Homeopathy – An Overview
Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine. The Father of Homeopathy,
Samuel Hahnemann, was a German doctor who propounded the basic principle of
Homeopathy as being the “law of similar.” He believed that when a large dose
of a substance caused illness minute doses of the same substance proved to be
a cure for the same illness. Accordingly, in Homeopathy, ingredients were
The practitioner of Homeopathy follows a process called succussion which
would bring about a serial dilution of the substance to prepare homeopathic
medicines. He believes that this process of dilution would in turn increase
the efficacy of the medicine. As a result of this process of dilution, the
original substance would cease to exist in the medicine.
Homeopaths check both the psychological and physical problems of the patient
before prescribing medicines. This is because homeopathy believes that an
illness has both spiritual and psychological causes as also physical causes.
The doctor generally consults homeopathic reference books before prescribing
medicines to his patients in order to find out the best and the most
effective medicines that would suit the specific patient.
Almost all homeopathic medicines are totally safe in terms of side effects as
they generally contain either water, sugar or alcohol. Many clinical and
scientific studies have been done on these medicines but these have been
unable to prove that these medicines are effective beyond the “placebo
effect.” Still homeopathy as an alternative medical practice is effective.
According to Homeopathy practitioners, it is the imbalance in the vital life
force of the individual which causes him to fall ill. This disturbance in the
vital life force is manifested as an illness. The homeopaths also believe
that the life force has the capability to react as well as adapt to both the
external as also the internal causes that lead to disease. This further
translates into the belief that a person who has a negative attitude and
frame of mind is more likely to attract diseases which in most cases can even
be hypothetical. This principle of Homeopathy is known as the “law of
Such hypothetical diseases are called “Miasms” in Homeopathy. The patient’s
body exhibits symptoms of a particular disease. Homeopathy believes in the
theory of letting likes cure likes. This means Homeopathic medicines are
given to create artificial symptoms of a particular disease. These symptoms
would kick start the life force into neutralizing and also throwing off the
original disease that the patient is suffering from. As the medicine is
reduced and finally stopped the artificial symptoms created would also cease
to trouble the patient.
Homeopathic medicines are made from plant, animal, mineral as also synthetic
materials. The term “remedy” in homeopathy refers to the substance or
medicine that is prepared according to a specific procedure which is used in
the treatment of patients. The Holy Bible of Homeopaths is a book named
“Materia Medica” which is a compilation of the pictures of drugs as well as
the symptoms that they are used to cure. The second book that these
practitioners use is “Repertoires”. This is an index of the symptoms of the
different diseases and their remedies.
Homeopathy is a common alternative system of medicine in many countries
across the world and although often challenged and questioned, over a period
of time it has emerged as one of the most potent forms of alternative medicine.