The History of Homeopathy
Homeopathy as a practice is based on the law of similar, or the idea that like cures like. It's an idea that can be traced back to the fifth century B.C. when Hippocrates, the "father of medicine" and the author of the Hippocratic Oath beginning with "first, do no harm." Not quite as famously, Hippocrates also once wrote, "by similar things a disease is produced and through the application of the like is cured." His contemporary Aristotle invoked the same idea, when he wrote "often the simile acts upon the simile."
Samuel Hahnemann – the father of modern Homeopathy
It's hard to find any book, article, or reference to homeopathy without coming across the name Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. Hahnemann, a German doctor, found notoriety in the very early 1800s when he became curious about the success of cinchona bark in the treatment of malaria. Curious about how the effects of the substance on a healthy individual, he ate some himself; and in doing so, came down with frightening, though acute, symptoms that paralleled malaria itself: fever, shivering, and joint pain.
Concluding that ingesting small amounts of cinchona must actually jump start the immune response of malaria patients, helping them to heal naturally, he began to test the principle in other circumstances, largely using himself as a subject. Over the years, Hahnemann's work created a system for creating homeopathic substances; a number of theories around best practices; and a comprehensive reference of homeopathic remedies called the Materia Medica Pura, which is still in use today.
Homeopathy in the 20th Century
Homeopathy has been widely practiced in Europe for decades, and is covered under the national health plans in several European countries including France, the U.K., Denmark, Luxembourg, and Austria.
In 1938, on the heels of a century of positive results overseas, homeopathic remedies became classified as drugs in the United States by the FDA. This set them apart from vitamins, supplements, and other alternative medicines, which are classified differently. Still, the practice did not enter the lexicon in the United States until the 1970s and it's really only been in the past 20 years that the practice has gained familiarity in mainstream circles.
Over the past decade, technology has ushered in unprecedented access to information, allowing people to make more educated choices about their health and nutrition than ever before. As they do, more people are incorporating homeopathy into their health regimens under the supervision, and often direction, of their medical doctors. In fact, leading allergists recommend Allergy Relief Now to their patients for the treatment of acute symptoms. As scientific advances continue to propel innovation in both homeopathy and traditional medicine, the approaches appear to be converging more than ever. Both are moving into the future with a common emphasis on nutrition, a respect for holistic well-being, and the principle of first, doing no harm.