History of Homeopathy

Samuel Hahnemann

The son of a porcelain painter in Meissen near Dresden Samuel Hahnemann showed exceeding diligence in educating himself and pursuing studies much discouraged by his father. Nontheless he qualified as Medical Practitioner in 1779. He soon became discouraged by medical practices, however and proceeded to earn his living translating medical literature. It was in 1790 whilst translating Cullen’s Materia Medica that he discovered the fever-producing properties of chinchona bark. Curiosity made him prepare a concoction of the bark and take it himself, the result being fevers and chills similar to those of Malaria. The first principle of Homeopathy was born: LIKE CURES LIKE.

Hahnemann enlisted the help of family and friends to test many more substances and carefully recorded every finding. In all he ‘proved’ around 90 remedies. When he started
using these new medicines he found that his patients were getting better but had reactions to the medicines first of all. Hahnemann had a sound knowledge of Chemistry and proceeded to develop a system of dilution and succussion to minimise the strong reactions. He found that his medicines were working without any strong reactions the more diluted the medicine became. Indeed the more he diluted and succussed the medicines the better, smoother and gentler the healing that occured. The second Principle of Homeopathy was born: THE MINIMUM DOSE.

In 1810 he published the first edition of his Organon. This was much attacked by the medical profession of his time, where Hahnemann found little support for his new system of medicine.

In 1830 cholera invaded Germany, and Hahnemann worked out specific Homeopathic remedies, based on the laws of Homeopathy he had discovered, for it’s treatment before it reached Germany. He then published his directions for the use of specific remedies as treatment and prophylaxis and distributed it amongst hundreds of homeopaths. From all over Germany findings were reported that this way of treating patients for cholera was
considerably more successful than conventional treatment.

“This one fact speaks more for homeopathy, and the truth of the law of nature on which
the system is founded, than almost any other I could offer, viz., that Hahnemann, from merely reading a description of one of the most appalling rapid and fatal diseases, could confidently and dogmatically say, such and such a medicine will do good in this stage of the disease; such and such other medicine in that; and that the united experience of hundreds of practitioners in all parts of Europe should bear practical testimony to the accuracy of Hahnemann’s conclusion.”
(R.E. Dudgeon,MD)

Hahnemann died peacefully in 1842 in Paris instructing his caregivers in the selection of his own remedies to the very end.

Our art,” says he,” needs no political leave, no worldly badges of honour, in order to
become something. Amid all the rank and unsightly weeds that flourish round about it, it grows gradually from a small acorn to a slender tree, already its lofty summit overtops the rank vegetation around it. Only have patience? It strikes its roots deep underground, gains strength imperceptibly, but all the more certainly, and in due time it will grow up to a lofty God’s oak, stretching its great arms, that no longer bend to the storm far away into all will be refreshed under its beneficent shadow?”
(R.E. Dudgeon,MD)