What is homeopathy?

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Homeopathy was discovered by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician who lived from 1755-1843. He first caught a glimpse of the principles of homeopathy when he tested the theory that Peruvian bark (the natural source of quinine) cured malaria because of its bitterness. After taking Peruvian bark repeatedly, he came down with malarial-type symptoms. This experiment showed that natural substances can change the state of people’s health, just as diseases do: Peruvian bark changed Hahnemann’s state of health in the same way that malaria would. From this, Hahnemann discovered that Peruvian bark (also known as China or Cinchona) could cure cases of malaria. He learned that treating a disease with a substance that produces symptoms similar to that disease, will quickly and permanently cure that disease. Hahnemann successfully put into practice the Law of Similars, which was first discovered by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. Further experiments with other substances verified this discovery, equipping him with a pharmacy capable of curing most illnesses.

Using this newly discovered system of medicine, which he named Homeopathy, Hahnemann found he could free his patients from their mental, emotional and physical ailments by giving them a single remedy that acted most similarly to their state of illness.

Hahnemann concluded that a person’s illness is nothing more than a change in their overall state of health, rather than a disease afflicting a single part or physiological system. A person falls ill when his or her overall state of health is compromised, expressing itself through a set of mental, emotional and physical symptoms arising in different ways. Because all symptoms—no matter where they are or how they act—are the result of a change in the person’s overall state of health, the best way to cure is to turn around the person’s overall state of health, rather than treat each symptom individually. Thus, homeopathy is a holistic medicine, meaning that it treats the whole person in his or her state of illness, addressing the entirety of mental, emotional, and physical symptoms with a single remedy. As a holistic medicine, homeopathy abides by laws of Nature in its understanding of how health, disease and cure take place.