What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine that is based on the use of highly diluted substances that claims to stimulate the body’s response and strengthen the vital force’s ability to heal itself. It was introduced in 1796 by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. He conceived the idea of homeopathy while he was translating a medical book by Doctor William Cullen from English into German. Being skeptical of Cullen’s theory that cinchona cured malaria. Hahnemann eats some bark at regular intervals, specifically to explore what would happen. He observed symptoms like nausea, vomiting, shivering, body pain, and malaria fever.
From this experience, Hahnemann came to believe that if we take any substance, drug, or chemical in material dosage at regular intervals it produces symptoms in healthy individuals like those of the diseases that they treat. He was convinced that a substance that causes symptoms of a disease in healthy people can cure similar symptoms in sick people when we use it in minimal dosage. This is the first principle of homeopathy which is known as similia similibus curentur, which means “like cures like”.
History of Homeopathy
Homeopathy was introduced in 1796 by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. It is an established method of alternative treatment for more than 200 years all over the world. Homeopathy achieved substantial popularity in the 19th century. During this period, dozens of homeopathic institutions emerge in Europe and the United States. In the 19th century, homeopathy was able to appear relatively successful, as an alternative treatment. Its practitioners are known as homeopaths.
Hahnemann began to test the effects of various substances in healthy humans and note down the symptoms of mind and body parts (head, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, etc). This procedure is known as “homeopathic proving”. He published a collection of 65 proving in 1805 in his book, “Materia Medica Pura”
Hahnemann collected and published a summary of his new medical system in his book, “The Organon of medicine” (1810). The sixth edition was published in 1921 and homeopaths still use it today.
The illness starts with an imbalance of vital force which leads to an effect on our mind & thought process, and disturbs our emotions & feelings, as a result, the body expressed the illness through different symptoms. A cluster of symptoms is recognized as a disease. Following principles are the foundation of homeopathic philosophy.
1: Similia Similbus Curentur, “Let likes cure likes”.
A substance that produces disease symptoms in a healthy person is used in potency form to treat these symptoms when they appear naturally in a patient. A homeopath matches the symptom of the homeopathic remedy to the symptom of the patient, and particular attention is given to those symptoms which are peculiar or unique to the individual. Abnormal behaviors, emotions, and feelings.
2: The Single Remedy.
Select a single homeopathic remedy for a patient, considering the totality of the symptoms. Only one selective remedy is sufficient at a time.
3: Individualization of treatment.
Every patient has individuality in his symptoms. Patients with the same disease may be required different homeopathic remedies according to their symptoms. For example, we have two patients of the flue, 1st feels better in a closed and hot room and the worse in an open and cold atmosphere. 2nd feels worse in a closed and hot room and the better in an open and cold atmosphere.
4: The Minimum Dose.
A homeopath recommends the smallest possible dose in potency form to maximize beneficial effects and minimize side effects. Repetition of the dose is depending on the individual’s response to the remedy. Undue repetition may aggravate the symptoms or lessen the response, even to the correct remedy
Homeopaths are highly concerned about the suppression of symptoms. When a patient’s physical symptoms might improve with a specific treatment, but the individual feels worse in his mind symptoms like depression, anxiety, fears, etc. It means the patient is not cured, just his physical symptoms are being suppressed.
6: Order of Healing.
According to the Homeopathic principle, if healing proceeds in a particular order, it means the patient is on the right path to cure. The criterion that non-suppressive healing is taking place is given below.
- 1: Healing mind to body.
- 2: Healing from vital organs to skin.
- 3: Healing upside down.
- 4: Healing inside out.
How does Homeopathy treat a patient?
“Homeopathy treats the patient not a disease”. To treat the patient a homeopath considers his symptoms in the following sequence.
- 1st symptoms which are peculiar or unique to the individual.
- 2nd his mind symptoms like change in behaviours, emotions & feelings.
- 3rd personality & general modalities.
- 4th hereditary factors & lifestyle.
- 5th particular symptoms & modalities.
- 6th history of the disease.
Homeopathy focuses on the whole person or totality of the individual, instead of the diseased part or name
When is homeopathy used?
Homeopathy does not claim to cure any disease but is used for a wide range of symptoms that a patient experiences while feeling sick. A homeopath believes that he can help a patient according to the symptoms. You can consult a homeopath for any symptom, or a group of symptoms related to your mind, Generalities, modalities, and body parts.
Unusual behavior, overwhelming or underwhelming emotions, extreme feelings, persistent thoughts, apathy, etc. For example
like biting, obstinate, irritability, cruelty, cursing, escape, haughty, hiding, hurry, impatience, indolence, insanity, insolence, loquacity, malicious, mania, mildness, morose, spitting, striking, violence, etc
Overwhelming or underwhelming emotions
like fears, anger, jealousy, sex, love, sadness, guilt, etc
like anxiety, delusions, forsaken, grief, joy, disappointment, hopelessness, weeping, etc
like death, sex, suicide, suspicious, etc
like aversion to company, death desires, despair, indifference, disinterested etc
Symptoms that represent the involvement of the whole body.
Like anemia, emaciation, faintness, flabby, dropsy, hemorrhage, heat flushes, heat sensation, induration, inflammation, numbness, obesity, old age, perspiration, pulsation, sensitiveness, body sides, twitching, weakness, etc
Better or Worse:
Timing (morning, afternoon, evening, night, before midnight after midnight).
