What is Homeopathy? Are homeopathic medicines safe?


Homeopathy is a system of medicine, which was founded by the German physician Dr. Hahnemann in 1790. Dr. Hahnemann was a very famous physician of the then dominant school of medicine. He was a successful practitioner, but deep within he was very troubled by the limited amount of useful medical knowledge of his times. He realized that, very ironically, the ‘medical science’ is not based on any fundamental scientific laws. And the theories on which the medicine of his time was based were vague and hypothetical. And the treatment often caused more harm than good. So he left his medical practice and started translation work instead.

While translating Cullen’s Materia Medica, he decided to probe into the action of Cinchona bark, which was known to have curative power in malarial fevers. To do this, he took some extract of Cinchona bark himself. To his utter surprise, he soon developed symptoms similar to those of malaria. It occurred to him that Cinchona bark can cure malaria because it has the power to produce a similar state in a healthy human being. To test this idea further, he did similar experiments with various substances on himself and others. And he found all his experiments confirming his idea. And so he concluded that this is a general law and called it ‘Similia Similibus Curantur’, i.e.; ‘Like Cures Like’ – the fundamental principle on which Homeopathy is based.

This law has been confirmed by thousands of people since then and has been found to be rock-solid. Dr. Hahnemann then further developed this idea, proved hundreds of new medicines, developed methods of preparation and administration of medicines and also gave many guidelines regarding health and disease, thus giving birth to a complete and new system of medicine. This was a strong foundation and a lot of work has gone into further development of Homeopathy in the past 200 years. The work and growth of Homeopathy is still going on and at a very rapid pace. And as the physical basis of this science is becoming clear, i’s acceptance is growing in all ranks of society. It won’t be wrong to say – ‘The Future Belongs to Homeopathy.”

Benefits of Homeopathy

Homeopathy is safe. Unlike other medicines, homeopathic medicines usually do not have any side effects. Their ability to cause structural damage is Nil. The reason for this is that homeopathic medicines act by stimulating the body’s own defense mechanism and healing powers. They do not have any chemical action, so they do not have the potential to cause any sustained damage. The doses are given in sub-physiological quantities. So they can be given to children and adults alike without worrying about the dosage. Safe for every one.

Homeopathic medicines are very effective – in both acute and chronic conditions. Homeopathy in fact, is the only system of medicine which offers curative treatment (not palliative) to a large number of chronic ailments which have been labeled as ‘incurable’ by other schools of medicine. In acute ailments also, homeopathic remedies, if selected properly, give results faster then any other systems of medicine.

Homeopathic medicines are easy to administer. Homeopathic medicines are usually dispensed as sweet sugar pills, which are very easy to take. Due to this reason, children readily agree to take homeopathic remedies.

Homeopathic medicines are usually less expensive than comparable allopathic and ayurvedic drugs. And also there is little stress on costly diagnostic procedures as homeopaths rely on the symptoms to find the right medicine for a person. So the overall cost of treatment is very little. One has to think of long-term gains. Under proper homeopathic treatment not only the person’s immediate complaints improve, but also his/her susceptibility to disease decreases, as there is a general improvement in health. So in the long run, there is better health, less medical consultations and the cumulative cost is very low. Even otherwise, hasn’t some wise man said ..”Health is the real Wealth“? Homeopathy considers the complaints of a patient in totality. It views a person as a whole, as an integrated entity, and not as a mere collection of body parts. So it treats the person as a whole too. Thus one does not have to visit ten different ‘specialists’ for his/her ten different body parts. After all our body is more than a collection of parts! So homeopathy saves your time, money and health at the same time.

What ailments can be treated by Homeopathy?

