The origins of Homeopathy 

When you talk about the origins of homeopathy, Hahnemann’s name comes first. Christian Samuel Friedrich Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician, is the founder of modern homeopathy, and 1796 is considered to be the official year of creation of this medical system.

Samuel Hahnemann

Samuel Hahnemann

In fact, the origins of homeopathy go much deeper, to the fifth century B.C. The Greek physician Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was the first person who said that ’diseases are not caused by gods or spirits, but are the result of natural action, and the patient must be encouraged to activate its inner healing powers … the disease can be cured by remedies that have similar symptoms’. Hippocrates can be considered to be the true founder of homeopathy, affirming that ‘by similar matters a disease arises and by administering similar things they regain their health from sickness’. Thus, the law of similars was for the first time formulated. Hippocrates invented the concept of ’clinical observation’, which had to be extremely detailed and aimed at drawing a holistic picture of a sick person’. In addition, he put forward the three fundamental directions in the art of medicine: the law of opposites, law of similars and healing power of nature. Unfortunately, these findings were ignored for a long period of time.

Another great proponent of homeopathy was the Swiss alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541), that rediscovered the forgotten “Greek teachings”. His medical works plentifully confirm the homeopathic nature of his medical practice. He promoted the idea that ‘the healing properties of a plant can be revealed by its outer form – “The signature”. For instance, Chelidonium (Chelidoniummajus) was used to treat liver and gall bladder diseases, because of its yellow sap, which looks like bile. Paracelsus stated that diseases are not caused by mysterious powers, but due to some external factors, such as spoiled food and water. Paracelsus affirmed that all plants and metals have active substances that can be prescribed to treat certain diseases. As a researcher of many substances with healing powers and as an apologist of Hipocrates ‘Similia similibus curantur’ principle, Paracelsus became the key person in homeopathy development. The below mentioned famous phrase belongs to Paracelsus ‘All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison.  The right dose differentiates a poison’.

Samuel Hahnemann, horrified by the “barbaric” methods used in those times (excessive exsanguinations, forced vomit inducing, laxatives, which were often lethal for the patient; and the drugs prepared from lead, mercury and arsenic poisoned the patient) was looking for a milder and more human medicine.

Hahnemann performed his first experiments with China barks on himself, then he went on performing experiments on his family members, friends and a group of disciples. Thus, based on the results obtained, in 1811 the “Materia Medica Pura” was published, while the principles of homeopathy were presented in the Organon in 1810. Therein, Hahnemann spoke of Vital Energy, which keeps the balance of the body; and when the stress is too high or too long, or the Vital Energy is deficient, people get ill; similarly, the healing process takes place by a reverse reaction of the Vital Energy, which is stimulated by the proper homeopathic remedy and is proportional to the Vital Energy left in the body.

So, Hahnemann is the rediscoverer of the therapeutic laws of homeopathy, by testing homeopathic remedies on healthy people, taking into account their emotions, mind and body as a whole. Hippocrates, Paracelsus and Avicena have intuited the same thing, but Hahnemann was the one who rediscovered homeopathy and created a scientific system, bringing it to the level of a true art of healing.


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