Deutsche Version (German version)


Gudrun Brune Text by Gudrun Brune Gudrun Brune

To explain what Homoeopathy is, I have to go back to its beginnings:

In the late 18th century Homoeopathy emerged as a highly systematic medical science through the effort of the german physician Samuel Hahnemann. Living in Leipzig, he had been an esteemed physician, pharmacist and chemist and was a personal doctor of the german royalty and the author of the most respected texts on chemistry in his days.

Despite his success, he left his own orthodox medical practice; he felt he was doing more harm than good with the routine use of blood-letting, poisonous doses of mercury and arsenic and other often harmful practices that were in vogue.

But because he had to support a family, he resorted to translating various medical and literary texts. When he translated a medical book about drugs used in this time, he found himself disagreeing with the current explanation of the action of quinine in the treatment of Malaria. He proved the author wrong by preparing an even more bitter and astringend mixture that was useless against Malaria.

Then he decided to test the physiological effect of quinine by taking small doses himself. To his surprise the developing symptoms were similiar to those of Malaria. He wondered whether the curative powers of quinine resulted from its capacity to create symptoms similiar to those of Malaria.

By studying the records of „accidental“ poisonings from other commonly used medicines, such as mercury, arsenic, belladonna and silver nitrate, and by testing these poisons on himself and others, he found that in overdose the medicines caused similiar symptoms to those of the illnesses for which they were used:

----- Mercury, used to treat syphillis, could cause syphillislike ulcers. ---- Silver nitrate, applied for eye-inflammation, caused severe irritation and discharge from the eye.

With the phrase 'let likes be cured with likes' he described the discovery that substances in small doses stimulate the organism to heal that what they cause in overdose.

That means, according to our example, if quinine, given to an healthy organism, can cause a certain kind of fever which is similiar to the Malaria-fever, then a very small dose of quinine can cure a person who suuffers from Malaria.

Hahnemann termed the medical system based on this principle 'Homoeopathy' from the greek word 'homois' for similiar and 'pathos' for suffering or desease. This principle, known as the 'Law of Similiars' states that any substance which can cause symptoms when given to healthy people, can help to heal those who are experiencing similiar symptoms.

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