Origin and background of Homoeopathy

The Origin and Background of Homoeopathy

The term “Homoeopathy” originated from the Greek words “Homoeos” and “Pathos” which means “similar” and “suffering or disease” respectively.

Homoeopathic system of treatment is based on the axioms OR low “similia similibus curentur” which means “let like be treated by likes”.

Though this is a practice known to the world in the earlier generations, the credit of using it in the science of healing for the first time and developing it into a branch of medical science goes to Samuel Hahnemann. He had spared a long and useful life of 88 years during which he benefited the suffering humanity immensely by introducing this new system of medicine. This medical science firstly originated by a German physician Dr Hahemann.

Introduction and Cinchona Bark experiment

Dr. Christian Fredrich Samuel Hahnemann was a German Allopathic Physician. Though he set up his practice, as an allopathic medical practitioner, he stopped it with utter dissatisfaction towards the medical science that he had mastered and started translating books from German to English. While engaged in translating once he came across a comment from Cullen’s work, Materia Medica which stated it was the bitter taste of cinchona bark that cured Malaria. This aroused the curiosity of Dr Hahnemann and he tested the medicine on his body. Surprisingly, his body showed symptoms of Malaria and then he tested the same on his family members also. This was the first example of drug proving that led to the discovery of Homoeopathy in 1790.His attention was arrested by the remark of the author that cinchona bark cured malaria because of its bitterness and toxic effects of stomach. This explanation appeared unsatisfactory to him.

Dr Hahnemann experiments and observations

Dr Hahnemann spent several years experimenting on himself, his family and a group of followers, testing a wide range of natural substances, such as plants, minerals, metals, etc. In fact, he was the ‘father’ of experimental pharmacology.
Hahnemann himself ingested 4drams of cinchona bark twice daily for a few days. To his great astonishment, he was attacked by symptoms very similar to ague or malarial fever. This unexpected result set up in his mind a new thoughts and he conducted similar experiments on himself and other individuals with other medicines whose curativeactio in certain diseases had been well establish.
He found that in the healthy persons the medicines produce symptoms very similar to what they cure in diseasesd individuals.

Homoeopathy origin in India

Homoeopathy came to India as early as 1810 when a French traveler, Dr. John Martin Honigberger who learnt Homoeopathy from Dr. Samuel Hahnemann visited India and treated patients with Homoeopathy.
In his second visit in the year 1839, he treated the then ruler of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh with Dulcamara. Maharaja was so happy with results and he encouraged him to continue the Homoeopathic treatment in India.

Homoeopathy continued to spread and Indians found in its philosophy and principles, a reflection of their belief and culture. The ancient Hindu physicians had, in fact recognized the “Law of Similars” as one of the principles of treatment. In the Bhagwat Purana, written hundred of years ago in the Bhagwat Purana – a Sanskrit couplet says “Vishaya Vishmoshashi” to which Homoeopathy took root and flourished. Surgeon Samuel Brooking, a retired Medical Officer had the courage and conviction to establish a Homoeoapthic Hospital at Tanjore, in South India, in 1847. There have been a number of other well-known enthusiasts like Dr. Cooper and Dr. J. Ruther ford Russel, two Government Medical Officers, Mr. H. Ryper, a military pensioner, Captain May and others of Calcutta, made Homoeopathy popular among the masses of Bengal. Last but not the least, was the services rendered by Dr. C. J. Tonnere, M.D. the French Homoeopath, proved “Acalpha Indica” in the year 1851 was first Health Officer of the town of Calcutta and later he established Homoeopathic Hospital.

In 1861, a virulent epidemic of malarial fever was raging over lower Bengal and it was at this juncture that the great philanthropist, Late Babu Rajendra Lall Dutta, a layman, truly laid the foundation of Homoeopathy and started its practice with astounding results. He converted the redoubtable allopath and his opponent, Dr. Mahendra Lall Sircar, M.D. D.L., C.I. E. to Homoeopathy. Dr. P.C. Majumdar, M.D. another Homoeopath of Calcutta started his practise in 1864 and laid the foundation of Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College in 1885.

The year 1867 is also memorable for the establishment of Banaras Homoeopathic Hospital with Shri Loke Nath Moitra as Physician In-charge. In August 1869 a homoeopathic charitable dispensary was started at Allahabad with Shri Priya Nath Bose as the Physician In-charge of the dispensary while in another important event in 1870 the Maharaja of Jaipur sent for Dr. Salazar of Calcutta for the treatment of his cataract. From this time onwards, homoeopathy spread not only in Bengal, but also to other parts of India. The Rev. Father Muller, the great Jesuit Missionary of Mangalore in the South; Mr. P. Subbarayulu, the large-hearted lawyer of Kakinada in the East; and Mr. V. M. Kulkarni, the tireless telegraphist of Bombay in the west – all these like Babu Rajendra Lall Dutta of Calcutta, are names to conjure with in the Indian Homoeopathic world. Homoeopathic treatment proved to be highly effective in practice and its fame spread rapidly with the opening of several dispensaries in the second half of the nineteenth century. Now the process of its recognition by the Government of India was started. In April 1937, Md. Ghias –ud-idin, M.L.A. moved a resolution in the Legislative Assembly for its recognition.

