Homeopathy developed in the early nineteenth century from its founder, the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. Medicine in Europe at that time (the Chinese were far more advanced in their healthcare, except possibly surgery) was fairly barbaric, with high mortality and disease rates. Worse still, physicians routinely poisoned their patients with administrations of mercury or opium (laudanum), and sometimes almost bled them to death with leeches. In such an era Hahnemann was a visionary. The first law of cure of Hippocrates is ‘do no harm’.

Based on the principal of ‘like cures like’ or the law of similars, where a very diluted toxin can reduce the same set of symptoms that are produced by that toxin in large dose. The trick is to exactly match the pattern of symptoms the patient is suffering from — to the know effects of the highly diluted (potentised) homeopathic remedy, were that substance to be given in crude dosage. So homeopathic remedies are derived from poisons, e.g. arsenic, mercury, or toxic plants like belladona — deadly nightshade.

This principle of treatment is not so different to vaccination — where an attenuated or inert virus is given to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to the real live virus.

Homeopathy attracts criticism from both journalists and the medical establishment, as a highly dilute amount of a homeopathic remedy may be so diluted (or potentised — the greater the dilution — the more potent) that statistically, in the higher potencies, there may not even be a single molecule of the substance left in the dilution medium. This seems to contradict all the laws of chemistry, and the explanation given is that the energetic ‘imprint’ of the substance remains.

Many commercial preparations of homeopathic remedies and tissue salts are available, especially in Germany, where homeopathy is mainstream, and particularly for children (who can be energetically very sensitive) homeopathy offers a very safe option.

However, as with Herbalism — for best results you need exactly the right remedy, and it is not one size fits all. In other words, the key to success is treating exactly how an individual manifests symptoms (their unique symptom pattern) and matching this to the exact remedy, rather than a blanket treatment of a disease with a broad-spectrum remedy. No two people will have exactly the same presentation and pattern and progress of symptoms.

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