What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy was founded by the German physician, Samuel Hahnemann in the 1800s. The principles he clarified have stood the test of time and today homeopathy is available in over eighty countries. Homeopathy is most prevalent in India where there are over 400,000 registered homeopaths. Homeopathy is available on the national health service of Britain, France, Germany, Brazil and India.

Homeopathic remedies are prescribed according to the Law of Similars. This law states, 'That which makes sick shall heal' - that is, a substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person is used to treat those same symptoms in illness. For example, the remedy Coffea, made from coffee beans is used to alleviate the symptoms of acute insomnia - a symptom of drinking too much coffee. Another example is found when cutting up an onion. The streaming eyes and nose that results can be similar to the symptoms of hay fever. Allium Cepa, the remedy made from red onion is often used for people suffering with these symptoms.

The principle of 'Like cures like' has been part of medical practice since the time of classical Greece. The word 'homeopathy' comes from the Greek words, 'homoeo' for 'similar' and 'pathos' for 'suffering'. In the 5th century BC, Hippocrates, 'the Father of Medicine' wrote that there were two methods of healing: by 'contraries' or by 'similars'. He wrote that the difference between the two streams of medicine is that one system flows with the patient's symptoms and the other flows against.

The principle of 'like cures like' can also be found in conventional medicine. Ritalin, a stimulant, is used to treat patients with ADHD. Small doses of allergens, such as pollen or peanuts are used to de-sensitise patients who are allergic to them. Vaccinations contains small amounts of the viruses they aim to help the body become immune to. However, the main difference with homeopathic medicine is that the substances are prepared in a ultra high diluted form.

For more detailed information on the action of high dilutions, click here.

Source:

'Homeopathy Simply Explained' and 'Homeopathy for Mental and Emotional Health' published by the Society of Homeopaths.

'The Complete Homeopathy Handbook' by Miranda Castro.



The remedies are from plant, mineral and animal origin and are safe to use for babies, the elderly and expecting or breast feeding mothers. They come in the form of sweet tablets or drops and have no unpleasant side effects. Homeopathy can be safely used alongside conventional medicine and will not interfere with it's beneficial action.

Homeopathy assists the natural tendency for the body to heal itself, addressing the underlying cause of the disease rather than masking the isolated symptoms. Because it tackles the root of the problem, it is often used by people seeking help with stress related conditions such as depression, insomnia and anxiety. Stress has been linked to lowered immune system (more)  and may raise cholesterol levels (more). There is increasing evidence to support the holistic idea that how you feel mentally can have a direct impact on your physical health.

In 2011, a report commissioned by the Swiss government  found homeopathy to be both clinically effective and good value for money. It concludes that homeopathy should become available on the Swiss national health insurance program. For more on this document, click here.


What is homeopathy? What does it mean? What are the issues? This video, produced by the National Center for Homeopathy (USA), is a good introduction.