The homeopathic route to health and how it differs to the conventional medical approach

Gill Graham writes… It is a question that I am often asked. How does homeopathy differ from conventional medicine? The answer to this is often very complex as homeopathy is not easily understood and has its roots firmly grounded in a fundamentally different paradigm. For those that wish to understand in greater depth, please see earlier HWFM blogs on the homeopathic principles. However, for ease of understanding, the essence is as follows:

The Homeopathic Approach

  • Homeopathy is based on a ‘whole person’ approach. The method of treatment is by way of in-depth consultation to find the correct remedy to satisfy the totality of symptoms, in homeopathy known as the simillimum, which is unique to each patient.
  • Etiology (causation.) By identifying a possible cause of the sickness, treatment can be initially focussed on this stage. Often a patient will say “I have never been well since X situation..’
  • Modalities, what makes the condition better or worse? What is ‘characteristic’ to the patient.
  • The vital energy of the diluted substance, which is encapsulated in the remedy.
  • Dynamis, your own personal ‘Vital Force’ or energy.
  • You are unique, the condition manifests in a way that is peculiar to just YOU. The approach is therefore highly individualised.

The Conventional Medical Approach

  • Conventional (allopathic) medicine generally focuses on treating a patient’s physical symptoms, without also taking into consideration the presenting mental and emotional state.
  • Each symptom will generally be treated with a different medication, which can cause side effects, often leading to further treatment and more medication. (Iatrogenic disease.)
  • Many conventional drugs try to inhibit and suppress symptoms. Homeopathy does not seek to remove or suppress symptoms. Its goal is to recognise and remove the underlying cause of these symptoms. This is why a homeopath will work toward understanding the whole person, including their body, mind and emotional state before prescribing a remedy. In other words, a homeopath would prescribe on the ‘totality of symptoms’ as opposed to seeing each part of the body as separate to the rest.

In short, the above highlights the main differences between treatment approaches. I am a strong believer in there is a time and a place for both systems of medicine, but where we can minimize potentially dangerous chemical drugs and their side effects, it is surely in our interests to do so. Despite the differences in approach, homeopathic and conventional treatments can work very well in tandem and be complementary after surgery, for example, to support recovery as well as in other medical situations. In an ideal world we would recognize that the integration of the holistic and the conventional has to be for the greater good.

To conclude, a homeopathic acronym which helps to describe the essence of homeopathic treatment and maybe one to help you remember!


Remedy- The totality of symptoms given as the simillimum in the homeopathic remedy.

Etiology -Causation

Modalities -What makes it better or worse, what is characteristic to the patient?

Energy-The vital energy of the diluted substance.

Dynamis –The patient’s’ unique vital force.

YOU- Treatment unique and personalised to you, the patient.

As ever, consult a homeopath should you wish to commence treatment:

Gill Graham, BSc (Hons) BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS.


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A homeopathic approach to healing the healers and victims in traumatic circumstances

Homeopath Gill Graham discusses remedies to help the carer supporting others in our modern world, and the victims in traumatic circumstances.

‘What you are the world is. And without your transformation, there can be no transformation of the world.’ ― Jiddu Krishnamurti

 It has been a long summer, where I had the privilege of taking the majority of August out of my regular working diary to go on holiday, concentrate on various upcoming projects, and reflect.

Much of this year has been taken up with horrendous humanitarian crises, most notably refugees, arriving homeless, devastated and bereft in various parts of Europe.  We cannot begin to understand their deep seated distress. Their traumas we cannot possibly identify with, hearts shattered and families broken. These are crimes inflicted by our fellow humans, many using their faith as a means of justifying unspeakable acts of terrorism, unimaginable in our civilised comfortable lives; witnessing the persistent, unremitting brutality of our fellow man. In addition, have any of us here, reading this ever been hungry, let alone starving? Have we ever been so thirsty we are forced to drink contaminated water or worse, give it to our children? Have we ever been without the most basic of clothes and human necessities? It is in the identification of these fundamental needs that we show our humanity and in our ability to actively help.

