Homeopathy is a holistic form of alternative, complementary medicine that aims to treat patients in their totality and not simply their physical symptoms. It acts following the principle that mind and body are interrelated intimately and the physical ailments cannot be treated successfully without understanding the constitution and the character of the individual.
Around mid century XVIII in Germany, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, father of the homeopathy, discovered in an experimental fashion that certain substances, if administered to a healthy person, produced the same symptoms, as in an ill person, that were able to cure. Hahnemann reached these conclusions gradually and he was very cautious in publishing them, to the point that there are 20 years between the first experienced substance and the publication of his book Organon dell'arte del guarire (Organon of the art of healing), in which the theoretical bases of homeopathy were enunciated.
Homeopathy is based on the Principle of Similars. To understand this principle, consider a bee sting. A person sensitive to bee venom will develop a red, hot, shiny, swollen area at the site of injury, which has a stinging pain and usually feels better from a cold application such as an ice pack. This is the “symptom picture” of bee venom. Now imagine having a sore throat in which the throat is red, hot, shiny, swollen, with a stinging pain that feels better when cold drinks are consumed. The similarity in symptoms means that Apis, a homeopathic medicine made from the honeybee will cure that person suffering from the sore throat. Another example of this principle can be found while peeling onion; it makes your eyes watery and nose burning. If you are having an attack of hay fever with watering eyes and burning nose, the homoeopathic remedy prepared from onion called Allium Cepa could relieve it.
Nowadays, homeopathy is one of the more well-known and practiced nonconventional medicine forms. The decreasing trust towards the officially-recognized methods of treatment and the increasing popularity that homeopathy currently enjoys stimulates the curiosity and the interest of an ever increasing number of people towards this form of therapy.
Homeopathy, science of the observation par excellence, has applied the experimental method for centuries now, which currently is considered a cornerstone of a rigorous scientific attitude.
Whereas people diagnosed in conventional medicine suffering the same ailments are usually administered the same medicine, in homeopathy the remedy administered to a patient will depend on a whole series of factors such as temperament, mood and lifestyle. The key for the practice of homeopathy is the capacity to understand and to interpret the patient’s symptoms, the external signs of the internal upheaval, before and after administering the remedy. This continuous relationship allows homeopaths to be particularly effective at discovering the underlying causes of the frequent incidence of ailments.