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Brief History of Homeopathy

Updated: Jan 9, 2020


Dr. Samuel Hahnemann [1755-1843], a german physician, was a philosopher, extraordinary scholar and inventor of great medical reform. During his practice, his daily observations and experiences of the prevalent medical practices was making him unhappy. He had many objections in medical science due to heavy mortality in most of the diseases. Diseases lasted months, some months were not helpful but harmful instead. His philosophical and logical mind made him investigate and study beyond diseases.

After many years of experimentation, observations and inductive reasoning, he discovered a new system of healing call Homeopathy. This system is based on scientific, philosophical and logical reasoning which is represented in famous dictum ‘similia similibus curentur’. He published his research in Hufeland's Journal in 1807 entitled ‘Indications of the Homeopathic Employment of Medicines in Ordinary Practice’. This has been a boon to mankind.

Homeopathy had flourished in North America in 1800s. Despite the significant oppression from the orthodox medical profession, homeopathy survived and even thrived in the 1800s and early 1900s. By 1900 there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, more than 100 homeopathic hospitals and 1,000+ homeopathic pharmacies in the U.S. However, probably the most important reason that homeopathy developed such immense popularity was its success in treating the various infectious epidemic diseases that raged throughout America and Europe during the 1800s. Besides offering effective treatment for infectious diseases, homeopaths provided care for a wide range of acute and chronic disease. The observation that patients under homeopathic care lived longer led some life insurance companies to offer discount to homeopathic patients. In fact, senator Royal S. Copeland, who brought the F.D.A. bill in 1938 was an M.D. and practiced Homeopathy.

It is quite remarkable in itself that homeopathy survived the incessant attempts to destroy it. The regulations put in by AMA had a major affect on the decline of homeopathy as a viable medical education system. Another factor in the decline of homeopathy was its poor economic viability. Good homeopathic practice required individualization of the patient which demanded more time than most orthodox physicians gave to their patients. Homeopaths throughout the world experienced varying degrees of opposition from orthodox physicians. When homeopaths have been given a relatively free environment to practice, homeopathy has been able to grow and flourish.

Homeopathy is particularly popular in Great Britain where the Royal Family has been under homeopathic care since the 1830s. Homeopathy is re-experiencing a renaissance in the United States as well. In the early 1970s there were only 50-100 physicians who specialized in homeopathy, and yet by the mid-1980s, it can be estimated that there were approximately 1,000 physicians who specialize in homeopathy. According to the Washington Post, the numbers of physicians in the U.S. who specialized in homeopathy doubled from 1980 to 1982. It is difficult to predict how popular homeopathy will be in the United States in the 21st century, though it is probable that most physicians will utilize at least some of the microdoses which research has proven to be effective. Growing numbers of consumers will also learn to self-prescribe homeopathic medicine for common acute conditions and will probably demand homeopathic care from their physicians for more serious medical conditions.

Read more about A Condensed History of Homeopathy

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