Background to Homeopathy

The seminal homeopathic textbook is called “The Organon” and was written by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. It was first published in German in 1810 as “The Organon of the Rational Art of Healing”.

Hahnemann was a German doctor who was concerned about the severe effects of some of the substances, such as mercury and arsenic, which were commonly used for medicinal purposes in his day. He tried diluting these substances only to find that the curative effect, as well as the adverse effects, was lost. So he tried diluting the substances and vigorously shaking them between each dilution, a process that he called POTENTISATION, and he found that this maintained the curative effects of the substances while minimising the undesirable side effects. He believed that the potentisation process energised the dynamic energy of the substance.

ENERGY is an important part of homeopathic theory. Homeopaths believe in the concept of the VITAL FORCE. In “The Organon” Hahnemann talks of an energy or dynamis that gives life to the body and governs all bodily functions creating a harmonious whole, and that there is only one possible disease and that is the disease of the Vital Force, the curative action of which, is undermined when it is thrown into disharmony.

At this point in human development, most (although not all) people are unable to see the Vital Force, so we have to observe the pattern of symptoms produced by the disease or lack of harmony. Homeopaths are particularly interested in what produced the initial disturbance in the Vital Force—the EXCITING CAUSE—was it fear, shock, trauma, grief, shame, humiliation, a sense of failure, something else? And they are interested in how the Vital Force is affected at all levels—mental, emotional, physical, and even spiritual.

So there is a very detailed case-taking which attempts to elicit the EXCITING CAUSE of the disease; any MAINTAINING CAUSES (for example if someone is constipated and there is no mental/emotional reason for this literal holding on to what is no longer needed, then it could be that a simple change of lifestyle or diet may be more beneficial than anything); and the TOTAL SYMPTOM PICTURE displayed by the Vital Force.

A remedy is then selected which matches the unique pattern of symptoms produced by that person’s Vital Force. To go back to the constipation example - there is not just one remedy for constipation, but any number of remedies - it depends what is going on as well as the constipation. For example someone who is sad and suffering from deep emotional hurt and pain as well as constipation will be given a different remedy to someone who is an on the go achiever who depends on stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol to keep him going so that he can pursue his ambitions and gets constipated as a result. The correct remedy should resonate with the person’s Vital Force and produce a healing reaction.

Basically, I believe that homeopathy works on each person’s unique constitution, helping to boost it by clearing energy blockages, releasing stuckness and helping us to move on, and as such is a great help with many ailments, as well as being a valuable tool for personal and spiritual development.

Proving the Remedies

The process of discovering what each homeopathic remedy does is called PROVING the remedy. This is a very intensive process which involves detailed preparation of the remedy, the provers and the technique of recording and assessing.

Here is a brief outline of the process:

  1. Each person who takes part in the proving has to be healthy. Their case is comprehensively taken before the proving to find provide a baseline of what is normal for them.
  2. The remedy to be proved is given to each volunteer until it impacts on their Vital Force and symptoms start to develop.
  3. When symptoms start to develop the administration of the remedy is stopped.
  4. Each volunteer keeps a daily diary recording the effect that the remedy has on their vital force by recording the pattern of symptoms produced.
  5. The volunteers have their homeopathic case taken regularly throughout the period of the proving.
  6. The symptoms are noted as to exactly when and where they appear.
  7. The recording of the symptoms stop when no more symptoms appear, and all those produced have disappeared.
  8. The data are collected and collated.
  9. Further information is gained from clinical experience of using the remedy.
  10. The remedy’s symptoms are entered into a homeopathic repertory of symptoms.
  11. Neither the volunteers nor the case-takers know which substance is being proved as a remedy.

‘Health depends on being in harmony with our souls.’
Dr Edward Bach