Homoeopathy as a science of medical treatment has a philosophy of its own and its therapeutics is based on certain fundamental principles. These are:
- Law of Similia
- Law of Simplex
- Law of Minimum
- Doctrine of Drug Proving
- Theory of Chronic Disease
- Theory of Vital Force
- Doctrine of Drug-Dynamisation
The Law of Similars
It is also called the Law of Cure. This law demonstrates that the selected remedy is able to produce a range of symptoms in a healthy person similar to that observed in the patient, thus leading to the principle of Similia Similibus Curentur i.e. let likes be treated by likes. To give a simple example the effects of peeling an onion are very similar to the symptoms of acute cold. The remedy prepared from the red onion, Allium cepa, is used to treat the type of cold in which the symptoms resemble those we get from peeling onion. The principle has been verified by millions of Homoeopaths all over the world.
The first and most important "natural law" expressed by Hahnemann, the one from which Homoeopathy derives its name, is similia similibus curentur—let like cure like. This means that the appropriate substance to treat a disease is one which induces similar symptoms in a healthy person. Then, it is crucial to know the symptoms associated with various substances, remedial pathogeneses. They are to be determined by drug provings on healthy persons, in which subjects take the remedy and record all physical, mental, emotional and modal changes in symptoms.
The Principle of Dilution
Hahnemann developed the system of Homoeopathic dilution, where one part of the starting material (usually plant extract) is diluted with 99 parts of diluent (usually alcohol and water). The mixture is then "succussed" or "potentised", which is a rhythmical shaking of the liquid which helps to release the energy within the substance. The dilution is called a 1C Homoeopathic potency. The process of dilution can be repeated with the 1C potency to make a 2C potency, and so on until the desired potency is reached. Hahnemann discovered that by administering infinitesimally small doses, he not only cured ailments without undesirable side effects but in fact the cure was more effective than with larger doses. Later two more scales for menufacturing Homoeopathic medicines were created. The Decimal scale developed by Hering uses the 1:9 ratio for successive dilution, whereas the LM scale given by Dr. Hahnemann uses a dilution scale of 1:50,000.
The Law of Single Remedy
This law directs to choose and administer such a single remedy, which is most similar to the symptom complex of the sick person at a time.
The Law of Minimum Dose
The similar remedy selected for a sick should be prescribed in minimum dose, so that when administered there is no toxic effects on the body. It just acts as a triggering and catalytic agent to stimulate and strengthen the existing defense mechanism of the body. It does not need to be repeated frequently.