Saturday, February 20, 2010

The origins of homeopathy

As part of alternative medicine, homeopathy encompasses therapeutic methods deemed "natural", especially "non-aggressive" to deal with agents undiluted certain diseases. But what is really the origin of homeopathy? Etymologically, the word homeopathy comes from the Greek "homoios" meaning similar and "pathos" meaning suffering or disease so.

According to some beliefs, homeopathy dates back to 1700 when a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), disappointed by the ineffective medical practices of the time (purging, bloodletting, leeches use ...), showed continued his research, the "law of similarity" that "the symptoms of the disease can be cured by extremely small doses of substances that produce similar symptoms in healthy people, if they are administered in large quantities. This theory (first published in 1796), was studied through the injection of plants, minerals and other substances to healthy people. According to Samuel Hahnemann, disease significantly inhibit the body's ability to heal quickly, which justifies the use of a stimulus to trigger the healing process. All these observations have been preserved in books known as the referents of "Materia Medica".

Initially, the precursor of homeopathy used small doses of drugs, but over time, it was necessary to use large dilutions of these drugs because he said "over the drug was diluted, its effect would be more powerful" : the "law of infinitesimals", contrary to the pharmacologists who have always supported the "dose effect". These lessons included in the "Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia", are in fact the conclusions issued in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

These treatments are legally recognized as "drugs", without saying that the Act or so, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the U.S. administration of food and drugs, allowing the marketing of drugs the territory of the United States of America) admit its effectiveness. In fact, it was found that homeopathy was less random (or less harmful) the treatment prescribed by the medical orthodoxy in the 19th century. Thus, a century later, homeopathy has attracted about 14,000 practitioners and 22 schools led training, to open their doors to the United States.

Over time, the pace of developments in science followed by lessons in medicine, the reputation of homeopathy declined in the USA and unavoidable, forced to adapt to modern medicine or schools closed their doors (to al late 1920s), or modern methods were the subject of lessons that were taught there. Today, some homeopaths contend that there are people who have a special relationship with a specific remedy, but to suit a variety of ills: their "constitutional remedy" may be prescribed by the "constitutional type" of subject. This analogy is sometimes comparable to astrology. Apart from all these elements relating to the origin of homeopathy, its evolution and also its place in the medical field, can we say to make a rational theory of diagnosis or treatment in respect of homeopathy?