Many of my friends and colleagues are giving generously of their time and expertise to work in the camps in Calais and Dunkirk, feeling outraged at the lack of compassion and morality they are witnessing, but helping selflessly and unconditionally; ‘being there’ as much as they can, treating homeopathically, alongside conventional medics, and working in many other capacities, way beyond the normal remit of health professionals. Although I personally have not yet been, I and many of my peers have helped in other ways, through donations of clothes or money.  I remain full of admiration and pride for my friends who are physically able to be present to help.

It is in this spirit that this blog is written, to help those who spend much of their time devoting themselves to the needs of other people, and in the need to recognise that it is important to also care for oneself, on every level, emotionally, spiritually and physically.  Only in doing this are we capable of giving of our best in a healing capacity to others. For this reason, I have selected several homeopathic remedies that help to balance those who work in this sphere. Often feelings of exhaustion, disgust, indignation, inadequacy, total disillusionment, are experienced, together with abject fear, and permanent apprehension as to the future.

Several of the following remedies could apply to both the victims and the carers, in any situation that warrants healing.



Indicated when:

  • Evidence of extreme fear, often with and inexplicable, vivid sense of imminent death, coupled with restlessness and agitation.
  • Ailments from shock, the person looks scared and has very small pupils.
  • Most helpful during the first hours after a traumatic event; it might also be called for many years later.


Indicated when:

  • As well as being the remedy par excellence for physical trauma, arnica is well indicated in the treatment of mental injuries, trauma, shock, grief, remorse and fright.
  • It is also a wonderful remedy for those suffering from a ‘broken heart’ as the result of a lost relationship, whatever the circumstances.

Arsenicum album

Indicated when:

  • The patient is anxious, restless, and fidgety, often pacing up and down.
  • They constantly call for help, need to be reassured, and crave company.
  • They may become chilly and may feel much worse after midnight.
  • They’re unable to sleep and may develop diarrhea from severe anxiety.
  • This remedy is excellent for those who also have acute general anxiety about their health.

Aurum Metallicum

Indicated when:

  • There is great despair and emptiness.
  • Aurum also covers physical and emotional pain as well as the desire to commit suicide.
  • They have a loathing of life and want to avoid other people
  • They often have feelings of guilt
  • The patient often suffers from wounded honour or pride (or both.)


Indicated when:

  • Particularly children are fractious and have experienced severe trauma, chamomilla brings a sense of calm
  • They may become hyper-vigilant and hypersensitive.
  • They may complain of stomach aches and be overly sensitive to noise and music.
  • Whining and restlessness evident
  • Being gently rocked often brings relief.
  • Chamomilla is often indicated if the person suffering is driving YOU to distraction!

Ignatia Amara

Indicated when:

  • Strongly indicated for those suffering from grief
  • A wonderful remedy for disillusionment, particularly with people in general or with a loved one
  • A feeling of betrayal with a broken heart, often accompanied by deep depression.
  • An Ignatia patient may also have psychosomatic symptoms such as sighing, choking, a stiff neck, and a globus hystericus .
  • They often weep for help and attention
  • Very sensitive to reprimand/adnomition

Natrum Muriaticum

Indicated when:

  • A more chronic grief, in general than ignatia
  • Silent grief, never crying except perhaps when alone listening to classical music.
  • These people are easily offended and find it hard to forgive and forget
  • They dwell on a painful event, sometimes with great vindictiveness.
  • Reserved, often numb, physically and emotionally


Indicated when:

  • Nightmares after violence.
  • People needing Staphysagria feel powerless and unable to defend themselves.
  • Staphysagria is often given acutely for the physical effects of suppressed anger, which is often not even felt, as it is deeply suppressed.
  • Often very dignified people who do not want to burden others with their distress..
  • Great indignation about the things done by others or by himself, grieves about the consequences.


Indicated when:

  • One of the main remedy’s for post traumatic stress disorder
  • Subsequently, the patient can become obsessed with war and violence
  • Person is affected by nightmares or night terrors, and is particularly afraid to be left alone in the dark.
  • Helpful for anxiety disorders after experiencing violence; experiences anguish, fear, sleeplessness and imagines they are surrounded by danger.
  • Some people develop violent behavior after a terrorizing experience, which can come in outbursts. They may become afraid of the dark, of dogs or other animals, and of water.
  • Some children begin to stammer; others may exhibit various grimaces and twitches.

