About Homeopathy

What Is Homeopathy?

orange-flowersHomeopathy is a system of western medicine that is over 200 years old. Its scientific, highly systematic principles are grounded in the writings of such historical thinkers as Hippocrates, Paracelsus, and Goethe and were adapted into homeopathy in the late 1700s by Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and chemist. Disillusioned by the bloodletting and similar practices of western medicine of his time, he sought to create a system of healing that would be gentle and effective, and work with, rather than against, the body’s innate healing capacity.

Homeopathic treatment can be used as an alternative or complement to conventional medical treatment. In contrast to conventional medicine, homeopathy believes disease symptoms are not generally confined to a particular body part or system, but signal an imbalance in the overall mental, emotional, and physical body. After taking an extended time with their clients on intake, classical homeopathic practitioners select one remedy from over 2,000 remedies created from the plant, mineral, and animal kingdoms. This remedy is chosen to match the total mental, emotional, and physical symptom picture the client presents. Homeopathic remedies act to stimulate the body’s own vital force or vitality, which in turn gradually restores all body systems back into overall balance and health. In follow-up appointments, scheduled every 4-8 weeks initially, the practitioner assesses the effects of the remedy over time and determines the frequency and potency of remedy doses to best support and strengthen the client’s healing process.

Homeopathy is effective with most chronic and acute conditions. Selecting a constitutional remedy to address chronic or recurrent conditions such as fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis is described above. For acute conditions, including injuries such as pulled ligaments or stress fractures, or illnesses such as flu or bronchitis, the practitioner gathers more focused and concise information from the client and again recommends a single remedy at a time. Sometimes two or more remedies are recommended in succession to speed the body’s recovery from injury or illness. There are also remedies to help people through surgeries and complement other conventional medical treatments. It is possible for people to treat their own and family members’ minor acute illness on their own, but for more serious acute illness or chronic conditions, they should consult their physician and a trained homeopathic practitioner.

Homeopathy is directed at strengthening overall constitution and vitality and not directed at diagnosing or treating specific diseases. Homeopathic Health Clinic practitioners are trained, qualified homeopaths, but not licensed physicians.

Homeopathic Remedies

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Homeopathic remedies are taken either in solid or liquid form. Solid remedies can be pellets, tablets or granules that are dissolved under the tongue. A single dose consists of the number of pellets that form the size of a tiny pea. For acute conditions, a remedy may be repeated frequently in a short period of time. For chronic conditions, doses are generally repeated very infrequently, although liquid remedies are often taken as ½ teaspoon daily or more.

Park_SmallBoth solid and liquid remedies are initially natural substances taken from the animal, mineral, and plant kingdoms. Tinctures are prepared from the substances and then potentized by sequential dilution and succussion, the forceful pounding of the liquid dilution against a firm but resilient surface. Remedies are prepared by homeopathic pharmacies according to precise standards established by the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS) and the regulatory requirements of the FDA.

10 Reasons to Try Homeopathy

If you’ve been thinking about trying alternative or complementary medicine for one or more chronic or recurrent conditions, here are ten reasons to try classical homeopathy.

  1. Homeopathy treats the whole person — body and mind. So most physical, mental, and emotional conditions can be improved or healed with homeopathy.
  2. Homeopathic remedies are made from a wide variety of plant, mineral, and animal substances. They are so diluted they are safe and effective without toxic side effects.
  3. Homeopathy does not suppress symptoms. It stimulates the natural healing processes of the mind-body and helps it to achieve better and better physical, mental, and emotional health over time.
  4. Classical homeopathy uses a single remedy at a time to treat all the symptoms that are bothering you. You won’t be loaded up with a bag full of medications and supplements.
  5. Homeopathy is very individualized. Five people with the same medical diagnosis may receive five different remedies, because homeopathy treats a specific individual’s symptoms, not specific diseases.
  6. Homeopathy uses the principle of minimum dose. Since remedies act as a catalyst to help the body heal itself, many clients take their remedy only once every few months.
  7. Because homeopathy stimulates the body to heal itself, it strengthens the immune system and helps the body come back into balance. Over time, people become less prone to allergies or serious illnesses.
  8. Homeopathic remedies are tested on healthy human volunteers, not on animals, and are inexpensive compared to many medications and supplements.
  9. Homeopathy treatment is a valuable alternative or complementary treatment for injuries, acute illnesses, and surgeries. It does not interfere with conventional medical treatment.
  10. Homeopathy works effectively and safely with animals, infants, children, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, and elders.

Further Information on Homeopathy

For research on homeopathy, see www.homeopathic.org/articles-research

Dooley, Timothy. Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine. http://www.beyondflatearth.com

Hahnemann, Samuel. Organon of the Medical Art.

Lansky, Amy. Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy. http://www.impossiblecure.com

Vithoulkas, George. The Science of Homeopathy.

Homeopathic/Natural Health Home Handbooks

Castro, Miranda. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook.

Cummings, Stephen, & Dana Ullman. Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine: Safe and Effective Remedies for You and Your Family.

Lennihan, Burke. Your Natural Medicine Cabinet: A Practical Guide to Drug-Free Remedies for Common Ailments.

Panos, Maesimund, & Jane Heimlich. Homeopathic Medicine at Home: Natural Remedies for Everyday Ailments and Minor Injuries.

Ullman, Dana. Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants.

Zand, Janet et al. Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Natural and Conventional Treatments for Infants and Children.

Zand, Janet et al. Smart Medicine for Healthier Living: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Natural and Conventional Treatments for Adults.

The National Center for Homeopathy

The National Center for HomeopathyClick on the NCH icon to find out how you can help The National Center for Homeopathy protect your access to homeopathy.