Homeopathy originates from the Greek word: Homeo-meaning the similar Pathos-meaning suffering (The similar suffering)

The idea of ‘like cures like’ dates back to Hippocrates (460 BC to 377 BC), the father of medicine, who wrote, “By similar things a disease is produced and through the application of the like is cured.” 

But this was ignored until Homeopathy was founded by Dr. Hahnemann in 17th century.

This discovery was the result of disgust Dr. Hahnemann felt with the medical practice of those days.

Hahnemann, when convinced of the uncertainty and unsafe ness of the medical science of his day, rested not in his search for something more safe and sure. “He that seeketh shall find.” To the receptive, eager mind, a trivial incident may serve as the clue to a brilliant discovery, just as the falling apple did in Newton's case and the swinging chandelier in Galileo's.

Dr. Hahnemann graduated MD at the University of Erlangen in 1779 and started practice in 1781. He applied himself conscientiously to his profession, as a medical healer.  In the early years of practice, using the medicines and techniques available to the profession at the time, he found to his dismay that he was not achieving a healing response in many of his patients. Also in some cases the medical practice was causing greater damage to the health of the patient through the toxic effects of some of the medicines, than the disease, if left untreated, would have caused.

This tragic fact made such a profound moral impression on him, that he felt compelled to withdraw from the profession in order to not contribute to the harm being committed to humanity in the name of medicine.

After giving up his practice (c.1784) he made his living chiefly as a writer and translator, while resolving also to investigate the causes of medicine's alleged errors. 

While translating William Cullen's A Treatise on the Materia Medica, Hahnemann encountered the claim that Cinchona, the bark of a Peruvian tree, was effective in treating malaria because of its astringency. 

Hahnemann claimed that other astringent substances are not effective against malaria and began to research cinchona's effect on the human organism by self-application. 

He claimed that the drug evoked malaria-like symptoms in him, and concluded that it would do so in any healthy individual. 

Then he propounded a healing principle: “similia similibus curentur” i.e., which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms. 

This principle, like cures like, became the basis for an approach to medicine which he gave the name HOMEOPATHY.