What is Homeopathy?

What is homeopathy? Compared to all other modalities—treatments such as drugs, vitamins, diet, chiropractic, acupuncture, etcetera, and usually designed only to manage the problem—homeopathy is the superior choice if you want to be well!

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann was a Physician who lived in Germany and developed homeopathic medicine in 1796. Although idea of using treatments that used idea of similar was already observed, it was Hahnemann who coined the word “Homeopathy,” was the first to study the process of homeopathy and ultimately defined what homeopathy did as a modality. In his words: If a substance could cause symptoms (sickness) in a relatively healthy person, then that same substance could cure a person who was sick in a similar way. This definition is known as “The Law Of Similar”. I will expand on The Law in a moment; but first, let’s look at the history of using The Law Of Similar in medicine—first off, it is important to note that Hahnemann was not the first to understand this Law. Again, he was just the first to do thorough experiments on human beings to conclusively prove the concept.

The idea of observing that similar symptoms to cure illness started six thousand years ago, when a Greek a physician named Hippocrates wrote an article about epilepsy. This article asked the Greeks to stop treating people as if they were being struck down by the Gods, and instead, to become men and women of observation and science. Treatments, Hippocrates wrote, could be used to mimic what the body was experiencing (i.e. Similar) or the treatment applied could be the exact opposite of what the body was experiencing (i.e. against, or antipathic). In other words, if you have a hot burning rash, you could apply heat to the rash in a similar treatment, or you could apply cold to the rash in an antipathic treatment.
Hundreds of years went by. Then, in approximately 1537, a French physician named Ambrose Pare wrote an article about using onions and salt on burns. This article maybe found at this link: https://www.jameslindlibrary.org/articles/ambroise-pares-accounts-of-new-methods-for-treating-gunshot-wounds-and-burns.

This is Ambrose account:
Then told him [Sylvius] this story about a kitchen boy of monsieur le Marshal de Montejan who fell into a cauldron of almost boiling oil. When this happened I was sent for and at once went to ask an apothecary for the refrigerant medicines that one was accustomed to apply to burns. A good old village woman, hearing that I was speaking of this burn, advised me to apply, for the first dressing, (for fear that pustules or blisters would result), raw onions crushed with a little salt; I asked the old woman if she had used this in the past and she answered, in her dialect, ‘Yes, sir, by God’s faith’. Then I was agreeable to trying the experiment on this kitchen scullion; and, truly, the next day, the places where the onions had been had no blisters or pustules, and where they had not been all was blistered.

Take a moment think about what the onions would feel like when placed on those burns. Onions are caustic. If you hold them in your hands for enough time, they will create what would look like a burn on your skin. Ambrose applied a treatment that would cause a similar problem, and cured Montejan’s burns. And this was back in the 1500’s.

Now we jump ahead back to 1796. Hahnemann was extremely dissatisfied with his contemporary’s treatments and theories. During this time, Hahnemann translated a Materia Medica, which is the study of the origin and properties of remedial substances used in medicine, written by a fellow named Cullen. In the Materia Medica, Cullen theorized that Cinchona Bark—common name Peruvian bark—was a treatment for Malaria. The reason the bark cured the Malaria, Cullen theorized, was because of the bark’s bitterness. Malaria was a problem for Europe, since widespread pesticides were not in use, which gave mosquitos the dangerous ability to spread illness.

Cullen’s theory of why the Cinchona bark cured Malaria frustrated Hahnemann. For one, Hahnemann could think of a great many substances that tasted bitter, none of which cured Malaria. So Hahnemann embarked on an experiment. He decided to test this Cinchona bark on himself, even though he was not sick. There’s no need to gasp; testing medicine on oneself was common practice back in those days. There were no ethical committees were around to question if self-testing was such a good idea at the time.
So Hahnemann tested the Cinchona bark on himself. And this was what he wrote:

“I took by way of experiment, twice a day, four drams of good China (Cinchona). My feet, finger ends, etc., at first became cold; I grew languid and drowsy, then my heart began to palpitate, and my pulse grew hard and small; intolerable anxiety, trembling, prostration, throughout all my limbs; then pulsation in the head, redness of my cheeks, thirst, and in short, all these symptoms which are ordinarily characteristic of intermittent fever (Malaria), made their appearance, one after the other, yet without the peculiar chilly, shivering rigor, briefly, even those symptoms which are of regular occurrence and especially characteristic – as the dullness of mind, the kind of rigidity in all the limbs, but above all the numb, disagreeable sensation, which seems to have its seed in the periosteum, over every bone in the body – all these made their appearance. This paroxysm lasted two or three hours each time, and recurred if I repeated this dose, not otherwise; I discontinued it, and was in good health.”
“It seems the cure gives me the disease,” Hahnemann wrote. It was then that he knew he was onto something at this point.

Time passed. In 1799, a scarlet fever epidemic broke out. It was very powerful, and many children were dying from the fever. Hahnemann looked at the children infected, with their dark dusky red faces, dilated pupils. The children would get high fevers, a rash—they would vomit, and then die. From his observations, Hahnemann recognized the look of the feverish children was similar to the look of children poisoned by a Belladonna berry. Hahnemann recognized this easily, because when the poor had no money, they sent the children into the woods to pick berries for food. If a child picked the wrong berry and was poisoned, the physician would be able to identify which berry that was eaten by the symptoms of the poisoned child.

With the realization that the scarlet fever closely mimicked the symptoms of Belladonna poisoning, Hahnemann took the juice of the belladonna berry and expressed into water to dilute the Belladonna and remove its toxicity. He then used the diluted Belladonna doses to treat the children, and save their lives. Even better, Hahnemann was able to use the Belladonna dosage he had created prophylactically as well; that is, giving Belladonna to children not yet infected to prevent them from becoming sick with scarlet fever. In fact, Hahnemann was so successful that other physicians and apothecaries (pharmacists) rebelled against him and ran him out of town. (But that is another story).

Over the next 30 years, Hahnemann and his followers did more experiments called proving’s. Some of the information would be gathered by toxicological reports. Most of the information would be gathered by proving’s, so that the patient, also known as the “Prover”, would be unaware of the substance they were testing, and so would avoid testing contamination with prior knowledge. In essence, a single blind experiment. This bit of information is important, because as far back as the 1807, homeopaths were the only group of Health Professionals doing actual scientific experiments to prove that the Law of Similar works and works all the time: which to this day still holds true.

Homeopathy is the Law of Similar. It is not herbs, diet, vitamins, or all things natural. Homeopathy can absolutely help you become well, and eradicate your illness forever.

Sincerely
Dr. Alan Greenberg, APH

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