History And Principles Of Homeopathy

While the principle cornerstone of Homeopathy - that “like cures like” - was first discovered over 2000 years ago, (from the time of Hippocrates!), the modern foundations emerge from the findings, teachings and writings of Dr. Samuel Hahneman (1755-1843).

Dr Samuel HahnemannFollowing his graduation from medical school in 1779, Dr. Hahnemann founded his own medical practice.

Disillusioned with such common medical practices of the day as purging, bloodletting, and the use of toxic chemicals, he began conducting his first Homeopathic experiments in 1790, and later worked as a chemist.

It was in his role as a chemist that Dr. Hahnemann began working on a project to translate William Cullen's
Materia Medica into German that he began his quest for a better way of providing healthcare using the principles of the "Law Of Similars".

While working on this project, he became fascinated with a species of South American tree-bark (cinchona) which was being used to treat malaria-induced fever. Dr Hahnemann ingested the bark and discovered that it caused symptoms similar to malaria. He continued his research into "cures" and the idea of "similar suffering," and began compiling his findings.

In recent years, many nations, including countries in Europe and Asia, have experienced a steady growth of Homeopathic teachings and interest; today, nearly all French pharmacies sell Homeopathic remedies and medicines; and Homeopathy has a particularly strong following in Russia, India, Switzerland, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, The United Kingdom, and in South America.

Similia similibus curentur

This Latin phrase, coined by Dr. Hahnemann, and meaning "let likes be cured by likes", is the primary principle of Homeopathy; a Homeopath therefore searches for a substance that produces in a healthy person those same symptoms a patient experiences.

By way of example, consider a case of insomnia. Conventional medicine (also referred to as
Allopathy) invokes the way of opposites, and will treat the condition through administering some drug which will encourage or bring on artificial sleep (and such drugs will often involve the use of regular doses which can result in side effects, or addiction).

Conversely, the way of similars, (The Homeopathic way), is to prescribe to the patient a (minute) dose of some substance (such as coffee), which, in large doses is likely to cause sleeplessness in a healthy person, but may, in a sick person, help them to sleep naturally.

Treating the person, and not the disease

A fundamental principle of Homeopathy is that of the individual prescription. Symptoms are seen as ‘signposts’ of the body’s imbalance and disease, and will be particular to the individual.

Rarely, will two individuals suffering from the same complaint have exactly the same symptoms; they express the disease in their own way. So, in order to find the exact remedy for any given patient, the Homeopath needs to have a clear understanding of who that patient is, together with any complaints and details of how the patient experiences them.

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