The world is upside down. Gross injustices and wars are occurring, in front of our eyes. It is easy to feel depleted, helpless and inadequate. For those, be it homeopath, doctor, nurse or carer who help others who are suffering as a result of being directly involved in the atrocities, or in fact, following any trauma, it can be an exhausting, thankless task, often deeply affecting their own emotional health.

It is therefore not self indulgent for the ‘carer’ in whatever capacity to take time out to attend to their own health, through consultation with a homeopath. By being balanced, unsuppressed, having voiced anger and outrage at the frequently absent lack of humanity in this world, we are stronger; more capable of loving and dispersing our love and care, hopefully which will have a ripple effect, and that divine goodness overcomes insidious hatred. In the spirit of love and care, please help in any way you can.

As ever, consult a registered homeopath:

For more information about helping and supporting some of the people mentioned above, have a look at

Gill Graham, BSc (Hons) BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS


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To become a homeopath?

The homeopathic community and homeopathy course providers in the UK have worked together to create a series of interviews with experienced homeopathic practitioners. In these short videos they share details of previous careers and what led them to train as homeopaths, as well as what they love about the role they now do.

There are case examples given by the practitioners and they offer an insight into what it is like to work as a homeopath.

The videos are all accessible from the Homeopathy Course Providers Forum website.


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The Faculty response to petition calling on the RCVS to ban homeopathy

Homeopathy has a long history of being used successfully in veterinary practice for both domestic and farm animals. The EU recommends its use in its regulations on organic farms and is funding research into veterinary homeopathy as a way of reducing antibiotic use in livestock. It is nonsense to suggest that responsible pet owners and farmers are unable to distinguish between effective and ineffective medicines; they continue to use homeopathy because they see its benefits.

Membership of the Faculty of  Homeopathy (VetMFHom) is bestowed on qualified veterinary surgeons who have completed a minimum of three years study of homeopathy and after a rigorous examination procedure. It differentiates the qualified veterinary homeopath from an unlicensed healer.

In a statement, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons said “… homeopathy is currently accepted by society and recognised by UK medicines legislation, and does not, in itself, cause harm to animals”. Before going on to say it could see no justification for banning veterinary surgeons from practising homeopathy.

In an age when antibiotic resistance is such an important issue, veterinary surgeons and farmers who have found they can limit the use of these drugs by using homeopathy should be applauded and not attacked.

Peter Gregory
Veterinary Dean, Faculty of Homeopathy

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Getting to the route of sickness by removing maintaining causes and obstacles to cure

Homeopaths are trained in how to recognise and advise the removal of what we refer to as ‘maintaining causes’ and ‘obstacles to cure.’ In simple terms, this means eliminating habits or changing elements of lifestyle that are clearly injurious to one’s health and will deter healing.

I am consistently shocked by people who complain about feeling unwell whilst not being able to recognise that often, their complaints are self inflicted.  Take for example the heavy smoker, who has a chronic cough or the person with a myriad of digestive issues, who insists on eating fast food most of the time.  These are obvious examples; others include people that are not even aware that their habits are causing distress to their body.  The patient who is underweight, with no energy and chronic health problems; on investigation, her diet consisted of nothing fresh, but all pre-packaged food with low nutritional value; her energy spent on looking after her young family, who unfortunately, also eat this diet. A result of this self neglect leads to the prescription of pharmaceutical medications, which can often exacerbate the condition in the long term, whilst possibly giving short term relief.  The sickness is therefore compounded and invariably some of these medications cause new illnesses, knows as ‘iatrogenic’ disease.  Hahnemann, in Aphorism 74 of The Organon of Medicine states: ‘Among chronic diseases, we must unfortunately include all those wide spread illnesses artificially created by allopathic treatments.’

So, the removal of what Hahnemann referred to as ‘causa occasionalis’ (maintaining causes) must surely make sense and pave the way for true healing to begin. Whatever medication, in whatever medical discipline, will not be fully effective until this is done. In Aphorism 77, Hahnemann states: ‘Diseases engendered by prolonged exposure to avoidable noxious influence should not be called chronic, they include diseases brought about by:

  • The habitual indulgence of harmful food and drink
  • All kinds of excesses that undermine health
  • Prolonged deprivation of things necessary to life
  • Unhealthy places, especially swampy regions
  • Dwelling only in cellars, damp places or other close quarters
  • Lack of exercise or fresh air
  • Physical or mental over exertion
  • Continuing emotional stress etc..

