History of Homeopathy

Homeopathy was founded by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) He was born in Meissen, Germany in 1755, the second child of a famous porcelain painter.

At 1775, he enrolled at the University of Leipzig to study medicine. But he soon became disappointed with its poor facilities, as medical students he transferred as a medical student to Vienna, to gain greater clinical experience.  He registered for the degree of MD at Erlangen in August 1779.

He soon became dissatisfied with the harmfulness and inefficacy of medicine of that time. Doctors were using bloodletting, purgatives, huge doses of drugs including mercury, arsenic, opium, and alcohol, often trying to induce vomiting and emptying of the bowels.

Dissatisfied with the medical practices of the time and concerned for the health of his growing family, in 1784 he gave up medical practice entirely to devote himself to translation work on a full-time basis.

While translating William Cullen’s Lectures on the Materia medica into German, Hahnemann began to doubt Cullen’s theory about Cinchona bark (from which quinine is obtained to cure Malaria). Cullen argued that Cinchona was effective in the treatment of malaria because of its bitter and astringent properties. Hahnemann knew this wasn’t logical; other medicines had the same properties but they could not cure malaria.  He started experimenting, testing of the cinchona bark on himself. Taking large doses of the substance, Hahnemann developed the fever, chills, thirst, and throbbing headache that characterize malaria. Hahnemann found it is not due to bitterness it cures Malaria, but the ability to produce malaria-like symptoms in healthy people. He then undertook more experiments and drug proving on himself and others with many different medicinal substances.  Each time they produce symptoms in healthy people similar to that of they could treat in the diseased people.This became Hahnemann’s famous nature’s law, like cures like, or the Law of Similars. In 1796, he published his work Essay on a New Principle which include his experiments with Cinchona and many drug substances and developed it into a general principle applicable for all drugs, and this laid the foundation for a complete system of medicine based on similia.

With the help of  his four grown daughters, Hahnemann conducted hundreds of experiments, or provings, which he collected and published as a book in 1810,  Organon of Rational Healing. He published 5 more editions of Organon in 1819, 1824, 1829, 1833 and 1842. Materia Medica Pura is a compilation of homoeopathic proving reports, published in six volumes during the 1820s

 Chronic Diseases (1828) explains the miasms and treatment of chronic diseases

Hahnemann died in Paris of  2 July 1843

 

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