Johannessen - Chapter 06
Homoeopathy represents an interesting case
of pluralism of healthcare provision. It was one of the earlier of the
currently popular alternative therapies to arrive in the United Kingdom
in the early nineteenth century (Porter 1997). It became one of the
earliest of the modern alternative therapies to be offered by orthodox
physicians and integrated into the orthodox health care system.
Homoeopathy was incorporated into the National Health Service (NHS) at
its inception in 1947, becoming the first of the alternative therapies
to be offered in tandem with orthodox healthcare services in the NHS
Homoeopathy arrived in Britain shortly after it had been
established in the early 1800s by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann.
Hahnemann developed a new system of medicine based on the principle of
treating like with like. He discovered this 'law of similars' when he
ingested the bark of the Chinchona tree (Quinine) and experienced a
fever similar to malarial symptoms. He went on to chart the action of a
wide variety of substances through 'proving' (testing) them on healthy
people. The classical homoeopathy that he developed involves trying to
match the overall picture of a person's symptoms to the remedy that
itself produces the most similar pattern of symptoms in the healthy.