As I passed a shop selling homeopathic remedies the other day, it occurred to me that I didn't really know what homeopathy meant. I mean, I have a vague notion that it probably involves shoving some St John's wort in your ears to balance your negative energies, but I wasn't really sure. But I did know that homeo means the same (as in homosexual) and that pathy means suffering, as in pathetic.
And, bingo, I was spot on. Homeopathy proper is the idea that like cures like. So a disease may be cured if you give somebody a medicine that would usually cause the same (homeo) symptoms. It was thought up by a chap called Samuel Hahnemannn (1755-1843) who noticed that a kind of Peruvian tree bark that appeared to cure malaria, when given to a healthy fellow, produced the symptoms of malaria.
For myself, I'm perfectly convinced by this theory and intend from now on to cure drunkenness by drinking, and undertake to remedy anybody's nosebleed by punching them in the face.
I have also discovered that for years I have been using allopathic doctors, that's what homeopathic chaps call the rest of the medical profession. Allopathy is other suffering and it's the same allo that you get in allegory or other-speaking.
The Inky Fool now offers medical insurance