“The physician’s highest and only calling is to make the sick healthy, to cure, as it is called.” Aphorism 1, Organon of the Medical Art, Samuel Hahnemann, MD
Classical Homeopathic medicine is a beautifully complex medicine that was organized by Samuel Hahnemann, MD in the late 1700s, although there is evidence that Paracelsus, an ancient Greek physician, was employing homeopathic principles in his treatment. Hahnemann was a genius medical doctor who was disillusioned with the conventional medical treatments of his time such as blood letting, harsh purgatives, leaches, and poisonings, because they often left the patient more debilitated than the original illness.
Hahnemann found that when he chewed on cinchona bark, he began to get sick. Being a doctor, he recorded all his symptoms which lasted several days. When he recovered, he reviewed his journal and found that the symptoms he experienced uncannily resembled the symptoms a person sick with malaria would experience. He postulated that this cinchona bark could be used to cure someone with malaria. He experimented with the strength of the medicine, or potency, and found that the weaker and weaker he made the cinchona bark solution, the more effectively it cured a patient with malaria, rapidly, gently, and without side effects. This is known as the Law of Similars. Hahnemann began to investigate all sorts of plants, minerals, and animal substances in the same way and found cures for many ailments, especially the epidemics of his time, cholera, typhoid, and influenza. Today there are over 4000 homeopathic remedies used worldwide.
How homeopathy works
To the logical mind, it seems impossible that micro-dilutions could have any effect on the body, when there is nothing of the original substance left in the medicine. However, quantum physics is helping us to understand how the energy of the original substance is transferred into the medicine as the molecules of that substance disappear. In this way, homeopathy works through the body’s energy system, similar to acupuncture.
Safety of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is hands-down the safest medicine in the world. It can be used with pregnant women, newborns, children, and the elderly without harm when prescribed by a competent practitioner. Homeopathic medicines, unlike herbs and nutritional supplements, are registered with the FDA. Manufacturing of homeopathic medicines follows strict guidelines set forth in the HPUS, Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States.
How is a homeopathic remedy prescribed?
For colds, flus, coughs, ear infections, upset stomach and other acute illnesses, your practitioner may be able to prescribe you or your child a remedy right away. Homeopathic remedies can often help to avoid antibiotics and work great to relieve symptoms of viral illnesses when antibiotics are ineffective.
If your health concern is chronic, a full homeopathic case-taking is necessary. This involves sitting down with your practitioner for 1 ½ hours the first visit and telling your story. Your homeopath will observe you while listening to every detail of your case. The practitioner will ask many questions to help find the right remedy for you. Once you start taking your remedy, follow-up appointments are usually at 4 weeks intervals, as homeopathy works gently and enough time must pass to notice changes.
History of Homeopathy in the US
Homeopathy was once a post-doctoral level study of medicine in the United States. After earning their MD degree, doctors would choose to undertake a fellowship in homeopathy to advance their knowledge and specialty. The physicians of the 1800s who wrote many of the classical homeopathic medical texts still used today were all medical doctors. These include James Tyler Kent, MD, Constantine Hering, MD, John Henry Clarke, MD, Timothy Allen, MD, and William Boericke, MD, just to name a few! These doctors wrote of cured cases of everything from cholera to cancer, diseases that the western medical doctors of their time could not cure. Homeopathy made its mark in the dreaded Spanish flu of 1918. Documentation in the Library of Congress shows that allopaths (western medical doctors) lost 39% of their patients, while those patients treated with homeopathy had a mortality rate of only 1.6%.
What happened to homeopathy?
The answer is simple: Big Pharma. Homeopathic medicines are inexpensive and the process of case taking and prescribing is quite time consuming for the physician. Because homeopathy does not generate big profits, it eventually died out in the 1950s when the AMA was established and pharmaceutical companies took over. Proof of how important homeopathy used to be in this country: there is a hospital in Pennsylvania named Hahnemann hospital. It used to be purely a homeopathic hospital where very sick patients would go to be treated by medical doctors practicing homeopathy. There is also a monument of Samuel Hahnemann, MD in Washington, DC for his contributions to medicine regarding the importance of sanitation, nutrition, and healthy living environments.