What are Homeopathics?
Homeopathic remedies (also called homeopathics) are a
system of medicine based on three principles:
- Like cures like
For example, if the symptoms of your cold are similar to poisoning by
mercury, then mercury would be your homeopathic remedy.
- Minimal Dose
The remedy is taken in an extremely dilute form; normally one part of the
remedy to around 1,000,000,000,000 parts of water.
- The Single Remedy
No matter how many symptoms are experienced, only one remedy is taken, and
that remedy will be aimed at all those symptoms.
Similar principals forms the basis of conventional
allergy treatment, where the allergic substance is given in a small dose, and
in vaccines where an impotent form of the virus is given to bolster the immune
system against that particular virus.
Why use Homeopathics?
Homeopathy is the second most widely used system of
medicine in the world. Its growth in popularity in the United States has been
around 25 to 50 percent a year throughout the last decade.
This success is fueled by several factors:
- Homeopathy is extremely effective. When the correct
remedy is taken, results can be rapid, complete and permanent.
- Homeopathy is completely safe. Even babies and
pregnant women can use Homeopathy without the danger of side effects.
Homeopathic remedies can also be taken alongside other medication without
producing unwanted side effects.
- Homeopathy is natural. Homeopathic remedies are
normally based on natural ingredients.
- Homeopathy works in harmony with your immune system,
unlike some conventional medicines which suppress the immune system. (For
example, cough medicines suppress the cough reflex, which is your body's
attempt to clear the lungs)
- Homeopathic remedies are not addictive - once relief
is felt, you should stop taking them. If no relief is felt, you are probably
taking the wrong homeopathic remedy.
- Homeopathy is holistic. It treats all the symptoms
as one, which in practical terms means that it addresses the cause, not the
symptoms. This often means that symptoms tackled with Homeopathy do not
Homeopathy - Like Cures Like
Homeopathy, from Greek homoeo (meaning similar)
and pathos (meaning suffering) is a system of medicine based on treating
like with like. The same principle is widespread in mainstream medicine, the
most notable examples being antidotes and vaccines. However, Homeopathy takes
this premise a step further: if my symptoms produce an effect on me similar
to a tarantula's bite, then tarantula venom would be my homeopathic treatment,
even though I've not actually been bitten by a tarantula.
The theory that like can be treated with like can be
traced back as far Hypocrites (468 -377 BC), but it wasn't until the work of
Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) that the theory developed into a usable practice.
Hahneman's provings consisted in giving doses of
various substances to both himself and his healthy volunteers, and noting the
effects in detail. For safety reasons, the substances taken were very dilute,
and it is here that Hahnemann chanced upon one of the more puzzling aspects of
Homeopathy. The more dilute a homeopathic medicine is, the more effective it is
in treating illness.
Hahneman's work was continued by James Tyler Kent in
1877-78. Kent's interest in Homoeopathic medicine was prompted by his wife's
serious illness, which failed to respond to any other form of medicine
available at the time. Kent's position as Professor of Anatomy (at the American
Medical College, St. Louis) placed him perfectly to observe the effects of
substances in precise detail. Kent's research into Homeopathy became his life's
work, and he conducted provings on some 650 materials, observing over 64,000
symptoms. Even today, Kent's is still the most widely used repertory in
The repertory used in this site's remedy finder is
based on Kent's, with no additions, but some changes have been necessary in
order to make its use easier for the modern day layman, including plain English
Terminology, and categorizing symptoms where possible.
Classical Homeopathy - Treating the Whole Person
Classical Homeopathy is a holistic medicine; in other
words it aims to treat the whole person. It may seem unusual to those used to
allopathic (conventional) medicine, where one medicine is taken for a skin
complaint, another for a headache, and yet another for sleeplessness.
If you use the remedy finder frequently, you may find
that one particular remedy comes up time and time again for your complaints -
however diverse they appear to be. For example, in testing the online remedy
finder, on my own symptoms ranging from insomnia, headaches, to stomach
complaints, Phosphor was frequently the suggested remedy. There is something in
my nature, underneath any passing symptoms, which is akin to Phosphor.
A common cold, for example, is one virus which
produces a myriad of effects, subtly different in different people. Different
people with a cold caused by the same virus may exhibit different symptoms. It
is for this reason that each case should be assessed by close and careful
analysis of all the relevant symptoms.
Classical Homeopathy - Finding the Simillium
The Similium is the single substance which if given to
a healthy person would produce exactly the same symptoms as exhibited by the
In addition to the range of symptoms which must be
included in a case to find the right homeopathic remedy, precision is also
important. For example there are nearly 5,000 headaches in our symptom
database; a different remedy may be prescribed depending on when symptoms
occur, the type of pain, where in the head it is, what may have bought it on,
what other symptoms are experienced, etc.
Using Homeopathic Medicine
First, do no harm...
The first concern of anyone using any new medicine is
"Is it safe?". The short answer is yes, homeopathic medicine is
completely safe. However, you should not stop taking any existing medication
without first consulting your doctor.
Dosage and Potency
Not all homeopaths agree on dosage and potency, and
the potency to be taken depends on both the sensitivity of the patient, and the
exact remedy being taken. But as a general rule, chronic illnesses (i.e. those
that you've had for a long time) should be treated with high numbers i.e. 30C -
200C and Acute (i.e. those that are relatively new) with low numbers i.e 6C.
However, there are exceptions, particularly where an
accident started off the symptoms and you might give the body a kick start with
a high potency dose such as Arnica 200C first and then follow with a lower
potency remedy. Low numbers are used more frequently than high numbers.
Another general rule is that high potency homeopathic
medicine should only be taken when you know it is the right remedy, so start
off with a low potency remedy, and then increase the potency if improvement is
felt, though incomplete.
Taking Homeopathic Medicine
Homeopathic medicine should be taken on a clean
pallet. While on a course of homeopathic treatment, you should avoid strong
flavours such as mint (including toothpaste), coffee or camphor.
They are normally taken as pills which are placed
under the tongue. Take two tablets every two hours for the first six doses, and
then four times daily for up to five days. For some complaints remedies are
taken as an ointment, for example, arnica cream applied directly to bruising.
If you are taking the remedy in pill form, you should
avoid contact with the skin (including fingers). Just drop a few pills into the
lid and pour them directly into the mouth.
Once relief from the symptoms if felt, stop taking the
homeopathic medicine. Only take it again if exactly the same symptoms come