The philosophy behind homeopathy is really interesting. Homeopathic experts suggest that a substance that causes certain symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat health issues with similar symptoms. This article describes the philosophical ideologies of homeopathy, and they find significance in human health.
Homeopathy was founded by a German physician known as Samuel Hahnemann in the 18th century. The term is coined from the Greek words "homoios" and "pathos," meaning similar and suffering, respectively. Homeopathic treatment is based on the principles of similarity and minimal dose. Homeopathic remedies are medicines used by homeopaths to treat their patients. Homeopaths believe that a substance that produces symptoms in a healthy person can be used in minimal doses to treat conditions with similar symptoms. In homeopathy, highly diluted substances evoke healing when used in small doses.
What Is Homeopathy?
As aforementioned, homeopathy is a form of treatment based on diluting substances to treat symptoms and trigger the body to heal itself. According to Unlu et al. (2017), homeopathy involves the use of products, derived from highly diluted vegetable, animal or mineral ingredients, for the elimination of certain health disorders. Homeopathy is based on two principles;
“Like cures like”- This means that a condition can be treated by a substance that has similar symptoms when used by a healthy person.
Minimum dose- This principle suggests that the lower the dose the greater the effectiveness.
Most homeopathic medicines are highly diluted such that there are only minimal traces of the original substance in the final product. Homeopathic products are obtained from plants such as arnica or red onion, animals such as crushed whole bees, poison ivy, and minerals such as white arsenic. These products are usually made like sugar pellets or in other forms such as tablets, gels, creams, and drops.
What are Homeopathic Remedies?
Homeopathic remedies are medicines used in homeopathy. They are made by diluting the original substances severally until the desired potency is achieved. The remedies treat individuals with symptoms similar to those produced by the substance in healthy people. Ideally, the remedies trigger your body's natural defenses. The original substance is diluted in water or alcohol through a process known as potentization. Doctors would assess your mental and physical health and prescribe a remedy that matches your symptoms. Treatments under homeopathy are individualized. They are based on recognizing an individual's clinical pattern of symptoms (Fisher, 2012).
Homeopathic Remedies are not Vaccines
There is nothing like a homeopathic vaccine. Vaccination is a process by which your body is stimulated to resist infection. Vaccines stimulate your body to produce antibodies that boost your immunity. Homeopathic remedies are not based on antibodies and cannot be used as an alternative to conventional vaccines.
What to Expect
When you visit a homeopath for the first time, they will ask you about certain health issues and your general well-being. They will also ask you about your lifestyle, your diet, and your emotional state. From your response, they will suggest a homeopathic remedy based on the clinical pattern of your symptoms. Homeopaths may suggest other follow-up appointments to assess the effectiveness of a homeopathic remedy administered.
What are They Used for?
Most people seek homeopathic treatment for health conditions such as hay fever, allergies, asthma, dermatitis, arthritis, ear infections, mental health conditions, and high blood pressure. Although there are very few shreds of evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy, Cecchetto (2016) stated that some homeopaths claim that the remedies can prevent malaria and other illness.
Do They Really Work?
Some researchers advocate for homeopathic remedies while others suggest that they do not work. Physicians are also divided since some homeopathic principles do not line up with medical principles. Scientists also argue that a remedy with no active ingredient does not have any effect on the body. A homeopathic remedy is believed to be effective when it improves symptoms of a health condition. According to Cukaci et al. (2020), Hahnemann’s assumption of equating symptoms and diseases is fundamentally flawed. According to this study, homeopathic remedies are based on a collection of observed and perceived symptoms elicited by a drug volunteer.
Homeopathy Safety and Side Effects
Homeopathic remedies are generally safe to use with no significant side effects. The remedies are highly diluted and contain trace amounts of original substances. However, it would help if you talked to your doctor before opting for a homeopathic remedy. Pregnant or breastfeeding women and people treating serious conditions should also consult their doctors before choosing a homeopathic remedy as an alternative treatment. Most healthcare providers discourage homeopathic remedies in place of conventional medicines. Homeopathic remedies may worsen symptoms of a serious medical condition. However, the remedies are effective for acute conditions like allergies.
Top 5 Homeopathic Remedies
Allium Cepa is made from the onion plant and is used as a remedy for hay fever and common cold. It improves symptoms such as watery eyes and nostril irritations.
Rhus tox is made from poison ivy. This remedy is used for sprains and strains. It is commonly used by patients with flu, arthritis, and symptoms related to rusty gate syndrome.
Magnesia phosphorica is made from the phosphate of magnesia. This remedy is effective for menstrual cramps.
Arnica is available in pellet and topical form. The pellet reduces injury pain and speed up the healing process. On the other hand, topical arnica is available in sprays, gels, and ointments. It is effective for sprains and strains and skin bruises.
Ignatia is made from St. Ignatius bean. It is effective for anxiety, acute grief and depression. It is the leading homeopathic remedy used by psychiatrists.
Homeopathy is a treatment based on two theories;” like cures like” and “minimal dose.”Homeopaths claim that homeopathic remedies stimulate the body to heal by mimicking symptoms of health conditions. Homeopathic remedies are generally safe to use with no significant side effects. However, healthcare providers discourage homeopathic remedies, especially for serious health conditions that require specialized treatments. You should consult your doctor before opting for homeopathic remedies as an alternative to conventional medication.
Cecchetto, E. (2016). Literature review of the in vitro and in vivo evidence for homeopathic medicines in the treatment or prevention of malaria. Homeopathy, 105(01).
Cukaci, C., Freissmuth, M., Mann, C., Marti, J., & Sperl, V. (2020). Against all odds—the persistent popularity of homeopathy. Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, 132(9), 232- 242.
Fisher, P. (2012). What is homeopathy? An introduction. Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite, 4(5), 1669-1682.
Unlu, A., Kirca, O., & Ozdogan, M. (2017). Homeopathy and cancer. Journal of Oncological Sciences, 3(2), 77-80.
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