What is homeopathy? That is the question I am constantly asked by friends and coworkers when I mention how I treat myself and my family for little ailments or serious illnesses. I grew up on homeopathy. My mother was a pediatrician, but she believed in natural remedies and avoided conventional medicine whenever possible. This behavior stayed with me, and now my family and I use homeopathy to treat ourselves. So this blog will be all about homeopathy.
Definition of Homeopathy
Homeopathy was discovered in Germany and used all over the world for the last 200 years. The Society of Homeopaths define homeopathy as “a system of medicine which involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances, given mainly in tablet form, with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing.” The mantra of homeopathy is “like with like,” which basically means “a substance which causes symptoms when taken in large doses, can be used in small amounts to treat those same symptoms. For example, drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and agitation, so according to this principle, when made into a homeopathic medicine, it could be used to treat people with these symptoms,” according to the site.
How can using tiny amounts of a substance cure an ailment? “One theory is that during the production of a homeopathic medicine, the dilution and agitation processes cause an interaction between the original material (e.g. a plant such as Belladonna) and the water and alcohol it is mixed with. This creates tiny new structures (nanostructures) which are the ‘active ingredient’ and remain present even when the sample has been diluted many, many times,” says SOH.
Although this principle can be viewed as illogical and overall confusing, it is used in mainstream medicine today. For example, “the stimulant Ritalin is used to treat patients with ADHD, or small doses of allergens such as pollen are sometimes used to de-sensitise allergic patients,” SOC states. However, homeopathy uses ultra high dilutions of the substances, making it safe.
Does homeopathy work?
Although mainstream science has yet to truly turn its attention to homeopathy and produce many quality studies showing its powers to cure, there is science behind it. I am 100% positive that it works because I have been using it myself for the last 30 years. In Europe, homeopathic pharmacies are the norm. While in Paris on vacation, when I went to the emergency room for severe seafood poisoning, I was treated with homeopathy. The pharmacies selling the natural remedies are found as often as CVS or Walgreens are found in the US.
The Homeopathy World Community states that “in a recent paper, Nobel Prize winner, Luc Montagnier, and his team report the results of a series of rigorous experiments investigating the electromagnetic (EM) properties of highly diluted biological samples.” The site also provides links to hundreds of studies proving homeopathy to be effective.
Benefits of Homeopathy
The biggest reason to use homeopathy is that it is non toxic and has virtually no side effects. In the 200 of widespread homeopathic use around the world, no serious toxic side effects have ever been reported. It is gentle on the body, not causing damage to the liver or other organs.
Also, unlike conventional medicine, homeopathy doesn’t just mask the symptoms of an illness, but cures the illness itself. For example, if you have a cold and take DayQuil, that will just give you a few hours of relief from your cold-related symptoms, but homeopathy will attempt to get rid of the cold, itself.
Another reason in favor of homeopathy is that it’s affordable. It costs about $10, and the amount in each tube is usually much more than you need to treat a common ailment, making it last for a while. You don’t need insurance or a doctor’s prescription to purchase it.
Uses of homeopathy
Homeopathy can be used to treat virtually anything. From your common cold and flu, to bloating, fatigue, morning sickness, chicken pox, bruises and swellings, sleeplessness, cholesterol, infections, etc. Also, it can treat emotional and psychological issues such as depression, fear, anxiety, grief, and so on.
Warning about homeopathy
While there have been no serious side effects ever reported from using homeopathy, it is important to consult with a homeopathic practitioner, or homeopath, prior to starting use. Homeopathy is all about dilutions; each dose comes in a variety of different dilution strengths, and instructions on how to use it varies from case to case and person to person. Find a local homeopathic pharmacy or a homeopath next to you to ask for advice. Also, many pharmacies and local food stores, such as Whole Foods, carry homeopathy. You can ask store employees for advice on how best to take it. There are also a variety of books on homeopathy that can help you.
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