This is is a book about homeopathy: what it is, how it developed, where
it stands today. It's written for people with questioning minds; anyone
who has adopted a fixed opinion in advance about homeopathy, either for
or against, may receive the odd shock. No prior knowledge of homeopathy
is assumed, but this doesn't mean that the book is meant only for
beginners. Even if you have read a good deal about homeopathy previously
you may, I believe, find that you view it in a different light after you
have finished. What I try to do here is to look at homeopathy as
squarely as possible and to provide the facts as I see them. What you
then make of them is up to you. I think this is worth doing because the
material I present is not well known even to many homeopaths, yet it's
essential for anyone who wants to make an informed judgement about
homeopathy. These facts are not, to my knowledge, easily available
anywhere else; it certainly took me a long time to learn them.
Thank you for clearing up my fog re homeopathy. I had generally grouped
it with herbalism and the other "alternative" therapeutic offerings,
but without knowing much about it.
As you suggested, it is difficult to understand homeopathy without
knowing its history. This easily readable (and enjoyable) review of
the subject was not technically challenging and well worth the day I
took for reading it, as I know quite a bit about homeopathy, rather
than essentially nothing before.
There are important lessons for we allopathic physicians in homeopathy,
specifically the positive effect of spending time to convince the
patient one is truly interested in her/him as a person, not just a
complaint to be diagnosed and treated. Unfortunately in the western
world, the bean counters control the time we have for appointments, and
reward procedures, not talk.
I was a bit disappointed that there was little discussion about
homeopathy in India, after pointing out its importance in that country;
perhaps in the next Lulu edition.
While this book is quite informative for the lay person, I also strongly
endorse this text for anyone in the health care arena whom might be
confronted by patients or practitioners of homeopathy, and in need of a
knowledge base from which to respond.
Homeopathy in perspective
An outline of the subject.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Why I wrote this book in the way I did.
Chapter 2: Samuel Hahnemann
Hahnemann was the founder of homeopathy and it is impossible to
understand the subject without knowing something about him and his
time. Here I look at his life and how he came to invent homeopathy.
Chapter 3: Later Developments in
As Hahnemann aged he began to take homeopathy in new directions, with
the formulation of a theory of chronic disease and increasing emphasis
on the use of extreme dilutions.
Chapter 4: The Years of Hope
Hahnemann's successors carried out experiments on themselves, testing
medicines in ways that were sometimes quite hair-raising.
Chapter 5: In Search of New Directions
Later homeopaths took the "potency idea" much further than Hahnemann
himself had done. They also tried to reconcile homeopathy with new
discoveries in medicine, such as the germ theory of disease.
Chapter 6: English Homeopathy in the Nineteenth
Century English homeopaths in the nineteenth century were more pragmatic and
less extreme than many others and tried to make sense of homeopathy in
the context of the orthodox medicine of the day.
Chapter 7: Homeopathy in America
Homeopathy in America became very successful in the second half of the
nineteenth century and indeed came close to being the dominant form of
medicine there. However, it was weakened by internal dissent and
eventually almost disappeared.
Chapter 8: Kentian Homeopathy
The American homeopath JT Kent became influential in American
homeopathy at the end of the nineteenth century and his ideas were
adopted by numerous disciples outside America; they are still
predominant in many places today.
Chapter 9: British Homeopathy in the
In the early years of the twentieth century advocates of Kent's ideas
took over homeopathy in Britain almost completely, and as a result the
notion of homeopathy that most people have today is based on Kentian
homeopathy, which is an extreme and "fundamentalist" version.
Chapter 10: Homeopathy and the Occult
There are curious links between homeopathy and the occult, which are
generally played down by would-be scientific homeopaths today.
Chapter 11: Can We Prove Homeopathy?
Critics often say that there is no research evidence to support
homeopathy, which is untrue, while defenders of homeopathy are equally
voceiferous in claiming that homeopathy has been "proved" by research.
The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle.
Chapter 12: Where Does Homeopathy Stand Today?
Here I offer my own assessment of the position of homeopathy today and
where it is likely to go in the future. Homeopathy has many features in
common with certain types of psychotherapy and it may be that this is
where its future lies.