Founder of Homeopathy
The founder of Homeopathy is Samuel Hahnemann who was a German physician and pharmacist of some renown. He was born in 1755. He was known as the Father of Experimental Pharmacology because he was the first physician to prepare medicines in a way to remove their toxicity was used  and then gives them to human beings to record the effect of the substances. He called this process a Proving.
He was dissatisfied with the current medical practices as regards medicinal substances and abhorred the use of poisons and also the extreme measures such as bloodletting employed by physicians of his time, and resolved to find principles of healing that would lead to cure without causing the side effects that in his view did more harm than good to the patients.
Hahnemann consolidated the principles of homeopathy while translating a medical treatise by Scottish physician and chemist William Cullen into German. Being sceptical of Cullen’s description of the toxic effects of Cinchona, Hahnemann ingested some of the bark specifically to see if it cured fever “by virtue of its effect of strengthening the stomach”. Upon ingesting the bark, he noticed few stomach symptoms, but did experience fever, shivering and joint pain, and symptoms similar to some of the early symptoms of malaria, the disease that the bark was ordinarily used to treat. From this, Hahnemann came to believe that all effective drugs produce symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the diseases that they treat. This later became known as the “law of similars”, the most important concept of homeopathy. The term “homeopathy” was coined by Hahnemann and first appeared in print in 1807, although he began outlining his theories of “medical similars” in a series of articles and monographs in 1796.
From what we know of Hahnemann’s experiments and conclusions, the principle he arrived at was already recognized by Hippocrates There are several innovations that Hahnemann had made as outlined by Christopher Ellithorp, scholar and historian of homeopathy listed below:
- “Similia Similibus Curentur was known in Medicine and recognised by Hippocrates. Hahnemann was the first to experiment in order to demonstrate a drug’s ability to cause deviations from health. He could be thus considered as the “Father of Experimental Pharmacology”.
- Before he wrote about the similar principle, drugs were prescribed only on speculation. Among the methods used were doctrine of Signatures, observed effects on sick individuals, effects on animals and toxicological effects.
- Hahnemann’s contributed to chemistry and pharmacy in the time before he wrote about the Similar Principle. Among others, he introduced a new test for Arsenic for use in toxicology and forensic medicine. He also developed a test for detection of adulterants in wine and he helped to standardize pharmacy lexicons used in Germany. There is a preparation of mercury that he devised which is still named after him. There are substances that are considered inert which Hahnemann introduced into the Homeopathic Materia Medica. Among these substances are gold, silica, and vegetable charcoal. Hahnemann’s method of preparation by trituration and potentization profoundly expanded their efficacy.
It is this man, who was already famous and an important contributor to the Medical and Pharmaceutical profession of his time who founded the system of medicine which he named as Homeopathy.
Historical Development in Chronological Order till Current Status
This timeline of events is to give a bird’s eye view of the development, the rise and fall and rise again of homeopathy from the time of its inception to the present times. Details of events will be elaborated further elsewhere.
Homeopathy as taught by Hahnemann was opposed by many doctors and also from pharmacists of his time right from the very beginning. At the same time Hahnemann also found support from some of colleagues who became students in the new Art and Science of Healing.
Below are several important developments in the history of homeopathy up till the present times.
Essay on A New Principle for Ascertaining The Curative Powers of Drugs in which Hahnemann first announces the simile principle. This is the book that gave rise to the principles of Homeopathy.
Essay on “Are the Obstacles to the Attainment of Simplicity and Certainty in Practical Medicine Insurmountable?” published by Hahnemann, in which he question the relevance of polypharmacy. Polypharmacy is the use of more than one remedy at a time. Hahnemann never agreed to the use of more than one remedy at a time because he felt that this would result in confusion when interpreting the progress of the patient.
Cure and Prevention of Scarlet Fever Samuel Hahnemann MD., writes of using ‘the smallest dosages’, as well as the use of homeopathy to prevent as well as treat infectious diseases.
