There are many reasons to trust alternative medicinal approaches to health like homeopathy—here are six for you to consider.
1. Homeopathy Helps Your Body Heal Itself
Homeopathy is based on a rule of nature called the Law of Similars. This law states that like cures like, or that a medicine can cure a sick person if it can cause a similar sickness in a healthy person. For instance, if you peel an onion, your eyes burn, itch and water. You might also have a runny nose and begin to sneeze. If you had similar symptoms during a cold or allergy attack, such as a runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing, a homeopathic micro-dose of the remedy Allium cepa (red onion) would help your body heal itself.
The homeopath regards symptoms as the body’s healthy attempt to restore itself to balance. That is why a homeopath will choose a remedy that supports the symptoms—rather than opposing them or suppressing them as in conventional medicine. In conventional medicine, a cold or hayfever sufferer is given an antihistamine to dry up the runny nose and watery eyes artificially. But this medication often comes with unpleasant side effects like sleepiness and constipation. With the correct homeopathic remedy, however, there are no side effects and a person is restored to health naturally.
Homeopathy also recognizes that each person exhibits his or her disease in a unique and slightly different way. That is why two people with the same disease will not necessarily receive the same homeopathic remedy. A cold sufferer with a stopped up nose and dry eyes would receive a different remedy than one with a runny nose and watering eyes. Unlike the “one size fits all” approach to prescribing often used in conventional medicine, a homeopath chooses a remedy that matches the unique symptom profile of the individual.
Conventional medicine seeks to control illness through the regular use of medications; if the medicine is withdrawn, the person’s symptoms return. For example, the daily use of drugs for asthma (or any chronic disease for that matter) alleviates the symptoms but does not cure the underlying problem. In homeopathy the ideal is that a person needs just enough of the homeopathic remedy to stimulate their healing response. In other words, homeopathy seeks to cure a person so that they do not need any medications—homeopathic or otherwise.
2. Homeopathy Offers Historical Evidence
The Law of Similars has been documented since at least the time of Hippocrates (ca. 400 B.C.), but it is Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German doctor and chemist, who is credited with founding homeopathy. He discovered the truth of the Law of Similars by testing small doses of medicine on himself.
By 1900, about twenty percent of doctors in the United States were homeopaths, but due to various political and social changes, homeopathy became relatively unknown in the US until recently. There is wider acceptance of homeopathy in such countries as France, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, India and Great Britain. In fact, the family doctor to England’s Queen Elizabeth is a homeopathic physician. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that it’s currently practiced by over 500 million people worldwide.
3. Classical Homeopathy Supports A Balanced Approach To Health
Over the last 200 years many definitions of “classical” homeopathy have been used. At the core of nearly all of these definitions are the following key elements:
- The Law of Similars: matching the symptoms of a medicine tested on healthy humans to the individual seeking treatment.
- The Minimum Dose: determining the least amount of medicine needed to effect the needed change.
- Totality of Symptoms: matching the complete symptom profile of the patient to the symptom profile of the remedy.
- Single Remedy: administration of one remedy at a time.
4. Homeopathy Excels At Combination Remedies
Some homeopathic products combine several different homeopathic medicines, each of which is known to be helpful for a certain condition, in the hope that the combination will contain the medicine needed by any individual with that condition. For example, a combination product for earaches might contain the five most frequently prescribed homeopathic remedies for earaches. These combination remedies are often safely and effectively used for simple acute conditions; however, they do not constitute classical homeopathy.
5. Homeopathic Medicines Are Regulated
Homeopathic medicines are considered to be drugs under U.S. federal law, and the Food and Drug Administration regulates the manufacture, marketing, and sales of all homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines are made according to a book of standards called the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). The HPUS contains all of the information necessary for the proper identification of the raw materials used to make homeopathic medicines, as well as techniques for their manufacture and quality control. Homeopathic medicines are derived from botanical (plant), mineral, and some animal sources.
6. Homeopathic Medicines Are Safe
Because of the minute doses used in homeopathy, the medicines labeled for internal use are non-toxic. When properly administered, the medicines are completely safe for everyone including pregnant women, newborns, children, and adults through the senior years. Many veterinarians use homeopathy in the treatment of animals. There are no known or suspected contraindications or drug interactions between homeopathic and conventional medications.
Adopted from National Center for Homeopathy: http://homeopathycenter.org/learn-about-homeopathy
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) with Ladybugs california-poppy-4 (Photo credit: mikebaird)