How much do you know about homeopathy? What is it? Herbal tea? Or something to do with your nutrition and diet? Is it nonsense or a last glimmer of hope for incurable diseases?
Most people know very little about homeopathy, and it’s usually a misunderstood concept. Many dismiss it as a legitimate therapy, while some believe that it is only suitable for minor ailments and that the ‘right’ medicines should come into the picture for something serious.
However, before you make up your mind about homeopathy, it’s wise to understand every aspect of it first. Here’s a quick guide to what it is:
What is homeopathy?
The word ‘homeopathy’ comes from the Greek words ‘homoios’ (which means similar) and ‘pathos’ (suffering) and this form of self-healing has been used since the 1700s.
Homeopathy is based on the principle that “like cures like”.
Simply said, if a healthy person is given a substance which brings about a symptom, giving that same substance (in very tiny amounts, and highly diluted) to a sick person with the same symptoms will likely cure the illness.
An example: A bee stung you. You started to swell and itch. If similar symptoms (swells and itches) appear from a rash or hives, the homeopathic medicine to treat this would be made from a tiny amount of a bee. The same theory applies with allergies that make your eyes water. A homeopathic treatment would include an ingredient derived from red onions, which you and I know will make you cry.
How does homeopathy work?
Our bodies are actually really awesome! It’s able to heal itself in many situations, and even long-standing complaints can be reversed once the body knows how to heal itself.
Symptoms (things like a fever, or a rash, etc) are our body’s way of defending itself against infection and stress. Homeopathic remedy itself doesn’t cure or soothe the symptoms. What it does is tell your body what is wrong and empower it to fix the problem.
Immunisations and allergy treatments run on the same theory – they work by stimulating the body’s own defenses to prevent and treat specific diseases.
Homeopathy recognises that many things contribute to the development of disease. From the toxic load we acquire through daily life, family history of diseases, to all sorts of stresses, both emotional and physical. These result in the body’s natural healing powers failing. Homeopathy can prevent many serious conditions from progressing as the body runs out of energy to heal itself. It does that by acting as a stimulus which boosts this energy and aids in the healing process.
What happens when you undergo homeopathy?
Patients are treated with very low dose preparations of substances, which produce symptoms similar to those experienced by the patient. The symptoms are then monitored and treatment is adjusted accordingly. This is why homeopathy treatments are highly individualised and unique between patients and practitioners.
A homeopathic remedy is rather special – it involves giving only a very small dose of the prescription substance. This means that the remedies are not addictive and do not have side effects.
What are the conditions commonly treated with homeopathy?
- When there is no known diagnosis and tests are normal but patient feels unwell
- Chronic conditions where the chances of recovery are low and effective treatment options are insufficient
- Conditions where drug treatments are poorly tolerated
- Those who suffer from repeated episodes of acute illnesses