Case Studies



What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a system of medicine first developed in Germany by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). It is based on the principle that "like cures like". In practice this means that a medicine capable of producing certain effects when taken by a healthy person is capable of curing any illness that displays similar effects. Read More..

For example, if a healthy person takes arsenic he will develop vomiting, diarrhea, a rapid pulse and weakness. His skin will become cold and his expression anxious. In smaller doses or when taken for a longer time, he will develop a runny nose, heaviness of the head, cough and bronchial discharges. Even later there will be specific disturbances of skin and nerves. He will have burning all over that is relieved by warmth, frequent thirst for sips of water, fear of death, restlessness and a worsening of symptoms at noon and midnight. According to the homeopathic law that "like cures like" countless patients displaying such symptoms have been cured by arsenicum album, regardless of the name of the disease (colds, eczema, anxiety disorders, asthma, etc.) Read More..

The principle of "like cures like" is known as the Law of Similars and has been understood in the practice of medicine since ancient times. Hippocrates wrote of the application of the Law of Similars and so did Paracelsus. Read More..

The practice of homeopathy is based on certain fundamental principles. Firstly, the remedies used are tested on human volunteers to elicit the symptoms they can produce. This is known as a homeopathic proving. The symptoms of each remedy experienced by the volunteers are recorded in exact detail and they form the homeopathic materia medica, the pharmacopeia of remedies used in the practice of homeopathy. A patient's complaints and symptoms are matched with the symptoms of the homeopathic materia medica to discover the single remedy with symptoms most similar to those of the patient (like cures like).

Dr. Hahnemann's scientific experiments led him to the process of potentization. A step-by-step dilution and shaking of the drug makes it extremely powerful and at the same time renders it harmless. This is in direct contrast to the toxic drugs of modern medicine and their side effects. Modern physicists have begun to understand how homeopathy works and how the process of potentization alters the molecular structure of a solution in such a way that releases the dynamic healing forces of any potentized substance. Read More..

The practice of homeopathy convinces both the practitioner and the patient to regard the body as more than a sum of its parts. Unlike a machine, it develops, carries on its function and repairs itself independently. In this sense, everyone carries within his or her own doctor. Ancient physicians were familiar with this natural power of the organism to control disease and they invented for it a beautiful expression: Vis Medicatrix Naturae (healing power of nature). This healing power is a function of the life force itself. Hahnemann called it the vital force. Disease is a disturbance of this force. For example, of ten people who get wet in the rain, only one gets pneumonia. Most bacteria can affect us only when our own healing power or resistance is low. By removing the bacteria (with antibiotics for example) we are doing nothing to correct this lack of resistance. Homeopathic medicine aims to correct the disturbed vital force and thus enhance the power of the body to heal itself. It does not aim at removing the symptoms of the parts affected but treats the root cause of symptoms and restores health throughout the whole of the person.

Another fundamental principle of homeopathy is that it treats the patient as a whole and as an individual. There is no medicine for any particular disease but there is a medicine for the patient suffering from the disease. The homeopath takes into consideration all the symptoms that distinguish a person as an individual. The homeopath thus enquires into the details of the patient's past and family history, his appetite, thirst, habits, sleep, and most important of all, she or he asks about the patient's temperament, sensations and emotions.

It is increasingly acknowledged these days that the mind and body are interlinked. We now see the rapid rise of the holistic concept of disease with an emphasis on its psychosomatic aspect. Hahnemann recognized all this long ago and stressed that bodily and mental symptoms are to be taken together to form the portrait of disease. The materia medica of an individual remedy always includes the effect of the remedy on the mind and emotions. The most precise homeopathic prescription is indicated for mental and emotional states as well as physical complaints of the body.

The present problem of the patient is not usually an isolated occurrence. It is part of a sequence. The family history and the events through childhood are taken into account as homeopathy treats not only the present symptoms but also the entire sequence, thereby preventing the progress of disease. Children under homeopathic treatment grow into more healthy adults as homeopathy can resolve inherited tendencies as well as childhood illnesses.

To a homeopath, the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, medicine, surgery and gynecology is necessary. The initial homeopathic consultation is extensive in order to come to a correct homeopathic diagnosis. With knowledge and understanding the natural course of improvement is clearly known. With consistent follow-up consultations a patient's progress is managed properly until a cure is complete.

Above all, the most important task is to understand the individuality of each patient fully and correctly so that the right remedy may be selected and provide the patient with the natural stimulus to catalyze the healing power of nature.

This article adapted from: Sankaran, R. The Spirit of Homeopathy. Homeopathic Medical Publishers, Bombay. 1994