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Amala Institute of Medical Sciences

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Origin of Homeopathy

The term "Homoeopathy" originated from the Greek words "Homoeos" and "Pathos" which means "similar" and "suffering or disease" respectively. Homoeopathic system of treatment is based on the axioms "similia similibus curentur" which means "let like be treated by likes". Though this is a practice known to the world in the earlier generations, the credit of using it in the science of healing for the first time and developing it into a branch of medical science goes to Samuel Hahnemann.

The Magic of Cinchona Bark

Dr. Christian Fredrich Samuel Hahnemann was a German Allopathic Physician. Though he set up his practice, as an allopathic medical practitioner, he stopped it with utter dissatisfaction towards the medical science that he had mastered and started translating books from German to English. While engaged in translating once he came across a comment from Cullen’s work, Materia Medica which stated it was the bitter taste of cinchona bark that cured Malaria. This aroused the curiosity of Hahnemann and he tested the medicine on his body. Surprisingly, his body showed symptoms of Malaria and then he tested the same on his family members also. This was the first example of drug proving that led to the discovery of Homoeopathy in 1790.

Cardinal Laws and Fundamental Principles

There are three cardinal laws in Homeopathy:

• Law of Similia: "Similia Similibus Curentur" or "Let like be treated by likes" is the fundamental law of Homoeopathy. The remedy which is administered after a close observation of the entire symptoms that the patient shows, always produces the same symptoms of illness on a healthy body. The more similar the symptoms, the more guaranteed is the cure.

• Law of Simplex: In homoeopathy, a patient is administered only one remedy at a time. Every substance acts on human body in its unique way and it loses its distinct and unique properties when it is mixed with other substances and the mixture acquires new properties which is entirely different from the individual properties. In Homoeopathy, every medicine is put to thorough study and tests and is used in unadulterated form.

• Law of Minimum Dose: This law is based on the observations made by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann and his followers on the dose of medicine to be administered to patients. They found that administering similar indicated drugs in big doses leads to severe and prolonged reactions on human body before the process of cure begins. In Homoeopathy, medicines are administered in subphysiological dose.

Doctrine of Drug Proving (testing)

One unique feature of Homoeopathy is that it does drug testing on human body. The curative power of a drug is determined by its strength to produce symptoms of illness on a healthy body. The degree of symptoms thus produced is noted and maintained as record in Homoeopathic Materia Media as annexure.

Doctrine of Acute and Chronic Disease

Hahnemann classified diseases into two categories - Acute and chronic, according to the onset, nature of progress and termination of disease.

Doctrine of Drug Dynamisation

Drug Dynamisation means making the drug more powerful, by liberating the inherent power that it holds. Illness is a condition that disturbs the normal balance and harmony of the human body and mind. Only something that is dynamic and powerful can create such a condition. So the medicines that are used to counter this condition also should be dynamic and powerful.

Doctrine of Vital Force

According to Hahnemann, the vital force that holds life not only animates the human body but also maintains the balance between mind and body. A state of illness or disease disrupts this balance and has a negative impact on the vital force.

Hering's Law of Cure

In the Homoeopathic Treatment, the real and permanent cure takes place in the following order:

a) from above downwards
b) from within outwards
c) from more important organs to less important organs
d) in the reverse order of the onset of symptoms.

Doctrine of Individualisation

Homoeopathy takes into account the distinct and unique features of every individual. Every person has his or her individual range of intelligence, aesthetic sense, ideals and dreams. But at the same time, he or she possesses the common traits of human beings. So the same disease takes different forms in different persons.

Doctrine of less Repetition

Homoeopathy administers only the minimum medicine that will begin the curative process. Overdose or repeated use of medicine may have negative results or even lead to complications.