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What Is Homeopathy

Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a medical philosophy Homeopathy is a system of natural health care that has been in worldwide use for over 200 years. It’s practice based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself. Homeopathy was founded in the late 1700s in Germany and has been widely practiced throughout Europe. Homeopathic medicine views symptoms of illness as normal responses of the body as it attempts to regain health.

Homeopathy was invented by Samuel Christian Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician who had become dissatisfied with the medicine of his day. Hahnemann lived in a time before the rudiments of modern medicine had been developed, before the germ theory of infectious disease, before the first antibiotic, before systematic testing of drugs for safety and efficacy, before surgical procedures were performed with anesthesia or sterile technique.

For many years Hahnemann’s search was unsuccessful until he stumbled upon what he thought was an amazing observation: he took a small amount of cinchona bark, which contains quinine, the drug used to treat malaria, and developed the symptoms of malaria. From this observation he developed homeopathy’s first law, “similia similibus curentur,” or let likes be cured by likes. In other words, drugs which cause specific symptoms can be used to cure diseases which cause the same symptoms.

Let Likes Cure Likes

Homeopathy is based on the idea that “like cures like.” That is, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a very small amount of the same substance may cure the illness. In theory, a homeopathic dose enhances the body’s normal healing and self-regulatory processes.

A homeopathic health practitioner (homeopath) uses pills or liquid mixtures (solutions) containing only a little of an active ingredient for treatment of disease. These are known as highly diluted or “potentiated” substances. There are evidences to show that homeopathic medicines may have helpful effects.

Homeopathic remedies are derived from substances that come from plants, minerals, or animals, such as red onion, arnica (mountain herb), crushed whole bees, white arsenic, poison ivy, belladonna (deadly nightshade), and stinging nettle. Homeopathic remedies are often formulated as sugar pellets to be placed under the tongue; they may also be in other forms, such as ointments, gels, drops, creams, and tablets.

What is homeopathy used for?

Historically, people have used homeopathy to maintain health and treat a wide range of long-term illnesses, such as allergies, atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. They have also used it to treat minor injuries, such as cuts and scrapes and muscle strains or sprains. Homeopathic treatment is not considered appropriate for illnesses, such as cancer, major infections, or emergencies.

Homeopathy has been widely used in India, England, and other European countries.

Are homeopathic medicines regulated?

Homeopathic medicines are considered to be drugs under U.S. federal law, and the Food and Drug Administration regulates the manufacture, marketing, and sales of all homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines are made according to a book of standards called the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). The HPUS contains all of the information necessary for the proper identification of the raw materials used to make homeopathic medicines, as well as techniques for their manufacture and quality control. Homeopathic medicines are derived from botanical (plant), mineral, and some animal sources.

What does homeopathic treatment involve?

Homeopathic doctors work in the same way as any other conventional doctors. History taking, examination and investigation are all important in establishing the diagnosis. However, as well as asking about your symptoms, a homeopathic doctor will be interested in you as an individual and the unique way in which your symptoms affect you.

Are homeopathic medicines safe?

Because of the minute doses used in homeopathy, the medicines labeled for internal use are non-toxic. When properly administered, the medicines are completely safe for everyone including pregnant women, newborns, children, and adults through the senior years. Many veterinarians use homeopathy in the treatment of animals. There are no known or suspected contraindications or drug interactions between homeopathic and conventional medications.

Side Effects and Risks?

Certain homeopathic products (called “nosodes” or “homeopathic immunizations”) have been promoted by some as substitutes for conventional immunizations, but data to support such claims is lacking. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for immunizations/vaccinations.

A 2007 systematic review found that highly diluted homeopathic remedies, taken under the supervision of trained professionals, are generally safe and unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions. However, like any drug or dietary supplement, these products could pose risks if they are improperly manufactured (for example, if they are contaminated with microorganisms or incorrectly diluted).

The homeopathic consultation

Questions about your lifestyle, eating habits and preferences, temperament, personality, sleep patterns and medical history help the doctor to form a complete picture of you. This picture will be matched to the symptoms of your illness in order to prescribe a particular type and strength of homeopathic medicine.

As a guide your first appointment could take anything up to an hour, with follow-up appointments typically lasting 30 minutes. This does vary depending on the practitioner and the setting in which they work (NHS appointments may be shorter for example).

The medicine

At the end of the consultation your homeopathic doctor will give you a prescription and advise you how often to take the medicine. Homeopathy is usually taken in tablet but is also available in liquid and powder form. You may be prescribed a homeopathic gel or cream for topical use as well.

Why is homeopathy so popular?

Homeopathic treatment works with your body’s own healing powers to bring about health and wellbeing. You are treated as an individual, not as a collection of disease labels. Homeopathy treats all your symptoms at all levels of your being – spiritual, emotional, mental and physical and finds the ‘like cures like’ match for them. Homeopathically prepared remedies, providing the minimum dose, are gentle, subtle and powerful. They are non-addictive, and not tested on animals.

Homeopathy is the second largest system of medicine in the world. Over 200 million people use it worldwide. In India, more than 100 million people depend solely on homeopathy for their healthcare. Prince Charles is a user of homeopathy and has spoken out in favor of integrated healthcare. The Queen is patron of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (formerly the London Homoeopathic Hospital). Many sports personalities and celebrities are among the users of homeopathy, including Paul McCartney, David Beckham, Susan Hampshire, Tina Turner, Louise Jameson, Gaby Roslin, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Nadia Sawalha, Jennifer Aniston, Roger Daltry, Olivia Newton John, Jenny Seagrove and Helena Bonham Carter. Many sports personalities and celebrities are among the users of homeopathy, including Paul McCartney, David

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