Homeopathy is a system of medicine that recognizes our uniqueness. We are all individuals with particular strengths and weaknesses, so it isn’t surprising that when we become ill we each react in our own way. Even if we catch the “same” cold as our neighbour or colleague, our response to it may be quite different from theirs.
Using the time-honored principle that like can be cured with like, homeopathy has taken a wide range of natural substances and carefully recorded the symptoms these substances cause in healthy people. Matching these substances as closely as possible to the individual and the particular symptoms that they are experiencing encourages their own healing energy to return them to health.
The results are often remarkable, bringing about relief that is rapid, gentle and permanent.
What is homeopathy?
Although it was first described by Hippocrates 2,500 years ago, homeopathy as it is practiced today evolved 200 years ago. The word comes from Greek and means “similar suffering.” This refers to the central philosophy that a substance that can produce symptoms in a healthy person can cure those symptoms in a sick person.
For example a person suffering from hay fever might be given a remedy prepared from an onion, because a healthy person chopping an onion usually experiences watering eyes and irritation. Similarly, someone suffering from insomnia might be given a homeopathic dose of coffee.
Is homeopathy safe?
Yes. For best results remember that there are two basic principles of homeopathy to follow: the law of similars and the law of the minimum dose. Since the substances are given in micro doses, unwanted side-effects are avoided, making them safe to use even in situations where conventional drugs would be dangerous or inadvisable, for example during pregnancy or when treating infants.
How does it work?
Although there is a great deal of empirical evidence that homeopathy does work, nobody yet knows how. Those who are skeptical point out that homeopathic remedies are often so diluted that not even a molecule of the original substance remains and so conclude that any beneficial response is probably due to the placebo effect. This explanation seems unlikely as experiments have shown homeopathic medicines to be equally effective in the treatment of animals.
The answer to this mystery is likely to be found by those studying physics and electromagnetism. The production of homeopathic medicines involves two processes, namely dilution and succussion (shaking and bashing!). It is thought likely that these combined processes leave an imprint of the original substance’s energy pattern in the dilutant. This energy imprint, given in homeopathic medicine, somehow stimulates the body’s own healing energy to start working.
How does homeopathy differ from conventional medicine?
Homeopathy is a holistic medicine. This means that it focuses on the whole person and believes that spiritual, mental, emotional and physical factors are all completely inter-connected and should not be regarded in isolation. It is based on the idea that symptoms are not the cause of disease; they merely show that “dis-ease” exists. Symptoms are the body’s way of warning us that all is not well and attempting to restore harmony.
A simple analogy is to imagine that you are driving your car and the red oil warning light comes on. You know nothing about cars so you decide to take it to the garage. When you come to pick up the car, the light is no longer on, so, having paid the bill, you drive off quite happily. You naturally assume the problem is fixed, but would you feel so satisfied if you later discovered that the garage had merely unscrewed the warning light bulb?
Homeopathy is a truly holistic medicine because it uses symptoms as helpful indicators which can be used as guides to treating the individual and their “dis-ease.” Instead of merely removing the symptoms, it removes the central disturbance in the individual’s energetic balance. Once this has been done, the symptoms disappear anyway, because the warnings they were trying to give have become unnecessary.
Can I take homeopathic remedies if I’m already taking other medication?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to do so. However, you should not attempt to reduce your other medication without supervision from your doctor.
What kinds of things can I treat myself?
As you will see in this free e-book, with very little effort, the home prescriber can treat a wide variety of injuries and acute illnesses. To qualify as “acute,” an illness should develop quickly and have three phases. At first, you just don’t feel quite right; then there are strong recognizable symptoms, followed later by the convalescent stage where the symptoms begin to improve. Examples of acute illnesses are coughs, colds, conjunctivitis, cystitis, food poisoning, flu, gastric flu, measles, mumps, chickenpox, and travel sickness.
When should I consult a professional homoeopath?
If you have a serious or recurring condition or you have had a number of acute illnesses recently, it is always best to see a professional homoeopath. Remember that homoeopathy can be used to treat anything, even problems that have no clear diagnosis, because it treats the individual rather than the disease.
Is it true that homeopathic remedies can be antidoted?
Some practitioners believe that certain substances (such as coffee, mint, menthol, and eucalyptus) antidote homeopathic remedies, rendering them inactive. In my experience, this is rarely the case. Moderation in using these substances, however, is advisable. One cup of coffee a day is fine; five, probably less so.
Additionally, please keep in mind that a poor diet and exposure to chemical pollutants can create obstacles to cure. Healthy food, exercise, and an environment free of toxins are the cornerstones of good health.
Are there any safety precautions I need to keep in mind?
Serious injuries and illnesses should never be treated without seeking expert advice. Use your instincts and common sense. If in doubt, check for the following warning signs and seek medical help immediately if they are present:
backache, or fever, with urinary infection
bleeding, heavy or unexplained
breathing, rapid shallow or difficult
burns, severe or larger than your hand
chest pain, severe
confusion, following trauma or over-exposure to sun
consciousness, lost or impaired
dehydration, especially in babies, small children and elderly
drowsiness, unexplained or unexpected
fever, above 103.5F / 40C or persistent or with stiff neck
fluid, watery / bloody, from ears or nose following head injury
movement, full range, lost or impaired
puncture wounds, near vital organs
speech, lost or impaired
stool, pale or white
streaks, red running towards body
swelling, rapid or severe (especially of mouth or throat)
thirstlessness, prolonged with fever or diarrhea or vomiting
urine, profuse or scanty or bloody
vision, lost or impaired
vomiting, unexpected and repeated
yellowness, of skin or eyes