Homoeopathy in a nutshell
- The first inspiration for Homeopathy came to Dr Hahnemann in 1790, while he indulged in the translation of ‘A Treatise on the Materia Medica’, written by Scottish physician William Cullen. Here Cullen commented about the action of cinchona bark (quinine) in curing malaria/intermittent fevers as a remedy for agues and fevers because of its bitterness.
- As a falling apple ignited Newton’s mind, Cullen’s comment on cinchona bark for malaria ignited Dr Hahnemann’s to discover Homeopathy.
- Dr Hahnemann presumed that cinchona bark would have special characteristics against malaria since other astringent substances, which even have more bitterness than cinchona bark, are in no way effective against malaria. He came up with the idea of ascertaining the action of the drugs which were claimed to be specific for that. He began to research on cinchona bark by self-administration.
- He consumed 4 drahms of cinchona bark extract and analysed the development of toxic symptoms in his own body. He developed drowsiness, palpitations, fever, headache, skin rashes, extreme prostration, thirst with cold extremities and tremors. He suspects he developed symptoms similar to that of malaria. He finally concluded that cinchona bark is effective against malaria because of its capability of producing the same set of symptoms. Then, he slowly diluted the substances to reduce the toxicity, adjust the dose and combat the side-effects.
- He tried and confirmed the same with other medicinal substances and diseases.With this fundamental, he postulates the law of cure, i.e., Similia Similibus Curentur – which means that ‘Let likes be treated by likes’. As a sufferer happened to have ‘similar sufferings’ during treatment, he coined the name ‘Homeopathy’ to describe the approach to healing. In Greek – homos means similar + pathos means suffering.
- In 1831, during the outbreak of cholera epidemic, Hahnemann experienced one great triumph as a homeopathic practitioner. His way of approach and treatment helped in countless number of cases with simple medications. Effectiveness of Homeopathy in treating and controlling cholera created a lot of awareness about Homeopathy all over the world. By then, Dr Hahnemann had published several papers on the ‘Cure of the Asian Cholera’.
Further, one can recognize well the development of Homeopathy when they study the life history of Dr Hahnemann.