These self-inflicted disturbances go away on their own with improved living conditions if no chronic miasm is present, they cannot be called chronic diseases.’ There are several classifications of chronic disease (according to Hahnemann) which will be covered at a later date. Although the language here could possibly benefit from being updated, it is clear that the underlying message is to enjoy a healthy lifestyle suited to your unique constitution, which is balanced on every level.

What is important here is to recognise that through individualisation and the identification of circumstances peculiar to a patient, obstacles to cure can be removed; only then can true individualised homeopathic treatment begin.

The homeopathic approach, in its entirety is set out in Aphorism 3 of The Organon.

‘If the physician clearly perceives what has to be cured in disease, ie, in each individual case of disease (knowledge of the disease,) if he clearly perceives what it is in medicines, which heals, ie: in each individual medicine (knowledge of medicinal powers,) if he applies in accordance with well defined principles what is curative in medicines to what he has clearly recognised to be pathological in the patient so that cure follows, ie, if he knows in each particular case how to apply the remedy most appropriate to its character (selection of the remedy),  prepare it exactly as required and give it in the right amount (the correct dose,) and repeat the dose exactly when required ‘and lastly, if in each case he knows the obstacles to cure and how to remove them so recovery is permanent, then he knows how to treat thoroughly and efficaciously and is a true physician.

Gill Graham, BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RS Hom, DHMHS

As ever, professional homeopathic advice should be sought:

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The fourth principle of homeopathy: The Potentized Remedy.

Concluding our series of blog posts around the principles of homeopathy, as developed by Dr Samuel Hahnemann, UK homeopath Gill Graham talks about the fourth principle of homeopathy and shares facts around the worldwide use of homeopathy:

Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances such as plants, minerals, animals but the process of their manufacture is unlike that of any other medicine. A remedy made from a specific substance is put through a process of serial dilution, the end result being a very dilute extract is made.  Each step of this dilution involves the substance being shaken with force; homeopathically this is referred to as ‘succussion.’ It has been found that by succusing in this way the remedy becomes active and dynamic (generally latent in its crude form) and the degree of the succussion produces a final potency of a remedy which will be given in accordance with the presenting vital force.

Fundamentally, potentization means that a substance has been prepared according to homeopathic philosophy and homeopathic pharmaceutical standards, through serial dilution and succussion.

To conclude.

To show the extent of its popularity, even in the wake of fanatical sceptisism by institutions of often dubious repute, over 200 million people worldwide use homeopathy on a regular basis, which undoubtedly is testament to its effectiveness. It is included in the national health systems of a number of countries e.g. Brazil, Chile, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Switzerland, United Kingdom. 10% of people in the UK use homeopathy, an estimated 6 million people. There are over 400 doctors in the UK that use homeopathy, regulated by the Faculty of Homeopathy and promoted by the British Homeopathic Association. In the NHS approx. 40,000 homeopathic prescriptions are provided to patients per year by doctors working within the homeopathic service. There were originally 5 homeopathic hospitals (Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Bristol and Tunbridge Wells). Tunbridge Wells closed in 2007 and in 2010, the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital changed its name to the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. There are more than 1,500 professional homeopaths (non-medically qualified homeopaths) in the UK, regulated by the Society of Homeopaths (65%), Alliance of Registered Homeopaths and Homeopathic Medical Association. They largely operate in private practice outside the NHS. In addition, there are many vets that use homeopathy as an integral part of their practice. Randomised controlled trials, clinical outcome studies and observational studies are ongoing via The Clinical Outcome Research in Homeopathy data base (CORE-hom).  It currently comprises over 1015 clinical trials in homeopathy and is updated regularly as new trials are completed. (Source: Homeopathy Research Institute.) In addition, there are many other research projects continuously being performed throughout the world by a variety of eminent institutions.

