Homeopathy Contingent Evolution: Homeopathy and 19th Century Biomedicine - Academy of Homeopathy Education

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Contingent Evolution: Homeopathy and 19th Century Biomedicine

Denise is a 2023 graduate of the JHU History of Medicine Program. Her thesis, Contingent Evolution: Homeopathy and 19th Century Biomedicine explores how the uptake of bacteriological discoveries into the canon of 19th century medical knowledge was an interdependent and non-linear process in both orthodox and heterodox spaces. 
Since 2015, Denise has served as President and Clinical Director of The Academy of Homeopathy Education, the named educational provider for the American Institute of Homeopathy, and HOHM Foundation, a not-for-profit, research-based initiative. She teaches around the world in Homeopathy, integrative wellness, and spirituality in medicine.
Denise has conducted extensive, primary research on the intellectual origins of Homeopathy, the 19th century medical modality as put forth by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), with specific focus on Hahnemann’s The Chronic Diseases and the chemical origin of his medicine. In conjunction with HOHM Foundation, she has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on clinical outcomes and education in integrative medicine. She is completing a compendium of homeopathic case analysis with expected publication in 2024.
Academic interests include the alchemical/iatrochemical influences in 18th and 19th century medicine; she has the intention to pursue a PhD on this topic. 

Scroll down to read the abstract or follow the link to download her complete thesis. She is preparing it for publication as a book, so subscribe to our newsletter for updates. 

Contingent Evolution: Homeopathy and 19th Century Biomedicine


Contingent evolutions in orthodox and heterodox healing regarding the uptake of bacteriological information into the canon of nineteenth-century medical knowledge were interdependent and non-linear. The historiography of medicine, however, with its attachment to the orthodox medical timeline, has perpetuated a somewhat Whiggish ideal of progress that excludes scientific discoveries that evolved outside of what is now deemed conventional medicine. Homeopathy, the system of medicine introduced by German medical doctor Samuel Hahnemann, lends a counter-narrative to orthodoxy in the nineteenth-century medical marketplace and provides an additional perspective as to how non-orthodox practitioners engaged in similar paths of discovery. In some instances, such as with the introduction of homeopathic medicines made from disease products such as rabies, anthrax, and scabies as early as 1833, homeopaths were decades ahead of the orthodox curve. Interrogation of the specific perspectives and arguments from homeopaths—especially as they describe themselves in contrast to orthodoxy—can deepen what is an otherwise superficial understanding of some key aspects of homeopathic philosophy and practice that have often been shadowed by hegemonic assumptions. To have homeopathy explained in its own right and seen as a contributor to the overall evolution of medicine in the nineteenth century offers a richer, more nuanced, and inclusive history.