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History of Homeopathy — Dr. Ganka Kroumova

History of Homeopathy

After Hahnemann had laid the foundations of homeopathy as a scientific system, it began to gain popularity in the beginning and the middle of the 19 century proving its efficiency in treatment of patients with abdominal typhus, cholera and diphtheria during the respective epidemics.

In 1812 after the retreat of the Napoleonic army from Moscow there an outbreak of typhus occurred; then Hahnemann cured 180 soldiers achieving zero lethality. During the cholera epidemics in the beginning and in the midst of the 19 century in Russia and England, the lethality of the cases treated with homeopathy was just between 9% and 16%, while in the hospitals where the allopathic method was applied it reached 50-70%. During the cholera epidemic in Naples in 1854 Dr. Rubini saved all 255 patients with cholera treated by him with homeopathic remedies.

In USA Dr. James Tyler Kent and the German physician Constantine Hering greatly contributed to the development of homeopathy.

Kent completed his studies in medicine in 1871. He turned to homeopathy after his seriously ill wife had recovered thanks to this new for his country method. Kent focused his whole enormous energy on study and implementation of this method becoming Professor in Homeopathic Materia Medica by teaching at various medical homeopathic colleges in USA. He wrote Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica, Lectures in Homeopathic Philosophy, and Lectures in Homeopathic Materia Medica, used till present. Kent worked out in a definite manner medicinal pictures of many homeopathic remedies and introduced the so-called “constitutional types”.

Constantine Hering’s life was very interesting and helpful, too. He was born in Oschatz, Germany in 1800. He was very inquisitive and talented as his knowledge in classical languages, literature and mathematics was encyclopedic.

He studied medicine in the Surgical Academy of Dresden and later in Leipzig University, where he was a student of the then famous surgeon Robbie. At that time the local medical society gave a task to his teacher to write an article disproving the legitimacy of homeopathy, but Robbie was very busy and passed this assignment on to the young Hering, whom he much respected. Hering with his usual pedantry began to ardently study the homeopathic writings present until then, and made a lot of experiments on himself. It happened so that one day while dissecting corpses he cut himself and got his blood poisoned. He was recommended to have his arm amputated as only way to save his life. However, one of his fellow students, a follower of Hahnemann, suggested him to try homeopathy, what rapidly and completely cured him. That ultimately convinced Hering of the efficiency of homeopathy, as the article against it in fact remained unwritten.

In 1838 he published a treatise on anthrax epidemic informing about completely healed all cases of animals and people given homeopathic remedys. Here it is appropriate to mention that Dr. Robert Koch found the cause of anthrax only in 1876, and then he began to make experiments in search of proper treatment. Whilst such was already successfully applied 40 years ago, and yet at present all remedy students know Koch and do not know Hering.

Similarly, another great German homeopath, named Dr. Bonninghausen, treated against rabies dozens of people and animals during the 1830s, many years before the vaccination against it was introduced by Louis Pasteur (1885), but just Bonninghausen and his success, as well as this of Hahnemann, Hering, Kent and many other homeopath physicians, have never been referred to in medical literature.

Hering made “proving” of many substances, thus enriching the homeopathic pharmacopoeia with valuable remedies. He moved to live in the USA. His 40-year practice resulted in his work of 11 volumes “The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica”.

In England homeopathy was introduced by Dr. Frederick Quinn, a direct student of Hahnemann, who established the London Homeopathic Hospital in 1849.

During all these nearly 200 years, still many distinguished physicians from all over the world have contributed to the development and the good reputation of Homeopathy: E. Nash, D. Borland, J. Clarke, T. Allen, A. von Lippe, R. Shankaran, M. Blackie, M. Tyler, E. Habard, and many others. Revival and rise of this valuable system of treatment in the last two decades relates also to the name of the great Greek homeopath Georgos Vitulkas.

At present in many countries of the world there are homeopathic clinics; in Europe the most popular is found in Belgium, where it is headed by Dr. Alfons Geukens. Homeopathy is exceptionally well accepted in India and Latin America because it is very efficient and at the same time cheap.

Recognition of the merits of the method is the fact that it has been used for treating the royal family in England for nearly 160 years now. Even King George VI in the thirties of 20 century called his favorite race horse by the name of one homeopathic remedy – Hypericum.

In the Netherlands about 47% of the general practitioners and about 37% of these in England prescribe the use of homeopathic remedies.

The physicians of the European community who practice classical homeopathy join homeopathic medical unions, which are members of the European committee of Homeopathy.

In many European countries there are associations of veterinary surgeons applying homeopathy. For example, in the Netherlands about 10% of the veterinary surgeons are members of such association. These associations form the International association of veterinary homeopathy.