History and Founder of Homeopathy

Western medicine, which is today’s health system, has brought people to a certain point, but with the increasing level of awareness in recent years, the fact that western medicine suppresses symptoms rather than treating them in most cases and that these suppressed symptoms turn into different diseases and problems is accepted. When this is the case, people seek different options for their health and the first area they turn to is complementary or alternative medicine treatments.

Homeopathy, which is one of the alternative and complementary medicine treatments and whose foundations were laid at the end of the 1700s, is today a medical treatment method that approaches human health holistically and offers a real treatment method by eliminating the root cause of the problem and is approved by the World Health Organization…

In this article, we will try to explain the historical development and history of Homeopathy, which offers a definitive treatment…

History of Homeopathy

Homeopathy, which is a younger alternative or complementary medicine treatment compared to Chinese and Indian medical treatments, is the longest existing complementary and alternative medicine method in Europe. Homeopathy is a medical method invented by Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), born in 1755. Samuel Hahnemann, who grew up in Meissen, Germany, was a doctor who received his medical degree in Erlangen in 1779. However, he did not prefer to treat people with bloodletting, enemas and toxic chemicals, which were the treatment methods of the time, and he was working as a chemist, pharmacist, medical historian and linguist.

While continuing his work as a chemist, Samuel Hahnemann was also working on the translation of medical books. During one of his studies, he realized that “after quinine poisoning, healthy people developed symptoms similar to malaria, and at the same time, quinine was a drug that treated people suffering from malaria” and discovered the essence of homeopathy. In summary, when a substance is administered to healthy people, whichever disease has similar symptoms, people with that disease can be treated with that substance… This is how the rule of homeopathy, “like cures like”, was born.

Samuel Hahnemann’s principle of “like cures like” was based on his study of the henna plant, which was used to treat malaria in South America, and he decided to try it on himself. During this experiment, he ate the henna plant and saw how it produced malaria symptoms on himself, and after this experiment, he repeated his studies by trying many different substances. Hahnemann called these experiments he conducted to determine the properties of homeopathic medicines (remedies) “proving experiments” and in these experiments, he gave increasing doses of homeopathic remedies to healthy male and female individuals and recorded the emotional, physical and mental effects of the individuals and determined the theory of “like cures like” as the basis of homeopathy.

The principle of “like cures like”, which is the basis of homeopathy, can be traced back to earlier times. In the 5th century BC, it was observed that Hippocrates treated like with like, but as time passed, this rule was abandoned. More recently, in the 15th century, Paracelcus developed and brought to light Hippocrates’ theory that like cures like. But again, over the years, it lost its effect and was forgotten.

Samuel Hahnemann adopted the approach of both Hippocrates and Paracelcus and wrote his first book in 1796, calling it Homeopathy, by putting it into a scientific framework with the proving experiments he had done. In the homeopathy book he wrote, he put forward the 4 basic principles he obtained as a result of his studies as follows;

”Like cures like”

Always use the smallest possible dose.

One type of remedy should be used at a time.

Only homeopathic remedies should be used in treatment.

Samuel Hahnemann continued and deepened his studies and published the principles of homeopathy in a book called the Organon of Medicine in 1810. Two years after the publication of the Organon, he started teaching homeopathy at the University of Leipzig.

While Samuel Hahnemann passed away in 1843, the homeopathy he invented was quickly adopted by many doctors after his death, and with the opening of the first homeopathic hospital in London in 1849, homeopathy began to be recognized by the masses.

Homeopathy, which was born and developed in Europe, continued to develop with the establishment of the first homeopathic medical school in America in the late 1800s, and by the early 1900s there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, 100 homeopathic hospitals and more than 1000 pharmacies selling homeopathic remedies in America.

Today, homeopathy is covered by health insurance in countries such as the UK, France, the Netherlands and Germany, while more than 18,000 doctors in France treat with homeopathy and more than 23,000 pharmacies sell homeopathic remedies.

