Homeopathy was created in the late 1700’s by a German medical doctor named Samuel Hahnemann. Hahnemann was disappointed by the medical approaches of his time. He decided to devote his time to research, and while learning about malaria and how quinine can be used to cure it, he discovered that the symptoms of cinchona (the plant used to make quinine) poisonings were similar to malaria.
Hahnemann decided to dose himself with cinchona, and came down with symptoms of malaria. By the time of his death, in 1843, he had done nearly 100 of these doses on himself with a variety of substances. These are now called “provings” and are the principal method used by homeopaths to study new medicines.