Homeopathy is a natural form of complementary and alternative medicine-which basically means any health practice that falls outside the mainstream of Western conventional medicine.
Homeopathy is based on the Law of Similars, a principle of "like cures like." This means that remedies that cause a problem in large doses may help the body heal quickly if taken in small doses. What makes homeopathy unique is that it takes into account a person's body, mind and spirit when dealing with the cause and cure of a health condition.
According to homeopathy, no two people are treated exactly alike, even if they have similar symptoms.
The founder of homoeopathy, Samuel Christian Hahnemann, was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1755. Samuel Hahnemann was a physician who earned his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1779. At the time of his graduation, Scientific advances were beginning to be seen in the fields of chemistry, physics, physiology and anatomy. The clinical practice of medicine, however, was rife with superstition and lack of scientific rigor. The treatments of the day, such as purgatives, bleeding, blistering plasters, herbal preparations and emetics lacked a rational basis and were more harmful than effective. Hahnemann recognized this and wrote critically of current practices in several papers on topics such as Arsenic poisoning, hygiene, dietetics and psychiatric treatment.
While translating William Cullen's A treatise of the materia medica into German, Hahnemann was struck by a passage that deal with cinchona bark, which was used to treat malaria. Cullen described its mechanism of action as a function of its stomach-strengthening properties. Hahnemann did not accept this explanation and took "four good drams of Peruvian bark, twice a day for several days" to attempt to characterize the action of the quinine-containing bark. Hahnemann reported that he began to develop symptoms identical to those of malaria. He concluded from this experience that effective drugs must produce symptoms in healthy people that are similar to the diseases they will be expected to treat Today this principal is known as the "Law of Similars" and is the basis for the use of the term homeopathy ("similar suffering").
Hahnemann and colleagues began to test various substances to determine the types of symptoms they produced. These results suggested to Hahnemann what the drugs would be useful to treat. Hahnemann reasoned that doses of these substances that produced overt symptoms would be inappropriate for treatment of diseases with the same symptoms. Thus he advocated reduction of the dose to infinitesimal levels by multiple serial dilutions of ten or hundred fold. Hahnemann practiced Homeopathic medicine for almost 50 years until his death in 1844
Homeopathy had a large impact on the practice of medicine. The first homeopathic hospital opened in 1832 and homeopathic medical schools opened all over Europe. Homeopathic hospitals and practitioners often had better outcomes compared to their allopathic counterparts. These improved outcomes were undoubtedly due to the harmful nature of allopathic remedies of the time compared to the non-toxic nature of homeopathic remedies. Thus the general public began to tout the benefits of homeopathy and demand better treatment from all physicians. :