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Homeopathic Philosophy

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Homeopathic Philosophy

Describe your understanding of the basic philosophy and principles of homeopathy and how they differ from allopathy.
The world of modern-day medicine is full of different approaches. We can find traditional, oriental, preventive, natural, herbal, dynamic therapies, but all of them could be divided into homeopathic and allopathic due to the main idea of these terms. The word 'homeopathy' was invented by Samuel Hahnemann in 1810, it derives from Greek roots 'omeos', meaning 'similar', and 'pathos', meaning 'suffering'. Thus 'homeopathy' means “to treat with something that produces an effect similar to the suffering” (Vithoulkas 1985, p.16). Whereas the term 'allopathy' uses the root 'allo' ('other') and means the method of cure that creates the opposite effect in the body (Vithoulkas 1985). Therefore the first and the most important difference is that any treatment may be either homeopathic or allopathic if it is given on the understanding what symptoms it may initiate in other circumstances - similar or opposite (Roy 2009).

In my view it's important to keep in mind that the names of the methods “allopathic”, “palliative” or “antipathic” are the terms created by Hahnemann (1989) with the aim of separating his new revolutionary approach to cure from school of medicine and since that time have been used by homeopaths mostly to emphasize the opposite principle of cure. Consequently, the basic principles of allopathy can be reviewed only in comparison with the main homeopathic laws. Although the old school did not admit it, “A law is a fundamental fact; because we do not recognize a law does not mean that the law does not exist” (Roberts 1993, p.58). The basic homeopathic laws are the Law of Similars, the Law of Cure and some rules about remedies: the single remedy, the single dose, the minimum dose (Roy 2009).

According to Roberts (1993) despite the fact that the Law of Similars was mentioned in ancient Hindu manuscripts and Aristotles works, no one knows when the first invention of it happened. Hahnemann demonstrated this law to be universal. Due to his intensive work as a translator during decades he accumulated a great number of reported cures which had been made in accordance with the Law of Similars (Kent 1990). Also this experience allowed him to observe a correlation between diseases and mechanism of therapy far from his single proficiency and has led to the new understanding of inner processes and action of cure.

With negation of the old school of medicine this innovative approach has made Hahnemann reject flatly previous descriptions of remedies. The first paragraph of Organon (Hahnemann 1989) says that a medicine cannot be theoretical or abstract. That is why the only acceptable method of the obtaining of new reliable data was experiment or proving, when drugs were given to a healthy human organism in order to collect and describe experimentally produced symptoms (Vithoulkas 1985). In the expression “like cures like” we meet word “like” twice and if the first essential part is an honest, practical and full as possible description of disease, then the second part is description of remedy's proving result gathered together in Materia Medica.

This aspect was of fundamental importance for the next development of a new-born science. Nothing before has produced a knowledge that could be compared with these highly varied ties, presented by nature through the use of simple experiments (proving). Personally, I believe that for this reason homeopathy have become a true holistic medicine.

In contrast, mainstream medicine (which is commonly allopathic) divides a human being into the physical and the psychological parts – the body and the mind. What's more, the body is broken into pieces called 'systems of organs', so a patient has to seek help from a few specialists, highly educated and professional in the highly narrow area. This approach to diagnostics does not allow to detect the key reason of illness and presents a human as the set of various diseases or, conversely, as its absence with the lack of life energy. Obviously, after such a diagnostics allopathy treats each symptom taken separately according the principle of cure with opposite action: blocks discharge, reduces body temperature. Thus an organism is disabled to solve its problems excreting out disturbing elements and self-regulating . This process was called 'a suppression'.

Although Hahnemann (1989) explained an action of “the natural law of homeopathy” in a several paragraphs -26, 30-33, its real action and mechanism of cure is a great mystery for me. The most similar phenomenon from my own experience is a psychological NLP technique, when after joining, imitation of a partner's breathing, pose, movements you are able to change his condition and behavior though the changing of your breathing, pose and movements. I really hope, that I understood Hahnemann in this point.

