Allopathy: Origin, Theories, Comparison, Treatment Methods and Victims of Their Practice

Good health is a state of natural life that always depends on your own lifestyle. If you listen to your body and treat it well, it will always reward you with good health.

Allopathy refers to conventional medical practices with natural elements, which were used during a specific era of history.

Allopathy is a historical term that is widely used “as a reference for medical practices that included bleeding, purging, vomiting, and the administration of highly toxic medications.”

The natural health perspective is about wellness, holistic medicine, prevention, healthy living and healthy lifestyles.

Origin of the Allopathy

Allopathy is a method to treat the disease with remedies that produce effects different from those caused by the disease itself.

The term ‘Allopathy’ was invented by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann.

They joined the words allos ‘opposite’ and pathos ‘suffering’. An example of an allopathic therapy would be “to use a laxative to relieve constipation”.

The history of allopathy was practiced in the United States from the period of the American Revolutionary War until around 1876, which marks the beginning of preventive medicine.

It can also be described as regular medicine, the practice of conventional medicine during the 19th century, the Era of Heroic Medicine (1780-1850), the Era of the Miasmas and the Sanitation Reform Movement in America.

From a twentieth-century point of view, early American medicine was not scientific. Isolated observations of the disease and the outcome of the treatment were generalized, in what now seems a more arbitrary way, into universal “theories of disease”.

Theory of four humors

The old theory “attributed the disease to an imbalance of four humors (ie, blood, phlegm and black and yellow bile), with four bodily conditions (ie hot, cold, wet and dry) that corresponded to four elements (earth , air, fire and water).

Doctors who followed the Hippocratic tradition tried to balance the humors by treating the symptoms with opposites.

For example, it was believed that the fever (heat) was due to excess blood because the patients were reddened; therefore, equilibrium was sought by extracting blood to “cool” the patient.

Allopathy versus functional medicine

During the eighteenth century, the explanation of the disease of the Four Bones began to lose ground to several conflicting systems that tried to reveal one or two basic causes for all diseases.

In addition, an effort was being made to develop a fundamental theory that would detract from the importance of diagnosing specific diseases.

However, the allopathic medical treatment regardless of the theory continued to consist largely of the traditional heroic methods of medical treatment: bleeding, leeches, suckers, blisters, purges, vomiting and rubbing with toxic ointments.

William Cullen (1710-1790), a Scottish doctor and professor, argued that excess or insufficient nervous tension was the cause of all diseases.

Too much tension was often characterized by fever, to be treated by a strenuous regiment that included hemorrhage, a restricted diet, purging and rest and sedation.

A cold or chill, on the other hand, indicated too much relaxation and required restorative measures.

Holopathic theorists of the eighteenth century generally did not include in their systems an explanation for disease epidemics.

There were many discussions about possible sources of airborne diseases.

The word infection (including references to infectious temperaments) was actually used during this period of time, but was used in relation to stale air, poisonous atmosphere or miasmas.

The Allopathic theory of miasmas was an obvious reference to the horrendous smells of urban life experienced by all during this period of time.

The theory that the atmosphere was the cause of many types of fevers still persisted until 1812.

Many also blamed the sudden changes in weather for causing outbreaks of disease, as well as believing in the damaging effects of cold and humid climates.

The types of therapy for specific diseases were not too common in the eighteenth century, since the same heroic remedies were used for almost all diseases.

A moderate hemorrhage was considered one that took 8 to 12 ounces of blood at a time, a heavy one of 16 to 20 ounces.

The cleaning of the digestive tract was another generalized remedy followed or without much caution, using purgatives such as rhubarb, manna with enema tincture and enemas of variable formulation.

Among the newest ideas in medicine was the belief in the general salubrity of fresh air. It was thought that pure air dissipated miasmas, the causal agent of all diseases.

Another more widespread remedy of recent origin was mercury (a well-known poison), previously used against venereal diseases and as a purgative.

But now it is also used as an alternative to treat many diseases, often in the form of calomel.

