Homoeopathy is a natural, holistic system of complementary/alternative medicine. It is a highly sophisticated science, based on the understanding that living beings possess a dynamic, innate self-healing capacity. Working with that capacity, homeopathic treatment gets to the root of the disturbance and restores a state of health. Its curative action is gentle, but also rapid and powerful. Homeopathic medicine was developed just over 200 years ago by the German physician, Samuel Hahnemann. Unhappy with the standard medical practices of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, he embarked on a long process of scholarly inquiry and clinical investigation. His research produced many discoveries that influenced the development of modern medicine, but his most significant work was the discovery of a rational and deeply effective method of cure based on clear principles. After exhaustive research and experimentation, Hahnemann published this method in his book, The Organon of Medicine. This was the birth of the science of homeopathy.
Homœopathic medicines are used according to the concept that like cures like (the Law of Similars, articulated by Hippocrates in 400 BC ). The term comes from two Greek words, “homoios” (similar) and “pathos” (suffering), meaning that suffering (disease) may be cured by that which is similar. In other words a substance that gives rise to a certain pattern, combination, or totality of symptoms in a healthy person is capable of curing the same set of symptoms in the sick. Hahnemann’s research proved that this phenomenon was responsible for the curative power of various medicines in use during his time (some of which are still in medical use). He was concerned, however about the often violent effects of the medicines, and sought a gentler way to stimulate the individual’s own healing capacity. This led to the development of homoeopathically prepared medicines, along with the profound understanding of how they work in the context of health, disease, and cure.
Homoeopathic remedies are made from natural substances, which are diluted and agitated multiple times. This preparation renders the medicines more gentle, yet more energetically powerful than the crude substance. Homeopathic treatment is individualized. A remedy is selected to match as closely as possible an individual’s entire group of symptoms and personal characteristics, so that it treats the whole person, not just certain symptoms. In this way, homeopathic treatment activates the individual’s own energetic healing capacity, restoring equilibrium in body and mind. As balance is restored, symptoms and illnesses disappear, leaving a strong sense of overall well-being.
Homoeopathic medicine is also a powerful form of preventive medicine, because it addresses the individual's constitution, greatly diminishing the inherited predispositions to disease. Thus homoeopathy both cures and prevents illness, and brings health to mind as well as body. By adhering to standards of excellence, and training students to be thoroughly knowledgeable classical homoeopaths, the ICH is harnessing the tremendous potential of homoeopathic medicine for the benefit of all. For more information see Why Homoeopathy."