Dr Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor is credited as being the founder of
homeopathy, a popular branch of alternative medicine. Western traditional
medical practices from the 16th to the early 20th centuries followed
ineffectual, harmful and sometimes even fatal forms of treatment like
bloodletting, purging and so on. Dr Hahnemann was deeply perturbed with these
forms of treatments and started to translate medical texts for a chemist
after having given up his medical practice.
It was during the course of his translations into German that he came across a medical text named Materia Medica written by William Cullen. It was this text which inspired Dr Samuel Hahnemann to begin his quest for an alternative medical practice which was less harmful as also more beneficial to patients. He thus based his new treatment practice on the Latin principle “Similia Similibus Curentur” which means let likes cure likes.
Before Dr Samuel Hahnemann, Parascelsus a pharmacist had said in the 16th century that small doses of any substance that make a person sick can also be used to cure him. This later became the guiding principle of Homeopathy. It was in the nineteenth century that Hahnemann coined the term ‘homeopathy’ to denote his new form of treatment.
Dr Hahnemann considered the methods of treatment followed by traditional western medical practitioners of those early times as being irrational and dangerous even though these methods had been in vogue for centuries. He felt that the use of a single drug or medicine at low doses would help to cure a patient. He believed that any disease had both spiritual as well as a physical cause and that an imbalance in this force would lead to illnesses. Hahnemann also advised his patients to adopt a healthier and better lifestyle as in the areas of diet, exercises and also following a routine of cleanliness.