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Homeopathy Myths & FAQs

Homeopathy, the great rational art of healing has a rich heritage of over two hundred years. But still there are some misunderstandings regarding the art. People sometimes react to it, as if it is related to psychological healing or a trial and error method.

The fault here does not lie in their understanding, but lack of proper promotion of the art. Some of the most common myths regarding the art are:


  • Myth :: Homeopathy establishes "Magic Cure" - it is just an unproven method of treatment.
    • Fact :: Homeopathy is a method of treatment based on laws and principles drawn from sound logic and experimental data. Its exact scientific basis still remains unproven but the clinical and experimental data prove its efficacy.

  • Myth :: Homeopathic medicines are placebo and have no medicinal action.
    • Fact :: This issue is the most popular myth regarding homeopathy. An occasional burp of it has become a routine affair. It is true that the sugar pills given are inert and do not have medicinal power but they are just vehicles or carrier of homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines can be given dissolved in water or in sugar pills but still they establish cure. It is the resultant cure which shows the medicine has acted and was not just a placebo. The scientific study of efficacy of homeopathic cures throughout the world cannot be merely from placebo effect.

  • Myth :: Homeopathy is only suited to chronic cases or terminal cases.
    • Fact :: It is a common notion that homeopathy is the choice for treating chronic cases or those patients who are not relieved or do not go well along with allopathic drugs. Most of the patients have attained this knowledge through their contacts or maybe some unlucky ordeal. It may be true in some cases but not always. The rightful act for attaining complete relief is to approach homeopathy before it is too late. If you are delaying a visit to doctor or health professional then it is another story but if you are delaying because you have to visit a homeopath then it is health negligence on your part. Most commonly the time of visit depends on your complaint; it can be summed up as:
      • In Acute cases: Acute diseases are those diseases which have sudden origin and the intensity of discomfort is high. In such cases people generally take conventional medicine thinking, Homeopathy is slow acting and is not worth trying in acute cases. But the truth is that, homeopathy is also effective in acute cases if the choice of similimum is proper.
      • In Surgical cases: The scope of homeopathy is limited in surgical cases; in some cases homeopathic medicines prevent surgeries while in some the patient needs to be referred to surgical OPDS (Out Patients Department) for the needful. It all depends on your health state and the disease condition when you consult the homeopathic physician.
      • In Chronic cases: Chronic diseases are those cases which have insidious origin, long duration with less to moderate discomfort. Homeopathy has now and again proved its efficacy in these cases
      • In Terminal cases: These cases include those cases which have been diagnosed as beyond the range of complete cure. In such cases homeopathy can help to reduce the suffering and also improve the quality of life.

        If you are not sure of your disease better visit the physician and let him decide for you. Better safe than sorry.
      Thus we see that the common myth that homeopathy is limited to some diseases is not true. Every science has limitations; no science is complete in itself, so why blame homeopathy alone? The best way to get maximum results is to approach homeopathy when you are still within the curable zone.

  • Myth :: Homeopathy works slow.
    • Fact :: This is the most popular myth about homeopathy but it is not true in all the cases. In fact, if the choice of similimum is proper the patient would show immediate signs of improvement. In acute diseases the response time is within minutes while in chronic diseases it can extend to days; it all depends on your disease state and the duration of action of the remedy. Your homeopathic physician would inform you about the signs of improvement that you can notice for yourselves. So you can find it for yourself that in most cases homeopathy can work faster, providing quicker relief than the other systems of medicine.

  • Myth :: Excessive medicine effects fast.
    • Fact :: Sometimes people summarize this rule owing to their experiences with conventional medicine; but this does not hold true in the case of Homeopathy. Law of Minimum Doses is one of the cardinal principles of Homeopathy - homeopathic medicines are given in qualitative doses i.e. in potencies and not quantitatively. A single dose of the similimum be it of poppy sized globule can work wonders for you. If you are taking more than you are prescribed, you are hindering your cure.

  • Myth :: Homeopathic medicines do not have side effects.
    • Fact :: It's a well known fact that anything taken in excess is bound to be harmful. So why won't homeopathic medicines cause harmful effects if you take them in excess due to negligence or thinking them to be placebo. (For the latter you can consult homeopathic physician to give you an insight into which medicine would show immediate response to enlighten you.) Moreover, homeopathic medicines act on the dynamic plane. So you may not be able to see the immediate after effects but it will become evident sooner or later. So it is best not to take the medicine unless needed or prescribed.

  • Myth :: A good medicine must have expiry date on it.
    • Fact :: Homeopathic medicines do have an expiry date; it would not be fruitful if you intend to pass the medicine phials through generations. Homeopathic medicines have a certain amount of alcohol mixed in them to preserve them; once it evaporates your medicines are of no use. For better results it is advised to store your medicines in dark colored bottles away from sunlight - it just helps them to last longer (read not forever).

