What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that has been used since Egyptian times and it is very relevant to current day problems. The remedy is based on the concept of like cures like : the simillimum.

The simillimum

Imagine you’ve had an argument with your partner. Would you rather talk to a friend who knows exactly how you are feeling, or to someone who never argues and although sympathetic doesn’t really understand?

This isn’t just stating the obvious, but demonstrates a truth we often take for granted.

Centuries ago the philosopher Aristotle recognised it in the concept of catharsis. When feelings and emotions were acted out on stage, he said, this would create a cathartic or healing effect on those in the audience who were suffering from a similar emotional turmoil.

What has this to do with alternative medicine? Well, a lot, actually. Homeopathy has a theoretical understanding about how living things thrive and become healthy. When we are out of balance we produce a set of reactions which we call symptoms.

After an argument, for example, we react with feelings of outrage, sadness, guilt, hurt, and so on. When we talk to the friend who understands how upset we are, the intensity of the feelings diminishes quite quickly. By the end of the conversation our emotional balance has probably re-established itself and we feel much better.

Suppose it’s not an argument but a spoiled piece of meat that unbalances us. In just the same way we produce, in response, a set of symptoms that are aimed at resolving the crisis for us. We are sick and nauseous and have no appetite. So no further food enters the digestive tract. Our bowels empty and we vomit until none of the poisonous food is retained. We remain delicate for a while longer, giving our digestion time to repair and return to full working order.

But what, in this situation, is the understanding friend helping us to a rapid resolution of our symptoms? Hahnemann discovered this to be the homeopathic remedy based on the observation noted above that like cures like. Anything that can produce a set of symptoms similar to food poisoning would help our sufferer recover more quickly and without further complications. He took a well-known emetic, Arsenic (widely used in his day as a medicine) and attenuated the dose beyond even the attenuation found in modern vaccinations and he discovered that he could help the patient to a rapid recovery.

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