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History of Homeopathy in Chile

Homeopathy was first used in Chile in 1817 when General San Martin, the "liberator of Argentina," crossed the Andes with his homeopathic medicine chest. In 1848, Augusto Gusmao brought homeopathy into the country from Brazil. The Organon was translated by Dr. Benito Garcia Fernandez in 1855, and a Hering's Domestic Physician, translated by Dr. Roman Fernando del Rio, appeared the same year. There was a more modern Chilean translation of the Organon by Hochstetter in 1974, appearing in English in 1977.

There were six doctors, two chemists, and two veterinarians listed in 1931. The practice of homeopathy is legal but restricted to MDs. There are many "unauthorized practitioners" using homeopathy as well. The Sociedad Médica Homeopática de Chile was founded in 1949, and The Sociedad de Medicina Homeopática de Valpariso was formed in 1990.

There are no journals or schools, although some universities teach homeopathy in their pharmacy schools' curriculum. In 1998 there were fewer than 100 MDs practicing. There are five laboratories manufacturing homeopathic medicines.

Several publications have kept alive the interest in Homoeopathy in the country. 'El Homoeopatia', under the direction of Mr. Paul Bolzinger, appeared from 1936 to 1938. After that 'Medicine Homoeopatia' was published under the direction of Mr. Alfredo Serey, creator also of a laboratory for preparing the homoeopathic remedies according to the principles of Homoeopathy.

This journal was in circulation from 1938 to 1946 and was replaced then by the present 'Divulgacion de la Homoeopatia' under the directorship of Dr. Kurt Hochstetter who leads also Homoeopathic laboratories and pharmacy. Nash's Guiding Symptoms has also been published in the Spanish language.

In spite of the official creation of an homoeopathic chair by decree of the Government school and a programme on an introduction to Homoeopathy at Radio Portales on every Tuesday as well as 'Samuel Hahnemann Award' being given by the Institute Hahnemanniano International to the best reporter, there are problems in practicing and prescribing Homoeopathy. The Association still offers attention to poor people with collaboration of the doctors belonging to medical society.

However, homoeopathic unitary medicines are now considered "generics" and 200 items have been registered. The present number of the members of International Homoeopathic League from Chile is 10.

 



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