“The Law of Similars: That which can make you ill can also cure you.”
– Dr. Samuel Hahnemann
When I was 21 or so I met a famous fashion photographer named Edgar de Evia. He was sophisticated, worldly, creative and simply fabulous. I’d never met anyone remotely like him. His grandfather had been President of the Yucatan when it was a separate country from Mexico, and he’d spent his youth in Paris and London studying extraordinary things: Orgone Energy, Metaphysics, Theosophy, Homeopathy, and how to cook chicken 863 ways – or so it seemed to me, who frequently dined at his home and never had anything there but chicken, and never was it cooked the same way twice! He offered to teach me any of this I cared to know about, so I drank in a great deal of knowledge, neither Weehawken, New Jersey, nor higher education had provided.
Edgar told me that Homeopathy, which he had studied and practiced for many years, under the tutelage of a famous European Homeopath, began with the story of its founder Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. Here’s a little of what he told me…
The Birth of Homeopathy
Hahnemann was a professor of Medicine at the University of Heidelberg, in the late 1700’s. He was considered the leading medical authority on infectious disease and was the professor every brilliant student sought out. He was also an eclectic genius who spoke 17 languages.
When his beloved 7 year old daughter died of Measles, Hahnemann vowed never again to practice medicine until he’d found a better way to heal than what was currently practiced. He supported himself while researching for this better way, by translating medical texts into German from many languages. As he was translating a text on malaria, he had an extraordinary insight: that ingestion by a healthy person of any substance, would cause specific symptoms, and that a disease with similar symptoms might be cured by a minute dose of the same substance. He called his breakthrough idea The Law of Similars, and it’s roughly analogous to the principal we now know as inoculation.
Hahnemann began “proving” his theory, using volunteer students and doctor friends as test cases. Over a period of years, he found he could provoke the same results, by using smaller and smaller doses of a substance, so the side effects could be minimized or eradicated.
Because the dosages of homeopathic remedies are so minute (10,000 to 100,000 or more parts diluted) modern pharmacology considers these remedies inert. Yet the British Royal family and hosts of famous people worldwide, who can afford any type of medical attention they might choose, turn first to their homeopaths. A French study done twenty years ago suggested that the Homeopathic remedies, when diluted in water change the molecular structure of the water itself. I believe these molecular changes are energy sources that operate on the subtle energy fields of the body/mind. Whatever the explanation, the results of homeopathy are remarkable. I’ve been using what I learned from dear Edgar for 40 years, now, with great success.
A Truly Natural Healing System
Homeopathy owes much of its appeal to the fact that it is foremost a “natural” method of dealing with illness. And by “natural” I do not mean what is the generally accepted definition of, say, herbal medicine as “natural.” I mean something entirely different. Homeopathy gives the tiniest possible doses of medicine – so tiny that they become impossible to detect by usual techniques. Therefore, these medicines, (which homeopaths call remedies rather than medicines), don’t cause unpleasant, even injurious, side effects. They simply prod the body in one important direction: towards recovery, towards curing itself.
After the miniscule, but specific, push by the remedy, the body is stimulated to unfold, develop and mobilize its own curative forces against the ailment, forces which the ailment alone had not adequately aroused. This is why I think of Homeopathy as a natural healing art – no gross chemistry is introduced into the body to neutralize or oust the so-called disease. Instead, a gentle force is applied which allows the body, through its own nature-given resources, to overcome every vestige of the ailment. I believe nature has provided every living organism with the means for resisting, and in many cases, overcoming, illness, and any system of healing utilizing those means is “natural” in the most basic and honest sense.
Two Wonderfully Useful Remedies
While you can’t learn Homeopathy without a teacher, I’d love to whet your appetite for learning more. A good place to start your investigations might be with Arnica Montana for bruises, sprains, bone breaks and injuries, and Calendula for cuts, surgeries, wounds of any kind. They’re available now in many healthfood stores, and in several forms.
I highly recommend the books and website of Dana Ullman. His books, tapes, website and articles offer a superb layman’s guide, both to using homeopathy, and to understanding its remarkable potential. His website is www.homeopathic.com.
© Cathy Cash Spellman/The Wild Harp & Co. Inc 2011