05/11/2009 18:45



Samuel Hahnemann founded homeopathy about 200 years ago. He was a Doctor, chemist and translator. He was so disillusioned with medicine after the death of his son that he stopped medical practice and earned his living translating books.

While translating a medical book he noticed that the action of quinine was such that it could cause symptoms similar to malaria, yet he also knew it was used to treat malaria. This intrigued him and led to him formulating the idea of curing with 'similars'

He looked for other examples of substances that could cause symptoms similar to diseases, started experiments and soon discovered that the principle worked; however there were side effects when using crude substances, so he tried diluting them. He discovered much to his amazement that not only did this remove the unwanted side effects but the remedies also continued to work no matter how much he diluted them. He wasn't just diluting though, he also repeatedly banged the remedy hard on a firm surface at each stage of dilution, it was this that made the difference, and which he called 'dynamisation'; now called 'potentising'

He started taking patients again, using only homeopathy, and soon had other Doctors, sceptical at first, become his students and staunchest supporters.

He wondered what would happen if he potentised substances not normally known to have much effect on people, or substances too dangerous to try in their crude form, and gave the 'potentised' version to healthy people. He tried this on himself and his heroic student volunteers and found that symptoms were indeed produced. These were meticulously recorded and added to the Materia Medica thus expanding the therapeutic range of homeopathic remedies and this then became his practice for discovering new remedies which he called the
'proving' of remedies.

Samuel Hahnemann went on to develop his new system of medicine, expounded in his book called the
'Organon of Medicine': essential reading for any serious student of homeopathy. In it he wrote 'There could not be any true, best way of curing dynamic (i.e. all non surgical) diseases other than pure homeopathy, just as one could not possibly draw more than one straight line between two given points.'