  • Myth :: People taking homeopathic medicines should not take onions, garlic, tobacco, etc.
    • Fact :: As we have found now and then that most things we use in our food have power to affect our health, it all depends on how we utilize them. Since Homeopathic medicines act on the dynamic plane and affect us even through minimum doses, it becomes very essential not to interfere with the medicinal action. Taking food stuffs like onions, garlic, camphor, herbs in our diet only adds extra medicines to the prescribed ones preventing its proper action and thus affecting cure. But the modern culinary trend involves the use of spices to such an extent that it is difficult to completely avoid it. So one can go for using them in moderate amount and with brief interlude. As for spirituous liquors and tobacco, avoiding them is always good.

  • Myth :: Bitter medicines effect faster and more.
    • Fact :: There is no scientific fact to this - a medicine has its power in its constituent and not its taste. And if you believe it then sure you must know that most homeopathic remedies are bitter so they are given in medium of sugar globules to soothe your tongue; for Homeopathy acts gently.

  • Myth :: Every symptom or complaint has different medicine.
    • Fact :: It is not always true, for homeopathy treats the patient as a whole and not his individual sicknesses or complaints. So the choice of medicine is always one which belongs to patient as a whole. It may be possible that a new symptom may be so important that it changes the choice of medicine but it may not happen always. You may go by what your physician advises for he knows better when to change the prescription and when not to. On your part you can only tell him as much as you know about your disease.

  • Myth :: Homeopathy acts by "aggravating" the complaints.
    • Fact :: Homeopathic medicines are always prescribed such that the power or potency of drug should be just higher than the power of disease. Then only the medicine establishes cure. The medicine is perfect for your case only if it produces a slight aggravation of your present symptoms i.e. slight intensification of your complaints. But it is slight enough to provide minimum discomfort. That is, homeopathic medicines do produce a slight aggravation but it is for your own benefit as this slight aggravation is a sure sign that your medicine is perfectly chosen and will cure you. But do care to inform your physician about this aggravation if you find it discomforting. DO NOT TAKE ANY MEDICINE BY YOUR FREE WILL in such cases as you will again hamper the curative action of similimum.

  • Myth :: Homeopathy is about psychological healing.
    • Fact :: People sometimes feel that homeopathy is about psychological healing. We don't deny it altogether, as what cure you can do if you let the patient bottle up his grievances and sorrows. We do admit that sometimes when the patient is suffering from suppressed emotions and only talking-it-out can do him some good that is the only way out (even the psychiatrics would approve it). In such cases homeopathic case-taking and counseling acts as "catharsis" and relieves the patient, but it is not always. The thorough case taking is for choosing the right medicine to cure the patient. It may be that talking-out provides momentary relief but it is only the medicine which establishes cure and not the case taking.

  • Myth :: Homeopath asks many personal questions without any relevancy with the disease, only to confuse the patient.
    • Fact :: Homeopath cures the patient as a whole and not just his complaints. To understand a patient as a whole requires knowing him as a person that includes apart from his complaints his likes, dislikes, his habits, his behavior, his response to certain situations etc. To know him better sometimes the physician can ask some personal questions - it can be about his bowel habits, his sexual life, sleeping pattern, his dreams, his past and present emotional setbacks etc. these are not to confuse or irritate the patient; they are just to know him better. This knowledge would help the physician in the choice of right medicine which would provide speedy recovery to the patient. So you can just relax and answer truthfully what your physician asks - it is only for your own benefit (off course you can excuse yourself if it becomes overbearing).

  • Myth :: If my spouse/friend/relative suffers from the same complaint as I have- the same medicine will benefit all of us. That is I can give them the same medicine.
    • Fact :: This is one of the most common myths in homeopathy. Homeopathic medicines are prescribed on the basis of Individualisation which tailoring the remedy according to individuals need. It means every individual is different from others in some way; be it his stature, talking, choices, behavior, or his susceptibility to diseases. Even the fraternal twins are different from each other in one way or the other; so how can same medicine be given to two different people even if they have the same complaint. Homeopathic medicines are always prescribed for the complete package that is the individual so naturally the medicine will change for different persons.

  • Myth :: If I am going to a homeopath for some complaint, it is not necessary to tell him about the other medicines I am taking from other doctors.
    • Fact :: This is not true; in any pathy i.e medicine (allopathy, Ayurveda, siddha, homeopathy etc.) you have to inform the physician what other complaints you have and what medications you are on. Especially in homeopathy where the choice of medicine would change with your case; let's understand it like if the individual data changes the resultant choice changes. So be open with him about your complaints and choice of treatment. It may even be possible that you can have medicine for all your complaints from the homeopath himself and you won't have to go to other doctors.

  • Myth :: If I want to take homeopathic medicines for some chronic complaint I can not take any other medications especially allopathic medicines alongwith.
    • Fact :: Ideally it should not be taken; but most of the chronic cases coming for homeopathic treatment are already taking allopathic medicines. If they resort to homeopathy it is better to wait for betterment to start from homeopathic medicines then gradually taper the allopathic medication. It causes some discomfort as your body takes time to adjust once you switch medicines, so it is better to remain in close contact with your homeopathic physician.