Like many, you may have wondered what homeopathy is and not be aware of its wide spread use and impact on Western medicine.
Homeopathy, rich in history
Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine that originated approximately 200 years ago when the German physician Samuel Hahnemann was looking for a gentler way to heal his patients. One day, when dosing himself on China bark, Hahnemann realised that his symptoms from taking this bark were not unlike the symptoms of malaria, which China bark was commonly used to treat. From this Hahnemann developed the first law of homeopathy: ‘Similia similibus curentur’, like cures like. The idea is that a substance that produces a symptom in a healthy person, can reduce that symptom if present in an unhealthy person. Take for example Allium cepa (common house onion). Everyone can relate to having watery and painful eyes when cutting up onions. However, a person may find relief from teary and watery eyes when taking Allium cepa homeopathically.
Homeopathy, a unique angle on dosing
The key fascinating principle of homeopathy is dilution and succussion. The starting point is when one drop of the original substance is taken and placed into 99 drops of water or alcohol. This is then agitated (succussed), imparting what is called a potency into the water. This solution is then placed in another 99 drops of water/alcohol and repeated, sometimes several times.
In this way thousands of homeopathic remedies have been developed. Generally homeopathic medicines are what are called ‘complexes’ where different potencies of a number of substances are used for a single condition.
Homeopathy and the question of efficacy
Homeopathy is the second highest form of medicine used worldwide, particularly in France, Germany and India where it is used frequently. But many have asked: if the remedy is so dilute, then how can it possibly be effective?
Scientists have sought to answer this and a picture appears to be forming. From studies emerging from the 1980s, we know that water appears to be a carrier for information with this information stored energetically in clusters of water structures.
A paper recently published by the Swiss government about homeopathy’s effect on humans investigated 22 reviews (563 studies in total) and reported ‘at least a trend in favour of homeopathy in 20 of the 22 reviews.’ We also know that plants and animals respond to homeopathic preparations.
However, there is still much to learn about its method of action, particularly when the remedies are so highly diluted. There is also some concern when the remedies are proposed to replace traditional medical treatment in serious conditions.
Homeopathy and individual care
Although many have been introduced to homeopathy via over-the-counter complexes, ideally treatment should be tailored to the individual by a qualified homeopathic practitioner. Consultation may take some time and many unique questions will be asked, some of which may not be related to the presenting symptom. No two patients with the same condition will walk away with the same remedy as the practitioner will individualise the remedy to the patient in front of them.
Homeopathy and your family
How can you use homeopathy in your own family’s life?
Homeopathy has been developed to work with the body, not against it and has very few side effects which makes it suitable for the elderly or those who are sensitive. As homeopathy is gentle and easy to use it is wonderful for children.
Although the process of dilution and succession has drawn some skepticism, it has also brought into light the possibility of the remedies working not chemically, but energetically. So if you are looking for natural and safe remedies for the whole family, consider homeopathy.
A few common remedies include:
Allium cepa (Onion): A frequent remedy for the common cold and hay fever, especially with thin, watery burning discharge.
Arnica (Mountain daisy): First aid remedy for minor injuries from shock or injury. It helps reduce pain and speeds up the self-healing process.
Chamomilla (Chamomile): Used for the irritable child who may be crying and restless due to colic or teething.
Ignatia (St. Ignatius bean): One of the leading homeopathic remedies for grief, anxiety and depression, particularly when loss is involved.