Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann is the founder of homoeopathy. This outstanding scholar was born in Meissen, Saxony (now part of Germany), on 10th April 1755. His father Christian Gottfried Hahnemann was a painter and designer of porcelain, for which the town of Meissen is famous.
As a young man, Hahnemann became proficient in a number of languages, including German, English, French, Italian, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, syriac, chaldaic and Arabic.
Hahnemann studied medicine for two years at Leipzig. Citing Leipzig’s lack of clinical facilities, he moved to Vienna, where he studied for ten months. After one term of further study, he graduated MD at the University of Erlangen on 10 August 1779, qualifying with honors. His poverty may have forced him to choose Erlangen, as the school’s fees were lower. Hahnemann’s thesis was- A Dissertation on the Causes and Treatment of Spasmodic Diseases
In 1781, Hahnemann took a village doctor’s position in the copper-mining area of Mansfeld, Saaxony. He soon married Johanna Henriette Kuchler and would eventually have eleven children. After abandoning medical practice, and while working as a translator of scientific and medical textbooks, Hahnemann travelled around Saxony for many years, staying in many different towns and villages for varying lengths of time, including in Dresden, Torgau, Leipzig and Kothen before finally moving to Paris in June 1835.
Over the first 10 years of his practice Hahnemann resorted to treating patients as far as possible by diet and exercise, using a minimum of drugs and other harmful practices. Hahnemann was dissatisfied with the state of medicine in his time, and particularly objected to practices such as bloodletting. He claimed that the medicine he had been taught to practice sometimes did the patient more harm than good:
After giving up his practice around 1784, Hahnemann made his living chiefly as a writer and translator, while resolving also to investigate the causes of medicine’s alleged errors. While translating William Cullen’s A Treatise on the Materia Medica, Hahnemann encountered the claim that cinchona, the bark of a Peruvian tree, was effective in treating Malaria, because of its astringency. Hahnemann believed that other astringent substances are not effective against malaria and began to research cinchona’s effect on the human body by self-application. Noting that the drug induced malaria-like symptoms in himself, As a result, he began to test other drugs of the day, such as belladonna, camphor, and aconitum, to study the symptoms that they produced. He concluded that it would do so in any healthy individual. This led him to postulate a healing principle: “that which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms.” This principle, like cures like, became the basis for an approach to medicine which he gave the name Homoeopathy “Homeo” (similar) “pathy” (suffering) . He first used the term homeopathy in his essay Indications of the Homeopathic Employment of Medicines in Ordinary Practice, published in Hufeland’s Journal in 1807.
Hahnemann focused on reducing the dose to the point where there were no side effects but he was unsatisfied because this step further rendered the dose insufficient in strength to act. He experimented with a new method whereby after each dilution he would shake the substance vigorously. This he called “succussion” thus developing the energetic aspect of homeopathy..
In 1810, Hahnemann published the first of six editions of The Organon which clearly defined his homeopathic philosophy. In the same year, 80,000 men were killed when Napoleon attacked Liepzig. Hahnemann’s homeopathic treatment of the survivors, and also of the victims of the great typhus epidemic that followed the siege, was highly successful and further spread his, and homeopathy’s, reputation. By 1821 Hahnemann had proven sixty-six remedies and published his Materia Medica Pura in six volumes. In 1831, Cholera swept through Central Europe. Hahnemann published papers on the homeopathic treatment of the disease and instigated the first widespread usage of homeopathy which had a 96% cure rate as compared to allopathy’s 41% rate.
Hahnemann and his work & Translation:
- 1777 – Translations of Nugent’s Experiment on Hydrophobia from English (150 pages).
- Translations of Stedman’s Physiological Experiments and Observations from English (134 pages) and observations with Copper from English (134 pages).
- Translation of Falconeri Experiment with Mineral water and warm bath from English (800 pages).
- Translation of Ball’s Newer art of healing, from English.
- 1790 Ryan. Enquiries in to the Nature and Cure of Phthisis from English (164 pages).
- Fabroni, The art of Making wine in Accordance with Sennible Principles from Italian. (278 pages).
- Arth Young Annals of Agriculture from English (603 Pages).
- CULLEN, A Treatise on Materia Medica, from English to German (1140 pages).
- 1791 Monoro’s Materia Medica from English (952 pages).
- Grigg’s precautionary measures for the Female sex from English.
- Dela metheria on Pure air and different kinds of air from French (1048 pages).
- Rigby’s chemical observation on Sugar from English (92 Pages).
