Homeopathy in History
Homeopathy in History
“I began to test homeopathy, with a view to ridicule it, six years ago,” he wrote in 1861, “but I got converted to it’s truth instead.” - John Wanless MD
When one looks back at the rich history of this theory of medicine, many similarities can be drawn between the push back from the allopaths back then, and what is happening today.
Put frankly, homeopathy is reemerging because it is working. And with that comes the critics.
Homeopathy was founded by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann and was widely practiced in North America in the 19th century. During the Cholera Epidemic of Germany in 1831-1832, homeopathy was very effective. This success attracted attention, and with attention came the critics, mostly from the allopaths. But it also brought vast amounts of people seeking homeopathic cures.
Homeopathy spread from Hahnemann to the rest of the world organically through his direct communications with students, cured patients, and converted doctors. The spread of homeopathy in the late 1800s attracted many patients, physicians, and especially mothers because children very much preferred remedies.
From the start, homeopaths have valued formal medical education and developed parallel institutional structures to orthodox medicine. Unknown to many, it originated in the elite European medical tradition, not from folk medicine or religion. It was a very rational alternative and in many ways, posed a threat to other medical theories. It was a strong competing profession, complete with homeopathic medical schools, journals, hospitals, dispensaries and societies.
What many people today do not know is that it was always a superior tool in the treatment of disease. It grew because it worked. There are many examples in it’s rich history that tell stories of orthodox medical doctors being converted when they themselves could not heal patients, but the local homeopath could.
It’s emphasis on personalized attention and listening to the individual attracted many. People, especially children, did not fear it.
Homeopathy’s founder had a motto: “Dare to Know.” Though this dates back to the 1800s, it’s message still stands true today. It “rallies all to seize knowledge forbidden by those who would without it”.
There are many different theories of medicine and debates on what causes disease and how to cure it. That was true in the 1800s and it is still true today. Many people are seeking alternative medicines and more holistic approaches to health and wellness. Consumers have every right to make choices about their health, and that choice should not be taken away.
Now, not unlike in homeopathy’s history, we rally together to elevate homeopathy and increase the publics knowledge of this holistic and evidence based theory.