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Homeopathy is a system of complementary medicine based on the administration of minute doses of drugs which are capable of producing in healthy persons symptoms like those of the disease being treated. The result is believed to trigger and strengthen the body’s natural immune response.
The Origins of Homeopathy
- Homeopathy’s founder was Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician who discovered that small doses of substances would help to relieve the same symptoms they caused when taken in larger quantities.
- Dr Hahnemann tested substances on himself by taking them and recording the symptoms he developed.
- Dr. Hahnemann based his conclusions on the “law of similars” -- that a substance which may cause a symptom can also be used to relieve it. Examples are:
- Coffea Cruda (Coffee) -- used to relieve insomnia
- Capsicum (Hot peppers) -- used to treat pain
- Allium (Red Onions) -- used to relieve itchy, burning and watery eyes
- Dr. Hahnemann diluted his medicinal starting materials with vigorous shaking. He believed that diluting these drugs to smaller and smaller concentrations provided symptom relief and healing and at the same time reduced unpleasant side effects. Believing that this process enhanced the effectiveness of the medicines, he called this process “potentizing” which means “to render the latent power of (anything) available.” More information on this process is available here.
- Dr. Hahnemann taught this new system of medical training to other physicians and homeopathy grew and spread in Europe.