Homeopathy, is a specific form of alternative (holistic) medicine which was developed by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., a German physician, in the late eighteenth century. At that time, people were being treated with poisonous substances to get the ďbad humoursĒ out of them by making them vomit, have diarrhea, sweat, salivate, and bleed. Many patients died from these treatments.
Dr. Hahnemann felt such practices were barbaric, and he stopped practicing medicine. While making a living translating books, he came across William Cullenís write-up on the action of Cinchona officinalis, the herb used to make quinine for the treatment of malaria. Dr. Hahnemann disagreed with Cullenís assertion that it was the astringency of the herb that had the effect, and, to prove his point, took a small amount of the bark himself. He developed symptoms of malaria lasting a few hours. Dr. Hahnemann repeated the experiment several times, each time developing symptoms that went away by the next day.
From this research, Dr. Hahnemann developed the Law of Similars, derived from an ancient concept used by Galen, Hippocrates, and Paracelsus. When a healthy individual is made ill in a particular way by being exposed to a substance, that individual may also be cured by being treated with the same substance. Practitioners using Dr. Hahnemannís homeopathic system are called classical homeopaths.
Many people mistakenly believe that the words holistic and homeopathic are inter-changeable. This is not true. Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of healing that uses remedies based on the Law of Similars, which is the reverse of the allopathic, or conventional, medical system. Allopathic drugs act in such a way that they suppress symptoms, but in themselves, they donít necessarily cure disease. However, when used appropriately, homeopathy works with the body, not against it, promoting actual curing and not just suppressing symptoms. Homeopathic remedies stimulate the immune system, enabling it to complete the job it was already trying to do on its own.
When in crisis, the human body, as well as that of the canine or feline, speaks to us through its symptoms. Symptoms, produced by the bodyís attempt to heal, are windows to the internal process that should not be closed. All the symptoms, taken together, are referred to as the symptomatic picture.
LAW OF OPPOSITES, LAW OF SIMILARS
Allopathic, or conventional, medicine usually applies the Law of Opposites to the treatment of disease. The medication prescribed by the doctor or veterinarian acts against the patientís symptoms, as described by such names as antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. Allopathic drugs typically suppress symptoms but do not necessarily cure disease.
The Law of Similars means that the remedy that causes certain symptoms in a healthy person will cure the same symptoms in a sick person. For example, a bee sting (from the honeybee, apis mellifica) causes an area of swelling and redness in normal individuals. The swelling may be accompanied by itching and burning, which feel better from the application of cold, and the person isnít thirsty. In homeopathic dilutions, the remedy apis mellifica cures itchy, burning, red swellings that come on suddenly and are relieved by cold compresses, especially when the individual is less thirsty than usual.
The red swelling doesnít have to have been caused by a bee sting in order for apis mellifica to be an effective remedy; it just needs to fit the same symptom picture. It may have been caused by something completely unrelated, such as sunburn, allergy, vaccinations, or drugs.