The Four Fundamental Laws of Homeopathy

by Susy Parker Goins
Originally published for Natural Family Online

The four fundamental laws of homeopathy - the Laws of Similars, Single Remedy, Minimum Dose and Direction of Cure - are the philosophical basis for this powerful healing modality. Each of these laws identifies an aspect of
homeopathy that sets it apart from other healing philosophies.

The first law, the Law of Similars, was so named by homeopathy's founder, Samuel Hahnemann. The concept, however, was known long before. As early as Hippocrates and the Oracle at Delphi, the theory of "what a substance can cause so can it cure" was discussed.

It was Hahnemann who, through the process he called "proving," started paying close attention and taking notes on the reactions a healthy person, namely himself, would have in response to a given substance. For example, the symptoms he developed after drinking cinchona bark extract were similar to the symptom picture for malaria. The treatment for malaria is quinine, a product from cinchona bark. Hahnemann drew the conclusion that if cinchona bark can cause the symptoms, it should be able to resolve them too.

The next fundamental law is Single Remedy. Hahnemann believed that a practitioner should not prescribe more than one remedy at a time. There is a lot of wisdom in that thought.

Say one takes a multiple remedy product. If it doesn't work, too bad, try something else. But if it does work, how can the individual know which of the 5 or 6 or 12 ingredients in the product is the remedy that worked? And what are the chances that the remedy that was beneficial was the remedy to lead the individual to total healing?

To determine which single remedy best suits the needs of an individual, one must get a complete picture of one's state of being at that moment. There are several excellent volumes available for reference. Or consultation with a
homeopathic practitioner will give thorough understanding of one's needs. A scattershot approach with a multiple remedy formula won't necessarily lead to complete healing, just relief from immediate symptoms.

The third law, Minimum Dose, states that one should take the smallest dose to nudge one's vital force to start the healing process. This conservative attitude allows a practitioner to ease the individual into the healing process.
Hahnemann believed that healing should be "rapid, gently and permanent."

To use too much of a remedy frequently causes an aggravation of symptoms before any improvement is seen, thereby putting the individual off the modality. For example, I twisted my ankle some years ago at my in-laws' house and took Arnica Montana for it. The correct remedy, yes, but due to my inexperience with homeopathy at the time, I took several doses of 30C potency. The result was one incredibly painful night with little sleep. Had I known to do more research into the situation, I would have taken far less and been able to get some sleep.

If one uses the Minimum Dose standard, improvement may take a little longer. But one can increase the dosage far more readily and with less disruption than one can step back a dosage.

The fourth fundamental law of homeopathy describes the Direction of Cure. As a person works closer to health, an identifiable pattern of healing presents itself. First healing works its way down from head to foot. Second, healing
works from major organ to minor organ. Third, it moves from inside to outside. Finally, there is a reversal of symptoms.

The first three directions follow a logical path of down and out the body. The fourth direction is quite interesting in that as the newest ailments are resolved, older or previously suppressed symptoms reappear. For example, an old knee injury previously thought to be healed may resurface after a migraine's resolution (down direction and reversal of symptoms).

These four fundamental laws - Similars, Single Remedy, Minimum Dose and Direction of Cure - are the philosophical framework for homeopathy. There are many who would apply allopathic sensibilities to the healing process by
suppressing symptoms or using more remedy than is necessary. These laws allow one to use homeopathy for healing as Samuel Hahnemann believed it should be: "rapid, gentle and permanent."

Posted September 2005 | Permanent Link

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