History of Homeopathy

Christian Friedrick Samuel Hahnemann was born on 10th April 1755 at Meissen in Saxony of Germany, as a third child of poor parents, porcelain painter Christian Gottfried Hahnemann and Johanna Christiana. He had basic education at home under guidance of his parents. He went at town school on 27th July 1767. He had to leave school because of poverty but he completed his education because of Magister Muller who loved him as his own child during his school days.

He left Meissen for higher studies in medicine in the spring of 1775 to enter the University in Leipzig where he used to earn his bread and butter by teaching French and German and by translating books from other languages. He migrated to Vienna in spite of heavy expenses to such move for the better medical study. There he entered at hospital of Brother of Mercy and became favourite student of Dr. Von Quarin, a famous physician of that time. Dr. Quarin introduced him to Governor of Transylvania, Samuel Von Brukenthal who was there for his official works. He liked Hahnemann and appointed on honorable terms to go Hermansted as family physician and librarian. He became there masters of dozen languages and acquired knowledge of collateral science. After one year and nine months, he went Erlangen to complete his study and got degree in 1779.

He began his medical practice at Hettsted in the country of Mansfield and made a new home in Dessau, fifty kilometer away from his office, where he was appointed as medical officer. His interest and study of chemistry brought him in to contact with Haseler's Pharmacy where he became acquainted with Johana Leopoldine Henritte Kuchler. He married her on 17th November 1782. During days in Gommern, he translated two volumes of French chemist Demachy. He migrated to Dresden, Leipzig and Stott Ritz for better life where he used to support his family by literary works. He was dissatisfied with the method of treatments of those days which he found harmful rather than giving relief to patient by using his best knowledge and care. Finally, he stopped medical practice and fully devoted in literary works.

In 1790, when Hahnemann translated Cullen's Materia Medica, the second volume of the work of English physician Cullen gave twenty pages entirely to peruvian bark which was also known as Cinchona bark (form which quinine is derived). Hahnemann was confused with explanation in which Cinchona suppress ague. He then determined to cut Gordian knot by making trial of the medicine on his own body. He took accordingly at several times strong doses of cinchona such as physicians of the day prescribed for the sick. And he found himself suffering from strong paroxysm of ague. Then it flashed in his mind that cinchona which cure ague produces the same. These doses of cinchona produce not only the chief phenomena but minor symptoms which to a greater or lesser extent accompany malaria. He came face to face with the fact that this drug which so surely and so often cured ague was capable of producing in his own healthy body, the phenomena of ague. He then tried series of active substances singly on himself and found his experiment confirmed by the corresponding results in each case. Through this discovery, he caught glimpse of law of cure. He shifted many places between 1793-1796 for better life of growing family. For six years, he had been testing his first intimation gained through experiment with Cinchona and finally in 1796, he declared Homoeopathy as a system of medicine with its principles.

Since 1775 to 1921, he gave many writings. Among them Organon of Medicine which contains the principles governing the practice of Homoeopathy, Materia Medica pura which is collection of signs and symptoms after proving drugs in healthy individual and chronic disease are the valuable assets in the field of Homoeopathy.

After invention of this new system, he faced much opposition and was even not allowed to practice and also had to migrate many places. But he was strongly determined to face the truth and able to convince the people so that many allopaths, wishers and friends held his hands and gave full support and dedication for its development.

Hahnemann's wife, mother of eleven children died on 31st March 1830. On 8th October 1834, French lady Marie Melanie De Hervilly came to consult Hahnemann long away from France for her skin ailments. He married her on the New Year day of 1835. She brought him to France and helped to get permission to practice Homoeopathy in Paris. There, he received the reward of his years of trials and starvation and got everything which human being aspire.

Finally, he breathed his last at 5 am on 2nd July of 1843 at the age of 88 years. He said, non inutilis vixi - I have not lived in vain.

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