Homeopathy is an alternative medicine, which found its roots in 1796 thanks to a German physician named Samuel Hahnemann. The founding principle of homeopathic medicine, stems from the belief and theory that like-cures-like, or similia similibus curentur. Simply put, it means that if a substance were to cause specific disease symptoms in a healthy individual, it could then be used to cure those exact disease symptoms in a sick individual, restoring them back to health. A simple definition for a very interesting alternative medicine.
The development of homeopathic medicine
The development of homeopathic medicine came when Hahnemann began to tire of the ways of “modern” Western medicine at the time. During this time, practices such as bloodletting, purging, and the use of toxins as medicines was commonplace. Western modern medicine had begun to see the human in a mechanistic light that looked at the individual working parts, as oppose to the collective whole. This was enough motivation to push him into the work of “similars.”
The basis of this work was a patient centered approach viewing the body as a whole, as opposed to focusing on pathology, or one symptom or disease. The lay of similar, as it was called, essentially demonstrates the theory of like-cures-like, and is the foundation for homeopathy remedy selection. Using this theory and process, a patient is matched to a remedy by the similarities of their set of symptoms.
The first step was creating the medicine, or remedies as they are called in homeopathy. A remedy was created through the process of homeopathic dilution. This is when a substance was repeatedly diluted using alcohol or water to a certain potency. Each dilution would have to be tapped/ hit against a leather bound book in order to be potentized. What was left after this process would be the energetic imprint upon the dilution substance as there is no molecular substance that remains at this level of dilution.
The process used in homeopathy
Through a process called “proving,” Hahnemann began to document his findings and build the philosophy and teachings of Classical Homeopathy. A “proving” would involve the testing of a potentized substance on a number of healthy individuals in order to document the totality of “symptoms” experienced. This totality of symptoms would then start to build the record of what a particular remedy could be used to treat.
Participants, or “provers,” would document anything from their thoughts, feelings, physical symptoms, and even dreams in order to lead to the discovery of the remedies potential for healing. These findings and documentations are now found in compiled works called the Materia Medica and Repertories.
The first homeopathic medicine school was founded in the late 1800s by a group of Hahnemann’s students. It started to gain recognition after many patients of the clinic were successful in treating major epidemics occurring at the time, such as scarlet fever, typhoid, cholera, and yellow fever. Fast forward to the 1900s where the number of homeopathic schools, hospitals, and pharmacies had increased immensely.
It then quickly lost its popularity in the 1920s with many of these institutions closing. The decline of popularity of homeopathy seemed to be due in large part due to the influence of the American Medical Association. Since Hahnemann there have been a number of other influences in the homeopathic world, Kent and Sankran to name a few. Although the practice of homeopathic medicine has adapted in ways to make it more.