path-, patho-, -path-, -pathia, -pathic, -pathology, -pathetic, -pathize, -pathy
(Greek: feeling, sensation, perception; suffering, disease, or disorder; a system of treating diseases)
In medicine, some of these elements usually mean "someone who suffers from a disease of, or one who treats a disease"; so, they should not be confused with the words that mean "feeling" which are also shown on these pages even though both meanings come from the same Greek element.
Homeopathy, historical background
Homeopathy was invented by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was both refined and popularized by the American physician James Tyler Kent.
Homeopathy is based on the theory that each naturally occurring element, plant, and mineral compound will, when ingested or applied, result in certain symptoms. Hahnemann believed that, by diluting these substances in a standardized manner, one could reach the true essence of that substance. Hahnemann described this process of dilution as "potentizing" (German: "potenziert") the substance. These diluted amounts could then be used to treat the very symptoms they were known to produce.Hahnemann and his students approached their treatments in a holistic way, meaning that the whole of the body and spirit is dealt with, not just the localised disease. Hahnemann himself spent extended periods of time with his patients, asking them questions that dealt not only with their particular symptoms or illness, but also with the details of their daily lives.
It is also suggested that the gentle approach of homeopathy was a reaction to the violent forms of medicine of the day, which included techniques such as bleeding.