Remedies are prescribed based on a principle known as the “Law of Similars” or “let likes be cured by likes” which was developed by the founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700’s. This idea was described earlier by the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460-350 B.C.) when he wrote, “By similar things a disease is produced and by application of the like is cured.” In other words, substances that cause an illness in a well person can alleviate similar symptoms in a person who is experiencing them naturally.
Examples of this principle include:
- The remedy made from onion, (under the plant name Allium cepa), is used to treat conditions of a cold or seasonal allergy where the symptoms are runny eyes and nose.
- Homeopathically prepared Rhus Toxicodenedron is often used to treat join pains and skin conditions that have symptoms much like what we would associate with its common plant name, poison ivy.
To this day, homeopaths follow this principle when prescribing medicine for their clients. Remedies are prescribed based on each person’s unique health picture in order to stimulate the body’s own self-healing abilities.
In order for a remedy to be added to the homeopathic materia medica (or “materials of medicine”), it has to undergo a ‘proving’ to ascertain their healing properties. Homeopathic provings are conducted voluntarily, most often by homeopathic researchers and students, following a set of standards and procedures.