The Discovery of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that works on the principle that ‘like cures like'. Some of the basic philosophies involved in the practice of homeopathy have their roots in medicine systems that were practiced many hundreds if not thousands of years ago. Homeopathy, as it is practiced, today was developed over 200 years ago when it was discovered, by Samuel Hahnemann, that a substance which caused symptoms in a healthy person could be used in minute doses to treat the same symptoms in illness - ‘the law of similars'.
The discovery was made when Hahnemann experimented with cinchona (Peruvian bark). He found that cinchona produced in him the same symptoms that it was used to treat. He repeated the experiment with other substances over many years gaining similar results. Some of the substances were however very highly toxic which obviously created problems. This is when Hahnemann developed the second basic principle in homeopathy of dilution. By diluting the substance the toxic risk was reduced and eventually eliminated.
This was the start of homeopathy as we understand it today. Many more years of work by Hahnemann himself and his contemporaries went into the further development of homeopathy and its practise to lead to where we are today.