THE HISTORY OF HOMEOPATHY
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann
“Let like be cured by like”
Homeopathy was first discovered in 1796 by a German physician by the name of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). In addition to being a talented chemist, Hahnemann was also highly respected by his fellow physicians. Hahnemann lived at a time when medicine was highly toxic. Physicians practiced carelessly… prescribing toxic amounts of medications that they rarely knew much about. Also at this time, techniques such as bloodletting were quite popular.
People believed that if you withdrew a considerable amount of blood from the patient, that this would cure or prevent a great many illnesses and diseases. Hahnemann was appalled by these practices and set forth to discover a non-toxic, practical, and gentle form of medicine that would prove more favourable. A hallmark moment came for Hahnemann when he wrote a review on the findings of cinchona bark. The latest research had suggested that cinchona bark tested positive in treating malarial intermittent fevers.. He then administered large amounts of cinchona bark to himself, to order to truly understand its capabilities.
It was not very long before Hahnemann himself, started experiencing intermittent fevers, that were very much characteristic to that of malaria. Hahnemann then questioned, “Is it possible for a substance that produces ill effects in a healthy person, to produce curative effects in a sick person with the same symptoms?”
This thought later became one of the founding principles of Homeopathy; “Similia Similibus Curentur” (Let likes be treated with Likes). If a healthy person takes a substance and develops symptoms, that substance will in turn alleviate the person naturally suffering from the similar symptom picture. Hahnemann throughout his time tested hundreds of substances in similar ways. His potency preparation evolved from his original procedures.
Namely, instead of using substances in their poisonous crude form (as he tested on himself), he used the smallest, minimum dosage (known as the homeopathic form). A toxic substance prepared homeopathically, entails NO TOXICITY at all; thus resulting in a gentle, consistent, and more permanent cure. Hahnemann recorded symptoms on the mental, emotional and physical planes. He felt that the mind and body were intertwined as one, and should be considered as a whole. He now began to determine and record the effect of a large number of substances on the human body. He gathered together a band of helpers to whom he gave remedies, interrogating them daily on sensations experienced. He called this a proving. Proving’s then, provided (and still provide today) the medicinal properties that these natural substances encompass. He was then able to produce a materia medica (book of remedies) consisting of symptoms produced in healthy volunteers. This materia medica represented a vast collection of very accurate observations. These pictures, when matched with the symptoms of a sick person, enabled him to identify the remedy which would cure the patient. He found when actually treating patients, that a small material dose of the substance would produce an aggravation of symptoms before it cured. He then started to dilute the remedies, and vigorously shake them (succussing) between dilutions. This produced a cure without the aggravation.
Homoeopathy is still based on this principle when used today, 200 years later then Hahnemann’s time. It is very different from conventional medicine and is frequently misunderstood and put down. In spite of the general scepticism of many conventional medical practitioners homoeopathy works and has a place in modern therapeutics. It has been used by the Royal Family for many years. Homoeopathic treatment can aid recovery in many conditions where a medical practitioner might wish to avoid the use of allopathic medicines. Since it stimulates the natural healing process there is less likelihood of recurrence of the condition, and homoeopathic treatment leads to an improvement in general health.
There are applications for the use of homoeopathy in some conditions which are difficult to treat by conventional means. Remedies may afford relief to sufferers who find side effects of some drugs too unpleasant. Homoeopathic remedies can be used together with allopathic drugs and other conventional treatment quite safely and effectively, they are without side effects and can be used in pregnancy, for young infants, and the elderly; they are inexpensive and treatment is cost-effective.
Today Homeopathy is practised all over the world. It stands as the major form of alternative health care in India, Great Britain, and Europe – and is extensively practised in South America. Currently it’s gaining it’s once had popularity in North America. Even celebrities and Professional athletes are using homeopathy.
Reference – http://www.embodyhealth.ca/history.html