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The basic rules of Homoeopathy

The basic rules of Homoeopathy

In Homeopathy, practitioners follow the principle of understanding a person, which includes environmental, social, physical and mental conditions and provide that individual a customised treatment

aspect of homeopathy1Representational image | Shutterstock

Over 200 years ago, German Physician Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann invented a new branch of a therapeutical system based on the premise that `like cures like’.    

He based his theory on the law of healing of ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. “Through the like, disease is produced and through the application of the like, it is cured,” which is called the Law of Similia, which has come to be the cornerstone of homoeopathy.  

A healthy individual can be induced illness through a drug substance of Homeopathy and the person can be treated with the same composition. Hahnemann practised this for decades before the system became popular not just in his home country Germany, but also in countries such as the US and India.   

In Homeopathy, practitioners follow the principle of understanding a person, which includes environmental, social, physical and mental conditions and provide that individual a customised treatment. The process includes listening to the person’s history and counsel the individual to adopt better lifestyle practices along with the medicine.

 “If a person is experiencing diarrhoea, we do not give medicine for hardening of stools. We rather try to identify the root cause of the ailment and treat it,” says Dr Sheetal Bidri, homoeopath at Happy Healing in Bengaluru.   

Like the Law of Similia, there are a few other commandments which form the basis of homoeopathic treatment. Happiest Health tries to break them down for you.   


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One remedy at a time: The Law of Simplex 

This principle states that it is not necessary to administer more than one single medicinal substance at any given time. The effects of drugs administered in isolation were observed in Hahnemann’s book, Materia Medica Pura, the holy grail for Homeopathy practitioners. This has been updated regularly in subsequent books with new drugs. 

In homeopathy, a person is given one remedy or a drug at a time, because every medicine works in a distinct way, and if mixed with other substances, it loses its unique properties. Additionally, a single drug ensures that there no adverse effects in the body.   

Law of Minimum: Minimal dose, optimal healing   

This states that low doses of medication are enough to treat a person. It has its origins in the Arndt-Schulz rule, better known as the Schulz Law, which states that “For every substance, small doses stimulate, moderate doses inhibit and large doses kill”.  

The Law of Minimum, however, needs discretionary practice as many medications do not have the required effect in weak doses. One of the founders of the law, Rudolf Arndt had stated that what constitutes a strong, medium or weak dose is highly individualistic.  

Proving on healthy individuals 

The Doctrine of Drug Proving is a method in homoeopathy by which healthy individuals are given a dose with substances derived from plants, minerals and animals to invoke symptoms i.e., the pathogenetic effects of the drug substance so that it can be observed, noted, compiled to introduce the drug in the Homoeopathic Materia Medica – a collection containing full information of homoeopathic drugs.  

But why are healthy subjects chosen to conduct trials? “It is believed that subjective and mental attributes, along with accurate symptoms could only be recorded on healthy individuals,” explains Dr Bidri. 

The Theory of Vital Force: How the body heals itself  

The Theory of Vital Force, perhaps one of the most controversial homoeopathic principles, states that the phenomenon of life is due to a force or energy that is distinct from physical or chemical entities. In today’s homoeopathic treatments, this theory is used to describe the body’s innate ability to self-heal.  

While the theory has been disproved in 1828 by Friedrich Wöhler, who created urea in the laboratory, the fundamental concept that the body is capable of self-healing, a theory that is been adopted in practices such as naturopathy. 

Theory of Chronic Disease: Enemies in the body 

Miasms, according to Hahnemann, are obstacles present in the body that act against healing deep-rooted diseases. Miasms is cited as a reason that people could see a relapse of an ailment. 

An April 2004 paper tried to draw a comparison between cellular pathology and miasms. At the cellular level, processes such as molecular repair, cell proliferation and apoptosis (cell death) occur as basic mechanisms by which the body repairs itself. Failure of these mechanisms is termed disrepair. 

“Medical science acknowledges that genetic factors play a role in disorders through the environment, and vice versa. However, many causative agents for chronic diseases are not known,” says Dr Bidri. It is a holistic approach to treat an individual with chronic illness, she says. 

The doctrine of drug dynamisation   

Drug dynamisation is the process through which the efficacy of a homeopathy drug is increased. This is achieved through trituration (grinding in a mortar) for non-water-soluble substances, and succussion (shaking) in the case of soluble substances. The process of dynamisation reduces the toxicity of the drug and can turn medically inert medicines into active and effective remedies.

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