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Any system of medical practice takes its origin in a set of assumptions about health and disease. Homoeopathy which is a set of rules governing the administration of drugs to sick people, proceeds from the assumptions that what is called the disease process represents the particular form of organisms reaction to a harmful stimulus in his external or internal environment, i.e., an attempt to reestablish a state of health. Homoeopathic physicians characterized this reactive power within the individual as a body’s defense capacity or natural power of recovery.
The first and foremost aim of physician is to stimulate the body’s own defense mechanism, and the curative medicine is the one which supports the organism’s inherent but at times undeveloped and in choate healing effort. The homoeopathic system of medicine enables the physician to give systemic support to this self healing effort of the organism.
Homoeopathy was founded by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), who was born in Meissen, Saxony, and the gifted son of poor but educated parents. After completing his education he started on a carrier as a physician but became progressively more disillusioned with what he had learned. Finally he renounced medicine all together and for some years made a living by translating works on chemistry and other subjects from English, French, and Italian, to support a large and rapidly growing family.
While translating William Cullen’s material medica he made a discovery that was to completely change and redirect his life. Dissatisfied with Cullen’s explanation of how Peruvian bark (quinine) acts to cure malaria. Hahnemann decided to test the substance on himself and observe its effect. he found that he was developing the symptoms of malaria: chills,drowsiness,heart palpitations,trembling,prostration through all the limbs, pulsation in the head, redness of the cheeks,thirst,rigidity of joints etc.This discovery acted as a catalyst to his medical thinking and gave birth to the science of homoeopathy.
If quinine (china) which caused the symptoms of malaria in healthy person, could cure malaria, this signified that it acted as a similar medicine, curing the sick by virtue of its ability to produce the same symptoms in the healthy. After repeating the same experiment with other substances, Hahnemann generalized the observation into the “law of similar,” i.e. that all substances –animal, vegetable, and mineral-cure their similar conditions. Hence the name homoeopathy from the Greek,”homoios pathos,” meaning similar “disease.”