Homeopathy

by Corell and Serra

What is homeopathy?
Homeo means the same, and pathy means illness. Homeopathy is based on the principle of? like cures like.? Treating an illness with a substance that causes the symptoms of the illness if given to a healthy person, activates the body to fight the infection or cure the condition.

How was this principle discovered?
Hahnemann, a German physician, discovered this principle in 1790 and subsequently invented homeopathy. He was reading about the action of quinine on the body and disagreed with the stated effect. To test it, he took quinine and developed all the symptoms of malaria, which quinine was supposed to cure. He realized that if a substance known to treat an illness could cause the symptoms of that illness, there might be a new way to treat disease. Did he conduct? provings? by giving various substances to healthy people to find which substances would cause what illness symptoms. In this process, he began diluting the substances more and more in order not to make people sick. This led to the extreme dilutions used for the remedies.

How are the medicines made?
One or more substances have identified that cause the same symptoms as the illness. It could be the toxin itself (e.g., mercury if treating mercury poisoning) or it could be one or more substances seemingly unrelated to the illness. A small amount of the substance(s) is put into pure water or medicinal alcohol and shaken a certain number of times. Then a drop of this mixture is put into a new bottle of the same pure fluid and shaken a certain number of times. A drop of this is put into another fresh bottle and shaken, and so on. The final remedy can be the result of as many as 100 dilutions. When tested in the laboratory, there is no detectable amount of the substance(s) left in the fluid. Yet, the process causes an imprint on the molecules of the water or alcohol that activates a healing response in the body. Today’s remedies come in liquid and pill form. The pill is tiny white pills that dissolve in the mouth, with a mild sweet taste or no taste.

What do homeopathic remedies treat?
They are used to treat nearly all human and animal conditions, except those that would require surgery or manipulation. Even with these, homeopathic remedies can be very helpful in the recovery process.

Do you need a prescription?
No. Homeopathic remedies are sold over the counter. You can choose your own remedies, but you may have better results by consulting with a homeopathist or other health professional who knows homeopathy, especially if you are treating a serious condition. Homeopathic remedies are especially popular for first aid and minor ailments, but they are also effective for treating or helping to treat many illnesses. One of the most popular remedies families keep in their medicine cabinets is Rescue Remedy, used to treat the shock and upset that comes after an injury or emotional stress. It is highly effective for adults and children.

How is homeopathy different from conventional medicine?
In allopathic medicine, all people with the same diagnosed disease will be given the same medicine or one of a group of very similar medications. In homeopathy, people suffering from the same disease may be treated with a very different remedy, because the individual’s unique complex of symptoms is taken into account, including their emotional and mental temperament. An extensive review was conducted in the ?80?s by Harvard Medical School to compare the effectiveness of prescription medications vs. homeopathic remedies. They found that the effectiveness rate of the two groups was nearly identical: about 67 percent.

Can there be side effects or harmful effects with homeopathic medicines?
The remedies are made from natural substances and work by stimulating the body’s own natural forces. There is no reaction to the substance itself. However, a homeopathic can cause a hidden condition? come out? for healing, and there can be symptoms as this occurs. These cannot rightly be called side effects, and they are not harmful unless the person is taking too strong a remedy or too much of a remedy without the proper guidance of a health professional.

How do you choose the right remedy?
If you are choosing a remedy for a minor condition, you might choose it by its name. Different companies have different names for similar remedies, and many are named after the condition they treat, such as Sinus or Dry Skin. However, if you do not get results, or if you are treating a more serious condition, it is wise to consult a health professional who knows homeopathy.

Are homeopathic remedies safe for children?
Yes. They are ideal for children, because of their absence of harmful side effects and their gentle mode of action. As an example, there is a homeopathic remedy for a teething child that relieves the pain of teething as well as the associated upset stomach and bad temper. Especially for very young children, homeopathic remedies should be taken under the care of a health professional.

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