Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Homeopathy: overview

Contributor(s): Tim Couzens, Anna Meredith

Introduction

  • Greek: Homeo- similar; Pathy- suffering.
  • Stems primarily from the 18th-19th century German physician, Samuel Hahemann (1755-1843), who was disillusioned with the medical treatments of his day.
  • Hahemann's early work involved translating medical texts, including work by the Scottish physician William Cullen who outlined the use of Peruvian bark ( Cinchona officinalis), in the treatment of malaria (the bark contains quinine).
  • Since Cinchona bark could cure a patient with malaria, yet induce symptoms resembling malaria in a healthy person, Hahemann formulated his first homeopathic rule: Similia similibus curentur let like be cured by like.
  • Hahemann's results were called 'provings' and collected in a reference book, the Materia Medica.
  • The use of a good homeopathic materia medica is recommended to accurately ascertain which remedy is the closest match to the patient's symptoms.
  • Little or no scientific evidence exists to explain why infinitely diluted remedies might be effective in treating illness. However, present thought considers that the healing power (or energy) of the original substance is concentrated through the process of dilution and succussion (vigorous shaking). This energy is then able to tune in to the body when it is sick to induce healing.
  • However, one advantage is that if the wrong remedy is chosen, it may not cure or lead to an effect, yet it will not harm the patient.

Potency & dosing frequency

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Route of administration

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Symptomatic remedy list

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Further Reading

Publications

Referred papers

Other sources of information

  • Schoen A M & Wynn S G (eds) (1998) Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine. Mosby, Missouri.
  • Day C (1992) Homeopathic treatment of small animals. Daniel C W Company Ltd.
  • MacLeod G (1992) A Veterinary Materia Medica. Daniel C W Company Ltd.


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