Homeopathy in England

Homeopathy in England

Homoeopathy was first established in England in the year 1832 when Dr. Harvey Quin, a friend of Hahnemann, and called by Rochard Haehl ‘Hahnemann’s chief successor’, set up a practice in London. He developed a very successful homoeopathic practice and became very popular in the social circles of his day. Through him Homoeopathy became a popular talking point, so much so that when a book was published by Dr. W. Henderson, Prof. Of Pathology at Edinburgh University, defending Homoeopathy against a detractor, the first edition was sold out within three months.

The nineteenth century produced many other notable homoeopathic physicians, among them Dr. W. Henderson who instituted clinical tests of homoeopathic theories at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Dr. J.H. Clarke and Dr. J. Compton Burnett, both eminent physicians and writers on Homoeopathy, and Dr. Richard Hughes, whose work is commemorated by the "Richard Hughes Memorial Lectures" held each year at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital.

In 1850 the first London Homoeopathic Hospital was opened in Golden Square, providing accommodation for 25 in-patients plus outpatient facilities. In 1854 a cholera epidemic broke out in London and the Hospital was entirely given over to the treatment of the cholera victims. The mortality statistics of the patients treated at the Homoeopathic Hospital were only 16.8%, whereas it exceeded 50% for other hospitals. An attempt was made by the orthodox school to suppress those figures. However, Lord Grosvenor raised the matter, and Parliament ordered that the figures be printed in a Parliamentary paper, which can be seen to this day.

Homoeopathy was faced with further official attack after the Crimean War when the Registration Bill was passed by the House of Commons and which contained a clause forbidding doctors to practice any form of medicine which was not taught in Medical schools. When the Bill reached the House of Lords, however, Lord Grosvenor (now Lord Ebury) again rose in defense of Homoeopathy and reminded the House of the cholera figures and this resulted in the clause being defeated. An amendment was even added to the Bill which made it illegal for a doctor to be penalized on account of unorthodox belief and this is how the Law stands today.

In 1859 the Hospital moved to its present site in Great Ormond Street where it opened with 50 beds. The success of the Hospital necessitated a larger site and the present building was opened in 1896 by H.R.H. The Duchess of Tech. The Sir Henry Tyler Wing was added to it in 1909 and in the same year the site of the Nurses Home, opposite the Hospital, was secured and the Home was opened in 1912.

In 1877, instigated by Dr. Quin, the London School of Homoeopathy was established and in 1895 the School was emerged with the Hospital, the full name of which became ‘The London Homoeopathic Hospital and School of Medicine’.

The Hospital received the honour of Royal Patronage in 1920 when H.R.H. The Royal Charter of Incorporation was granted by the Prive Council. In September 1948 the hospital was granted the use of the prefix ‘Royal’. Today the Hospital is under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen.

Apart from the ‘Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital’, there are five other homoeopathic hospitals in the British Isles. The largest is the ‘Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital’ which also has a separate children’s hospital and was founded in 1914. The other hospitals are situated in Bristol (1925), Tunbridge Wells (1890) and Liverpool (1837). The last-mentioned hospital has recently become part of the Liverpool Clinic and moved into the new teaching hospital in Liverpool. A homoeopathic clinic, which started as a Dispensary in 1860 in Manchester, has been running very successfully ever since. Other homoeopathic clinics have been opened in Bath, Leeds and Chichester.

The 'British Homoeopathic Association' caters for the needs of lay people who are interested in Homoeopathy, though many doctors are also members. The Association was founded in 1909 with the aim of promoting the knowledge and use of Homoeopathy. It has a library and provides an information service dealing with enquiries from the general public. It publishes guides and monographs and a bi-monthly journal called ‘Homoeopathy’ which is issued free to members. The Association also organizes meetings and seminars.

Another lay organization is the ‘Hahnemann Society’ which was founded in 1968. Like the British Homoeopathic Association, it provides information and promotes the study of Homoeopathy. The Society issues a quarterly ‘News Letter’ to its members.

There have been numerous homoeopathic research projects conducted in the British Isles, and some of the more interesting ones are detailed as follows:

In 1941 tests to ascertain whether or not high potencies could be proved to be clinically active were conducted by Dr. J. Paterson and Dr. W.E. Boyd. High potencies of Diptherinum were given to some volunteers and high potencies of Alum. Precipitated Toxoid to others to test immunity to diphtheria. Both were found to be active and in one group the susceptibility was reduced to 39.4%.

In the same year, after an enquiry made to Messrs A. Nelson & Co., the homoeopathic pharmacy, by the Ministry of Home Security, research was conducted by Dr. W.L. Templeton. It was designed to ascertain whether skin lesions caused by the application of mustard gas could be helped by the oral administration of potentised Mustard gas and Rhus Toxicodendron, and the results proved positive.

Between 1946 and 1952 research to determine whether high potencies of Mercuric Chloride could influence the digestion of starch by malt diastase was conducted by Dr. W.E. Boyd and proved successful.

Between 1968 and 1970 a survey of the effectiveness of homoeopathic nosodes as compared with an allopathic vaccine for influenza was carried out and the result proved the nosode Influenzium to be more effective. 19.7% of the allopathic group contracted influenza as opposed to 6.5% of the homoeopathic group, and the number of working days lost by the allopathic group was 8 ½ times greater than those lost by the homoeopathic group.

Research in the 1960s by Professor Barnard at the National Physical Laboratory has shown that with high potencies the original substance is not measurable and no trace of it remains but the structure of the molecules of the diluent carrying the potency has been altered and rearranged.

The Laws and Regulations of Homoeopathy in Great Britain are incorporated by the Act of Parliament (called the Faculty of Homoeopathy Act, 1950).