The Healing Principle of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a system of medicine based on natural laws which have always existed but which were only discovered, understood and applied therapeutically some 200 years ago. 'Similia similibus curentur' is the Latin phrase which was then chosen to describe the 'law of similars' which underpins homeopathy's application - put simply it means 'like cures like'.
The way of similars, the homeopathic way, is to give the suffering patient who has a set a of particular symptoms which characterize their condition, a minute dose of a substance which in large doses causes similar symptoms of an artificially inflicted disturbance in a healthy person. e.g. homeopathically prepared doses of onion (allium cepa) will treat certain cases of hay fever where the symptoms match those of someone suffering the effects of inhaling the fumes of a fresh chopped onion, homeopathically prepared coffee (coffea tosta) is used to treat certain types of sleeplessness which resemble the sleeplessness caused by drinking coffee.
The symptom expression of each remedy is discovered primarily through a standard procedure called a 'proving' where a substance is tested on a group of healthy volunteers for its effects and the symptoms recorded and compared to produce the information which defines that particular remedy. Each homeopathic medicine has its unique symptom expression recorded in the homeopathic 'materia medica'
History and Evolution
Following its discovery 200 years ago by Samuel Hahnemann a German doctor, the practice of homeopathy spread rapidly throughout the world and has been practiced in many countries ever since. During the 20'th century the advent of much of the new pharmacy and surgical techniques of modern conventional medicine led to a temporary decline in homeopathy's popularity in many countries. Now it is once again rapidly regaining popularity around the world as an alternative option to conventional medicine for the treatment of many conditions which conventional medicine only has limited effect in. Homeopathy is also useful at times as a complementary therapy when the effects of conventional treatment can be supported or mitigated as the case may be.
Homeopathic medicines are prepared from source substances derived from all three of nature's kingdoms, vegetable, mineral and animal as well as from the realm of energy where medicines have been produced from different forms of radiation for example. The standardized process of 'potentisation' involving repeated serial steps of dilution and succussion by which all homeopathic medicines are prepared renders all original source materials innocuous to the human system. The potentized medicine maintains the curative properties of the original source substance which are effective when a chosen medicine is applied homeopathically to a particular patient according to the 'law of similars'. There are currently some 3000+ remedies listed in the homeopathic materia medica. This list is continually being added to as new medicines are 'proved' i.e. tested, for their therapeutic potential on groups of healthy humans.
Ⓒ text based on the Introduction to Homeopathy from the European Central Council of Homeopaths (ECCH) http://www.homeopathy-ecch.org/content/view/16/33/