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Start > Doctors > Resource centre > Articles > Homeopathy What is it? Part 1

The word Homeopathy is derived from two Greek words meaning similar suffering and refers to a method of medical treatment based on a fundamental law which has been proved by experiment time and time again.

What is this law? It can be summed up in the expression "Similia similibus curentur"-"Likes may be cured by likes". If a substance such as arsenic be given in a large dose to a healthy person, it will produce certain symptoms such as bad stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea. This medicine can then be given to treat sick people who have such symptoms, such as those suffering from food poisoning. It is well known that X-rays and radium have produced cancer, and yet they are used more or less effectively in the treatment of this disease. This similarity of symptoms, not the smallness of the dose, as is popularly thought, is the basis of Homeopathy. It is true that most often the homeopathic physician does use infinitely small doses because, generally speaking, these work more effectively: but quite largish doses may be used homeopathically.

The minute dose prescribed by the homeopathic physician, is not merely a dilution, or thinning out, of the strong drug: it is what is called a potency, that is something possessing power. The special method by which these doses are prepared liberates a therapeutic power, latent but not available in the crude substance. Thus, if a person is given a quantity of plain mercury or quicksilver, it will merely pass through the stomach and bowel and be voided without having any effect. But if the mercury has previously been very finely divided by grinding strongly and for a long time with some chalk, thus producing what is known as grey powder it will then act as an aperient when taken.

Teacher: Michael
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.

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