Homeopathy or Homoeopathy?

The Difference Between

Homeopathy and


For your edification

by John Benneth

Homeopathy literally means “similar suffering.” Homoeopathy means “same suffering.” The difference may seem perplexing in that Hahnnemann condemned the use of homeopathy and endorsed homoeopathy

If you’ve been following my blog you may have noticed that my writing since October has been making use of another spelling of homeopathy . . homoeopathy. This may appear to be no more a deference to archaic typography or style, but it actually reveals yet another critical misunderstanding of the doctrine made by many, and so before I sink any deeper into the subject, a notation herein is made that leads to a deeper insight into curative medicine.

It is one of the great ironies that the two words refer to similar, yet subtly different concepts. And so I must say, that as much as this may be upsetting to the homeocognoscenti, the difference is critically important in understanding the proper use of the materia medica.

October 23, 2013 the legendary physicist and statistician Dr. Rolland Conte [1] sent me the following quote of Samuel Hahnemann:

“I will only speak of those who have written homeopathy and homeopathic instead of homoeopathy and homoeopathic. With this they demonstrate that they do not know the substantial difference between homoios and homoousios, and they believe both words are synonyms. Would they have never heard speaking of that what the whole world knows, the separation into two irreconcilable branches generated in the past in the Christian church, by the infinite difference between homoios and homoousios ? Would they sufficiently have ignored the ancient Greek language for not to know that homoios means similar and homoousios analogue ? Never ever has homoeopathy claimed to heal the illnesses through the same power as the one that generates them ; she wishes to achieve it through a power which is not at all identical, but only analogue, through a medicine that can only produce a morbid state analogue to the illness.” [2]

Leave it to Dr. Conte to reveal to me something others seem to have missed . . at least so far on the WWW: I ran a search on the Hahnemann quote to see who else might be clued in on this and have some commentary, but did not find it, it was nowhere posted that I could see. LOL, Conte is the maestro, always a thorn in the side of the real pseudoscientists here and “homeopathy” alike.

While everyone is looking the other way Conte has been the one who starts blazing a trail into unknown territory, as he did with NMR and beta scintillation studies of “homeopathic remedies” . . if we can keep calling them that, the subject of yet another blog on ionized pharmaceuticals . .

So, in the second month of 2014, let it be known “homeopathy,” according to Hahnemann, is merely putative and wrong, except more likely to be picked up by the search engines, whereas homoeopathy is correct and less likely to be used . .

Unwilling to let this seeming anomaly go by without attacking from all sides, I went to the dictionary to see if I could unravel this confusion. According to Webster, homoio = homeo, and means similar . . whereas homoousios= homoeo, and means the same!

Similia similibus curentur, i.e. “like cures like” has always been the rule for the selection of remedies in “homeopathy,” and now here Hahnemann is suggesting eadem idem sanat . . ? “same cures same?”

This appears to be a contradiction. Hahnemann’s reference to homoeo as analogous led me to check its definition, and here I found the key to the puzzle. The second definition of analogous is the biological one, and this makes an important if not final distinction, clearing up the difference between homeopathy and homoeopathy.

Biologically speaking, analogous, or homoeo-, means “similar in function, but different in origin . . or structure.
I take this to mean then that a horse, a car and a blimp are all analogous in that whereas they have different origins and structures, they are all used for transportation and therefore similar in function.
The Indians in the Pacific Northwest, for example, saw the wolf and the killer whale as the same spirit, or essence, in that as pack predators they behaved in the same way, and had similar voices.

It should be reiterated here that both homeopathy and homoeopathy are applicative strategies and do not specifically refer to highly diluted, solid, liquid, gaseous or ionized medical materials per se, but rather how they are used in the treatment of disease.

What is going on here is that the suffering, i.e. the symptoms, are being confused with the curative agent . .
Now granted, at least in my case, it can be confusing regarding the difference between same, analogue and similar, which one might ascribe to being due to the translation from French to English and the nuance between “similar” and “analogue.”
But I think we can dismiss that as being irrelevant.
I used to assume that the difference between homeo- and homoeo was merely typographical, that both words were different spellings of the same meaning. Until Conte sent me the quote from Hahnemann, I did not know that they are two separate words, and actually two different religions.
The Christian homiosians (homeogogues) believed God and Christ to be of similar substance , . . whereas the homoousians (homoeogogues) believed God to be one and the same substance, or essence.

Hahnemann is an authority who is not easily contradicted. He was a professional translator of scientific and medical texts, spoke a dozen languages, and as a young man worked in one of the oldest medical libraries in Europe and Transasia, which still stands in Sibiu, Romania, so we might expect this kind of neologistic hair splitting from him, but . .

Talk to you later if not sooner,


1. Rolland R. CONTE, Henri BERLIOCCHI, Yves LASNE, Gabriel VERNOT Theory of high dilutions and experimental aspects, Polytechnica 1996, Paris, ISBN 2-84054-046-02.
2. Samuel HAHNEMANN, Etudes de Médecine Homoeopatiques, page 281, Editions Baillière, Paris, France 1855