Homeopathy – What is it?
‘Homeopathy’ is like many words in the English language and is derived from the Greek words ‘Homoios’ and ‘Pathos’. Roughly translated this means “like treatment”. Essentially, therefore, Homeopathy is the medical practice of treating like with like. The theory was known to both the ancient Greeks and Romans. It was re-discovered in Medieval Europe by Paracelcus, a famous Swiss pharmacist and physical but never put to any practical use.
Present day use of homeopathy stems from the studies and work of Dr. Samuel Friedrich Hahnemann, born in Meissen, Germany 1755 died Paris, France 1845. His first experiments performed in 1794 concerned the action of Cinchona bark (precursor of modern quinine) which had been used by contemporary doctors to treat ague or marsh fever (know as Malaria today.) Dr. Hahnemann knew that Cinchona cured Malaria and he wanted to know what happened if a healthy person took cinchona. He found that it produced all the symptoms of Malaria. So he deducted that by treating patients using very dilute solutions of cinchona bark in water/alcohol mixture he could treat the disease free from toxicity of the bark alone. He also found that the more he diluted and shook the solution the better it worked. Therefore, he concluded that the most dilute solutions had the most power or ‘potency’.