Almost all ailments are amenable to homeopathic treatment. But Homeopathy is best known for its ability to treat chronic ailments. The reason for this is that Homeopathy is the only system of medicine which offers curative treatment (not palliative) in many chronic ailments which have been declared ‘incurable’ by other schools of medicine. Be it skin disease, chronic gastric and intestinal disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine, asthma, allergic disorders, menstrual complaints, other hormonal disorders, arthritis, psychological disorders etc. All these and many more chronic ailments have been affected curatively by Homeopathy. The only major limiting factors are:

1. Gross structural and pathological changes.

2. Very low vitality of the patient.

3. Unavoidable presence of certain causative or maintaining factors.

Then Homeopathy is also known to make surgery unnecessary on many occasions. Many tonsils, adenoids, appendices etc have been saved with Homeopathy. Benign tumors and renal stones also respond well to homeopathic treatment.

Even in cases where curative treatment is not possible, like advanced cases of arthritis, malignancies etc, management and palliation with homeopathic medicines is very effective and improves the quality of life of such patients without making them suffer the side effects of the modern wonder – drugs (!).

Homeopathy is also very effective in acute ailments. And the action of a rightly selected medicine is usually faster than any other medicines. Not only this, under proper homeopathic treatment the tendency to frequent recurrence of acute and their tendency to become chronic is aborted.

Are homeopathic medicines safe?

Absolutely! Homeopathic medicines are given in sub-physiological doses. They do not have any chemicals or added colors in them. Usually they do not have any side effects and they cannot cause any structural damage in general. They are safe for infants and pregnant women too. But homeopathic medicines often have very profound action on human economy, so they should not be taken without consultation with a qualified homeopath.

How do homeopathic medicines work?

Homeopathic medicines act by stimulating body’s own defense mechanism to correct the process which has lead to the disease condition. According to our current understanding, the medicines act as an electromagnetic signal, which is picked up by nerves and relayed to higher centers of the brain, which in turn stimulates our bodies healing powers to take specific corrective measures. Medicines tell the body ‘What to do?’ – the actual work is done by the body itself.

How does one take homeopathic medicines?

Homeopathic medicines are available in sugar pills and in liquid form. The exact way of administration depends upon the medicine, its potency, the condition being treated, and the sensitivity of the patient. At one time a few sugar pills or a few drops of liquid medicine may be given. But the exact method and the repetition of medicine depends upon the above mentioned factors. So ask your homeopath before taking any homeopathic medicine.

What dietary measures and life-style changes are required under homeopathic treatment?

This varies from physician to physician. Some restrict too many things like coffee, tobacco, spices etc, while others do not put any restrictions. In general, if a food-substance is playing a causative, maintaining, or aggravating factor, only then it should be avoided. Some substances like camphor are considered a general antidote to many homeopathic medicines and should therefore be avoided or taken into account. Life-style changes are also required only if life-style is contributing to disease condition. Homeopathic medicines act on a very deep plane; so they are usually not affected by routine dietary articles and the routine stress of our lives.

Homeopathy for Kids

Generally, children and babies respond very well to homeopathic treatment. They have usually not been exposed to as much conventional drug therapy as adults.
Homeopathy can also help to strengthen a child’s natural defenses and immunity, helping to restore a state of good health.

Acute cold and flu symptoms respond well to homeopathic treatment.

Homeopathic remedies come in different strengths or potencies. The lower potencies which range in strength from 6X, 6C, 30X and 30C are appropriate for use at home. The correct choice of remedy will work at any strength. In general, remedies in the strengths of 6X and 6C need to be repeated more often than the 30X or 30C.

For chronic conditions, constitutional homeopathic treatment is indicated. In this case, a homeopathic remedy is chosen by a trained homeopath after a lengthy interview. This method can be very effective for the long-term resolution of chronic conditions.

Homeopathy is safe and effective in treating most childhood ailments, including:

  • Asthma
  • Bedwetting
  • Ear infections
  • Frequent colds
  • Teething
  • Tonsillitis
  • Stomach Upset & Motion Sickness

Homeopathy is also a good choice for Childhood infectious diseases such as:

  • Measles
  • Chickenpox
  • Mumps