This is a scarce collection of 22 Homeopathic Medicine bottles complete with contents, corks and labels dating to the turn of the 19th century. Each vial sports an applied label that indicates the contents plus a cork with hand-written ingredients noted. The vials measure between 2 - 2.5 inches high x 1/2" including the cork. Hard to find in any condition.
Although homeopathy has its roots in ancient Greek medicine and in the work of the 16th-century physician Paracelsus, modern homeopathy dates back 200 years to the work of the German doctor and chemist, Samuel Hahnemann. Hahnemann qualified as a physician but ceased to practice as a doctor because of what he saw as the barbaric medical practices of his day - which included bloodletting and the overuse of toxic medicines, leading to horrific side effects.
A brilliant linguist, he earned a living from translating books and was interested by a reference in a medical textbook of the use of China (Peruvian bark) as a cure for malaria. Intrigued to know why China worked, he took doses of the remedy until he himself began to exhibit malarial symptoms. He stopped taking the China and the symptoms went away. From this he deduced that the ancient principle of 'like cures like' actually worked.
His next step was to determine if there were safe levels at which toxic substances could be given - and still cure the type of symptoms that they might otherwise cause. His experiments with dilution led him to discover that the more a substance was diluted, the more potent it appeared to become.
Homeopathic medicine was born, but in practicing it, Hahnemann and his followers were subjected to ridicule and persecution by the medical establishment, despite the fact that they were seeing patients getting better on tiny doses of medicines, prescribed on the basis of 'like cures like'. Many European practitioners immigrated to the United States, where homeopathy flourished in the 19th century – until the medical establishment there systematically acted to remove its influence.
Hahnemann ended his days as a renowned and very busy practitioner in Paris, working into his 80's. He is interred at the Cimetière du Père Lachaise, where a large monument honors him and his discovery of Homeopathy.