What is Homeopathy?

Why isn’t homeopathic medicine very popular in America?  Maybe it is because the tenet of homeopathy is ‘less is more,’ and for most of us this is an unusual concept considering our present society believes that ‘more is better.’  When homeopaths suggest a remedy the medicine is administered in small pellets that are dissolved under the tongue.  Sometimes a person will need to take the homeopathic remedy three times a day to feel better, or sometimes, only taking the remedy once will be enough to stimulate the person’s body to heal itself!  If the remedy is only administered one time with positive results, then the philosophy is to ‘wait and see’ how the body will respond.  Patience is a virtue when it comes to healing a problem deep at its core, where the illness originally began.

Homeopathy is a medicine that is both safe and effective for people of all ages and in all stages of life.  Homeopathy takes different properties from nature (plants, elements, bacteria and so on) and converts them into healing remedies.  Homeopaths study and learn the characteristics that define the active agent of each remedy in order to prescribe them appropriately.  This knowledge is the key feature in the successful diagnosis and effective treatment of illnesses through homeopathy.

There are a large number of children who yearly avoid tubes in their ears thanks to the wonders of homeopathy.  Adult arthritis sufferers have stopped taking anti-inflammatory medications once they’ve found the remedy best suited for them.  Adults and children alike who have suffered from chronic eczema have been greatly helped with homeopathy, after all other medicines have failed them.  These are merely a few examples that first come to mind, where homeopathy has proven to be a savior.

A visit to a homeopath typically includes the homeopath asking many questions, which might initially seem irrelevant, but those silly questions are what produce the clues to understanding which remedy is needed to heal the specific condition.  Among the many questions asked are those concerning the individual’s natural tendencies, food choices and physical or emotional ailments.  These questions are essential because from the Homeopath’s perspective it isn’t of primary concern what the condition is called, rather how it affects the individual person.  Homeopathy investigates the ‘entire person’—looking to see where there are ‘imbalances’ and, in response, balances the whole body.  However, Homeopathy stabilizes the body in a way that is specific to the individual person, and who she is.  For example; if five people come down with the ‘flu’, each person will have contracted the same virus, but it will manifest with different symptoms depending on the individual.  One person may have a high fever while another low grade fever.  One may suffer from muscle pain and sweating, while the other will have bone pain and feel chilly.  Five different people with the same flu might require five different homeopathic remedies, because everyone’s body has the potential to react differently to a similar experience.

Furthermore, Homeopaths strive to discover who a person truly is, as a unique being, in order to prescribe a remedy that both matches the illness as well as the inimitable qualities of that person.  Though it is often a long and arduous process for a Homeopath to really get to know the multi-faceted nature of each person, it is ultimately necessary, for proper results.  Once a Homeopath gets to know you and prescribes the appropriate remedy, the results of homeopathic medicines are safe, long lasting and easy to use without the presence of uncomfortable side effects.

How is a homeopathic remedy made?  During the process of making a remedy the ‘substance’ is diluted many times and then shaken repeatedly (successed).  This liquid dilution is then poured over sugar pellets which absorb the liquid, and after drying, the sugar pellets are put into a vial and labeled. On each bottle you will find the name of the remedy—for example Belladonna, a number and letter. The number and letter correspond to the remedy’s strength, or potency. The numbers range from 6x, 6c, 12c, 15c, 30c, 200c, 1M, 10M.  The number represents the amount of times the remedy was diluted and shaken (succussed).  The philosophy with homeopathy is that the more the substance is diluted, the stronger it becomes.   So, diluting the substance 200 times makes it stronger than diluting it 6 times. This means that a homeopathic remedy at 200c is stronger than 6c.

Lower numbers or ‘lower potencies’ are used for conditions that are visible to the eye, or that affect the skin or mouth.  So, if you have a canker sore you may try a remedy called Borax 6x.  Since this remedy is relatively weak—a low potency—it can be repeated up to four times a day until the canker sore is resolved.  On the other hand, if a person experienced a trauma like witnessing a terrible car accident and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, this patient would require a remedy at a ‘higher potency’ that is given less frequently.  The homeopath may prescribe a remedy called Aconite 1M which is used for emotional shock.  Since the ‘potency’ is higher, the patient is advised to take the remedy only once, and then wait for, perhaps, a week or a month to see how he or she has responded.

Therefore, part of the job of the homeopath is also to match not only the homeopathic substance—as represented by its name, but also the potency.  For example, if a person has a terrible fever, he or she may be prescribed a remedy called Belladonna 30c.  30c is chosen because it is a potency that is in the middle of the potency range and fevers are considered middle level illnesses—affecting much of the body.  The 30c works on the physical and mental states of the patient in a more precise way than the Borax 6x, for example, works on a canker sore—which is more localized in the body and therefore is not considered a middle level illness.  Why choose Belladonna?  Belladonna is a poisonous plant that if ingested in its natural form would cause the symptoms of fever—sweating and dilated pupils—but if diluted and ingested in microscopic amounts, the reaction is to lessen the patient’s symptoms until the person gets better.  It is thought in this philosophy of “like cures like” is that the energy of the remedy collides with the energy of the illness and dissipates the imbalance.

If you are new to homeopathy, a basic and easy to use remedy is remedy called Arnica.  I recommend purchasing the Arnica at a dose of 30c.  Arnica 30c is for bumps, bruises, or muscle pain.  This is a great universal remedy that is a beneficial to have in your first aid kit at all times.  It can be used for pain caused either by a strained muscle after an intense workout, or after dental work.  Arnica is helpful to have at little league games for the inevitable bruises, or from the sores that accompany a family hike!  Let this remedy be your first taste into the world of homeopathy.