Homeopathy as a complementary therapy
Homeopathy is a complementary therapy that is usually used alongside conventional medical treatments. It aims to treat illnesses with preparations called remedies. These are made from plants, chemicals, minerals, salts and animal substances or even bodily fluids. Homeopathy believes that the remedies stimulate your body’s own healing processes.
Homeopathy (from the Greek “Homoios: similar, and pathos: disease”) is a therapeutic system consisting of curing diseases through substances capable of determining an analogous condition to that which you want to combat. Its main law is based on “Similia, Similibus, curantur” meaning that like is cured by like. This is totally opposite to allopathic treatment that fights with opposing opposites: “Contrary, contrariis, curantur”, i.e. irritation by soothing, etc.
Homeopathy is a therapeutic method that uses homeopathic remedies to restore the health of the patient. These medicines are selected individually for the patient according to the law of similarity, enunciated by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), founder of homeopathy in the late eighteenth century.
The law of similars says that a substance capable of producing a range of symptoms in a healthy person is also able to cure similar symptoms in a sick person when administered in minute doses.
Homeopathic remedies are suitable to treat any disease whether acute or chronic, at any time of life, and can be used as the sole therapy or may be used in conjunction with other therapies. Homeopathy can strengthen your body’s own healing response to the medications.
The efficacy of homeopathy is endorsed by the more than 200 years of clinical experience of homeopaths around the world and the research performed in this field.
Homeopathy has two characteristics that make it different from conventional therapy, the homeopathic medicine and how to prescribe the medicines.
Homeopathic remedies are dilutions of original, mostly natural substances. Their production involves two processes – dilution and ‘succussion’ (a form of vigorous shaking). The raw extracts (from plants or animals) or triturations (from minerals and salts) are made into a ‘tincture’ with alcohol. This is then diluted with water or alcohol and succussed many times.
Remedies come in different potencies depending on the number of times they are diluted then succussed. For example, a ’6c’ remedy has been diluted one part in a trillion. The higher the figure, the more dilute the substance.
Remedies of 12c and above are unlikely to contain a single molecule of the original substance. This means that the remedy is technically inactive. However diluting a remedy in this way actually makes it more effective.
Homeopaths believe water can store information about substances with which it has been in contact. The idea is that the water used for dilution is imprinted with information from the original substance during the shaking that takes place during succussion. This message carried by the water is thought to allow such ultra-high dilutions to work.
Currently there are three thousand substances used as homeopathic remedies to treat everything from colds and coughs to arthritis and cancer.
How are the Homeopathic Medicines Prescribed
There are a number of signs and symptoms that characterise the disease and that allows the nosological diagnosis. But there are also a number of symptoms and signs that are characteristic of a disease but may not present in another patient with the same disease.
To treat a sick person with a homeopathic medicine we consider both the characteristic symptoms of the disease and the particular symptoms of the patient’s reaction to illness and give him a homeopathic drug that is capable of causing, experimentally in a healthy person, the whole symptoms presented by the patient. Homeopathy as a therapeutic method of treatment is very safe and effective.
Homeopathic medicine is not specific to a particular disease but is specific to a ‘form of illness’, that causes the same disease in different people. It can be treated with different medications depending on the reaction caused in each patient and that same drug can be used to treat different diseases provided the clinical picture of the patient match the pathogenesis of the drug. Therefore homeopathy is an individualised treatment.
Homeopathic Medicine continues faithfully in its doctrine and its therapeutic premise that we must treat patients, not diseases and the single most important mission of the doctor is to recover the health of their patient so he can “reach the high end of his existence. ” This is a therapeutic method for the prevention, alleviation or cure of diseases using homeopathic medicines.
Homeopathy is effective in both preventing and treating acute illnesses (flu, cough, diarrhoea, migraine, bruises etc.) and chronic illnesses (allergy, dermatitis, asthma, rheumatic disorders, anxiety etc.), in recurrent infections (throat, ears, gynecological, urinary etc.), and even in palliative care (control of symptoms such as pain or constipation and relief of side effects like nausea from chemotherapy).
In homeopathy, especially in chronic diseases, the aim is to go beyond the relief of symptoms that appear, but seek to help the patient restore their natural balance completely.
These medicines have the advantage that in general, no contraindications, drug interactions or serious adverse effects are associated with taking the remedy, which is usually recommended for all patients, including children, pregnant women and patients with polypharmacy(use of multiple medications by a patient).