As a matter of fact, it is known that the last 3 generations of the British royal family have maintained their health with homeopathic treatment and you can read in the following news that the Queen trusted homeopathy again during the covid pandemic.

Again homeopathy, 25% of doctors in Germany use homeopathy in their treatments and there are more than 70,000 certified homeopaths in India.

Today, homeopathy is used as a treatment method in Germany, Austria, France, England, Turkey, Scotland, Sweden, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, India, Romania, Russia, Israel, Israel, Ukraine, the Republic of South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Pakistan and Mexico, and the therapeutic properties of homeopathy are recognized by medical doctors.

Founder of Homeopathy

Up to this point we have presented a general history of Homeopathy, after these lines we will present more comprehensive information about Homeopathy and Samuel Hahnemann.

Samuel Hahnemann

The history of homeopathy begins with its founder Samuel Hahnemann. He was born in Meissen, Germany in 1755, the second child of a famous porcelain painter. A thin, delicate and highly intelligent child, Samuel Hahnemann did not enjoy good health as a child. He showed an early interest in botany as well as language studies. His upper middle-class family life was shattered by the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), which caused the collapse of the famous porcelain trade in Meissen and forced young Samuel to interrupt his early education and take menial jobs to support his family. His early teachers recognized his great intellectual capacity and provided him with an education despite his family’s inability to pay for it. After begging his father Frederick, he entered the Prince’s School in 1771.

He excelled in his studies and later entered the University of Leipzig in 1775 to study medicine. He maintained a meager existence at the university, teaching German and English and translating Greek and English texts into German. He was a loner and preferred to learn his knowledge from medical texts rather than attending lectures. Frustrated by the lack of intellectual stimulation and practical clinical experience in Leipzig, Hahnemann traveled to Vienna in 1776. The capital of the Hapsburg Empire, Vienna was a center of art, music and learning, and during this time Mozart gave several public recitals. Here Hahnemann studied under Dr. Quarin, senior physician at the Brothers of Mercy Hospital in Leopoldstadt, a suburb of Vienna. Dr. Quarin was the personal physician to Empress Maria Theresa, ruler of the Hapsburg Empire, and the young Hahnemann was allowed to accompany the senior doctor in caring for his rich and famous patients. Hahnemann then met the wealthy Baron Samuel von Brukenthal, who gave Hahnemann a two-year appointment as his librarian. During this time he enriched his studies in chemistry and botany and furthered his already extensive knowledge of literature and foreign languages. He left to complete his medical studies at the University of Erlangen in Bavaria. In 1779, at the age of twenty-four, Hahnemann received the degree of Doctor of Medicine. During this time he enriched his studies in chemistry and botany and furthered his already extensive knowledge of literature and foreign languages.

Hahnemann established his first business in the mining town of Hettstedt in 1780. He worked there for nine months until he moved to the town of Dessau. It was during this period that the seeds of his philosophical rebellion were sown. For Hahnemann, the existing therapies of bloodletting, purging, vomiting and the administration of epic doses of harsh drugs were barbaric and inhumane. He was more interested in studying the emerging science of chemistry and writing articles for medical journals. In 1782, while in Dessau, he married Johanna Henrietta Leopoldine Kuchler, the pharmacist’s stepdaughter. Between 1782 and 1805 Hahnemann moved his family at least twenty times, sometimes spending only months in one town before moving to the next. This was a highly unusual and dangerous undertaking, given the risk to his family posed by thieves who preyed on travelers in those days. His wife bore him nine children and he barely fed them by practicing medicine intermittently, translating medical texts and running the asylum for a year. During this time he also wrote some original articles on chemistry, the distillation of liquor, diet, hygiene, child health and critiques of existing forms of therapy. He maintained a small medical practice and for a time served as Health Officer of the city of Dresden, where he supervised doctors, midwives and surgeons.

Hahnemann Designs the Homeopathic Method

Hahnemann decided to experiment on himself with Cinchona or Peruvian bark (from which quinine is derived), one of the medicines mentioned in his 1789 translation of Dr. William Cullen’s “A Treatise of Materia Medica”. He realized that when a healthy person took doses of this drug, it produced many of the symptoms it was intended to cure in a sick person. Footnotes to his translation show that this was the beginning of his articulation of what would become one of the largest and most controversial healing methods ever known.

