Homeopathy is a safe and natural form of medicine which is based on the practice of treating the same with like. Homeopathy comes from the Greek words homios, which means similar or similar, and italios, which means suffering.
Homeopathy is about curing the whole person and not just the disease. The homeopath will consider the patient as a whole, both physically and psychologically, taking into account the patient’s physical appearance, his likes, dislikes and temperament. It is, therefore, a very personalized form of treatment, so that patients who apparently suffer from the same disease can be advised on different medications.
Homeopathy is an established form of healing. Today, many of the major pharmaceutical companies are researching and mass producing homeopathic medicines.
Homeopathic medicines look a lot like conventional medicines, they are taken the same way, but the way they work is completely different.
The drugs are not synthetic and are derived from natural sources. More than 60% of homeopathic remedies are prepared with vegetable or plant materials. Other remedies are prepared from natural mineral substances, including metals, non-metallic substances and mineral salts. Animal sources of homeopathic remedies include: Sepia (ink or juice provides sepia) and bee.
Homeopathic medicines are prepared by obtaining the remedy in its most concentrated form and then, through a long dilution process, a medicine is prepared whose potency is sufficient to carry out a treatment. The potency describes the measure of dilution of the remedy and is indicated by the number following the name of the drug itself. The greater the number, the greater the dilution (up to one part of remedy up to one billion parts of diluent).
Homeopathic medicines, commonly known as remedies, can come from the plant, mineral or animal kingdom. Some common remedies include: arnica montana, from the leopard’s fate plant; belladonna, from the deadly plant of nightshade; calcareous, calcium carbonate from oyster shells; sepia, cuttlefish ink; and the element sulfur.
Today’s homeopathic remedies are produced using the same dilution principles of Hahnemann’s times. In a common 1: 100 dilution, one drop of the homeopathic substance is added to 99 drops of water and / or alcohol. The mixture is then enhanced by a process called “succussion”: repeated tapping on a hard surface for a specified period of time. The remedies can be diluted up to 1000 times, leaving only an infinitesimal trace of the substance. The remedies are typically diluted 10, 100, or 1000 times, which results in potencies marked with the Roman numerals X, C, and M. Homeopathic remedies range from 6X as the lowest potency to 1M or more as the highest potency.
The remedies can be taken orally in pill, powder or drop form, massaged locally or injected. There are generally no side effects from homeopathic treatments, but a patient may experience what is called a “curative exacerbation”, a temporary accentuation of symptoms. This is considered a positive sign that the remedy is working. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a homeopath can choose an antidote, which produces the opposite effect of the remedy. The antidote can be another homeopathic remedy or a strong substance, such as perfume, camphor or coffee, which are known to block the effects of a remedy.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized homeopathic medicines as medicines since 1938, collaborating with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention to produce and update its reference book of homeopathic medicines. Over the years, the FDA has classified homeopathic medicines as prescription or, more commonly, non-prescription (over the counter), based on their strength. In the UK, homeopathic medicine has been part of the National Health Service (NHS) since its foundation in 1948. There are currently 5 homeopathic hospitals in the NHS. Homeopathic medicines are available without a prescription or by prescription.
Safety of homeopathic medicines
Due to the very, very small doses used in homeopathic treatment, the drugs are completely safe, non-addictive and have no unwanted side effects. The healing properties of the remedies are released even at extremely high dilutions.