The next homeopathic law, the Law of Cure, was described by Hering (Vithoulkas 1986, p.231) and helps to understand the direction of a patient's health change. Perhaps, it conveys the idea of homeopathy as a holistic medicine the fullest way. It says cure takes place from above downward, from within outward, from the more important to the less important organ, and in the reverse order of the onset of the symptoms (Roberts 1993). The brilliant explanation of its nature was given by Vithoukcas (1986) through the description of biochemical work of a single cell and stages of embryonal development. Recovery as well as disease starts in the balance of vital functions of each cell, so our aim is to return its activity to primordial form.

The question how it is possible to control every single cell in the body, leads us to the explanation of the Vital force without which the understanding of the Law of Cure and Homeopathy as a whole is difficult. Hahnemann says that 'without the vital force the material organism is unable to feel, or act, or maintain itself' (Hahnemann 1989, p.15). Almost each of masters of Homeopathy has his own explanation of the vital force and possibly it is the most lyric chapter of Homeopathy. But all of them agree that it is not a material but a dynamic force.

We can presume that any of our medical manipulations has a vital force as its target (Hahnemann 1989). Everything alive is able to react and to answer, creating a dialog, so our mission is to understand its answers and interpret them clearly and in the right way. For example, for homeopathy an energy level of a person has the same importance as results of his blood tests or ultrasound for allopathy. The psychological part of observation is so important for the homeopathic treatment, because before the body has time to change its processes, the mind can send signs with dreams, memories, thoughts and fears as its answer, unfortunately allopathy has not such tests in its practice.

In addition allopathy does not have adequate instruments of influence to the vital force and ignores it. In this aspect the practice of psychoanalysis and psychotherapies are interesting as appealing to the vital force through the mind. In my judgement this approach is far from holistic as well as it has the lack of physical element that makes a treatment very slow and incomplete.

Since homeopathy addresses its impulse to a dynamic part of organism as the main healing agent, its remedies have to talk in the same language. That is why even a similar substance goes through the process of dynamization to become a homeopathic remedy (Hahnemann 1989). This process was found by Hahnemann within experiments – after a number of dilutions and concussions.

3 PT 1914
The third principle of homeopathy is to give minimum dose of a remedy to the patient (Rawat 2006). Hahnemann (1989) noticed that usual for his time doses of drugs did harmful effects. Roberts (1993, p.114) shows that the principle of a minimum dose was not found at the moment but 'progressed one step further in the development of the minuteness of the dose'. He also indicates that after Hahnemann's experiments with the effectiveness of minimal doses its power was manifest in mainstream medicine, was proved in the modern laboratories and was used for preparing drugs for the use of the general physician. Thus the rule of minimum dose was confirmed in both approaches but to different degrees. However, the preparing of homeopathic remedies is changing their power in controversial way - more diluted substance is able to produce a deeper action, while the power of drugs depends on the quantity.

The forth principle of Homeopathy is to use a single remedy at a time. Since provings were only made for remedies singly, they cannot be used in combination as the effect have not been described (Roy 2009).

The doctrine of the single dose, the fifth homeopathic rule (Roy 2009), is closely connected with the dynamization of the remedies. Unlike allopathy which has repeat and increasing doses for a result, homeopathy has an instrument to change the strength of influence (Roy 2009).

Both principles are the ideal to which every beginning homeopath tends to. In terms of cure as a dialog with the vital force, it is enough to have a single similar remedy to make a beeline for full recovery of organism and one clear voice of adequate strength here is much better than a choir of voices. But in a practice it supposes the deep knowledge of Materia Medica and meaningful experience in using of the whole range of potencies. Unfortunately, it is improbable to achieve these from the first steps, of couse that does not mean that attempts have not to be done.


Hahnemann, S., 1989. Organon of medicine. Translated from German by Kunzli J., Naude A., Pendleton P. London: Victor Gollancz LTD (Originally published in 1842).

Kent, James Tyler, 1990. Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy. Sittingbourne: Homeopathic book service.

Rawat, P.S., 2006. A Self-Study Course in Homeopathy. 2nd ed. Delhi: Health Harmony.

Roberts, Herbert A., 1993. The Principles and Art of Cure by Homeopathy. Delhi: B.Jain Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

Roy, Margaret, 2009. The Principles of Homoeopathic Philosophy. West Wickham: Winter Press.

Vithoulkas, George, 1985. Homoeopathy. Medicine of the New Man. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Thorsons Publishing Group.

Vithoulkas, George , 1986. The Science of Homoeopathy. London: Thorson.

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