The official birth date of homeopathy is 1796, as Hahnemann published an article in the Journal of Practical Medicine in which he described three methods of healing;

Preventive treatment – the elimination of the causes of disease,

Palliative treatment with the principle of contraria contraris, healing by opposites, and

The preferred method – similia similibus – is the treatment of likes with likes, i.e. prescribing drugs that cause similar symptoms in healthy individuals.


Hahnemann coined the term homeopathy from the Greek words homois, meaning similar, and pathos, meaning disease. The word homeopathic first appeared in print in an article he published in 1807. One of Hahnemann’s longest stays in a city was when he moved to Torgau, where he lived for seven years between 1804 and 1811. It was during this period that Hahnemann finished his first edition. The Organon of Rational Medicine, published in 1810, is Hahnemann’s most important work. It is a complete description of the new healing method and forms the basis of homeopathy to this day.


The principle of similia similibus, first set out in his 1796 essay, was extended to similia similibus curentur, now the fundamental principle of homeopathy. His major work was not well received, the reception was lukewarm at best, and some of his physician colleagues saw Hahnemann as a charlatan. By 1811, the Napoleonic war had reached Torgau and the town was heavily fortified with large numbers of French soldiers camped outside the town.

In 1811, Hahnemann moved his family to Leipzig. This was the fourth time Hahnemann lived in Leipzig. In his youth he worked to support his family, first as a grocer’s assistant, then as a poor university student, and then as a doctor, fighting briefly in 1789.


Despite the indifferent acceptance of the Organon, he tried to teach homeopathy through the newly established Institute for Postgraduate Study of Homeopathy. Not a single person responded to his advertisement. A year later, in 1812, he began teaching homeopathy at the University of Leipzig, but only after defending an 86-page thesis to the medical faculty there.


1812 saw the bloodshed and devastation of the Napoleonic war come to Leipzig. As Napoleon was driven out of Germany, the conflict entered Leipzig and its surroundings bringing refugees, starvation and no fewer than 80,000 dead and more than 80,000 wounded. Hahnemann and other doctors were pressed into service as they tried to help the many suffering not only from the war but also from a typhus epidemic. Armed with twenty-six homeopathic remedies he had proven in Torgau, Hahnemann achieved remarkable results in treating typhus. He would later report in an article published in 1814 that of the 180 typhus patients he treated, only 2 died.


With the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, Germany and therefore Europe returned to an era of prosperity and Hahnemann and his family flourished. He had a lucrative full-time practice and taught at the university. He was surrounded by a small group of zealous students whom he often hosted at his home. Around this time, he formed a Prover’s Union, a group of followers who systematically took small doses of medicines over long periods of time and recorded their reactions in minute detail. In this way, the materia medica of a remedy – the symptoms that a substance would cause and therefore cure – was recorded.


Between 1811 and 1821, Hahnemann published Materia Medica Pura in six parts, mostly based on these experiments. The years 1812-1818 saw relative peace for Hahnemann in Leipzig. In 1819, however, a group of jealous Leipzig doctors and angry Leipzig pharmacists went to court to prevent Hahnemann from dispensing his own medicines. Despite Hahnemann’s growing reputation and his successful treatment of nobles and famous people such as Johann Goethe, Hahnemann lost the case. Although he later won the Dresden Court of Appeal, Hahnemann closed his practice, resigned his position at the university and left Leipzig for the city of Kothen in 1821.


Shortly after his arrival in Kothen, through his political and social connections, Hahnemann obtained permission from Duke Ferdinand for a full homeopathic practice. There he bought a large, comfortable house and settled into a 14-year period of relative calm. Hahnemann decided to keep a low profile and resisted the temptation to engage the medical establishment with his savage attacks in the press. In 1822, Hahnemann was named the Duke’s official Court Physician. With the help of his wife and daughters, Hahnemann maintained a full practice six days a week. He also spent hours in response to the increase in the number of doctors and patients who had recently converted to homeopathy.

