Did you know that homeopathy has been around for centuries? In fact, there’s a long and rich history of natural remedies and their usage around the world.

In the late 1700s Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a medical school graduate, started his own medical practice. But Hahnemann was disillusioned with the common medical practices of the day. Bloodletting, purging, and toxic chemicals didn’t seem, in his estimation, to be the best way to practice medicine. So, Hahnemann began experimenting with alternative remedies made from natural substances.

Eventually, he stopped practicing and went into the lab—becoming a chemist and, at the same time, working as a translator of medical texts. In his translation work he discovered the principle of “similars” –or what homeopaths now recognize as the “Law of Similars.”

The Law of Similars is the theory that like cures like or “similar symptoms” produced can offer similar cures. For example, Hahnemann learned that the bark of a species of tree in South America that was used to treat malaria-induced fevers. Interestingly though, this bark, when ingested, caused similar symptoms to those caused by the actual disease—malaria. Thus, he concluded, using substances that may invoke similar symptoms in healthy person may be effective to treat someone suffering with those symptoms in sickness. This concept remains a tenant of homeopathy today.

Another main tenant of homeopathy is the concept that the human body has the ability to cure itself. This concept has also been researched, studied and explored for hundreds of years. In fact, the first Homeopathic Medical School in the United States was founded in the late 1800s. By the early 1900s, schools such as Stanford, Boston University, and New York Medical College were all teaching homeopathy. The practice became very popular because of how successfully homeopathic medicine was treating rampant diseases of the era. The early 1900s was a time when scarlet fever, typhoid, cholera, and yellow fever were killing many.

By the early 1900s there were 22 homeopathic medical schools and 100 homeopathic practicing hospitals. But, with the advent of modern drug companies in the early 1920s, came a shift away from natural cures. As pharmaceutical companies began to work with doctors to release their engineered medications, homeopathic traditions were replaced. Many of the U.S. schools that were teaching homeopathy, shifted towards a focus on treatment using modern medicines.

Around the globe, homeopathic remedies and medicines remained popular and homeopathy has flourished in many parts of the world because homeopathic remedies are generally more affordable, all-natural, have no side effects (or harsh chemicals), and no drug interactions.

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