Homeopathy is a unique and interesting form of alternative medicine that essentially believes in the body’s ability to heal itself with a little help. To understand it better, one must look at the reasons behind the concept.
In the late 1700s, Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, formulated this school of thought as a reaction to the somewhat extreme forms of medical procedures and treatments that were prevalent in his time. Although he was trained in these very practices, he rejected them at an early stage in his career and began to study chemistry and the effects of different treatments for common ailments.
The principle of homeopathy is ‘like cures like’ or that symptoms may be cured by very low doses of a substance that causes the same symptoms. While many experts believe this is not true or effective, there are some real and undeniable benefits to the theory of homeopathic medicine.
Dr. Hahnemann strongly believed in the curative properties of rest and of comprehensive investigation. A homeopath considers the symptoms, body, and mind of the patient as unique, and treating any complaint accordingly. In homeopathy, if two patients present with the same symptoms, the treatment may be different for each.
The most common conditions for which patients seek out homeopathic treatment are below:
Homeopathic medicine for asthma
When a patient presents with asthma, the homeopath must first evaluate whether it is caused by allergies or is a chronic condition. This affects the type of treatment prescribed. Homeopathic medicine for asthma usually includes ingredients derived from eucalyptus, phosphorus, ipecac, and herbs for decongestion. If the complaint is caused by allergies, the recommendations will naturally involve reducing exposure to the irritant.
Homeopathic medicine for acidity
For patients complaining of acidity, the homeopath discusses the exact nature of the symptoms: a sour taste in mouth, a feeling of tightness in the chest, nausea, exhaustion, stomach pain, diarrhoea or vomiting – each symptom tells the homeopath something about the root of the complaint, and has a different substance for treatment. Homeopathic medicine for acidity treats it as a lifestyle related problem rather than a disease, and will recommend certain changes in habits.
Homeopathic medicine for arthritis
The treatment for patients with arthritis will depend on the type – osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia – and will be influenced by the emotional and spiritual condition of the patient as well as the physical symptoms. All homeopathic medicine for arthritis aim at reducing inflammation and helping to deal with joint pain.
Homeopathic medicine for anxiety and depression
To treat mental health conditions, the practitioner conducts extensive investigation into the patient’s background and emotions. Homepathic medicine for anxiety and depression includes calming ingredients like Valerian root and lavender essential oil. It will also include some lifestyle recommendations like beginning talk therapy or counselling, getting some exercise or doing yoga, and changing one’s daily patterns.
Homeopathic medicine for allergy
The symptoms of an allergy are caused by the production of antibodies in the immune system, as a reaction to an irritant. Homeopathic medicine for allergy increases the body’s ability to cope with these irritants by stimulating the immune system. These medicines can be taken proactively, if one knows when an allergic reaction is about to begin, and can be very effective.
Homeopathic medicine for psoriasis and eczema
One of the biggest triggers of psoriasis is known to be stress, which will be an important topic during patient evaluation. In addition to a physical examination, when a patient comes in for homeopathic medicine for psoriasis, the practitioner will cover emotional health, any major events that triggered grief or anger, and anxiety levels. The practitioner will also recommend topical ointments or massage, as well as prescribing an oral medication.
Homeopathic medicine for migraine headaches
Migraine headaches can be debilitating and extremely painful, appearing with a range of simultaneous symptoms like nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light, and feelings of fatigue. While homeopathic medicine for migraines treats these symptoms, it can also be used preventively, if one knows how to recognize the aura or onset of migraines.
Homeopathic medicine for cold and cough
Colds and coughs are the most common ailments, so it is no surprise that everyone looks for a natural remedy that is free from side effects. Any homeopathic medicine for colds and coughs covers symptoms like runny nose, fever, body ache, and watering eyes. The practitioner will investigate the emotional health of the patient, and usually recommends rest and a specific diet to help recovery.
The debate about homeopathic medicine
The efficacy of homeopathic medicine is hotly argues, with experts ranging themselves on both sides of the discussion. Many consider it a pseudo-scientific therapy with limited evidence of being effective, although some studies prove it has been useful in cases of eczema, arthritis, depression, migraine, and a few other conditions.
Because of its moderate views, homeopathic medicine is usually diluted to very mild levels. It has few to no side effects, and can be safely taken by most patients.
The practice of evaluating the patient as an individual and not as a set of symptoms means that any homeopathic consultation is detailed and extensive. This enables the practitioner to make a comprehensive diagnosis.
While dilution of the medicine is a cornerstone of homeopathic medicine, this also means that any treatment may stretch out over a long time, and in some cases, may not be effective. However, because it is largely natural and has no side-effects, most patients don’t mind trying it.
Do note that homeopathic medicine is not intended to replace prescribed medications or for treatment of diseases like cancer, where time is of the essence. Please consult your healthcare provider if you are considering homeopathy for any complaints.