You will undoubtedly already have heard of homeopathy and the host of benefits behind it – but do you know where this branch of natural medicine first began?
The history of the practice is very long and very intricate, but essentially, its roots all boil down to one brilliant medical school graduate. Read on to discover the history of homeopathy.
Where It All Began
The roots of homeopathy first emerged through the findings and teachings of one Dr Samuel Hahnemann, who lived between 1755 and 1843. Hahnemann graduated from medical school in the year 1779, and soon began a medical practice of his own.
It wasn’t long before he had started his own experiments with homeopathy in 1790, in part to move away from popular medical practices like blood-letting, purging, and toxic chemical use at the time.
At some point, the doctor actually gave up his own medical practice to start a career as a chemist while he translated various medical texts. It was when he began to work on translating William Cullen’s Materia Medica into German that he truly began his mission to find a better way of supplying healthcare using a single concept: similars.
A New Medicine is Born
While he worked on this project, Hahnemann became engrossed with the cinchona, a species of tree native to South America, which at the time was being used to treat malaria-induced fevers. The doctor used some of its bark himself, and actually found that it caused symptoms identical to those from malaria.
He continued to research cures and the concept of ‘similar suffering’, and built his new practice on Similia similibus curentur – let likes be cured by likes.
And thus, homeopathy was born, and it became established that homeopaths should look for a substance that produces the same symptoms in a healthy patient that it cures in an ailing one. Hahnemann’s students founded the US’s first homeopathic medical school in the late 1800s, and it quickly became known due to its success in treating many rampant diseases at the time, including typhoid, yellow fever, scarlet fever and cholera.
Pharmaceutical Companies Take Over
In the 1900s, the school’s methods of treatment grew even more popular. It wasn’t long until there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, 100 such hospitals, and well over 1,000 homeopathic pharmacies across America.
Sadly, many of these schools closed in the 20s when the American Medical Association began to question homeopathy’s efficacy.
It was also around this time that modern drug corporations began manufacturing medicines that were easy to administer and standardized as well. The modernization of medicine took off as well as bingo for money games did in the 1930s, and today, pharmaceutical drugs are still the most widely taken form today.
Homeopathy Enjoys a Resurgence
The United States might have experienced a low rate of interest in homeopathic medicine during the 20th century, but other countries in Asia and Europe quickly became fascinated by the practice.
Today, almost all French pharmacies sell natural remedies alongside their allopathic ones, and homeopathic options can also be found widely in Germany, Russia, India, Switzerland, the Netherlands, England, Italy, South America, and even some parts of Africa.
Homeopathy is also growing rapidly in the US once again, with data showing that Americans spent a whopping 230 million dollars on homeopathic remedies in 1996 alone. Sales are also rising at a rate of more than 12% per year as people seek out gentle, more natural options to heal everyday ailments and health complaints.