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What it is

The word Homoeopathy was derived from Greek and means "similar suffering". The therapy is based on the principle that "like cures like". It has been practiced for thousands of years, but the development of homoeopathy as a medical system only took place in the late 18th century. The man responsible for this development was Samuel Hahnemann, he was a doctor, chemist and linguist and he found that the curative action of medicine on a disease is related to the medicine's ability to cause similar symptoms in healthy persons taking the medicine, which is now known as the Law of Similars. Homoeopathy is a medical treatment that uses diluted natural substances to stimulate the body's natural defenses. Homoeopathic medicines are almost exclusively made from these three sources:

-Vegetable substances- Wind flower, Chamomile, Stavesacre, and Bittersweet etc.
-Animal substances- Tarantula, the breast milk of a female dog and the venom of the Bushmaster snake etc.
-Minerals - Gold, Phosphorus and Sulphur, or mineral salts such as Potassium Carbonate, Calcium Phosphate and Sodium Chloride.

At present there are more than 2000 homoeopathic remedies in use and they are all known by their Latin names as it ensures that homoeopaths around the world are able to communicate their results. The medicines have been found to be more effective if they are given in small amounts as it is believed that when a person is sick they are more sensitive in general and they are also a lot gentler and safer to use. To make smaller doses, Hahnemann devised a method of dispersing the medicine in a neutral substance by shaking or grinding it either milk, sugar or alcohol and then diluting that mixture again in milk, sugar or alcohol and then shaking and grinding them again and so on. The dilution is usually done as a mixture of one part medicine to 99 parts neutral substance, giving a 1:100 dilution, which is known as a centesimal or "C" dilution. The resulting liquid was then mixed with sucrose granules or lactose tablets and then allowed to dry. This ensured that they would have a very long shelf life. Homoeopathic medicine can also be dispensed as sprays, liquids, ointments, suppositories and injections.


How Does it Work?

Homoeopaths believe that the correct homoeopathic medicine stimulates the inner, natural defenses of the human organism. The medicine does not directly eradicate the cause of the illness but rather causes the body's own natural infection fighting defenses to do the job that they were unable to do before the medicine was introduced. They are also very safe.

When visiting a homoeopath it will be a lot like a consultation with your doctor. He will ask you to describe the problem in as much detail as possible. He will be especially interested in when the problem started, developed and how you feel "in yourself" with the problem physically, emotionally and mentally and the particulars of the problem. The symptoms have four main characteristics:

The nature of any "sensations" -are the pains throbbing, tearing, burning etc.
The "location" of a problem- Headaches can be found in the forehead, temples, ears, etc.
What makes the problem better or worse- is the pain better or worse when applying ice or heat, when sitting or standing etc.
Anything that happens before, during or after the problem- Known as "concomitant" symptoms.

He will also ask about your medical history, lifestyle, diet etc. Once he has finished asking you these questions, he should have a sense of what the problem is and also of you as a unique person. This is important since treatment depends on strengthening you so that you are able to eliminate the particular problem. He will then assess your vitality. If you are sensitive to foods, dust etc or you are easily offended or react strongly your vitality is considered low therefore the potency should be low. He will then select the most appropriate medicine and determine the proper strength to use. The homeopath's aim is to treat the symptoms of illness as signs that the body is fighting disease and he will then prescribe a remedy that in larger doses, would produce similar symptoms so that your powers of self-healing can be stimulated. A follow up appointment will be scheduled so that he can check your reaction to the medicine and your vitality.

Researched By Body and Mind

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-22