What is Homeopathy?

In brief, homeopathy is a system of healing that treats the whole person, recognizing that body, mind, and spirit are connected and all need to be addressed in order to restore a state of balance, or health. The homeopathic remedy works by stimulating the body's own healing mechanism (called the vital force) to reestablish health and well-being. The foundations of this system rest very firmly on three principles: The first is the Law of Similars, or similia similibus curentur, which is Latin phrase meaning like cures like. The homeopath matches those symptoms which are unique to the person being treated with the appropriate homeopathic remedy, which is called the similimum; the second principle of homeopathy is the use of a single remedy at a time. Sufficient time is allowed to observe the effects of that medicine on the person; the third principle is the minimum dose. Homeopathic remedies are diluted and succussed until nothing physical of the original substance remains, just the energetic pattern. This process is called potentization, and eliminates the side effects or adverse reactions often caused by medications given in material doses. Homeopathic remedies are safe for people of all ages, including infants and the elderly. The concept of like curing like dates back to Hippocrates in the 5th century B.C., and later Paracelsus in the 16th century. However, it was formalized into a scientific system of medicine in the early 19th century by German physician and chemist Samuel Hahnemann. His first edition of the Organon of Medicine, the basic book and philosophical bedrock of homeopathy, was published in 1820.