Homeopathy has been an established system of complementary medicine for over 200 years. Samuel Hahnemann, in 1796, furthered the philosophy of Hippocrates 2000 years earlier, when he realized the concept of treating a patient with “similars”, rather than “opposites”.
In other words, giving a substance that in a well person will cause symptoms, so in a sick person it will restore. This is opposite to conventional medicine that gives an anti-
Hahnemann was a Medical Practioner, but supplemented his income by translating medical texts. In one of these texts, Cullen’s Materia Medica, he found details relating to chinchona bark. The symptom picture described the fevers and chills similar to those found in Malaria. He prepared a potion of the substance and began to drink it. He gradually developed all the symptoms of Malaria. This became the concept of a HOMEOPATHIC PROVING, and confirmed his belief that what substance in a well person causes symptoms, so in a sick person presenting with those similar symptoms it will restore. This concept he called THE LAW OF SIMILARS.
From this law, he coined the phrase “LIKE CURES LIKE”. Hahnemann decided to call his new system of medicine HOMEOPATHY, from the Greek words Homeo, meaning similar, and Pathos, meaning suffering. In 1810 he published his first edition of “THE ORGANON” – his philosophical text on homeopathy.
Samuel Hahnemann tested many other substances on himself, friends and family, after studying the poisons of plants, minerals and animal substances. He found that there were aggravations, so he decided to DILUTE and SUCCUSS further and further, thus reducing any adverse reactions, and realised that it increased the positive action. He decided that there must be a MINIMUM DOSE required by each individual patient that is both curative, yet causes little or no aggravation to the patient.