The derivation of the word ‘Homeopathy’ (originally homoeopathy) comes from the Greek homoeo, meaning 'similar', and pathos, meaning 'suffering’. This leads on to the first principle which is ‘Similia Similbus Curentur,’ translated from the Latin as: ‘like cures like.’ This principle predates Hahnemann and in fact, goes back to ancient ayurvedic scripts. The idea/concept of ‘the law of similars’ had first been mentioned by Hippocrates (The Father of Medicine, 460-377 B.C.), then by P.A. Paracelsus (1493-1541) although Hahnemann was responsible for creating ‘Homeopathy’ as we now know it; a complete system of medicine.
Through much research and hands on practice, Hahnemann proved that a substance that can cause disease in a healthy person, can actively heal the same or similar disease in another. For example, Belladonna, a well known homeopathic remedy is used to treat high fevers, redness in the face and tongue. Were belladonna to be ingested in its raw form, the symptoms of the poisoning would be exactly this. Also, think of what happens when you are exposed to a raw onion. Your eyes water and nose burns. The homeopathic remedy allium cepa (made from onion) can relieve these symptoms, once again, treating ‘like with like.’
The task of the homeopath is to match the patients’ symptoms to the correct homeopathic remedy, specifically those that are characteristic to the patient. This is explained in aphorism 26 in the Organon, where Hahnemann states: ‘In the living organism a weaker, dynamic affection is permanently extinguished by a stronger one which although different in nature nevertheless, greatly resembles it in its expression.’
The simillimum is just that, totality; not partial, but a complete reflection of a state that is mentally, physically and spiritually in alignment with its subject.
This article is part of a five part series and following sections will elaborate on more principles. The first part can be found here.
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