The poison Mercury was prescribed more and more after 1750 for diseases classified as inflammatory. In general, the Allopaths did not consider a deficient diet as a major cause of illness.

In addition, it was widely believed that water became safe to drink by boiling or treating it with liquors, wine and vinegar.

Era of Preventive Medicine

Preventive medicine, or the bacteriological era, dates arbitrarily from Robert Koch’s (1843-1910) demonstration in 1876 of the bacterial cause of anthrax .

This marked the beginning of a revolution in medical scientific thinking through the discovery of the bacteriological agents responsible for causing infectious diseases.

Before 1876, the medical scientific emphasis was on hygiene and sanitation.

After 1876, everything was about preventive medicine or the use of bacteriological weapons to prevent diseases.

Allopathic methods of treatment

The Alópatas used bleeding, leeches, suckers, blisters, purges, vomiting, plasters and rubbing with toxic ointments to treat their patients.

It was thought that all these methods of Allopathic treatment were cleansing, purifying and balancing treatments that sought to restore the humoral harmony of the four humors.


Bleeding was usually the initial treatment. There were some different methods of bleeding from a person, it was said that the bleeding reduced the patient.

It was believed that the use of bleeding released bad blood that contained diseases of a person’s body.

Doctors used to apply this treatment if the patient had:

  • Brain congestion
  • Eye pain.
  • Sickness of the spine.
  • Sore throat or swollen tonsils
  • Asthma.
  • Inflammation of the lungs
  • Heart disease.
  • Dyspepsia.
  • Hepatic disease.
  • Enlargement of the spleen.
  • Inflammation of intestines.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Genital diseases
  • Rheumatism.
  • Neuralgia.

In all cases of intermittent fever, remitting, typhoid, yellow, black tongue, dysentery, dengue and, in fact, for each particular and special morbid condition that could be found.


It is a method of bleeding with leeches. A leech was placed in a thin tube while washing and shaving the patient’s skin.

To stimulate the leech’s bite, a drop of blood or milk was placed in the area of ​​a vein. Then the tube with the leech was inverted on it, on the spot, and the leech sucked blood from the vein.

When it was felt that the leech had taken enough blood, salt was sprinkled on the leech, causing the leech to stop sucking and loosening the skin.


A treatment in which empty glass cups are applied to cut the skin and draw blood. The suction cups were generally used in combination with indentations.

After one or two aggressive hemorrhages, a patient’s blood pressure would be reduced to the point where the blood would no longer come out, so hot cups were placed over the cuts to help draw more blood.

The special cups were heated and placed over the cuts, creating a vacuum, allowing blood to flow freely from the vein.


It was believed that the pain of the blisters caused the patient to focus on a new pain, moving their minds away from more severe pain than they suffered.

The practice of the blisters was deliberately done by giving the patient a second degree burn and then draining the resulting sore.

Blisters were a common method to treat the following diseases:

  • Brain congestion
  • Inflammation of the brain.
  • Eye pain.
  • Sore throat.
  • Inflammation of the stomach and lungs, of the liver, of the spleen.
  • Spinal irritation
  • Speed.
  • Typhus.
  • Typhoid fever.


Plasters were paste-like mixtures, made from a variety of ingredients, including substances such as cow dung. They were applied to the chest or back of a person suffering from a cold or internal pain, including pneumonia.

Often they were poultices with blisters. The poultices were made with bread and milk and, sometimes, other ingredients such as potatoes, onions, herbs and linseed oil were added.

The poultices were applied to cuts, wounds, bites and boils.


Smoking consisted of dosing a patient with emetics to produce vomiting. It is believed that the practice of vomiting relieves the tension in the arteries and expels the poisons from the body.


Sweating is a treatment in which patients sweat the poisons that caused their disease.


The practice of fumigation was one of the most common, to administer a type of drug in the breathing apparatus with everything that could be smoked, solved, pulverized and gasified.

