The Founder of Homoeopathy

Samuel Hahnemann was one of the greatest contributors in the history of medicine. He was raised in Germany, an excellent student and became a master linguist in several languages, an accomplished chemist and a doctor of medicine. However, it didn't take long for Hahnemann to become distressed and disillusioned with medical practices of the time. Common procedures such as blood-letting, oral heavy metals like mercury, poisons like arsenic & violent purgatives soon led him to seeking gentler and more natural methods of curing patients. He came to realise that symptoms are merely an expression of underlying disease and not the disease itself, they are a reflection of the body's imbalance.
In trying to find a way to stimulate the body or it's vital force to heal and return to a balanced state, Hahnemann discovered what he coined as "The Law of Similiars", meaning that a substance that can cause symptoms of disease from large doses of medicine can also stimulate the vital force to fight those same symptoms at minute homoeopathic doses. 

Although there is no scientific EXPLANATION for homoeopathy, homoeopathy does follow a scientific METHOD. The results of consistent and systematic principles, laid down by Hahnemann in his definitive work "The Organon of Medicine" in 1910, can be assessed as in any scientific investigation. So, too, does the pattern of migrating whales that beach themselves await an explanation, but their journey from point to point continues. 



Fixed laws and principles came about almost 200 years ago and remain valid even today.  Their validity has been confirmed through clinical experiences throughout this period of time wherever homoeopathy has been practiced according to these principles. 

Two leading principles are as follows:

  1. The Law of Similiars" (similia similibus curanter). "let like cure like". This was first described by Hippocrates and Paracelsus and later rediscovered by Samuel Hahnemann in 1790. He decided to call his new systematic science "Homoeopathy", coming from the two Greek words homoios (like) and pathos (suffering). Any substance, be it of animal, mineral or vegetable origin, will produce certain reactions or symptoms when given to a healthy individual in large doses. What Hahnemann discovered is that if these same symptoms were found in a sick individual, they would be removed or cured by this medicinal substance in minute doses.  

    An example: Peeling red onions can cause burning, smarting or itching eyes; watery eyes; nasal congestion; runniness of one nostril, coughing and sneezing together; worse in a warm room; better in open air,. This is similar to a patient's experience of hay fever or allergy. So red onions (Allium cepa), in a minute dose, cures hay fever in a patient who produces the same set of symptoms. 

  2. The "Law of the Minimum Dose". The potentised substance. In order for a harmful or poisonous substance to be rendered harmless yet maintain it's curative powers, it must be potentised. This is achieved by a process of dilution and succussion when a remedy is prepared, and is believed to release the basic particle structure of the curative substance into the medium with which it is diluted.  A homoeopathic  potentised substance can be so dilute that there are no longer any molecules of the original substance left, but is said to have been dynamised and retains an imprint or frequency of the original substance in a more energetic form. The higher the dilution, the higher the potency. 

    Thus the curative effect of a remedy is through the energy (or vibrational pattern) of the substance matching the energy of the disordered system (the mistuned vital force/defense mechanism/immune system). The homoeopathic remedy hereby stimulates the vital force into action. It is the mistunement of the vital force that manifests in the symptoms we call disease! A strong vital force is better able to produce visual symptoms, but a weak vital force cannot produce visual symptoms and is liable to have worse complaints happening under the surface. Symptoms are representative of the vital force trying to establish homeostasis or balance!

In order to demonstrate how each individual has a different illness with common symptoms, let us look at three individual horses which all have the common characteristic of the disease Strangles....loss of appetite; early fever; difficulty swallowing; mucopurulent discharge from both nostrils; persistent moist cough; swelling of mandibular and pharyngeal lymph nodes which are hot and sensitive to touch.

However, they also display individual symptoms...Rusty has excoriating eye discharge, Shady has watery diarrhoea in the mornings, and Brandy has a rapid pulse rate;  Rusty feels chilly and doesn't want to leave the stable to go out into the rain, Shady has an  aversion to having a rug on and will sweat if she does, and Brandy seeks warmth by standing in the sun; Rusty is drinking large volumes of water often, Shady is drinking in small sips only but often, and Brandy is thirstless; Rusty gets irritable and bossy, Shady has a fear of enclosed spaces, and Brandy is indifferent and prefers solitude.

This completes the homoeopathic symptom picture for each individual so that the correct choice of remedy can be made to match the expression of the disease manifestations. This has allowed us to encompass the WHOLE individual and not just a part. It also explains why three different remedies will apply to these individual horses. 



Homoeopathy treats illness with minute, and therefore innocuous, doses of an appropriate substance selected according to the patient's own individuality, reactions, heredity, as well as family and social environments.

The art is in the case taking! An unbiased, comprehensive totality of the symptoms of the patient is of utmost importance to convey the nature of that particular patient's illness. After observing, absorbing and meticulous record taking, the homoeopath makes a sense of order to the case by creating a hierarchy of the prominent homoeopathic symptoms. Usually the leading mental/emotional symptoms are first such as "cannot be left alone", "fear of water", followed by the general physical symptoms such as "she drinks small sips of water often' or 'he seeks the shade and won't stand in the sun', and finally the local symptoms and pathology such as 'he has pain in the right hip on standing', ' a cracking sound can be heard when he gets up'. Strange, unusual and intense symptoms are of special interest. 

To know a remedy's symptom picture, double blind clinical trials are done called "provings". A group of healthy volunteers are given small repeated doses to discover the set of symptoms it causes. Once the "provers' experience changes in their state of health they stop taking the remedy so that no permanent changes are produced. The symptoms that manifest in each individual are recorded, which in turn are used to make up the Materia Medica as a description of what that medicine can cause.

The homoeopath is then required to repertorise the case. A repertory is an index of symptoms from 'provings' called 'rubrics' and represent all remedies that can cause the symptom. There is a definite art to selecting the right rubrics that best represent the total picture of a case. As it is rare to have a case where all the symptoms fit one remedy, there will always be several possibilities and the decision can be quite complex.

Potency selection requires an understanding of the needs of the vital force in acute or chronic states, and its state of strength or reactivity. After remedy administration and a period of time, the remedy's action needs to be perceived. There can be many outcomes and good detective skills will be necessary.

eg: Did the remedy act; have there been changes; where have they occurred and to what degree; are any symptoms removed; is there any return of old symptoms; degree of amelioration or aggravation; is the remedy still acting; is the patient better, same or worse; was it only a partial response (indicating a similar remedy but not the simillimum); is a repeat of the remedy needed; is a different remedy required; if no reaction was the potency correct or was it just the wrong one; did anything antidote the action etc??

If there has been changes it is important to ascertain whether the symptoms are changing in the "Direction of Cure" known as "Hering's Law". This being...."from more vital organ to less vital organ, from within out, from above down, and in reverse chronological order".

This is why an animal may get an old skin condition like "itch" back when having a lung condition treated. However, the 'itch' will be short lived and not as severe as when the animal first had the condition. This is seen as a good sign as the harm caused by suppression of incorrectly treated skin that then resulted in a chest condition has reversed back to the exterior.