- 1784 Translation of Demacl’s Laboratory chemist on the preparation of chemicals for manufacture as for Art, from French (1000 pages).
- 1784 Translation of Demachy’s Art of Distilling Liquor” from French (616 pages).
- 1787 Translation of Demachy’s Art of the Manufacture of Vinegar from French (176 Pages).
- ” Signs of Purity and Adulteration of Drugs” by B. Vanden. Sanden, a chemist in Brussels (350 Pages).
- 1796 – Hand book of Mothers.
- 1797 Translation of Taplin’s Enquiry (691 pages).
- 1798 – Translation of New Edinburgh Dispensatory (1211 Pages).
- 1800 – Translation of Treasures Medica Minimum (412 pages).
- Translation of Home Practical observations on cure of Structures of Urethra By Caustics.
Work on Chemistry & Chemical Researches :
- 1787 – Prejudice against heating with coal and ways improving this fuel etc.
- Preservation of mineral alkaline salt by means of potash and Kitchen salt.
- 1788 – The influence of certain gasses in the formation of wine.
- Wine test in Iron and lead.
- Concerning Sulphate of Baryta.
- Discovery of a new constituent in Plumbago
- Observation on the Astringent Properties of Plant.
- 1790 Minor Essays on various Subjects
- Direction for Preparation of Mercury Solubaries.
- 1791 Insolubility of some metals and their oxides in caustic ammonia.
- 1792 Contribution to wine test Preparation of Glauber’s salt, according to the method of Ballen.
- 1793 Wine test continued. Preparation of Cassel Yellow
- 1794 Hahnemann’s new wine test and new liquor.
- 1797 Pulverization of Ignatia Beans.
- 1786 – on Poisoning by Arsenic: its treatment and Forensic detection (276 page).
- 1789 Instruction for Surgeons on Venereal Diseases (272 pages).
- 1790 A method of check salivation and the destructive method of mercury (1091 pages).
- 1792 The friend of health (100 Pages)
- 1795 On Crusta lactea The Friend of health.
- 1796 – Essays on a New Principle for ascertaining the curative Power of drugs & Experiment
- 1797 A case of rapidly cured Colico dynia
- Antidote to heroic vegetable substances.
- Some kind of continued and remittent fevers.
- Some periodical and Hebdomadal diseases.
- 1801 Fragmentary observation on Brow’s Elements of Medicine.
- On the power of small dose of medicine.
- Observation on three current mode of treatment.
- 1803 On the effects of Coffee.
Own Essays & Writing:
- 1779 – Desertatio inaugur medic – Conrpetus adifectum spasmodecorium aetiologicus et therapeuticus.
- 1782- The first small essays appear in Dr. Fr. Chr.Krebs, Quedilinburg “Medical Observation”
- 1784 – Direction for curing old sores and ulcers.
- 1806 On substitute of Cinchona
- What are Poisons ? What are Medicines ?
- Objection to the proposed substitute for cinchona.
- Scarlet fever and miliary Puerperal fever.
- Medicine of Experience
- Albrescht V. Haller’s Materia Medica
- 1807 – Homoeopathic Employment of Medicine in ordinary Practice.
- 1808 – On the present want of symptoms.
- On substitute of foreign drugs.
- On Value of Speculative system of Medicine
- 1809 – Signs of times in ordinary system of medicine.
- 1810 Organon of Rational Medicine
- 2nd Edition – 1819 – Organon of the Art of Healing.
- 3rd Edition – 1824
- 4th Edition – 1829
- 5th Edition – 1833
- 6th Edition – 1921
- 1811 – Materia Medica Pura Part I
Work of Hahnemann in Leipsic.
- 1811 – 1821 – Materia Medica Pura
- Part I – 1811 (3 Editions)
- Part II – 1816 (3 Editions).
- Part III – 1816 (3 Editions)
- Part IV – 1818 (3 Editions)
- Part V – 1819 (3 Editions)
- Part VI – 1821 (3 Editions)
- 1812 – Dissertations on Helleborismus Veratrum
- 1813 – Spirit of the new Medical Doctrine (626 Pages)
- 1814 – Method of Treatment for New Prevailing Nerve & Hospital Fever
- 1816 – On venereal Disease and its Ordinary improper Treatment.
- On treatment of burn.
- 1819 – On uncharitable ness towards Suicides.
- 1820 – On the Preparation of Medicines by Homoeopathic Physicians themselves.
- 1821 – Medical Advice in Purpura Miliaris.
- 1828 – Ist Volume of Chronic Diseases.