What is homeopathy?

What is Homeopathy? Homeopathy is a system of health and therapy that is over 200 years old.  Homeopathy uses minute, highly dilute doses of substances found in nature.  While the remedies are derived and prepared from thousands of different natural substances, this is not the same as herbal medicine.  The two systems are completely different.  Herbal medicines use tinctures of botanical substances which may be very strong, even concentrated.  Homeopathic remedies might be considered “micro-doses” or “nano-doses” and can also be made from minerals and animals as well as plants.  Some homeopathic remedies are made from man-made substances as well. Because of the very high levels of dilutions, unlike drugs, herbs or even some supplements, they are non-toxic.  They truly can “first, do no harm.”

What homeopathy is not:

Homeopathy is not the same as herbal medicine, conventional medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese Traditional Medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic or other natural or alternative medicine approaches.  Its remedies are unique to homeopathy, in that they are created by serial dilutions of virtually anything that can be diluted. It is entirely safe because of this dilution factor. And it truly is “the other Western medicine system,” having been codified by a German Medical Doctor.

It is not toxic.

It cannot produce side-effects, though detoxification can sometimes come through symptoms which, in the long run, are the body’s attempts at rebalancing what is out of balance within. Your homeopath can typically discuss ahead of time what you might expect during the process of homeopathic treatment.

It does not interact with pharmaceuticals, though some pharmaceuticals may have a negative effect on homeopathic treatment.

What forms do homeopathic remedies take?

Homeopathic remedies come in several forms.  The most common are sugar pellets (about the size of a BB), or liquid drops.  They can also be made up as capsules, tablets or sprays, taken orally.   There are also many homeopathic nasal sprays, ointments and suppositories available for many purposes. The oral remedies are pleasant tasting and easy to administer to infants and children, and even animals.

How are homeopathic remedies chosen?

homeopathic remedyHomeopathic remedies are chosen by the practitioner according to the principle of natural healing called “The Law of Similars”, or “like treats like”.  If a substance in a crude form, given up to toxic levels can create a set of symptoms, a homeopathic remedy made from that substance, as a tiny dose, can produce a healing effect for those same sets of symptoms.  The client’s symptoms may merely resemble those symptoms caused by the actual substance; they don’t necessarily have to be caused by them for the homeopathic remedy to trigger a healing response.  An example is homeopathic “allium cepa” which is made from red onion.  When one peels an onion, one’s eyes and nose may begin to burn, itch or water, and usually there is profuse, thin mucus and tears, and sometimes sneezing.  When a client exhibits cold or allergy symptoms that match these symptoms, homeopathic allium cepa will typically relieve those exact same symptoms.

Another principle where the same remedy would apply, but in a slightly different way, is the law of “same treats same” or “Isopathy”.  In this case, if a client rubs onion juice into their eyes by accident, the same remedy, allium cepa or red onion, would also help them overcome those symptoms, acting as the homeopathic “hair of the dog that bit you.”  This principle can be applied in homeopathy for toxic exposures, pathogenic exposures, etc. to help the body undo the symptoms from the exposure.

How do homeopathic remedies work?

Compared to drugs or herbal remedies, the very dilute form of the homeopathic remedy acts in a very different way on the system.  A drug or herbal remedy, or even supplements,chemically change the body, therefore they have a direct effect of their own on the human body. This renders them capable of actually creating a new set of symptoms of their own making.  In pharmaceuticals, this is typically what is considered to be either a therapeutic effect, through directly suppressing the symptoms, or an iatrogenic effect, an effect of creating completely new symptoms caused by the drug itself, which we term a “side-effect.”  Unfortunately, this does not truly heal the problem, and only temporarily may mask the symptoms.  The physical response of the body is actually a reaction to the chemical change induced by the presence of that herb, drug or supplement.

Homeopathic remedies merely trigger a natural balance-seeking response from the body’s own healing and detoxification mechanisms, allowing the body to do what is necessary to naturally and normally rebalance itself.  This response is actually a healing response, which is started by the messaging of the remedy and completed by the body’s own healing responses.  Homeopathy brings about healing because the body does the work in a natural, normal way.  For instance, if one has food poisoning, eventually the body will typically eliminate the toxin through vomiting and/or diarrhea.  With a homeopathic remedy, this process may be hastened to the point where the ill effects merely last for a few hours, even minutes, rather than several days of misery.  In this respect, homeopathy is very gentle and safe because it is not chemically changing the body into responding to the chemical in a way that is not healthy and positive for it, as a drug might do through adding a chemical to suppress symptoms.  Instead it works with the body’s mechanisms to free itself of the toxin or pathogen, efficiently and quickly bringing about a healing effect.  There are no side-effects or chemical effects with homeopathy as are possible with pharmaceutical or herbal medicines or supplements.

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