Homeopathy: An Introduction
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a safe, gentle and natural system of healing that works with your body to relieve symptoms, restore itself and improve your overall health. It is extremely safe to use, even with very small children and pets, has none of the side effects of many traditional medications, is very affordable, is made from natural substances, and is FDA regulated.
It is used to treat acute illnesses like colds, ear infections, migraines and sore throats, as well as chronic conditions like asthma, depression, autism and arthritis.
Homeopathic medicines – known as “remedies” – are made from natural sources (e.g., plants, minerals) and are environmentally friendly and cruelty free. Most are available over the counter in grocery stores, drug stores, health food stores, homeopathic pharmacies and online. They are also extremely affordable. Homeopathic remedies when used as directed, are completely safe for everyone – including pregnant and nursing women, infants, children and adults. They are given in such small doses that they don’t cause side effects.
One thing to note is that the word homeopathy is not a general or “umbrella” term that describes a variety of different natural therapies. Although homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances, homeopathy should not be confused with herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, or other types of natural medicines. It is its own, unique therapeutic system.
Anyone can learn to treat simple conditions safely at home using homeopathy, but a professional should treat serious or life-threatening conditions.
How Homeopathic Medicines are made?
Homeopathic medicines are drug products made by homeopathic pharmacies in accordance with the standards and processes described in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS)—the official homeopathic manufacturing manual for the United States. Homeopathic medicines are regulated by the FDA and homeopathic pharmacies must comply with the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practices. Substances used to prepare homeopathic medicines include plants (such as Wolf’s Bane, Deadly Nightshade, dandelion, or plantain), minerals (for example, iron phosphate, arsenic oxide, sodium chloride), or animal products (e.g. the venom of a number of poisonous snakes, or the ink of the cuttlefish). There are even a few homeopathic medicines prepared from chemical drug substances such as penicillin or streptomycin.
The technique for making a homeopathic medicine involves repeated dilution of a specific substance until little of the original substance remains. When manufacturing a homeopathic medicine from a plant, for example, the first step involves cleaning and preparing the plant with alcohol and water, as prescribed in the HPUS, to make a tincture. This tincture is then diluted and strongly shaken. This step is repeated over and over to increase the potencies of the medicine. For example, one drop of a plant tincture may be mixed with 9 drops of alcohol (to achieve a ratio of 1:10) and the mixture will then be strongly shaken—a process known as succession. The resulting homeopathic medicine is labeled with a potency according to the number of times this has been done.
For instance, a substance that has been diluted 1:10 and schussed six times will be labelled 6X and contains 1 part of the original substance in 1 million parts of the diluents. Homeopathic medicines are available in various dosage forms and potency ratios. Two of the most common dosage forms are pellets and tablets, which are composed of sugar and lactose saturated with the liquid dilution. The most common types of potencies available are X (1:10 ratio), C (1:100 ratio) and LM or Fifty Millesimal (1:50,000 ratio). Note that a 1M potency is simply an abbreviation for 1000C. Like traditional medicines, homeopathic medicine can be designated as a prescription or non-prescription drug. Most homeopathic medicines are non-prescription, unless (a) they have limited use for serious conditions; or (b) they are made from a toxic substance and are low enough in potency (dilution) that they contain a potentially harmful amount/quantity of this substance.
How safe are Homeopathic Medicines for Child?
For 200 years, homeopathy has proven safe and effective in treating a wide array of illnesses and injuries physical, mental and emotional. A great number of scientific and clinical studies have been conducted, with more than 150 published in prominent medical journals worldwide. Homeopathic medicines are regulated and registered by the FDA. Because minute doses of medicinal substances are involved, homeopathic medicines are extremely safe, carrying no risk of side effects and are non-addictive. Even if one takes the wrong remedy for the wrong condition, it will do no harm. This makes homeopathic remedies especially well-suited for babies and the elderly. Because of their inherent safety, they are frequently used for the treatment of self-diagnosable conditions. They provide a natural and affordable alternative to over-the-counter conventional drugs.
Myths about Homeopathy Treatment
Fact: Many scientific clinical trials have proved that homoeopathic medicines are far above the placebo effect. The curative effect of homoeopathic medicine has been observed in millions of cases with wonderful results, so saying that Homeopathy is placebo is irrational.
Fact: What seems so is not true. The white pills are only neutral vehicles or carriers of actual medicine that is sprinkled on them. The potent medicine coats the white pills. Different remedies can be prescribed in various potencies to best suit different patients. There are about 3000 medicines and 10 variable potencies (powers of medicines) of each medicine so a minimum of 30,000 various permutation and combinations can be utilized.
Fact: Not really. Homeopathic medicines act rapidly and the effect lasts much longer, as the disease is eradicated from its roots. The time taken for relief depends on the chronicity of the disease.
Fact: It is a myth that homeopathy is slow to act, and when people see excellent and quick results in acute and chronic cases, they feel that homeopathic medicines contain steroids. But it is not true at all. Homeopathic medicines are prepared from natural substances and are sweet. Steroids taste bitter and so THERE ARE NO STEROIDS in homeopathic medicines.
Fact: Homeopathy has wonderful remedies to give quick relief in acute conditions like fever, cold and cough, pneumonia, diarrhoea, migraine, injuries, etc. However, it is important to note that you must consult a qualified homeopathic physician to get correct guidance.
Fact: Over the years, it has been seen that infections can be wonderfully abated and controlled with just homeopathic medicines, without the aid of antibiotics. Moreover, there is absolutely no chance of drug resistance in Homeopathy, unlike antibiotic medications
Fact: Homeopathic medicines are absorbed from the tongue and the inner lining of the mouth hence patients are asked not to eat or drink anything 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after taking the medicine. Also, it is advisable to cut down on raw onion, raw garlic, strong coffee and mint as they may antidote some of the medicine. These are the only food restrictions.
