The principle of Homeopathy dates back 2600 years to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek founder of European medicine. In the late 18th century a German chemist and physician, Samuel Hahnemann, rediscovered and verified the concepts.
The Greek word Homeopathy means equal or similar disease. The homeopathic principle is best illustrated by the phrase "let like substances be used to treat like diseases". A homeopath uses small dilutions of botanical, mineral and other substances to treat specific ailments. For example, what better medicine to give for the stinging pains and swelling of a bee sting than a prepared homeopathic remedy of Apis mellifica (Honey Bee).
Homeopathic remedies are derived from a variety of sources and are prepared in a unique manner called 'potentisation' which enhances their medicinal properties. The remedies are given in minute doses to avoid unwanted side effects, making them safe to use even in situations where conventional drugs would be dangerous or inadvisable (e.g. pregnancy, treating infants).
Homeopathic medication does not replace missing substances, however stimulates the body's self-healing mechanisms (homeostasis). Homeopathic medicines work on a physical, metal, emotional and spiritual plane.
Homeopathic principals are based on a belief in the Vital Force, much like Qi in TCM. Homeopathy teaches that all diseases are a disorder of the Vital Force. According to Hahnemann in the Organon,
“the Vital force is the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable harmonious vital operation as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence”.
Without this vital energy the body becomes inanimate and dies. It is only because of the vital force that if a living organism is capable of physical action. Its disturbed harmony is shown through outward manifestations in the form of symptoms. Disease is nothing but the abnormal functions and sensations, which are the outward manifestations of the disturbed Vital Force.
The Vital Force express its disturbance, through symptoms. These symptoms are what the homeopath depends on for the selection of the similimum to bring about the process of cure.
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