Homeopathy is a safe and natural form of medicine based on the practice of treating as equals. Homeopathy comes from the Greek words homios, which means similar or similar, and italios, which means suffering.
Homeopathy is about treating the whole person and not just the disease. The homeopath will consider the patient as a whole, both physically and psychologically, taking into account the physical appearance of the patient, her likes, dislikes and temperament. It is, therefore, a very personalized form of treatment, so that patients who apparently suffer from the same disease can receive recommendations for different medications.
Homeopathy is an established form of healing. Today, many of the major pharmaceutical companies research and manufacture homeopathic medicines in series.
Homeopathic medicines look a lot like conventional medicines, they are taken in the same way, but the way they work is completely different.
The drugs are not synthetic and are derived from natural sources. More than 60% of homeopathic remedies are made from plants or plant materials. Other remedies are prepared from natural mineral substances, including metals, non-metallic substances, and mineral salts. Animal sources of homeopathic remedies include: cuttlefish (ink or juice provides cuttlefish) and bee.
Homeopathic medicines are prepared by obtaining the remedy in its most concentrated form and then, through a long dilution process, preparing a medicine whose potency is sufficient to perform a treatment. The potency describes the degree of dilution of the remedy and is indicated by the number following the name of the drug itself. The higher the number, the greater the dilution (up to one part of remedy to one billion parts of diluent).
Homeopathic medicines, commonly known as remedies, can come from the plant, mineral, or animal kingdom. Some common remedies include: Arnica montana, from the ruined Leopard plant; belladonna, from the deadly nightshade plant; calcareous calcium carbonate from oyster shells; sepia, cuttlefish ink; and the element sulfur.
Today’s homeopathic remedies are produced using the same dilution principles of Hahnemann’s days. In a common 1: 100 dilution, one drop of the homeopathic substance is added to 99 drops of water and / or alcohol. The mixture is then enhanced by a process called “succussion,” by repeatedly striking a hard surface over a set period of time. The remedies can be diluted up to 1000 times, leaving only an infinitesimal trace of the substance. The remedies are generally diluted 10, 100, or 1,000 times, resulting in potencies marked with the Roman numerals X, C, and M. Homeopathic remedies range from 6X as the lowest potency to 1M or more as the highest potency.
The remedies can be taken orally as a pill, powder, or drop, rubbed locally, or injected. There are generally no side effects from homeopathic treatments, but a patient may experience what is called a “worsening of healing,” a temporary accentuation of symptoms. This is considered a positive sign that the remedy is working. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a homeopath may choose an antidote, which produces the opposite effect of the remedy. The antidote can be another homeopathic remedy or a strong substance, such as perfume, camphor, or coffee, that are known to block the effects of a remedy.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized homeopathic medicines as medicines since 1938, collaborating with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention to produce and update its own reference book on homeopathic medicines. Over the years, the FDA has classified homeopathic medicines as prescription or, more commonly, non-prescription (over-the-counter), based on their strength. In the UK, homeopathic medicine has been part of the National Health Service (NHS) since its inception in 1948. There are currently 5 homeopathic hospitals on the NHS. Homeopathic medicines are available without a prescription or by prescription.