During these years, he continued to work on his last and greatest work, Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Homeopathic Remedies. First published in Dresden in 1828, it eventually grew to five volumes in 1839, totaling more than 1600 pages. This work revealed another profound insight that not only could patients be cured from acute conditions, but that over the years patterns of acute conditions allowed for the classification of chronic tendencies towards disease types. These chronic tendencies, which Hahnemann called miasms, are the patient’s inherited predisposition to certain types of disease. By knowing the miasmatic type, a homeopathic doctor can now perform preventive treatment and this tendency can be alleviated, thus improving the health of the next generation. Hahnemann had intuited the basis for the treatment of genetic disorders.

In 1829, Hahnemann celebrated the 50th anniversary of the awarding of his medical diploma, a gala celebration attended by over four hundred doctors from Europe. The relative calm Hahnemann had known at Kothen would be shattered by the death of his beloved wife in 1830. Now 75 years old, grieving and more isolated and alone than ever at Kothen, Hahnemann was seized by a nervous fever.


In 1831, the Asian cholera epidemic that had started in India had now spread to Europe. Having received a detailed description of the symptoms from his great-nephew working in St. Petersburg, Hahnemann was able to predict which drugs would be useful in its treatment. The Hahneman protocol for treating cholera, which included cleaning, ventilation and disinfection, resulted in a drastic reduction in mortality. Records at the time show that the mortality rate under homeopathic treatment was between 2 and 20 percent, while conventional treatment carried a mortality rate of over 50 percent.

Hahnemann’s articles on the treatment of cholera were harshly criticized by the establishment and banned in Kothen by Hahnemann’s sponsor, Duke Heinrich, successor to his brother, the late Duke Ferdinand. In 1832, Hahnemann’s practice of homeopathy was banned again. That same year, Hahnemann’s daughter Frederika was found brutally murdered in the garden of her home in Stotteritz.


January 22, 1833 saw what must have been the greatest achievement in Hahnemann’s medical career;the opening of the first homeopathic hospital in Leipzig. However, throughout its short ten-year history, the hospital struggled financially or was run by a series of administrators who were either half-hearted homeopaths who mixed allopathic and homeopathic methods, or outright frauds whose sole purpose was to see the venture fail.Hahnemann himself tried to run the hospital, but it was finally closed in October 1842, despite doing more than almost eighty men from a city far removed from Leipzig could do.


The final chapter of Hahnemann’s long and full life began with the appearance of Mademoiselle Marie Melanie d’Hervilly of Paris in Kothen in 1834. She visited the now famous Hahnemann for treatment of depression. She stayed at Kothen for several months, during which time her relationship with the old doctor grew. Together and without warning, they announced their plans to marry on January 18, 1835. Hahnemann’s daughters, closest friends and colleagues were shocked. Melanie was about thirty years old, often dressed in men’s clothes, and was an outspoken advocate for the right of women to enter any professional field. She enjoyed social life, traveled in circles of power and influence, and had an affinity for older men.


On June 7, 1835, the eighty-year-old Hahnemann and his new wife began a fourteen-day bus journey to Paris. He would never return to Germany again. Having previously agreed to retire from the medical profession and make a will leaving his entire remaining estate to his surviving daughters, Hahnemann replaced his will with Melanie and opened a practice shortly after his arrival in Paris. Melanie apparently made prior arrangements not only for a place to stay but also for Hahnemann’s license to practice in Paris.

By the late 1830s, Hahnemann had become the most famous doctor in Europe. In the mornings, long lines of carriages, many bearing the royal coat of arms, would line up outside Hahnemann’s palatial home in Paris, often waiting up to three hours for his visits. Melanie would assist Hahnemann in taking the anamnesis, a process that could take up to an hour and a half. Most of the paying patients would be seen at four in the afternoon, after which, under Hahnemann’s supervision, Melanie would herself treat the hundred or so poor patients who by now had gathered outside the gates. Poor patients were treated free of charge, and Hahnemann charged his paying patients only when a cure was provided.

