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Samuel Hahnemann
Samuel Hahnemann

 


THE HISTORY OF HOMEOPATHY

When was homoeopathy discovered? A German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, introduced homoeopathy 200 years ago. He had been dissatisfied with the orthodox treatments he'd been trained and licensed to use, such as blood-letting, harmful medications and purging. His system, which he evolved over the next 40 years or so, has become an important system of medicine in many countries.


HOW DOES HOMOEOPATHY WORK?

Classical homoeopathy doesn't claim to treat diseases.

Instead, it sees symptoms as disturbances to what is called the VITAL FORCE.

These disturbances you experience as symptoms. The experience of homoeopaths is that certain collections of disturbances can be produced in healthy people by giving them what is called a homoeopathic "remedy".

When you visit a homoeopath, your homoeopath will be trying to assemble everything you tell him into what he understands would have been the disturbance in the Vital Force caused by a particular homoeopathic remedy. In other words, he is trying to match your pattern to that of a remedy.

Finding the remedy for you is not always easy but when he does so, he will prescribe that remedy to you with a view to changing the pattern of symptoms displayed as disturbances by your Vital Force. If successful, your pattern of symptoms will begin to change.

The problem is that this means individualising every patient. No two patients are the same, even if they have the same ’disease’ according to their doctor. So homoeopathy usually takes longer than a consultation with your orthodox doctor.

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) now imposes very strict rules on what can be said on any website like this in making claims for treating diseases, except for those diseases where robust scientific evidence has been accepted. The cost of obtaining this evidence is beyond the financial means of most homoeopaths and their homoeopathic organisations and in any case, as pointed out above, homoeopathic remedies don't treat diseases: they treat the Vital Force.

There are a very large number of diseases, and a very large number of potential homoeopathic remedies, any one of which may be appropriate for any individual with a disease. So it is unlikely that much research on this acceptable to the ASA will be forthcoming for some time.

Plague
As a matter of historical record, however, one of the most outstanding accomplishments of homoeopathy was in Leipzig, Germany in the 1800’s. During the scourge of the plague in Leipzig tens of thousands of people died because of this monstrous disease. Hahnemann, the founder of homoeopathy, is reported as having saved 183 cases of people who were ordered to the "dead house" and who were considered untreatable cases.

Influenza
During the Second World War soldiers in the United States and in its army overseas experienced disastrous epidemics of the Flu. It is reported that homeopathic physicians treated this, while other orthodox physicians did not understand what was going on and what to do with this type of illness.

Mastitis
Mastitis is a disease that affects many cattle throughout the world. A survey conducted in the major-milk producing countries shows that each year clinical mastitis affects 15% - 20% of cows. Antibiotics are not the best way to treat mastitis, and antibiotics have not reduced the incidence of mastitis since their introduction: furthermore, placing antibiotics in the food chain leads to the development of superbugs, resistant to important antibiotics. Finally, cows on antibiotics are often withdrawn from milking, losing the farmer money.

Not surprisingly, many farmers use Homoeopathy: with homoeopathic treatment milking may be continued.

Scarlet Fever
Scarlet fever spread through Germany during the 1800’s; one of the most contagious maladies then affecting children. It particularly affected children living in dirty and damp conditions, not uncommon in those days. Homoeopaths claim that the dangerous fever, with eruptions over the body, was very much helped and healed by homoeopathy in marked distinction to other systems of medicine at that time. We should, however, point out that other systems of medicine at that time were themselves very deficient, even dangerous. How homoeopathy would fare against other modern systems of medicine today has not been tested.

REFERENCES

The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann
Homeopathy and Homeopathic Prescribing, Harvey Farrington
Ecological Agricultural Projects, www.eap.mcgill.ca/Publications/EAP69.htm