The word ‘Homeopathy’ (also spelled homœopathy or homoeopathy) from the Greek words όμοιος, hómoios (similar) and πάθος, páthos (suffering).
The founder of homeopathy was Dr. Christian Frederick Samuel Hahnemann, a German Physician, a Scholar, and a Chemist (1755-1843).
He formulated the so-called PRINCIPLE OF SIMILARITY, which states that a given substance can cure in a diseased person the symptoms that it produces or causes in a healthy person.
FOUNDER OF HOMOEOPATHY
Samuel Hahnemann was born in the spring of 1755 before the midnight on Thursday, 10th April in the town Meissen in Saxony, south-east Germany.
At age of 22, he had mastered 9 languages including Hebrew, Greek, English, Latin, French, Spanish and Italian.
Hahnemann graduated (Doctor of Medicine) from medical school in 1779 and started his own medical practice.
Hahnemann in his writings protested against the harsh, barbaric medical practices of the time, especially bloodletting and purging and the drastic doses of medicines that were administered to patients often with terrible side effects.
Hahnemann dissatisfied with conventional medical practice and eventually gave up being a doctor to work as a translator.
In 1790 while translating a “Treatise on Materia Medica” by William Cullen, Hahnemann came across a passage about the Peruvian Bark or Cinchona. Cullen stated that the Cinchona Bark was a good treatment for malaria because of its bitter and astringent qualities.
His inquiring mind made him to investigate further. For several days he took the Cinchona Bark extract. To his astonishment he began to develop the symptoms of malaria one after another like fever, chills, etc. despite the fact that he actually did not have the disease. The symptoms recurred every time he took a dose of the Cinchona Bark and lasted for several hours. If he did not take the dose he had no symptoms.
Hahnemann recorded that Cinchona Bark was effective against malaria because it can produce similar symptoms in healthy people. He then went on to repeat the process using other substances that were in use as medicines in large doses such as arsenic and belladonna. The Law of Similars – similia similibus curentur was thus established and the foundation of Homeopathy was laid.
After translating Cullen’s work, Hahnemann spent the next six years actively experimenting on himself, his family, and his followers.
In 1796 he wrote an article entitled ”Essay on the new principle for ascertaining the curative power of drugs” wherein he explained his theory of Similia Similibus Curantur in Hufeland’s Journal, a respected medical journal in Germany.
By 1810, he proved many more drugs to be absolutely certain about his hypothesis about the mode of action of drugs. It was then that he published his most important book ”The Organon of Rational Art of Healing”. In it he laid down the principles of treatment of diseases & called this system“HOMOEOPATHY”
PRESENT WORLD STATUS OF HOMOEOPATHY
Homeopathy is widely accepted and getting more popularity all over the world especially in Abu-Dhabi, Austria, Australia, Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Bermuda, Brunei, Brazil, Belgium, Chili, Camarone, Cyprus, Canada, Costa Rica, Caribbean Islands, Dubai, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Guinea, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, IMO State, India, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Mauritius, Muscat, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, New Zealand, Neth Antilles, Pakistan, Portugal, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Romania, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan, UK, Ukraine, Wales.
HOMOEOPATHY IN INDIA
European Missionaries, 200 years back, brought homoeopathy to India. But the official recognition was achieved in 1839 when Dr. John martin Honing Berger during his visit to India, treated Maharaja Renjith Singh of Lahore.
A wealthy businessman, Rajendra Lall Dutt became interested in homeopathy in 1850 and convinced an allopathic doctor, Mahendra Lal Sircar, to investigate the system. Dr. Sircar is considered the “Hering” of India. Many prominent Indian homeopaths studied with Dr. Sircar. Sircar’s courageous conversion to homeopathy led to a constitutional crisis at the University of Calcutta, which wished to rescind his medical degree. This was averted only when he resigned from the university. Father Mueller, a Jesuit missionary, brought homeopathy to south India in 1878, but even before him homeopathy was practiced in the small princely states of Thanjavur and Pudukottai under the patronage of the respective Princes.
In 1973 the Indian Parliament passed Homeopathic central council bill and accordingly Homeopathic Central Council was established in 1974.
The Govt. of India had constituted a Homeopathic pharmacopoeia committee and published eight volumes of official ‘Homoeopathic pharmacopoeia of India’.
According to AYUSH in India there are 233 Hospitals (with bed strength of 53296), 22635 dispensaries , 517196 institutionally qualified homoeopaths and 200664 non institutionally qualified homoeopaths (total – 717860), 450 underraduate homoeopathic medical colleges (admission capacitiy – 24880), 99 Postgraduate Homoeopathic Medical colleges (admission capacitiy - 2128) are present.
HOMOEOPATHY IN KERALA
The activities of Christian Missionaries some 100 to 125 years ago brought homoeopathy into Kerala.
Its popularity increased by the effective management of epidemic Cholera broke out in the South Travancore in the past i.e. in 1920s
Homoeopathy was first recognized as a system of medicine in India in the The Sree Moolam Praja Sabha of Maharaja of Travancore, in the year 1928.
In 1943 Homoeopathy got included in the Travancore Medical Practitioners Act giving equal status to it on par with the existing medical systems.
Homoeopathy was also included in T.C. Medical Act got passed in 1953. The T.C Act was extended to the Malabar area through Kerala Adaptation Rules 1956 when Kerala State was formed.
The first democratic Ministry of the Kerala State opened a Homoeopathy Dispensary under public sector at Thiruvananthapuram in the year 1958. This is the first Dispensary in India under Govt. sector in Homoeopathy. Now there are 525 dispensaries all over the State. There 14 district hospital, and 17 thaluk hospitals. A separate Directorate of Homoeopathy was formed in 1973 first time in India. In the field of Homeopathic education there are 5 Homoeopathic Medical Colleges – 2 Govt. owned and 3 Govt. aided. About 8871 (as on 01.01.05 as per AYUSH) institutionally qualified homoeopaths have come out of these colleges.