Every Monday evening between 20:00 and 22:30, local and visiting homeopathic doctors gathered at Hahnemann’s house to discuss homeopathic matters. Other evenings were reserved for trips to the opera, theater, or one of the many social functions of Parisian society. In correspondence with friends and colleagues, Hahnemann described his life in Paris as one of the happiest times of his life. He benefited from the rich and complete professional and social life of cosmopolitan Paris. He was elected Honorary President for Life of the Gallic Homeopathic Association and even his hometown of Meissen, Germany gave him the “Freedom of the City”, declaring him an honorary citizen of Meissen.


A few days after celebrating his eighty-eighth birthday, Hahnemann developed a case of bronchitis. Sensing that the end might be near, Hahnemann asked Melanie to inscribe the inscription on his grave as follows: Non inutilis vixi (I did not live in vain). Samuel Hahnemann died peacefully in his bed on the morning of July 2, 1843. Strangely, Melanie had denied one of Hahnemann’s daughters and her eldest son access to Hahnemann a few days before his death. The way Melanie handled the funeral arrangements was still unfamiliar. She asked for and received permission to keep Hahnemann’s body for up to 14 days after his death; she did not publicize his death or the funeral arrangements; she did not send invitations to the funeral. Samuel Hahnemann was buried in a public grave on July 11, 1843.


However, long before Hahnemann’s death, homeopathy had already begun to spread to two very influential countries – England and the United States. Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV of England and niece of Duke Ernst of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, is credited with bringing homeopathy to England. It was Duke Ernst who brought Hahnemann to Georgenthal in 1792 as the doctor in charge of the asylum there. In 1835, Queen Adelaide invited Dr. Johann Ernst Stapf, one of Hahnemann’s most trusted students, to Windsor Castle for treatment. When Queen Adelaide’s nephew, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, came to England in 1840 to marry Queen Victoria, the Crown renewed its patronage of homeopathy. The first British doctor to bring homeopathy to England was probably Dr. Frederick Harvey Foster Quin. He met Hahnemann at Kothen and studied with him in Paris in 1826 and the 1830s. Dr. Quin traveled extensively in Europe and for a time had a homeopathic practice in Naples. He was then appointed physician to Queen Victoria’s favorite uncle Leopold. In 1832 he set up a practice in London and treated the likes of Dickens, Lanseer and Thackeray. Quin founded the British Homeopathic Association in 1844 and founded the London Homeopathic Hospital in 1849.


Homeopathy came to America through Dr. Hans Burch Gram. Dr. Gram was a student of Hahnemann’s Danish disciple Dr. Lund. Gram opened the first homeopathic clinic in America in New York in 1825.

Gram later taught Dr. John Gray, who was known for teaching doctors directly or indirectly in Indiana, Illinois, Canada, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

In 1833, Dr. Constantine Hering arrived from Germany. As a student he was asked to write a thesis refuting homeopathy, and in the process it was transformed into his practice. He went to Suriname as a botanist, but later began a homeopathic practice among the indigenous population. By the time he arrived in the United States in 1833, he had experimented with snake venoms and would become the charismatic leader of the fledgling movement. In 1835, Hering founded the first homeopathic medical school in the United States, the North American Academy of Homeopathic Healing Art (known as the Allentown Academy), which produced the first wave of American-trained homeopathic doctors.

Another branch of American homeopathy began in the 1820s when large numbers of German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania. Dr. Stapf sent some homeopathic books and remedies to Dr. William Wesselhaft in Pennsylvania. Together with another German doctor, Dr. Henry Detwiller, Wesselhaft founded the first homeopathic study group in the 1820s.