Fact: Homeopathic medicines can be taken along with other medications without any fear of side effects and complications. Homeopathic medicines also help in reducing the side effects of conventional therapies like in case of cancer. Homeopathic medicines will help in alleviating the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy also. "The doctor might ask you to restrict certain medicines incase they interfere with the treatment or affect the judgement of the treatment."
Fact: Surgical treatment of conditions like warts, piles and kidney stones do not guarantee any form of long-lasting recovery, especially if a tendency to develop such conditions is present in the patient. Correct homeopathic treatment can not only take care of the present attack, but will also eliminate the tendency to recurrence.
Fact: Homeopathic medicines do not contain glucose (harmful in diabetics). They are made of a complex sugar called lactose. The actual amount of sugar in homeopathic medicines consumed over a period of one week is not more than one teaspoon. And still if the patient disagrees to this, homeopathic medicines can be taken in liquid form which is not sweet.
Though, there might be certain food restrictions specific to your disease.
Homeopathy is based on the philosophy that the body, mind and emotions are not really separate and distinct, but are actually fully integrated. Based on this perspective, a homeopath seeks a remedy that fits all of a patient’s physical and psychological symptoms. Although some people’s symptoms may be complex, a well-trained homeopath will know which symptoms should be specially noted, and can choose an effective, individualized remedy.
Prolonged emotional stress can cause physical problems, like upset stomach, difficulty in digesting foods, poor nutrient assimilation, weaker immune system, sleeplessness, etc. The opposite is also true. Illness and physical problems can result in anxiety or emotional uneasiness. Therefore, it is important for a homeopath to conduct an in-depth interview of a patient to ensure a proper, all encompassing remedy.
Homeopathic remedies are indeed very small doses. However, they are specially prepared doses which undergo a specific process — including dilution of ingredients (called potentization), as well as a vigorous shaking (succussion).
Specially formulated homeopathic remedies are thought to resonate with the body, triggering a positive healing response. This response gently, and effectively, heals from the inside out.
The documented results from thousands of experienced homeopaths, and from millions of their patients, clearly show that these small, individualized doses produce profound health benefits.
Finding the appropriate homeopathic remedy depends upon gaining a complete understanding of the patient as a whole person. This means that the homeopath must take note of the physical, mental and emotional levels of each person before deciding on a correct remedy.
Homeopathic remedies have been described as “designer medicines.” While this might seem like a simplistic and trendy view of homeopathy, it is true that remedies are specially “designed” for individuals based upon their unique, and sometimes complex, state of being.
Take for example migraine headaches. We could easily demonstrate that one person might have pain on one side of their head, while another person had pain on both sides. Still another person could have nausea accompanying the migraine, and yet another could have dizziness. It is important to recognize that, in addition to the person’s physical symptoms, there are underlying psychological and emotional aspects as well.
Homeopathic remedies are only given when the total continuum of physical and psychological symptoms has been identified.
Homeopathy is based on a”whole person” approach. In homeopathy, the remedy or treatment program is customized and individualized to the patient, with the intent of removing the underlying cause.
Conventional Medicine’s Approach
Conventional (allopathic) medicine usually relies on treating a patient’s physical symptoms. This treatment might also assume a person’s symptoms need to be controlled, suppressed or eliminated.
The difference may be stated in a simple analogy: eradicating the “symptom” of a car’s low oil level (the warning light) does not change, or remedy, the cause of the signal (low-oil).
What seems so is not true. The white pills which are dispensed from a homeopath are only neutral vehicles or carriers of actual medicines that is sprinkled on them. When the actual drug is poured on these white pills they get coated with the curative power of the drug. Different drugs are usually poured in various differing potencies as to best suit different patients.
There are about 3000 medicines and 10 variable potencies (powers of medicines) of each medicine so minimum 30,000 various permutation and combinations are utilized.
Usually not. The duration of the treatment depends upon the nature of the disease and the fighting capacity of the patient’s body. The treatment is required for a certain time period so as to improve the resistance of the body to fight diseases. Taking into consideration all these factors the treatment is continued for a certain time frame for the benefit of the patient. Once the patient starts improving we stop the medicines and the natural immunity and control mechanism of the bodWhat is the patient’s role?y will take care of the rest of the problems.
Open Communication & Observation
While it is the homeopath’s job to elicit relevant information by asking probing questions, the patient can expect a higher chance of receiving an effective homeopathic remedy if he or she is open and truthful in describing their physical and psychological symptoms. It is also important to be observant of the changes taking place in your system. To that end, you might want to keep a journal or notes on any noticeable changes or shifts in your symptoms or health.
Substances to Avoid
Another important thing to remember is that it is wise to avoid any substances that might interfere with your remedy. Certain substances have been found to reverse (&qout;antidote”) the effects of homeopathic remedies and medicines.
It is suggested that you avoid the following substances, practices and items to insure the best response from your remedy:
- Camphor, or camphorated products including products containing eucalyptus and camphor oils
- Electric blankets
- Mint, or mentholated products
- Recreational drugs
- Some conventional drugs (Be sure to tell your homeopath what you are taking)
- Raw Onion Garlic & Ginger
The name of the medicine is not disclosed for the benefit of the patient. If the patient after knowing the name of the medicines starts taking it according to his or her whims and fancies; it will distort the disease picture and in the future treatment of the patient will be much more difficult. Also certain medicines have to be changed and given as per the state of the disease and recovery.
If the patient wants a copy of case record can be provided to the patient but at the end of the treatment, when the patient has completely recovered.