Sonja Poeltl-Cernik
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Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (born in Meissen on April 10, 1755 - died in Montmartre,France on July 2, 1843) was the father of Homeopathy. As the son of a Meissen china painter he started to study medicine in 1775 in Leipzig, which he continued in Vienna and Erlangen. In 1779 he received his MD and practiced in Hettstedt. Though shortly after his wedding in 1782 he gave up his practice because he didn’t want to do any more harm with at his time very common therapies like blood letting and purging.

He started translating medical scripts and literature to be able to financially support his wife and family. In 1790 during his translation work he read about Peruvian bark being a good remedy against malaria. Hahnemann was not convinced of it and tried Peruvian bark on himself and since he didn’t have malaria he developed the symptoms of it. Based on that experiment on himself – the first proving - he tried to figure out the true reason for the occurring healing activity under the substance’s influence. That’s how the similarity rule was born -

Similia similibus curentur – like cures like or similar cures similar.

During the following years Hahnemann tried over 100 substances on himself, his family and colleagues. He realized that every single substance he took while healthy caused a particular list of symptoms – the disease picture. As soon as a person developed a certain disease the same substances that would cause the symptoms in a healthy person actually healed the ailment – as long as these symptoms matched the disease picture.

He started to dilute the healing substances he used and learned that they even worked better in diluted form and after he shook them and diluted them a few times they were really potent. The homeopathic potencies were born.

The remedies that are used in Homeopathy are prepared from minerals, poisons, insects, chemical compounds, plants etc. It is more the memory of the original substance stored in the liquid than the actual molecules that activates the self-healing powers of a person.

Homeopathic lingo:

Proving: The testing of a substance, either in crude form or in potency, on healthy volunteers (who are not told anything about the origin of the substance) to figure out the symptoms it produces in a healthy person, and therefore able to cure in a sick. The volunteers record their occurring symptoms – the list of symptoms that are found in a proving are put together into the disease picture of the proven remedy.

Potency: The strength of a homeopathic remedy according to the number of times, during preparation, it has been diluted and succussed (shaken, potentized). The degree of dilution is shown as a letter (X, C, M, LM) and the degree of potency is shown as a number on the label of a homeopathic remedy. For example: Allium cepa 30 C: Allium cepa is the Latin name for the onion, 30 means that the substance went through the dilution and succussing process 30 times, the C means that the remedy was diluted 1:99 - 1 drop (or part) of the original substance and 99 drops of the carrier liquid (grain alcohol). X (or in Europe D) means 1:9. X and C are the most commonly used potencies in Europe and the US.

Simillimum: The “most similar” remedy for a disease. The remedy that comes symptomwise closest to the ailment.

Homeopathic remedies don’t have any side effects and do not interact with allopathic remedies (common drugs). They don’t suppress symptoms; the aim of Homeopathy is to stimulate the self-healing capability of the human and even of the animal organism (yes, your pet benefits from homeopathic remedies, too), targeting the origin of the disease. They are even safe for children.

Link to National Center for Homeopathy

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