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The History of Homeopathy


What is Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a natural form of medicine that bases itself on the belief that a person’s natural healing process can be triggered by the use of highly diluted remedies derived from substances that would cause similar symptoms in a healthy person.

Hippocrates - Father of Medicine

“By similar things a disease is produced and through the application of the like, it is cured.”

The father of medicine, Hippocrates, was the first to recognise the underlying principle of Homeopathy: the body’s natural ability to heal itself. He recognized that disease was a result of imbalance in the body, and the task of a practitioner was to restore it.

The Varying Perspectives of Galen and Paracelsus

Attending the gladiators a later date in Rome, another Greek physician by the name of Galen believed in "natural cure by the likes.” He introduced contrary remedies that forced out disease, directly opposing the beliefs of Hippocrates.

Another renown physician Dr. Theophrastus Von Bombast, (otherwise known as Paracelsus), followed Galen and practiced throughout the Renaissance period. He controversially put forward that “sames may be cured by sames”, but did not have the scientific evidence to back it up and mostly worked intuitively.

The Founder of Homeopathy

It was a gifted physician, scientist and translator, Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), that first officially established the practice of Homeopathy.

Soon after graduating and opening his own medical practice in 1779, he quickly became disillusioned with the western medical system. He could not see the benefits of common-day practices such as bloodletting, purging, the use of mercury and use of toxic chemical medications. As a result, he deserted his medical practice in 1790 in search of a more efficient healing method, and commenced his first homeopathic experiments.

During a day’s research, Hahnemann stumbled upon a passage of text describing how the bitter, curative properties of Peruvian Bark its ability to produce malaria-like symptoms in a healthy patient. He discovered that medicinal substances when used alone produced a specific set of symptoms in healthy individuals. When that same substance was administered in a similar amount to an ill patient exhibiting similar symptoms, the symptoms would subside, or resolved themselves completely.

It was these observations that lead Hahnemann to define the Law of Similars could be used in the treatment of malaria. In the name of science, Hahnemann experimented with the bark on himself and soon developed symptoms of malaria which stopped as soon as he ceased ingesting it. After continued investigations, Hahnemann concluded the Peruvian bark’s malaria healing qualities derived from. The Law of Similars suggests the substance that causes an illness can cure it. It states that a substance that is capable of producing the same set of symptoms may remove those same symptoms in an unwell individual.

Homeopathy today

Despite a small decline in interest in the 20th century, a steady growth of homeopathic interest and teachings has been seen throughout the world, particularly in Europe, the United States and Asia. Homeopathy today is heavily practiced in countries such as Russia, India, Switzerland, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, and South America, and in France, it is common practice for pharmacies to sell homeopathic medicines and remedies.

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