― Mahatma Gandhi
Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine that aims to promote general health by reinforcing the body’s own natural healing capacity.
Homeopathy does not have treatment for diseases; it has remedies for diseases. It works in a different way than conventional allopathic treatment. Allopathy means “different from the suffering”. Allopathic medicine works against the disease and its symptoms (i.e. “anti”), such as antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory and anti-pain drugs, etc. Homeopathy means “similar to the suffering”. This is why Homeopathic remedies are capable of producing similar symptoms in a healthy person as those present in the patient needing the treatment.
Dr. Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann is the founder of Homeopathy. He was born in Saxony in 1775. He was a very bright and intelligent individual. By the age of twelve he was teaching Greek to other students and at the age of twenty he had mastered eight languages. He completed the study of medicine by the age of 24 and had started his practice in Dresden.
He married at a young age and when his own children became sick, he felt so wretched, finding that he could provide them no certain relief. He had developed a reputation as a kind, sympathetic, and conscientious physician. At the age of 34 he moved to Leipzig where he worked as a medical translator.
In 1790, he discovered the homeopathic principle of “Similia Similibus Curantur” or “like cures like.” In 1810 he published Organon of Rational Medicine and a developed Materia Medica from 1811 – 1821. He faced severe persecution from fellow colleagues, and his work was ridiculed. He took refuge in Cothen in 1821, where he acted as a court Physician to the Duke of Anhalt-Cothen. In 1835 he married a French woman and moved to Paris, where he had a great practice among rich and poor alike. He died in 1843 at the age of 88.
While practicing according to the old school of medicine, Dr. Hahnemann witnessed that bloodletting weakened the body and the use of multiple strong drugs caused bodily harm. The medicines and procedures had no theoretical or empirical justification. He quit his practice and while translating Scott Cullen’s edition of Materia Medica, he received the inspiration that would lead to the discovery of homeopathy.
The general practice at that time to cure a disease was based on the understanding that disease persist through the lack of stimulation and that only a “heroic” doses of drugs could stimulate the body back to health.
Hahnemann’s ideas are in complete opposition to this. Hahnemann believed that drugs or remedies should be used gently to stimulate the restorative forces of nature, and without provoking harmful side effects, which cause ultimate injury. The smallest possible dose should be given at the most widely spaced intervals possible, and of only one drug at a time, so that the patient’s system is not overwhelmed by complexity.
The Law of Similars
The patient’s symptoms are matched against symptoms produced by the drug action on healthy subjects. When the picture fits, that remedy is chosen. This is called “like cures like.”
The “minimum dose” is the stimulus of the medicine or the energy of the medicine that triggers the intrinsic healing response or curative effect. Therefore, sometimes a single dose can stimulate the healing process in a body to bring it back to a healthy state.
The Single Remedy
No matter how many symptoms are experienced, only one remedy is taken, and that remedy will be aimed at all those symptoms.