by Sinead Fine (MAHA)

Samuel HahnemannThe German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755 – 1843) is credited with being the founder of Homeopathy. He created that word from the Greek words homoios - meaning “life”, and pathos – meaning “suffering”.

At one stage in his medical career, Hahnemann took an infusion of cinchona bark (quinine), which produced the symptoms of malaria. Therefore he surmised that cinchona bark would help those actually suffering from malaria. He treated his patients with diluted doses of the bark for malaria and cured many of his symptoms. Hahnemann claimed that an illness could be cured by giving patients minute doses of a drug that in a healthy person would produce symptoms like those of the particular illness. He called this law, the “Law of Similars”(similia similibus curentur).

His ideas and theories quickly flourished and homeopathic medical schools spread throughout Europe. In America homeopathy declined in use in the late 19th century and early 20th century because of advances in medicine, where quick cures were used. However by the 1940’s it had regained its popularity and has grown ever since. Germany for example has a high rate of popularity in homeopathy and is the leading therapy used there. In England homeopathic treatment is given under the National Health Service and there are homeopathic hospitals in Bristol, Glasgow and London. In India millions of people use homeopathic medicines under medically trained doctors who have specialised in homeopathy. Many people around the world use homeopathy with great results. A Homeopath in America, Dana Ullman, recently published a book which documents famous people using homeopathy. Darwin himself was successfully treated by a Homeopathic doctor.

Homeopathic medicine treats that whole person, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Each person is an individual and thus is treated as such. Whereas Allopathic medicine proceeds on the principle of administering substances that will remove or alleviate that patients symptoms it does not bear directly on the underlying condition that produced the symptoms. Homeopathic medicine on the other hand tries to create a form of homostatis in the person.

MothHomeopathic medicine works on the theory of “holism” – a Greek word, meaning “whole”. A belief that we all have a Vital Force which cannot be defined or measured, but it is this which makes us alive, connected to everything else – and is the foundation of Homeopathic medicine. Homeopathy helps all people of all ages, but surgery and allopathic medicine still has its place and a disease that has advanced too far, as to cause tissue and organ damage, will probably not respond to homeopathic treatment.

A homeopathic remedy is made by dissolving the remedy (e.g. Flowers) into a container of alcohol. This is then called the Mother tincture.

One drop of this tincture is taken and added to 99 drops of a solution of water and alcohol. This is given the term 1c.

One drop of this mixture is taken and added to 99 drops of a solution of water and alcohol. This is given the term 2c. The process continues until the remedy is at the strength of 6c, 30c, 200c, 1M, 100M and so on.

Deciminal (1/10) potencies are commonly used in Europe. LM (1/50,000) potencies are diluted differently and many claim are deeper acting. They work in such a way as not to aggravate the patient too much if used in the correct manner, yet still working on a deep level.

Thus, the original substance (in this case flowers) had been so diluted down, that if it were tested in a lab, there would be no molecules of the flowers left. One very interesting fact that Hahnemann discovered, is the fact of dilution. The more diluted a remedy became (e.g. 200c, 1m) the stronger and more potent it became. So the higher the potency of a homeopathic preparation, the smaller the amount of the medicinal substance present in solution – the stronger the effect of the medicine.

How then can a remedy heal? How can this be? The theory is that the energy / essence / vital force of the plant has been transferred into the water mixture.

If one wants to treat themselves with a homeopathic remedy they can go to a health food store / chemist and look for a remedy that compares to their symptoms. It is best to choose one remedy – the nearest to your symptoms that you can find. The aim is to find a single remedy that will encompass all your symptoms.

For example if you are suffering from a hayfever, you can check a quick reference guide, and see that Euphrasia suits you. That is because your particular symptoms are painful, watering eyes and an inability to bear bright light. Another person with hayfever might be better suited to Allium Cepa. Here the the eyes are watering but not painful.

Remedies sold to the public are usually only first aid, dealing with acute problems such as headaches, nausea or bruises. Acute problems are rapid in development, short in duration and have a definite progress. 6c and 30c remedies will usually put things right.

Chronic problems (Which have developed slowly over the years, or / and when acute symptoms were repressed) are much deeper, and stronger remedies are needed – thus one would have to see a homeopath. Therefore one can only buy doses 6c and 30c in shops in some countries, because higher dose remedies, must be taken under the supervision of a qualified homeopath. A person must always visit or consult with a homeopathic practitioner for chronic conditions.

Ailments treated with homeopathy range from bruises, migraines, hay fever, cystitis, fertility problems, colds, Chronic Fatigue to addictions, phobias, depression, eating disorders, lack of self esteem, anger and grief. It can help transition stages in ones life such as adolescence, relationships and menopause as well as spiritual problems such as spiritual crisis and emergency.

Constantine Hering (1800 – 1880), the father of American homeopathy, developed Herings Law of Healing.

A symptom will disappear:

  • From within out-ward
  • From above downward
  • From more important to less important organs
  • Symptoms will appear in reverse order of their appearance.

Miasms

Hahnemann also discovered that chronic disease could be passed down the generations, or by infection. They lay deep in the tissues of all chronic maladies. Anti-miasmatic remedies such as – Psorinum, Sulphur, Nat sulph and Aurum can treat these. When these layers have been removed one often finds non–miasmic remedy layers underneath. Some patients often have more than one layer of pathology and each layer can correspond to a different remedy, but the remedies must be dealt with in the right sequence, if progress is to be made. The personality of the patient at any given time will correspond primarily to the most superficial layer, which represents the present frequency of the patient’s vital force.

In the last two decades there has been much research on the psychological side of homeopathy – many believing that the mentals are still the least understood. Correspondence with remedies to Jungian psychology are more accepted these days. For example Sulphur has been linked to alchemy while Sepia (cuttlefish ink) is indicated in an unbalanced animus in females.

Consider the remedies that have been made. From herbs such as St. Johns Wort. Plants such as Pulsatilla, Daisy and Club Moss. From the periodic element table – Hydrogen, Phosphorus and Sulphur. Remedies have also been made from mammal milks such as dog, wolf and human as well as snake venoms. However thanks to the process of making homeopathic medicines, there are no toxic elements and thus are free of side effects.

Homeopathy is safe and effective. It is also important to know that it is environmentally friendly with hardly any carbon emissions used during manufacture. Homeopathy is kind to the body and gentle so that even a preganant woman or her new born baby can take it. Find out more about Homeopathy from your library, qualified homeopath or local community centres.

Bibliography

Gemmell, Dr. David, Everyday Homeopathy Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd 1997
Whitmont, Edward.C, Psyche and substance – Essays on Homeopathy in the Light of Jungian Psychology North Atlantic Books Berkeley 1983