Julie Horrocks RSHom, MNCHM

Registered with the Society of Homeopaths
& Member of the Northern College of Homeopathic Medicine

History of Homeopathy

Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years now. In 1786 the German doctor Samuel Hahnemann first used the principle 'similis similibus curentur' which is usually translated as 'Like Cures Like' though is actually means something more like 'let conditions be treated by things which are similar'. Hahnemann initially took cinchona bark (from which quinine is derived) and began to suffer from its poisoning effects - these turned out to be similar to the symptoms of malaria.

He then experimented with many other substances, meticulously documenting the symptoms they produced (known as 'proving a remedy') in himself, his family, friends and students, and treating his patients using the first principle of homeopathy - what a substance can cause it can also cure.

In perfecting his practice he diluted the original substance more and more, to minimise the toxic effect and any side effects caused. Between dilutions he shook each remedy (known as 'succussion') as he found this enhanced the power and effectiveness of the medicine. Hahnemann continued to experiment and develop homeopathy until the very end of his life - in 1843 aged 89 - and modern homeopaths continue to follow his philosophy, proving new remedies and modifying treatment, but always following the same simple principle: 'Like Cures Like'.