Homoeopathy, a revolutionary science
A tribute to Master Hahnemann on the World Homoeopathy Day

Dr M Nara Singh *

Homoeopathy, the science of healing is based on an infallable law of nature e.i. “ Similia Similibus Curentur” meaning – Similar is Cure by Similar. The word “ Homoeopathy” is derived from the Greek language ( Homoeo – homogenous and Pathos – suffering).

Why and how Homoeopathy was discovered by Dr. Hahnemann who is known as the father of Homoeopathy is very interesting. He completed the erstwhile Medical degree (MD) in 1779 when he was only 24 years old. He studied medicine as because he wanted to serve the suffering humanity.

He entered into service under the German government as a medical officer. Nevertheless he was disappointed as proper effectiveness could not be made available to the patients by the system of treatment of that time. He stopped practice and spent his time in doing translation of books from one language to another as he knew 14 languages.

In 1790 while he was translating Dr. William Cullen’s Materia Medica from English into Germany, he cam across about the causing of fever similar to that of malaria after taking cinchona juice by a healthy individual. Quinine has been a specific medicine for malaria since that time and is prepared out of cinchona bark. Dr. Hahnemann could not believe and as such he wanted to try himself. He found it to be true when he tested it by himself.

Later on he confirmed that even the minor symptoms of malaria were produced after taking large doses of cinchona juice by healthy persons who were Hahnemann’s followers. Then he concluded that there is a law in Nature which he described as “ Similia Similibus Curentur” i.e. similar is cured by similar ( drugs that produce similar symptoms in healthy persons can cure sick persons with similar symptoms).

In 1796 he published his new discovery in the newspaper under the title of “ An assay on a new principle for ascertaining the curative powers of drugs and some examinations of the previous principles”. He gave the name “Homoeopathy to his new treatment and Allopathy to the earlier treatment ( Alloes = dissimilar, pathos = suffering). Both Homoeopathy and Allopathy are Greek words coined by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann himself. As such the year 1796 has been regarded as the year of the birth of Homoeopathy.

So Hahnemann discovered Homoeopathy just like the discovery of law of gravitation by Newton from falling of an apple. He proved many drugs on himself and recorded the symptoms that were produced by the drugs. He administered those drugs to his patients who were having similar symptoms that the drugs could produce on healthy individuals. Wonderful resuts were achieved and Hahnemann’s popularity rose to a great height.

In 1810 Hahnemann published his famous book “ Organon of Medicine” which is known as the bible of homoeopaths. As a result of all these, many doctors in Germany and Europe started writing against him. Not only making a ban on his practice but also they conspired to assassinate him. Many of his disciples and followers were arrested and prosecuted under law.

He had to flee to France for his survival. In the book entitled “ The life and letters of Hahnemann” by Dr. T.L. Bradford it is written like – “ The publication of Organon of Medicine was the signal for the commencement of violent warfare against Hahnemann”. He had learnt early that it took time to understand the truth and good work, and those became wise and learned suffered first.

He compared his hardships of life with the sufferings of those enlightened religious leaders and scientists namely – Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad, Socrates, Galelio etc. Therefore, in the last part of of his book “ Medicine of Experience” he inserted the Latin words of Horace’s odes – “ Aude sapere” ( English meaning – have the courage of your own convictions) that seemed to be a secret of success. As he was confident and stuck to this slogan, he was successful throught out his life.

On the title page of his book “ Organon of Medicine”, first published in 1810, he added a piece of German poet Gellert’s English translation as a quotation.
The truth we mortals need
Us blest to make and keep
The All wise slightly covered over
But did not bury deep

After struggle of 25 years the Duke Ferdinand of Coethen( in France) allowed him to settle and practice Homoeopathy in his country in 1821. Expanding its branches upto Europe and America, it became a separate and alternative system of treatment. In the last part of his life, he could settle in Paris which was considered to be the capital of of the World. He could achieved not only the enviable things in life like property, prestige and what not, but also was able to lead a peaceful life that he never enjoyed earlier.

Dr. Hahnemann was a multi faceted and perfect man. He was a physician, scientist, philosopher, philologist, a famous chemist and so on. People in different walks of life honoured him conferring different names. o Dr B.K. Sarkar of Kolkata remarked as “ Hahnemann was his own Columbus in the field of medicine. He proclaims both an epoch and an era; he represents both the discovery and progress”.

o Dr. T.L. Bradford of London – “ He lived through the changes of World’s Century, saw his system of healing, rise from contempt to honour, knew hardship, died in luxury in the World’s capital. A scholar whom scholars honoured, physician whom physicians feared, philologist with whom philologists dreaded to dispute”.

o To this great revolutionary scientist who strived tirelessly for those patients of the world bearing pains of illness, invented the new system of treatment that can cure incurable diseases, we all living in this present generation ought to pay homage bending our heads.

Hahnemann could not achieve his ambitious philosophical target of providing the highest ideal of cure i.e. rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent in the shortest, most reliable and most harmless way on easily comprehensible principle.

o Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation described as under “Homoeopathy cures a greater percentage of cases than any other method of treatment. It is the latest and refined method of treating patients economically and non-violently”.

* Dr M Nara Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on April 12, 2019.

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