|1803||Essay on ‘On The Effects of Coffee’ published by Samuel Hahnemann. He recognised the addicting effects of coffee and thus wrote about it before the caffeine was isolated from coffee in 1819. It is important because some homeopaths do not recommend the use of coffee while taking homeopathy remedy. This essay demonstrates his understanding of how chemical substances could affect the body and his far sighted thinking that lead to his explanation of the basis of healing which lead to Homeopathy.|
|1805||Hahnemann had published Fragmenta de Viribus Medicamentorum Positivis. (Fragmentary Observations relative to the Positive Powers of Medicines on the Human Body). For the first time, the records of his first proving of single medicines were published. These provings were undertaken by him and some of his family members.|
|1806||Hahnemann publishes “Medicine of Experience”. This was the precursor of the Organon which is his book which outlines the principals and methods of Homeopathic case taking, treatment and prescribing as well as the principles of Homeopathy.|
|1808||Hahnemann’s articles which appeared in Allgemeine Anzeiger der Deutschen which was one of the well known medical journal of his time. He was a regular and well known contributor to the established medical journals of his time. Among the articles are as follows:
|1809||Hahnemann’s articles that appeared in Allgemeine Anzeiger der Deutschen:
|1810||Hahnemann’s articles in the established medical journals began to attract attention from physicians of Europe. As seen in the timeline to follow, Homeopathy spreads throughout Europe and South America and then to the rest of the world.
Jose Silva of Brazil had begun contact with Hahnemann. This marked the introduction of Homeopathy to Brazil.
The Organon of Rational Healing 1st edition was published. This is the philosophy of Homeopathic Medicine.
|1811||Reine Arzneimittellehre or Materia Medica Pura, Volume One, was published. This is the first book of Homeopathic Materia Medica, based on Hahnemann’s provings.|
|1812||General San Martin introduced homeopathy to Argentina. This was the beginning of Homeopathy being introduced to Argentina.
Hahnemann’s followers formed a Prover’s union. They undertook to do provings for the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
|1817||Hahnemann constructs a handwritten “Symptom Dictionary”. This is the precursor of the Homeopathic repertory.|
|1818||Homeopathy reached Austria and was practiced there.
Homeopathy reached Hungary, introduced by Joseph Muller.
|1819||The second edition of The Organon of Rational Healing was published.|
|1820||Missionaries brought Homeopathy to South Africa.
Hahnemann was arrested in Leipzig for dispensing his own medicine. He was forced to move to escape persecution from the chemists of Leipzig.
Hahnemann moved to Kothen to escape persecution as above. In Kothen he was protected from persecution by being the physician to the Duke. The name of the Duke is Duke Ferdinand who was the Duke of Anhalt-Koethen.
|1821||The first Homeopathic journal titled “Archive of the Homeopathic Method of Curing” was published and edited by Gross and Stapf.
Homeopathy was introduced in Italy.
The first Homeopathic Materia Medica, Materia Medica Pura was completed.
|1823||Hans Burch Gram who moved from Copenhagen to America introduced homeopathy to America.
Dr Bergmann published the first homeopathic treatise on a disease.
The third edition of the Organon of Rational Healing was published.
|1825||Homeopathy is introduced to Russia by lay homeopaths. Lay Homeopaths are non medical Homeopaths. Before this, most of the Homeopaths were medically trained.
The Characteristics of Homoeopathia. The first article on Homeopathy published in New York by Hans Burch Gram meets with ridicule from the medical profession.
Hartlaub published the first repertory titled “Systematic Effects of the Pure Effects of Medicine for practical use of Homeopathic Physicians”.
Carl Caspari published the first Homeopathic Pharmacopeia.
|1827||Dr. Harvey Quin introduced homeopathic practice into England. It was noted that Homeopathy reached the United States of America five years earlier than it reached England.
Homeopathy came to Switzerland. Dr. Franz Josef Siegrist practiced homeopathy in Basel.
|1829||The Organon of Rational Healing 4th edition was published. This was the 1st edition of the Organon that was translated into English in 1833.
A layman named Zuarte had began practice in Cadiz Spain. This marked the introduction of Homeopathy to Spain.
Dr. Mylo was practicing Homeopathy in Warsaw Poland. This marked the introduction of Homeopathy to Poland.
|1830||The first homeopath, Dr. Pierre Joseph de Moor, had begun practice at Alost, Belgium.|
|1832||The Repertory of the Anti-Psoric Remedies was published. This was first homeopathic repertory by Clemens Von Boenninghausen.
Peter Jacob Leidbeck began practice in Stockholm Sweden and this marked the practice of Homeopathy in Sweden.
|1833||The Organon of Rational Healing 5th edition – Hahnemann introduced the medicinal solution and recommended liquid dosing which was a radical change from the fourth edition of the Organon.|
|1834||Homeopathy was introduced to the Netherlands by Johan Schonfield amd Schmid.|
|1835||George Jahr wrote Manual of Homoeopathic Medicine A repertorial index to Hahnemann’s work. These books made the practice of Homeopathy easier because they helped the Homeopath find the right remedy much faster.
