Every second of the day, our body intelligently performs millions of functions that keep us alive and make us who we are. It makes bone marrow, digests food, grows hair, creates neurotransmitters, manages hormones and keeps our eyes moist by blinking, all without our conscious control. These and many, many more biochemical functions create our physical, mental and emotional state.

But what makes these functions happen?

Traditional Chinese physicians call it chi and Ayurvedic physicians call it prana. It is also called the Vital Force. Its strength or lack thereof cannot be measured directly. Instead, the health of the Vital Force is determined by observing how it affects the body, mind and emotions.

A System of Medicine That Works With the Vital Force

Homeopathic medicine acknowledges the existence of the Vital Force that drives and orchestrates the biochemical functions that take place in our bodies. It recognizes that to completely resolve physical, mental and emotional symptoms, healing must take place at the foundation – the level of the Vital Force.

Homeopathic physicians understand that a person’s physical, mental and emotional symptoms help describe the type of disturbance in the Vital Force as well as provide clues for how to restore it. They use homeopathic remedies that match the person’s symptoms to encourage the Vital Force to come back into balance. And by bringing the Vital Force back into balance, physical, emotional and mental symptoms are resolved.

Safe Baby Healthy Chld blog post Conventional vs Homeopathic Medicine upclose of girl smiling

Conventional Medicine

On the other hand, allopathic, or conventional medicine, doesn’t recognize what is intelligently powering the body’s biochemical functions. It looks at symptoms as the actual illness, not as signs of a deeper disturbance. Pharmaceutical drugs are used which work biochemically to override the body’s immune protecting functions.

From the homeopathic view, addressing illness at the biochemical level can never restore a person to a complete state of health because the disturbance at the level of the Vital Force that is causing the illness is never considered.

For example, when a child gets a fever during a cold or the flu, conventional medicine considers the fever to be the problem, not a sign that there is a problem. The allopathic approach would be to reduce the fever and eliminate it as quickly as possible. If the fever goes away, the problem is thought to be solved.

However, the understanding of homeopaths is that the fever is never the problem but is actually the way the body activates the immune system to launch into action and kills off the virus or bacteria that is causing the illness. The problem with reducing a fever with drugs is that this can stop the body from getting rid of what is causing the fever in the first place and send the illness deeper into the body.  (Fevers can be dangerous, but not for the reasons we think. To learn more about fevers, this comprehensive article provides eye-opening information that every parent should know, “Do You Have Fever Phobia? This Article Can Help”.)

How Homeopathic Medicine Was Developed

Homeopathy was developed by Samuel Hahnemann, a 17th century physician who lived in Germany.

In 1790, Hahnemann came across the work of a Scottish physician who claimed that Peruvian Cinchona bark healed malaria because of its tonic effect on the stomach. Hahnemann was doubtful because there were many stomach tonics that claimed to treat malaria but none were very effective.

He decided to experiment on himself and took small amounts of the bark for several days. Soon he developed a full-blown case of malaria, with its distinctly characteristic fever alternating with chills and delirium.

I took by way of experiment, twice a day, four drams of good China (Cinchona). My feet, finger ends, etc., at first became cold; I grew languid and drowsy, then my heart began to palpitate, and my pulse grew hard and small; intolerable anxiety, trembling, prostration, throughout all my limbs; then pulsation in the head, redness of my cheeks, thirst, and in short, all these symptoms which are ordinarily characteristic of intermittent fever, made their appearance, one after the other, yet without the peculiar chilly, shivering rigor, briefly, even those symptoms which are of regular occurrence and especially characteristic – as the dullness of mind, the kind of rigidity in all the limbs, but above all the numb, disagreeable sensation, which seems to have its seed in the periosteum, over every bone in the body – all these made their appearance. This paroxysm lasted two or three hours each time, and recurred if I repeated this dose, not otherwise; I discontinued it, and was in good health.

Cullen, W.: ‘Abhandlung uber die Materia Medica. Ubersetzt und mit Anmerkungen versehen von Samuel Hahnemann.’ 2 Bande. Im Schwickertschen Verlag. Leipzig 1790.

Note: Hahnemann had not been bitten by a parasite-carrying mosquito and no one in his time even knew that you had to be bitten by a malaria-carrying mosquito to develop malaria.

Like Heals Like

In developing the symptoms of malaria by taking small amounts of a substance that claimed to cure it, Hahnemann discovered the mechanism for how Cinchona bark healed malaria – the natural law of like heals like. Homeopathy is based on this natural law.

Like heals like describes the natural law whereby a substance that creates a set of symptoms in a healthy person, will eliminate the same set of symptoms in a person ill with those symptoms.

The First Proving Leads to the First Homeopathic Remedy

In homeopathy, a proving is how homeopathic physicians go about determining the healing properties of a natural substance. It is a process whereby healthy volunteers take dilute doses of a natural substance and record the entirety of what they experience over a period of time. Subjects log very detailed notes on any physical as well as emotional and mental changes, e.g. moods (feeling irritable), changes in preferences (need for fresh air), thought patterns, dreams, fears, etc.

The goal is to discover the constellation of symptoms that the natural substance brings about in all of the subjects – the substance’s signature symptom profile. Once this is determined, the natural substance is made into a homeopathic remedy and can be used to strengthen the Vital Force of those who exhibit this signature symptom profile, i.e. it can be used to eliminate these symptoms.

A proving is what Hahnemann inadvertently conducted on himself when he took small doses of Cinchona bark. And this is how Cinchona bark, which is now known as China Officinalis, became the first homeopathic remedy. In fact, China not only eliminates the symptoms of malaria by rebalancing the Vital Force of a person with malaria, it is also very effective for weakness brought on by loss of bodily fluids.

Once Hahnemann discovered the power of the proving process, he began to “prove” other substances. Since then many other homeopathic physicians have conducted provings. The results of thousands of provings have led to the discovery of over 5000 remedies that have been compiled into a book called the Materia Medica.

Learn Homeopathy with Dr. Kathi Fry

Dr. Kathi Fry is a medical doctor and master homeopath that has been using homeopathy in her medical practice for 30 years.

In this video, listen to how she explains the difference between drugs and homeopathic remedies.

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