In 1844, the American Institute of Homeopathy was founded by homeopathic doctors from New York, Philadelphia and Boston. The first national medical organization in the United States was established to promote the standardization of the practice and teaching of homeopathy. Partly in response to the AIH, regular doctors founded the American Medical Association in 1847. The AMA bylaws contained specific language against movements such as homeopathy, and its members were prohibited from consulting homeopathic doctors. The Allentown Academy was dissolved in 1841 and replaced by the Pennsylvania College of Homeopathic Medicine in 1848, with Hering as one of its founders. By this time there are 12 homeopathic medical colleges in the United States.


Dr. I. Tilsdale Talbot founded the Massachusetts New England Female Medical College in 1848. This homeopathic institution later merged with Boston University, which continued to teach homeopathic medicine well into the twentieth century.


1860 saw the first Republican administration in Washington DC and the first homeopathic nomination. Dr. Tullio Verdi, an 1856 graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Homeopathic Medicine, was appointed to the Bureau of Health. He was the personal physician to William Seward, Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State.

Seward was wounded during the assassination of President Lincoln, and when the White House physician interviewed Dr. Verdi about Seward, the Washington medical establishment censored the White House doctor.

In 1867, Hering withdrew from the Pennsylvania Homeopathic Medical College because he argued that the teaching of pathology should be included in the curriculum. That year, he founded the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia, which later merged with the Pennsylvania Homeopathic Medical College. In 1959, Hahnemann Medical College canceled a remaining elective course in homeopathy.


The industrial revolution in the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century brought mechanization to the production of homeopathic medicines. Several homeopathic pharmacies were established that could now rely on the new technology to produce the infinitesimal dilutions previously produced by hand. Many homeopathic kits were sold by pharmacies and constituted the only medical care available to pioneers participating in the westward expansion of the United States. In 1876, the American Institute of Homeopathy held its first international congress. Attended by hundreds of doctors from around the world, the conference provided a platform for discussion of controversial issues in homeopathy, such as the importance of pathology and physical diagnosis, and the use of low to high potency remedies. In response to growing internal strife, a group of homeopathic purists founded the International Hahnemann Society in 1880. This period in American homeopathy was its golden age. There were literally thousands of homeopathic books and journals.

English translations of Hahnemann’s writings were now available. There were at least 22 homeopathic medical schools and countless homeopathic hospitals and clinics in the United States. Estimates are that there were about 15,000 homeopathic physicians in the US at the turn of the century, of whom 2500 were members of the AIH and another 150 pure physicians were members of the IHA. In 1880 a group of homeopathic purists founded the International Hahnemann Association.

With the death of Constantine Hering in 1880, American homeopathy lacked strong leadership. Into this power vacuum stepped Dr. James Tyler Kent. Kent graduated from an eclectic medical school in Cincinnati. He became a homeopath after his first wife was treated by a homeopath. By 1844 his star had risen and Kent was a prominent teacher at several homeopathic colleges. He influenced several students from England who would become famous in their own right, and in 1900, with the help of his students, he published the first edition of the Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica, a classic still used today. A repertory is a compendium of mental, psychological and physical symptoms categorized by body part or system. Each of the entries or rubrics contains an alphabetical list of remedies known to cause or cure that symptom. The remedies are also organized by intensity, i.e. how strongly they are associated with each symptom. Kent’s repertoire was neither the first nor the last repertoire written, but it is extremely useful and complete. Kent also published Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica, Small Writings and Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. The enduring nature of his work for American homeopaths was perhaps due to the fact that he was American, naive, and like Hahnemann, encouraged his students to consider the whole person when treating their patients.


Women played an important role in the history of American homeopathy. By 1900, it is estimated that 12% of homeopathic doctors were women. The Cleveland Homeopathic College was one of the first co-ed medical institutions in the country. Women auxiliaries raised large sums of money to open many of the homeopathic hospitals, and it was women in the role of family caregivers who introduced homeopathy to many communities. Some members of the women’s suffrage movement were either homeopathic doctors or their patients. Dr. Susan Edson, a graduate of the Cleveland College of Homeopathy, was President Garfield’s personal physician.


