Homeopathy is a long-established therapy, established by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann in the 1790s. Hahnemann became very disillusioned with the practises of his day, including blood-letting and the use of highly toxic substances such as mercury and arsenic in medicine. He formed a theory that a substance would cause the symptoms in a healthy person that it cured in a sick one, and experimented by taking quinine. Very soon he developed all the symptoms of malaria, although he didn’t have the disease. When he stopped the quinine, the symptoms abated. This gave rise to his belief that ‘like cures like’. He and his followers proceeded to experiment with various other plants, herbs and minerals and carefully recorded the symptoms that were produced.
Certain substances were highly toxic, so Hahnemann devised a method of diluting them, with a system of shaking and banging (called succession) after each dilution. Even in their diluted form the substances still produced effects, and had curative powers for those who were sick.
The theory of ‘like cures like’ is most easily explained by using the example of an onion, which when sliced, will cause most people to experience watery eyes and a runny nose. Homeopathically, onion (allium cepa) is used to treat hayfever and colds with the symptoms of watery eyes and a runny nose.
The human body is a wonderful thing and has an innate ability to heal itself. If you cut your finger, you know that it will mend in a few days. If you are hungry your body tells you to eat. Sometimes, however, this healing ability gets stuck, which is when ongoing symptoms appear. According to homeopathic principles the correct homeopathic remedy will stimulate the body to heal itself, and then the symptoms are relieved.
Within homeopathic tradition and teaching, each homeopathic remedy has a detailed picture, which include physical and emotional symptoms. Have you ever been ill and noticed that your mood and behaviour is different from normal? Perhaps you are usually independent but you notice with an infection you are clingy and needy. This is particularly noticeable in children. The behaviour demonstrated during an illness can be a helpful indicator when making the choice of homeopathic remedy.
People often ask “What remedy do I need for such and such a condition?”. The philosophy of homeopathy is that it treats the person, not the disease; it is likely that five people experiencing the same disease will each be prescribed a different remedy, based on their own individual symptoms and experience of the disease.
For legal reasons I am unable to claim that homeopathy can ‘treat’ any named condition unless there is reasearch backing it up. This is why you will see lots of references to research that has been completed which supports homeopathy. You may also not see some conditions mentioned that you expected to see.