Homeopathy’s Law of Similars

With professional credentials in both traditional and alternative medicine, Dr. Amy Yasko currently works with families whose children suffer from autism and other spectrum disorders. Dr. Amy Yasko belongs to several professional organizations, including the the National Center for Homeopathy.

Homeopathy is a more natural approach used to relieve, help the body to repair, and improve overall health. It is based on a set of principles called the Law of Similars, which counterintuitively proposes that “like cures like.” In other words, a substance that produces a certain set of symptoms in an otherwise healthy person will relieve those symptoms, and the underlying condition, when used to treat someone who is ill. These substances, called homeopathic remedies, are produced primarily from plants and minerals.

Elements of the Law of Similars have been known at least since the time of Hippocrates, but the founding of homeopathy is credited to Samuel Hahnemann, MD (1755–1843), a German doctor who conducted experiments that validated the Law. For example, he ate chinchona bark and experienced a pounding head, excessive thirst, and fever, which are common symptoms of malaria. Malaria was first treated successfully with quinine, which occurs naturally in chinchona bark.

Another example of the Law of Similars is the use of the homeopathic remedy Allium cepa to treat hay fever, the symptoms of which include runny nose and tearing eyes, very similar to what’s experienced by many people when they cut onions. Allium cepa is prepared from the red onion, and has proven successful in the treatment of hay fever when it manifests similar symptoms.

While the Law of Similars provides homeopaths with guidelines and the basics of numerous remedies, they must work with patients to determine precise remedies and dosages. There generally are no one-size-fits-all remedies. For example, if a person’s hay fever symptoms are different from what is experienced when cutting onions, Allium cepa likely won’t be effective, and the homeopath will try other remedies.

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