Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) is considered the founder of homeopathy although its origins go back to the famed father of biochemistry, Paracelsus (1493-1541). It was Hahnemann who codified what Paracelsus observed in his empirical studies and experiments, and who brought the science into the mainstream of European medicine. Hahnemann was a medical doctor in Germany, where his several books on the art of healing were published. He did die in Paris; perhaps this is how you've come to associate homeopathy with France.
Homeopathy is widely used in Europe, and was also widely practiced in America in the 1800s. Hahnemann Medical College and the Homeopathic Medical College of Philadelphia were founded in the mid 1800s-and still exist in name today-long before the American Medical Association set about to discredit the science of homeopathy with the Flexner report in 1910 which made false claims about homeopathy, which in turn influenced funders to stop funding research in homeopathy in America, although homeopathic research continued in Europe, and still does. It is a misconception to think that there is no scientific evidence that homeopathy works. There's just not been much contemporary research in America because the AMA, in bed with the drug companies, still controls what research gets done.
By the late 1800's there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, over 100 homeopathic hospitals, and about 9500 homeopathic practitioners in the US, compared to 50,000 AMA-member doctors. This was seen as a professional-economic threat to the AMA, which used its influence to get legislation passed to restrict how homeopaths could practice in most states. The homeopaths themselves must take some blame in the decline of the profession in this country because they were not very politically savvy, and failed to understand the threat that the AMA posed to their way of practicing medicine. The profession all but died out between 1920 and the 1960s, but has been making a comeback since the 1970s, and especially since the naturopathic physicians have re-invigorated the practice of homeopathy.
Phillip Bailey, a noted homeopath in England has written a book called Homeopathic Psychology in which he reviews the major constitutional types (remedies) and their mental/ emotional "symptoms". There are several constitutional types that display a constellation of behaviors that would fit many people diagnosed with bipolar.
About homeopatics in America:
Licensed naturopathic physicians have it within their scope of practice to practice homeopathy. Naturopathic physicians (NDs) are licensed in at least 11 states, maybe more, and I understand that efforts are underway to regain licensure in California, as well as some other states. Any naturopath who has graduated from one of the three federal Dept of Education accredited naturopathic medical schools, or the two accredited naturopathic med schools in Canada, has been trained in homeopathy. Some of these NDs practice in states that do not license NDs, and might be found in the phone book listed under health counselors. Many have dual training and licensure in oriental medicine and acupuncture, and in may be registered as acupuncturists.
As a member of the faculty of one of these medical schools, I can pass along what my ND friends tell me: always question the credentials of someone claiming to be a naturopath, whether they are licensed in licensing states, and whether they got their training from a residential medical school. There are some mail order outfits claiming to train people in naturopathy. I have compared their curriculum with ours, and it in no way meets the professional standard.
By the way, NDs also have it within their scope of practice to offer treatment in phytotherapy, nutritional therapy, orthomolecular medicine, psychotherapy, physical medicine (meaning, spinal adjustment, massage, and craniosacral therapy), traditional chinese medicine, and ayurveda, and natural childbirth. Of course, not all NDs emphasize all of these modalities. My ND mainly uses psychotherapy and homeopathy, but does use a lot of phytotherapy and nutritional therapy with his AIDS patients.
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