Among its numerous remedies that recommended to enter into the delicate structure of the lungs, through its multiform poisons, there were substances as healthy as opium, cubebs, belladonna, iodine, calomel, corrosive sublimate, sugar of lead, hellebore, aconite, partridges of dogs, tobacco, arsenic, antimony, nitro etc.


Purging is a treatment that induces the evacuation of the patient’s intestines with powerful laxatives, which was done to cleanse the body of toxins or irritants.

The most widely used purgative was calomel, a form of mercuric chloride


Ointments containing mercury were used topically against venereal diseases. Sulfur was commonly used to treat itching.


For most of the last century, standard medical practice consisted in not administering water to severely ill patients and thousands of patients literally died from dehydration.

Hypopathic hygiene practices

The way in which the military implemented the basic principles of hygiene and sanitation during the various wars of this period of time has been well documented.

During the War of Mexico (1846-1848) there was a relation of 7 deaths from diseases of the camp (mainly dysentery ) to each death caused by a war injury.

Approximately half of the deaths due to illness during the Civil War were caused by intestinal disorders, mainly typhoid fever , diarrhea and dysentery.

Malaria attacked approximately a quarter of all the military. The rest died of pneumonia and tuberculosis. The outbreaks of these diseases were caused by unhygienic conditions of overcrowding in the field.

Celebrities killed by allopathy

George Washington (1732 -1799)

Washington was bled prematurely and poisoned to death, got a cold as he traveled to his property and developed pneumonia.

The doctors in Washington also blistered it and purged it. He did not respond to these treatments and he died.

Today, doctors believe that George Washington was dying of an acute streptococcal infection of the larynx, which caused a painful swelling of the interior of the larynx that resulted in suffocation.

A tracheotomy would probably have saved her life, and in fact one was suggested by the youngest doctor who attended, Eliseo Dick, but the technique was new and older doctors considered it insecure.

Wiliam Harrison (1773-1841)

Harrison was 68 years old and only served 31 days. He gave an inaugural speech of two hours in a cold, wet and windy March 4; He developed a bad cold that quickly turned into pneumonia.

The president’s attending doctors tried to blister the right side of his chest, but, Harrison did not improve. Then ipecacuanha was administered to induce vomiting, they also gave calomel and castor oil to purge their insides.

Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)

Taylor became ill after attending a July 4th celebration at the Washington Monument for several hours.

The president was diagnosed with cholera morbus, a term that is then used for intestinal ailments or acute gastroenteritis.

His condition decreased during the following two days and a regime of ipecac, calomel, opium and quinine did little to alleviate it. Blisters, bleeding and purging were also used.

On July 8, after suffering four days of severe abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, President Taylor died.

Prince Albert (1819-1861)

He died in 1861 for drug medication that he had received.

History tells us that Alberto’s death was so unexpected that historians always suspected that he had been poisoned with arsenic.

Historical conclusions

There are many medical histories available that write enthusiastically about the achievements of medicine in the areas of prevention and sanitation, and the achievements of Dr. Benjamin Rush during the colonial period and the nineteenth century.

But, obviously, these observations subsequent to the fact did not affect the daily practice of the Allopathy during this period of time which continued using heroic medicines and poor hygiene.

Nor did he prevent patients from being killed by his doctors until the end of the nineteenth century, nor did he prevent more soldiers from the Civil War from dying from illnesses than from battles due to the poor hygienic conditions of army camps and hospitals.

While these brilliant medical histories are read well in today’s print, the practice of Allopathy during this period of time was more deadly than the serious infectious diseases it was treating.

The practice of allopathy or heroic medicine lasted so long because precisely in spite of the fact that the allopaths drained their blood and poisoned them with highly toxic drugs, many patients recovered from serious infectious diseases such as yellow fever and cholera.

It is, therefore, a historical fact that the United States Healthcare Reform Movement of hygienic systems encompassed many of the philosophical beliefs of allopathy of the 18th and 19th centuries and, therefore, these forms of alternative medicine began by embracing the then science of the Allopathy.