Constantine Hering wrote “Domestic Physician”, the first popular homeopathic self-care manual.
|1836||Dr Florencio Galvao was teaching homeopathy in Portugal.|
|1837||Homeopathy was introduced to Malta.
Homeopathy was introduced to Columbia South America.
|1839||Homeopathy was introduced to Ireland.|
|1839||Dr John Honigberger of Transylvania introduced homeopathy to India where it flourished.|
|1842||Francisco De P Escopet of Spain introduced homeopathy to Cuba.
Homeopathy was introduced to Canada.
|1843||July 2, in Paris, Hahnemann died.|
|1844||The Homeopaths in the US met in New York at the Lyceum of Natural History. This marked the birth of the American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH). 3 meetings were held from April to May of this year.|
|1846||The New York Medical Society condemned homeopathy and refused practice license to homeopaths. This was the beginning of heated discussions against homeopathy.|
|1847||Homeopathy was introduced to Uruguay.
The Therapeutic Pocket Book written by Clemens Von Boenninghausen was published.
|1848||One of the first institutions to teach homeopathy in the US was established by Constantine Hering, Jacob Jeanes, and Walter Williamson. It was called the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania.|
|1849||Willian Purdie MD introduced homeopathy to New Zealand where it is practised to the present day.
Robert Dudgeon translated the Organon of Rational Healing fifth edition into English. This was the first English translation of the Organon.
In the Cholera Epidemic of the South in North America, the patients treated with homeopathic medicines did better than the patients treated by allopathic doctors.
|1850||In Mexico, Dr. Navarrete introduced Homeopathy from Havana and this marked the beginning of the practice of Homeopathy in Mexico.
In Australia, Mr. Thienette de Bérigny introduced homeopathy in Victoria where it is still being practiced.
|1851||In Egypt, Dr. Benoit Mure was the first homeopath in Egypt and Sudan. This early introduction did not last and Homeopathy did not gain ground in Egypt and Sudan.|
|1854||“Cholera Epidemic 1854” – London Historically important epidemic – it was the first time a disease outbreak was traced to a particular source – in this case public water pump. The pump was closed & epidemic ceased. All in all 10,738 people died. The House of Commons requested a report regarding the various methods of treating the epidemic. When the report was issued, no homeopathic figures were included. The House of Lords requested an explanation, and it was admitted that if the homeopathic figures were to be included in the report, it would “skew the results’ so it was suppressed. Upon examination, the buried report revealed that under allopathic care the mortality was 59.2 % while under homeopathic care mortality was only 9 %”.|
|1855||American Medical Association (AMA) condemned the mixing of homeopathy treatment with standard medical practice, withholding membership from any state or local medical organizations to which homeopaths belong. This policy helped to further reduce the practice of Homeopathy among the medically qualified.|
|1860||In the Czech Republic, a Catholic homeopathic hospital existed at Kromeriz.
Birth of the American pharmaceutical industry manufacturing conventional medicines. This is significant in that it was the pharmaceutical industry that felt homeopathy was a threat to its existence, and started an alliance with the AMA to fight homeopathic practice.
In Slovakia, homeopathy had been used since the 19th century during the Habsburg monarchy in Austria.
Homeopathy came to Venezuela. Dr. Manuel Porras was the first to practice homeopathy.
Homeopathy was practiced in the Philippines. There were graduates from US schools of Homeopathy in the Philippine Islands.
|1869||Boericke & Tafel Pharmaceutical Company – (homeopathic pharmaceutical) was founded.|
|1870||In Ukraine, the development of homeopathy parallels the development of Homeopathy in Russia.
In Russia, there were a few members of the Royal family that gave patronage to Homeopathy which caused the spread of Homeopathy in Ukraine and Russia.
Homeopathy Hospitals were built in Keive and Kharkov.
