THE ORIGINS OF HOMEOPATHY
«[…]There are not diseases but, for each sick organism, there are specific and unique symptoms of disease»
Homoepathy was funded by the German physician Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (Meissen 1755-Paris 1843), when he turned the Hippocratic Principle of Similarity into law, by coding the Theoretic Experimentation on Sound Individuals. But let’s go in order.
Hahnemann was a great expert in botany and chemistry and, we may say, in Nature under its various aspects, besides being insightful, with a good memory and perfect logic. Since he knew many languages, he was able to study all matters available at that time, improving his culture and activity as physician, that he carried out with missionary spirit. Having much humanity, he could not bear the poor results obtained in practising with the tools and practices of that time, which he considered as unfair and not useful to patients.
Therefore one day he took a look at the lounge of his office, always full because he was highly regarded by his patients, he told them to go home because he was not able to treat them. He closed the office and retired. In order to live and sustain his large family, he started to work as translator of medical books and works about pharmaceutical botany.
During one of these translations, Cullen’s Medical Matter, he was hit by the description of a quinine intoxication, whose symptoms were extraordinarily similar to those of malaria. It did not take long to put two and two together: administering quinine to a sound man provokes a syndrome similar to malaria, but quinine is used to treat malaria!
Hahnemann, who could not stand to spread theories which had not been proven by experiments, decided to test on himself the cinchona bark extract and he was able to report a syndrome similar to malaria, which recovered once he stopped the treatment. That was the moment when Homeopathy was born, with the Law of Similarity: the substance experimentally able to cause symptoms in sound individuals can treat the same symptoms on sick individuals. It was 1796.
Since then, the founder of Homeopathy devoted himself to research and, along with a dozen of associates, he started to test many other substances coming from the 3 Kingdoms of Nature and started to practice again with his new method, which also proved that the symptoms made the remedy, and not the name of the disease as in allopathic medicine. He stated: “[…]There are not diseases but, for each sick organism, there are specific and unique symptoms of disease”
With his colleagues he was able to achieve recoveries that were astonishing at that time and Homeopathy spread like wild fire in Europe and overseas.
It seems that in Italy, Homeopathy was practised first in Naples. The “Osservatore Medico” in Naples published in 1801 the first news about homeopathic medicine, even if an Edict of the Kingdom of Lombardia and Veneto dated 4
November 1819, which imposed to stop practising Homeopathy, keeps the question open (“Il Medico Omeopata” no, 25, L’Omeopatia a Venezia, by Mario Buttignol).
Anyway, there is no doubt that Naples was the actual cradle of Homeopathic Medicine in Italy and, very soon, many sick people who could not heal with traditional treatments came to town.
And it is not surprising that Naples was one of the first centres to spread this non-invasive treatment method: in the 18th and 19th century, Naples was at the peak of its splendor and was a cultural focus at international level. Nothing happens by chance and it is not by chance that Ce.M.O.N. – Presidio Omeopatia Italiana is based in Naples! Today the homeopathic remedies experimented according to Hahnemann’s method are about 1500-1600, but the story goes on… and we are here!
Further information and Useful sources:
Cristiano Federico Samuele Hahnemann – Dr Carlo Melodia, Luimo Secretary