The principle of Homoeopathy has been known since the time of Hippocrates from Greece, the founder of medicine, around 450 BC More than a thousand years later the Swiss alchemist Paracelsus employed the same system of healing based upon the principle that “like cures like”.
But it was not until the late 18th century that Homoeopathy as it is practiced today was evolved by the great German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.
He was appalled by the medical practices of that time and set about to develop a method of healing which would be safe, gentle, and effective.
He believed that human beings have a capacity for healing themselves and that the symptoms of disease reflect the individuals struggle to overcome his illness.
Over two hundred years ago, the German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann discovered the principle that what substance could cause in the way of symptoms, it could also cure. Dr. Hahnemann was struck by the effect that certain drugs, when taken by him while quite healthy, produced symptoms that the drug was known to cure in sick. For instance, when he took Cinchona Bark, which contains quinine, he became ill with symptoms that exactly mimicked intermittent fever (now called malaria). He wondered if the reason Cinchona worked against intermittent fever was because it caused symptoms indistinguishable from intermittent fever in a healthy human as demonstrated by Dr. William Cullen in his Materia Medica.
Hahnemann caught the essence of this action of cinchona while translating the works of Dr. Cullen in 1789 giving birth to the true and the only system of medicine based on nature’s law of cure, treating a person as awhole, not its parts or organs, therefore also called as the holistic system of treatment.
Master Hahnemann continued to experiment, noting that every substance he took, whether a herb, a mineral, an animal product or a chemical compound, produced definite distinct symptoms in him. He further noted that no two substances produced exactly the same set of symptoms. Each provoked its own unique pattern of symptoms. Furthermore the symptoms were not just confined to the physical plane. Every substance tested also affected the mind and the emotions apart from the body. Eventually, Dr. Hahnemann began to treat the sick on the principle ‘let likes be treated by likes’. From the outset he achieved outstanding clinical success.
Homoeopathy is the system of treatment based on demonstrable laws and principles, which are -
The Law of Similars:
It is also called the Law of Cure. This law demonstrates that the selected remedy is able to produce a range of symptoms in a healthy person similar to that observed in the patient, thus leading to the principle of Similia Similibus Curentur i.e. let likes be treated by likes. To give a simple example the effects of peeling an onion are very similar to the symptoms of acute cold. The remedy prepared from the red onion, Allium cepa, is used to treat the type of cold in which the symptoms resemble those we get from peeling onion. The principle has been verified by millions of Homoeopaths all over the world.
The Law of Single Remedy:
This law directs to choose and administer such a single remedy, which is most similar to the symptom complex of the sick person at a time.
The Law of Minimum Dose:
The similar remedy selected for a sick should be prescribed in minimum dose, so that when administered there is no toxic effects on the body. It just acts as a triggering and catalytic agent; to stimulate and strengthen the existing defense mechanism of the body. It does not need to be repeated frequently.
Holistic Individualistic approach in as well as Medicine through Homoeopathy:
This is a key point and unique to Homoeopathy. Even though it may sound strange, Homoeopathy does not treat disease per se. A Homoeopath does not concentrate his therapy on, say arthritis or bronchitis or cancer. In other words he does not limit his treatment to painful joints, inflamed bronchi or a malignant growth. Rather, he treats all aspects mental, emotional and physical of the person who happens to be suffering with arthritis or bronchitis or cancer. Homoeopathy regards each patient as a unique individual, e.g. six persons with hepatitis might get a different Homoeopathic remedy, each one aimed at the individual’s totality of symptoms rather than at his liver alone. The physicians’ interest is not only to alleviate the patients’ present symptoms but also his long-term well being.
Concept of Vital Force:
This vital force is the dynamic, imponderable, invisible universal force of life energy found in all the living and to some extent in nonliving things also. One can easily appreciate its presence in living things due to visible results. Its existence in nonliving things can only be explained by science. Every thing consists of small units of molecules. These molecules are made of tiny atoms. Each atom is made of electrons, protons and neutrons (now presence of some more constituents has been proved viz. Positron etc.). Most of these finest particles are electrically charged and are kept together by electromagnetic field of attraction. These ultimate constituents are in the state of certain rhythmical and precise motions, and consequently, whole structure is in a state of harmonious oscillations and vibrations.
Great scientist Albert Einstein says— E= mc2
(E= energy, m= mass, c= velocity of light)
The ‘MASS’ and ‘ENERGY’ are inter-convertible. The ultimate result of divisions of a substance is energy. Whenever anything is tried to divide a matter beyond atomic state, nothing is left except energy, in the form of photons. This energy is nothing but a form of life energy, equivalent to vital force.
Thus, this energy or vital force is omnipresent and is in abundance. Everything uses a very little fraction of this force to exist.
“In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the material body (organism), rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence”. (Aphorism no. 9)
The word ‘Homoeopathy’ is derived from two Greek words, ‘Homois’- meaning similar and ‘pathos’- mean suffering. Homoeopathy simply means treating diseases with remedies, prescribed in minute doses, which are capable of producing symptoms similar to the disease when taken by healthy people.
It is based on the natural law of healing- “Similia Similibus Curantur” which means “likes are cured by likes”. Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Gottfried Hahnemann (Thursday, 11:55 PM, 10th April 1755- Sunday, 05:00 AM, 02nd July 1843) gave it a scientific basis in the early 19th century.
It has been serving suffering humanity for over two centuries and has withstood the upheavals of time and has emerged as a time-tested therapy. The scientific principles propounded by Dr. Hahnemann are natural and well proven and continue to be followed with success.
Homoeopathy today is a rapidly growing system and is being practiced almost all over the world. In India it has become a household name due the safety of its pills and gentleness of its cure. A rough study indicates that about 10% of the Indian population solely depends on Homoeopathy for their Health care needs.
It is more than a century and a half now that Homoeopathy is being practiced in India. It has blended so well into the roots and traditions of the country that it has been recognized as one of the National Systems of Medicine and plays an important role in providing health care to a large number of people. Its strength lies in its evident effectiveness as it takes a holistic approach towards the sick individual through promotion of inner balance at mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels.
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