Homeopathy system of alternative medicine originated in 1796 by German Physician Samuel Hahnemann.
This is based on his doctrine of similia similibus curentur (“Let like be cured by like“), according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick persons.
Hippocrates wrote of curing ‘like with like‘ more than 2,000 years ago but it was formally systematized by Hahnemann.
But, the same principle was explained in Bhagavata Purana, which was written by Sage Veda Vyas around 5000 years ago (3100 BCE).
In this book, Sage Narada explains to Vyas :
“आमयो यस्च भूतानां जयते येन सुव्रता |
तदेव याम्यहम द्रव्यं न पुनती चिकितसितम ||”
“(Aamayo yascha boothanam jayathae yena suvratha |
thadeva yhamayam dhravyam na punathi chikitsitham||)”
Aamayo – Diseases, yascha – whatever, bhootanam – of the living being, jayathae – become possible, yena – by the agency, suvratha – of the good soul, thad – that, eva – very, dhravyam – thing, na – does it not, punathi – cure, chikitsitham – treated with.
The same substance which contributes to a particular malady cannot ordinarily counteract the disease, but when taken in a properly medicated form does cure the ailment.
For example, milk or food prepared with milk can cause disorder of stomach. But when same milk is made into curd and mixed up with remedial ingredients in smaller quantities will cure this disorder.
The onion, which produces tears in the eye and irritation (similar to a cold), can be used as a homeopathic medicine to cure colds which have irritating tears.
It is evident that ancient indians used this principle in different ways with statements like Vishasya Visham Aushadam (Poison is the medicine for poison) and Ushnam Ushnena Seetalam/Santi (Heat can be tackled by heat to make it cold) and cured diseases of humans and cattle since ages in Ayurveda.