|1873||Schuessler who was a homeopath published a treatise that introduced a healing system using tissue salts as remedies. While it is not prescribed on homeopathic principles, it is closely related to Homeopathy because of the method of preparation .The journal is called Allgemeine Hom Zeitung.|
|1874 – 1916||Middletown State Hospital, New York, the largest of state mental hospitals under homeopathic control. Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital that was opened in 1874 finally closed in 2006.|
|1873 – 1915||A Homeopathic journal which started to be published in 1873 was renamed 5 times with the following names :
|1879||Encyclopaedia of Pure Materia Medica was published. This is a compilation of all the homeopathic medicines that were researched at that time by conducting homeopathic pathogenetic trials which is also knows as homeopathic provings. A comprehensive set of 12 volumes of materia medica compiled by Dr. Timothy Field Allen, MD.|
|1880||The Guiding Symptoms of the Materia Medica was published. It is a 10-volume set of materia medica compiled by Constantine Hering, MD.This book was a comprehensive description of homeopathic medicines which had undergone homeopathic drug trials which are called provings. This work by Hering increased the knowledge about the Homeopathic medicines listed and therefore increased the medicine available for treating the patient.|
|1880 – 1959||A homeopathic medical association named the International Hahnemannian Association (IHA]  was formed to preserve the classical approach to Homeopathy, which was seen to have been polluted by new ideas. The battle between liberals and conservatives in the field of homeopathy rages to this very day.|
|1881 – 1925||IHA Transactions, A Homeopathic journal was published. It contains the invaluable experience of some of the greatest homeopaths in history.|
|1881 – 1899||The Homeopathic Physician Journal which is a journal committed to Hahnemannian Homeopathy was published. This journal was edited by E.J. Lee, MD, and later by Walter James, MD, and G.H. Clark, MD. |
|1882||The AMA refused to acknowledge delegates from the New York State Medical Society. This was because the Society had passed a resolution which recognised graduates which included homeopathic physicians.|
|1883||Obstetrics book published “The application of the principles and practice of homeopathy to obstetrics and the disorders peculiar to women and young children”, by Henry Guernsey, MD.|
|1885||A paper published titled: Transactions of the Thirty-Eighth Session of the American Institute of Homeopathy, held at St. Louis, June 2-5 1885. At this meeting, there was a resolution passed that the person involved in a proving was not to know the substance they were taking. Some provers were also given placebos in which the tablets were not medicated. This was the earliest record of the use of masking and placebo in a proving as well as of blinding where the prover does not know the substance being proved.|
|1890-1909||James Tyler Kent, a conventional doctor turned homeopath influenced the way Homeopathy was taught and practiced and is responsible for a method of prescribing called constitutional prescribing. He taught Materia Medica at the Homeopathic Medical College of St. Louis, from 1881 – 1888, at the School of Homeopathy, Philadelphia from 1890 – 1899, at Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, Chicago from 1903 – 1909, and Hering Medical College Hospital. James T. Kent, MD, is the author of “Kent’s Repertory”, “Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica”, “Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy” which are books still used by present day homeopaths.|
|1890||Homeopathic Therapeutics was published. A comprehensive homeopathic self-care manual by Dr. Samuel Lilienthal, MD.|
|1891||In Russia, the Kiev Society of Followers of Homeopathy was started.|
|1895||Another obstetrics manual was written entitled “Accoucheur’s Emergency Manual Treatise on homeopathic obstetrics” by William A. Yingling.
Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. This book recorded invaluable clinical experience with the remedies. It is written by John Henry Clarke, MD. The book is still used as a textbook of materia medica to the present day. The whole 3 volumes were completed in 1900.
|1901||William Boericke, MD authored Boericke’s Materia Medica. His brother Oscar added a repertory to his material medica in 1906. This repertory and material medica is still used today by homeopaths as a concise bedside guide.|
|1905||Boenninghausen’s Characteristics Materia Medica was translated into English by Cyrus Boger and published.|
|1909||The Flexner report which was released by the Carnegie Foundation caused a lot of the Homeopathic Medical Schools to be closed. This was because the report’s guidelines were designed in such a way that the standards could only be met by the orthodox medical schools and not the homeopathy medical schools.|
|1911||British Journal of Homeopathy started publishing. It is still being published to the present day but the name has been changed Homeopathy.|
|1921||The Organon of Rational Healing – sixth edition – the last edition of Hahnemann’s masterpiece, published 78 years after his death. The 50 Millesimal (LM) potency was introduced into modern prescribing. Hahnemann’s second wife Melanie who could not get support from the Homeopathic community to publish it compiled it. It is the most insightful of all the editions and introduces the LM potencies. It was almost never published and was found in an attic and was then published.|
|1925 – 1929||Arthur Grimmer, MD claims to cure using Homeopathic remedies, 150 cases of biopsy – diagnosed with cancer.
Homeopathy is introduced into Malaysia by Prof. Dr. Burhanuddin al-Helmy (1911-1969) in 1929.
|1937||Boenninghausen’s Characteristics Materia Medica was reprinted with Boger’s notes. This Materia Medica dealt with remedies according to a scheme that named the locations that were characteristic of the remedies. It gives homeopaths another way of analysing a case to arrive at a suitable remedy according to the homeopathic law of similar.|
|1938||Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was founded this year.
