Basic Principles of Homeopathy

The principles of homeopathy have been known since the time of Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.), a Greek physician known as the Father of Medicine. However, it was not until the late eighteenth century when a German physician, Samuel Christian Fredrich Hahnemann, M.D. (1755-1843) rediscovered homeopathy that its use as healing art became systematized.

Hahnemann stated the principles of homeopathy in his work The Organon of the Art of Healing. The following quotations are from the Wesselhoeft translation of the fifth edition. From paragraph 2: "The highest aim of healing is the speedy, gentle, and permanent restitution of health...in the shortest, most reliable, and safest manner, according to clearly intelligible reasons." From paragraph 9: "During the healthy condition of man this spirit-like force (autocracy), animating the material body (organism), rules supreme as dynamis. By it all parts are maintained wonderfully in harmonious vital process, both in feelings and functions, in order that our intelligent mind may be free to make the living, healthy, bodily medium subservient to the higher purpose of our being."

Homeopathy is the science of therapeutics based on the signs and symptoms of the patient. Frequently the more unusual or strange the symptoms the easier it is to find the remedy.

Homeopathic remedies act by stimulating individuals to heal themselves and are selected based on the Law of Similars: "Let Likes Be Cured By Likes." A remedy is given to an ill person, who if given to a healthy person would produce similar symptoms to those of the ill person. Hence the name homeopathy (Greek for like illness).

In addition to coining the work homeopathy Hahnemann also devised the word allopathy (Greek for other illness) referring to the prevailing medical practice of the day. The ordinary medication given during his time as well as the usual medicine prescribed today is usually palliative, not curative and may be quite toxic.

The symptoms for homeopathic remedies are discovered by provings (experiments) on normal, healthy human volunteers. People unknowingly prove herbs frequently. For example, if a woman drank 4 cups of chamomile tea a day in order to become calm she may become angry and irritable. Chamomilla (a homeopathic potency of chamomile) is often used when patients are angry and irritable. Since provings are done on humans no animal testing is necessary.

Provings are performed on one substance at a time, hence when prescribing homeopathically according to the Law of Similars only one remedy is given at a time.

Homeopathic treatment is capable of reducing the severity of or completely eliminating a wide variety of ailments including infections, allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, rheumatic problems, and metabolic diseases. Homeopathic treatment has also enabled previously infertile women to conceive and bear normal children.

A common misconception regarding homeopathic treatment is that homeopathy can treat only minor aliments, whereas the serious ones require allopathic medication. Nothing could be further from the truth. Homeopathic medicine is quite capable of treating serious illnesses.

Homeopathic remedies are usually given in very small doses. Hence adverse reactions to homeopathic remedies are substantially less than that of prescription medication.

Additionally, wonderful changes in patients' outlook and view of life have been documented with homeopathic treatment.


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