The objective of summarizing the underlying homeopathic principles was to help and clarify philosophy and practice, whilst also discussing the extent of its popularity as a system of medicine world wide. Even though homeopathy is over 200 years old, confusion still exists as to its foundations, its underlying philosophy, and its role in health care; hopefully any grey areas are now clearer. Please feel free to share if you think others would benefit.

Gill Graham, BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RS Hom, DHMHS

As ever, professional homeopathic advice should be sought:

blog last image


Homeopathy Research Institute

Available at: [Accessed: 20 May 2016]

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The third principle, The minimum dose

Healing according to Hahnemann should be done ‘rapidly, gently and permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehensible principles.’ (Aphorism 2)

The minimum dose of a remedy, (one of these principles) simply means the minutest amount of a substance to nudge the vital force in the direction of healing. Too high a potency of a remedy or unnecessary repetition can result in unwelcome aggravations.  In homeopathy, less is more. The body has a way of signaling through the manifestation of symptoms, when a higher potency is needed or more frequent repetition of a remedy.

If there was one ‘principle’ in homeopathy that people had a problem with understanding, it would be the infinitesimal doses of a remedy given; in other words, the perception is, there is nothing in a remedy. This has been said to me on many occasions. However, it remains the case that empirically and in thousands of studies, both observational and through clinical outcome and randomized controlled trials, homeopathy has been seen to heal many people worldwide.

For those who cannot come to terms with the fact that homeopathic remedies do not contain any active material because of the molecular limits of Avogrado’s number, the current scientific evidence suggests that homeopathic remedies are nanoparticles and not ordinary conventional bulks of source material. Given this, intense scientific consideration must be seriously focused now on how nano particles can act in the body to stimulate a healing process. Much of this research is headed by Dr Iris Bell (MD, Ph.D) from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and for those who would like more detailed information, please read and study the research: (Bell, I, Koithan, M, 2012. ) Research in this area is ongoing and is constantly being updated, by various eminent scientists and homeopaths throughout the world.

3rd principle blog



Bell IR and Koithan M. (2012) A model for homeopathic remedy effects: low dose nanoparticles, allostatic cross-adaptation, and time-dependent sensitization in a complex adaptive system. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012; 12(1):191(epub) Available at:  [Accessed: 20th May 2016]

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The second principle, The single Remedy

In this series of blogs explaining the principles behind homeopathy as originally developed by Dr Samuel Hahnemann over 200 years ago, UK homeopath Gill Graham introduces the second principle:

The second principle of Classical homeopathy is The Single Remedy. Hahnemann was forceful in his opinion in prescribing with one remedy for the totality of symptoms, using words such as ‘it is inadmissible’ to prescribe more than one remedy at a time (Aphorism 273, The Organon)

The reasoning and thinking behind this lies in the fact that if many remedies were prescribed at once, it would be impossible to ascertain which remedy was actually working and could massively confuse a case. It is simple common sense when we consider that each remedy is ‘proved’ individually, the combined interaction of many remedies’ at once has not been. This obviously has many similarities to where a GP of conventional medicine, prescribes single drugs for single complaints, the interaction of all these drugs, collectively untested, at times, with devastating consequences. Why should homeopathy be any different, given the powerful effects of so many of the remedy’s.? It remains the case that there will always be one remedy that resonates with a case more than another; wherever possible, the homeopath should go with this.

However, as ever in life, there will always be grey areas and flexibility at times is necessary as long as a remedy is given sufficient time to act, and if there is a definite change in the presenting symptoms and aspect of the Vital Force.  In this instance Hahnemann, in the 4th edition of the Organon suggested that remedies could be alternated, given in short succession, and condones the use of tissue salts, in specific cases that demanded a different approach.

