Before entering the study of Homoeopathic subjects, particularly Homoeopathic Pharmacy, it is beneficial to understand the Historical development of Medicine.
Let us see what happened in the field of medicine in the early phases of developments.
When we consider the developmental history of medicine, first let us discus about the Greek medicine.
Ancient Greek Medicine
Ancient Greeks gave much importance to the Medicine and healthy lifestyles.
In Ancient Greece Medical practice was based upon religious beliefs. The Cult (religious groups) was a major provider of medical care. This cult developed old theories and introduced several treatments
The Ancient Greeks though made major steps in medical knowledge. The works of Hippocrates and his followers led to several scientific facts being recorded for the first time. They began a tradition of studying the cause of disease rather than looking solely at the symptoms when prescribing a cure.
Hippocrates was the first person to establish that disease was a natural process, that its symptoms were the reactions of the body to the disease, and that the chief function of the physician was to aid the natural forces of the body. He was the first physician to introduce the method of taking medical histories. His chief contribution to the medical profession is the humoral theory.
Now let us see what Humours is.
The humoral theory presupposes the presence of four humors Blood, Phlegm, Yellow bile and Black bile in the body. The temperaments of persons are expressed by the words sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic according to the preponderance in them of the respective humors blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. The humors themselves are assigned temperaments: blood is hot and moist, phlegm cold and moist, yellow bile hot and dry, and black bile cold and dry.
Every person is supposed to have a unique humoral constitution which represents his healthy state. And to maintain the correct humoral balance there is a power of self-preservation or adjustment in the body. If this power weakens, imbalance in the humoral composition is bound to occur. And this causes disease.
History of Islamic Medicine
History of Islamic Medicine was inherited by the Muslims in the early phase of Islamic History (40-247 AH/661-861 AD) from mostly Greek sources. Between 610 to 1610 AD the effects of its domineering influence of Islamic medicine extending to the Islamic lands, and also in all adjoining nations including Europe, Asia, China, and the Far East.
During which time, Europe and rest of the extant civilized nations of the world were in grips of the ‘dark ages’. With the arrival of Renaissance (revival of art and literature in Europe in 14th, 15th, 16th centuries, based on ancient Greek learning) in Europe, at the beginning of the 17th Century AD, it was finally challenged by the new and emerging science of modern medicine, which was to finally replace it in most of the countries, including the countries of its birth.
Chinese medicine was based on energy. They looked at the balance of energy and exhaustion and tried to seek out ways of balancing harmful influences with beneficial influences.
One of the major Chinese medical theories was that of Yin and Yang. Yin is cool, night, passive, inward and restful. Yang is the opposite, hot, day, outward and energetic. They believed that the two had to be balanced.
Chinese doctors as a result spoke of diet, exercise and relaxation methods which were combined with treatments such as acupuncture and moxibustion: which both deal with the flow of energy around the body. These are now considered to be ‘alternative’ forms of Medicine.
Ancient Egyptian Medicine
The people of Ancient Egypt made several major medical discoveries and began treating diseases in a physical manner alongside older spiritual cures. Egyptian knowledge of the workings of the body encompassed new areas of medicine ranging from a basic understanding of anatomy to the introduction of some surgical skills.
Roman medicine was a mixture of new theories and developments of Greek practices. Medicine was improved through the studies of Galen. Medicine in Ancient Rome also brought about some great developments of Public Health facilities.
Galen developed his Medical knowledge through periods studying at the Asclepion at Pergamum.
These experiences allowed Galen to develop an understanding of anatomy, and led him to have a firm believe that clinical observation as professed by Hippocrates was a necessity in curing ailments of all kinds.
Galen studied the bodies of animals to support his research. Along with these researches, he conducted dissection of human body in Alexandria; this led to the development of his theory on the Human Body’s physiological system.
The depth of his writings and the support of the authorities (including the religious authorities) led to his belief in clinical observation and diagnosis becoming the standard practice for doctors in Europe over the course of the next thousand years.
Medicine in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
Medieval Europe was a place that placed less importance on the value of Public Health facilities.
It was over 400 years after the fall of the Roman Empire that Europe was again a place that was peaceful and relatively stable.
As a result there were a variety of different medical practices available to people in Medieval Times they may have been treated by monks following the Hippocratic theory of the Four Humours, by apothecaries who specialized in herbal remedies or by doctors who made use of charms.
As the church taught that God sent illness, and that apologizing would cure all evils, many people at the time believed that pilgrimage would cure them. Other theories were based upon astrology, the movement of the sun and stars.
Most well trained doctors used Hippocrates teachings and diagnosis was developed.
Early European medicine
As socities developed in Europe and Asia, belief systems were replaced with a different natural system. The Greeks, from Hippocrates, developed a humoral medicine system where treatment was to restore the balance of humours within the body. Similar views were espoused in China and in India.
From the ideas developed in Greece, through Galen until the Renaissance the main thrust (push suddenly) of medicine was the maintenance of health by control of diet and hygiene. Anatomical knowledge was limited and there were few surgical or other cures, doctors relied on a good relation with patients and dealt with minor ailments and soothing chronic conditions and could do little when epidemic diseases, growing out of urbanization and the domestication of animals, then raged across the world.
Medieval medicine was an evolving mixture of the scientific and the spiritual. In the early middle ages, following the fall of the Roman Empire, standard medical knowledge was based chiefly upon surviving Greek and Roman texts, preserved in monasteries and elsewhere. Ideas about the origin and cure of disease were not, however, purely secular, but were also based on a spiritual world view, in which factors such as destiny, sin, and astral influences played as great a part as any physical cause.