Weather (hot, cold, wet, dry). Season (spring, summer, autumn, winter).
Desire or Aversion:
Open-air, cold/hot water, salt, sugar, milk, meat, egg, etc.
Aggravation or Amelioration:
Ascending, descending, Bathing, food, lying, perspiration, pressure, rising, rubbing, sitting, sleep, standing, touch, waking on, walking, etc.
Body Parts symptoms:
Symptoms that represent the involvement of the body part (Head, Eye, Ear, Nose, Face, Mouth, Teeth, Throat, Stomach, Abdomen, Rectum, Bladder, Male/Female-genitalia, Chest, Back, Extremities, Skin, Hair, Nails, etc). like headache, dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus, sneezing runny nose, freckles, bad breath, gums bleeding, tonsillitis, heartburning, flatulence, hemorrhoid, urine incontinence, cough, back pain, etc.
Homeopathic preparations are known as “homeopathic remedies”. Homeopaths mainly rely on two types of reference when prescribing a remedy. 1st: is Materia medica and 2nd is Repertory. In homeopathic Materia medica remedies are organized alphabetically and the collection of symptoms are written in body parts sections separately. A homeopathic repertory is a quick reference that indexes the symptoms and then the associated remedies for each symptom.
The first homeopathic Materia medica was arranged by Hahnemann, “Materia Medica Pura”. James Tyler Kent, in his repertory more focused on the characteristic symptoms of Materia Medica. This repertory was less concentrated on disease categories, which is one of the most used.
Homeopathy remedies are mostly prepared from animal, plant, mineral, and synthetic substances. Homeopathic remedies generally refer to them using Latin names. Examples include Arsenicum album (arsenic oxide), Natrum muriaticum (sodium chloride), and Argentum nitricum (silver nitrate). Homeopathic pills are made from sugar & lactose, upon which a few drops of a homeopathic remedy are placed and allowed to evaporate.
How does Homeopathic Medicines Prepared?
The basic ingredient of homeopathic remedies is herbs, minerals, or animal products. First crushed these substances and dissolved them in liquid usually, 35% distilled water and 65% alcohol, shaken well, and stored in a dry cool place away from direct sunlight. Leave it for fifteen days but shaken well every day.
After fifteen days mash it well and filter the solution. This is the homeopathic “mother tincture.” And symbolize it with a capital “Q “Now take 1ml of this mother tincture and added 99ml of alcohol and give 100 jerks to this container on a rubber pad, it makes 1C (one potency). With the repetition of this process, homeopathic remedies are prepared from 1C -2C, 2C- 3C, and so on. When diluting tinctures more with alcohol either 1 part to 10 (written as “X”) or 1 part to 100 (written as “C”).
Some substances are insoluble in distilled water or alcohol like metals. To prepare homeopathic remedies from these metals first triturate them. For 1C take 1 part of the substance and 99 parts lactose. For 1X take 1 part of the substance and 9 parts lactose. For trituration put the whole substance in the mortar add 1/3 portion of the lactose and grind, for 15 minutes, rotating the pestle clockwise. After 15 minutes mix it well with the spatula for 5 minutes. Now add more 1/3 parts of lactose and repeat the process for 15 and 5 minutes. Now add the remaining 1/3 parts of the lactose and repeat the same process again. In this way, 1C or 1X is prepared from a metal.
Now triturate this metal from 1C-2C, 2C-3C and so until it becomes water or alcohol soluble. Homeopathic medicines are available in Q, 3X, 3C, 6X, 6C, 12X, 12C 30C, 200C 1M, 10M, 50M, and CM
How to take homeopathic medicines?
Homeopathic medicines are available in small tablets or drops form. Tablets are chewable, that should be chewed. It is better not to touch the tablets, but to put them into the bottle cap and then put them in the mouth. To use the homeopathic remedy in drop forms put recommended drops directly on the tongue or mix in a teaspoon of water or mix with a small quantity of lactose and take it. Homeopathic medicine should be taken half an hour before or after a meal rather than taken with food.
Efficacy and Safety of Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic remedies are mostly safe and may not cause serious side effects. In crude form, some substances are not safe for the user, but when preparing homeopathy remedies by diluting them multiple times the adverse side effects remain negligible. Don’t use any homeopathy medicine without consulting a homeopathic professional.
Homeopathic remedies are prepared from several sources, like plants, animals, and minerals. They are manufactured according to the guidelines set out in homeopathic pharmacopeia. Homeopathic remedies that are sufficiently diluted have no interaction with the conventional drug.
Regulation and prevalence
Homeopathy is common in some regions like Asia while uncommon in other parts of the world like the USA Europe Australia. Homeopathy is practiced worldwide as an alternative treatment and professional degrees, or registration is required in most countries. Homeopathy had been integrated into the national health care systems of many countries, including Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
The Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi Sri Lankan government recognizes homeopathy as an alternative system of medicine. To practice as a homeopath in these countries, you have required a recognized diploma or degree in homeopathy, and registration on the Central Register of Homoeopathy. Some medical colleges in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh offer an undergraduate diploma or degree program in homeopathy. Upon completion, the college may award a Diploma (D.H.M.S) or degree (B.H.M.S.).