Samuel Hahnemann – The Father of Homeopathy

Homeopathy was developed at the beginning of the 19th century by German physician and pharmacist Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). Universally referred to as the Father of Homeopathy, he was also a chemist, translator, writer, researcher and scientist.

Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843)

As a practicing physician during the early 1800’s, Hahnemann employed the conventional medical methods of the day—primarily blood-letting, cupping, and the use of laxatives and emetics—but his increasingly deep dissatisfaction with the traditional medical science that he had studied and practiced up to that time led him in search of a completely new and innovative medical concept. The loss of his children to the influenza epidemic fueled his desire to discover other forms of medicine and drove him onward in the hope of discovering new medical knowledge. Hahnemann’s publicly critical claims that the accepted medical practices of the time sometimes did patients more harm than good often led to his own criticism, both overt and convert, which he long endured.

In 1810 Hahnemann published The Organon of the Healing Art, a detailed delineation of what he saw as the rationale underpinning homeopathic medicine and the guidelines for its practice.

Hahnemann first coined the word “homeopathy”, which means "similar suffering", by combining the Greek "homoios" (similar), and "pathos" (suffering) to refer to the pharmacological principle of the “Law of Similars” that is its basis. In actuality, this precept was previously described by Hippocrates and Paracelsus and was utilized by many cultures, including the Mayans, Chinese, Greeks, Native American Indians, and Asian Indians, but it was Hahnemann who codified the Law of Similars into a systematic medical science.

Homeopathic remedies are catalysts that trigger and engage the body’s ability to restore balance within itself. They activate the body, mobilize the body's defenses, and set the healing process in motion. The basic principle of homeopathy: "Similia similibus curentur"—"Like is cured by like", as Samuel Hahnemann put it, can be thought of as a stimulation therapy. Fine stimuli act as a signal to the body, mobilizing blocked and weakened body functions.

Hahnemann discovered that, with many substances, the healing powers are only released through potentization. He also discovered that toxic substances became valuable medicines when potentized.

Homeopathic complex remedies, later developed by Pastor Emanuel Felke are a further extension of the homeopathic healing process developed by Samuel Hahnemann. In contrast to classical homeopathy, in which only one active substance is prescribed at a time, several drugs are combined into one medicine in homeopathic complex drugs. The carefully selected individual components complement each other in targeting a particular disease so that it can be treated holistically. The substances have a synergistic effect—that is, they enhance each other.

Treatment with homeopathic complex drugs started in the middle of the 19th century and can now refer to its own long tradition of use. Complex drugs are characterized by their gentle and reliable mode of action. They are generally well tolerated and have very few side effects. They are often used for acute medical conditions such as colds and are well suited for self-treatment.

Samuel Hahnemann’s contributions to naturopathic medicine cannot be overstated. Fittingly, when he moved to Paris in later life, he finally received the fame and honor he had earned for his life’s work as the Father of Homeopathy.

In appreciation and commemoration of his invaluable contributions to the field of naturopathic healing, Hevert has produced an audiobook entitled Samuel Hahnemann, the Beautiful Dancer and the Bandit King, a fanciful, fictitious account of Hahnemann’s trip to visit a recently imprisoned German colleague during the time of the French Revolution, when Germany was occupied by French troops, and the adventure that ensued. The story recounts Hahnemann’s trials and tribulations while trying to help his friend and details his resultant rise in influence as his homeopathic medical theories and methods gradually gained acceptance. Click here to hear the audiobook now.

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