WHEN DID HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE BEGIN?
The philosophy and practice of homeopathic medicine or homeopathy came into existence in the late 1700s in Germany. It has gained so much popularity from then that today, this form of medicine is used by millions of people around the globe to cure different minor and acute diseases.
WHAT DOES HOMEOPATHY MEAN?
The literal meaning of the Greek word ‘homeopathy’ is ‘like disease’. Hence, the medicine given to the patients are solely in accordance with how they describe the disease and what symptoms they report of having, instead of considering the disease categorically in some diagnostic manual.
HOW IS HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE DIFFERENT FROM CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE?
A homeopathic medicine is usually in the form of pills or liquid solutions, only a little part of which is an active ingredient, which can be plants, minerals, animal products and tissues. One part of this active ingredient is then mixed with 99 parts of a suitable carrier to prepare a homeopathic medicine. This process is known as potentization.
In addition to this, a homeopathic medicine works on a much deeper and safer level, and aims to prevent relapse by interpreting the symptoms instead of simply suppressing them. Typically, the effect of homeopathic medicine is slower but long lasting.
THE APPROACH OF HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT:
Homeopathy adopts a holistic and natural approach of treating the patients. It understands and treats the patient as a whole, contemplating his body, mind, soul and emotions rather than focusing on the diseased part only. Moreover, the preparation of homeopathic medicines is based on natural sources and is approved by the FDA.
PRINCIPLES OF HOMEOPATHY:
The philosophy of homeopath lies on the following three principles:
- Likes cure likes:
Homeopathy is based on one of the two laws of healing given by Hippocrates that the substance which is initially the cause of patients’ symptoms will cure them. For this, a detailed information of the symptoms is required which is obtained during a long interview session. Then, based on the symptoms that the patient is experiencing, a best-matching homeopathic medicine is given.
- Minimum dose:
During the process of potentization, the mixture undergoes several dilutions which minimizes the quantity of the active ingredient. This in turn minimizes the risk of possible side effects. Also, when a homeopathic medicine is prescribed to a patient, he is asked to take minimum dose of it so as to check if the medicine is having the required effect on him.
- Single remedy:
According to the principle of single remedy, a homeopath prescribes one medicine at a time which is thought to have the best results for the symptoms that the patient has described. The prescribed medicine is expected to cover all the symptoms, be it physical, mental or emotional.
HOW DOES HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE WORK?
The core belief of homeopathy is that the human body has an innate capability to heal itself. It views the symptoms as a body’s way to regain health.
The best possible theory on how the homeopathic medicine works, out of many, believes that it stimulates the body’s healing mechanisms. For instance, if a person has an infection, the medicine will invigorate the production of antibodies and defense cells. Similarly, in case of an immune disease, it will strengthen the immune system and if a person is suffering from pain, it will activate the anti-pain receptors.
AN IMPORTANT QUESTION: IS HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE SAFE TO USE?
Since only minimal quantities of active ingredients are used in the preparation of medicine, it is not likely to cause any adverse effects. Moreover, the practice of homeopathy is now spread worldwide and has been carried out since so long, so it is safe to be used by everyone, regardless of age and gender. However, if you visit a doctor while you are on homeopathic medicine, you should inform him so that he deals accordingly.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT HOMEOPATHY:
- Homeopathic medicines do not induce sleep and are not addictive.
- Some people believe that the patients’ recovery after taking homeopathic medicine is just a placebo effect; the quantity of the active substance is too less to play a role.
- Homeopathic medicine is the second most used form of medicine and currently there are 4000 of them.
- Homeopathic medicines are found to work perfectly with babies as well. This counter the point of placebo effect.