Homeopathy - History

Samuel Hahnemann
Samuel Hahnemann


Homeopathy is a holistic system of healthcare founded in the late 18th century by doctor and chemist Samuel Hahnemann. The homeopath seeks to address the root cause of illness and strengthen your whole vitality rather than just relieving present symptoms.


Homeopathy therefore treats the individual not simply the disease label.


It is gentle, safe and effective with no side effects and appropriate for anyone from pregnant mothers to children to the elderly.


Homeopathic remedies are NOT tested on animals.

Remedies are made from minute amounts of natural substances from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms. They are given in the form of a small sugar pill which is dissolved under the tongue. The latest pan-European research on homeopathic dilutions has shown that they do affect living human cells. Homeopathy is not a placebo. It has proven to be very effective in animals and babies who have no preconceptions.

Homeopathy can work alongside conventional medicine, so you do not need to stop taking medication. As you feel better your GP can advise on reducing or stopping medication where appropriate.


In producing treatments for diseases, homeopaths use a process called "dynamisation" or "potentisation" whereby the remedy is diluted with alcohol or water and then vigorously shaken by ten hard strikes against an elastic body in a process called "succussion". Hahnemann thought that the use of remedies which present symptoms similar to those of disease in healthy individuals would only intensify the symptoms and exacerbate the condition, so he advocated the dilution of the remedies. During the process of potentisation, homeopaths believe that the vital energy of the diluted substance is activated and its energy released by vigorous shaking of the substance.


For this purpose, Hahnemann had a saddle maker construct a special wooden striking board covered in leather on one side and stuffed with horsehair. Insoluble solids, such as quartz and oyster shell, are diluted by grinding them with lactose (trituration).


Three potency scales are in regular use in homeopathy. Hahnemann created the centesimal or "C scale", diluting a substance by a factor of 100 at each stage. The centesimal scale was favored by Hahnemann for most of his life. A 2C dilution requires a substance to be diluted to one part in one hundred, and then some of that diluted solution is diluted by a further factor of one hundred. This works out to one part of the original solution mixed into 9,999 parts (100 × 100 -1) of the diluent.[69] A 6C dilution repeats this process six times, ending up with the original material diluted by a factor of 100-6=10-12. Higher dilutions follow the same pattern.


In homeopathy, a solution that is more dilute is described as having a higher potency. More dilute substances are considered by homeopaths to be stronger and deeper-acting remedies. The end product is often so diluted that it is indistinguishable from the dilutant (pure water, sugar or alcohol).