As appropriate, these drugs are used alone, exclusively, or along with other treatments, especially in chronic diseases. In this case, the use of homeopathy associated with conventional treatments can in many cases, under the supervision of a specialist, reduce the conventional medication side effects.
How do you take Homeopathic remedies? Tablet or pilule (little pill) form
Remedies should not be handled, use the cap. This avoids the risk of spoiling the remedy. They may however be crushed between two teaspoons for infants. Remedies should be dissolved under the tongue, rather than swallowed, and no food or drink taken for at least 15 minutes either side of remedy.
Here’s a little more detail:
Look under your tongue. It is an environment full of capillaries (blood vessels) surrounded by very soft tissue. If you want something to be absorbed directly into the human body, what better place to do it than somewhere that is rich in blood vessels that carry blood throughout your system rapidly?
Homeopathic products are very clean, meaning they have no binders, fillers or coatings. The soft moulded lactose tablets are made to dissolve almost instantly when placed in the mouth. Because the remedies dissolve in the mouth, they are absorbed by the mucous membranes and carried directly into your system. Because the remedies are absorbed directly into your system through your mouth, they work faster than conventional medicines because conventional medicines are usually coated and don’t get absorbed into the system until the coating is dissolved by the stomach acid, and that generally takes about twenty minutes.
Homeopathic medicated pellets take longer to dissolve, but they don’t taste bad so it is worth the wait. Dilutions are liquid and should be dropped directly under the tongue.
Because the remedies are very clean and fragile, avoid handling them. It is preferable to drop the tablets or pellets into the cap of the bottle, and pour them from the cap into your mouth. Try not to handle the medicines. If more than four pour into the cap, take four- don’t put the pills back into the bottle.
You cannot overdose on homeopathic medicines. If you take fifteen tablets or five tablets (or 100 tablets for that matter) AT ONE TIME it is one dose. You will stimulate your curative response one time. So, it is not a tragedy if more than six tablets fall into the cap, just take them rather than risk putting a contaminated pill back into the bottle to contaminate the others in the bottle.
Finally, some homeopathic medicines may be antidoted by things like mint, caffeine or other remedies. In order to help prevent antidotes, take your remedies one at a time, with a “clean mouth”, meaning nothing to eat or drink 15 minutes before or after taking the remedies.
What can homeopathy be used for?
Homeopathy is used mainly as a complementary treatment. This means it’s given alongside conventional treatments.
As well as tinctures, you can buy homeopathic remedies in the form of sugar-based tablets, pills, granules and powders that you dissolve in your mouth. You can also get some as creams or ointments to apply directly to your skin. Homeopathy2u Ltd supplies the finest remedies from Ainsworths.
Most homeopaths claim that homeopathy is holistic and doesn’t just treat the symptoms of a disease, but takes into account your mind, body and spirit. It’s used for many different disorders, including:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Digestive Disorders
- Hay Fever
- Period Problems
Some things you should know about homeopathy
- Homeopathy treats all kinds of acute, infectious, emotional, psychological and chronic diseases.
- Homeopathy advocates a holistic and comprehensive view of health, taking into account the specific circumstances of each individual, their integration into the inner nature and particular balance of each agency.
- It is considered as a non-aggressive, moderate and respectful benign medical practice to the individual and their body
- The active substances or principles used by homeopathy to cure are obtained with dilution in water or alcohol which is known as a “mother tincture” and has an animal, vegetable or mineral origin.
- The more dilute the active ingredient is, the more powerful it is
- Homeopathy is indicated for all types of individuals, regardless of age, sex, or specific circumstances
- Homeopathy is safe and can be used on children and even babies as there are no side effect It is non-invasive, non-addictive and simple to use. It can be used with other types of medicines and it’s even safe to use in pregnancy. It’s a holistic treatment that stimulates the body’s own healing power by identifying and addressing the cause rather than suppressing the symptoms.
I have been treating adults, children and babies for over 27 years and I am confident I can make a real difference with a holistic approach to your wellbeing.
Please contact Dr. F. Perez for a no obligation consultation, available weekly on Thursdays and Fridays at Cranleigh Pharmacy.
*I would not advise people to discontinue any treatment prescribed by their doctor, instead I strongly advocate an integrated approach to healthcare, where complementary and conventional medicines are used responsibly together to provide the best care for the patient. Dr. Michael F Perez MD MARH is an allopathic doctor not registered with the General Medical Council. Any views or advice in this article should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice or treatment, especially if you know you have a specific health complaint. Please consult your doctor or homeopath for your particular case.
About the Author
This Article was kindly written by Dr F. Perez for www.foyht.co.uk
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