Homeopathy An introduction Reviewed by Momizat on . The word ‘Homeopathy’ is derived from Greek words hómoios (like) and páthos "suffering"). It is a system of alternative medicine propounded in 1796 by Samuel Ha The word ‘Homeopathy’ is derived from Greek words hómoios (like) and páthos "suffering"). It is a system of alternative medicine propounded in 1796 by Samuel Ha Rating: 0
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Homeopathy An introduction

Homeopathy An introduction

The word ‘Homeopathy’ is derived from Greek words hómoios (like) and páthos “suffering”). It is a system of alternative medicine propounded in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like, according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people.

Hahnemann believed that the underlying causes of disease were phenomena that he termed miasms, and that homeopathic remedies addressed these. The remedies are prepared by repeatedly diluting a chosen substance in alcohol or distilled water, followed by forceful striking on an elastic body. Dilution usually continues well past the point where no molecules of the original substance remain.

Homeopath’s select remedies by consulting reference books known as repertories, and by considering the totality of the patient’s symptoms, personal traits, physical and psychological state, and life history.

Historical context

Homeopaths claim that Hippocrates may have originated homeopathy around 400 BC, when he prescribed a small dose of mandrake root to treat mania, knowing it produces mania in much larger doses. In the 16th century, the pioneer of pharmacology Paracelsus declared that small doses of “what makes a man ill also cures him.”

Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843) gave homeopathy its name and expanded its principles in the late 18th century. At that time, mainstream medicine used methods like bloodletting and purging, and administered complex mixtures, such as Venice treacle, which was made from 64 substances including opium, myrrh, and viper’s flesh.

These treatments often worsened symptoms and sometimes proved fatal. Hahnemann rejected these practices – which had been extolled for centuries – as irrational and inadvisable; instead, he advocated the use of single drugs at lower doses and promoted an immaterial, vitalistic view of how living organisms function, believing that diseases have spiritual, as well as physical causes.
Hahnemann believed that all effective drugs produce symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the diseases that they treat, in accordance with the “law of similars” that had been proposed by ancient physicians.

 

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