Homeopathic remedies are included in the FDA legislation because they were in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia. Along with the US Pharmacopoeia, homeopathic remedies was listed as one of the two official drug manuals.
|1940s||The last students from US homeopathic medical schools graduate, after these students graduated, the Homeopathic Medical Schools were closed and homeopathy was then taught outside of a formal educational institution. Among the institutions that taught Homeopath was the American Foundation of Homeopath (AFH) which trained the majority of the physicians who kept homeopathy alive from 1930 – 1970.|
|1947||In Pakistan, Homeopathy was introduced before the formation of the country because it was part of India and Homeopathy had spread in India.|
|1948||Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia (founded by Hering) survived and graduated homeopaths through the early ’40s, but eventually influenced by allopathic practitioners. Homeopathy was dropped as a mandatory course in 1948.|
|1960||Decline of American Homeopathy due to death of remaining practitioners, lack of interest, lack of homeopathic training courses.|
|1961||Persatuan Homoeopathy Malaya (Malaya Homeopathic Association) is registered officially whereby the first president is Prof. Dr. Burhanuddin.|
|1974||The National Centre for Homeopathy (NCH) begins administration of the AFH  school.|
|1975||By the mid 1970s there were only 50-100 physicians who specialized in homeopathy in the United States, and yet by the mid-1980s, there were an estimated 1,000 physicians specializing in homeopathy.|
|1978||In California, Homeopaths from the US, convened at the California Academy of Sciences and launched the International Foundation of Homeopathy. The purpose of this foundation was to raise the standards of Homeopathic practice as well as to promote Homeopath throughout North America and the world.|
|1979||George Vithoulkas has published his first book called Homeopathy Medicine for the new man. This Greek homeopath taught in the United States.
Persatuan Homoeopathy Malaya (Malaya Homeopathic Association) was changed to Persatuan Perubatan Homoeopathy Malaysia (Malaysia Homoeopathy Medical Association) or PPHM.
|1980||Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS) formed. The HPCUS represented homeopathy to the FDA.
According to an article in the Washington Post, the numbers of physicians in the U.S. who specialize in homeopathy doubled from 1980 to 1982.
|1981||Homeopathy Today Journal of the National Centre for Homeopathy was first published.|
|1982||The Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (HANP), was established, it is the homeopathic accrediting body for licensed naturopathic physician.|
|1985||The Hahnemann College of Homeopathy was founded in the San Francisco Bay area.|
|1986||The Canadian Academy of Homeopathy was founded in Toronto.
First PC DOS version of RADAR, homeopathy software.
The first version of HOMPATH, homeopathic software was created by Dr Jawarhar Shah, Indian Homeopath.
|1988||Nature journal  which is a well-respected interdisciplinary scientific journal published the work of Dr Jacques Benveniste about water having a memory. This seemed to provide evidence for how homeopathy works. His work was later disputed by John Maddox the editor of the journal and Walter Stewart of the US National Institute of Health.|
|1993||The National United Professional Association of Trained Homeopaths (NUPATH) which is Canada’s National homeopathic association was founded.|
|1994||Paediatrics, a Journal of the American Academy of Paediatrics published a clinical trial about treating diarrhoea in Nicaraguan children. The trial was the first one on Homeopathic management that was published in a mainstream medical journal. The paper was by Jennifer Jacobs, a medical doctor and homeopath.|
|1996||In December 1996, George Vithoulkas received the Right Livelihood award in Stockholm. This award is sometimes known as the Alternative Nobel Prize. George Vithoulkas taught a number of American homeopaths who in turn were part of the homeopathic resurgence in the United States.|
|2000||Rajan Sankaran publishes a book in two volumes titled “An insight into plants”. Through his seminars and books, Rajan Sankaran has had an influence on homeopaths by introducing a method of perceiving a hidden aspect of the patient.
Homeopathy mailing list called Minutus was founded by Iranian Homeopath Dr Ardavan Shahrdar and this list became the most active homeopathy mailing list on the internet.
|2001||Approximately 3,000 other health professionals in the U.S. use homeopathic medicines, including dentists, veterinarians, physician assistants, nurses, naturopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and psychologists.|
|2008||Iranian Homeopath Dr Ardavan Shahrdar introduces a method of homeopathic analysis that takes into consideration the viral origins of infectious diseases. To this purpose he created software called Repertorium Virosum of which the second edition was introduced in 2008.|
|2010||The Royal London Homeopathy Hospital has its name changed to The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. This name change reflects the change in the approach to treatment by using an integrated approach where homeopathy is one of the therapeutic methods used. Homeopathy continues to be a major part of the activities of the hospital.|
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