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* How did it start? *

During the late 18th century a German physician Samuel Hahnemann became disillusioned with the way that medicine was practiced. Bloodletting and leaching were common practice while mercury was a popular medication. Patients ended up worse after treatment and many died as a direct result of these practices.

Hahnemann was an excellent linguist, mastering nine languages by the age of 22, and therefore he earned an income by translating books.

It was during translation of Cullen's Materia Medica that he stumbled across something he did not agree with.

Cullen hypothesised that Cinchona bark (the source of quinine) was effective against malaria because when eaten by a healthy person, would create symptoms similar to the disease.

The fastest way to test this theory was to experiment on himself.

Hahnemann took some Cinchona and to his surprise he began experiencing malaria symptoms: Flue-like sensation, periodic fevers etc.

Technically, he did not suffer from malaria and the symptoms disappeared as soon as he stopped taking the Cinchona.

Out of this experience the LAW OF SIMILARS was born:

Any substance that produces a certain set of symptoms in a healthy person may be effective in the treatment of similar symptoms in a sick person.

Hahnemann continued exploring this theory by studying the toxicology and morbid effects of more than a hundred other substances over the following fifty years.

Over time Hahnemann's theory held true and gained support and other physicians joined in his quest for a safer, gentler healing modality.

They conducted what is now known as PROVINGS.

People would ingested a certain substance and the effects it had on the body, emotions and mind were recorded.

By doing so they built up a database of the morbid capabilities of hundreds of substances.

The toxicology of some substances like arsen has been well recorded, but could not be applied to sick people for obvious reasons.

It was therefore decided to give toxic substances in a highly diluted form to patients when the symptoms indicated those substances.

This new approach worked and the new dimension of serial dilution was added to the practice by the founder homoeopaths.

Over time these diluted remedies proved superior to their raw original form by being just as effective (if not more) and non-toxic.

Practical experience also showed that shaking the remedies vigorously between dilutions increased their medicinal action.

This procedure enabled them to gain knowledge of the medicinal powers of so-called inert substances like salt and club moss.

This roughly illustrate the origin and evolution of homoeopathic principles.

These insights were gained by painstakingly meticulous experimentation and observation.

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