Homeopathy history and principles
Everything you always wanted to know about homeopathy
Homeopathy is attributed to Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). He was inspired by Hippocrates, born in 460 BCE, who had proclaimed: « Like cures like ».
What is the origin of homeopathy and what is it based on?
Hippocrates wrote that “By similar things a disease is produced and through the application of the like is cured.” Samuel Hahnemann, the father of modern homeopathy, discovered in 1754 that very weak doses of quinine triggered in him symptoms identical to the symptoms of malaria, the disease that the substance was used to treat. This was the origin of the Law of Similars, the 1st law of homeopathy. The 2nd is the Law of Infinitesimality, relative to the dilution and transformation of a substance.
What is the Law of Similars?
The principles of homeopathy are based on this law. In order to cure certain diseases, we have to seek remedies that would under normal circumstances cause the same symptoms in a healthy individual. When taken in a diluted form they function as a remedy. For example, apis mellifica, prepared from the honey bee, treats red, hot oedemas that are relieved by cold applications.
How is homeopathic medicine manufactured?
Starting with a mother tincture taken from a plant, one measure is diluted in 99 measures of water. This stage is known as the dilution of the substance. Next, the mixture is succussed, or shaken violently with impact, 100 times. This stage increases its potency. Together, the processes of dilution and succussion constitute potentiation, the result of which is 1CH, Hahnemann’s centesimal dilution. If we take one measure of this 1CH and repeat the same process, we obtain 2CH, and so on up to 30CH. With Korsakov’s method of manufacture, we empty the flask after each succussion and then fill it again with water, keeping the same flask throughout the entire manufacturing process. This process may be carried out 200, 1’000, 10’000 or 1’000’000 times, resulting in 200K, MK, XMK or MMK dilutions.
How do I choose a homeopathic remedy?
The following aspects must be considered when choosing a homeopathic remedy:
- physical, psychological (emotional, mental)
- objective (measurable and observable)
- subjective (experienced by the patient)
- current and previous
- personal and domestic
The homeopathic remedy applies to the patient showing a particular set of symptoms, and not to a diagnosed disease.
What is a high dilution?
Homeopathic remedies are made by diluting the active substance in a volume of liquid. This is done several times according to the dilution required. Between each dilution, the mixture is shaken or succussed a hundred times; this is potentiation.
How should I take the remedies?
The remedies are available in different galenic forms, the most common of which are granules or drops to be taken orally. The granules must be dissolved under the tongue in a clean mouth, and the drops are to be diluted in water. A horse or a cat, an infant or an elderly person can be treated with the same quantity of granules, because there is no connection between the volume of medication taken and its effectiveness. The homeopathic remedy is like a key fitted to a particular lock – this is the Law of Similars.
Does homeopathy act quickly?
If the correct remedy is chosen, it acts extremely quickly – you get a result as soon as the granules have dissolved. If there is no improvement after two or three doses, you are not taking the correct remedy and should stop the treatment. You only repeat the remedy if the symptoms return. Once the symptoms are gone, you stop taking the remedy. A homeopathic treatment is individual, and it should rebalance your energies so that healing can take place. If you wish to self-medicate, it is important to know yourself well, and to have a basic knowledge of the homeopathic Materia Medica. The help of a practitioner is essential if you do not get a result.
Which homeopathic medicine should I keep at home?
There are between 30 and 40 homeopathic medicines that are commonly used and commercially available. Pharmacies also carry ready-made homeopathic kits, with explanatory leaflets covering each single remedy.
It is also essential to have easily consultable homeopathic reference books.