The word ‘homoeopathy’ is derived from two Greek words, ‘Homois’ meaning similar and ‘pathos’ meaning suffering. Homoeopathy simply means treating diseases with remedies, prescribed in minute doses, which are capable of producing symptoms similar to the disease when taken by healthy people. It is based on the natural law of healing-“Similia Similibus Curantur” which means “likes are cured by likes”.
Over 200 years ago, the German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) discovered the principle that what substance could cause in the way of symptoms it could also cure.
Hahnemann was struck by the effect that certain drugs, when taken by him while quite healthy, produced symptoms that the drug was known to cure in sick persons. For instance, when he took Cinchona Bark, which contains quinine, he became ill with symptoms that exactly mimicked intermittent fever (now called malaria). He wondered if the reason Cinchona worked against intermittent fever was because it caused symptoms indistinguishable from intermittent fever in a healthy human.
Hahnemann continued to experiment, noting that every sub- stance he took, whether a herb, a mineral, an animal product or a chemical compound, produced definite distinct symptoms in him. He further noted that no two substances produced exactly the same set of symptoms. Each provoked its own unique pattern of symptoms. Furthermore the symptoms were not just confined to the physical plane. Every substance tested also affected the mind and the emotions apart from the body.
Eventually, Hahnemann began to treat the sick on the formula ‘let likes be treated by likes’. From the outset he achieved outstanding clinical success.
Concepts and Principles
Law of Similars
It is also called the Law of Cure. This law demonstrates that the selected remedy is able to produce a range of symptoms in a healthy person similar to that observed in the patient, thus leading to the principle of Similia Similibus Curentur i.e. let likes be treated by likes. To give a simple example the effects of peeling an onion are very similar to the symptoms of acute cold. The remedy prepared from the red onion, Allium cepa, is used to treat the type of cold in which the symptoms resemble those we get from peeling onion. The principle has been, verified by millions of homoeopaths all over the world.
Homoeopathic medicines are always administered in single, simple unadulterated form.
The similar remedy selected for a sick is prescribed in a minimum dose, so that when administered there are no toxic effects on the body. It just acts as a triggering and catalytic agent to stimulate and strengthen the existing defense mechanism of the body. For this medicines are prepared in a special way known as Drug dynamization or Potentisation. Drug dynamisation involves trituration for solid substances and succussion for liquid substances. Drugs prepared in such a way retain maximum medicinal power without producing any toxic effect on the body.
Holistic as well as Individualistic approach
This is a key point and unique to Homoeopathy. Even though it may sound strange, Homoeopathy does not treat disease per se. A Homoeopath does not concentrate his therapy on, say arthritis or bronchitis or cancer. In other words he does not limit his treatment to painful joints, inflamed bronchi or a malignant growth. Rather, he treats all aspects mental, emotional and physical of the person who happens to be suffering with arthritis or bronchitis or cancer. Homoeopathy regards each patient as a unique individual, e.g. six persons with hepatitis might get a different homoeopathic remedy, each one aimed at the individual’s totality of symptoms rather than at his liver alone. The physician’s interest is not only to alleviate the patient’s present symptoms but also his long-term well being.
Dr. Hahnemann discovered that the human body is endowed, with a force that reacts against the inimical forces that produce disease. It becomes deranged during illness and the best-selected homoeopathic remedies stimulate this failing vital force so that, as Hahnemann said, “it can again take the reins and conduct the System on way to health”.
Psora, Syphilis and Sycosis are the three fundamental causes of all chronic diseases that afflict the human race as discovered by Dr. Hahnemann and called them miasms. This word is derived from Greek word miainein meaning ‘to pollute’. Psora is present from the beginning to end of life and is the root cause of most of the diseases.
To apply drugs for therapeutic use, their curative powers should be known. The proving of the drug is the method employed to know these powers and is unique to homoeopathy as they are proved on healthy human beings. The symptoms thus known are the true record of the curative properties of a drug or the pathogenesis of a drug.
(Issued in Public Interest by CCRH – India)