When most people hear the word “Homeopathic” they immediately think of something natural. A doctor that treats naturally, a natural remedy for something may also be referred to as “homeopathic”. I have heard many of my patients tell me “I just want to do a more homeopathic approach to my health issue!” Often this means that they want to work with the body and believe it can heal without tons of medications or chemicals. I absolutely agree and with that I would love to share some info with you on just what homeopathy actually is!
Homeopathy comes from Greek word homoeo (meaning similar) and pathos (meaning suffering). It actually means using a very small amount of a substance that would mimic the symptoms of something that someone is trying to treat.
Hmm that sounds strange so bear with me to reframe it- is a system of medicine based on treating like with like. This very same principle is widespread in mainstream medicine, the most notable example being the idea of using small bits of the virus in vaccines or other antidotes (or at least thats what the rationale is). This similar principal forms the basis of conventional allergy treatment, where the allergic substance is given in a small dose. With vaccination, a form of the virus (either live or dead) is given to bolster the immune system against that particular virus. Homeopathy takes this premise a step further: if ones symptoms they experience are similar to a bee sting, then bee venom would be the homeopathic treatment, even though someone has not actually been stung by a bee.
It was pioneered by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) in his quest to treat malaria with chinchona bark, also known as quinine. He discovered that a tea of the bark caused the classic symptoms of malaria in healthy people and on the contrary helped allay symptoms in those who were actually positive for malaria. He noticed that a substance that caused specific symptoms could be used to treat specific symptoms. As he experimented with giving different herbs and substances to both himself and his healthy volunteers, and noting the effects in detail he administered doses that were very very dilute for saftey reasons. It was thru these small doses that Hahnemann happened upon one of the more puzzling aspects of Homeopathy. The more dilute a homeopathic medicine is, the more effective it is in treating illness!
His work was continued by James Tyler Kent in 1877-78 a Professor of Anatomy at the American Medical College, St. Louis. Dr. Kents interest in Homoeopathic medicine was prompted by his wife’s serious illness, which failed to respond to any other form of medicine available at the time. Kent’s position as professor gave him a unique opportunity to observe the effects of various substances in precise detail. Homeopathy became his life’s work, and he created the main repertory (dictionary) of Homeopathic remedies used today. His work has developed into an effective medical treatment widely used in Europe, India and many countries.
Homeopathic Remedies are super easy to administer bc the appear to be like candy. They come in a small sugar pellet that is easily dissolved under the tounge or chewed. Kids love them. For infants you will need to disolve them in water and then administer the liquid by moth with a dropper. Some pellets are softer-in a lactose base. These are often easier to give to infants bc the rapidly dissolve. In my practice I utilize liquid based remedies that are suspended in alcohol (which dissolves when place in water). This makes it easier for me to administer and prepare them for my patients. Personally I prefer the pellets. For home use I recommend those.
Homeopathic remedies (also called homeopathics) are a system of medicine based on three principles:
Why use Homeopathics?
Homeopathy is the second most widely used system of medicine in the world. Its growth in popularity in the United States has been around 25 to 50 percent a year throughout the last decade.
This success is fueled by several factors:
Classical Homeopathy is a holistic medicine; in other words it aims to treat the whole person. It may seem unusual to those used to allopathic (conventional) medicine, where one medicine is taken for a skin complaint, another for a headache, and yet another for sleeplessness.
When looking in a homeopathic remedy book, you may find that one particular remedy comes up time and time again for your complaints – however diverse they appear to be. For example, in testing the online remedy finder, on my own symptoms ranging from insomnia, headaches, to stomach complaints, Phosphorus was frequently the suggested remedy. There is something in my nature, underneath any passing symptoms, which is akin to Phosphorus. Phosphorus is by nature bright and bubbly. When someone who is ordinarily say bright and bubbly is feeling dull and listless, one could say that Phosphorus would “stimulate the vital force” of that persons nature.
A fantastic example of homeopathy in action in addressing physical, emotionl and mental symptoms and one of my favorites is the remedy Sepia. Sepia comes from the dark purple ink of a cuttle fish. The ink is released when the creature is harmed, afraid or angry to ward off predators. This creature is soft and delicate. This remedy is is classically prescribed for women who have PMS, and anger, cramps with dark purple clots. They also will feel better from some kind of discharge such as yelling, singing or retreating from anyone who tries to console them. Much like a cuttlefish hightailing it out of there when disturbed-leaving a cloud of ink in its wake. In this case if this was a recurrent theme for a woman, Sepia would be prescribed at the time of symptoms and in a higher dose given 1 time to carry its effect even further would be given. One of my first remedies I took was Sepia. After taking a 200C I did not have PMS and clots for about 8 months. When I felt it coming on I repeated my dose 1 time and bam-shifted right out of that one. (Hint, hint mommas-get some Sepia if that is you before your period)
A common cold, for example, is one virus which produces a myriad of effects, subtly different in different people. Different people with a cold caused by the same virus may exhibit different symptoms. It is for this reason that each case should be assessed by close and careful analysis of all the relevant symptoms.
Homeopathic Combination Remedies and Single Remedies
In recent years, Homeopathic remedies have been sold increasingly as combinations. A group of remedies, effective in tackling say, anxiety, in a range of people are combined in a single pill. This is in contrast to the principals of classical homeopathy.
This practice has been met with mixed opinions in the homeopathic community. In my opinion I feel that combination remedies do work especially when you may have a multitude of symptoms. Sometimes it is easy to find the single remedy that is more effective, and sometimes its overwhelming. I say do what works and do something. Starting with Hylands Earache tablets for an earache is a great choice. There are several remedies that support ear pain and they will work. If you had all single remedies then use a few of them you think apply. People can be more complex and have several things going on. I find people debate things too much like using ice or heat and meanwhile they still have an injury to treat. If its hot, cool it, if its cold warm it up. if its presenting, treat it. If you are wanting a more natural and safe approach, Homopathic remedies are your best friend!
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