Catherine Coulter, in ‘The unfolding of Experience’ sums up the ideal situation in prescribing, by stating that: ‘the strongest, deepest current in classical homeopathy – the tug that pulls the stream to the river and the river to the sea- is to address the multiple manifestations of the single disordered life-force with a single remedy; in a phrase, to shape unity from multiplicity.’ It remains the case that if this pure, philosophically appropriate method of prescribing can be attained and in whilst doing so, promotes healing without other remedies being involved, we have demonstrated the dynamic power of pure, classical homeopathy.

single rx (blog)


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The first Principle, The Law of Similars

by Gill Graham.  BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS

The derivation of the word ‘Homeopathy’ (originally homoeopathy) comes from the Greek homoeo, meaning ‘similar’, and pathos, meaning ‘suffering’. This leads on to the first principle which is ‘Similia Similbus Curentur,’ translated from the Latin as: ‘like cures like.’ This principle predates Hahnemann and in fact, goes back to ancient ayurvedic scripts. The idea/concept of ‘the law of similars’ had first been mentioned by Hippocrates (The Father of Medicine, 460-377 B.C.), then by P.A. Paracelsus (1493-1541) although Hahnemann was responsible for creating ‘Homeopathy’ as we now know it; a complete system of medicine.

Through much research and hands on practice, Hahnemann proved that a substance that can cause disease in a healthy person, can actively heal the same or similar disease in another. For example, Belladonna, a well known homeopathic remedy is used to treat high fevers, redness in the face and tongue. Were belladonna to be ingested in its raw form, the symptoms of the poisoning would be exactly this. Also, think of what happens when you are exposed to a raw onion.  Your eyes water and nose burns.  The homeopathic remedy allium cepa (made from onion) can relieve these symptoms, once again, treating ‘like with like.’

The task of the homeopath is to match the patients’ symptoms to the correct homeopathic remedy, specifically those that are characteristic to the patient. This is explained in aphorism 26 in the Organon, where Hahnemann states: ‘In the living organism a weaker, dynamic affection is permanently extinguished by a stronger one which although different in nature nevertheless, greatly resembles it in its expression.’

The simillimum is just that, totality; not partial, but a complete reflection of a state that is mentally, physically and spiritually in alignment with its subject.

This article is part of a five part series and following sections will elaborate on more principles. The first part can be found here.

To find a homeopath or find out more about homeopathy the website here has lots of information to share.

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Clarification of the basic homeopathic principles including reference to worldwide practice.

by Gill Graham.  BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS

When considering whether to follow the homeopathic route in the treatment of our own health or that of our friends and families, there is invariably, much confusion as to what homeopathy is and how it differs from conventional medicine. For ease of understanding, the underlying principles will be clarified, as far as possible.

The Organon and Homeopathic Philosophy

The Organon of Medicine, written by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy is the cornerstone of homeopathic principles and practice. The first edition was written in 1810 in aphoristic style (paragraphs with numbers.) The book lays out the doctrines of homeopathy in a logical sequence of thoughts and philosophy and practice. In total there were 6 editions, five of which were published in Hahnemann’s lifetime, the 6th completed in 1842, but he sadly passed away in June of 1843 before it could be published.  Thanks to the efforts of William Boericke the 6th edition was published in 1921.

In order to fully embrace homeopathy, it is helpful to understand basic homeopathic philosophy. If you have been following my blogs here, you will already be aware that I repeatedly refer to the mind/body connection and how symptoms should be treated in their totality as opposed to being seen as separate problems.  The fundamental tenet of homeopathic medicine is to treat the imbalances of ‘the vital force’ leading to ill health as a whole, ideally with one remedy which matches the symptoms of the mind, body and spirit (this remedy is known as the Simillimum.) The Vital Force is an undefined energy, capable of fuelling an organism, it is inherent in all living things, which if disrupted or disturbed can result in disease. “The material organism without the vital force is capable of no sensation, no function, no self preservation; it derives all sensations, and performs all functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being (the vital force) which animates the material organism in health and disease.” (Aphorism 10, The Organon)

Hahnemann refers to it also as ‘dynamis’, ‘vital principle’ and ‘vital energy’. James Tyler Kent refers to it as ‘The Simple Substance,’ which is the dominating force in the organism, the absence of this force, is death.  To help with an understanding of this, energy parallels can be found in various cultures; the Ancient Chinese know The Vital Force as ‘Chi, the Japanese and Koreans as ‘Ki’ and in the ancient Sanskrit writings of India it is known as ‘Prana.’ Underlying this, there are 4 basic principles which govern homeopathy; each of which will be discussed in the following blog posts.

To find a homeopath or find out more about homeopathy have a look here.

hwfm blog

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