In 1796, a German doctor, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann found out a new approach, about how to cure various diseases.
Hahnemann conceived of homeopathy while translating a medical treatise by Scottish physician and chemist William Cullen into German. Being skeptical of Cullen's theory concerning cinchona’s action in malaria, Hahnemann ingested some of the bark specifically to see it’s effect. Upon ingesting the bark, he noticed few stomach symptoms, experienced fever, shivering and joint pain; These symptoms we generally experience in early stage of malaria, the disease that the bark was ordinarily used to treat. From this, Hahnemann came to believe that all effective drugs produce symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the diseases that they treat. This later became known as the "LAW OF SIMILARS", the most important concept of homeopathy.
The term "homeopathy" was coined by Hahnemann and first appeared in print in 1807, although he began outlining his theories of "medical similars" or the "doctrine of specifics" in a series of articles and monographs in 1796.
Hahnemann began to test what effects substances produced in humans, a procedure which would later become known as "homeopathic proving". These time-consuming tests required subjects to clearly record all of their symptoms as well as the ancillary conditions under which they appeared. Hahnemann experimented on himself and others for several years before using remedies on patients. Hahnemann saw these data as a way of identifying substances suitable for the treatment of particular diseases.
The first collection of provings was published in 1805 and a second collection of 65 remedies appeared in his book, Materia Medica Pura, in 1810. Hahnemann believed that large doses of drugs that caused similar symptoms would only aggravate illness, so he advocated extreme dilutions of the substances; he devised a technique for making dilutions that he believed would preserve a substance's therapeutic properties while removing its harmful effects, proposing that this process aroused and enhanced "spirit-like medicinal powers held within a drug". The book on Homeopathic philosophy written by Hahnemann “The Organon of the Healing Art”, whose 6th edition, published in 1921, is still used by homeopaths today.
Homeopathy believes that there is something beyond the material body that keeps the body and the mind functioning harmoniously, this, we call vital force, the energy that is the life force in all of us.
If there is any disturbance in this energy, then it is expressed through the body and/or the mind as disease. If this disturbed energy is producing disease then it can’t be limited only to one part of the body. It affects the WHOLE of us as a living entity, at the physical and mental level.
Each one of us has some inherited tendencies, like allergies or indigestion or tendency for cold cough. So when the energy in our body is disturbed, it is expressed through these inherited weaknesses in our body and We can see the expression of the disease only in that part of the body, though the whole body is affected.
Thus Homeopathy looks at mind and body as one unit. That’s why while treating any disease we have to consider all the signs and symptoms occurring in the body irrespective of the diagnosis of the disease. A homeopathic physician studies the diseased person, his lifestyle, his body constitution, temperament, his reaction to stress, his perception of his life, and then he finds a suitable match amongst the homeopathic medicines.
That is the main reason why a homeopath needs details of every aspects of patient’s life even if it seems unconnected to the disease.
What constitutes homeopathic medicines?
Homeopathic Medicines are prepared from substances found in nature. Many minerals like calcium, magnesium; metals like gold, silver, zinc, copper; various plants (some of them even known to us as medicinal plants like Tulsi, Camphor, Aloe Vera etc) are all used to prepare homeopathic medicines. Even substances like cow’s milk is a useful homeopathic medicine In producing remedies for diseases, homeopaths use a process called dynamisation or potentisation whereby a substance is diluted with alcohol or distilled water and then vigorously shaken by ten hard strikes against an elastic body in a process called succession. Hahnemann believed that the process of succession activated the vital energy of the diluted substance. These medicines are in extremely diluted form, and work on the energy level in the body. That’s why there are No so called SIDE EFFECTS.
In homeopathy, a solution that is more dilute is described as having a higher potency, and more dilute substances are considered by homeopaths to be stronger and deeper-acting remedies. The end product is often so diluted that it is indistinguishable from the dilutant (pure water, sugar or alcohol). Often at such dilutions the original medicinal substances are undetectable. Some patients are scared that Homeopathy uses steroids. This is because when you give homeopathic medicines for testing in the chemical lab, it is positive for steroids. This happens as the tests that are carried out to identify steroids are sensitive to alcohol and reducing sugars and give false positive results even though HOMEOPATHY DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY STEROIDS.
What are the advantages of homeopathic treatment?
Homeopathy is safe for all –
As described earlier, homeopathic medicines are administered in extremely diluted form, hence there are no toxic effects of them on body. If given in proper doses and strength, these medicines do not cause any unwanted harmful side effects on the body. They are perfectly safe for all age groups and for pregnant women.
Homeopathic medicines are very easy to administer –
Since homeopathic medicines are prepared in special kind of sugar, it is generally liked by one and all. These medicinal pills are to be popped up directly and rapidly dissolve in mouth. Especially children love to take it and it’s a big relief to mothers. These medicines can be administered in water for hospitalised patients or can be dissolved in mother's milk for infants. They are easy to carry to work, school or outstation and no special diet or other restrictions are needed.
Homeopathy treats psychological problems very effectively –
Homeopathy gives lot of importance to emotional health of the person. We all feel stressed out in our day to day problems like anxieties, nervousness, work load and other tensions. We feel the need for some kind of support which will calm us down and make us stronger to handle our lives. Homeopathy offers that emotional support.
Since these medicines are prepared from natural substances they do not cause any dullness or sleepiness, or unnatural side effects while taking care of our emotional problems. More over if you have any physical ailment then the homeopath can treat your emotional and the physical problems together, you don’t need different treatment for it.
Homeopathy is holistic
As you know now, homeopathy considers mind and body as one unit. So if you have knee problem and skin rash and acidity, you don’t need to go to three separate doctors, The homeopathic physician can simultaneously treat all these problems. Also homeopathy can treat all age groups, so your homeopathic physician becomes your family physician ; which builds confidence, comfort and empathy which is needed for the patient to heal quickly.
"Homeopathy can treat acute diseases as effectively as any other disease".
Homeopathic drugs are very fast acting. These medicines can treat fevers, acute infections, asthmatic attacks etc. and show very good results in few hours and sometimes in few minutes! So you don't have to worry you can go to your homeopath even in acute problems and it will be taken care of.