual disease. This was called a “proving”.   Every time he took some of the quinine his symptoms reoccurred. He wondered if this was why quinine cured malaria.

Hahnemann carried out many experiments and provings, testing a wide range of natural substances.  He had discovered the principle “like can cure like”.  His work established a new system of medicine.


Hahnemann realised he had discovered a new system of medicine, where a drug and a disease that produced similar symptoms cancelled each other out.  He described this phenomenon as Similia similibus curentur or “like can cure like” which he called  homeopathy, homeo meaning similar and pathos meaning suffering taken from the Greek language.


He devised a method of diluting some of these remedies, some of which were poisonous.  He diluted each remedy by shaking it vigorously; he believed the shaking released the energy of the substance.  After this procedure, they were no longer poisons, but indeed more effective than the more concentrated dilutions.  He found that the weaker the solution, paradoxically it became more potent.  He provided many animal, plant and mineral preparations, all greatly helping a wide variety of symptoms.

Homeopathy can be applied to all ailments from which the human body can suffer, ranging from a sore head to chronic ailments.

The stepping stone from homeopathy to homotoxicology was provided by Dr Reckeweg. A further development was then made from homotoxicology to Physiological Regulatory Medicine. As all three therapies are established practices in their own right, please see the corresponding pages for more information.