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 highly diluted.

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 susceptibility.”

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.