In this era, there was no clear tradition of scientific medicine, and accurate observations went hand-in-hand with spiritual beliefs as part of the practice of medicine.
Changes in Medicine during the Medieval Era
The earliest noticeable changes were in the training of doctors. In the 11th century a medical school was established at Salerno, in southern Italy. This school taught that the careful observation of patients was essential, that cleanliness was linked to good health and that balances of fluids within the body were of paramount importance.
By 1300 there were a dozen or so medical schools in Europe and whilst change and improvements were slow, they did happen. Dissection for example was permitted and the teachings of Hippocrates and Galen were questioned with some degree of success.
Ayurveda, the Vedic system of medicine originating 6000 years ago, views health as harmony between body, mind and spirit. Its two most famous texts belong to the schools of Charaka and Sushruta. According to Charaka, health and disease are not predetermined and life may be prolonged by human effort. Sushruta defines the purpose of medicine to cure the diseases of the sick, protect the healthy, and to prolong life.
Ayurveda speaks of eight branches: kayachikitsa (internal medicine), shalyachikitsā (surgery including anatomy), shālākyachikitsā (eye, ear, nose, and throat diseases), kaumarabhritya (pediatrics), bhutavidya (psychiatry, or demonology), and agada tantra (toxicology), rasayana (science of rejuvenation), and vajikarana (the science of fertility).
Renaissance and Enlightenment medicine
This idea of personalised medicine was challenged in Europe by the rise of experimental investigation, principally in dissection, and examining bodies The work of individuals like Andreas Vesalius and William Harvey challenged accepted folklore with scientific evidence. Understanding and diagnosis improved.
Medicine was revolutionized in the 18th century and beyond by advances in chemistry and laboratory techniques and equipment, old ideas of infectious disease epidemiology were replaced with bacteriology developed by Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur. For the first time actual cures were developed for certain endemic infectious diseases. However the decline in the most lethal diseases was more due to improvements in public health and nutrition than to medicine. It was not until the 20th century that there was a true break through in medicine, with great advances in pharmacology and surgery.
From 20th century we have witnessed a shift from a master-apprentice of teaching of clinical medicine to a more “democratic” system of medical schools. With the arrival of the evidence-based medicine and great advances of information technology the process of change is likely to evolve further.
The evidence-based medicine has had a great impact on practice of medicine throughout the world of modern medicine.
Modern western medicine, is uniquely effective and widespread compared with all other medical forms. It is notably secular and material, indifferent to ideas of the supernatural or the spirit and concentrating on the body to determine causes and cures.
The Origin and Development of Homoeopathy
While translating Cullen’s Materia Medica he came on speculative statement by the author to the effect that Peruvian bark cured intermittent fever because it acted as a stomachic. This statement set his critical mind aflame. In 1790 Hahnemann started to investigate the claims of Cullen and with sublime certainty of a genius tested the drug on himself to determine its actions. That was the moment Homoeopathy was born. And at the same time Homoeopathic Pharmacy was also born. The experimental and practical studies for Homoeopathy were carried out between the years 1790 and 1810.
Pharmacy an Introduction
From the origin of the mankind, pharmacy becomes a part of there every day life. Since his birth, diseases affect him and challenge his existence in the earth, and he forced to look out for the solution of his existence. His searches for to rid of the disease, he begins to use certain things for that purposes, when there is a wound, he try to apply some leaf, cool water or mud to stop bleeding. In due course of time he understood that certain leaves served him better than the others substances. Some excavations shows evidence that the prehistoric people gathered plants for there medical purpose. With these trials, grew up his knowledge of the healing properties of certain natural substance. The tribal people gathered knowledge of the healing properties through experience and handed over to there generations.
In earliest times, disease was considered as a punishment of God or the possession of evil spirit. Accordingly, magic came to be employed as a remedial agent and the priest became in charge of medicine. In due course of time men learned how to control aspects of nature through framing and shelter. Gradually on the basis of observation and experiment the healers drew upon a large collection of drugs, and also try to prepare medicines for there needs.
In Greek medicine they mostly prepare the medicine form plans. The first great study of plants in the West was done by Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle.
Valerius Cordus (1515 -1544), who’s Dispensatorium became the official standard for the preparation of medicine in the city of Nuremberg and it is considered the first pharmacopoeia.
‘Paracelsus’-Philippus Aureolus Theopharastus Bombastus von Hohenheim who was the main advocate of chemically prepared drug from crude plant mineral substances. His advocacy of chemically prepared medicine sparked the growth of modern pharmaceutical science. Chemical processes, especially distillation, empowered the follower of Paracelsus to isolate the healing principle of a drug.
During the middle ages, men sailed ships for looking new lands, and returning with new drugs. During this time the legal and scientific foundation of pharmacy were established. This leads to standardization of medicines through publication of book called pharmcacopoeias.
Homoeopathic Pharmacy is a branch of Homoeopathic System of Medicine. Homoeopathic Pharmacy was developed by Hahnemann himself. Hahnemann was an outstanding chemist, pharmacologist and pharmacist. His directions for the preparation of Homoeopathic medicine are valid to this day a stand up to all scientific scrutiny.
Homeopathic Pharmacy is both an art and science, deals with a specialized system of mode of preparation, administration and standardization of medicine.
The word pharmacy is originated from the Greek word “Pharmacon” which means “a drug, a medicine, a remedy, charm, or spell”.