Homoeopathy is a system of medicine which involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances, mainly in tablet form, derived from plants, minerals, metals, animals and other naturally occurring substances. The aim of this treatment is to trigger the body’s own natural system of healing.
The Early Beginnings
Homoeopathy was developed over 200 years ago by a medical doctor Samuel Hahnemann who was disenchanted by the mainstream medicine of the time which used methods like bloodletting, purging and administered complex mixtures. These often resulted in a worsening of symptoms and often proved fatal.
Dr Hahnemann advocated the use of single drugs at lower doses, believing that diseases are caused by lifestyle choices, and other physical and spiritual causes. His ideas were not received well and he was considered an outcast by the majority of his peers. He continued to practice in Germany and in later years set up practice in Paris with his second wife.
His account of this system of medicine was first published in 1810 as The Organon of the Healing Art, the 6th edition of which is still used by homoeopaths today.
Natural and Safe
As homoeopathic treatments are derived from naturally occurring substances, they are considered safe and because the treatments are so natural there are no harsh side-effects, they are non-toxic and not addictive.
In fact the ‘Law of the Minimum Dose’ in homoeopathy means that one dose is often prescribed and resulting changes, if any, monitored closely by the patient and the homoeopathic practitioner informed. Too much of the same remedy, if the individual’s symptoms are lessened or changed in any way, can stop the medicine being effective.
Certain substances are known to antidote certain homoeopathic remedies in some individuals e.g. Coffee (including decaffeinated), mint (often in toothpastes), eucalyptus, menthol, camphor (found in vapour rubs and cold remedies).
Homoeopathy can be used safely alongside other forms of medical treatment but it is important to tell your homoeopath about any medication you are taking or have received e.g. ‘flu-jab’ or vaccinations.
Homoeopathic remedies are made following a strict methodology in homoeopathic pharmacies e.g. Helios in Kent, involving repeatedly diluting the chosen substance in alcohol and distilled water, followed by ‘succussing’ (which is basically striking) on a slightly pliable surface (often a large hardcover book). Each time this is done to the substance it alters the ‘potency’(or energy) of the remedy containing the original substance.
In the use of homoeopathic treatment for chronic illness, it often takes time for the individual’s ‘life-force’ to respond to the homoeopathic prescription(s), requiring several consultations with the homoeopath.
How It Works
‘Homoeopathy’ of ‘Homoeopathy’ was derived from the Greek term homoios which means ‘like’ and pathos ‘suffering’. The use of the term ‘Homoeopathy’ first appeared in print in 1807.
As a method of treatment, homoeopathy is based on the principle of ‘Like Cures Like’ (similia similibus curentur) or the Law of Similars. This concept, while not widely broadcast, is often used in conventional medicine. For example peanut allergy sufferers may be given small amounts of peanut to slowly reduce and eventually ‘reduce’ their sensitivity or become desensitised to peanuts.
Hippocrates, the Ancient Greek physician also wrote about this principle:
“By similar things a disease is produced and through the application of the like is cured.”
Hippocrates over 2000 years ago.
There are Three Fundamental Principals of Homoeopathy:
The Law of Similars – matching the symptom picture of an illness to a natural substance that produces similar symptoms in a healthy person.
Totality of Symptoms – Close examination of each individual’s presenting symptoms is required to match the symptom picture of the appropriate remedy.
Minimum Dose – In homoeopathy a small amount of the prescribed remedy is administered to stimulate the patient’s own healing mechanism. This is closely monitored by a professional homoeopathic practitioner as too much of a remedy may cause an aggravation of symptoms.
Application of these principals ensure that each individual’s prescription is unique to them and matched to the way they present their ‘dis-ease’ symptoms.