Homeopathy as a treatment has existed for more than 200 years and is gaining greater acceptance in many countries, particularly the United States. It was developed and put into practice by a German physician – Samuel Hahnemann. Since the days of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and till today an attending physician of the royal family is traditionally a homeopath.
The difference of homeopathic remedies from traditional drugs is incorporated in the name of “homeopathy” (homois – like, pathos – sickness, suffering). The basic principle of homeopathy is the similarity between a cure and an illness.
The treatment of a disease requires application of small amounts of substances that in large doses cause a healthy person to suffer phenomena with similar clinical presentation (i.e., complaints and symptoms) of a patient.
Here is a simple example: when people cut onions, their eyes tear and suffer a running nose – in short, it is the same effect as a cold or an allergic reaction. By deriving medicines from onions, homeopaths successfully treat a common cold, allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis. This is the principle of similarity.
Homeopathy does not seek to replace conventional antibiotics, sulfonamides and other anti-inflammatory drugs, but offer a complementary approach to preventing and healing illness.
How It Works
A specially trained pharmacist is responsible for preparing homeopathic medicines. They combine one part of a starting material and 99 parts of solvent – distilled water or alocohol. This is the first dilution. Then, one part of the first dilution is combined with 99 parts of a new solvent. Such a process is repeated multiple times. Homeopathic medicines are issued in dilution (potency) in the form of granules, drops or tablets. A dose is assigned individually and may change during treatment.
As supplements, they are usually taken 15-20 minutes before a meal or 1 hour after a meal. In acute conditions, a frequent intake (every 10-30 minutes) may be prescribed. Treatment duration, frequency and amount depend on the dynamics of the condition being treated.
A homeopath usually learns a history of a patient, conducts examination and communication with a patient to determine constitutional and personal traits. Only after this, a tactic of homeopathic treatment is produced. The raw materials for traditional homeopathic medicines are substances of plant, animal and mineral origin.
The main advantages of homeopathy are:
- Friendliness and safety
- An individual approach to a patient
- The use of medicine in small doses
- The absence of addiction and withdrawal syndrome
- The ability to use multiple medicines at the same time
- The possibility of a combination of traditional and other treatments
- Treatment of all age groups, ranging from fetal and neonatal period
Homeopathy can be used for many types of conditions, but is difficult to treat people intoxicated with chemicals and people who are sick with serious illnesses: cancer, multiple sclerosis, etc. In such cases, homeopathy can only reduce a disease. Sometimes homeopathic medicines can exacerbate the symptoms one is experiencing. In such cases, the dose or frequency of administration should be reduced or temporarily discontinued.
Homeopathy is based in two primary theories:
- “Like cures Like” – a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people.
- “Law of Minimum Dose”- the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. Some homeopathic remedies are so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain.
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