ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Homeopathy Works

Updated on March 6, 2010
Homeopathic medicine
Homeopathic medicine

To some, homeopathic medicine is a lifesaver, to others, quackery. Personally, I am not sure how efficacious this approach to health actually is, but I am quite certain that in theory, it could work. This hub is an attempt to show the reasoning behind the apparent logical fallacies of this practice and clear up some common misunderstandings.

But first, a little history.

Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy
Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy

The theory of homeopathic medicine was discovered by a physician named Samuel Hahnemann. This doctor felt that he could not practice, due to the harm caused by the medical practice of his day, because of the Hippocratic oath he had taken. He worked instead as a translator of medical volumes. While translating a German book on medicine, he came across a cure for malaria, which he found dubious. He ingested some of the remedy, Peruvian bark, which contains quinine, and found that he began to come down with the symptoms of malaria. Thus was born his theory, the Law of Similars. The substance which causes certain symptoms in a healthy person, can also cause the healing of a sick person exhibiting those same symptoms. From this he proceeded to experiment with other substances, noting their every effect, both physical and emotional, in great detail. These were called "provings". Hahnemann desired that his medicine be entirely safe and without the dangerous side effects caused by most drugs, so he experimented with greatly diluted doses. These were prepared, not by simply shaking the solution to mix it, but by striking it many times against a solid object, a practice called succussion. In this way, it is theorized that the electromagnetic imprint of the original substance is retained in the water molecules of the dilution, even if no chemical trace can be found. The end result of these serial dilutions was a solution with higher potency and no side effects.

Homeopathic substance
Homeopathic substance

Before dismissing the apparent logical fallacies in this theory, let's first reexamine the way we have been conditioned to view medicine.

When symptoms of illness begin to appear, our first impulse is to take something to suppress those symptoms. Thus the remedy superimposes itself upon the body's own systems. In order to do this effectively, it must overcome the body's instinctive action. If the body resists, a stronger dose is needed. Whether we take an anti-inflammatory for a headache or an anti-histamine for a runny nose, we are working against what our bodies are trying to do to heal themselves.

But what if a remedy could be found that works alongside our bodies? Instead of hampering it's own ability to heal itself, it merely aided that healing through a gentle form of communication relative to the area needing attention? This is precisely why a diluted substance could prove more effective than a stronger one with negative side effects.

What about the Law of Similars? How could a substance that, in it's undiluted state, cause symptoms in a healthy person, and yet in it's diluted state, assist the healing of those same symptoms in a sick person? Suppose you had a piece of dust stuck in your nostril. Your body will immediately try to expel it through sneezing. The modern, medical approach would prescribe an antihistamine to try and stop the sneezing. But it doesn't address the real problem. What the homeopathic approach would suggest is to take the stereotypical feather and give the nose a little tickle, not a painful jab, but a little tickle just at the right spot, letting the body know precisely where to secrete a bit of extra liquid to dislodge the offending speck. Homeopathic medicine works the same way. It gently provokes the body to react in the proper way to bring about it's own healing.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)