Homeopathy was already changing by this time. This was partly due to the civil war among homeopaths themselves. Many considered only pathology and physical diagnosis as important and would only use the lowest potencies. Others would only use the highest dilutions and considered mental and general symptoms to be the most important. The changes also resulted from steps taken in what is now known as “scientific medicine”. The sciences of cellular and molecular biology and physiology began to replace the primitive knowledge of Hahnemann’s time. Conventional medicines, while still suppressive from a homeopathic point of view, became more effective in relieving or modulating symptoms.

In 1910, the Flexner Report, a government investigation into the quality of American medical education, resulted in the closure of many schools, some of them homeopathic. The testing and licensing of doctors, a job that had previously fallen to each state medical society, was taken over by state governments by the late 1890s. Gradually the traditional or allopathic model became the model of mainstream American medicine and society. By the time of Kent’s death in 1916, the curricula in many American homeopathic colleges were already becoming decidedly allopathic. The discretion to replace homeopathic philosophy and method with homeopathic remedies prescribed in an allopathic manner disappeared. The choice of remedy was no longer based on intimate knowledge of the patient, but only on physical diagnosis. By the 1930s all homeopathic medical schools had dropped the word “homeopathic” from their names, as had all homeopathic hospitals. While homeopathic therapeutics were still used by the few remaining homeopathic doctors in some hospitals, by the 1950s almost all homeopathic inpatient care had ceased.


Homeopathy was rapidly disappearing from the American scene, but two events kept it alive, at least in terms of government regulation. Royal Copeland, MD, a graduate of a homeopathic college in 1889, became dean of the New York College of Homeopathic Medicine in 1908. He then became the New York City Commissioner of Health in 1918. As a U.S. senator from New York since 1926, Pure authored the Food and Drug Act of 1938. This act created the FDA and gave long-standing legal status to homeopathic remedies, which are now regulated by the newly created agency.

Second, during federal hearings for Medicare legislation in the 1960s, the AIH led an effort spearheaded by Worth Post Baker, MD, to include drugs listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia as drugs reimbursed under Medicare.


Homeopathy was kept alive in the 1940s, 50s and 60s by a few old pure members of the AIH and IHA, even though their membership had dwindled to less than a hundred. Continuing medical education for these few new homeopathic physicians was provided by the American Homeopathic Foundation. Julia M. Green, an 1898 graduate of Boston University School of Medicine, founded the AFH in 1922. The AFH and later the National Center for Homeopathy organized a six-week summer course for doctors that continues today. Experienced doctors, who to this day can trace their lineage back to Kent, exposed new physicians to homeopathic teaching.


By the 1960s homeopathy was almost dead, and medical historians predicted that by 1980 this “medical heresy” would have disappeared completely. What the experts did not count on, and could never have imagined, was the worldwide shift in awareness and interest in other cultures in the late 1960s. By the 1970s, thanks in part to the efforts of the late Maesimund Panos, American homeopathy was experiencing a revival, more doctors came to the MD Summer course, and Dr. Panos helped cross-pollinate homeopathy around the world. New homeopaths began traveling to countries such as Argentina, Greece, Belgium and Switzerland and studying with homeopaths who, like the poor few in America, kept the pure practice of homeopathy alive. By 1996, the bicentennial of Hahnemann’s discovery of homeopathy, awareness of this unique healing modality had reached “critical mass” in America. More books and articles are being written than at any time since the turn of the century. Professional courses and conferences are springing up in the United States. The use of computerized repertory programs and the internet made homeopathy more accessible, if not easier, for new physicians to specialize. In the United States, sales of homeopathic medicines have increased by 30% per year since 1990.


In the new millennium, homeopathy is once again the best known, safest and most effective holistic healing art in the western world. However, the future of homeopathy is uncertain. Disillusionment with the impersonal, high-tech, crisis care allopathic model of medicine is growing rapidly. Yet our interest in and dependence on technology is likely to continue. Future scientific advances may finally bring the long-sought explanation of how homeopathy works. Whatever the outcome, homeopaths of the future are likely to be guided by Hahnemann’s favorite motto from his early school days: AUDE SAPERE, DARE TO KNOW.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *