This section will tell you all the main things you may want to know about Homeopathy to help you make the right choice of medicine or treatment for solving your particular health problem. Below, there is a listing of Q&A with doctor / health expert replies to questions pertaining to Homeopathy, followed by list of Homeopathy related articles on the site.
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Homeopathy is a system of complementary medicine in which ailments are treated by small doses of natural substances that in larger amounts will produce symptoms of the same ailment, with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing. In Greek, “homios” means similar and “pathos” means suffering; which actually implies the underlying principle.
Homeopathy is a natural form of healing and today is the second largest discipline of medicine and the fastest growing one in the world (as per World Health Report, 2006). Homeopathy was founded by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann who was a German physician and has been considered a safe and effective method of treating serious as well as minor ailments for more than 200 years now.
Homeopathy has a “personalized” approach to medicine and treats the person as a whole rather than just the disease. It involves closest match of medicine to the illness taking into account the patient’s physical build, personality, genetic structure and other personal factors. It focuses on curing a disease by removing the root cause rather than resorting to symptomatic treatment.
The basic principle of Homeopathy is the principle of similarity: “similia similibus curentur” which means let like be cured by like. The proponent of this famous principle was the German physician named Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. What this principle means is that substances capable of causing disorder in healthy subjects are used as medicines to treat similar kind of disorders in ill people.
There is another principle which is individualization of treatment for the patient. The characteristics of the medicine should be as similar to the illness as possible. The nearest match is known as “similimum”. Similarity takes into account many things like patient’s physical build, personality, genetic structure and other personal factors of the patient.
The last principle is the principle of minimum dose. The doses can be highly diluted, called “ultra-molecular” dilution.
Homeopathy started with the discoveries made by Dr Samuel Hahnemann. The term Homeopathy (in Greek “homios” means similar and “pathos” means suffering; which actually implies the underlying principle) was coined by Dr Hahnemann in 1796. The same ideology was first described by Hippocrates and subsequently followed by many other cultures like Mayan, Chinese, etc.
Hahnemann started testing the effects of various substances on human body which was later called “homeopathic proving”. The results of these tests were documented in the famous book ‘Materia Medica Pura’. Hahnemann also proposed the concept of “miasms” as infectious principles. He could connect all the diseases with each miasm. He had understood that symptoms can be suppressed by any medication but to get cured properly, removal of the underlying disease process is an absolute necessity. Hahnemann presented 3 miasms of which the most important one is was PSORA. It was understood that “psora” was the underlying cause of disease such as jaundice, cataract, and epilepsy.
Homeopathy reached the pinnacle of its popularity in the 19th century. It became very famous in United States after introduction in 1825.There were many institutions and schools that were established during that time period including the famous American Institute of Homeopathy. One of the causes of Homeopathy’s rise to prominence was the lesser side-effect of the medications. Another cause was success in treating people suffering from infectious disease outbreaks such as Cholera.
However this rise to fame was followed by criticism in which it was blamed to be ineffective in highly diluted doses. Eminent personalities such as Sir John Forbes, Oliver Wendell Holmes were vocal critics of homeopathy.
Homeopathy started reviving in the 20th century. In US, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic act of 1938 recognised Homeopathy as a form of medicine. During the late 1970s homeopathy made a dramatic comeback and the sales of these medicines were very high. Some say the credit is due to Greek homeopath George Vithoulkas, others opine that “New Age Movement” was primarily responsible.
Today Homeopathy is regarded in great esteem as one of the topmost alternative medicines in the world and considered very effective for curing many hard to cure diseases. There are people and families who are exclusive adopters of Homeopathy because of its effectiveness and no side effects.
“Remedies” (name given to Homeopathic Medicines) are prepared by specialized homeopathic pharmacies using a careful process of dilution and succussion (a particular type of vigorous shaking).
Modern science, till now, has not been able to explain the action of ultra diluted substances in the body as prepared in Homeopathy, however laboratory experiments have demonstrated that such medicines prepared in Homeopathy can have biological action and that such substances are distinct from “pure water” as some sceptics had postulated. There is a growing body of research in homeopathy in practice which shows that homeopathic medicine can not only be cost-effective but also effective and safe as a treatment option. Research has also produced a growing body of evidence that has established the efficacy of homeopathic treatments in generating clinical results.
Today, a number of private health insurance companies cover homeopathy and recognize registered members of the homeopathy fraternity.
Homeopathy is a holistic medicine and the first consultation by a homeopath can take one to two hours involving detailed history taking including mental, physical and emotional state of being. Questions regarding diet, lifestyle and personality (likes, dislikes, behaviours, etc.) are asked including some questions which may come across as odd, but help the homeopath to create a complete mental and physical map of your unique make-up, much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Through this, the homeopath tries to identify the medicine closest to your symptoms and individual make.
A follow up consultation, much shorter, can be after four weeks where the homeopath assesses progress and changes referring to their detailed notes of your symptoms and personality. The homeopath then suggests future course of action.
Patients already seeing a conventional (Allopathy) doctor or GP should maintain that relationship. Both Allopathy and Homeopathy can act in complement or in parallel to each other. Stopping any previous conventional medicines should only be done after consultation with both your GP and your Homeopath. For any changes in your symptoms that may worry you, you should immediately contact your Homeopath and/or your GP.
1. The medicines are made up of natural ingredients like herbs and spices
2. Is very safe and highly preferred in comparison to Allopathy medications in case of children and pregnant women
3. The side effects are negligible
4. It can eliminate the root cause of the disease
5. There is no risk of drug dependence and it is very easy to prescribe
1. The medication may turn out to be not effective at all
2. There is no strict regulation of the treatment process or medicines
3. It has been found to be not very effective for severe diseases and cancers
4. Emergency conditions are best treated by conventional medicines
The following is a list of diseases for which Homeopathy has proven itself to be quite effective:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Any pathological vaginal discharge
- Pain during menstrual cycle
- Pre menstrual tension syndrome
Sexual Disorder (Men)
- Premature ejaculation
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Acid-Reflux Disorders
- Peptic Ulcer
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Orthopaedic & Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Low back pain
- Bell’s palsy
1. Is there any science behind homeopathy?
Yes. This is a science based on logic and experimental data. The data has been collected by proving the effects on human beings. The homeopathic remedies are prepared in a standardized manner.
2. How do Homeopathic medicines work?
These medicines stimulate the constitutional system of the body to balance the whole system.
3. What are the sources of the medicines?
Onions and Asparagus (Vegetable)
Spongia. Lac cal (Animal products)
Natrum mur, Kali sulph (Minerals)
Ars alb, Calcaria carb (Chemicals)
4. Is it true that these medicines are only placebos?
This is a misconception as a liquid medicine is prepared from various substances and is poured over the pills and dispensed as medications. All of them have medicinal values.
5. Are these medicines effective in children and infants?
These medicines are safe and effective in children. You can start homeopathy as early as possible to make the kids grow healthily.
6. Are there any restrictions on diet during the treatment?
Avoid eating or drinking anything 15 minutes before or after taking the medicine. Also avoid coffee, raw garlic and onion.
7. Is there any aggravation of symptoms initially?
In few cases there is an initial aggravation, but aggravation of the symptoms initially is a good sign as it shows that the medicine has started acting and it is right for it.
8. Is homeopathy practised only in India or outside India as well?
Millions of people all across the world rely on homeopathy. It is well established outside India as well. 20 per cent of German physicians, 39 per cent of French family physicians, 10 per cent of Italian physicians use homeopathy.
9. Should I take homeopathic medicines from a qualified practitioner only?
Yes, you should. There are plenty of quacks and frauds who are not at all qualified to prescribe these medicines but they end up doing so. So it is better to go to an expert who can safely guide you towards complete mental, emotional and physical recovery.
10. Why some of the practitioners do not divulge the name of the medicines?
It is due to the fact that there are people who self-prescribe themselves with medicines after knowing the names of the remedies. This is not desired at all. You need to take medication under proper guidance only.