The resolution was passed and forwarded to the State Governments for its implementation and Bengal was the first province to constitute a Homoeopathic State Faculty in 1943. After independence and formation of National Government, on 17th February, 1948 Shri Satish Chandra Samanta, M.P. (West Bengal) moved a resolution which runs as follows “This Assembly is of opinion that homoeoapthic system of treatment be recognized by the Indian Union and that a General Council and a State Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine be established at once”. This resolution was unanimously adopted and subsequently the Government appointed a Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee in 1948 and the Committee submitted its report in 1949.
In 1952, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, the then Union Health Minister appointed a Homoeopathic Ad-hoc Committee which functioned upto 1954. In 1954 Government constituted a Homoeopathic Advisory Committee. In 1956 this Advisory Committee was taken over by the Minister of Health and Secretary in the Ministry of Health became its first Chairman. Govt. of India appointed Dr. K. G. Saxena as first Honorary Homoeopathic Advisor in 1962. A Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Committee was established in the year 1962 to lay down the standard of Homoeopathic drugs. In 1969 for the development of ISM & Homoeopathic drugs an autonomous council was established. On 17 th December 1973, Central Council of Homoeopathy was established by the Government of India with the enactment of Central Council of Homoeopathy Act, 1973 with the following objectives.


At last the Dr Hahnemann discovered the low guiding the selection of drug to cure diseases and the method of testing the positive action of each individual drug.

Cardinal Laws and Fundamental Principles

Every science has certain basic guiding principles. Homoeopathy as a science of medical treatment has a philosophy of its own and its therapeutics is based on certain fundamental prienciples which are quite different feom those of other schools of medical science. There are seven cardinal laws in Homeopathy:
• Law of Similia:
“Similia Similibus Curentur” or “Let like be treated by likes” is the fundamental law of Homoeopathy. The remedy which is administered after a close observation of the entire symptoms that the patient shows, always produces the same symptoms of illness on a healthy body. The more similar the symptoms, the more guaranteed is the cure.
• Law of Simplex:
In homoeopathy, a patient is administered only one remedy at a time. Every substance acts on human body in its unique way and it loses its distinct and unique properties when it is mixed with other substances and the mixture acquires new properties which is entirely different from the individual properties. In Homoeopathy, every medicine is put to thorough study and tests and is used in unadulterated form.
• Law of Minimum Dose:
This law is based on the observations made by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann and his followers on the dose of medicine to be administered to patients. They found that administering similar indicated drugs in big doses leads to severe and prolonged reactions on human body before the process of cure begins. In Homoeopathy, medicines are administered in subphysiological dose.

Doctrine of Drug Proving (testing)
One unique feature of Homoeopathy is that it does drug testing on human body. The curative power of a drug is determined by its strength to produce symptoms of illness on a healthy body. The degree of symptoms thus produced is noted and maintained as record in Homoeopathic Materia Media as annexure.

Doctrine of Acute and Chronic Disease
Hahnemann classified diseases into two categories – Acute and chronic, according to the onset, nature of progress and termination of disease.

Doctrine of Drug Dynamisation
Drug Dynamisation means making the drug more powerful, by liberating the inherent power that it holds. Illness is a condition that disturbs the normal balance and harmony of the human body and mind. Only something that is dynamic and powerful can create such a condition. So the medicines that are used to counter this condition also should be dynamic and powerful.

Doctrine of Vital Force
According to Hahnemann, the vital force that holds life not only animates the human body but also maintains the balance between mind and body. A state of illness or disease disrupts this balance and has a negative impact on the vital force.

Hering’s Law of Cure
In the Homoeopathic Treatment, the real and permanent cure takes place in the following order:
a)From above downwards
b) from within outwards
c) from more important organs to less important organs
d) in the reverse order of the onset of symptoms.

Doctrine of Individualisation
Homoeopathy takes into account the distinct and unique features of every individual. Every person has his or her individual range of intelligence, aesthetic sense, ideals and dreams. But at the same time, he or she possesses the common traits of human beings. So the same disease takes different forms in different persons.

Doctrine of less Repetition
Homoeopathy administers only the minimum medicine that will begin the curative process. Overdose or repeated use of medicine may have negative results or even lead to complications.

Discovery disease of miasms or Disease
Dr Hahemann described the origin and cause of the disease. According to him the major cause of the disease is miasm that is psora,syhphilis and sycosis. The dr hahemann described the different aspects of diseases.
1) Acute disease
2) Chronic disease

Acute diseases are transitory and they have a beginning and an end.
Whereas the chronic diseases are coexistend with life. Either they are present in a manifest or a latent state. From this work came the chronc miasms of psora ,syphilis,sycosis.

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