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Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century

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Defending Choice in Medicine

H:MC21 is a charity established to counter the unfounded propaganda against homeopathy by informing the public of the facts about homeopathy and its historical and scientific relationship to orthodox medicine.

It will do this through research, publication and campaigning.

Clicking on the links below will take you directly to various aspects of our campaign

Follow us on Twitter at @HMC21org

Publications

Nonsense, Not Science

 Halloween Science

Pilot survey of PCTs

Edzard Ernst interview

 Resource pack

CS&TC Report

CS&CT Evidence Check

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Charity no. 1124711
Registered address: Poppyseed Cottage,
High Street, Stoke Ferry, Norfolk PE33 9SF

Homeopathic 'firsts'

Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) was well ahead of his time when he developed homeopathy, and this page is devoted to some of the areas where he and homeopathy have led other medical practice.
 

  • In 1792 he advocated healthy accommodation for the sick. [1] This view was not taken up widely until Florence Nightingale produced evidence confirming its importance in 1854.
  • In 1795 he advocated improvements in public hygiene measures. [2] Such improvements only appeared towards the end of the nineteenth century and were a major reason for reduction in mortality rates before 1914. [3]
  • In 1809 he was publicly opposed to the common treatment of bloodletting, and a justification published later shows that his reasons are the same as are given today. [4,5]
  • Hahnemann was the first to employ the scientific method to develop a medical system. He employed a combination of detailed research of past and contemporaneous medical records and toxicological reports, observation, experiment and theory-construction. His arguments about the relationship of treatment to illness were supported by references to the work and observations of others. [6,7]
  • Homeopathy was the first medical system to conduct scientific trials of medicines before using them to treat the sick. [8,9]
  • By 1831 homeopathy had become the first medical system to adopt the concept of micro-organisms in its explanation of health and disease, some 60 years before Koch saw them through a microscope. [10]
  • Homeopathy was the first medical system to recognise that those organisms could evolve, some 30 years before Darwin published On the Origin of Species. [11]
  • By 1841 Hahnemann had identified the need for healthy housing and a healthy diet, including avoidance of excess use of sugar and salt. [12] This has become an important issue today.
  • By 1827 Hahnemann recognised that it was insufficient to "look on matter as dead mass, for from its interior can be elicited incredible and hitherto unsuspected powers." [13] The extent of such powers is still being investigated by physicists.
    • The field of homeopathy has continued to develop and expand for over 200 years, both clinically and theoretically. Knowledge acquired in the past continues to be valid today, but it is becoming better understood and more thoroughly explored. This is exactly the process one would expect in a scientific field.

      The fact that homeopathy is at the forefront of medicine is shown by another curious fact: all the arguments used against homeopathy were used in Hahnemann’s lifetime, and he himself responded to them. If no new arguments have appeared in more than 160 years, it shows that homeopathy does not conflict with any of the scientific advances during that time. Indeed, modern knowledge of physics, micro-organisms, drug actions, genetics and homeostasis actually tend to confirm homeopathic theory. [14]

      References
      1. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. R E Dudgeon), ‘Protection against infection in epidemic diseases’ and ‘Things that spoil the air’ from The Friend of Health: Part I (Frankfurt am Main: [n. p.], 1792) in Samuel Hahnemann, The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, 1851 edn (New Delhi: B Jain Publishers, repr. edn 2002), pp. 167-174 and 176-180.
      2. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. R E Dudgeon), The Friend of Health: Part II (Frankfurt am Main: [n. p.], 1795) in Samuel Hahnemann, The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, 1851 edn (New Delhi: B Jain Publishers, repr. edn 2002), pp. 203-212 and 212-227.
      3. Simon Szreter, ‘The importance of social intervention in Britain’s mortality decline c. 1850-1914: a re-interpretation of the role of public health’ in Davey, Basiro, Alastair Gray and Clive Seale (eds), Health and Disease: A reader, (Buckingham and Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1993), pp. 191-199.
      4. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. R E Dudgeon), ‘Observations on the Three Current Methods of Treatment’ from Hufeland’s Journal of Practical Medicine, vol. xi, pt 4, 1809 in The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, 1851 edition (New Delhi: B Jain Publishers, repr. 2002), p. 537.
      5. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. William Boericke), Organon of Medicine, 6th edn, manuscript completed 1841, 1st English edn 1921 (Calcutta: Roy Publishing House, repr. edn 1972), § 60 n. 66, p. 139.
      6. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. William Boericke), Organon of Medicine, 6th edn, manuscript completed 1841, 1st English edn 1921 (Calcutta: Roy Publishing House, repr. edn 1972).
      7. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. Louis H Tafel), The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homoeopathic Cure (Delhi: B Jain Publishers, repr. edn 1995).
      8. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. R E Dudgeon), ‘Introduction to the 3rd Edition, 1830’, Materia Medica Pura (New Delhi: B Jain Publishers, repr. edn 2002). The first edition of the first volume was published in 1811.
      9. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. William Boericke), Organon of Medicine, 6th edn, manuscript completed 1841, 1st English edn 1921 (Calcutta: Roy Publishing House, repr. edn 1972), § 120 p. 187.
      10. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. R E Dudgeon), Appeal to Thinking Philanthropists Respecting the Mode of Propagation of the Asiatic Cholera, (Leipzig: the author, 1831) in The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, 1851 edition (New Delhi: B Jain Publishers, repr. edn 2002), p. 758.
      11. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. William Boericke), Organon of Medicine, 6th edn, manuscript completed 1841, 1st English edn 1921 (Calcutta: Roy Publishing House, repr. edn 1972), § 81 p. 160.
      12. Samuel Hahnemann (trans. William Boericke), Organon of Medicine, 6th edn, manuscript completed 1841, 1st English edn 1921 (Calcutta: Roy Publishing House, repr. edn 1972), § 260 and n. 146, p. 262.
      13. Samuel Hahnemann, ‘How Can Small Doses of Such Very Attenuated Medicine As Homoeopathy Employs Still Possess Great Power?’, Reine Arzneimittellehre (1827), translated by R E Dudgeon, in The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann, 1851 edition (New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers, repr. 2002), p. 730.
      14. Paolo Bellavite and Andrea Signorini (trans. Anthony Steele), The Emerging Science of Homeopathy: Complexity, biodynamics, and nanopharmacology (Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2002), pp. 140-154.

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