The idea of homeopathy had arisen in various forms from the time of Hippocrates [about 460BC] to Paracelsus in the 16th century] but it was Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and a keen student of chemistry with a knowledge of eight languages, at the end of the eighteenth century who formulated the principles of homeopathy.
The most important of these are:
Law of Similars. This is homeopathy's guiding principle. It states that any substance which can cause a set of symptoms in a healthy person can cure similar symptoms in a sick person. The symptoms the sick person experiences are therefore the most important guide to the choice of the correct remedy.
Law of Cure helps the homeopath assess whether or not the patient is getting better as according to this law we get better in very definite ways [e.g. from above down, from within out, old symptoms start to appear in reverse order, from a more serious organ to a less serious one]. These are very important in homeopathy.
Minimum dose. We always use the smallest dose possible because that is all the body needs. Generally speaking the homeopathic dose is infinitesimal and therefore without any toxic effects.
The Single Remedy; we only give one remedy at the time because we treat the body as a whole and take all the patients symptoms into account.
People not disease labels
Since homeopathy is used to treat people rather than disease labels the symptoms of the individual patient are all important as these are used to find the substance in nature which could cause these same symptoms ie. the Law of Similars. The Minimum dose is the next requirement and that is how dilution, potentisation or potency, succussion (vigorous shaking), trituration (prolonged grinding in a particular way) arises.
Dynamisation, potentisation, succussion
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 against an elastic body in a process called "succussion". 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 prolonged grinding by mortar and pestle with lactose (called 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. 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.
Stronger yet more dilute!
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).
Eat well / exercise and have joy
Homeopathy must not be seen as a substitute for good healthy practises such as good food / nutrition, lots of water, fresh air, a proper nights sleep, work in a healthy environment with an abundant supply of relaxation and joy in ones life. Hopefully we can all get some of these into our daily routine.